#Hennemoth is an archeologist of the Third Age from unknown origin #who has several adventures and leaves anecdotes after his travels. #Aside from the biomes he touches upon a quest, #his travel tales are found in Gondor and Rohan #due to his frequent presence at their courts especially. #Also, adventurers visit these regions at some point to research their #extensive libraries and have good chance to stumble upon his writings. #His sequel on jungle pyramids should serve as appetizers #for those who consider Far Harad too far to #travel to without good reason, as did Hennemoth until he heard #the tales about the Tauredain pyramids. He is known for the detailed #description of his experiences. #author:Hennemoth the Archeologist #title:Pyramids in jungles deep #types:gondor,rohan,near_harad,far_harad,far_harad_jungle Entering the jungle Pyramid I found the ancient pyramid amidst a heavy downpour. Its imposing structure unveiled itself suddenly under lightning as I brushed the last of the heavy foliage aside. Excited as I was, I immediately climbed the colossus and on top found a small stairway leading down, in the side of a block of obsidian bricks, paved with gold on its edges. When I noticed my guide had left me completely, I took the stairs down and as darkness engulfed me, the chaos of the thunderclaps subsided to a mere whisper that eventually fully disappeared. Silence and darkness was all that remained. The Walls of the jungle Pyramid As I took my first steps in the pitch dark, I lit a torch to study the stonework but to my surprise, my torch hardly gave off any light on the dark stones. Studying them from close-by, the stones of brick were of a peculiar dark and cold kind to the touch, but surprisingly dry at the same time. Densely woven twine was grappling in its cavities, strong enough to climb them, perhaps these took all the moist from the air? They felt as if an ancient power had created them and I felt a deep throbbing as I touched one. I didn't dare to put down anything, for fear of the stonework swallowing it forever! It is always best to pay due respect to the unknown and this mysterious building was surely a place I knew nothing about. So on I went, torch held high, to discover what lay inside! The Maze As I stepped on, the corridors turned into a maze and it took me hours to find my way till the exit, which was a hole in the ground. Torches were lit occasionally, I wondered why the men of the jungle kept them lit, perhaps to keep Evil spirits at bay? Or to pay their respects to their ancestors or Gods of Old? It felt odd to me that they would do this, since my guide ran away as soon as the pyramid came into our view. Down I went into the hole.. A level down, below the maze I lowered myself down to the next level, which was a short drop it turned out. This level was a maze as well, but in a denser space, I could touch the ceiling with my fingers. I was glad as surely no Troll would surprise me here! This maze took longer, but finally I found a next hole leading down, this one was quite a drop, but luckily strong vines grew on its ledges and I could climb down easily. The next level was no maze to my surprise, but a corridor leading around the inner side of the pyramid on all sides, with fires lit on the corners. This is when I realized that it is surely not the jungle people who keep the fires alit this deep down! I started to get a bit uneasy as to what awaits me down in the deep.. Traps As I descended the stairs, my adventure almost ended, had I not worn my leather-bound notebook on me! As I made my way along the broad corridors, getting more and more at ease that with such wide corridors this maze will be easy to cross, suddenly I heard a popping sound and I felt something hitting me in the chest.. To my utter shock, a colored dart stuck out of my chest! I almost fainted from shock, but then realized I didn't feel any pain.. Hah, it had perforated my notebook! On closer inspection, the pages it pierced through had a purple color around the edges: Poison! This might have ended really bad for me down here without a soul to help me and no means of climbing out! I rummaged through my gear and to great relief, found the bottle of ointment my jungle friends gave me to cure any poisonous afflictions, which I had kept for this occasion! It had saved my life before, as the jungle harbored some dangerous scorpions and snakes that came out at night.. A bit more at ease and remembering my school years of how to jump fence, I passed these traps in a jumping frenzy, using any means of climbing the vines on the walls as well. I finally made it to stairs leading down along a beautifully ornamented obsidian column. I felt my spirits rise: will I finally find the secret to the pyramid downstairs? The Pool of Fire While taking the winding staircase down, sounds of boiling and popping liquid reached my ears and as I took the last turn, the view that met me overwhelmed my senses: a lake of lava as far as the eye could see filled a large hall, surrounded by pillars and a circular walkway. And as my heart pounded, in the middle of the lake I could discern chests of ancient carving and a huge gold block with the banner of my friends from the jungle.. This must truly have been a great place of worship of their ancestors! The Treasure of the jungle Pyramid Frantically, I considered all means of how I could cross the lava lake without utterly burning to ashes. I thought of my best practice of dropping some of the biggest stones that the structure consisted of and make a path to cross, but to my disbelief, I could move none of the bricks from the wall, not even with my dwarven-crafted pickaxe that Gloin had crafted for me since I last beat him in an ale-or-tale contest! I had no choice but to jump over the rocks that were to be found in the lava lake. Luckily my Ent friends had shown me their secret way of preparing their special draught that could withstand all manners of heat caused by fire, so I made it to the center of the lake unscathed. Ancient Spirits Finally, I had reached the moment I had been travelling for for all these months! All the hardships, the adventures seemed a mere moment, now that I was standing here, ancient treasure and artifacts awaiting in these chests and maybe something else as well?.. As I took a moment to take it all in and lingered at the events leading up to this point, a thought buzzed in my head, ever growing: what if there really is more than just artifacts?.. Surely, all the dangers until now, the traps, puzzles and challenges through poison and fire, these were all made to protect something that was meant to be protected forever?.. A thought grew weary on me and I recalled the jungle Shaman's heed: "Beware the unseen!" What if there is something I overlooked? What is it that is unseen, in this place of Spirits?.. And suddenly I blinked: of course, how could I have been this Blind?! It is the Spirits that are unseen! Will they come for me? Will they protect what is theirs? I recalled discoveries in the northern realms, as some of the less scrupulous archeologists were digging up tombs of ages past and Evil spirits assailed them.. Could I end with the same fate if I opened these chests now?.. I mustered all my courage and decided that my life's discovery was worth it, drank the last of my Athelas brew so kindly offered to me in case of distress by a ranger friend and I opened the first chest.. Treasure! Surely, my dear friend, nothing could have prepared me for what was about to happen.. I have nightmares since, so I will only tell you that I opened more than just chests: I opened a portal to the Spirit World as well and almost paid dearly with my life for that.. Had I not been an archeologist and experienced adventurer, I would maybe have been stronger to defend myself, but probably less equipped in the art of defense against the spirit world: the blade I had kept on me all these years and which was bestowed upon me by my late father, turned out to be one that was crafted by Elves against Wraiths from the spirit world.. It was this blade that defended my life now against the remains that came alive and tried to add my soul to their dungeon of spirits, to remain there forever! I survived however and the chests contained magnificent artifacts of times long past, crafted in ways now long forgotten. Thus ends my tale of the Pyramids, my friend. I hope our paths shall cross again soon, so I can show you these magnificent pieces of times long gone..
(edited by Barangolo)