The Cloud Castle – Page 140


The Warp Portal whisks Perilous Jack away, and he suddenly finds himself standing upon the edge of a Green Pipe overlooking a new chamber.

Below him lies a sea of bubbling lava, over which are suspended a few solitary bricks slicked with Crimson Slimes, feeble comfort to any who might seek to traverse this chamber. But it is not the perilous passage across the room that arrests his sight – it is the Emerald Guardian of the Shard.

There can be no doubt that she is a creature of eldritch power. She hovers near the ceiling of the chamber, radiant with beauty and menace, huge as a titaness of the Age of Chaos, garbed in nothing more than scarlet mist and twining serpents of sun-flame. She gazes serenely upon Perilous Jack with eyes as blank and shining as polished Emeralds.

“Perilous Jack the Dragonslayer,” she says, and her voice is both musical and terrifying, echoing through the chamber like the resounding notes of a heavenly choir. “What pleasure to watch you die in my arms.”

Cautiously, Jack bows. “Great Lady, I have no plans to die today.”

“You seek the Shard of the Nightcrystal?” she asks.

“I seek a human girl,” he replies. “The Princess Vasilisa of Windflower Palace.”

She smiles, shaking her head as if in sorrow. “You seek power. All mortals do. I am going to give you what you wish, Jack. I am going to show you true power. And then I am going to kill you.”

Although he is not settled yet on combat, Jack moves to loosen the Rune Sword in its sheath. The blade will not budge.

The Emerald Guardian laughs. “No weapon would dare threaten me, Jack. Go on, try to draw it.”

Jack tries again, to no avail. The sword will not budge. He tries the Dancing Dagger of Danzibar with no more luck.

The Emerald Guardian laughs again and stretches forth her hand.

Perilous Jack has only an instant to respond.

If has a Potion of Haste, he may try to dash past the Emerald Guardian. Turn to 37.

If Jack has a Flake of the Eld-Star, he may use it to escape the chamber unscathed by the Emerald Guardian’s magic. Turn to 117.

If Jack knows the name of the Emerald Guardian, he may speak it now and hope that it wields some power over her. Turn to 88.