R=Rin, U=You, L=Lin
[CONTINUED FROM Merit in the Eyes of the Spirits]
>> I'm ready now, I suppose. Let's do this.
- R: So be it. Your world-changing adventures are about to begin, [name]. Be strong and true for all of us, and do not fail.
- R: Spirits of the world, hear your mortal servant and vessel! These totems of the Unliving have been gathered at hazard to prove the valor of those beseeching your aid.
- R: Hear me O Spirits!
- U: Ummm...is something supposed to be happening?
- YOU ARE HEARD, CHOSEN ONE. SPEAK THAT WE MAY KNOW YOUR DESIRES!
- U: Whoa!
- WHAT BOON WOULD YOU EARN FROM US?
- L: Hush! The Spirits give me visions, but they *speak* through Rin. You must be reverent!
- U: I didn't know the Spirits were *real*!
- R: The one that comes before me now does not know it, but he wishes a boon from you to breath water as if it were air.
- U: I want...what?!?
- WE SEE THE FUTURE YOU SPEAK OF AND APPROVE OF YOUR INTENTION.
- L: [name]! Do you not know how to hush?
- BUT SUCH BOONS MAY NOT BE GRANTED WITHOUT CHALLENGE.
- R: Of course, Great Spirits. What challenges will this one face for such a reward?
- U: Again...no choice! What is with you people?
- THE TESTS OF CHALOC AND HUITZOTL WILL BE YOUR CHALLENGES! LET THEM BEGIN!
- L: It is done. The Spirits have departed. Rin is taking a moment to come back to himself now.
- U: Now wait just a minute! You two are completely for real? I mean...I thought all this Spirit stuff was just mumbo-jumbo to impress the locals!
- L: No. They are very real, at least here in the lands of The People. I think they have less power farther away from the Shallow Sea, but here, they are mighty, and in recent years, they have been very active in the lives of The People.
- U: So you two just signed me up for some sort of quest to face the challenges of spirits that I never knew existed, for a 'boon' that I never asked for, and now if I don't face that challenge, I'm going to have a GOD angry at me?
- R: Yes. Although they are merely Spirits of Gaia's elements made manifest...not exactly 'gods' as you barbarians usually refer to them. But that is essentially correct.
- U: Well...isn't that just fine?!?
- L: You must face the two challenges set for you. The first is the Challenge of Chaloc, the Spirit of Rain whose most sacred grounds are the headwaters of the river which cascades down the steps to the ponds below.
- U: The river that feeds the waterfall? Okay...what's there?
- L: Next to the waterfall, you will find a vine-enshrouded doorway leading to a winding stair that goes to the top of the cliffs. You must journey to the bridge near the headwaters, cross it and then find the shrine of Chaloc.
- U: Okay...that sounds easy. What then?
- R: Nothing. Just touch the statue, and then survive Chaloc's Gauntlet
- U: Why is it that I feel like you're not telling me everything?
- R: We have told you all that we may. May the Spirits smile upon you.
- U: Well...they better! I'm doing this for them, after all! Dang!
>> Wait! Lets do this later if there's an option!
- L: So be it. Rin will be ready another time when you return to this sacred clearing. Until then, be safe. You are the world's hope.
The vines move themselves aside to reveal a dark, humid, twisting stair to the cliffs above.
A power beyond your understanding moves you through space...
Tremble before Chaloc, Master of the Rain and Wind!
Flee before my coming Storms, and fulfill that which is fated!
Thunder: Fear the booming Thunder!
Storm: Fall before relentless Storm!
Your gauntlet begins...
Lightning: Feel the crash of Lightning!
Thunder: OUR TOUCH IS DOOM!
Storm: OUR TOUCH IS DOOM!
Lightning: OUR TOUCH IS DOOM!
Thunder: I am for you, [statue toucher]!
Storm: I am for you, [statue toucher]!
Lightning: I am for you, [statue toucher]!
Thunder: Fear the Thunder!
Lightning: The Lightning strikes!
You feel the blessing of Chaloc permeate your being.
U: That was insane! That Gauntlet just about killed me!
R: That is as it was supposed to be. Anything less would not have been a test worthy of the Spirits.
U: Not worthy, eh? Your Spirits are a tough bunch of task masters. But okay...I passed the test. Where's that 'boon' they mentioned?
R: That is but the first, and least, of the two tests the Spirits have given you, [name]. However, we may grant you this small token of success for your efforts, so be at peace with this offering and brace yourself for you next task.
U: What?!? Oh right. Chaloc *and*...that other one. I remember now.
L: Huitzotl, Spirit of the Air and Stone, yes. The Spirits ask that you defeat a particularly offensive sacrilege they suffer within the very Throne Room of the Otami.
>> All right. I'm up to the challenge. What's the deal?
- [CONINTUED AT The Stone Coatl]
>> I need a rest before I take on the next challenge. I'll be back later.
- R: So be it. When you return to us, we will lead you to the next challenge.
- U: Okay...see you then!