Mirrored from Sythyry.
Yerenthax and Jyondre thundered forward, out the last door from the Thick Petals chamber. They had more of a journey.
The first chamber they stormed through was Golden Pyramids. Lots of Golden Pyramids, ranging in height from six inches to six hundred feet. (Jyondre could just touch the chamber’s roof from the top of the tallest one.) Most of them were square-based pyramids; a few were triangular, or pentagonal, or even conical. The larger ones had entrances in each face, and the much larger ones had a second set of entrances far above the first. The outsides of the pyramids were golden plates. (We are getting used to seeing so much stone and metal.) The floor between the pyramids was carpeted a subdued blue-green.
Yerenthax: “Let us explore these caverns!”
So they did, venturing intrepidly into them. The first one they had a long twisty corridor, squirming through near-darkness, only lit by a few scattered guttering sconces burning sandalwood and myrrh. At length they came to a small chamber containing only a low wooden table, set with six plates. Upon each plate was a freshly-cooked, steaming sandwich of broccoli and melty cheese and garlic.
Jyondre: “As treasures go, this is minor, though it looks quite tasty.”
Yerenthax: “Perhaps it is the fearsome foe we are supposed to face, and not the treasure?”
So Jyondre defeated a sandwich in single combat, using his bare fangs as if he were a Gormoror man, and thereby moved Yerenthax to poetic excess:
Yerenthax: “Both sandwich subtle and brocco bold / lose to my lover. I am not cold.”
They explored a few more tunnels, and were greeted by trays of berries and chocolates, by steaming bowls of bouillabaise, by casseroles of stewed nuts and legumes.
Jyondre: “This is all very foody. I wonder if the upper tunnels are different?”
So the primes climbed, and passed into the upper tunnels of the central pyramid. Where they were greeted by a large table covered with a triangular grid, with pawns of two colors and fifteen varieties placed at the grid points. Some segments of the board were covered with little tents, and many others had cards face-down at them, or small stacks of counters in ivory, malachite, or carnelian. A disembodied voice started explaining the rules of the game in Common. Oddly, it’s a cooperative game: the goal is to get pairs of pawns to the tent-concealed locations simultaneously.
Yerenthax: “That’s OK … we’re just looking.”
Voice: “Thou mayst look as thou wilt!”
The Discussion of the Golden Pyramids
Phaniet: “O Elfimel, we have heard there is a realm or chamber in Heaven in which there are many golden pyramids. Know you of such a place?”
Elfimel б: “Oh! It is the chamber of Golden Pyramids!”
Elfimel д: “Why of course! Where else could one find golden pyramids, save in the chamber of Golden Pyramids?”
Grinwipey: “Well, that’s thezz-shundering logic for you.”
Phaniet: “Can you tell us anything about the chamber of Golden Pyramids?”
Elfimel ю: “There are pyramids there! They are made of gold!”
Grinwipey: “It’s for this kind of degleggeratingly brilliant insight that I have travelled from one universe to another to find, y’know? It’s just there’s nothing like it, for how clear it is. Clear as a telescope with spinach, olive and bacon stuffed pizzas for lenses, it is.”
Elfimel б: “Oh! There are board games there! We play them by twos, threes, fours, sixes, eights, elevens, and twelves!”
Este: “No ten-player games?”
Elfimel ю: “No — of course not! Who ever heard of playing ten-player games among the Golden Pyramids?”
Phaniet: “I will admit that I have heard of many, many things, but never a ten-player game among the Golden Pyramids.”
Grinwipey: “Is the food safe to eat there, or will it tie your nuggle-bubbins in knurgle-knots?”
Elfimel ю: “All the foods that Heaven provides are safe and wholesome.”
Elfimel д: “And delicious!”
Elfimel ю: “And do not cause any sort of unpleasant side effects or noxious byproducts!”
Elfimel ч: “A bit too complicated, in that room. I prefer the ones that are only one kind of food. Like these fruits.”
Elfimel ю: “They are the very gift of Mircannis! You must receive them with thanks and happiness!”
Elfimel ч: “I try to, really I do, but I don’t actually think broccoli and melted cheese go together…”
Elfimel ю: “Foish! All these foods are the foods of Heaven! You must relish them all — they are sacred and exquisite!”
Elfimel ч: “You’re being annoying and mean! I hate you! I hope I find you in the Lights and Daggers phase! I don’t even want to be your mother next time! I hate you and hate you and hate you!” She ran off, and was quickly lost among the trees.
Elfimel ю: “What a pest! It’s just as if she tried to pull my fur out with her own teeth! I can’t endure when people behave like that!” She ran off in a different direction.
Phaniet: “That seemed a bit, well, bitter.”
Elfimel б: “Oh, foish! If we’ve got a little disagreement that we can’t settle quickly, usually the people who disagree will just shout at each other like that, and run off, and never see each other again. So it’s OK! We don’t have to resolve conflicts, the way you do. Heaven does it for us!”
Phaniet: “What if you want to resolve a conflict?”
Elfimel б: “Then go right ahead! You’re perfectly allowed to!”
At length they departed from the chamber of Golden Pyramids, and came to the chamber of Fountains.
It had, well, fountains. Lots and lots of fountains. Fountains spraying water. Fountains spraying milk. Fountains spraying wine.
Jyondre: “I have never seen so many fountains in one place, nor such a variety.”
Yerenthax: “Nope. Me neither.”
Jyondre: “This is kind of boring.”
Yerenthax: “There’s the door to the next chamber.”
Phaniet: “Can you tell us anything about Fountains?”
Elfimel ӻ: “I can tell you everything about the Fountains!”
Phaniet: “Please do!”
Elfimel ӻ: “”They’re wet! If your fur has gotten dirty somehow — some fruit from Large Fruit, or some blood from Lights and Knives, or any such thing — the Fountains is a place you can go to wash it off. Also, in the waters of the fountains you may catch a large aquatic isopod for a snack, if you wish!
Este: “Yuck, live isopods in your bath!”
Elfimel ӻ: “They aren’t so terrible!”
Phaniet: “That’s all? No compulsions to indulge in erotic play or anything?” She was rather suspicious at this point; Heaven was making her uneasy. Me, too.
Elfimel ӻ: “Nothing like that! I mean, sometimes people do, but usually we go to the fountains afterwards to clean up.”
Imagine a garden. A flower garden. A flower garden with really really big flowers, and an insane variety of varieties, too. Now take away the plants, leaving the flowers growing in the soil themselves. That’s Thin Petals.
Jyondre: “I’ll bet that the petals are delicious, but have some odd side effect.”
Yerenthax: “When we have explored fully, we shall taste of them! Not now.”
Phaniet: “And what about the other flower garden, the one with stemless flowers in it?”
Elfimel क: “It’s just a flower garden.”
Phaniet: “No magical euphoric aphrodesiac petals?”
Elfimel क: “No. They taste nice.”
Elfimel ट: “I always wind up getting grabbed by two other Elfimel and stuffed in that big tight flower by the temple door and having sex ’til I can get away.”
Elfimel क: “Oh … there is usually someone being an everyone-toy over there. I don’t think that’s the garden’s fault though. I think that’s because some Elfimel enjoy it.”
Elfimel ट: “I don’t enjoy it! I wish they’d stop doing it!”
Elfimel क: “Stay away from that corner, maybe?”
Elfimel ट: “Where’s the excitement in that? Sometimes I get away from them and they grab someone else.”
Elfimel क: “Sure!”
Grinwipey: “When I hear tell of people playing grab-and-grobble games, I don’t think it’s a proper Heaven, I’ll tell you that much anyhow!”