Gnarshm’s map of level 6 (Realms of Quest IV)
After the resurrected had fully recovered at the inn, the party regrouped and again descended the dungeon. A dark passage led to a ladder that lowered into the sixth level where writing on a blood soaked wall read “Welcome to the lair of confusion!”
The party traveled southward to yet another pitched black room where something or things could be heard moving about in the darkness. With each consecutive footstep, the ground shook in a crushing rumble. (Whump! Whump! WHUMP!). The noise came from the eastern side of the room and drew closer to the party. Then, footsteps were heard approaching the party from the west. (Whump! Whump! WHUMP!) Something approached from the south as well. (Whump! Whump! WHUMP!).
Then silence. Nothing at all. A gentle breeze swept across the old gnome’s face as he began his incantation of light. A bright blue spark flared from Greenhat’s hand as the mystical torch ignited. The gnome raised the lit blue torch high into the air illuminating the room about the party.
Iscreem was the first to notice that although the party clearly heard enormous footsteps approaching just moments earlier, there was nothing in the room but the party themselves. “I know I heard something, but there’s nothing here in this room but these stone pillars. and the door that we came in through. What gives?” the kobold asked.
“Something is definitely in here with us. I can just feel it in the air.” Twiggy replied.
“I don’t see anything. We must be imagining things. Or maybe whatever we heard has some sort of invisibility spell cast upon itself.” -Ruby suggested.
The new plate armor that Gnarshm had purchased at Bolzaim’s marketplace was much heavier than the chain mail Sammy was used to wearing so she leaned against a pillar to relax a bit, when she noticed the stone ceiling above her appeared to move. “What the hell?”
As the party looked upwards to match her gaze into the ceiling, a large hand made of stone reached downward and grabbed the brute Crumm, picking him up off the floor and upwards holding the ogre in a deathgrip. The stone pillars weren’t pillars at all. They were the legs of giants! The party watched in horror as Crumm was stuck helplessly, numerous feet from the ground and in the grip of a stone giant’s enormous hand.
Then it dawned upon the party that they were surrounded by giants as incredible hands of stone reached towards the rest of the adventurers.
“RUN!” Elvira screamed as the party scattered about the room at epic pace.
Twiggy, who had sensed something was amiss from the beginning, had already prepared her spell of lightning bolt which boomed and struck through the stone giant mass, crumbling the former stone giant to a pile of dust.
Gnarshm and Iscreem faught side by side taking down one giant as Sammy and Greenhat teamed up to slay another as Crumm fought his way out of the giant’s insanely strong grip. Ruby took out the final creature with a power word stun. The stone beings collapsed and crumbled into nothingness. At the far end of the room, an old wooden box displayed on a pedestal.
Elvira gave a quick overview of the box, determined it was not trapped and opened the chest. Inside the party found gold and a green medical vial with a label that read “To revive life, imbibe entire bottle”.
Greenhat took a particular interest in this item. “This looks just like the liquid the high priest used in the resurrections.” After reading the bottles ingredients he continued…”In fact, this is exactly what the priest used. This will come in handy I am sure of it.” -the gnome said.
Greenhat gave the bottle to Iscreem for safekeeping in the bag of inventory.
Greenhat pushed open the large oaken doors to the temple. The chants and prayers of monks and worshipers echo and reverberate across the great hall. Crumm followed behind the old gnome while carrying both the deceased remains of Sammy and Elvira over his large ogreish shoulders. Gnarshm similarly carried Twiggy’s remains and Iscreem who was much smaller in frame than the ogre and gnoll before him, struggled to carry the remains of the equally minute hobbit Ruby.
The loud grunts and heavy breathing of the encumbered adventurers alerted the temple’s resident priest of the party’s presence. Acolytes quickly wheeled in a pair of carts to gather and bring the corpses to the holy operating tables as the high priest approached Greenhat with a simple grin.
