The Secret in the Flames
Strangest of all the Elemental Planes was the Plane of Fire. Brilliant flames covered every inch of the landscape like orange, windblown grass. But the fire didn't burn. This is where the Immortal Hero discovered a secret that would later give him an advantage over the Elemental Lords.
Tarnum must defeat the Inferno town and gain control of the Fire Elementals by flagging all Fire Elemental generators. Heroes will be limited to level 30, but Tarnum and his three best Heroes will transfer to the next map, carrying over all of their skills, spells and experience.
|Day 1 - Day 1|
|I was a little concerned about coming to the Plane of Fire. Air, Water, and Earth I can understand, but an entire world made of fire? Before we came here, I insisted that I go alone. No use sending everyone through the portal only to find out that our robes and hair catch fire on the other side.|
What I found instead was a realm lit by a brilliant orange glow and flames licking at my legs like tall grass. With each breath I sucked in the blistering air, too dry to make me sweat but hot enough to make me want to strip off my robes. As I looked around, I saw nothing but pools of bubbling lava, charred mountains, and flames.
In a way, it was beautiful.
|Day 4 - Day 4|
|My Wizard assistants have warned me about some dangerous artifacts called Pandora's Boxes. Apparently, they are strewn all over this realm. Some hold priceless treasures, but these powerful boxes can literally hold anything - including an army of Fire Elementals.|
|Day 7 - Day 7|
|Barsolar has found two Inferno towns to the south. Not only do the Elementals guard this realm, but Demons do as well. In the past, I have faced few opponents as dangerous as a Demon. As cruel as they are crafty, they will tirelessly pursue their goal. In this case, I know they will fight me until every last one of them has been killed, but that doesn't really matter. The Elementals are the ones I want to control, and to do that I must control all the Fire Elemental Confluxes. No small task.|
|Day 11 - Day 11|
|There are many Imp Caches in this area. I am told that Imps like to hoard the treasures they steal - usually Gold and Mercury. Although Imps are weaklings on the battlefield, they do travel in large numbers. There's probably several hundred of the creatures inside those Caches, but I wonder how much wealth they guard.|
|Day 25 - Day 25|
|Since we are so close to our goal of conquering all four Elemental Planes, I had a conference with my assistants this morning to discuss strategies for defeating the Elemental Lords.|
"Unfortunately, Lord Tarnum," said Reamus, "there are four of them and only one of you."
Recently, I appointed Reamus as my second-in-command, since he had years of experience fighting the Elementals. I found him capable, and not as annoying as my other assistants. I can't put my finger on the reason I get along with him any better than the others, especially since his name has so many easy and vulgar ways to mess it up.
"The Elemental Lords have an unprecedented command over their respective elements. Alone, one of them has power beyond imagination. Together, I do not think we can beat them," Reamus said.
"There has to be a way," I said. The Ancestors wouldn't have sent me to face them if it was impossible.
"What we need," I said, "is something they don't have. I can stand toe-to-toe with them once I get control of all these Elementals, but what I need is a weapon they have no defense against."
"We'll work on it, Lord," said Reamus.
|Day 32 - Day 32|
|Today, Barsolar returned from his exploration of this plane. He had done some experiments while he was away, and mentioned that he had to go over his notes with some of the other Wizards.|
To my surprise, I said, "What did you learn?"
Barsolar stammered for a moment. He looked at me as if trying to determine if I was joking.
"What?" I said. "I can't show any interest in your work?"
"You never have before," Barsolar said.
"Your work hasn't been interesting until now," I replied with a grin to let him know I was kidding.
Unfortunately, Barsolar still didn't have a sense of humor. Or does he? I still suspect that Barsolar, not Hemoross, was behind the potion in my tea that kept me seasick the entire time I was on the Plane of Water.
"Well, " Barsolar began to explain, "I have been wondering why the fire here does not burn us. Even paper doesn't burn, unless..."
Barsolar pulled a sheet of parchment from his robes, curled it into a tube, and held it above the flames licking at his feet. At first, nothing happened. Then it caught fire so quickly Barsolar had to toss the paper away before it burned his fingers.
"How did you do that?" I asked.
"The fire reacts to your thoughts. If you want it to burn something, it will. It's almost a living entity, similarly to the Elementals but not sentient," Barsolar said.
