- Savich, oh my dear Savich. He was so sweet. Our love was bright, but fleeting. He could see how much I loved the gloves, but he could not meet my clothing needs. So he told me that there were others, brothers of his, who would be willing to trade for matching garments. He pointed me toward Fort Ranik and my destiny. I will never forget those ten minutes we spent together.
- Fort Ranik is northeast of Wizard's Folly, but it is not a straightforward climb down the mountain. The path down leads through a cave full of ice elementals. Not that my Flare spell and I were in any danger. In a way, it was a very leisurely, scenic trip.
- As we left Wizard's Folly (we being Gwen, my gloves, and I), we found ourselves on the bank of a river. Runoff from the snow flows through here out to, well, who knows where. We're nowhere near the ocean, right?
- As we walked down the river, we were set upon by Giant Aloe Seeds. Ascalon is a crazy dangerous place. And here I thought the Charr were bad. You can't even walk through the countryside without being set upon by bandits, scales, and these freaking seeds.
- After we overcame many obstacles, we arrived at Fort Ranik. My goal was finally in sight.
- The fort itself was rather barren. The soldiers must be out patrolling the countryside, right? Since it's so dangerous out there, right?
- Savich's brother, Hatcher, was easy to find. He hadn't mentioned that they were identical twins. Be still, my heart. Hatcher was willing to trade a Krytan Robe in exchange for five unnatural seeds. Since I had harvested several from the Aloe Seeds, I handed them over and took my reward. The robe was more like a halter top with wings, but that's what he called it. The trip was already worth all the trouble.
- Hatcher pointed out his other brother, Varis, also an identical twin! Three identical twins, if you can believe it. He was offering Krytan Leggings in trade for, um, something else.
- "Did you say you wanted three spider legs?" I asked, hoping that I heard wrong.
- "Yes, three spider legs," he replied earnestly.
- I repressed a shiver. "Spider legs are pretty small, though, right? How about I just find you a spider and you can pick off the legs yourself."
- "You misunderstand. I need the legs off of giant spiders."
- "Is that anything like the Giant Aloe Seed where they aren't much bigger than a regular Aloe Seed?"
- He thought for a moment. "Yes, I believe that you are correct."
- That calmed me down a little. "Okay. I've heard of giant spiders like tarantulas. Do you mean about that size?"
- "Maybe a little bigger."
- I bit my lip. I really don't like spiders. Really don't like them at all. But if I could get some nice new leggings in return for some a-little-bigger-than-tarantula spider legs, I would do it.
- "You have yourself a deal," I told him.
- When I left Fort Ranik, I ran across Mary Malone. The poor woman had been collecting apples, but was forced to leave her basket behind when she ran across some giant spiders. She had run all the way back to the fort and was hiding behind a tree. I told her that I would be happy to help recover her basket. And if I can find some spider legs along the way, all the better.
- I followed the road to the south, keeping my eyes open for any spiders. The basket was sitting alone in the middle of the orchard, completely devoid of arachnids. Well, at least I can return it to Mary, right?
- When I finally escaped the madness and dropped off the apples, I returned to Fort Ranik with spider legs for Varis to claim my prize.
- And then I punched him square in the face.
Have I mentioned before how beautiful this game is? Even this cave is beautiful. The game is six years old and it still holds up.
Okay, we need to talk about naming things. Aloe Seeds are already giant when you compare them to regular seeds. Giant Aloe Seeds are not all that giant when you compare them to the already giant Aloe Seeds. Somebody has their scale set all wrong.
Here ends part four. We are close to the end of Pre-Searing now. Next time we'll delve into the Catacombs, and then we're off to the Ascalon Academy. See you next time!
© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.