1998-10-01: Lord Blackthorn Returns
I had the pleasure of an audience with Lord Blackthorn. And he actually sought me - I didn't have to even ask to speak with him. To be honest, I hadn't been aware Lord Blackthorn had returned following his mysterious absence. I even went so far as to consider the entire thing a hoax being portrayed at my expense by some friends. But in reality, Lord Blackthorn wished to speak to me of recent events. Especially concerning the Followers of Armageddon. In return, I was interested in where he had been.
His story began in a battle near Trinsic where the liches, Lathiari and Kyrnai, had begun an assault on the city. For reasons he wouldn't reveal, Lord Blackthorn had traveled to Trinsic and rallied the warriors there against the liches. His presence helping to turn the tide against them, Lathiari and Kyrnia decided to rid themselves of this nuisance. Kyrnia opened a red moongate, and Lathiari pushed Lord Blackthorn into it.
He tumbled out in a strange building followed closely by both of the liches. They bound him tightly then stepped into another red moongate and disappeared. That was the last Lord blackthorn had seen of either of them. I told Lord Blackthorn the story of Sage Humbolt's brave sacrifice to defeat Lathiari and Kyrnia once and for all by actually consuming their black hearts. Doing so caused his death, but Sage Humbolt willing gave his life since it meant ridding the land of the liches' menace.
Lord Blackthorn eventually escaped his bonds and left what appeared to be a lab. He stumbled out into a strange land. Traveling roads he had never seen or taken before this. When he finally found civilization in the form of a town, Lord Blackthorn quickly discovered that none of it's inhabitants had ever heard of Britannia or even him.
Spending every waking moment trying to determine where he was and how to return to Britannia, Lord Blackthorn passed the next couple months exploring and researching the area. He found little in the way of texts or books on this land in which he found himself. Everything was much simpler and less developed than Lord Blackthorn had ever imagined. Why, they didn't even have moongates for travel! But Lord Blackthorn found that the spells he was used to casting still worked, and so he used magic to return to the safe haven of the city after exploring the countryside.
Even in his exploring, Lord Blackthorn found nothing of any use in determining where he was. Not a single clue as to how he could return to Britannia. Then unexpectedly, the entire land was shaken by massive earthquakes. When the seizures subsided, Lord Blackthorn was amazed to have actually survived. A quick glance at his surroundings revealed one major change - openings in what had before been solid rock. Lord Blackthorn returned to town for rest, a meal, and a chance to think things over.
Making preparations for a journey into one of the openings, Lord Blackthorn packed the meager belongings he had scraped together in his new home. Determined to explore one of the new openings and see where it led, he set out. Strange noises emanated from the darkness until Lord blackthorn cast a spell of nightsight. Rough walls spread out before him and plunged into the earth. With a resolved sigh, Lord blackthorn began his journey into the unknown.
Lord Blackthorn made his way along the winding passages when he suddenly emerged into the sunlight. He was standing beside a mountain. The land looked very different from where he had just come from, but he wasn't sure yet where he was. Following the mountain side to the east, He began to recognize the jungles west of Trinsic. With a relieved, but weary, smile on his face, Lord blackthorn turned to the north and began his trek home.
I asked his current plans for the moment, and after a short pause, he responded by saying he wanted to find out even more about the Followers of Armageddon. I had already told him of all my findings. When I asked him how he would find out anything else, he again smiled. He said that since Sage Winslow was supposed to be released from his cell in the Yew prison, Lord Blackthorn would go to Yew and escort the sage back to Britain. Lord blackthorn intended to invite Sage Winslow to his castle and find out if the sage knew anything about the FOA. I wished him luck, as no one else had managed to learn anything of use from the sage.
I received another bit of news from the other castle in Britain. Nystul, the mage to Lord British, has been working on finding a way to open the enchanted chests in which the Followers of Armageddon were so interested. It was already known that each chest contained a large piece of blackrock. Nystul did not know what the purpose for the blackrock was, but wished to experiment on some if he could. He asks any citizen who manages to come into possession of a piece of blackrock to bring it to him at Lord British's castle. He warns that he may be deeply involved in his research and may not be easily reached, but that a call into the ether should grab his attention. Or at least the attention of those who generally watch for such calls. In exchange for the blackrock, Nystul has three items to offer as well as his own abilities which may allow him to modify the enchantments on existing magic items. He can, for example, recharge a wand. The three items he offers are an ancient mage's hat, an ancient robe, and an ancient staff. All three have magical qualities, but he did not go into the details of those. Thank you for helping him collect any blackrock you find.