|Once out of the TowaShroom Forest, Perilous Jack proceeds due west according to the Druid’s instructions.|
As promised, he does not have to travel far – only a few miles at most – until he sees the pyramid of the Red Ghurkas rising in the distance.
Mounting the last TowaShroom of the Forest, Jack pauses to take in his destination. He has to admit, the Red Ghurkas have a good arrangement for themselves. The Pyramid, though not terribly high or difficult to penetrate – Jack can see an entrance from where he stands – is nonetheless still guarded by the Gnom, a race of elementals originally bound to the service of the Emerald Dynasty. The Gnom take the form of massive stone heads and defend their chosen territory by flying up into the air and crushing invaders. The Gnom are virtually indestructible and cannot be intimidated or bargained with. They can be tricked, however.
Perilous Jack seeks refuge under a TowaShroom where he cannot be seen by the Gnom, and waits for a Goblin to wander near to relieve himself. The Goblin is dead in a trice, and his distinctive cloak, ostentatiously adorned with the red centipede design of his clan, soon conceals Jack’s armor.
|The patch worn by the Red Ghurka Goblins on their cloaks|
The Gnom are nearsighted and not especially bright. Thus Jack is able to slip past under their stony noses and attain the pinnacle of the pyramid with ease. The few Goblins on the steps fall quickly to the Dancing Dagger of Danzibar. Jack lingers a moment in indecision at the Pyramid’s entrance, and then leaps the gap – the Druid’s instructions said nothing about entering the Pyramid.
Once he has begun his descent down the further side, the Goblin presence increases, giant Pinch Slugs peer at him from their burrows, and a new threat emerges – a trio of Giant Eagles, who wheel and dive at him. Although they are dangerous in that they could easily dislodge him from the side of the Pyramid, the birds do not seem intent on attacking, merely driving him away from the entrance to a curious chamber they guard. The chamber hovers in the air above the Pyramid and seems to have a single entrance, staunchly defended by the Eagles. A piteous moan escapes the chamber, issued from a gargantuan throat. Judging by the volume of the voice and the size of the chamber, Jack judges that some giant man or creature may be contained therein.