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Sunfire

what lays beyond...

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Grreetings adventurers
 
A few years ago, on this very day the lair was opened to the public.
This event deserves some time to stand still by the drachorn cave
I am sure many of you have visited this majestic place, inhabited by incredible creatures (and im not talking of the tiny men).
However when we enter we see the vicious drachorn protecting the lair fiercely, held well lest he would send his rage on anyone who would dare to enter their sanctuary.
 
yet that is about all there is we know about the lair, only very few have managed to actually venture deeper into these caves.
This does make questions rise as to what lays in these small corridors. What richess have the drachorns gathered, what have the tiny men done to the place?
 
Many questions, that i want you to answer, little ones. I want you to write me what mysteries await inside. Your effort will not go unnoticed.
 
Quest details
write an essay about what lays inside the drachorn lair
no minimumlenghth or extra rules
 
deadline to submit is 23rd may 23:59:59 ST
 
entries must be forumpmed to Witty, entries forwarded in any other way will not be eligible for rewards
 
Quotation
entries will receive a score on 5 points on the following traits:
creativity: how free does your mind wander
probability: how likely is your answer correct, given the information available
presentation: how well do you present your ideas, graphical aid in form of drawings (handmade) is encouraged tho not enforced
overal score: how well is your entry on aspects but those above
 
creativity and probability are not mutually exclusive
 
Rewards
first place 1 gc
second place 10sc
third place 5sc
 
and rumors are that a drachorn charm might be rewarded to an exceptional entry
 
Good luck Edited by Sunfire

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Deadline extended by two weeks because of no entries received yet
Minimum score of 12 is needed in this stage to be able to gain a reward to avoid rubbish entries
If no (good) entries are submitted by 23 may 23:59:59 quest will be concluded without winner

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and the scores are in, sorry for the delay

 

and here are the entries:

 

Lania

[spoiler]Here's my not an essay.   :))

Inside the drachorn lair
Not really an essay, more of a short description that should not be taken seriously in every aspect.

If you find yourself to be lucky enough to reach the interior of the drach lair alive or at least in one piece, you will most likely not find what you are expecting. The way I see it, you will find it to be somewhat compartmented.

In front of you you will find the resting place of the majestic creature, a nest made out of the bones of everybody that ever had the courage to speak of drachorn secrets or tips on living. Now this nest is not just a pile of bones, no. It’s a very well-constructed structure that gives the impression of a sleeping throne. Yes, a throne, because there is nothing more noble or greater than the drachorn itself. At least in his opinion. 
To the left you will see well preserved carcasses of different creatures and different healing herbs that they keep for when in need because a drach must always be well prepared for dire times…or just a lazy afternoon snack.

To the right you will find a wall where the mighty drach finely scratched, in a hard to decipher code, the entire history of its species and himself. Well…as much as he can remember. And the reasoning behind this would be: in case he meets a drachorness and small drachies come to be, they need to know how awesome their father and his kin were. Now, the reason for this to be on the right wall is because…. Well, it’s the right wall for it and the drachorn and his kin are always right. Badum tss.   :D

Now comes the part that pushes every great adventurer to risk everything and enter the lair of the mighty and proud creature. The idea of unimaginable riches. But, to the adventurer’s great disappointment, in the middle of the lair he finds a hole, a rather large hole. In this rather large hole he finds a bunch of grumpy tiny man enslaved by the mighty drach and forced to dig for gold and precious gems. He shortly finds out that there used to be more tiny men, but unfortunately the drach was not always so wise and didn’t have his left wall (or side of the lair) prepared with what was said. After he is greeted with aggressive hisses from the tiny men, because they know he is not here to save any of them, he learns why the drach cares so much about gold and precious gems. He snorts them believing he will become stronger and build up a heavy immune system. That’s what he does and that’s why there are none or very few. Truth be told, that only makes him hyperactive and mostly grumpy. The tiny men dig away, the drach consumes and it all becomes a vicious circle. 

