The search for the White Stag
On Wednesday, September 1st, 2004 back on Earth, the Pacific shard of Britannia was visited by the ranger James Greymason, who put out a call to all the heroes of the land.
Many answered the call, as can be seen. Greymason quickly came to the point: the Moonglow Zoo desired new specimens, and there were rumours of a White Stag in Ilshenar. Our task was to somehow round it up and get it to the Zoo.
As soon as Greymason was finished speaking, the heroes all rushed from the hall in Skara Brae to a nearby moongate.
Once through to Ilshenar (and this being my first time in this land, it was a bit daunting to be sure), the heroes spread across the forest in search of the White Stag. You couldn't go ten steps without finding another Stag-seeker.
I caught up with Greymason himself a little later, after I futilely ran around the large Ilshenar forest. People had suggested taming the Stag when found, and since I'm not a Tamer, I wasn't sure what I could contribute to the hunt.
Wyverns were seen all over the forest, and it was implied by a guildmate that they weren't usually that common.
Here I've caught up with a large group of hunters, who all seemed to be running with purpose. I tagged along, hoping that they knew more than I!
Here we see a fellow named Barracoon, distinct in his coloring. I am new to these lands, so I am not aware of who he is, but assumed he was a companion of Greymason's, also seeking the Stag with us. The fact that there were so many other adventurers tagging along seemed to enforce that idea.
A large mass of heroes are found -- and from what I could hear, there was a White Hind in their midst! I couldn't see it through all the bodies, however.
Ah ha! There it is! I was led to believe that there was also a White Stag in the mix, but I couldn't see him. The White Hind can be seen near the tail of that greyish lizard creature. They're unknown to me as well.
These White Hinds move fast! So do I, however, and I was able to keep up, even as others lagged. I was still at a loss for how to corral the creature, however! I figured I was contributing by keeping it in sight, so others might try something.
Many mages were attempting to wall the creatures in with walls of various magicks. None seemed to contain the scampering creatures.
Two Hinds were close to each other, which left me unsure of which to follow! They had both led to the south, into this huge battle with the undead. Again, I'm new to Ilshenar, so I'm not sure if this is a regular occurance or not.
The Hinds never seemed to tire, but luckily my horse did not, either, for I fed him before we started off.
Feed him. Of course! It didn't occur to me, but Greymason can be seen mentioning that the Hind liked the apples he offered.
You can also see I attempted to affect the Hind with a song of Discordance, to see if that might weaken it enough to be tamed or cornered. No such luck -- they are indeed enchanted creatures!
We've crossed over a small bit of water now, and the two White Hinds seem to be leading the heroes with purpose. Perhaps the others know what's ahead, and why the Hinds are going there, but I do not. I stay close to the others -- safety in numbers!
The White Hinds seem to have stopped running for now. They are near some sort of building -- an inn, perhaps? I'm not sure what's going on. Someone asks where Barracoon is, which I thought was a good question, being a fellow Hind-seeker.
It turned out my ignorance nearly cost me my life! This Barracoon, as I discovered later, was not a friend of Greymason's at all! Apparently he sought the White Stag and White Hinds for his own devious ends. Just a trophy seeker? Something worse? I didn't find out.
What I did find was a bunch of my fellow hunters turned into ratmen! It was carnage! Undead appeared, real ratmen, and ratmen that were really friends underneath. I fear I skirted the melee, for I'm not a combatant in any sense of the word. Call me a coward, but I did live to bring you this tale.
As you can see, many of the party knew of Barracoon's treachery, and fell at him. Was he the cause of the polymorphed heroes? I never did find out, but it sure would be a coincidence if he wasn't!
I'm afraid I wasn't very Virtuous in the aftermath. Gold sprung forth from the ground, and Avarice took over me, preventing me from accurately showing it. I'll admit with slight guilt that I grabbed over 15000 gold, even as fellows might have lay dead at my feet. I shall tithe some of this gold, even though I am not a Paladin.
With Barracoon gone (dead? I never saw a body), the troupe led the White Stag and White Hinds through a moongate to Moonglow, and walked them into the Zoo.
After the White fauna were safely in their sanctuary, Greymason spoke to the heroes -- to those who were listening, at any rate.
He mentioned that there was a desire to fill the Zoo with more exotic creatures, and that there is rumour of a Phoenix somewhere in the lands. This is to be a future quest, I believe.
In the end, I admit I wasn't much aid to the capture of the White Stag and the White Hinds. My job is that of Treasure Hunter, and while yes, I came away with some gold, I think the real treasure this night was to witness such majestic creatures on the run.
Crwth of Pacific