I was impressed. I slapped Barsolar on the shoulder and said, "Good work!"
|Day 38 - Day 38|
|Barsolar and Reamus approached me last night, serious expressions on their faces.|
"We have just come up with some theories that might point to the existence of a new type of Elemental - one that could help us battle the Elemental Lords," Reamus said.
"That is, if it exists," Barsolar added.
Barsolar gestured for Reamus to begin.
"My years here on the Elemental Planes have given me plenty of opportunities to experiment with the unique nature of these realms. I have long wondered that if water, air, fire, and earth can be segregated such as this, then what keeps them together. What binds them, for instance, in our world?"
"What?" I asked.
"Magic," Barsolar said. I let them know I was skeptical. According to a Wizard, magic is the answer to every question.
"Yes," Reamus continued, "I haven't been able to prove it until I spoke with Barsolar about his experiments with the fire. We know the fire isn't alive, yet it hears our thoughts and reacts to them. Perhaps that is how the Elemental Lords manipulate their world so easily - they are linked with the element itself. We think that magic, and perhaps even thought, are elements just like fire and water. If this is true, then there might be a Plane of Magic."
"And Magic Elementals!" Barsolar added.
Magic Elementals. It all seemed far-fetched, but I gave the two Wizards permission to do whatever it takes to find out the truth.
|Day 42 - Day 42|
|Whatever Barsolar and Reamus are up to, they're using all of my assistants as well as much of my resources. They're building something similar to the magic portals we use to travel between the Elemental Planes. I just hope it doesn't explode in their faces. Or worse.|
|Day 44 - Day 44|
|The experiment to find the Elemental Plane of Magic culminated last night as Barsolar and Reamus prepared to active the device they had been building. Instead of ending in a bang, as I had feared, it was more like a whimper. No lightning, no fire, no nothing.|
"Maybe we're missing something," Reamus said, stroking his beard.
"Maybe the Plane of Magic doesn't exist," I said.
But I was wrong. A moment later, where there had been nothing before, a tall figure in a black robe and red turban stood before us. As I approached, I immediately noticed the creature had no face - just a swirling mass of sparkling lights. It remained still. If it had legs, it made no effort to step down from the portal Barsolar and Reamus had created.
"Greetings," I said, "we're…"
I KNOW. AND I KNOW WHY YOU HAVE CALLED ME HERE.
I heard these words not with my ears, but inside my head. Somehow, I knew they came from this strange being. Before I could form my next question, I heard them again.
I AM A PSYCHIC ELEMENTAL. YES, I COME FROM THE PLANE OF MAGIC. VERY WELL, I WILL STOP ANSWERING YOUR QUESTIONS BEFORE YOU ASK THEM AND LET YOU SPEAK.
My knees grew weak, as if I had been running all day. I leaned on my staff to avoid falling.
"It's from the Plane of Magic," Reamus said.
"It's talking to me as well," Barsolar said. "This one is a Psychic Elemental, and there are Magic Elementals as well!"
I AM TALKING TO YOU ALL, JUST AS YOU ALL ARE TALKING TO ME.
I held up my hands and shouted, "Hold on! Everyone stop thinking!"
To the Psychic Elemental, I said, "We need to talk."
IN PRIVATE. YES, I KNOW.
|Day 45 - Day 45|
|After a day of conferences with my assistant, we met with the Psychic Elemental again. We've determined that there isn't any way we can keep it from reading our minds. The Psychic Elemental is pure thought. Our thoughts are like air to it. So, if we were going to gain the assistance of this creature we needed to earn its trust.|
TRUST? I AM NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND WHAT TRUST MEANS.
These were the Psychic Elemental's first words as it floated into the tent. If it had legs, I couldn't see them beneath those robes. Besides, it moved too smoothly to be walking.
"What?" I said.
But then it dawned on me, a creature that reads the thoughts of everyone around it would already know if someone were lying to them. Of course it didn't understand trust. It didn't need it.
YES, NOW I KNOW SOME OF WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. HOW DO YOU CREATURES DO IT?
"You said you already know why we contacted you. Can you help us battle the Elemental Lords?" I asked.
WE CANNOT, NOT WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE FIRST.
