"Birds, barbs, berbs, birbs, borbs, burbs and sometimes byrbs," Hmm explains. "But mostly birds."
The formerly captured kalphite backs up to get away from the sudden sight of your mysterious gem-eye.>>724181>>724183
"How would we help without magic, though?" Splendid asks.
"We could pretend like Thessaly's cursed us," Zerk offers. "I think she has half a mind to do that to me anyway…">>724183>>724182>>724181>>724184
Mallea transmits your consent to the challenge. The larger Kalphite takes a step back as if surprised, but then steels himself, turning around. The shrunken one skitters along desperately, always trying (and mostly failing) to keep a good distance from Thessaly.
The kalphites lead you through the darkness, and Splendid lights a small torch to help you see through the dark. The tunnels are small, cramped and winding, unlike the more regimented tunnels you saw in Professor Shrimp's lair. There are many twists and turns as well as traps, which Mallea must convey to you each time the kalphites express that. Left, right, right, stop, watch your step. Avoid stepping on the raised stones. Left. Forward. Up. Left. Down. Stop. Don't look the statues in the eyes. Forward…
Eventually, after a journey into the bowels of the mountain, your guides bring you into a wider chamber, a hollow full of clammering, chattering kalphites. The hollow is terraced, with many gigantic layers carved into the sides, like a ziggurat's massive steps. It almost reminds you of Manenhi's structure. The room is filled with glowing egg-sacks and kalphite warriors, and kalphite nymphs which sit on the eggs to warm them. Chicken bones, blood splatters and ostrich egg-shells litter the ground. The whole hollow is filled with an eerie, sickly green light, transmitted by the bioluminescent eggs.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bzwqLrSkvM
Two prominent figures sit at the center of the hollow, atop a great many smaller steps, like those of a sacrificial altar. Two gigantic kalphites sit, one jet-black and bloody red, and the other a rainbow collage of brilliant colors, in what at first appear to be thrones. But upon inspection, you see that they are actually the hollowed carapaces of dead kalphites, hundreds of them woven into a pair of grisly cathdra.
Those two kalphites glare down at you, both dwarfing you by a ratio of ten to one. The rainbow one holds a curving scepter that looks like a monster's massive spinal cord, adorned at top with a skull.
The two sit there in silence, while the lesser kalphites in the room start to scream and apparently call for blood, judging by the intensity. Your allies cover their ears and wince. However, the hollow falls silent, with nothing but a flash from the rainbow kalphite's eyes.>>724186
"You misunderstand," the barkeep says. "The Heart of Gold is an Island, not an item."
"The legendary island of unimaginable wealth," Schnitzel adds. "An island so big, nobody can find it!"
"Oh, don't be like that. There are plenty of theories as to why nobody can find it," the barkeep says.
The others nod, giving their orders to the bartender, who starts to zoom around carrying mugs ten times his size, filling them up with drinks and massing them down to your crew.