And so most adventurers get trapped by the desperate and sneaky tiny men and get eaten by the drach so the tiny men will live to dig another day. Or very few teleport back to a safe place, but little do they know…inside the walls of the lair there are the most powerful and awesome artifacts one could ever find. The drach does not really see their value, nor would he actually need anything from these artifacts, but he uses them for wall reinforcement, covering them with mud and what not and so concealing them. [/spoiler]

 

Assira

[spoiler] With in the tunnels of the Drachorn's lair, is a person's greatest treasure. But these treasures are guarded beyond the drachorn guardian. Traps and dark depths of the mountain have much to offer. Tunnels lead to dead ends and create a labyrinth unlike what has been seen before within the realm of magicduel. There is a reason why GG is connected to the maze.

 

Finally when a traveler makes it through the pits of spikes, draining magical devices, and golems that live as statues with the walls placed there by the tiny men.

 

The traveler arrives at a door, with a riddle to solve. Sliding panels and drawers cover the heavy stone door. Sliding certain panels unlock a drawer, be careful what you place within the drawer. For if the wrong item is placed, you may wish you were dead.

 

Finally after solving the doors riddle a traveler see what lies beyond. Many treasures lie with in the final chamber, books, coins, jewels, and powerful artifacts.

 

One of these such items lies a book of rare creatures, but is it creatures of the past or future? If a hand rests upon a page it reveals the rest of those creature types and if a single creature is touched on that page. It becomes the wielders.

 

Another items is a Staff of Travel. It gives the person the ability to travel to set areas.

 

Shieldedmirror- A mirror of unknown abilities and is locked until the time comes for it to open.

 

Bowl of Wind- A bowl that if specific things are added to it, it causes specific natural events. Such as storms, heavy rains, sunny, snowy, mild rains, and etc.

 

Rebirth Ritual dagger- it can both kill and revive people.

 

More treasures lie there for as far as the traveler can see. But after getting an item, the traveler has to make it out of the tunnels alive. For all traps have reset and moved. If the traveler dies on the way out, the item is returned to the chamber. [/spoiler]

 

Asthir

[spoiler] What lies beyond…?

During this little self-assigned exploration quest, I came across a troubling rumor which changed my expectations regarding the time it would take to be done with it. I knew there were areas I wouldn’t easily reach, but this time it was different… it was impossible.

Examining Golemus on the outside took the better part of a month. Starting off with the easy parts was the natural thing to do, as it provided detailed insight on the landscape which would later helm tremendously with deeper exploration.

Two weeks in, I had reached an entrance to a cave I would later discover to be called the Drachorn’s Lair. Having heard of these creatures and their capabilities, the thought of “save the best for last” came to mind, thus I moved past it with the intent of returning after everything else, or at least most of everything else became known to me. Not long after this, it was by sheer luck that I was granted access to the north-eastern areas of the land; areas I would have otherwise been unable to reach prior to the extensive search which followed the rough one. This aided in connecting some of the dots, literally and otherwise. A week later, most of the landscape was known information; every building, every hill, and every crevice - no matter the size; except for one thing: whereas I would usually be able to detect things through solid rock by means of vibrations, I was unable to do so here. The answer to this riddle would be found within the mountain itself, so it was time to return to the cave. What I came across inside went far beyond any expectation I had at that time, with or without any rumors.

When passing by the first time around, the commotion within could be clearly felt, therefore stealth was determined to be the best course of action. I latched on to the top of the entrance and crawled in, spreading myself thin to avoid being seen. Immediately upon entering I realized that most of the noises were indistinguishable due to the sheer number of causes they had. It took days of standing still to properly separate and identify these causes. The howling of diverse currents, hundreds of light-weighted footsteps, vibrations similar to those made by multiple tensioned ropes – all repeatedly bouncing off the smoothly shaped cave walls and almost getting lost in the echoes of thundering thumps and occasional roars. A beast was kept at bay in there by tiny folk speaking an unfamiliar language, quick and apparently vicious in their actions. My first guess was that the beast was undergoing taming; then the thought of it being kept there to guard something crossed my mind… either way, I had to continue what I set out to do.

Cautiously crawling on the ceiling, I reached a point where all currents seemed to converge. From there I determined 10 distinct entry points, one of which was the cave entrance. On the opposite side to the entrance, nine tunnels could be distinguished from the winds flowing through them: four a little bit to the left at equal distances from each other; another four to the right, placed in a similar manner to the first four; and one directly opposite to the cave entrance, at equal distance from the closest (from itself) two tunnels, but greater compared to the distance the other tunnels shared between themselves. This trait alone was enough to suggest that that particular tunnel was part of the “save the best for last” sphere; however, I thought to make sure. I slowly crept closer to each of them, and found that, indeed, the 8 tunnels on the sides were less complex compared to the one in the middle. With this in mind, it was time to look deeper.

