Welcome to this week’s adventure. Readers expressed a desire for the next phase in the Chalice adventure, so this is it =)
If you’re unfamiliar with the Chalice adventure, you can read it here. Or, just know that you ventured into a cave to find the cure for your sister’s albino skin. Inside, you not only found the cure, but a cave system full of drakes holding a dragon captive. In helping the dragon, she rewarded you with a story about a stone that might cure your sister’s red eyes.
So here we go…
Valley walls rise on your right and left. When you entered the valley, plant life drooped all around with with mostly grand fir boughs and old man’s moss. Now, it’s thinned and the lower trunks of the trees are scrapped bare by wind and salt.
Ahead, the valley opens and you can hear the roar of ocean waves funneled by the valley’s walls. Your chest tightens as you spot the thing that tells you you’re in the right place.
“She didn’t lie,” you sister says beside you. Her breath heaves through her throat but not once has she complained on your travels.
Not more than a month before her skin was a translucent white and she hid in the house because others feared her. Now, she boasts healthy skin but the cure that helped her skin did not touch her eyes. She stares at you from bright red, wide eyes.
“The dragon didn’t lie,” you agree.
You ventured into the caves that held the chalice to cure your sister’s skin and found it full of drakes, and one magnificent dragon. In helping the dragon free herself of the drakes, you earned her trust, and the tale of a stone that might heal your sister’s eyes.
You and your sister turn to stare at the ocean beating at the shore.
“The stone’s kept by the western trolls. They live at the mouth of the Emerald Valley, on the obsidian beaches of Adversity Bay.”
The sand on the beach rolls with the press of the waves, a black and shimmery mass beneath the sun.
“It’s beautiful,” you sister says. Her breathing is now under control but as soon as you start moving again, she’ll be huffing. She’s hidden for so long inside that any exercise taxes her.
“Beautiful and dangerous,” you remind her.
“Are trolls as mean as they say?”
She’s asked this before and you’ve assured her that, yes, trolls are ugly, vicious beasts, but she somehow doesn’t seem to believe you. Even with the way people tend to treat her, she always sees the good in others. You wonder if she’ll find good in trolls too.
“They eat people,” you say. Best to keep it simple and straight to the point now that you’re faced with the troll’s home.
“Oh,” she says. Her eyes still shine with awe, though, at the obsidian beach. “For such mean creatures, they sure pick a pretty place to live.”
You just shake your head and start forward again. Her heavy breathe follows behind. As you step onto the sand, it squishes up around your sandals. You sister giggles.
“The dragon said to look for the steeple. See anything that resembles a steeple?” you ask. Your perspective, now that you’re on the beach, has changed. You can see the vast expanse of black sand and the cliffs lining the beach. The cliffs are pocked with darker holes. Caves for the trolls to live in.
You sister looks right and left too in search of a steeple.
“That kind of looks like a tower,” she points to the north. “Maybe that’s the steeple.”
The cliffs rise into several tall spires far on the horizon.
“Good a place as any to look,” you say. “But we’ll have to hurry.”
You both look to the sky. Trolls hate sunlight, which gives you maybe another hour and a half before they appear on the beach after sunset.
“All right,” your sister says and heads off up the beach, leaving small footprints in the sand. Moments later, the waves wash those prints away.
“Yeah,” you answer and hurry to catch up.
“Think they’ll make my eyes black?”
She stops and you almost collide with her.
You listen and pick up a high-pitched keening coming from a cave farther up the beach.
“Should we investigate?” your sister’s eyes gleam with excitement. This whole trip has been like that. Every new experience lights her eyes up like a child’s.
You’ve got to be out of sight before dusk.
So, do you…
B. Head to the towers?
In the comments, please vote for how you’d like to proceed. We’ll continue the adventure on Thursdays.
Until then, blessings,