YOU WOULD CALL THEM OUR LEADERS. THEY ARE THE FIRST OF OUR KIND, AND THE WISEST - THREE MAGIC ELEMENTALS WHO LEAD US ALL. SEEK THEM, BUT KNOW THAT OTHERS SEEK THEM AS WELL. I BELIEVE THEY ARE THE AGENTS OF YOUR ENEMY, THE ELEMENTAL LORDS.
|Day 47 - Day 47|
|Nothing is ever easy. Just when I thought we could go home, now we have to travel to the Plane of Magic to find the Magic Elementals known as the First. The Mages didn't take much convincing to travel to the Plane of Magic. I think I've seen a couple of them drooling at the idea. But the Gremlins and Nagas and others are upset. I convinced them that it would be pointless to return now only to be defeated by the Elemental Lords, but I understand their depression. I want to go home too. I'm tired of these strange realms, and I'm especially tired of all this magic.|
|3, 5, 0||Tower|
|13, 31, 0||Inferno|
|28, 13, 0||Inferno|
|8, 9, 0||Fire Elemental||The flames dance higher than usual here, curling around each other almost like an odd ceremony. Then the fire takes shape - arms, legs, a head. Suddenly, a pack of Fire Elementals stand before you.|
|22, 1, 0||Energy Elemental||At first, you think the brilliant blue streaks are lightning, but they stop in mid-stream, change direction, and flash toward you. They block your path and take shape.|
"Energy Elementals," says one of your young assistants.
"Attack!" you shout.
|3, 6, 0||Tarnum the Wizard|
|6, 10, 0||Your most powerful hero from the Hard Places scenario.|
|8, 16, 0||Your most powerful hero from the Hard Places scenario.|
|13, 32, 0||Xyron the Heretic|
|17, 9, 0||Your most powerful hero from the Hard Places scenario.|
|28, 14, 0||Octavia the Demoniac|
|1, 19, 0||Shield of the Damned||Lots of Efreet stand about dipping the Shield of the Damned into a shallow pool of lava. They don't seem to be attempting to destroy the artifact, so this must be part of the forging process for this powerful artifact. Do you want to attack the Efreet once they are done and claim the Shield for yourself?|
|15, 17, 0||Sword of Hellfire||A pack of Pit Lords and lots of Demons are gathered here attempting to remove a sword stuck in a cooled pool of lava. If you want to chip the sword from the blackened rock, you must fight the evil creatures. Do you?|
|16, 24, 0||Breastplate of Brimstone||The Efreet would dwell here among the flames forged the Breastplate of Brimstone. They are not likely to sell it to you. So, do you want to fight them for it instead?|
|1, 24, 0||From out of the flames rise lots of Fire Elementals attempting to frighten you off. They must be protecting this Pandora's Box for some reason. Do you want to fight them for it?|
Contents: 20 Arch Magi
|5, 13, 0||You prepare for the worst as you open this Pandora's Box, but nothing pops out to attack, so you poke your head cautiously inside to see what treasure lies within.|
|6, 9, 0||"Be careful when you open a Pandora's Box," one of your advisors warns you.|
Just about anything can be stored within these magical containers, including creatures. Do you want to open it anyway?
|14, 1, 0||This Pandora's Box rocks violently back and forth and smoke billows between the cracks. Several of your assistants warn you not to open it, but you don't want to seem like a coward, do you? Do you open the Box?|
|18, 11, 1||No telling what's inside, but as you approach your hair starts to stand on end. Are you sure you want to open it?|
Contents: Orb of Tempestuous Fire
|19, 7, 0||When you first touch this Box, it nearly burns your fingers. The fiery ground doesn't give off enough heat to cause that, so the heat must be coming from within. Do you want to fight whatever is inside the Box?|
|30, 4, 0||You're beginning to get the idea that all these Pandora's Boxes were left on this plane as traps for the greedy. Fire Elementals seem to enjoy hiding within them and attack those unfortunates who open them. So, do you want to take your chances and open this box?|
Contents: Recanter's Cloak
|34, 23, 1||No telling what's inside, but as you approach your hair starts to stand on end. Are you sure you want to open it?|
Contents: Tome of Fire
|34, 33, 0||Are you going to take your chances and open this box?|