Blood Ties, Chapter 1: The Great Bamboo Maze

Last time on Spirit Animals, the party obtained and subsequently lost a MacGuffin. Will they do better this time? Find out after the cut.

The bamboo rose above Meilin, far above, blocking out the sun and casting deep shadows on the intersection of two narrow paths below. Meilin stopped and glared at yet another crossroad in the Great Bamboo Maze, yet another choice of ways. She did not want to admit, not even to herself, that she had gone wrong somewhere several miles back and was now hopelessly lost.

Meilin is in the Lost Woods Great Bamboo Maze, and she’s hopelessly lost. And it’s mostly because she kinda mixed up the directions her father gave her for navigating through the maze. Now she’s been stuck in the maze for three days, and she’s dying of thirst and hunger. Jhi is slightly better off, since she’s a freaking BATTLE PANDA and can eat bamboo.

To make matters worse, the bamboo in the maze is dying. That’s obviously not good for Zhong, since the maze protects Zhong’s northern borders. Meilin vows to find her way through the maze and save Zhong from the Conquerors — that is, if she doesn’t die first.

Let’s just hope she gets there….

——————–

Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
It took Meilin a week of traveling across Eura and hiding on ships to reach the Great Bamboo Maze. Too bad we missed out on all that soloing action.

See, this is why you always buy tons of supplies before venturing forth in an RPG. That way you don’t nearly starve or die of thirst in the middle of a stupid quest.

The prequel short story collection reveals that Jhi used to live in the Great Bamboo Maze. Of course, Meilin doesn’t know that, so she obviously can’t ask BATTLE PANDA for navigation help. In fact, Meilin calls Jhi useless and wishes that she had a flying spirit animal *cough*Essix*cough* to assist her.

Because I Can:
Here’s ten hours of Lost Woods music from Ocarina of Time.

——————–

Next time: the rest of the party suffers through another Tutorial Level.

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11 comments

          1. I like, got a truckload of Barnes and Nobles gift cards. This weekend, I believe, my parents are taking me on a book-shopping spree. I do think he was; but that’s just a personal theory.

          2. I think he was, too — apparently he tries to mention this right before [spoilery thing that happens at the end of this book]. I totally forgot about that, of course.

            But that’s what rereading the book and taking notes on it is for, I guess: finding all the stuff I missed the first time.

          1. Argh. I’ve been trying not to talk about spoilery stuff in the comments, but I guess it can’t be avoided now.

            At this end of this book, Meilin’s dad tries to reveal something, but he dies mid-sentence. And I kinda totally forgot about it because I didn’t care.

            At the end of Book 4, someone reveals that there’s a mole in the party, which is why our protagonists have been sucking at collecting MacGuffins.

            At the end of Book 5, Meilin discovers that she was given in Bile during her bonding ceremony, and her father may have been responsible for it. The Bile makes anyone who imbibes it susceptible to mind-rape by one of the Great Beasts. So all those times Meilin went sleepwalking in the earlier books? That was her being mind-raped into feeding information to the Conquerors. The Bile is also the reason why she’s able to control Jhi so well — BATTLE PANDA has no choice but to obey her.

            Oh! And all the Conquerors are being mind-raped, as well. So they’re not exactly evil.

          2. Le poor BATTLE PANDA.
            :L I read that Jhi is okay with that.
            Rape jokes… please refrain from them. :/ My family has a bad history with that.

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