Need for a Gift

                              A Need for What?!

You tell the lady about the need for a gift.

“Yep, that’s Herbert all over,” she says while not looking up, “He always wants something of value….”

     “His name is Herbert?”

        “Yeah, a former park ranger, something happened to him or something when he first ventured into the Cobweb Forest: now he’s so enamoured with those dancing lights he’s literally rooted himself to that spot! Legend has it that Herbert guarded something of great value right before he started guarding the Cobweb Forest,” replies the lady. “Why he would want the Jewel is beyond my knowledge: he already owns something just as valuable….”

       “May I bring the Jewel back to Herbert?” you ask. “He said he would give something of value in return.”

        The lady stops tending the campfire at this and looks at you behind her veil. “Why didn’t you say so? If it will make him let go of whatever it is he guards, then sure! Just be sure to come back and let me see what he’s been guarding all that time….But you still must choose among three keys that rest in my campfire; the Jewel is attatched to all sorts of traps and a key will get you on your way!”

       The lady shows you her fire that she has been tending. Within the flames of the campfire are three keys dangling on red-hot metal wire; the keys themselves are gold and do not heat as easily. There are no markings on any of the keys except for numbers 1, 2, and 3. Otherwise there is nothing special about them: if there is no hint on which one to take, then you must guess………

* **This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

*Choose Key #1

*Choose Key #2

*Choose Key #3

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Ask the Lady

                                          Hmph, Crazy Lady….

You go up to the lady near the campfire and politely ask if she owns the jewel on the pillar.

     “Why, no I do not own it,” she says, “It belongs to the Park, but I tend to it now and again. Why do you ask?”

  ***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

*Tell The Lady about the Thing in the Tree

*Tell about a Need for a Gift

Take Jewel

                                  I’ll Take It but, I Don’t Want It!

You decide to take the diamond and be on your way: the lady seems to be in her own world and better left alone.

         You walk up to the pillar, grab the jewel, and are about to march out of the clearing when you hear rumbling. Behind you the pillar rises out of the ground 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 at least two stories high. There is a door at the very bottom which opens; inside is a book entitled, Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. What a strange title! There is a lock on the cover. A sudden ticking has begun: it comes from the jewel. 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

It sounds generic. 

        The lady is suddenly by your side. Her face is still hidden in a black shroud but instead of terror, as from the Fettre, you sense kindness about her.

     “The jewel is like an alarm clock and the book is its off switch; the book needs a key to be opened,” she says. “Otherwise it cannot be read and the jewel cannot be pacified. If it is not at peace, then the whole forest will awaken, and it is best left asleep.”

        “Then where do I find this key?” you ask.

    “You must choose from one of the three keys that I protect; only one will be cool enough to touch.”

       The lady shows you her fire that she has been tending. Within the flames of the campfire are three keys dangling on red-hot metal wire; the keys themselves are gold and do not heat as easily. There are no markings on any of the keys except for numbers 1, 2, and 3. Otherwise there is nothing special about them: if there is no hint on which one to take, then you must guess………

* **This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

*Choose Key #1

*Choose Key #2

*Choose Key #3

Silver Among Cobwebs

                                    Ooh Scary Trees! 

     On the way up to the strange room you noticed something shining deep in the woods on your right. The desire to explore was in the back of your mind all this time and now you finally decide to go investigate.

       You leave the strange room but set a marker just in case you get lost. You go down hill and begin to wonder where or if you ever saw something when on your left the glimmer of silver catches your eye.

    You set another marker and march into the woods. They do not make a sound in that they are so entangled with cobwebs. Your flashlight hardly makes any difference; it is like walking in a fog that can be felt as well as seen. The silver flash continues to shine deep in the woods and gets closer  and closer.

     You suddenly walk into a clearing. There are no cobwebs in the canopy of the trees here so sunlight is allowed to shine on the forest floor. The clearing is shaped like a circle; in the very center is a very large translucent white jewel.

    The diamond-shaped jewel is roughly the size of your fist and sits on a five-foot pillar of stone. The sun shines directly on the jewel’s smooth surface; It is hard to look at it, yet has an inscription:

        A Restless Jewel 
 Must be Read to for Peace, 
To Read the Book
A Key is Needed.

     You are about to take the jewel when you hear singing. Further on, just to your right and a little beyond the clearing you see a lady wrapped in a grey cloak and tending a small campfire. Should you approach her and ask about the jewel? Or should you simply take it and not bother the lady?

