Saturday, June 21, 2014

Chopping Block - Part Three

Hi everyone,
Back again with a final look at some of the crazy critters that lurk inside the Nintendo DS game The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. For those that are interested, the webpage for the game developer, Big Blue Bubble Inc., can be found here.

Nobbler: A Dwarf who is willing to sell his wares to anyone, as long as they don't stink of Orc. He can be found inside the common room of the Dwarf stronghold.

Og: A White Orc who is so lonely that he is willing to sell his weapons to anyone. He did some terrible things when he worked for Zagor and Giles.

Giles: An evil man in league with Zagor. Knowledge, not power, is his only desire, which is why he gets along so well with the Warlock. He somehow charmed the Dwarf leaders into believing he is their friend, although they are fully aware that he is also cavorting with Zagor. No-one's really sure how and when he came to Firetop. He seeks a sample of one of the undead Dwarfs so that he can learn its secrets and use it to infect his enemies.

Gorrin Briarbeard: This Dwarf guards the entrance to the Dwarf stronghold. He has red hair and wears a patch over his left eye. He wields a huge battleaxe and carries a dagger. He is on the lookout for spies and distrusts Giles immensely.

Oliphant: An insane Dwarf priest who hides out in a chamber accessed via a secret passage from the Trophy Room. He is balding, grey-haired and wields a sledgehammer. He believes the hero to be a new initiate and orders him to go to the Room of the Three and collect the Book of Right from the compartment beneath the statues.

Zagor: The evil Warlock of Firetop Mountain. Some say he looks young and came from the direction of Darkwood Forest, followed by a Red Dragon and leaving a string of burned-down villages behind him. Others say that he is very short, wizened and old, and say he came from Darkwood with a lot of green servants. Zagor and his legions stole the home of the Dwarfs and their ancestors as well as their possessions. Those he defeated have been raised from the dead to serve in their former home.

Firetop Dwarfs: Many Dwarfs still live inside Firetop, but they can't be counted upon to be friendly. They have a military outpost on the upper levels and they are still on guard against 'invaders'. All non-Dwarfs are attacked on sight. The Dwarf warriors think it is their skill and loyalty that keeps them safe from the Warlock, but others think that the Warlock lets them live for his own amusement. None of them mine the mountain anymore. There are some among them who are organising an army to chase the monsters away from their home.

Golems: The Dwarfs created the Golem to serve them, but the gods punished them for their laziness. The Golems were released from their burden of servitude until Zagor the Defiler came and added them to his legions. Now they are deadly killers. The Cyclops guards the entrance to the Upper Keep; it can shoot fireballs from its eye. Lesser Golems can be found beyond, of different colours and lesser power.

Orcs: Green-skinned Orcs are the weakest, then grey-skinned Orcs, Red Orcs and the powerful White Orcs.

Skeletons: Although undead, the Boat House Skeletons are not evil. Engineers have been tasked with running a ferry to Stonebridge, but the Dwarfs have prevented them from travelling downstream. The industrious Skeletons have dreams of trading with Stonebridge and someday creating their own merchant empire.

Eye Stingers: These creatures appear to be an advanced or magical breed, for they are covered in many eyes instead of just one, and can shoot bolts of magic from their main eye. Spikes emerge from their body when enemies get too close. Pink Eye Stingers shoot fireballs from their main eye, while Green Eye Stingers shoot green blasts that poison their opponent.

Misc. Info:
- Zagor wishes to be rid of the Dragon. He offers its hoard to the hero who kills it. 
- Killing the Dragon yields a mysterious vial of Dragon Essence, probably what Zagor seeks.
- One of the Dwarfs can be found drinking in the Orc Tavern. He wears a necklace of human ears.
- Zagor's Inner Sanctum is sealed off by an iron portcullis, which has been further barricaded by the Orcs who removed the handle from the winch. This was to prevent the Undead Dwarfs in the room beyond from getting through. Too many Orcs were careless, so the chieftains blocked the way. The Warlock teleports in if he needs to visit the outer rooms.
- No Orcs are allowed in the Fortress proper, which is protected by a spell that blocks the doorway with magical chains unless the hall is lit by a special blue candle. Most Dwarfs don't think twice about it, because in their glory days the hall was always filled with blue candles.

I hope you enjoyed this look at how the Nintendo DS game chose to portray the iconic Firetop Mountain. As you can see it varies quite a bit from the previously established setting, but I think there is still a lot of value in it and perhaps some of the lore here can be used to enrich the setting or perhaps portray a future version of the Warlock's lair. What do you think?

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