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Mango's Epic Quest 2020 - Chapter Two

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Event Coordinator mango 🌌 io, the lonely queen
September 13th, 2020 3:04:57am
1,693 Posts

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If you haven't read Chapter One or its Epilogue, read it here. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of the thread, or you might miss something important!

***

The weather is turning. While the daylight still holds its warmth, the nights have more bite to them. The trees in the vale are beginning to change their colors, spots of carmine, bronze, and ochre along the riverbanks. You pull a fur-trimmed cloak closer about your shoulders as you walk down the trail.

You find yourself once again leaving the safety of Griffin Lodge for the dark and dangerous night. Ever since your outing with Duncan, the home of the Hunstmen has been embroiled in activity. The discovery of not one but two Pixiu beasts has sparked something akin to alarm in the guildmaster. Under his orders, all other contracts have been dropped and any initiations put on hold until the nest of the winged cats is located. Indeed, Duncan’s orders were so firm that you felt he might know something he refuses to share with any but his closest confidants.

You have made some progress on that front. In the weeks since your Hunt with the man, you’ve accompanied him on a few other trips outside the Lodge. With Ragaim’s recommendation and Duncan’s favor, you’ve been regarded as something of an unofficial Huntsman. You’ve come to regard them as friends in turn, spending free evenings with the warm orcish mage and the charming bard in the inn’s common room. You can see it more clearly now, the tenseness in Ragaim’s shoulders and the shadow in Duncan’s eyes.

And so you’ve left Griffin Lodge this night, pursuing the trail of the Pixiu. Sure any news, any sign, would assist your friends and do something about the weight they carry - even if they have yet to share just what that burden is. You were lucky this afternoon; in a clearing south of one of the villages you found deep furrows gouged into the earth, as if from great claws bracing for flight. Your hope is that the beasts will return under cover of darkness.

Sure enough, though the light of the moon is frail, it’s enough to see movement in the clearing ahead. You slow to a crawl and approach with as much stealth as you can manage. Peering between leaves in the brush, your heart begins to pound at the sight of the two beasts you’ve been searching for these past weeks. 

The two cat-like creatures stroll side by side through the grass, wings unfurling from their lithe backs. One of them - the male - lifts a maned head, dragon’s fangs glinting in the scarce light, to observe the sky. It’s only as his wings begin to stretch that you realize you’ve no way to track them far once they take to the sky.

A brief flash of panic is all you’ve time for before a crack shatters the peace. Before you can take a breath, the Pixiu have bolted - in opposite directions. The male leaps into the air, buffeting the ground with great sweeps of his wings, while the female sprints off into the trees, leaving nothing but rustling bushes behind her.

On your feet in an instant, your eyes scan the clearing for any sign as to what made the noise, but you find nothing. And while unease stirs in your gut, you’ve no time to sit and ponder. If you’ll have any chance at finding the Pixiu’s nest, you need to move now.

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Welcome back, adventurers! This is Chapter 2 of my Epic Quest!

A brief review of how this works: Every month, I host an activity that tells a story. You get to participate in the event and the story! Your goal is to earn the most XP points by the end of the year to get the grand prize: this unique layout, fully coded by me and featuring an image that's themed after the quest! The layout's still under construction now but will be fully completed by December.

Participate in each event to earn XP points and special prizes!
Participate in every Epic Quest activity for the whole year, and you'll get an achievement!

If you didn't participate last month but would like to join in now, you're more than welcome! You'll just need to create your character, and instructions for that can be found in Chapter One. Just message me a race, name, and guild for your character, and then you can get started on this month's quest!

Now, the second quest awaits!

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You're finally on the trail of the two Pixiu! But they've split up, and you need to choose which one you'll track. Whichever one you choose will start you on a small journey through HP where your choices can lead to some very important discoveries - and prizes!

If you choose to follow the flying male Pixiu, message me!

If you choose to follow the running female Pixiu, message me!

Once you've completed your journey, send me a link to where your path led you to claim your prizes! You'll get 1 XP point and 5k points on an animal for completing your journey, in addition to whatever prizes you find along the way.

You have until 11:59 pm HP time on Sunday, August 20th to message me the location of your journey's end.

Good luck!




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Player Avatar
Event Coordinator mango 🌌 io, the lonely queen
September 13th, 2020 3:06:08am
1,693 Posts

The Characters So Far

Duncan Voidcaller - Human, Master Huntsman - Infinite XP
Ragaim Wolf-Runner
 - Orc Mage, Griffin Lodge Innkeeper - Infinite XP

Cathrivra Whitegloom & Xena - Human, Order of Blades - 9 XP
Budgrelsia Heavytoe & Amoux - Dwarf, Arcane Circle - 9 XP
Lila & Stardust - Human, Arcane Circle - 9 XP
Alais Virra & Lyari - Elf, Order of Blades - 8 XP
Aiaiui & Zumwynn - Elf, Arcane Circle - 8 XP
Cyrva Underfoot & 
Lakora - Dwarf, Order of Blades - 8 XP
Cendalle & Dragonwolf - Elf, Arcane Circle - 8 XP
Lastande & Lucca - Elf, Order of Blades - 8 XP
Imra Torric & Matroo - Elf, Shadow Hand - 8 XP
Morwen Rathnez & Fluffy - Orc, Shadow Hand - 7 XP
Galeth Firehammer & Dave - Dwarf, Order of Blades - 7 XP
Thalia - Elf, Arcane Circle - 6 XP
Mazikeen Phoenix - Human, Order of Blades - 4 XP
Aerin - Elf, Arcane Circle - 0 XP
Huxley Longbow - Dwarf, Order of Blades - 0 XP
Vera Flame - Human, Order of Blades - 0 XP




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Jaya : vote for Rainbow and Aspen!
September 13th, 2020 7:56:09am
12,687 Posts

choices, choices!




