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Swamp of Thanos
Fly Pirate, the 16 south, then alot west

Zone 55: The Swamp and Forest of Thanos
Rooms: 93 Lifespan: 60 Type: NPK
Suggested Levels:
Soloing : 27-31
Small Group: 25-31
Large Group: 23-31

Description:
The vast swampy sprawl of Thanos is rittled with both the benign and the deadly. Within its paths lurks the King of the Crocodiles and his minions, an evil Lich and her Thralls, and a bloodthirsty cult. Insanity and chaos seem to be the norm. The enchanting yet deadly Silver Serpents roam the Silver River, and somewhere within lies the fabled Shadow Dragons. Those who have made it out alive recall this area as one of the most dangerous places they've ever been to.

Hints:
The Silver River can prove of some benefit to the spellcaster drained of his energy. If you're killing the mosquitos, stay alert - a strider or abomination could easily walk in and ruin your day.


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                       o                       o                        o-- to pit
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                     free dcs      o---o---o---o---o---o---o
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                       o---o---o---o---o---o---o        free dcs
                       |                       |     
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           blocking the way                                  |
           fight it and u will                               o
           rewarded                                          |
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----------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE DEN OF THE NECROMANCER
By Restiana
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Long ago, a powerful demon named Thanos came to our world. He attracted a small cult of followers, who built a temple to him in what was then known as Darkmoor Swamp. From this base of power, Thanos slowly began to spread his influence over the continent of Medievia. He caused lamias to attack and destroy the city of Thalos. He corrupted a young mage named Horneg, teaching him the secrets of black magic. He tried to destroy the peaceful tribe of Inkara living in their crystal caverns, and sealed them off from the rest of the world when he could not. His Wild Pack roamed the lands, killing anything it ran across. Thanos's power seemed unstoppable.

Finally, a group of heroes arose to meet the threat. They were four: a strong warrior, a ninja who moved like the wind, a mage of supreme power, and a wise cleric. They went to Darkmoor Swamp, more and more often called the Swamp of Thanos. They fought their way through his temple, destroying the many guardians he had placed there. At last they defeated Thanos himself and razed his temple to the ground. Thanos's followers took refuge in a nearby forest, but without their leader they had little power.

Slowly life returned to normal. Many evils, such as the Wild Pack, were completely destroyed. Others, like the lamias, were contained to isolated areas. As time passed, humans grew in power. A great boon was the discovery of the secret of multiclassing. An adventurer could be skilled at combat, while at the same time controlling immense magical forces. And the gods smiled on those who took up arms against the monsters, and rescued them from true death.

But a creature like Thanos is not so easily destroyed. For a hundred years he dwelt in the Abyss, held there by the force of his banishment. Even as humans studied the world around them, Thanos studied humans. He watched how they lived and died. With his magic, he hovered invisibly over the shoulders of dark mages working in dark places. He learned the secrets of necromancy, the magic which gains its power from death. And when he finally returned to Medievia, he formed a band of necromancers to roam the world and bring him the souls of the dead.

Rumors gradually reached the ears of the brave heroes of Medievia. That the necromancers seen about the land were all controlled by one being. That this being lived in a tunnel system below the Swamp of Thanos. Stories were told of a huge sapphire vault deep below the swamp which held the souls of all the land's dead. Many brave adventurers searched the swamp for the entrance to this tunnel system. And they left, frustrated, for it could not be found.

But Thanos, too, was frustrated. The souls of Medievia's heroes seemed to be strangely immune to his necromancers' powers. They would mysteriously disappear from their sapphire prisons, and later the hero would be observed wandering the realms, seeming hale and hearty. The souls of the common people were easily kept, but they died infrequently. Thanos's power was growing, but very slowly.

At about this time, the now old mage Horneg was about to eliminate one of his long-term projects. Many years earlier, he had kidnapped a young girl and magically fused animal genes with her own. He named her Neifirst - the first of a line of "Nei", beings that were human but not human. His plan had been to create a creature - a monster, for that was his true purpose - with the intelligence of a human but the speed and power of a wild animal. And this she was. When she was not practicing battle, she studied magic with Horneg. And found that she was better at genetic manipulation than Horneg himself was.

Eventually, Horneg became dissatisfied with her. Her speed was not optimum, her balance slightly less than perfect, her tactical decisions marginally flawed. He resolved to start over, start clean, which of course would mean eliminating her. And perhaps jealousy played a part in the decision. But Horneg failed in his attempt to kill her, and she fled to the only other being she knew well: her master's patron, Thanos.

To serve her new master, Neifirst created powerful monsters to ravage the land. The swamp above Thanos's new realm was soon filled with horrible creatures: giant mutated mosquitoes, snakes as big as a man, and many other abominations. As these monsters spilled out into the more traveled parts of the world, Thanos's necromancers were kept pleasantly busy by the chaos they caused.

And Thanos himself was pleased. More and more souls arrived in his Vault each day. The one problem that remained was these "heroes". He pondered on this for a time, and reached a decision.

He would open his realm to them. They had searched before, and found nothing; this time they would find an entrance. But surviving his tunnels would be a superhuman feat. To even stand before him would require them to defeat Neifirst, the Keeper of his Vault, and all of their peers. That, of course, was next to impossible. Yet...if indeed these heroes could reach him, then surely it would prove that they were the strongest beings in the realm, next to himself. That they were worthy victims for a being of his caliber. Whatever strange magic had protected them in the past would not withstand his personal attention. He would hold their souls in his hand, savoring the fierce energy of human determination. Then he would consume them and add their power to his own. Yes, that he would do.

Now, it only remained to wait for the first adventurers to walk into his trap...

~


a LaFay Production