To test my newly formed theory of flower power and how it’s relates to horses, I cautiously approached the stone receiving bowl at the foot of the horse statue, conveniently located next to the temple. With great care, I took note of the form, shape, diameter, circumference and volumetric capacity of the bowl. Then, taking into account the length, weight, curvature and air resistance of the rose, I held steady so as not to detonate some needlessly complex booby trap. With a flourish, I tossed the flower into the bowl, then performed a practiced diving maneuver to ensconce myself behind a protective boulder.

When there was no explosion or flying debris, I peeked around the corner to see the result of my actions. To my shock and amazement, I heard the ethereal cry of a horse, and for an instant, the wispy silhouette of it’s magnificent countenance hovered on the breeze, then vanished.

“Splendid!” I cried. “It worked and no one was debilitatingly injured! Success all round!”

I scooped up the rest of the flowers and retraced my steps to find the rest of the prayer bowls.

I didn’t have to go far as I tripped over the second bowl almost immediately. Seeing there was no rock to hide behind, I stood bravely before this next bowl, and with a deep breath, dropped the flower in.

I expected a mighty kaboom. A scalding vapor or a face full of poison. But none of it came. Instead, the vaporous representation of a horse again appeared for an instant, and then was gone.

“It’s working!” I cried. “I have no idea what I’m doing or why, but two flowers and no death! Brilliant!”

Bounding over scrub and jagged rocks, I retraced my steps back to toward the Cultist encampment where I had first entered this area. It was there that I found two of the bowls close to each other.

Thinking perhaps my luck was running out, I closed my eyes, apologized to the Oracle for some of my previous misdeeds, and dropped in a rose. All of me clenched for an instant, some parts to an alarming degree, but again, no smell of burning adventurer permeated the air. Instead, the pleasing neigh of a horse as it’s spirit scattered to the winds.

“I’m getting good at this,” I gloated as I made my way to the next offering bowl, and with confidence and purpose, placed the flower inside.

“Be free my majestic confederate!” I exclaimed as he too graced me his presence for an instant.

“Now, back toward the temple and off toward the mountains,” I said with glee as I returned to where I had seen the glowing horse figure the night before.

Placing the flower in the bowl, the horse appeared just long enough to say goodby, then was gone. But along with his siren call, I heard a crack of thunder far behind me. Since I wasn’t shrouded in rain, I found it curious.

I turned to see an usual light coming from the open desert. “Oh, something has happened. Might be good. Might be bad. Won’t know until I get there,” I mused as I began to make my way toward it.

To my surprise, the unusual looking bell tower shaped pillar had an usual glow about it. I quickly went to investigate and discovered the light emitted from a portal at the base. It projected from an usual disk with strange markings.

And then I asked myself, “where does this portal lead to?”

High above me, I could see the glow of what I suspected was the portal exit. To test my theory and eliminate the possibility of being thrown into a void from which I may never return, I tossed a coin into the light. A moment later, I heard a noise above me, the sound of metal on stone.

“Success again!” I cried and with reckless abandon and jumped in. The light was blinding and the landing unnerving, but like my coin before me, I was at the top of the bell tower spire. The view was breathtaking and a little dizzying. I could see all the little Corpions milling about on the desert below most likely wondering where I had gone and if they had missed their opportunity to unleash a venomous stinger into my backside.

I could even see the cult members putting their ruined and charred camp back in order. I bellowed obscenities and made rude hand gestures at each, but it was all for naught as they could neither see nor hear me.

“So, what wondrous secret is hidden high atop this unusual rock formation?” I said aloud as I looked around. “For this surely!” I said with surprise as I spied a treasure chest tucked away in the shadows. “This is it! This is the one I’ve been waiting for! It most certainly is laden with treasure. No one in their right mind would go to all the trouble of carving a rock to look like a bell tower, then set a flower excreting ghost as a sentinel and require me to place completely unrelated flowers into a prayer bowl, which opes a mysterious portal, only to find a chest loaded with junk trinkets!”

With my pilferers fingers, it only took only a moment to unhinge the lock and reveal the contents. Tears welled in my eyes and I started to sob at the sheer magnitude of my discovery.

“Oh Mistress of Fortune, why are you so cruel to me? Why do you make go into these terrible places and roam from one random location to another, only to reward me with 50 coins and these damnable bundles of Corpse Wax? Why can’t we be friends again?”


I’m sure this is of some significance, but it escapes me at the moment.


A mysterious portal! Portals always lead to great and exciting things. Except when the lead to death.


The treasure chest I’ve been waiting to find! Fabulous wealth awaits!

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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