     You still remember your encounter with the Forest Fettre, and wonder if it is safe to approach her.

    Yet taking mysterious trinkets that are obviously revered, so much as to be placed on a pillar in a clearing in a dark forest, must have its consequences……….

 ***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

*Take the Jewel

*Ask the Lady

What Classical Music can Attract

                     Classical Music puts Me to Sleep

You take out your CD player, remove the headphones, and turn up the volume as loud as it will go. Mozart begins playing and upbeat music is heard; it seems to go right along with the movement of the fireflies.

    Unfortunately Mozart brings out the biggest centipede you have ever seen from one of the sides of the room closest to you. One sting and you immediately fall to the floor. The light of the eyes and the dancing light of the lightening bugs slowly dims and then you know nothing.

       Whether or not the music of Mozart was the gift the creature was requesting or not is unknown: who would have thought it would attract a deadly centipede? …………

           *You have died due to the deadly sting of a giant centipede, native only to the Cobweb Forest, home to many mysterious creatures.                 Go back and try again.  

Not Granola

                                                   No, but I want Granola!    

    The large eyes gaze upon the granola bar as its wrapper reflects the light given off, but this is not what the creature wants:

“Though bread is beautiful to the sight of one who is starving, and the wrapper in which it lives is attractive to the eye, I require not food. Rather, bring me something that will last, and that is costly and desirable. Bring me this and I will give in return something still the greater.” 

        You are getting frustrated: You are tempted to give up on this quest and explore another section of the park. Perhaps a song from your CD player can suffice, or perhaps a walk through web-infested woods?

***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen.**

   *Play Music

  *Explore the Forest

Across the Stream

                                  

          The Water Looks Treacherous

     After the banishment of the Forest Fettre you decide to jump the stream. You take a run and jump as far as you can; you are almost to the other side–

  You hit an invisible brick wall and spash into the cold water. You come back up sputtering and read the now visible sign on the near bank of the stream:

        No Jumping Zone.
No crossing the stream by
means of jumping,
leaping, or flying.

       You will have to wade across. You find the invisible wall and feel around to find an entrance through it: a four by two foot gap is found, possibly for the fettre’s use. It feels smooth like marble compared to the rough remainder of the wall.

        The other side of the stream reveals a sudden narrow field of grass, continuing on beyond sight, inbetween enormous red oaks.

     As you continue on the path you notice some of the trees have spiderwebs in between their branches. This sight increases as you go further in among the trees. The spiders seem to be taking over the forest: thick webs like nasty grey-white curtains move softly between tree trunks.

       The forest becomes increasingly silent. Grass underfoot is the only comfort in this odd section of the woods, providing silent footfall in a place where noise is unwelcome: the surroundings begin to get darker. Cobwebs have stretched from canopy to canopy.

"What have you to say in coming here? Have you brought a gift?"

      On your right you see deep in the forest a light like a coin or jewel but when you turn to look it vanishes. Yet you do not wish to get lost so you stay on the path.

      Finally the ground rises steeply, the grass is replaced by a thick carpet of cobwebs covering the ground; two trees of enormous size stand at the top of the hill with their branches entangled.   

       The two trees make an entrance to a small dimly lit room. Inside you find hundreds of lightening bugs floating around. The room is as if several trees were interwoven and grew together; at the ceiling the trees connect. You also see an immense black thing clinging to the ceiling, its big glowing eyes looking at the floating bugs as if entranced– until they see you, and then you feel the penetrating stare of something old, powerful, and intelligent.

       “Speak, visitor,” says the thing in a loud heroic voice, “What have you to say in coming here? Have you brought a gift?”

                                              A gift?

           You have no idea that you were supposed to have supplied a gift, and what would you have brought that would suffice for something that hangs in the rafters of trees?

       The voice speaks again: “Where is my gift? Bring me something of adornment, something beautiful and of value, and I will give you one still the greater in return.”

        You have nothing on you that is of value; as a rule, in case of mugging, you do not wear jewelry or carry much money on a hike. The first thought is that a granola bar is both in a shiny wrapper and is valuable to stay alive. Yet value and beauty may not necessarily be physical: perhaps music could work [you carry a CD player]. You may also find something among these woods: surely in a forest of darkness there is some shred of beauty ……..

***This is the crossroads where paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **

*Offer Granola as a Gift

*Play Music as a Gift

*Search the Forest