1998-08-04: The Mandrake Root Disappears From The Swamp

Pacific Edition

The Mandrake Root Disappears From The Swamp

Author: Ailynne Published: August 4, 1998

When I arrived at my garden in Skara Brae, I was amazed to find an throng of nearly a hundred present. So many were they, in fact, that I could hardly push my way through the crowd to my gates where I could address them. When I finally reached a spot where all could hear, I presented the plan for obtaining the root.

Midnight had passed on the eve of the full moons, so the mandrake was ready for harvesting. By using a batch of lycian mushrooms which an adventurer brought to me from the depths of Shame, I ground a powder which should neutralize the magic, that binds the mandrake roots to the earth, long enough to dig it out.

As I gathered my belongings, scouting parties went ahead to the swamps to clear the area of vermin. I arrived as the lizardmen and other foul creatures inhabiting the swamp were driven back. I spied the mandrake root and moved close to begin the harvest. Almost the moment I removed the bag of powder from my pouch, the child Morgana emerge from a moongate. She looked as though to speak, but, upon spying her, the army descended upon her. Morgana ran to and fro, seemingly invulnerable. She tried to speak on numerous occasions, but finally grew impatient. Using her demonic powers, she summoned many beasts from the depths of hell.

Her foul minions drove me from the root. I gathered together warriors and mages, and we defended ourselves from the onslaught. As we fought, I noticed a handsome young man named fighting his way close to the root. He wore studded leather armor and wore a gray cloak. I recognized him as Methias, who joined with us at the last second. He claimed to be a woodsman who lived in Spirit Wood. He fought well, with great quickness, slaying beasts with his long bow. He made his way close to the root, then withdrew a small pouch and sprinkled dust over the root. With a nimble motion, he plucked it from the ground and ran.

Not many saw this, and before I could get to him, he was gone. Once Morgana realized her prize was missing, she too fled the battle. We then organized great search parties to scour Spirit Wood looking for this Methias. A group found him, but could not capture him. Some did manage to exchange a few words with him. If this Methias is to be believed, he is being employed by a man with considerable wealth. Not many cities host citizens who could afford such a sum. Parties will continue to search for Methias, but I feel we may have more success tracking his employer than the slippery fellow himself.