These 8 tunnels shared some characteristics:

- They were connected to themselves only through the cave;
- They were lit by small circular crystal formations coming out of the walls at regular intervals;
- They all had several dead ends with no apparent purpose;
- Each was spread over 2 levels:
--- First level consisted of tunnels leading outward through some very peculiar exits – to be described; these tunnels span across the island at sea level altitude, having connection points with exits above this altitude via ramp climbs;
--- Second level consisted of tunnels running below sea level, leading straight under several landmarks – dead ends;

From each of these landmark locations, some sort of nearly undetectable encasing protruded from the ceiling and followed a third tunnel branch towards the center of the island, straight under the main land’s highest peak; while these eight... lumps – for lack of a better word – went towards the same spot, the connection wasn’t clear as they each disappeared inside the wall, at this end point. If one were to bring down this wall, all 8 tunnels would have a second connection point, apart from the cave, but this doesn’t seem to be a wise thing to do, considering the wall’s – more like pillar’s - position.

The exits on the first level were completely undetectable by the sonic means I would normally use. Not having any sight to rely on, I send out waves on different frequencies and determine foreign forms using the imprints left on my surface by their rebounds, but this method had no effect on anything in the vicinities of these places… as if everything I was emitting was being captured. Based on this observation I moved on to sensory mapping, which yielded another strange result: I couldn’t identify what I was touching… it felt like I wasn’t touching anything, yet one could tell there was something in the way because they wouldn’t be able to advance. This was the case with the walls all around each of these exits for several meters, and this phenomenon was similar to that of the encasings on each tunnel ceiling.

Keep in mind that at this point, I was standing blindly, so to speak, not knowing what lay ahead. After spending a few hours trying to understand what was going on – to no avail – I decided to move on, to leave it for later. I began emitting again and moved forward, hoping that this area along with its effects would eventually come to an end – and it did. Seconds after I began to move, I found myself receiving information again, hovering about 20 meters away from the Bridge of Ages. The disturbing part came with the rebounds received from the direction I came from: none. Each of these 8 exits acted in this exact same manner. I still don’t understand how they work, but one thing’s certain: they live up to their names exactly, in the sense that they are exits. Also, one question was answered: this would be the reason why I couldn’t detect what lay beneath the landscape, from the outside – this concealment mechanism.

As one can imagine, after each such encounter came the need to return and continue, and that meant weeks of travelling, entering the cave, exiting to a different part of the land only to have to return and repeat the process until the 8 complexes were finally properly mapped out. From left to right, this is where each tunnel led:

1. Ivory Lighthouse, Bridge of Ages exit
2. Wraith’s Wreck, Pillars of Harmony exit
3. Mt. Kelle'tha, Storm Dock exit
4. Tempest Fort (Fort Inneryard), Siege Crest exit
5. The Laboratory, The Bridge of the Chosen exit
6. Golem’s Mill, Storm Ferry exit
7. Cannon's Crossing, Power’s Ascent exit
8. Kelle’tha’s Cannon, Fenth Beach exit

My suspicion – that there might be a way to access the inside areas of the landmarks – was strengthened, thought the means which would grant such access remained elusive.

In all this time while scouring the tunnels, the hurried footsteps and the strange language of the tiny folk were also present. Their continuous running about along with the impossibility of telling them apart due to their identical voice patterns left the impression of never ending tireless activity. These tunnels were drowning in activity. The ability to literally become one with the surroundings allowed me to remain undetected, though I refrained from trying to gain a deeper understanding of their activities so as to not risk becoming exposed.

Seeing as how there seemed to be nothing more to be gathered from these areas, the final tunnel remained.

Unlike the other complexes, which were spread mostly on 2 layers of the land (with the mentioned connections to the other layers), this one was different. It ran through almost all layers of the island; the whole experience felt like mapping out an ant lair. There were hundreds of tunnels connected through dozens of forks leading to dozens of dead ends and many rooms with specific purposes.

First room I came across was a rather large one which had an elevator in its center. Activating it wouldn’t have been prudent, so instead I squeezed through the lateral spaces in order to see where it went. It connected 8 layers of the land.

