So there’s this ancient ring of standing stones and they can teleport you to various other ancient rings of standing stones, scattered around the islands. I know these stones. I’ve heard stories about them from, although not about the teleporting bit but they were always supposed to be magical. There’s this one where some hero or other walks into them at the end of his epic quest and vanishes in a flash of light to be with the gods. Well, apparently not. Apparently he vanished in a flash of light to be on some other part of the island where maybe he could settle down and live a normal life of mild yet inoffensive luxury without people bugging him to go slay this that or the other monster/demon/generic-as-yet-undefined-plague-of-the-land.
Only problem is that these standing stones are at the top of the cliff. And we’re at the bottom. The good news is – there’s a path. The bad news is: its full of traps and riddles and puzzles and death for the unwary, because it’s a way down to the lagoon and so it needs to be protected. The good news again: The people who know where all the traps are and how to solve the puzzles yadda yadda yadda, they’re right here with us. Our friends. No, let’s not be sentimental – people in whose vicinity we’ve managed to spend a night without anyone getting robbed, murdered or other general unpleasantness. And Emmett, who might or might nor be a true actual friend, I’m just not sure any more.
How can you pretend to die in front of someone who looks up to you and then show up again a year later as if it was nothing, just laugh it off as all part of some great plan. Emmett, you’re a JERK. But you’re still my friend. I think. At leas, I’m happy you’re not dead. At the moment.
Anyway, the bad news is that our dear FRIENDS, for whom we are about to depart on a great QUEST full of DANGER from which several of us will NOT RETURN, still think we need to make our own way up their stupid trap-ridden path as some sort of test of our worthiness to die for their stupid trap-ridden cause. Somewhere, there has been a communication error, because I was really quite sure I’d been clear about not wanting to die for anyone’s cause thank-you very much and I’m only doing this for the treasure anyway (and maybe to see if it helps with getting into the hot dragon-lady’s bed) and I DON’T GIVE A STUFF ABOUT YOUR STUPID GAME.
On the other hand, the only other way out of this lake appears to be by sea, The one with the really angry sea-goddess who hates us.
I consider wrapping my Cloak of the Arachnid around my horse and seeing if that means it can Spider-Climb up the cliff while I ride on its back. Just to show them. Screw them and their stupid path. But then it occurs to me that the laws of physics might not be actually totally dead but more lying panting and surly and badly wounded in a corner somewhere, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a cornered and wounded Law of Motion. So maybe not the horse. The path.
I’ll not describe it. Not because that would tell all the hordes of darkness exactly how to get past the traps and riddles, but because it would be dull. All you need to know is: that staircase with all the weak boards on it? Hello? SPIDER-CLIMB! And also smashed now. And that door with the stupid irritating annoying under-your-skin-makes-you-want-to-smash-something smug-assed riddle-speaking Magic Mouth? Well I can’t cast dispel magic and even if I could, I’m sure I wouldn’t be strong enough, but you’re not the only one who can cast Magic Mouth as it happens and so now you can listen to your next stupid riddle to the accompaniment of “All Dragons Are Dicks” by D. Cascade. Really, really, loudly.
There’s other stuff. Someone of it turned out to be really hard to break. And then we get to the top and I realise I’m surrounded by idiot elves I barely even know and that they’re supposed to be my team, and then I get all distracted because she’s there. Damn woman is half-dragon and it’s hard to keep my mouth closed and not drool when I look at her. Not that bright though, not when it comes to people. She could have had me round her little finger with the simplest gift in the world that costs nothing at all. As it is, I wish I’d had the presence of mind to throw her present back at her Ah, well. It IS such a pretty new lute.
Right. I have a purpose. I’m going to be in the position to decide who wins this stupid game of dragons and them I’m going to choose. Suppose I’d better find out something about these poor fools who think they’re going to help me.
What really, REALLY gets me, though, is that we never took our horses with us up their stupid path, so I could have Spider-climbed the cliffs after all.
NEXT WEEK: INTRODUCING… ELF PATROL!