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уαмαѕαωкι - make rainbow reef your favorite coral 🌈
September 13th, 2020 11:43:00am
2,077 Posts

How do I pick! *sobs* 




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Jaya : vote for Rainbow and Aspen!
September 13th, 2020 4:15:41pm
12,687 Posts

Eenie-meanie-miney-moe, obviously




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Event Coordinator mango 🌌 io, the lonely queen
September 15th, 2020 12:11:14am
1,693 Posts

Both routes are def worth it, I can tell you that much! The rewards for the female's route are more immediate, the ones for the male's might be worth the wait ;D




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Jaya : vote for Rainbow and Aspen!
September 15th, 2020 8:20:09am
12,687 Posts

When this is over, can we know what the different routes led to?




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Event Coordinator mango 🌌 io, the lonely queen
September 16th, 2020 4:09:31am
1,693 Posts

Sure! :D




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Jaya : vote for Rainbow and Aspen!
September 16th, 2020 8:53:02am
12,687 Posts

sweet




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Administrator 🍀~Broken Vow~🍀
September 18th, 2020 7:02:07pm
5,276 Posts

:D




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Player Avatar
Event Coordinator mango 🌌 io, the lonely queen
September 30th, 2020 11:19:10pm
1,693 Posts


It’s been a long evening, and you’re ready for bed. After spending a few hours with Duncan and the other Huntsmen, all the information gathered through the efforts of yourself and others has been shared and analyzed for any helpful information on the Pixiu. In addition to your discoveries, other Huntsmen had found strangers to the valley, cages in caverns, and an abandoned fortress that seemed to be hosting some new guild - though little of it connected to the beasts. Duncan seemed to grow more and more weary as the night wore on, his face growing pale and shoulders drooping. Yet again, you had the strange feeling that he knew more than he was sharing.

Now, you were crawling into your bed in the inn, blowing out the candle by the table, and trying to clear your mind for a fresh start in the morning.

The bells begin to ring.

Clashing, clanging, violent - the alarm of Griffin Lodge. The fortress is under attack.

You’re on your feet in an instant, dashing from the room and down to the courtyard. Duncan and Ragaim are already there, speaking with an armored guard who shakes where he stands. As you approach, you can hear the end of his report - “... landed just beyond the walls.”

Before you can ask what’s happened, a terrifying sound pounds through the fortress, louder than thunder, ripping and roaring, tearing through any man’s courage. Beyond the gate, a pillar of flame boils into the air. Even from so far away, the heat is intense enough to scald your face, and you have to turn away.

Beside you, Duncan has drawn his axes as he runs towards the walls. Ragaim barks a single word and summons a massive ghostly wolf to lope at her heels. You draw your weapon, heart pounding, and follow.

Breath leaves your lungs when you crest the wall and see the terror before you - a hulking beast, black of scale, long of tooth, and steeped in evil. Massive leathery wings fan wide, stirring flames at its clawed feet. And its glowing violet eyes burn with hate, pinned on the figures atop the fortress wall. 

A dragon.

Ragaim’s wolf is growling in its throat, a constant rumble at one side. To the other, Duncan stands utterly still, glaring at the beast that threatens his home. But the dragon makes no further move, and Duncan seems to be waiting.

And then the voice echoes out, bouncing off the mountainside and making your skin crawl.

“Greetings, old friend,” it sneers, and the disdain, the cruelty, the rage in its voice convince you that it is the dragon itself that speaks. 

“Hakkon,” Duncan mutters, his grip tightening on his axes. “What brings you here?”

The onyx drake jerks its head side to side, a rumble growing in its chest.

“You and your little friends are poking their noses where they don’t belong,” it snarls through its teeth. “I’m here to remind you to be cautious of where you stick your fingers.”

Duncan lifts his chin.

“What we do is no business of yours. Go back to the pit you crawled out of.”

Ragaim huffs next to you.

“Maybe don’t antagonize the fire breathing vessel of evil that could kill us all with a sneeze,” she whispers.

Hakkon throws its serpentine head back, its throat flexing with an odd sound. It must be laughing.

“You’ve been warned, Huntsman,” it growls. “Leave the Pixiu alone.”

Before Duncan can say another word, the drake spreads its massive wings and lunges into the air, letting loose another great gout of flame to bathe the fortress in deathly orange light. You can do nothing more than watch it soar off into the night, leaving fear and fire behind, the warning echoing in your ears.



That's Chapter Two! For those who are interested in learning the different endings, you can see them below. Stay tuned for Chapter Three: October 11-18th!

If you followed the running female Pixiu, you could have discovered a powerful half-elf mage named Valtheryn who would gift you with a Dragonwolf companion ( 1 XP). OR you could have discovered a mysterious cloaked stranger with the power to tame the Pixiu ( 5k animal points).

If you followed the flying male Pixiu, you could have discovered will-o-wisps ( 1 XP) OR a grotto behind a waterfall ( 5k animal points).

If you discovered the will-o-wisps, you could find a kelpie chained to a tree by the river and set it free - earning yourself a companion ( 5k animal points). OR you found a ruined fortress protected by powerful magic ( 1 XP).

If you explored the grotto behind the waterfall, you found cages with a strange symbol etched on the bars ( 5k animal points). OR you found a back entrance into what appears to be the lair of remorseless beast killers ( 1 XP).




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Jaya : vote for Rainbow and Aspen!
October 1st, 2020 8:38:57am
12,687 Posts

hm... interesting




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