It’s been a year since we arrived to Cron and the New Year’s celebrations took over our last few days. With a new year, it was time for new efforts.
Year 901, Day 1 – To the Swamp!
We went back to the swamp, or at least, we intended to. We flew to the western edge of it, but the first step into the marshes got us into a sinkhole. Moments later, we were surrounded by dust and dirt.
A brief look around the area told us where we were. This must have been the entrance to the Plains of Earth. There were mountains to the northwest, so based on our previous experiences, we concluded this was the south-eastern edge of the material plane of Cron.
Since we were here now, we decided to make the best of it and figure out some spells before we flew back into Middlegate. Alana and Priscilla meditated together for a while and it soon bore fruit. They constructed a prayer to the elemental forces to encase them into the very elemental force of earth.
Year 901, Day 2 – To the Swamp! For Real!
We ate lunch at the Slaughtered Lamb tavern before Aleen flew us back to the swamp.
The western part of the marshes was far more unstable, with sinkholes and quicksand forcing us to fly back and forth constantly. One should never get used to death, but it certainly seems we’re getting used to our own.
That being said, we mapped out most of the swamp and concluded there is nothing left there to look for. We know of the cave in the middle of it as well as some dangerous creatures in the south, but that’s it. It was time to redirect our efforts.
Year 901, Day 3 – To the South!
We could hear the ocean west of the swamp, but a thick forest was blocking passage. Instead, we opted to move in from oaken grove, were the druids already began to move back into the area. It seems the creatures of Cron are extremely persistent.
The south was mostly covered in water.
The first thing we noticed was the artificial peninsula with the sign marking the “Evil Zone” wasn’t a peninsula at all. The narrow strip of land was actually connected to a similar flat area to the south, this one marked the “Good Zone”. On both of these, a small fortress was built. No guard were in front of either – only a sign proclaiming “Sorcerers only”. It seems Aleen will be able to decide on her allegiances soon.
To the south of this strange geographic construction was another island. This one was of natural origin, but obviously cultivated. It was owned by a name named Murray, who transformed it into a resort.
Each tile on the island gives you an option to use it in some way (have a drink, take a mud bath, etc.). The effect is different for every tile and it can go either way. One of them requires me to buy a ticket from one of the cities (paid customers only). I’ll try and see what I get from it later, but I’m not really interested right now.
Year 901, Day 11 – The Plains of Water
We were already at the entrance to the Plains of Water before, but now, thanks to our experiences, we knew exactly where the portal was. We soon approached the mountains dividing the southwestern corner of the material plane and the elemental plains and started scanning the horizon.
Something caught our eye. It looked like a crumbled roof, peering out of the mountain tops.
We marched towards it and soon discovered an old ruined tower, belonging to what was obviously a military garrison. In one of the rooms, affixed to the table at the center, there was an old scroll, barely holding together. Aleen took a look at it and gasped.
It was a spell scroll containing instructions on how to cast the clerical spell of Water Transmutation.
To the north of the mountain range, there was also, of course, the city of Atlantium. We decided to pay a visit to it on foot for the first time and took another look at the various shops and establishments.
Now that we had money, it was easy to spoil ourselves with the finest meals at the local tavern, but far more important was that the smithy was selling magical rings of defense. At 9000 gold a piece, they did not come cheap, but the protection they provide to some of our physically less hard members is priceless.
Rings of Defense +2 apparently add four armor class, so I bought them for anyone who has a free slot, which included Alana, Aleen and Robin. Alana now has an armor class of 32, which is absolutely amazing.
Year 901, Day 13 – To Sandsobar!
The Sandsobar region was quick to explore. It’s located in the southeastern corner of the material plane, right next to the elemental Plane of Earth, where we already were.
Aside from the city itself and the famous healing fountain to the south of it, there was nothing of note.
Year 901, Day 14 – North of Sandsobar
We were back at the southern edge of desert.
Cron’s elemental origins are constantly apparent, especially in instable areas such as this one. Frequent earthquakes would trigger avalanches and landslides, inflicting pain and exhaustion upon our group, forcing us to frequently return to Middlegate.
