The Blue Isles

Act One Epilogue

Somewhere on the shores near Barabay:

“Anytime now Wilson. Anytime now.” Zyzzix leaned back in his chair, and sipped his drink. A barely audible grunt issued from the mound of flesh which passed for Zyzzix’s faithful assistant. Zyzzix’s malicious eyes scanned the eastern blue island intensely excited.

In the Temple of Tiamut :

The Albino Lizardman closed his eyes in defeat. The Travelers of Barabay exited the room as the huntsman Salvatore dropped a shard of Tiamut’s Tears into the summoning console. A bright pluse shot under the obsidian floor up into the summoning panel. It fell on top of 3 previous crystals. The electrodes sparked to life. The hum in the room became as a swarm of locusts. Electricity arced down the shaft of the summoning panel directed to an unseen quarter below the room. The travelers faces were lit by flashes of blue exposing the grime and blood of battle, which soon twisted into consternation. The heartbeat that was not so much heard, but felt in the lower levels of the temple began to beat faster until organs felt as though they would disconnect from bodies.

The City of Dalmende :

Life went on normally in Dalmende. A fishmonger named Alika smiled as he sold the last of his catch. He would provide well for his family of four this day. He would have enough money to buy the wooden giraffe for his daughter, Palani, that she so much desired.

The northern most tip of the island, called Dragonhead Point by the locals, was the first part of the island to experience geographical torture. The land lifted straight up and out of the water. Soil and rock which had never seen the sun’s rays was jerked up for a glorious moment exposing something far more sinister below. Serpentine skin, lain dormant under centuries of sediment, become suddenly visible. Scales as big as Alika’s kinhold crafted by his great grandfather caught light and reflected it back, dull, primordial, and dead. The eyes of the Aspect of Tiamut opened, revealing an unfathomable intelligence. They took in the view of this moment, this dying moment. A sound issued from deep within the island, boiling and flowing north to Dragonhead Point. The Aspect’s death knell was heard for miles. The head of the godling crashed back into the water and began to sink while a whip crack shudder moved south. Like a mayfly, the being existed and then ceased to exist.

The sound reached them first. The villagers of Dalmende all snapped their heads north as the terrible sound rolled over them. The few survivors would always remember where they were and what they were doing at this point. The ones who didn’t survive remembered for the rest of their lives. Alika was walking home.

In the Temple of Tiamut:

The ceiling of the summoning room began to crack, first small veins appeared in the glass ceiling, then larger until an apocalyptic crash sounded. The Travelers of Barabay tried to escape the temple. The rooms began to shake apart, obsidian cracked and shattered. Water filled the room like a sinking ship. The Travelers looked at each other and gulped air before succumbing to the increasingly strong current.

On the water, forty feet up, Palani Dalmende fought for his life aboard the Dancing Damsel. His years at sea and powerful bloodline allowed him to stay afloat during the angriest seas he had ever seen. The color of the water changed from tropical blue to bone white as the island writhed and sank. The magnitude of what happened ten fathoms below the hull was not yet fully comprehended by Palani. Adrenaline fueled panic was the only thought in his mind at the moment. As the Aspect of Tiamut dropped deeper into the ocean, water ran in to fill the void. The Dancing Damsel became uncontrollable as it was pulled into a growing whirlpool.

Outside a Mercenary Barracks in Barabay :

Captain Kreely had bolted outside when he heard the Cry of the Aspect. His eyes gazed eastward as the other island disappeared from view. He knew those waters were filled with Sea Devils. The loss of life would be tremendous. “The Barabay Travelers must have failed. I had not expected the price to be so high. This is a sad day.”

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Escape from Zyzzix Laboratories Interlude

Cranial Implant Rearrangement Procedural Study, Day 18

Subject 23 seems to have made a full recovery from yesterdays procedures. Alchemical unguents extracted from shadeleaf have proven an effective method in both preserving brain function and stimulating reconnection of brain tissue at high rates. Subject 19 has regained the majority of her motor functions, but preliminary data suggests she still has residual memories of prior cranial implants. I suspect this will not reduce her value as a bargaining chip. The 100 series of subjects should arrive soon according to my calculations. They will be used to test the procedure for inter-species cranial rearrangements. Physical space inside the skull would seem to be the only limiting factor. Data suggests that a small case could be set into the skull to accommodate a brain too small for the host skull.

The Procedure has been recorded and successfully demonstrated to my understudy. His first procedure with Subject 47 has met with mixed results, but I suspect that with the addition of shadeleaf extract, his work would be a complete success. I would feel comfortable with him performing the procedure with out my interference.

