The Eyes have Protection

I’m not risking my fingers for that!

     You take out your knife and manage to pry loose one jewel, a perfectly white sphere of onyx like a very large pearl. You also find that it is attached to a metal key. What you do not realize is that the key is attached to a fine wire cable which immediately jerks the key from your hand and back into the hole.

      You try the other jewel but the same thing happens.

 Suddenly you hear the faintest of snaps. Before you know what hit you your neck is pierced by poison darts; your vision grows dim as you see small holes in the nearby trees close shut after having sprung their trap.

 This ends your hike in the park.  Yet it doesn’t have to be the end for you. GO BACK to the previous page and try again.   

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Key#3: Waking Lullaby

This is why I don’t read! 

Key number 3 feels cool to the touch. Upon retrieving it from the fire you notice a snowflake imprinted on the blade of the key.

The old lady smiles with approval that you have chosen the correct key. You then use the key to unlock the book Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. Once opened, the book begins to play soft music.

 However, rather than making the Jewel to stop ticking it only makes it tick louder. The trees bend and sway to the rhythm of the ticking as though a terrible storm is blowing in; the Cobweb Forest is awakening.  Soon you start to hear murmering all around you; the trees start to develop faces and humanoid limbs. All the faces express anger, excitement,  revolution; the Cobweb Forest is once again awake to further their domain.

   “The book chose to use the song that will purposefully keep the Jewel awake, therefore raising the Forest.” says the old lady, “Such are the consequences of opening Lullabies of Terrible Unpredicability.”

   You try to get more information out of the old lady but she silently returns to her campfire as if oblivious to the chaos all around her.

         When you return to the small room made of trees where Herbert the mysterious figure was earlier you do not find him. Even the strange dancing lights are gone. Instead you find something of similar features except there is a feeling of dread about him.

     “Did you bring me the item of importance?” he asks.  

            You did manage to bring the Jewel with you. In fact it was as if the Forest itself picked you up and placed you where you are now. Therefore this must be what they want. Before you can counter it the loudly ticking Jewel is snatched out of your hands and given over to the Herbert’s replacement. The thing looks at the Jewel; it immediately glows red to reflect his eyes.

 “Thank you,” says the creature, “Had it not been for you We would not have had the chance to waken once again. As promised, here is your reward…”

          For a moment everything goes black. When you wake up you find yourself connected with roots all over your body. You are connected to a large oak with powerful limbs and a sly face with a sharp nose. You are unable to move your body; rather, you are able to control the tree creature with your thoughts. Indeed it is quite a gift, but not the one you had in mind. With the slightest of efforts you move with the rest of the trees toward the other regions of the Forest to further the territory of the Cobweb Forest.

           You have become part of the Cobweb Forest, an ancient yet unstable section of the Park, intent on expanding its borders. Your Hike in the Park has ended but this does not have to be the end. Go back to the previous page and try again.      

Key Number 3

         You choose Key Number 3 and hope for the best.

 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.**

 *Go to the Bridge.

*Visit the Shrine

Key Number 1

                             Is it too late to change my mind?               

       You choose Key Number One. Unfortunately for you, it is not the key that opens the book Lullabies of Terrible Unpredictability. Consequently you burn your hand and drop the key in the flames.

       If you act quickly you might still be able to find the right key.

        *Choose Key #2

        *Choose Key #3

Key Number 2

Here we go………Key Number Two….

You think Key Number two could be the one that will allow you to unlock Lullabies of Terrible Unpredicability and therefore remove any traps the large jewel may have on it. You carefully remove the key from the fire. It feels cold to the touch and you start to smile. Suddenly the key starts to wriggle like a worm, grows rapidly, and then swallows you whole. The key then shrinks back to its normal size and jumps back on the metal hook in the fire.

You have died due to getting swallowed by a Swelling Key snake, known only to the Cobweb Forest. Whether or not the old lady knew this is unimportant. What really matters is that this does not have to be the end. Go back to the previous page.

Chaos at the Bridge

            No Order in this Court!     

  You get to the stone bridge. It is chaotic. The smell of gunpowder is everywhere and the area is smoky. Other hikers are nearby while park rangers patrol the area. You strain to see why all this is happening and finally make your way to the front.

      Surrounded by park rangers, a young woman pleads with the authorities; something about a bazaar character in a weird costume having snatched away her little boy before jumping over the bridge to the path beyond the blockade.

     Authorities have since broken the wooden blockade under the stone bridge. You overhear the park authorities; they cannot understand what happened. As you stare at the now visible path you realize there are bare human footprints that go inside the blockaded path. Far away you hear the cries of a young child.

     You are just as prepared to hike in deep woods as anyone here. Though you are here to go hike, though you could leave it to the rangers, deep down you feel the need to accomplish the greatest good. You’ll get some excercise in either way.

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

 *Explore the Blockaded Path

*Go Explore the Woods

Cross the Stone Bridge

You First!

        The ancient steps leading to the top of the bridge make you think of history. How many people, soldiers and civilians alike, have crossed this bridge? How many lost their life on it?

     According to the Park, this bridge held Union Forces at bay; heavily armed Confederates ensured that no enemy forces ever crossed the other side of the bridge.   

        At the top of the bridge you see two jewels embedded in the stone. There is no way to remove them without using a knife to pry them out.  Between the jewels you find a loose brick.

**This is where trails are mixed and paths are weaved, Now is the place where a Choice is conceived. **

   *Pry loose the Jewels

   *Remove the loose Brick