1998-05-04: The Ivory Serpent Defeated
Magincia – The seas of Britainnia remain relatively safe as compared to the lands. Whilst traveling on foot or horse from town to town, one can easily become involved in a fight for survival as monsters and villains alike vie for they blood. Not so when one puts out to sea. The seas are often peaceful, with only the occasional pirate or monster with which to contend.
Recently a drastic change overtook the seas. It began with a few ships disappearing – no trace of them ever to be found. Most thought them lost or perhaps some random mishap capsized the ships. But as such an occurrence became much more commonplace, whispers began to be heard. Whispers that spoke of an insidious evil. But no names were mentioned and no form was ever given to this evil. Whether in fear or uncertainty, no one was willing to hazard a guess. Not yet.
Then, as we reporter not too long ago, the H.M.S. Opal was found off of the coast of Nujel'm. It had taken a mighty beating and would surely have been lost beneath the waves if it had not been caught in the grip of some rocks that poked up above the water’s surface. The ship had been in the service of Kahns Imports of Nujel'm which was run by Galleus Kahns and Galleus’ son Calimatri Kahns. On this broken vessel was found a sea serpent’s scale – a white sea serpent’s scale. Suddenly whispers turned to hurried speech. Fishermen and women began to bring in their boats. For such a scale could only belong to one creature – the Ivory Serpent.
The history of the Ivory Serpent was mentioned in a previous article:
The Ivory Serpent’s history starts thirty years ago, with the mage Omane. Omane was an albino, his hair and skin a pure white, his eyes pink. He always wore a cowl and robe, to protect himself from the sun, and often worked alone in dark laboratories on the isle of Moonglow. He was famous as a master of transmutation, the arcane art of altering objects into other objects. However, the Mage Council discovered that he was using criminals and slaves to experiment with, transforming parts of them into animals, as they writhed and screamed on tables, unable to escape. Horrified, the Mage Council ordered his capture, but Omane eluded the guards long enough to reach the docks, where he took a strange potion from his robe and drank it down. Before the approaching guard’s eyes, he screamed and transformed into a huge sea monster, with white scales, which slithered into the water and was lost from sight.
For several weeks afterwards the Ivory Serpent was spotted frequently, destroying ships in the madness of his transformation. His mastery of magic traveled with him in his new form, making him a far more formidable sea serpent than any before seen. Just before a massive hunt for him could be organized by the Royal Navy, though, he disappeared… presumably and hopefully for good.
Tragically, Galleus Kahns was himself on board the H.M.S. Opal. His funeral was held a few days later in Nujel'm followed by a wake in Magincia at the Great Horns Tavern where his son, Ben, works. At the wake, Ben announced that he would offer his inheritance, 10000 gold, for whoever could bring him proof of the Ivory Serpent’s demise. This came after what was reportedly a heated debate between the Kahn brothers, Calimatri, Ben, and the third son, Zedaris. They disagreed on how to finish the beast. Zedaris wanted to hunt it himself; Calimatri wanted to hire mercenaries, but Ben had a different plan. Thus he offered the bounty.
Many brave warriors vowed to find and destroy the Ivory Serpent. Some even offered gold to Ben to enrich the bounty. As they set sail to fight the serpent, they discovered that the feat before them was even more monumental than they had originally believed. For the enchantments that transformed Omane into the serpent also allowed him to refresh himself by shedding his old body and creating a new one. He was able to do this as needed and was thus undefeatable by normal means.
Ben Kahns took it upon himself to devise a way of defeating this ability of the Ivory Serpent. He began by turning to alchemy, a pursuit he had abandoned many years before. By studying natural serpents, Ben began to see a connection between the molting process a snake goes through and the strange ability of the Ivory Serpent to refresh its whole body. He was able to concoct a poison that he felt sure would trap the Ivory Serpent in its own body long enough for it to be killed.
Ben only had enough of the poison for one weapon, a spear, and for only a small number of blows. So the warrior wielding the spear had to get close enough to strike without being ripped apart by the beast. To accomplish this, a small fleet of ships was assembled. The other ships were to distract the Ivory Serpent, while the spear fulfilled its purpose.
The Ivory Serpent was sighted near the bay on the east side of Buccaneer’s Den surrounded by dead dolphins and the wreckage of an unidentified vessel. The fleet slowly moved toward the beast and attempted to ensnare it in a ring of ships. Showing unusual intelligence, the Ivory Serpent foiled their pains to trap it by moving to the outside of the ring of ships. Eventually, the fleet simply choose to attack the beast head-on thus distracting it so that the blow from the poisoned spear could find its mark. The Ivory Serpent emitted a thunderous roar in anger and pain as the spear, forever after known as SerpentBane, found its destiny.
Immediately, the warriors on the other ships redoubled their efforts. Despite the poison now coursing through its body, the Ivory Serpent wreaked a terrible toll on the fleet of ships. Estimates have been made that over half of the warriors who entered the battle fell at one time or another to the enraged beast. The words, “In Vas Mani” carried across the waves as mages tried desperately to heal those catching the brunt of the serpent’s anger. The only sound louder was the cry of the Ivory Serpent, itself.
Outnumbered and mortally wounded, the Ivory Serpent thrashed onto the deck of one of the ships. As death eventually overtook the serpent, its convulsing body laid waste to those unlucky enough to have been too near. Finally, all motion stopped. Shock and exhaustion settled in where determination and fear had previously been. The Ivory Serpent had been defeated. The cost had been great, but the seas were once again safe from this gruesome menace.
Back at the Great Horns Tavern in Magincia, Ben Kahns greeted the heroes who had risked all against the serpent. As proof of its death, they offered a scale carved from the head of the horrific beast. Ben offered the gold bounty as he had promised. But, true to the ways of the virtues, the heroes refused. They told Ben to keep the gold. In his father’s name, Ben thanked each and everyone of the brave warriors.
Thus did the seaways of Britainnia again return to a state of calm. Fishing boats were pushed out into the waves again. Fearful talk turned to whispers of heroic acts. If ye doubt any of mine words, seek ye Ben Kahns of the Great Horns Tavern. Ask him if the tale is true…