Last time on Blood Ties, Meilin finally found someone else roaming around the Great Bamboo Maze. Will she finally reach Zhong? Find out after the cut.
“I don’t like this jungle,” said Rollan. “Give me a city anytime.”
I’m with you, Rollan — I hate jungles, too.
Two days after narrowly escaping from Xin Kao Dai, the party is hanging out on a river barge, merrily sailing upstream. Unfortunately, this pleasure cruise is nearing an end, because Briggan and Uraza sense danger ahead.
AND OH SHIT A BLACK TIGER JUMPS ABOARD THE SHIP.
But not just any tiger. Tarik is nice enough to tell the party that it’s actually an insane spirit animal. Well, that’s good to know when said tiger is involved in a literal catfight with Uraza.
Suddenly, a new challenger appears: a white tiger. It manages to scare the black tiger off by making a weird purring noise. Hooray, crisis averted.
But just because the battle’s over doesn’t mean that more people aren’t gonna suddenly board the barge. The white tiger’s partner appears. And what do you know, it’s the party’s Greencloak contact, Lishay. She explains that Zhamin, the black tiger, is her dead brother’s spirit animal. Her brother was killed by Conquerors several days back, and Zhamin has since gone mad with grief. And by “mad with grief” I mean “tries to maul spirit animals because he thinks they’re all created by the Bile”.
Anyway, Lishay tells the party that they’re going to ditch the barge later and travel through the jungle to Pharsit Nang. After much prodding, she finally mentions a major obstacle: Pharsit Nang is in territory held by the Tergesh, a tribe of nomadic rhino riders. And they’re not to be reckoned with.
Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
Lishay’s tiger’s name is Zhosur.
Lishay is disappointed that Meilin and Jhi aren’t with the party. Apparently they would’ve made traveling through Kho Kensit (and Xin Kao Dai) much easier because everyone would totally ally themselves with BATTLE PANDA.
Abeke gets annoyed when Conor apologizes again for giving away the MacGuffin in the last book.
The river is filled with snakehead fish.
Because I Can:
Here’s a song that Rollan will totally agree with. (Language is NSFW.)
“No!” shrieked Abeke, thinking that Uraza would have no chance against two huge tigers. She frantically shifted her aim, trying to get a clear shot, before lowering her bow in amazement.
Next time: The party travels through the jungle. Predictably, they get waylaid by enemies.