The Waters of Life


As we headed down the side of the mountain, a few of the Ricklings I had spotted earlier charged to attack, lances drawn.

Laurenna had run out of arrows, and drew her longsword, while I brought out the Ring of Weapons once more. Again, the Ricklings lost the battle, but the win was at the cost of a bottle of healing potion.


They seemed to come out of nowhere, and even with the clanfear to help, they were hard to kill.


The view was both beautiful and desolate, a true frozen wasteland, suitable only for horkers and fish. Why Ricklings would be here in such numbers was something I'd never figure out.

"Where is this stone?" asked Laurenna. "Do you think we might have passed it?"

"It's possible." I replied. "Let's head over to that clear area there. Perhaps I can levitate a bit and get an idea of where we need to go."

She agreed, so we continued north. We both saw a group of Ricklings to our right, and decided to avoid them by crossing over a patch of ice. Everything seemed fine until I heard a loud crack beneath my feet!


I suddenly found myself falling into the freezing waters below, the ice having given way under me.

"I guess this wasn't such a good idea." I said, managing to keep my head above water.

Laurenna tried pulling me out, but with her heavy armor, it was just no good.


Using a levitation spell, I finally managed to extract myself from the hole in the ice and lifted gently to the glacier to our north.

The sun was starting to set now, and I hardly wanted to set up camp out here.

Using the Belt of Flight, I lifted gently off the ground, floating east, then west, and then south, looking for this Water Stone. In the end, however, I couldn't see it anywhere. "I think we're too far north." I said. "Let's find some place to camp out and we'll try again in the morning."


We headed back south across the ice, taking extra care not to be to heavy this time.

We checked a bit to the west and found the entrance to a cave. We both decided that we'd probably have to clear out whatever was in it before staying here the night.

I just hoped we didn't find a huge bear in here.


Bears would have been better. What we found was a cave filled with hags, and they cast a number of spells trying to convince us to run back the way we came.

A few spells of my own, however, convinced them that their evil ways were not to be acceptable to us, and they accommodated us by dying.


After making sure the last of them were dead, we checked out all of the caves. We found a few locked boxes, but a spell of Ondusi's Door Open quickly fixed that problem. A few odds and ends were found, but what we did find of interest were several armor hammers.

"Give me your armor and weapon." I said. With that, I showed Laurenna all that I knew about repairing armor. It wasn't the greatest job in the world, of course, but at least I managed to get those dents out of her longsword.

"You're pretty impressive." she replied, giving me a hug.

"That's why they pay me the big goldpieces." I replied, giving her a hug back.

We had a bite to eat, then settled down for the night.


The next morning, after having another bite to eat, we gathered our things and headed out into the frozen wastelands, looking for this Water Stone.


As usual, around just about every corner, behind every rock, another Rickling or two was hiding, waiting to pounce.

It was a good thing our equipment was restored to near-perfect condition the night before.


Around another corner, six more Ricklings attacked. It was all I could do to fend them off. Laurenna got a nasty cut, nearly bleeding to death from the wound. I tossed her one of my healing potions, and the wound closed right up.


We continued going around the west side of the mountain when suddenly Laurenna called out. "Eldorf, what's that?" she said, pointing up ahead of us.

I couldn't believe my eyes - it looked very much like the Standing Stone we had been looking for all this time.


Had we chosen to go around the western side of the mountain instead of the eastern side....

We climbed up to the stone, and gave it that now familiar touch.


Once again, words faded into view ever so gently.

"Travel west to the sea and follow the Swimmer to the Waters of Life."

The words then faded back into the stone.


Based on the what the story told me to expect, I told Laurenna to wait for me at the stone. There would be lots of swimming involved, and it wouldn't be good to do that in heavy armor.


With another levitation spell, I headed west across the expanse, looking for this so-called swimmer.


At land's end, my levitation spell gave out, so I walked the last few yards to the shore.

In front of me, across a short distance of water, was a small island, and there appeared to be something waiting for me there.



PAGE 020