It all started with a letter and a ring

Welcome to the Jungle

The Harsh Light of Day

Normally I find the process of shedding light on things to be an enjoyable process, but exiting the tunnels was very jarring. I guess I had gotten used to the darkness because sunlight was too much for my eyes. There was so much left undiscovered back in the tunnels, and I can’t shake the feeling that I missed something important. If death wasn’t so probable I could have probed the mysteries of that place for years.
However, new adventure beckons in the jungles before us. Murthrug seems to be positively giddy be exploring wild lands, but this is so far from my field of expertise that I wonder if I will actually be useful to the party. How many secrets can a jungle actually hold? We pushed ahead and found a good place to rest and recover for the night. Murthrug found us a camp site and more food than I realized one person could find in the woods. If we were without him I fear that we might be dead.
The next morning we got up and started looking around the jungle with Murthrug leading. The rest of us are pretty out of place here. Murthrug found what he described as a trail, but I saw absolutely nothing. We followed it for a ways until we heard loud sounds coming from up ahead. All of a sudden bursting out of the jungle came a huge gray beast with large white tusks and an extraordinarily long snout. It trampled over us with ease and kept tearing its tunnel through the foliage.
We recovered in time to see that it was being chased by a large white furred creature with four arms. We moved to attack, but found ourselves in severe danger. Mantis was knocked unconscious quickly and out of nowhere a second one snuck up and attacked Taka. Murthrug moved to aid Mantis, dealing a blow that caused the ground to shake as its skull shattered, but he was soon knocked out as well when the second one turned its attention to him. Thankfully Red was able to scorch it and finish it off.
We barely had time to catch our breath when we heard the sound of two more approaching us. We knew we couldn’t survive another fight. Finn volunteered to stay behind with Mantis and Murthrug, as he could turn all of them invisible, leaving the rest of us to flee. We sped off through the jungle as fast as we could. Red and I had very little trouble navigating through the tangle of underbrush, but Taka was serious problems and was in danger of falling behind. We could hear the sounds of their running behind us and we knew we didn’t have much time. Suddenly I saw our salvation at the base of the roots of a fallen tree. Red and I ducked into a little gap in the roots while Taka climbed a tree, just in time to see the two creatures run past us.
We cautiously emerged and headed back to the rest of our party. We took some time to heal ourselves, and then decided to head in the direction the gray, tusked beast had been running, just in case those things came back. We didn’t have to go far. It had run off a cliff in panic. We continued to explore the jungle in search of anything that resembled the ruins that Red had seen in her vision, but with no luck. We did find a particularly nasty cloud of mosquitos and learned it was best not to hang out near water. We started to suspect that we might need to head in the direction that the white furred creatures had come from, but not feeling keen about a second meeting in our current condition we decided to rest.
The next morning we headed in the direction of the white furred creatures, but Murthrug felt uneasy. He couldn’t put on finger on why, but something just seemed off to him, which in turn put me on edge. If anyone was going to notice that something was wrong it would be him. Suddenly we end up in a clearing with a large, colorful bird that has what looks like an incredibly sharp beak. It seemed like it was trying to say something, but not in any language that I recognized. Luckily I had prepared the party and we were ready for its attack. I did my best to keep it uninterested in attacking or doing anything else while aiding my friends in their efforts to kill it before it killed us. Thankfully it was a weak creature, because it was an incredibly efficient killing machine. If we had made one false step we would have died, but thankfully we were on top of our game we killed it.
Several members of the body started to take feathers from the body, and Taka seemed interested in completely destroying the creature. I was more interested in the man that suddenly appeared in the clearing behind us. He says something to us in the same language as the bird and beckons us to follow. He leads us down impossibly well hidden trails lined with the faces of people who couldn’t have possibly been there before. After a long walk we are led to a huge cliff face that has been carved in the likeness of a giant bat with two impressive fangs, that it turns out are temples. We are led to one of the temples, but it doesn’t look like there is any way to get to the second. For those of us who were there when we fought Flood, which is now sadly fewer, we were struck by the similarity of these structures and those ruins.
We are lead inside and are greeted by a woman wearing a mask hanging upside down from a bar. She does a graceful flip down and waits for us to approach. There are no holes in her mask. Thankfully she speaks our language, and she thanks us for killing the bird, which had been plaguing them for some time. Either we would have made a nice sacrifice or we would have killed it. A win win situation for them. As a reward she removes the illness we contracted from the mosquitos.
She informed us that she was the High Priestess of the Bat Cult and that there are four other cults in the jungle. We talk to her for a while about our purpose here and I only felt like I had more questions than answers. It seems that while removing the natural disaster entities, we were actually killing entities inhabited by their gods, which is a strange thing to do when one is trying to reinstate Eden when Gods and Men walked together and everything was wonderful. How can that be if the Gods cause disasters? Someone is lying to me. I don’t know who it is but I am not happy. The last time someone lied to me and I didn’t find out I almost ended up dead. If anyone I’m close to ever lies to me and I find out I will see to it their existence is brought to a swift and sudden end.
After we got our tattoos, which I wasn’t thrilled about, so we could go see the other four cults I turned on Red and demanded answers. She claimed ingnorance about the discrepancy in information from the Organization and the information the Bat Priestess. Could it be that there are more Gods and that we’ve been killing off their chosen ones? If so I can only imagine that we aren’t in their good graces, which means that we are going to need to be watching ourselves. It also makes me regret killing off Plague. I had really liked her. She was one of the few people who could see. I will have to keep my eye on Red. She is not to be trusted. She may have been sent with us by the Organization to insure we didn’t get to close to the truth. She may be dangerous. It turns out that not only does this jungle contain more secrets than I was aware of, it sheds light on new lies and secrets with the same intensity as the sun after too long underground.

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bthagedorn

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