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<questlist 52>

52. Spire

In recent years, many men and women have left their homes to start new lives. Their precise destination is unknown, though most head north, to the arid, icy lands of the tundra. Find out what has become of these enterprising folk.

The libraries of Wayhaven will start you on your way. Note that this is a mission of peace.

Search in the Realm of Fantasy

Thinking : (7/10)
Exploring : (7/10)
Fighting : (0/10)

Quest Point Value : 25
Designed for Levels: 25+
Created by : Pfunk
Once per Reboot : No

_________________________________________

Quest Notes (last solved and updated: January 2021)

AREA NAME: Spire [Pfunk]
Monster class range since inception: 121 to 143,674

From Fantasy:
Step 1: Visit the Wayhaven library for backstory - <portal; 7w; 3s; 2e; 2s; lookup spire>
After an exhaustive search you finally find something relevant.

There are various accounts of what has been described as a "spire", existing somewhere in the tundra, towards the icier, northern regions. This spire has been said to be a destination for men and women, and very often entire families, who have been seen to have left their homes and their belongings to set out on pilgrimage for this spire.

Rumors, though sparse, seem to indicate that the spire might act as a monastery of sorts, a retreat for those religiously affected. Other words of mouth include the spire being an insidious trap which lures unsuspecting human families to their doom. Two fairly comprehensive rounds of questioning were conducted in the past 65 years, one specific to Wayhaven, the other covering all families living in the southern regions. Questioners noted suspicion on the part of several individuals, though most subjects were believably unaware of anything regarding this spire.

The noted Wayhaven explorer/cartographer Bashmet was said to have gained entrance into this spire while on a mission to rechart the southern icelands after a considerable glacial shift, over 320 years ago. In his journals, however, the only mention of the spire is as follows:

"...regarding the spire, whose towering graces I consider myself infinitely fortunate to have explored, I can only say that I will always respect its inhabitants, and their wishes. And as I bow to these people and their leader, I will say no more..."

Step 2: Locate the shadow - <2n; 2w; 3n; 7e; 12n; leave; 6n; 8e; 12n; search shadow; examine shadow>

Step 3: Talk to the boy/crane - <1s; say father>
The boy/crane, struggling beyond words to remain alive, holds out a piece of paper and drops it on the ground beside his body.
The hybrid whispers something unintelligibly, eyes staring...
The boy/crane coughs up bile.

Step 4: <get note; read note>
A small note, hastily written

This is a small piece of hide, with some words scribbled onto it in dark green ink.
It looks light.
_____________________________

<read note>

And so today I go into war, on my sixteenth birthday, as it is written in the journals of the Power, and as it has been told to me in stories by my father. My carpentry will have to wait until I return, as will my music. I fear that I have been ignoring the fact that I will simply not return. No one returns from the trees. Why we go back every year, and decimate our own numbers is a mystery I will never comprehend. This then, is the record of my last thoughts.

I miss you father.

Step 5: Locate the man/crane (he is at the entrance/start of the sequel quest, Accipiter, which is related to this quest) - <3s; 4w; 6s; 13w; say war>
Grus says: Yes, it is war, though not of the type with which you unchanged folk are familiar.

Step 6: <say attack>
Grus says: Our annual attack on the man/trees. We lost scores of our most productive men, possibly even my own son, in the cold northern scrub. The few that came back, returned with only petty spoils.

Step 7: <say spoils> - and you will be given 'A small metal cube, very dense' (should be in your inventory).
Grus says: Meaningless trinkets, such as this metal cube one of our soldiers retrieved. *sigh* It symbolizes nothing more to me than the doom and ultimate failure to which our kind are resigned. Here, you take it. I no longer wish to behold the confounded icon.

_____________________________
A small metal cube, very dense

Approximately an inch square, this tiny metal cube is rather dense for its size. It is of a dull, bronze luster, moderately smooth to the touch, and with imperfectly molded edges.
Its function is unknown.
It looks light.

Step 8: Return to the Spire - <13e; 6n; 4e; 4n; look at shadow; enter spire> (The spire is comprised of rooms going up/down, with a few rooms extending off to the sides.)

Step 9: Ground Floor - <look at designs>
The rocks and pebbles seem to be arranged in strange, orderly shapes.
You can discern: ooo-, oo<, --o, among others.

Step 10: Go to Level 1 - <stairs; touch wall>
You gently run your finger along the damp, fibrous surface of the wall, and a piece of it flakes off and falls onto the step next to your foot.

Step 11: <get bark>
You bend over to pick up the piece of bark, but before you can snatch it, it falls through the crack between the steps!
Before you stand up again, however, you notice a strange engraving carved into the step upon which you are standing.

