1998-06-29: Nightshade Found In Spiritwood
I am pleased and yet disturbed by the results of mine research conducted last Thursday. I hath spent many months researching the potency of reagents, and I hath long suspected that their power could be related to their age and growing conditions. Unfortunately, the locations of wild plants actually growing in the wilderness is lost knowledge.
The nightshade plant While dining amongst friends, someone suggested that I spend sometime looking in the maze, for it contains a myriad of exotic and rare plants within its hedges. Since old legends say that powerful nightshade can be found within the bounds of Spirit Wood, this sounded promising.
I gathered together a large escort party since the maze is a very dangerous place. The party included many people, and among them were such distinguished guilds as the Royal Britainnian Army, Guignol’s Band and guilds under the wing of the Pacific Guild Coalition. Through the magic of one of the fine mages present, we traveled using a summoned moongate to a location south of the hedge maze. There was some debate as to which entrance we should take and where to look in the maze. Scouts were sent out. One such scout reported a large gathering of undead near the southeast entrance.
Large was an understatement. There were countless hordes of ghouls, specters, and skeletons. The brave band, however, seemed unfazed and made quick work of the lot. We proceeded deeper into the maze, checking the regions that hath favorable growing conditions for nightshade. Someone spotted a swamp on the far side of the hedge. As we walked nearer the swamp, a deep and raspy voice boomed out something about nightshade. We saw a red liche with a lesser liche and two glowing skeletons flanking him. The liche waved his staff and uttered strange words of power, summoning forth a large poison elemental! The four of them proceeded to attack us.
Our first assault was a total failure. One adventurer lost his life as we were repelled back by their dark magicks killing only the lesser liche. They seemed extremely powerful, and we knew we were not up against normal undead creatures. The leaders of the band rallied others that were scattered in the maze and launched a second assault. This proved more successful as the poison elemental fell, and then the skeletons one by one. The group converged on the red liche and struck it mercilessly. What seemed an eternity later, the liche fell to the ground. Many lost their lives. I prayed their sacrifice was not made in vain.
We made our way through the hedges to the swamp where we spotted the liche and his minions. Growing out of a puddle was a nightshade plant! It was powerful indeed! Those who walked near it were instantly poisoned. We lacked the tools and the knowledge to take this plant from the ground.
Many speculated that the liche had found a way to manipulate the plant in order to summon the elemental. Many others fear what this could do in the hands of the unjust. However, I am hopeful. If the nightshade plant exists, other natural reagents probably do too. I will continue mine research into finding them, and also hopefully, find a way to remove the nightshade plant from the maze. The druids of Yew say that many hath seen the red flower of a ginseng plant in the wilderness there. Perhaps that is where I shall look next.