recognize it and remark. Erstam also recognizes the Magic Wine (and helps himself to some), and makes sad comments about the dead cat (dropping hints about Claw).


If asked about the Blue Egg, Erstam uses his magic telescope (which only Erstam can use) to show the scenes of the frozen North, showing off one area of mountaintops and areas the Avatar could not have seen yet, and then focuses on the northern island. He does not show the phoenix dungeon. He shows some penguins, and explains about the egg.


The Avatar will want to know how to teleport to different places. Erstam laughs and says that is impossible-- no mere spell can allow one to teleport significant distances.


Vasel reveals (if asked) that only those who have the Jawbone of the Serpent can walk in the Void. This gives Iolo (if present) another chance to reveal his hatred for snakes. Vasel can also tell the tale of Erstam’s lost love, the enchantress Drogeni, who left on a secret errand for a wealthy patron and never returned (see Ice Plains townplot).


Should the player ask for it, Erstam will demand “What’s in it for me? Unless you can help me create life, you are no use to me!”


Erstam will then think that there IS something which the Avatar can do. He can retrieve the egg of a phoenix that lives on the northern island. “I’m too old for that kind of thing,” Erstam says. The mage is also not able to fight the terrible beasts along the way. Erstam explains the legend of the Phoenix --that it dies in flames, only to rise again in rebirth (this is the clue to what must be done).


Once inside the Phoenix Dungeon, a teleporter sends the party to the northern-most island. The area in this dungeon is very small and is full of attacking rats. The dungeon will empty out into an open area in the center of this island (inaccessible from the coasts due to mountain ranges). The player must make his way through this woods-like open area, fighting monsters and beasts. At the end of the area, is the nest that Erstam told the player about. However, there is no egg, and the Phoenix is dead! At this point, the Companions initiate a discussion about what to do -- reminding Avatar of the Phoenix legend, but also offering to go back and ask Erstam for further instructions.


The solution is to place a lit torch on the nest,. An egg will determine if it is indeed a lit torch, the nest will burn -- and a live phoenix will rise from the ashes! The phoenix will speak, of course, and will grant the player a gift -- its most valuable posession. It then proceeds to lay an egg, which the player can take..


If the Avatar returns to Erstam for further instructions, the Mad Mage thinks a moment and then asks, “Do you have a torch?” If the player says “yes,” Erstam says, “Then the solution should be obvious.” If the Avatar does not have a torch, Erstam orders Vasel to get one for him.


The Avatar cannot return to Mad Mage by returning along the way he came -- the teleporter is one-way only. To get back to Erstam’s house, the Avatar must find the entrance of another dungeon. A lever is hidden amongst the trees, which opens a secret door in the mountainside. (If asked, the Phoenix tells the Avatar where to find the lever.) This dungeon (again, it is fairly small), contains snakes and bats. At the end is a teleport back to the south island, to a spot just outside the house. Because the dungeons are small, the main purpose of this teleporting back and forth is to disorient the player so that he will not really know where he is at any given moment while inside a dungeon.


Once Erstam has the phoenix egg, he will instruct the Avatar to help him gather various body parts and place them into a large vat in the laboratory. By manipulating several widgets on instructions by Erstam and then pulling a lever, a complete body will be constructed from the body parts and Boydon’s head. When the Boydon-Head is picked up (or if it is “used”), it talks to the Avatar. If the Avatar doesn’t do it, he’ll never get the jawbone and will never leave the island.


SERPENT ISLE: MadMage Town Plot                                                        MADMAGE.DOC