Step 12: <look at engraving>
You peer more closely at the dull engraving carved into the step...
It appears to be a symbol... >ooo--ooo<

Step 13: Go to Level 8 to talk with the hybrid man/bird (he's in the process of being tortured)- <7u; e; say hello>
The man/bird mumbles: Hello? Heh...is that what you say to a dying man?

Step 14: <say spire>
The man/bird says: This is their land...the spire. This is the home of their Power...where the men come to become changed with the trees. In our land our Power changes us with the birds.

Step 15: <say creator>
The hybrid looks downward...
He says: There are many creators. Our creator, our land, is miles from here.

Step 16: <say trees>
The hybrid says: This is where the trees are created. Men come here frequently to undergo the change...well, more than come to our land anyway. We are scarce in number.

Step 17: <say change>
The hybrid looks up at you.
He says: The change...the assimilation. The making of one, from two.

Step 18: <say war>
The man/bird groans: It is in our blood that we war with the spire. It is our instinct to combat the man/trees and their Power. It is also in our fate to fall to their hands.

Step 19: <say fate>
The man/bird says: We go to our doom here. Every year we come here, to our doom. But we must, we have to.

Step 20: <say doom>
The man/bird says: The Power of the spire is advanced. Our Power is less so. We fall to the spire without doubt, as we have done for centuries, and as it is written we will do.

Step 21: <say history>
The man frowns...
He says: I have not the energy to explain any more to you, adventurer. I have come here willingly, as my spirit had led me. My death here is noble, it is as it should be.

Step 22: <say death>
The hybrid says: I am dying...please...my death here is noble, but...

The machine hums slowly as it crushes its victim.
A tear rolls down the hybrid's cheek, down to the tip of his beak.
The man whispers to you: I don't want to die...I don't want to...
The machine squeezes him, and he winces...
The man/bird's eyes gaze slowly at an inconscpicuous, wooden lever that is attached to the base of the torture device. He seems too proud to ask you to free him...

Step 23: <pull lever> - this will transport you to the nw corner of the room
You lean forward to pull the lever...before you can even move an inch, a whiplike vine entangles you and throws you into the corner of the room!

Step 24: <search sap>
You smooth away some of the slimy sap, and find a piece of paper embedded within the patch.
_____________________________
A page from a traveller's log

This page has been torn from the diary of a traveller. It has some writing on it.
It looks light.

Step 25: <read writing>
The words, written from an obviously handmade quill and rubber ink:

and so I had no idea what to do. The door wouldn't budge at all, it was somehow wet, as though covered with some black tar -- even with my sharpest claws I could scarcely grasp the thing. Then, only yesterday, I heard the door making some strange noises...almost immediately I realized that this was no door...this was one of the TarMounds that the generals had mentioned in passing. Remembering my training, I punched the mound and it stood aside. I still don't understand the meaning of

That is all that is written.

Step 26: Go to Level 2 and talk with A supine poplar - <nw; w; 6d; punch door>
You rear back, then deliver a thrusting blow to the tar-covered door!

It lets out a farting noise, and shimmies aside in an eerie manner...

...you pass through the hole and enter a large room.

Step 27: <say children>
A voice in your head: My daughters...

Step 28: <say daughters>
A voice in your head: My two daughters are all I have left...
I cannot bear to be separated from them in these, my last moments...

Step 29: <say last moments>
A voice in your head: I was felled by a bird/man...they attacked the spire early this year. I was not prepared, none of us were.

Step 30: <say spire>
A voice in your head: The Spire is our spiritual home. This is where men come to undergo the change with the trees...at the top of the tower...

Step 31: <say name>
A voice in your head: My name is Michael.

Step 32: <say change>
A voice in your head: Our Power, in His wisdom, assimilates us, and makes us unique. We gain his knowledge, and his peace. The southern Power bestows his children with the spirit of the birds, and with souls of fire.

Step 33: <say knowledge>
A voice in your head: These are what makes the man/trees unique, special. We study, we learn from Nature and Her children. We learn how to exist from reason, ration and logic. The birds learn tactics of battle and weaponry. Their swords will never overcome our wills, however. They will never learn this...

Step 34: <say peace>
A voice in your head: My daughters...

Step 35: <say thought>
A voice in your head: These are what makes the man/trees unique, special. We study, we learn from Nature and Her children. We learn how to exist from reason, ration and logic. The birds learn tactics of battle and weaponry. Their swords will never overcome our wills, however. They will never learn this...

Step 36: <say creation>
A voice in your head: It is what makes the birds wonderful...they create music, sculpture...it is why so many join their kind. But precisely for this same reason it is a pity, a shame that they are as they are.

Step 37: <say pity>
A voice in your head: Please, <insert your name here>, you must help my daughters and I...find them, find them both please, I know one has passed but her spirit can live through me... bring them here, return them...and they can take root in me...I can pass them all of my knowledge, all I have learned... I can tell them about their mother, about our life before the change...but I must have them with me before I myself pass on...

