Blood Ties, Chapter 17: Lake of the Elephant

Last time on Blood Ties, Rollan got better, and Tarik and Lishay rejoined the party. Will they reach Dinesh before the Conquerors? Find out after the cut.

The way into the Lake of the Elephant was well hidden. The rhino riders took the Greencloaks from the clearing along a path that gradually rose up a lengthy ridge, the jungle getting denser the higher they went. Eventually the path became more of a green tunnel, with the trees growing completely over the top and stitching themselves together with vines.

It’s time for another cross-country journey! And unlike other cross-country journeys in this series, we actually get a little bit of character development. This time we find out that Rollan hates riding on animals (though we kinda figured that out in the last book), Conor and Abeke are having a hell of a good time riding on rhinos, and Meilin is unusually silent. And by “unusually silent” I mean “suspiciously asleep”.

Anyway, the Tergesh drop the party off at the lake and head back to camp, leaving our protagonists to figure out how to cross the damn lake and reach the pyramidal temple at its center. Swimming is not an option, because there’s carnivorous snakehead fish in the water. However, there is a suspicious carving on a rock wall depicting an elephant, the lake, and the temple.

Tarik, ever the helpful Tutorial Giver / Mentor Figure, tells the party that this is an RPG puzzle: press the right part of the carving, and a door should open somewhere. Conor suggests pushing the elephant’s eye, since it looks like the obvious choice. Unfortunately, Conor choose poorly, because arrows shoot out of the wall.

Tarik ends up solving the puzzle for the party: they have to press the boat carving. So Meilin presses the boat, and poof! A hidden door opens, and a boat rolls out onto the lake.

——————–

Stuff I Forgot to Mention Above:
I was going to post a clip from Raiders of the Lost Ark, but I couldn’t find a good one of the scene I was thinking of. Argh.

Jhi casts Calm Emotions (a new spell!) so Meilin can steady her hands while pressing the boat carving with her staff.

Spoiler Space! (SKIP IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SPOILED)
Notice how Meilin was “asleep” for most of the ride to the Lake of the Elephant? This will come back to bite the party in the ass in the next chapter.

Status Update!
Jhi learns: Calm Emotions!

——————–

Next time: The party tries to enter an RPG Dungeon.

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