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Murkwood

Author: 
Xan, Lady N

After the Crypt of Heart, in the Eternal Champion's dream, Ria Silmane said:

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Tharn is livid, scattering about the Imperial Palace like a rabid dog. You have caused him no end of worry. I am sure the Wizard's minions are tracking you. I will say no more, lest I tempt Fate. You seek now the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos. I have found that this piece lies in a place called Murkwood, the dark forest that ever moves. There can only be one of two provinces left that can hold this forest, Black Marsh or Morrowind. I would start my search in one of these...

Knowing that Black Marsh was indeed a murky wood, the Champion headed there first. In the city of Stormhold, they heard rumors that the Conclave of Baal knew of Murkwood's location.

I heard that the priests in the Conclave of Baal in Stormhold know the location of Murkwood, yet hold it a dear secret. I oubt they will tell you the truth, unless it's for the right price...

Fengris of the market told my brother that his son overheard two men talking about something about a map to urkwood being in a collapsed portion of the Conclave of Baal. aybe you should ask there...

Although it is not common knowledge, I heard that a great pell caused the collapse of a part of the Conclave of Baal in Stormhold, the part that held much of their maps and treasure. If information to Murkwood is anywhere, it'll be with them...

The Conclave had to be the Champion's next stop. There, they met Idolan Lancaster, the temple's leader.

Aye, my child, I knew the way to find the location of Murkwood, the dark forest that ever moves, for I am Idolan Lancaster, Leader of the Conclave of Baal. Though it is a dire place, it is said that many items were lost within its swamps and bogs. Alas, I fear its secrets will rest forever now.

You see, a few nights ago one of our initiates, thinking to impress his masters, triggered a spell of massive destructive potential. Though the senior brothers tried to dissipate it, they were not able. The best they could do was to channel its power into the very earth itself. Needless to say the backlash was terrible, collapsing much of the Vaults of Gemin, the site this unfortunate apprentice had chosen to cast his spell. The stone tablet that held the key to the location of Murkwood fell with much of the Vault, deep below the earth. I dare say it is lost forever unless...

If you would be willing to venture into the collapsed Vault and try and recover the tablet, I would be happy to decipher the location of Murkwood and inscribe it onto your map. You would have to return the tablet to me first, however. Will you agree?

They did, of course.

You are doing a great service to the Conclave of Baal. I will not forget it. Be careful however, for we have heard strange noises issuing forth from the dark caverns below. When you have retrieved the tablet, return to this place. I will await you...

After successfully navigating the Vault and recovering the tablet, the Champion returned to Stormhold and to the Conclave.

The Vaults are no safe place for those not strong in arm and wit. Still, it seems you have succeeded in quite an arduous task. Wait a moment and I will complete our bargain...

Idolan peers intently at the tablet, then rummages through his robes for a feather pen. A helpful brother holds out an ink well and Idolan pens the location of Murkwood, somewhere in the province of Black Marsh, onto your map...

With the map marked, the Champion headed out to retrieve the penultimate piece of the Staff.

 

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The mists of Murkwood, the Black Forest, swirl about. Inside the dark forest can be heard faint cries of despairs, souls who have lost their way within its cunning web. Through the smell of decay from every tree and stone, within this forest lies the seventh piece of the Staff of Chaos."

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Jagar Tharn made another attempt to stop the Eternal Champion:

You amaze me with your tenacity. It boots nothing to avoid my snares, for this game is at an end. The final piece of the Staff is in Dagoth-Ur, in the province of Morrowind. The information is useless to you, for none know the entrance to the volcano, and even if you survive the creatures I have sent against you now, you will not survive its depths. I bid you farewell. You have been a most worthy opponent...

As usual, the Eternal Champion survived.