“Well hello again Mr. Green. You certainly are keeping us busy with requests for our bodily revival services.” the high priest said as the acolytes wheeled the fallen adventurers away. “I must say, you certainly have a knack for getting folks into… shall we say….dire circumstances? Luckily the remains are not too far beyond damaged. They can be repaired but it will cost you.”
“Yes, yes. We will pay as usual. Please do take good care of my friends. How much will I owe?” Greenhat replied.
“Well, lets see…..for complete revival and rejuvenation of how many bodies again? Four? At 1000 a head, that will put you back 4000 gold.” the priest stated.
The old gnome pulled a long worn pouch from his belt and counted out the necessary funds and handed the coins to the priest who in turn placed the coins into the temple’s donation box for later use.
“Raising the dead is a meticulous effort, but also a most holy and divine intervention. You would be wise to learn the art. For an additional fee, you could observe and train as an apprentice here in the temple.” the high priest offered.
Greenhat thought about the offer, turned to catch a glimpse of Iscreem who had sneakily pilfered the priest’s stash of holy wine and was drinking from the bottle greedily. Crumm’s large physique conveniently blocked the view of any potential acolyte onlookers as the kobold and gnoll passed the the bottle back and forth, proceeded to polish off the wine in record time. “Yes. I accept your offer. Let’s begin the resurrections, but first I must consult my colleagues.” the old gnome said to the priest.
After leaving earshot of the priest, Greenhat approached Crumm and the now slightly drunken kobold and gnoll. “I have decided to learn the art of reviving the dead from the high priest here at the temple. Based on previous experience, we seem to need the skill of resurrection. I will be busy learning the art for the next week or two while our comrades are brought back to life. Here is the remainder of our gold. Take Gnarshm to Bolzaim’s Marketplace. Sammy’s armor is in tatters. Buy some plate mail at the market and do make sure that Iscreem stays out of trouble won’t you?” Greenhat told the ogre.
“Of course. Your wish is my command my green fellow.” the ogre stated solemnly.
The trio of ogre, gnoll and kobold reached Bolzaim’s Marketplace. The store was bustling with business. Wannabe warriors and knights of valor alike tried on sets of armor and swung about flashy and glistening swords while the muscular and sturdy Bolzaim eagerly collected gold from purchases of the various customers wandering about the store, seemingly mesmerized by the vast enormity of Bolzaim’s wares.
Crumm and Gnarshm searched through the awesome inventory of armor displayed throughout the store. Gnarshm thought for a moment and then announced he had found the perfect plate armor for Sammy and at just the right price too, when Iscreem let out a gasp of envy.
“Holy mother of god! WHAT IS THAT?!” Iscreem shouted pointing to a large gemstone that seemed to contain moving particles that rapidly circled the circumference of the enclosed jewel, catching the attention of the shopkeep.
A gruff looking blond bearded shopkeep walked up to the kobold who just stood with his mouth slightly dropped in awe of the beautiful gemstone.
“That my friend is what we call a Gem of Meteors. If used in battle, a swarm of meteors will swoop down upon thy enemies and leave utter destruction behind!” the shopkeep announced grandly. It costs only a mere 100000 gold pieces and is a must for the tried and true “Real Adventurer”. Here at Bolzaim’s Marketplace we pride ourselves with featured premium payment plans and reverse home mortgages fit for your very specific adventuring needs. No legitimate adventurer is without a Gem of Meteor. We have payment plans to suit every need. Even those with bad credit can select a plan of payment to suit their needs. All we ask is for you to fill in this written questionnaire with the names and addresses of your nearest relatives and firstborn children. There’s no deal that we can’t make. When you think adventuring…..think BOLZAIM!” the shopkeep boomed.
Iscreem drooled profusely, but before the kobold could say any more, Gnarshm interrupted and told the shopkeep bluntly….”NO. We don’t want the gem of meteors. We need to buy some plate armor and I want to purchase this set right here.” Gnarshm responded pointing to the set of armor he had selected.