Eventually, we mapped a large part of the desert and found that there was an oasis at the center. Hoping to find something magical and amazing, we stumbled onto a pull. Against our better judgement, which must have been just as exhausted as the rest of us, we decided to step into it.
As we got out, our bags contained nothing but ooze, with small pieces of their former content. Some strange liquid completely melted everything we had.
Year 901, Day 23 – Bags Restored!
It took as a week of flying, teleporting and portal travel before we finally had our most important items back – the castle key, the different colored keys we bought at the locksmith’s and the strange tickets the blacksmiths were selling.
That’s a week of our lives completely wasted, all due to carelessness.
Still, the southern desert region was explored.
Year 901, Morning of Day 24 – A Message
Aleen was up all night, trying to decipher some code, bits of which we found written in green lettering throughout Cron. She was fiddling with the cipher for a while now, but last evening, she seemed to have hit a breakthrough and did not sleep until she was done.
It turns out, some other random text that only Rax knew about, but wrote down just in case, was the cipher key. Once she realized that, it was just a matter of time before the cipher was broken and the hidden message was revealed:
For each individual to become true, see the jury which resides at Mount Farview. Travel in groups of appropriate class. A Robber can aid all others with their task.
None of us is completely sure what this means, but Corak did leave use notes back in Varn, which turned out to be extremely helpful. Perhaps he was prepared for what would happen in Cron as well, so he decided to aid us before he passed away.
In any case, we have already seen things related to our individual professions, so there’s a strong chance that all of this is somehow connected.
It definitely is. The game isn’t big enough for there to be anything else. I’ve seen special areas or characters connected with most of the game’s classes up to now. It looks like I’ll be able to take a robber along with one of the characters to each of these.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve been to three of the four corners of the material plane, and we would like to visit the fourth. The problem is, there’s a volcano blocking our way.
Side Note: Party Progress
As usual, here’s where the valorous group of adventurers is currently at…
Lorelei, Level 11 Dwarf Knight
- Iron Helm +1
- Quiet Sling +2
- Dark Trident
- Hero Medal +2
- Mgt Gauntlet +1
- Plate Mail +4
Lorelei received absolutely no upgrades this time. Some nice items dropped, but the alignment requirement was sadly wrong, so I was forced to sell them.
Priscilla, Level 11 Human Paladin
- Iron Helm +1
- Hero Medal
- Shaman Pipe +7
- Magic Charm +1
- Plate Armor +2
- Ice Sickle +3
No upgrades for Priscilla either, but she did get up to spell level 3, meaning she can now cast Walk on Water as needed, as well as Cure Poison, saving up Alana’s spell points.
Rax, Level 11 Half-Orc Robber
- Crossbow +2
- Thief’s Pick +2
- Blazing Axe +4
- Silent Horn +3
- Great Shield +2
- S Chain Mail +4
No upgrades and no additions to Rax, sadly. A nice set of Thief’s Picks dropped, but again, they were of the wrong alignment.
Alana, Level 11 Gnome Cleric
- Hero Medal
- Quick Flail +2
- Large Shield +3
- Helm +4
- B Splintmail +4
- Defense Ring +2
Alana got a Defense Ring +2 since last time, bought at the shop in Atlantium. Her Armor Class is now 32, the highest in the party.
Robin, Level 11 Elf Archer
- War Hammer +2
- Hero Medal +2
- Ray Gun +1
- Chain Mail +4
- Defense Ring +2
- Great Bow +5
Robin also got a Defense Ring, since she had an empty slot. She also reached spell level 3, so I now have two transport services in my party. She can now cast all the extra costly spells, so Aleen can finally dish out some serious damage.
Aleen, Level 11 Elf Sorcerer
- Dagger +4
- Magic Charm +3
- Silent Horn +1
- Padded Armor +2
- Defense Ring +2
Aleen also got a Defense Ring, but more importantly, she got to spell level 6. Disintegration, Super Shock and Fantastic Freeze sound awesome.