(I actually dreamed part of this)
“Find and follow the old road“: The old road is an overgrown cobblestone road that has been heaved out of alignment by earthquakes and neglected so that it is buried in some places. It runs from Megrory’s Tavern’s back door, up through canyons, around mountains and finally through a pass into the ‘North Leaf’ of Shamrock Island. There are a couple possible detours along the way: side canyons, hills to climb, etc. When offered the quest, the newbie character is told to look for crystals, lost kittens and blue flowers. A lost child is also mentioned. The Newbies are told, if they pick a blue flower and give it to “Ranger Annie”, she has a special gift for them. Characters must pass through 10 of 15 invisible check points (triggers) (triggers only count once.) Reward: Newbies learn the ‘Pathfinding’ skill. With the flower, Ranger Annie gives them a rolled up cloth Map and a compass; & teaches them Map Reading. ( which doubles their map skills )
Flower Quest: Find a blue flower, pick it and give it to Ranger Annie. Ranger Annie gives the character the cloth map and compass. (Can be independent of the Road Quest.)
Kitten Quest: A Khatzen Trainer in the Training Grounds has had her kitten run away. There are lots of animals and other creatures out there that will kill and eat kittens. You find the kitten, let it jump on your shoulder, give it a ride north to the training grounds. Reward? The trainer teaches you to use your voice to sound like a ranger’s horn and summon help anywhere. She also gives you a token pin and says, “Wear this where it shows.” This pin identifies you as a friend of the Khatzen race and will guarantee you Khatzen help in a pinch. (Pins and other badges have special places in your inventory, they can be worn on a hat, on armour, on an item, and/or hidden in places where the badges will make you a target.) Can be in tandem with or independent of Road Quest.
Lost Child: Characters are told that a child is lost somewhere, possibly along the old road. They don’t mention that the lost child is a dark elf. If you find the child and lead it safely up the road to the North, the parents are very happy and shower you with praise. and gold pieces. They have a beautiful young dark elf dance a special dance for you and give you a token/badge similar to the kitten quest. This token allows you to pass unmolested through Dark Elf territories. Dark Elf thieves and rogues, bards and healers will assist you in most endeavors if you ask, sometimes even if you don’t. (It’s handy to have a friendly dark elf thief in a jail cell with you, they will pick the lock and let you escape with them.) This can be in tandem with or independent of the road quest.
Anybody completing the road quest, flower quest, kitten quest and lost child quest all at once gets a ‘blessed’ set of studded leather armor in their choice of style and colours.
Crystal Quest: Renard the Faax Wild Magicker/Ranger with a Psi gift, hides in plain site near the ruined bit of the old fortress in the ‘North Leaf’ of Shamrock Island. He will pop out from behind a bush or tree and ask if you heard of the ‘Faer Kingdoms” and then ask if you want to know how to find a portal to the Faer Kingdoms anytime you’re near one. Upon acceptance, he will send you off in search of four different coloured crystals and two herbs. Blue, Yellow, Green and Violet crystals are the easiest to find. Any four will do. The two herbs are specific, and if you bring him the wrong ones, he’ll give you another hint as to where to find the right ones and send you back out. (But don’t throw away any herbs he doesn’t want.) When you bring him the correct herbs and all four crystals he’ll accept all six items, show you the inside of his cloak is full of vials of various crystals and herbs and give you two small leather medicine bags. “This one goes in your left boot. And this one goes over your heart.” When you get them in the right places (and discover that your boots and tunics have hidden pockets and/or can carry stuff) he says, “It takes a few moments for the currents to work- The magnetic flow will help you see the invisible – look around-” There is something twinkling in the air near him. “Watch this-” he makes a gesture through the twinkling spot and a portal appears. He makes a second gesture and the portal disappears. “Now you try it.” You gesture and you’re still staring at the corner of the ruined bit of fortress, but when you turn around, you’re in a completely different place. The colours are brighter, the landscape is slightly different. Renard is standing beside you. “Remember- the colour of the portal you open is very important. Don’t go jumping through a red portal alone- Red means danger. Purple portals usually teach you something, not always something pleasant. Blue portals may lead to stimulating adventure. Green Portals usually lead you to expert healers or safe, healing landscapes.” Now, find the cave in the mountains to the west, find your way all the way down to the sea shore, find me an orange crystal and a bit of gold nugget, make your way back up through the cave and find me again, and I’ll give you something really valuable.” You get through the cave (which is slightly challenging in spots) you find the bit of gold nugget and the orange crystal and bring it back to Renard. He takes the items, hands you a gold piece and some dried herbs and says, “The really valuable gift I’m about to give you is simple advice. You don’t always know when you have something very valuable in your possession. Take these herbs and this gold piece to Maurina and ask her to identify the herbs for you.” You find Maurina in one of the buildings and show her your stuff, she thanks you for the gold piece and teaches you to identify herbs. She tells you what herbs you’ve found and what they’re good for. Some give you temporary or permanent stat boosts, some will help you heal quickly, some have negative effects and look almost identical to helpful herbs, but, she says, if you carry them in a pouch where a thief will easily find them and take them, you will probably hear that thief scream in pain and find them violently sick, will be easy for you to knock him or her out and drag him to the nearest lockup, where you might get a nice reward. AND she hands you a “Bounty Hunters’ license” “Be sure to keep this handy if you’re going to Birken- (And on to the rest of the Aerendel ‘Mainland’) It will keep you out of trouble with the corrupt guards and constables there.
~~~~~Jim (September 15, 2011) (More later)