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Mudlake, the Forester

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ElemenstorLance: Mudlake, the Forester

 

The story of young forester Mudlake, a quite unremarkable person in many ways, nonetheless results in the amount of adventure, bloodletting, and confusion that fans have come to expect from the ElemenstorLance Series.

 

The story starts in Mandleclang, as the Dwarven Wars continue to rage across The Place-Lands. The constant need for wood and peat to stoke the fires of forges is greatly depleting the surrounding forests, and Mudlake discovers that he has been tasked with finding and preserving the precious few trees that remain in the land of Portund. The young forester is obviously disappointed, as Portund is known throughout the vale as "That One Place That Really Sucks."

 

Upon reaching the Mud Flats, he is set upon by a blood-lusty band of Minotaur of the Dog Killer Herd. However, his life is spared due to a strange circumstance... one of their shamans is a "hairless pale dog" like himself.

 

The Shaman appears to be an itinerant Savannah Ranger (whom fans suspect to be Errath Southwind) who has somehow lost his memory and become infected with the belief that he, himself, is a Minotaur. The Minotaur have done little to discourage this thought, and it appears that his training as a shaman has been approved by their tribal leaders partly due to an obscure prophecy but mostly because watching the little guy act like a Minotaur is very, very funny to them.

 

Because the ranger/shaman (who calls himself Squeak Dog) is able to make the "Shrill Speak", he and Mudlake spend some time talking with one another. Here we learn much about the Minotaur Shaman and the path he must walk in order to communicate with the spirits and serve his people. Mudlake discovers that the hostility of the Minotaur is due to the impact that the Dwarven Wars have had upon the fragile ecosystem of their muddy plains. Additionally, their greatest totem, The "Brown Spirit Log", has been stolen by Mud Men, who hope to sell the giant piece of wood to the Dwarves in order to curry favor for their uprisings against the Men of Portund, and also make some money. (No comment was made upon exactly for what purpose currency would serve people made of mud)

 

Mudlake and Squeak Dog begin to follow the trail of mud, which oddly enough leads back toward Mandleclang. Along the way they are harrassed by the infamous jerk, Quailheart, who finds the appearance (as well as name, vocal patterns, and dress) of Squeak Dog to be absolutely hilarious.

 

"If I may ask, noble... adventurers..." sputtered Quailheart, barely containing his derisive laughter, "...what sort of, *ahem*, epic deeds are you about today?"

 

"We follow Mud Men who steal our Brown Spirit Log."

 

The elfin messenger immediately fell to the ground laughing, barely able to catch his breath, unable to compose himself.

 

"Quailheart," begged Mudlake, "would you please just leave us alone?"

 

"Are you serious?" said Quailheart, getting to his feet and wiping the tears from his eyes, "There's no way I'm going to miss what happens next... I mean... look at his loincloth! I mean, who the hell wears those?"

 

 

Quailheart continued to follow the companions until they reached the Mardath Highlands, when he was finally distracted by composing songs about himself, and killing Dwarves. Mudlake and Squeak Dog track the Mud Men deep into the mine shafts underneath Dwarfsdown.

 

From there the adventurers follow a group of Mud Men back to the surface and follow them to an Mud Men artist and poet colony. They witness the Mud King mercilessly destroying the creative thinkers as they flee for their lives.

 

With the Mud King's forces destracted they are able to sneak into the main mud encampment and recover the Brown Spirit Log.

 

Comments

 

asura Okay, this is about three quarters of the way into the book. The rest of it was at the bottom of a box in my garage and has been so soaked in a puddle created by an old leaky can of Sterno that it's unreadable. If anyone remembers the end, please help.
Tim Oh yeah! I remember this one.. I'll add what I can.. I think this is actually only about half way through.

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