I found that the top layer – I’ll call them floors – it led to wasn’t really the topmost one, as there was a trapdoor straight above the elevator, climbing into a small cave, very close to the top of Golemus’ highest mainland peak. In this cave there were holes two meter high and one meter wide, carved in the surrounding stone walls, in eight directions, opposing each other two by two. Excellent vantage point... 

Returning to the not-so-top-floor, I slid underneath a large door and found myself surrounded by books and scrolls. A library, roughly the size of the interior of Sage’s Keep three times over, was housing history accumulated over many years. A quick look through these scrolls revealed information generally available to everyone – facts and theories which can be found in other places throughout the realm, as well. There was also a second door present in here; however, I was unable to pass it as I did the last one. Waiting around for someone to open it wouldn’t have helped either, as the risk of being detected would have risen to an unwanted level. But the general idea was acquired, and a suspicion regarding the contents sealed room had made its way into existence, so I moved on.

A careful incursion beneath the library level revealed a residential area. This floor, along with the one below it – which also held the room I first encountered the elevator in, as I was soon about to find out – had lodgings and relaxation areas. This answered my question regarding whether or not the tiny folk actually rested. Every now and then I’d come across stairways connecting the two floors. On the upper floor of this area, small doors in the walls opened up at random time intervals revealing elevators, which had the purpose of delivering food. Hundreds of various sized holes in the stone all around – no larger than 5 centimeters in diameter, though – were actually playing music. A closer inspection of these showed that the holes were actually tubes, zigzagging outwards through the stone in such a way that they caught wind perfectly in order to hum various harmonious tunes. This of course posed the yet unanswered question if these folk were able to manipulate weather the way they needed it, or simply had a very deep understanding of their environment. Regardless, it was a sign of an advanced form of civilization.

Below the two residential floors lay a processing area. The bare necessities: food, water, herbs and potions – medicinal or otherwise, and clothes were made and kept here, in multiple storage rooms on this floor and the one above – which was the first residential level, though there was no detectable connection between the storage rooms here and the rest of the floor. Seven stairways in several places connected this floor to most of the ones below it. Three of these led to 3 large rooms filled with eggs; by their size and shape they were definitely Drachorn eggs.

Descending one level via one of the other stairways, I was put under severe pain. The thundering hammers and muffled roars of fire suggested it was an industrial area. Weapons and tools were probably made here. I tried approaching this floor from every angle I could find, but the noise was simply much too unbearable, so I quickly moved on to the next one below it.

This area was separated. Four staircases connected the industrial floor above with four separated, large storage rooms. Every now and then the doors would open up, a few tiny folk would deposit or remove caches of worn out or brand new weapons and tools, and thus my previous suspicion had been confirmed. I was fairly certain that these rooms were in between the eight tunnel complexes which held the odd exits, as I was definitely at sea level.

The four staircases continued to a similar level. It had the same four rooms, in almost identical positions, only these held raw materials, which were no doubt mined from the mountain. And indeed, going further down the stairs, the sound of pickaxes filled halls 10-12 meters in height. Large stone pieces were strategically left as pillars, and clearly reinforced to support the extra weight placed on them by the mining. This is where the elevator stopped. However, not far from it, another single staircase descended... deep.

And at the bottom of this path, there was one dead end which differentiated itself from the others through a few aspects:

- It shared the properties of the exits from the other eight complexes, so the only way I was able to determine its shape was to move until I couldn’t anymore;
- Its shape was perfectly cubical;
- The floor, ceiling, and left/right walls had circular formations in their centers emitting light; 
- The back wall had several deformities: one of them I gathered was a door, perfectly circular, with what felt like a crevice in its center the shape of the Lair Keepers’ crest, and eight notches which split it in eight equal parts, the upper one holding on to the crest; the others were what felt like eight encasings leading from the mid-edges and corners of that wall towards the crest, and into the door; quite possibly the encasings I felt coming out from underneath the landmark areas.

Vault image: http://i.imgur.com/dEFedzU.jpg

Judging by the signs, behind that circular door would be the room one could only access by using the Drachorn Charm. I could only suspect that the eight encasings protect the means by which the Charm is identified without a doubt; or that even with the Charm, access could only be gained if eight other mechanisms were also activated. I wouldn’t know. As for what lies inside this vault, one could only guess. Items of power, scrolls of knowledge, precious materials... a portal to another world? All or none of those could be true. Going through walls was possible in several parts of the mountain, and helped cut some time off this endeavor, but in no way enabled access to areas of the land I now deem sensitive due to the various forms of protection they’ve been placed under. This room, above all others, stirred my interest, but no matter the effort, getting in seemed impossible without a key.