Iscreem was disappointed with Gnarshm’s interference and faded into the background while Gnarshm and Crumm purchased the plate mail for Sammy. Gold coins were exchanged between the gnoll and the shopkeep and Gnarshm walked out with a brand new set of plate armor. After the trio left the shop, Iscreem pulled out the magnificent gemstone from under his tunic to view the incredible item. Crumm spotted the gem in Iscreem’s hand.
“NO!! You should not have done that!” Crumm yelled.
Iscreem ignored the ogre’s shouts, staring intently at his newly stolen item in amazement.
Gnarshm stood in astonishment but was not upset as Crumm was. “What a beautiful stone. If it really does what that scummy scammer of a salesperson said it does, maybe we can use it against the Time Lords.” the gnoll said optimistically.
After wandering through what appeared at first to be an infinite hallway, Ruby’s magical wizard’s eye spotted a secret door along the northern wall of the south passage. The door led to another musty passage completely void of light. The party stumbled along in the darkness until they came to a clearing where a set of spiral stairs led upwards to the dimly lit floor above.
“See? I told you we didn’t have to climb down that stupid pit! We could have taken these stairs.” Twiggy exclaimed, still bitter over the matter.
“Nevermind that now. We need to find the next Time Lord, and I have a feeling he’s hiding behind that cyan door to the east.” Elvira replied.
Gnarshm pulled out his map and made a notation while Iscreem eagerly pulled his sword from his sheath in anticipation of battle.
Greenhat inserted the cyan key, opening the equally bluish tinted door. The party pushed forward in battle formation as an evil voice cackled defiantly. “You may have defeated the four lords before me, but your luck may just have run out! Foolish adventurers!” a Time Lord shrieked as the party is assaulted by earth and fire elementals.
With a combination of Time Stop, Haste, and Power Word Kill spells, the elementals were quickly dispatched. Iscreem’s blade had sliced through numerous monster fiends with his enhanced Mordenkais Sword.
Sammy and Crumm pummeled the Time Lord repeatedly, momentarily knocking the breath out of him. When the lord regained power, he unleashed a wrath of fire scorching the entire party in a vile menace.
Sammy, Ruby, Twiggy, and Elvira dropped dead. “Just like that… Yeah.”
Crumm flipped. He was insane. Furious. Ripped. “No one gets away with something that horrible. NO ONE!”
Crumm unleased a wave of fury. “You go down NOW!” he shouted and the time lord did.
Gnarshm just looked at the now crushed skull of the Time Lord. A thought of confusion swelled into the gnoll’s brain. “I don’t think I can ever get this image out of my head. What am I doing here? Maybe I’m not cut out for all of this adventuring stuff after all.”
Iscreem responded. “Are you kidding? This is one of the few times that you fought a battle against a Time Lord and survived! You should be proud of your accomplishments.” the kobold said triumphantly.
The gnoll thought about it for a moment and then responded. “Yeah. Maybe I should.” Gnarshm said.
“Great. Now help me and Crumm carry our less fortunate adventurer friends back to the temple so they can recover their sorry arses.” -Iscreem exclaimed.
TIME STOP! We interrupt Ruby’s adventures to bring you this announcement…..
The Realms of Quest IV official/commercial VIC-20 release is now available.
Name: Realms of Quest IV (Official Release)
Released by Psytronik on: January 19, 2014
Requirements: 16K/24K VIC-20 (for Realms IV), Unexpanded VIC-20 (for Realms I+II) and Commodore 64 (for Ultimate Quest: Catacomb). A disk drive is also required.
View the official realms of quest blog post for further release details and description of the game features. If you plan on playing Realms of Quest IV with an emulator, you can download the VICE emulator at http://vice-emu.sourceforge.net/
To buy a physical copy of the game on disk and a 16 page printed instruction manual in it’s very own plastic jewel case, visit the RoQIV premium version listing on binaryzone.org
Go here to get a lower-priced budget disk-only version
You can also obtain a digital copy of Realms of Quest IV
Discuss RoQIV at the denial forums, or here on this blog.