Previous Chapter: Poll-Venture #2: The Golden Omelette [Chapter 5: Rasha's Return]
Chapter 5: Rasha’s Return
The choice is obvious. You need shelter from this blazing heat… and with an insane amount of luck, you might just find a well inside that ancient structure. So you approach the building, marveling at the size of the stone facade towering above you, until you are standing in front of the hexagonal doorway. It is impossible to see inside the megalith; the door pulses with a blinding multicolored light.
With a feeling of unease growing inside of you, you edge your way into the light…
… and out into the strangest room you have ever seen. The walls are made up of thousands of glowing panels, each rapidly flashing between half a hundred colors. The floor is mirrored so as to merge the pulsing lights on the walls into a discordant amalgam of color that pains your eyes. In the center of the room is a great iron disk split into 24 sections. Each section has runes of varying hues engraved into it. Behind the disk is an empty golden throne, polished to a dangerously bright sheen, and directly in front of you a stone pedestal juts out of the reflective floor.
You take a step forward, onto the pedestal… and a stone door crashes down behind you, closing off your only escape from the room. Before you can recover from your surprise, the pedestal you are standing on shoots into the air, only stopping when your head is a foot from the ceiling. You predict that falling from this height would leave you a cripple, if not a corpse (you are still weak from the desert, after all).
“What is the meaning of this?!” you shout, frustrated at all these ridiculous traps you keep falling into in the midst of what should’ve been a regular boring desert.
Hehehehehe! You search for the source of the ghostly tittering in vain.
You don’t know me? The voice is cold and rasping, but it sounds rather amused. Have you forgotten your history?
“What’s history got to do with…” you start, but then the pieces fall into place in your head. A giant structure built deep in the Akram Desert… what could it be but the fabled resting place of the mad general Rasha? You had thought that Rasha’s Tomb was just a legend (why would Zirix be so stupid as to waste time and resources constructing an enormous monument to a rebel invader?), but apparently you were mistaken. “Rasha, is that you?”
Hehehehehe! You got me! Now it’s time for me to get YOU! The walls of the room stop glowing abruptly, plunging the world into total darkness and leaving multicolored spots in your vision. And then they flash back on just as abruptly. As soon™ as your eyes recover, you notice a prominent change in the room – in the gleaming golden throne sits a purple wraith in the shape of General Rasha.
WELCOME, Rasha’s ghost yells in the voice of a Trial of the Cores commentator, TO WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE! Our unlucky contestant today is the one and only MYTHRON WANDERER! Through a veil of dread, you see that Rasha is raising his arms above his head and bestowing his most radiant smile on an imaginary crowd. Then he starts clapping for himself – a spectral, hollow sound that makes you shiver.
Here are the rules: I ask you a series of THREE questions. If you answer correctly, you progress to the next question. If not… we spin the WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE! Simple enough, right? Let’s begin! For a brief moment, the smile on Rasha’s face transforms into an ugly sneer, and he lowers his rasping voice so the “audience” doesn’t hear. Soon™ my great misfortune will be nothing compared to yours! You watch in horror as he he starts laughing maniacally and clapping for himself again.
“Please, Rasha!” you implore. “You were always a fair general… we can talk this through…”
What an excellent idea! Hehehehehehehe! FIRST QUESTION: How many Serpenti does it take to save the world?