Chapter Eight

Finding the T’lok was a long and arduous journey. It took us first to Langston, homeland of Huerney White-Eye, a racially divided city of elves, dwarves, humans and Halflings, whose magical district was good enough that you could buy practically any item on the market, but whose guards were so racist that they hassled any half-breeds like myself who went into their city. Langston was ruled by a secretive council, so paranoid that they refused to release their names to the public. It took a good deal of effort to find them out, more to get them to recognize our town, and even more for them to help us. We had to save one of them from T’lok assassins, and afterwards their dwarves agreed to help build Latheric’s mighty castle. After many months of working with them, Langston eventually became our greatest ally, and the town guards learned to respect me after I easily beat their best warrior in a fight. Another ally we found was the Pomarj, Gaspar and Agamemnon’s homeland. There we dealt with Jessalyn, ruler of the elves; a woman of glorious beauty whom Gaspar instantly fell in love with (for the second time, as they were old friends). The elves agreed to help us, providing us with assistance and trade. We also learned that the T’lok were here, but too late. Just as soon as we learned about them, we found that they had killed Jessalyn. With some strange rune drawn on her head, she was forever slain, lost to a curse that sent her soul straight to hell, the property of the evil god Asmodeus. After we slew the T’lok that had done this to her, Gaspar swore to save Jessalyn, the woman he had loved his whole life. He swore to go to hell and get her soul back. Though I never did like her much, I agreed to help, for his sake and because it would be a great challenge indeed. But before that, we needed to do some more things. We left the Pomarj. On the way out, we had another incident with Huey. A man accosted us on the bridge. He demanded money should we want to cross it. Huey decided to kill him instead. I didn’t disagree with this, but Latheric did. He banished Huey to some far-off desert dimension with a spell, trapping the little guy there for over a month, while the rest of us sailed across the seas, accompanied by Lohndar, one of the Pomarj’s best rangers, who sadly died when that land was stricken from the world. Across the ocean we battled the T’lok still, in poisoned cities and strange locations, even journeying down to the underdark and meeting with the exotic black-skinned elves who dwelt there. Still, after a time we returned to our homeland, learning the true location of where the T’lok were based out of; the same dismal world where we had faced down Tabber. We learned of their ultimate plot; to unleash a great beast on our lands, the legendary terror known as the Tarrasque, a being that was said to have crushed empires and devoured nations. We spent some time preparing. We even freed Huey to help us with this menace, and despite his previous sins, he was now repentant, spending all his time in the temple praying. We prepared to go off and battle this creature, this being which had previously only been a rumor told to scare naughty children. Still, doing our research we found that there was only one way to kill it forever: the spell of Wish. After much more research we discovered that there was only one place to find this long-lost magic: the secluded Elven homeland. After a year of journey under magical sleep, we found ourselves there in that paradise; amidst titanic trees and luscious forests, snowy mountains and vibrant valleys; the elves were hesitant to let some of us into this land, but in the end they knew they owed us their lives and their world, and so even the high elves welcomed us to their home. There we descended to the depths of an ancient tomb, where lay the graves of undead sorcerers, a diabolical priest of Asmodeus and his cursed banshee of a wife. We slew them both, though again at the cost of some lives. After much battle and more traps, we conquered the tombs and brought back several interesting items; the scroll of wish, along with a set of magical rings capable of enslaving those who wore them. After our tomb raid, we spent precious little time in that paradise of a land, for the elves wanted us there as little as possible and we had work to do.

Arriving back in Tabber’s desert plane, we discovered the lair of our enemies in a huge cave, a cave filled with wealth, so much wealth that not even the greediest of thieves could imagine how much it could hold. The Tarrasque was awake, we could tell, and living in this lair, though at the moment it was out. It had already started its rampage. The nearby bubble-city of the fish-folk was gone; a smoldering crater where nothing remained but dust. The beast soon returned to its lair, and we saw it; larger than ten dragons, with horns as large as ships and teeth comparable to trees. Its hide reflected away the spells of wizards, its flesh regenerated at a rapid rate, and it was a terror in battle. We soon lured the thing out of its lair and faced it down. I sliced at it with my blades; Waterwind and Amy weakened the beast with spells of harming, Latheric struck at it with slaying magic, Huey tried hitting its weak points with his small sword, while Gaspar and Agamemnon attacked it with their powerful weapons. The monster was tough, it was legendary, it was supposedly unbeatable. Yet we beat it nonetheless, hacking away until it moved no more, then wishing it out of existence with powerful magics attained in the elven lands. The Tarrasque was dead, and the only thing that remains of it now is the shield that I carry. From it I learned that no matter how legendary and supposedly invincible a thing is, it can be defeated with skill and resourcefulness. Us mortals beat a terror out of legend, a thing created by vengeful gods to strike down nations. If the Tarrasque can be destroyed, good readers, anything can be done. After slaying it, we went after its masters. Suddenly, I received a message in my head; it was Tessalik, leader of the loathsome T’lok. He offered us a deal. If I would fight him in a duel to the death, the winner would become the leader of the T’lok, and the loser would have all of his friends killed brutally. I accepted, never one to back down from a true challenge. We met atop the nearby mountain, a place that was dead to magic, negating all unfair advantages. There we fought a battle; one on one, our blades clashing in the desert winds, our blood flowing freely and our lives locked in the embrace of death. We fought, and I won, bringing the lizard-man to his knees. At that point he asked me to spare his life. I knew that I could not, at least not for him. Tessalik was a being of honor, an assassin who took lives. I knew that for him, death would be better than dishonor, and thus I took his life away; not out of hatred, but out of compassion. Thus, I became leader of the T’lok, and if any of that species still remain, I am to this day. We found the rest of them holed up in their mountain lair. They had melted all the gold and silver in their mountain, and as we opened it, the molten money poured out, covering the entire mountainside in a flow of pure gold. Inside, we found the remainder of their clan, all of whom leapt to their doom when I told them to renounce their deal with Tabber. It was a strange and tragic sight, but it seemed as if they feared the old lich so much that they would rather die than go back on their deal with him. Still, it was over. They were gone

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