Key number 3 feels cool to the touch and you notice a snowflake imprinted on the blade of the key. Perhaps this is why the metal didn’t burn you.
The old lady smiles with approval that you have chosen the correct key. You then carefully remove the Jewel from its pillar and expect the worst.
The ground rumbles beneath your feet. As if great gears and wheels were turning beneath the earth, the pillar rises until it has become a huge tower; six feet across and two stories high.
At the very bottom a door opens; inside is a book entitled, Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. What a strange title! There is a lock on the cover.
A sudden ticking begins: it comes from the jewel: In sync to the rhythmic ticking the trees sway back and forth. You also find a note written in stone on the inside wall of the tower door:
Unlock the Book with a Key
Read the Diamond a Lullaby
Preserve the Forest
However, you are prepared to solve the riddle. You quickly unlock the book Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. Once opened, soft music emanates from the book and the Jewel stops ticking. The Cobweb Forest slowly becomes peaceful once again .
“The book chose to use the correct song that will lull the Jewel to sleep,” says the old lady, “But it could have just as easily chosen to play a song that make the Forest to rise and cause havoc. Such are the consequences of opening Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. It’s why there is a lock on the cover and why I am appointed to guard the key to it.”
“So you guard the Jewel, not the book?” you ask.
“I’m the protector of many things in this Forest,” she replies.
You want to ask her who she is and what relevance she has to the rest of the Park but there will be no more dialogue with her.
“Run along and show that Jewel to Herbert,” she says, “See if that is what he wants and then bring to me what he will exchange for it.”
Upon entering the small sanctuary of dancing lights within a small space made by twisted trees, you see Herbert has not changed since you last saw him. His mysteriously altered body still hides within the darkness, clinging to the upper limbs of the tree sanctuary; his large glowing eyes entranced as they watch the dancing lights.
“Welcome back, visitor,” says Herbert in a loud heroic voice, “What have you to say in returning here? Have you brought a gift?”
You show Herbert the large diamond which seems to have so much sway over the Cobweb Forest.
The eyes look upon the jewel. The voice speaks again: “This is indeed my gift! You have brought to me the Clock of the Forest. In its diamond form it will last a thousand years…I see it had to be reset to prevent the awakening of the Forest. Be thankful the Book chose the correct lullaby. I will guard the Clock in its new home and the Cobweb Forest will continue to sleep. In return I will as promised give you a gift still the greater.”
From a corner in the sanctuary you see a large flower spring up, blossom, and open. In the center of the flower rests a flawless white pearl the size of a golf ball. It reminds you of the jewel you retrieved from vanquishing the Forest Fettre.
“The gift I give you is flawless, beyond price,” says Herbert, “Yet there are others like it. They each have a unique marking. Find the others for when together they will unlock a treasure still the greater.”
You leave Herbert’s sanctuary still admiring the flawless pearl. Then you remember the jewel from the Forest Fettre and take it out. The newly aquired jewel is identical to the old one; but instead of an imprinted triangle there is a hexagon.
Upon returning to the old lady she eagerly examines the jewel.
“So this is what Herbert has been guarding all these years,” she exclaims, “Yes, there are others just like this one. But they are hidden throughout the Park; a few have fallen into the hands of creatures who do not appropriately represent the Park, but most are guarded or hidden at the request of the Rangers.”
“Please tell me where I can find the remaining three jewels,” you ask.
The lady draws you a map of the Park revealing the locations of the Jewels. The closest is at the stone bridge which you first encountered. The Second is located somewhere in the fields outside the Labyrinthine Forest. The Third is located inside the Labyrinthine Forest itself. The ladder two cannot be reached without first going past the bridge, so go there first.
“None of those jewels will be easy to get hold of,” says the lady, “First go back to where you encountered the Forest Fettre and visit the shrine; there will be the lock which requires the jewels to be opened. Good luck.”
You know where to find the jewels but wonder if it is worth going to see this lock.
***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen.**