At this point I felt that the gained knowledge was conclusive enough, for the time being, to move to the next land. I got out of the complex and back to the cave, where I was met by a fortunate surprise: the Drachorn had shifted away from its position slightly, revealing a trapdoor underneath.

The prospect of “more” had always been, and most likely always will be attractive, so in I went. Luckily enough, the cave walls, ceiling and floor didn’t possess those properties which wouldn’t allow me passage through, so heading in was fairly simple.

Directly underneath, a large hall housed a number of things: equipment, unmanned machines, a few tiny folk speaking to one and other, and a large lift... it was connected to the machines around, so I figured that’s how it got activated. Underneath the lift, a wide shaft descended deep into the mountain, though it’s doubtful anyone will be able to figure out where this shaft leads without help from those who would know.

I descended through it; mile over mile and over mile... the shaft went so deep that I could no longer detect anything from the surface area. Once I reached the bottom, I decided it would be unwise to continue, not knowing whether or not I’d come across any more of those undetectable areas which could quite possibly have meant being trapped for an undetermined period of time. First thought was that this particular tunnel complex might very well be the one rumored to connect the lands together. But finding out wasn’t worth the risk.

As such, I ascended to the large hall, and went through the ceiling coming out facing the entrance to the Drachorn’s Cave. I then left Golemus with only one thing in mind: to gain the knowledge necessary to one day return and be granted access to its more sensitive areas.[/spoiler]

 

Yrthilian

[spoiler] What Lays Beyond

This is taken from a research notes regards Golemus – The People, The Land and Its Secretes. It is suggested that the Drachorn Lair was not there first. It is suggested that ether the little people created the lair to keep the creature or that the Drachorn created its lair in what could be considered the land of the little people. 
In the research note it refers to the lair and its construction. Yes that right it suggests it was constructed. The researcher believes this was a purpose built lair or chamber just for keeping the Drachorn held within. The lines are to clean and the entry points are constructed to such a small site that would really only allow the tiny people entry and exit. There are however what looks to be 2 entrances that would allow someone larger than the tiny people to access other areas. The research notes that he has been unable to gain entry to what is beyond the lair.
The researcher also notes the entrance to the lair is well crafted but suggests it is not in fact the face of a Drachorn but of some other creature. As we are unable to clearly see the faces of the tiny people the researcher wonders if the face in the side of the mountain is in fact something else entirely. The researcher sees many differences between the face on the mountain and the Drachorn. He suggests that if you are going to use the image of a Drachorn it would be more like the Drachorn with horns and a more elongated mount. The nose for example does not appear to fit they form of a Drachorn.
The fact the Queen Drachorn is contained within the lair. Yes the researcher view that lair as a sort of prison for the poor creature within. The research notes that it took some time before he realised this and wonders why it took so long to see the entrapment within the lair to be realised. The poor creature is chained down and muzzled so as not to be able to eat its captors. This brings us to the tiny people. No one really know who or what they are but they manage the Drachorn lair but what else to they manage. It is though that the tiny people built the chamber that contains the Drachorn that they do this for someone or something else. What is beyond the lair? Is there another way to gain entrance? 
The researcher thinks that there is a town/village beyond that the tiny people live in. Where else could they live but in the mountain itself. But what do they do beyond? Who command them? Do they have a leader? What’s more why do they control a Drachorn Queen? 
The suggestion that the tiny people may have a village of their own is intriguing and something that does deserve thinking about. How many of them may live in there? Is this a way to find a source or a connection to dark water? If only we could communicate with the tiny people and ask those questions. [/spoiler]

 

and that leaves to announcing the winners!

 

first place: Asthir (32/40) 1GC + Drach Melodic charm

second place: Lania (28/40) 10 sc

third place: Yrthilian (25/40) 5sc

fourth place: Assira (19/40)

 

details on judging can be found here: http://storenow.net/my/?f=6e96af86020d247f881b6147dbb84e69

i would like to thank all participants and Burns to be my cojudge

 

Draconas

Edited by Sunfire

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