Cranial Implant Rearrangement Procedural Study, Day 19

The 100 series of subjects were captured last night as they emerged from the Kobold lair. They were exchanged for subject 19. Subject 134 exhibits extreme aggressiveness in the presence of giantkin as suspected. Subject 136 almost certainly has a martyr complex of sorts, and was easily manipulated into willingly participating in the inter-species cranial rearrangement. Subjects 131, 132, 133, and 135 were not tested, however the inter-species cranial rearrangement was entirely successful with the patient recovering cognitive function in less than two hours. Data suggest that motor function had not entirely returned at this point in time, but this is most likely due to shortcomings on the part of the organ donor. Subject 134 was incited to anger at the sight of subject 136 post operation, outlining the utility of the procedure.

Other observations Re: Barabay Travelers- Subject 133 exhibits loose moral character and fealty to infernal powers. It is unknown if his companions tolerate him out of fear, indifference, or ignorance. Subject 131 she shows powerful faith. Could possibly reject a host body. Would like to test this theory at a later date.

My understudy has locked himself in my prison as I directed prior to series 100 subjects awaking. I expect them to escape within 48 hours, and fail safes have been put in place to prevent any great losses when this occurs. I have copied a note here which will be used as a bargaining chip. It will be stored under a snail shaped rock one hundred and eighty paces west of skull rock.

“Greetings Barabay Travelers.

You have bested me in combat. Zyzzix is a Goblin of his word, and as such I will impart some advice which is very helpful to you, but not I. Certainly a fair trade for my life.

The crystals which you have been collecting do indeed have a powerful purpose. The eastern isle of the Blue Islands is not only home to the stalwart peoples of Dalmende, but an ancient temple which is known in legend. It exists as a conduit to awaken an Aspect of Tiamut. Only four small crystal shards are required to activate this great blue dragon. The Lizard folk have been deprived of several crystals due to your efforts, but certainly enjoy enough to contribute the magical energy needed to charge Voltraz. It is not well known, but the awakening can be prevented by reversing the orientation of your crystals and connecting them thusly. The mechanism to do this is unknown.

The guardians of the temple will only hold the lizardfolk back for so long. If you intend on acting, you best do so with haste. -Zyzzix”

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The Kobold Threat Epilogue

The Kobold Threat, Epilogue

Barabay, Capital of The Blue Isles

“Captain Kreely, the Kobold attacks have ceased. Their outside camps are disorganized and unruly. What do you make of it?”

The Halfling Mercenary Captain looked up through his remaining eye. “When was this first noticed lad?”

“Just this morning sir.”

Kreely stroked his goatee, “So those lucky bastards must have succeeded. You see? This is why I am in charge instead of that nitwit Jenkins. Any sign of their return? What of the Lizardman raids to the south?”

“No sir, none of the outposts have lit signal fires. It’s three days back on foot though sir”

“I know how far it is” Kreely snapped.

Red faced, the recruit continued “The raids to the south have stopped but the lizardmen are not routing. Jenkins reports that they have begun to dig in.”

Kreely nodded. “That will be all recruit. Inform me if there are any signs of Officer Curto and his troop. Dismissed”

As the young human saluted and left the town hall which was temporarily a mercenary head quarters, Kreely lowered his head in deep thought. “The Lizardmen to the south outnumber Jenkins, are fighting on native soil, and probably have a more intelligent command. They are effectively fighting a rearguard…..which can only mean one thing….”

Zyzzix laboratories, undisclosed location

“Wilson! Hmmmm, Check the holding cells for our friends. See that there is no trickery involved” Zyzzix commanded.

The hulking, bloated, vaguely goblinoid form of Wilson waddled out of the room. Zyzzix turned his lazy eyed gaze upon the Drow seated before him. In surprisingly eloquent elvish, The Goblin Lord addressed them, “Respectable work. I trust you procured your payment already hmmm?”

The Drow responded “Yes Goblin. Your research was a boon. My warriors dispatched them with ease. Their weariness from the kobolds was evident. The Spider Queen will hear of your cognitive prowess. What plan do you have for them? Are not the subjects already interred here enough for your studies?”

Zyzzix bared a toothy grin. “Oh, they are plenty enough. This group is….special, hmmm? My procedures have been perfected. The effects have not yet been characterized.”

“Will you release our prisoner now then?” Hope rose in the Dark elf’s voice.

“Ahhhh yess, She may be….a bit…..different these days. They say you are never the same after a traumatizing experience” Zyzzix’s smiled widened.

“You disgusting whelp! The court of the Spider Queen will not stand for this!” the Drow’s voice raised as weapons were drawn.

“ah ah ahhhh, don’t do anything foolish hmmm” Zyzzix’s hand darted to a rusted lever by his head. The Drow Arachnomancer quickly weighed his options. Zyzzix was a genius. Mad, almost certainly, but a genius none-the-less. There was no doubt in his mind that a flick of the lever would spell gruesome death for all the beings collected in the airtight room.

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