“Was fighting a Zebda,” I told the merchant, “and this coin was put into my inventory. The Thorn Sage told me to come to you, to figure out what it is.”
The dwarf took the coin into his hand, examining it closely.
“Never seen one of these. Interesting…”
“What’s it mean?” I asked.
“Well, the rose on the coin’s face is… It’s interesting. You brought this to the Thorn Sage?”
“Yeah,” I said.
“That’s how most people come to me: a chain quest from the Thorn Sage. You, though. You really showed him this coin?”
“Yeah. I didn’t realize the coin’s engraving was of a rose until I was already in his palace.”
“You must be a real fucking moron, then.”
“How low’s your Wit?”
“Low,” I said.
“I just want to…” The dwarf balled his hand into a fist for a second, then let it go. “How low is your Charisma?”
“Even lower than my Wit.”
“Yeah, I’m not really the fighting type,” the dwarf said, “but I really want to beat the shit out of you.”
“Alright.” The dwarf handed the coin back to me. “What you’re supposed to do is… I’m giving you this mission.”
“Get out of Charon, get through a bit of the jungle, and make it to THE VOLCANO OF DREAMS. Make a wish there and throw the coin in.”
“Yeah, I’d say it wasn’t a problem, but seriously. Raise your Charisma a little bit.”
“Okay.” I put the coin back in my inventory.”
“And your wit.”
“But especially your Charisma, you piece of shit.”
I got out of the bank as fast as I could. Didn’t spend too much time on the streets of Charon, either. There was a second gatehouse I hadn’t been to before, on the other side of the city. It was a little less guarded than the other one, which made me curious.
Didn’t think about it too much, though. I had a mission to complete.
The second I got outside the walls of Charon, I was struck by how dense everything was. The foliage was the worst of it.
There were gigantic leaves the length of my arm, taking on ever color of the rainbow. But they were very bright, practically neon. There were vines, trees, grass, bushes.
I pushed a giant yellow leaf to the side, only to get my neck caught by a large purple vine. Cut that away with my sword and took another step, only to have to step around a bush, with flowers and thorns that took on a bright red color.
The grass here was every color of the rainbow. The whole jungle seemed fraught with poison and danger.
I trudged forward. Had to check the map repeatedly, to make sure I wasn’t going off course, that I was going in the direction of THE VOLCANO OF DREAMS.
The map told me this jungle was called MELTDOWN JUNGLE. Despite myself, I wondered what the story behind it was.
No matter. Had to keep trudging.