Step 38: Go to Level 4 to get Michael's child - <e; 2u; e; pick plant>
You bend down and snap the plant from its roots...
...you hear a strange noise to the west, and when you turn around, you see a bizarre man behind you. He is made of bark it seems.

Step 39: Tell the man who sent you - <say michael>
The man says: Good, take this girl to him then, <insert your name here>.

Step 40: Go to Level 6 to acquire Michael's other child - <w; 2u; 2w; insert cube into opening>
You gently insert the dense metal cube into the opening...

The machine begins to drone almost imperceptibly...the wires begin to spark with electricity, and some of the parts begin to turn, or to oscillate.

...the bones of the mutant skeleton begin to vibrate, as an unidentified energy is passed through them via the chain...

...the ribs on the skeleton suddenly bust apart! A fragment hurtles past your face, grazing you slightly...

...sensing that its subject now offers little resistance, the machine shuts down.

Step 41: <get plant>
The ribcage now decimated, you reach within the cavity and snatch the tiny plant.

Step 42: Return to Michael - <2e; 4d; punch door; give plant to michael>
With great respect, you place the deceased child plant on the trunk of the father poplar, and watch with great awe as it is assimilated into the bark, becoming one with her parent.

Step 43: <give plant to michael>
You gently place the one-leafed plant on the trunk of the father poplar...you watch as it takes root in its parent's wood almost instantly.
A voice in your head: You have returned both my children to me...thank you, thank you so much...our spirits will live in peace, and my littlest will live to see many centuries. You are a friend to the man/trees...you will be safe within this spire, I will ensure it.

Step 44: Go to Level 7 (note: when entering and exiting a specific room on this floor, you may see "You almost make it through, but get caught on a thorny bramble!". Just keep trying to go that direction and you'll eventually make it through.) - <e; 5u; s; sw; trace >ooo--ooo<>
You trace the symbol >ooo--ooo< into the blood, using your finger.

The man's skin pulsates as the vines enter him slowly.
With his free hand, the man traces strange symbols in the tray of blood.

The man's half-wooden eyes turn slowly towards the symbol you have drawn in his tray of blood...he slowly turns his eyes to you as the characters in the blood smooth over and disappear.

The man's skin pulsates as the vines enter him slowly.
The man's finger returns to the tray of blood. Very slowly, he begins writing letters in the blood...

...V...O...

The man's skin pulsates as the vines enter him slowly.
As the previous letters are smoothed over and disappear, the changing man draws more...L...U...N...

...T...E...E...(the letters smooth over just as you see them)...

The changing man breathes heavily...

...the man draws an 'R' and finally takes his hand away from the tray, slowly. He cracks a smile at you between lips of bracken and closes his eyes.

Step 45: Go to Level 10 - <ne; n; 3u; volunteer> . . . wait and it will eventually bring you to a new room
You open your arms in a gesture of willingness, of offering...
...slowly, a column of blood spirals down from the ceiling until it meets the platform...it connects with the wood and begins to spread...

...the blood begins to cover the surface of the platform, and the skin of the walls as well...you are soon surrounded by blood...

...a deep rumbling sound is audible, and then a loud, sharp clap, as if lightning had a sound...

...the ceiling of blood begins to open up, starting from the center and moving outwards...you see the interior of a new and unheard-of chamber...

...the blood drips down the sides of the fleshy walls, collecting about your feet, and you see that you have been moved completely into a different chamber...or the chamber itself has changed around you...

...as the remainder of the blood leaks off of the walls and forms a shallow pool of viscous, vermillion liquid, you find yourself immersed in a totally new environment. You feel the presence of something more powerful than yourself, multifold.

Note: Previous qinfo states that if you skipped any of the above steps, this next step will port you to a room with no exit, which could be very disappointing.

Step 46: <bow> . . . wait, and it will bring you to the Ground floor of the spire
You bow before the Power, and it peacefully sends you to another place.

The voice of Michael: You have found our Power, <insert your name here>.

The voice of Michael: Our Power may seem monstrous, and what He does may seem inhuman...but this is our choice...

The voice of Michael: We enter into this life through our own free will...we understand the conflicts that we must endure and the loved ones we must leave...but what we gain with the trees is immeasurable. It is good that you understand...

The voice of Michael: You have found out much about us, about an existence very few have found, or understand...an existence of sorrow and war, but also of a strong, strong peace...

The voice of Michael: Take leave of us now, <insert your name here>, exit our spire, our home...

but do not forget about your experience here...I will not forget about you. I will always be in debt to you.

You feel as though you are waking from an interminable dream, and find yourself elsewhere...

DONE!

Get back to Fantasy: <out; 12s; 8w; 6s; enter; 12s; portal>