We decided to head to the Labyrinth Desert next, and flew over on the creepy bird for four and a half days before landing at the base of the foothills. I tried to contact Hank each night, but he never replied. Philomena hasn’t heard from them either. Well, I guess we’re going to have to go rescue them soon.
Okay, so big labyrinth and then a plateau above it. It’s a lot bigger than I thought. Miles and miles of both foothills and mountain. Where do we go? Nat pulls out the shard we had collected below the waterfalls to see if it leads her. After a few minutes, she starts heading for a path. We all fall in and follow her into the maze. After only a few minutes, the familiar sensation washes over us as magic is dampened.
We head deeper and deeper, and the high walls soon punge us into darkness. We light up torches and spells and keep pushing. Into an open area where six paths converge. In the center are six worn statues of large predatory cats whose eyes and claws are inlaid with red jasper. In the center is a star-shaped stone. The statues face each path, and are not magical in and of themselves. Klyce heads into the center of the circle and this time I can understand them, too.
It was a lot, but something like: One path becomes six becomes one. Each man takes the path alone. All men live alone and die alone.
Okay, six paths, who is staying here? We discuss for a short moment, Remy thinks he should stay because he doesn’t have a god. But we decide to draw straws instead, and Dalish gets the short one and stays. The rest of us head down the paths.
My path is slightly winding, and there’s some grumbling of the stone as I walk for about ten minutes with no side passages. Finally, there is a dead end with a much nicer jaguar statue. This one has clearly been preserved by magic. Its eyes light up and a circle appears around me as I approach. The voice speaks out again. Wait for the others to finish. So, I wait, for quite a while. I start poking the statue a bit, but stay in my circle until finally, the voice spoke again. The paths have been walked, let the hunt begin.
The eyes and the circle dim and go out. Turning around, the path behind me has changed. I have to get back to the group, if there’s a hunt, they’re going to need me. So, I start running back down the paths, looking for the way back to the star. I run smack into a massive hairy creature standing on two feet with iron horns and the face of a goat. It clubs me, knocking me back a few feet away. I thunderstepped my way further back and ran. A couple footsteps followed, but then they were gone.
I don’t look back. I run and run and run. Until I eventually run into Remy. He looks even worse than I do, so I heal the both of us up a little bit, and we move on, looking for the others. We run into Klyce who has his sword out and looking eager to fight that horrible thing. I heal the guys up a bit more. But it doesn’t want to attack a group, it seems. We wander for a while longer until we finally find our way back to the center, where Nat, Gerhard, and Maribeth are waiting. Gerhardt immediately starts patching everyone up, but as we move closer to the broken center, the statues’ eyes light up.
The voice chimes in again: The trial is complete, the hunter becomes the hunted.
The monster arrives in the center, looks around angrily. Then he seems to realize what has happened, and fear flickers across his face. Then he almost sighs with resignation, takes in a breath and grows bigger, beginning to glow red like the statues.