Since the old wood elf was in such a talkative mood, I decided to press my luck and I asked him where he bought his earring and cloak. Here is the tale he spun about those two items.
Bought? Well, I guess you could say I bought them, although not with platinum. Remember how I got my sokokar Naggy here? After we flew back to Dreg’s Landing in the Kylong Plains I remembered that I still hadn’t made it to the bank in Teren’s Grasp to arrange for my king prawn to be transported back to Qeynos. But with Naggy, flying up to the outpost was a snap. I left my young sokokar at the post and started asking for directions. The people in Teren’s Grasp are not a terribly friendly group to strangers, although the guards will give you directions. I guess that’s part of the job, so I finally got directions to the bank. On my way I encountered an ogre named Taskmaster Greeblentus hawking his wares.
"Welcome to Teren's Grasp Yonger!” Greeblentus called out from his tent. “You look to be highly skilled in your craft and by the looks of it, looking for something to do. Perhaps I can point you in the right direction when you are ready for some serious work."
"Serious work?” I asked. “You have my attention..." I know, I know. I was on vacation. Maybe my kids are right and I think too much about work. But it wasn’t my idea to come to a place with so much work to do; it was my daughter’s.
"Before I can give you the details, I will require you to complete a minor task for me,” the Taskmaster continued. “The task will serve two purposes, it will help you get to know the area and let me know you are skilled enough to stay alive and be of use to those that I represent."
"That sounds fair, tell me more," I said.
"The task is simple, take the following provisions to Fens of Nathsar and deposit them in the correct provisions cache found there,” Greeblentus explained. “I have marked the locations for you but it will still be dangerous and you may die. Return only when you are done!"
"Danger?” I asked. I know that not more than an hour before I swore off any more adventures, but sneaking around isn’t THAT hard. “That sounds different,” I continued. “I will do what you ask!"
"Our scouts rely on these provisions and it is one of my jobs to make sure these are stocked. If you return alive, I will tell you more about the job I mentioned earlier," Greeblentus concluded.
"I will return to you as soon as possible," I told the ogre.
The directions the ogre taskmaster gave me led to the Fens of Nathsar. If danger was involved I didn’t want to risk my catch so I continued on and arranged for the First Kunark Savings and Loan to ship my king prawn to my bank in Qeynos.
I knew I could fly fairly close to the entrance of the Fens so I rode down to the sokokar post, hopped on Naggy and flew to Kunzar’s Edge, stopping by Dreg’s Landing because poor Naggy didn’t know a direct path through the mountains.
Once I got to Kunzar’s Edge, the map Rosemarie had given me showed I needed to take a path to a river. It didn’t look very safe and looked like it ran through a community of iksar. Well, to be fair, I did make her give me the map, and she did warn me not to come here if I could at all help it.
I walked down the path like I belonged, although I did make sure I didn’t get too close to the iksar so they wouldn’t realize I was a stranger. I went through the village with no problem and then dodged patrols until I got to the river. I found a post stretched across the river that was being used as a makeshift bridge and snuck across it. After crossing the river I dodged patrols until I eventually reached the entrance to the Fens. Across from an old graveyard just outside the Fens was a sokokar post and I gladly bound Naggy to it. I really didn’t want to make that journey again.
Once inside the Fens I encountered a border tower run by Riliss soldiers. I don’t think they were very friendly, but I couldn’t understand what they were saying, so I just kept smiling and bound Naggy to the sokokar post outside the tower and kept moving.
The directions said that the first provisions cache was northwest along the mountain pass that leads to Bathezid’s Watch. The sarnak were actively patrolling the road and didn’t look too friendly. Travel on the road is never good in these situations and this time I hugged the cliffs on the side of the road, using boulders as cover. That tactic worked until I reached a bottle neck on the road. The directions told me I needed to get past the bottleneck. It took a long time but I was finally figured out that I needed to let the sarnak wearing the sword to go past me on his patrol toward the Riliss border fort before sneaking past the guard at the bottleneck.
Once I placed the emergency rations in the first cache, I looked at the directions Greeblentus gave me again. I needed to travel to a cache located east of Sathir’s Span located on the south bank of the ravine in the Swamp of No Hope.
Faced with Riliss patrols on the road and Bathezid Watch scouts in the countryside, I decided to travel down the main road toward Sathir’s Span, darting off to the side of the road whenever I spotted a Riliss patrol. With the increase in Riliss activity the farther into the Fens I went, I decided to enter the swamp via a dirt road instead of trying to get directly to the ravine.
I travelled along the road past where the cache was located until I spotted a clear path through the swamp denizens to the ravine. I dashed to a ridge as fast as my leg would let me to a ridge that would offer some protection from the creepy-crawlies on the ground. I scrambled up to the top of the ridge and saw a large greenish glowing sokokar flying towards me. I jumped down the other side of the ridge smack into the middle of a bunch of frogloks. Fortunately I had found the only creatures in the swamp who didn’t want to kill me and we hid until the giant sokokar, which the frogloks called Thrasunre, passed.
I continued on and after dodging a swampet, I reached the second cache and refilled it with the emergency potion and looked at Greeblentus directions again. The instructions for the third cache said it was further south along the ravine a few steps before reaching the second bridge by a huge boulder.
So I retraced my steps back to the froglok encampment and made it back to the road. I then travelled east along the road until I reached the cache where I deposited the emergency exit scroll that would allow the user to transport back to Teren’s Grasp.
The instructions to the fourth cache said to cross the bridge and head northwest just before you reach The Crystal Grove behind two huge boulders. Rosemarie’s map showed that I probably shouldn’t travel directly to the cache. Instead I travelled along the edge of the ravine whenever possible to avoid the slavers, whose camps lay on the north side of the road. Once past the camps I travelled on the road unless I saw a Riliss patrol, then I would scurry into hiding. During one of these dashes to safety I ran into another group of frogloks with whom I rested in safety.
I resumed my journey along the road until I found a field of young wild sokokar. Seeing nothing that wanted to eat me, I crossed the field until I reached another ridgeline. I travelled along the ridgeline until I found the last cache and filled it. By this time I was tired, my leg hurt and I just couldn’t face playing hide-and-seek anymore, so I pulled out a talisman and used it to return to my guild’s hall. After resting up, the guild druid sent me back to the druid ring outside Teren’s Grasp. From there I walked back into the outpost.
"Hail, Taskmaster Greeblentus," I called out to the ogre in this tent.
"You have done well, I cannot lie that I am surprised,” Greeblentus told me. “Now that you have passed that test let me tell you about the opportunities available for you in this land. Both the Riliss and Bathezid Watch seek crafters to help them in their war preparations."
"Continue...," I prompted.
"Zekilius in Riliss and Anuhadux in Bathezid are the ones in charge of the crafters tasks,” the oger continued. “I have made arrangements to let you enter their camps and you will not be harmed unless you do something to anger them..."
"Tell me more," I said.
"The more orders you fill the more favor you will gain with them, but it will take a good amount of service before they trust you,” Greeblentus informed me. “Work hard and you will be rewarded, return to me when you have learned more and I will share with you another contact you may be interested in. Farewell Yonger!"
"I will do my best! Thank you," I said.
To be continued…
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Yonger's Vacation
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Working for Teren's Grasp
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Yonger Gets a Sokokar