The Frost Potion – Page 09



As Perilous Jack inserts the Black Horn in its respective Crystal, the room shudders and shakes, and he feels himself enveloped in crackling energy.

The room seems to skew to the side, and then disintegrate into sparkling motes. Gradually the motes condense again, this time reassembling themselves into a new room, albeit one very similar to the room he has left.

The new room is the same size and shape, with the same trio of pyramids emerging from the floor. As before, Perilous Jack stands upon the central pyramid, but now instead of a Crystal, an enormous black statue stands before him. Above the statue hangs a RedShaft. Jack finds himself curiously unable to turn, although his instincts tell him that someone – or something – stands behind him.

Instead, he examines the statue more carefully. It appears to be a massive Minotaur, many times larger than any he has seen, and muscular beyond belief. The Minotaur wields huge claws and a spiked tail in addition to its broad rack of horns. Suddenly the statue moves, and Jack realizes it is a living thing.

“Why do you disturb my slumber?” the creature asks, its terrible voice emerging both before and behind Perilous Jack. The warrior realizes there must be a second creature behind him, brassy like the Crystal he rejected, and the thought raises the hair on his scalp, although he finds himself still unable to turn.

“I seek a Frost Potion,” he declares boldly. “And who are you to challenge me?”

The bull-creature frowns terribly. “I am the Bull-God, consort of the Lady Malkat,” he declares in his double voice.

“All hail the Lady of Plenty,” Perilous Jack replies with real feeling. The Bull-God’s frown only deepens.

“Why have you awakened me, and not the Light One, who might reward you with wisdom?”

Perilous Jack considers before answering. “The path ahead will be long and perilous for me. I know that the Lady Malkat in her benevolence will not withhold something as small as a Frost Potion, especially when she is made aware that the life of an innocent girl is at stake, but I wonder if I don’t deserve some further token in recognition of my triumph over the Labyrinth. After all, it was my persistence that solved the puzzle of the Brass Horn, and the strength of my sword arm that claimed the Black Horn.”

The Bull-God nods slowly and gestures at the floor between himself and the warrior. There Jack observes a single block with a different pattern on its surface than the others.

“Lift the stone and crawl into the space beneath. There you will find a chest containing what you need. Take only what is necessary, and then pass on to the next chamber.”

Jack follows the Bull-God’s instructions, finding a treasure chest filled with rich implements of gold, great sparkling jewels, magical weapons, and among the rest, a great battle-axe with a greenstone shaft and a blade of curious purple stone. Jack grips the weapon eagerly – at last, the power to summon and command the Minotaur Legions!

Remove the Black Horn from the Pouch of Ghrul and add the Black Battle-axe, replacing the weapon in his right hand.

Turn to 15.