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Old 09-19-2012, 11:43 PM   #443
Gemini Spark
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Originally Posted by tau View Post
Apologies for the delay, but here we go: [oprahvoice]Kairne gets an update, OkikuMew gets an update, Fireray gets an update, Gemini Spark gets an update![/oprahvoice]

The Forbidden Garden

Gemini Spark

You have your destination, and a solid enough starting point to begin your search in earnest. This whole thing had run the gamut from intriguing to pointless and back, but at least now you could make some headway. You followed, as close as could be done, the path depicted on the map. It was a crude drawing, and several times you found yourself doubling back on your path to make sure you hadn't deviated from the route it laid out.

Well, they were researchers, not artists. Or cartographers. You sigh, but even that isn't enough to deflate your spirits now, finally having a promising track that leads to... to... something! A key, perhaps. You ponder how far these researchers got in their quest, and you begin to hope that perhaps they had collected several of the keys before failing in their own attempt on the gate. That would certainly save time, at least...

You start to pay sharper attention to your surroundings, as you notice that you're nearing the end of the rough lines on the paper that demarcated the route. Your pulse quickening, you emerge suddenly and anti-climatically into a small clearing that housed the ruins you had sought.

You lower the map, your eyes drinking in the pitiful sight. The excitement recedes as rapidly as it came on, replaced with only the bitter twinge of time wasted. This resting place of the Key, this ancient ruin, this once-mighty glorious temple to the unknown... it was a fallen over cottage. Laying forgotten and uncared for in the grass were pieces of crumbled stone brickwork, rotting timbers that once supported a long-since decayed thatched roof. The only thing standing here now was a chimney stack, a sad and forlorn grave marker for a place that may once have held meaning, but no longer. Its shadow stretched eerily long, and seemed almost unnaturally dark. Even the grass and wildflowers grew less near its center, as though the shadow never moved with the passage of the sun.

You looked around at the relic, hoping against hope for some sign of a hidden trap door, or anything to mark a shrine. You find nothing, and are left standing alone. Not even the soft and subtle sounds of nature permeate this place, you notice.

Just your own steps, your own breaths, your own heartbeat in the stillness.

Just yourself, a chimney, and a shadow.

What will you do?
One clue continues to lead to another, but at least the path felt a little more straightforward. ...Or not. Hyrem had to backtrack a LOT to make sure he was actually following the path shown on the map in the journal. And maybe that was because the map was very badly drawn. Well, they were researchers, not artists, he thought to himself. Or cartographers. But this had to lead to somewhere important, otherwise there'd be no point in the scientists marking this place in the first place!

"How many keys could these guys have, anyway?" Hyrem said to himself. "Maybe they have some..." That'd make his quest a little easier... if he could find the scientists.

Okay, now another look at the scenery... Ooooh, getting closer! Hyrem's heart starts pounding as he runs past the trees and stops once he gets into the clearing.

"Oh, not again!" Hyrem yells in frustration. This all-important looking map lead him to a lame, rundown cottage! Old, crumbled walls, barely a roof to talk about, it was just the chimney stack left standing. And it left a weird shadow too; it was pretty long, and it didn't look like it moved at all. Which you'd think would be a sign of another clue around this junky house, but Hyrem will tell you he looked all over the place... nothing. It's also strangely... silent. Nothing else moving out there, nothing making a sound. And the last time nothing could be heard or seen, Hyrem was attacked by a mob of zombies. It's... still kind of a sensitive subject even today.

This left Hyrem to his thoughts... and he suddenly thought of something. That shadow really jumped out at him as interesting. The grass looked like it grew much slower than the rest of the grass, and that area looked almost perfectly outlined by the shadow. That told him the shadow somehow didn't move. Maybe if he had a closer look at the chimney... Or there could be something at the tip of the shadow... Or he could just walk in the direction the chimney's pointing to... Or just do all three of those things in order. Yeah, he'll do that. That sounds like a good idea to him. Start from up close to the chimney and then look in the direction where the shadow pointed. If he was right, he might find something...

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