The Barrier

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Created On 1 October 1997
Last Updated On 1 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

Brankist Farlow had become King of Bilini, despite all his attempts to avoid this fate, and had to prove himself to the Country. He had sworn to protect the land from Chaos and hadnít the resources to patrol the borders, so he had to think of another way.

Fortunately, he had managed to obtain some of Larnsteís blood on a HeroQuest (in fact, Larnste must have opened up an artery as he had around 100 pieces). These were from the Foulblood Woods and came from the time when Larnste bit Krarsht and was poisoned. It thus turned out that most of the blood was corrupted with Krarshtís foul taint. (I have many ways of turning a treasure feast into a pile of items to be burned).

However, Brankist was a very resourceful character when required. He Quested to link the Crystals and after many Quests managed to find a way to link the crystals and form a small fence. I canít remember how he managed it but I think it involved Lunar help. Anyway, he managed to link the crystals and also managed to get Larnsteís powers activated which teleported anything Chaotic which touched the shimmering barrier to a focus. The focus was a Krarsht Maw which the party had previously found. Brankist donned his Doomed Man guise and approached the cult of Krarsht, offering to feed many sacrifices to the Maw in return for help on the HeroQuest and a few little concessions. The cult of Krarsht agreed and assisted this Orlanth Hero on a few Krarsht HeroQuests where he attacked Larnste and poisoned him, taking some of his powers and using them to link to the Maw. This did not seem odd to him as he was using Chaos to destroy Chaos.

The Barrier was ready and was awakened in a huge ritual where Orlanth and mastakos initiates dumped POW into it. It shimmered into existence and they drove a few broos into it - they disappeared. More chaos was driven into the barrier and all vanished. The barrier was a huge success. Some stupid broos attacked it but every time they touched it they were teleported into Krarshtís Jaws. Also, the crystals were embedded in stones within plinths guarded by spirits and patrolled by warriors.

The Barrier was not infallible. Illuminates could just breeze through it. Chaos could fly over it or burrow beneath it, but the Krarsht cult took a dim view of this and had tunnels running beneath the Barrier to stop tunnellers. Ralzakark was not best pleased, especially as the Barrier became more powerful over the years and started to hunt for victims, with great Toothed Maws appearing in the red glow and reaching out to pull passing broos into oblivion.

There was not much I could do about it as a GM.
Thank goodness for Player Actions.

The PCs were on a SeaQuest, I think they were ridding Derak and Solarus of their Water Curses, when they were attacked by the Gloomshark. This was not good and it threatened to destroy their ship. Fortunately, Brankist had a piece of Larnsteís Blood which was not corrupted and acted as an Infinite Range, Un-resistable Teleport matrix once per day. This was incredibly gross as the Party used it offensively, something I had not seen when I gave it out, and I wanted rid of it badly. Fortunately, Brankist used the Crystal to Teleport the GloomShark avatar away. I ruled that it was too big for the Crystal - Moan, moan, moan, Whinge, whinge, whinge - then I "relented" and said that as long as it was used to Teleport to something similar then it could do it. Andrew thought for a bit and said that it was a Larnste Crystal from the same batch as the ones from the Barrier, so it could be used to Teleport the Gloomshark Avatar into the Barrier. In fact, he said it with such conviction and glee that I had to allow it. Off it went into the Barrier, smashing the Crystal "with the strain", fighting the Maw and causing the Barrier to Implode. Two birds killed with a single fish.

This actually caused the cult of Krarsht many problems as their best HeroQuestors were tied up for a couple of Seasons fighting off the GloomShark and its cultists. Gim Gim was not pleased with Brankist - the next time they met, Gim Gim smelled of fish and his boots continually squelched with Sea Water, for that is the danger of HeroQuesting. However, Krarsht gained the ability to tunnel through the Oceans from it, so it couldnít have been that bad, and all thanks to Brankist.

A few seasons afterwards, a new Phenomenon appeared in Dorastor. A great red cloud would appear and toothed maws would leap out and devour those nearby, great fins would slash at those the teeth did not get. But, every person eaten would make the cloud smaller until it would vanish. This was the remains of the Barrier, drifting through Dorastor in the form of "Elementals" and causing havoc. Needless to say, Brankist was not pleased with this, as he is King of Dorastor now. When the Campaign halted, he was planning ways to defeat and capture these elementals. More Krarsht HeroQuests coming up, I think.f

This wasnít the first time Brankist had used the Krarsht Cult. The Party found a Krarsht Seed once on a HeroQuest. This had the property that once planted it attracted Krarshtids and Krarshtides to begin tunnelling. Brankist took it and put it on the Moon, activating it and showing the Krarshtides a back way in which he knew. This allowed Krarsht to gain a Presence on the Moon and took Gim Gim weeks to become High Priest of this branch. Brankist is still not sure if this benefited the Krarsht Cult or Lunars more. I think it benefited Gim Gim more.

As far as I can remember, Brankist would not be attacked by Krarsht on HeroQuests, he could travel the Krarsht Tunnels unmolested and could call on the Assassins at will. All this for setting up a Temple, feeding a Great Maw and allowing the Krarsht cult to tunnel beneath the waves. Not bad for an Orlanth Hero, donít you think? Wasnít Lokymayadon an Orlanth Hero, too? I had very definite ideas on how I wanted Brankist to progress and he was doing quite nicely, thank you.