Swirling Path

Chapter 1: Zin Palace

I have stayed here on Zu Mountain for over eighty years now. Once I decided to go to pay Wushan a visit at Moon Castle, in Desert City. It was my wish to return to Zin Palace and I knew she could help me. She told me that in the effort to resist the Evil from taking over their home, the Zin twins had used a forbidden place charm. But the twins needed our help as the malevolent forces were progressing closer to their Palace. With the guidance of Wushan I decided to enter Zin Palace and go to their aid.

As soon as the Fish Guardian knew of my intentions he read a magical charm aloud. And I found myself instantly transported to a beautiful coral sea. I could barely believe it. In front of me stood a Palace; as magnificent as it was magical. I knew that this must be the legendary Zin Palace. And through the Rainyflower Platform I could see the silhouettes of the elegant and striking Zin twins. As I approached Zin Moonlight turned to me with a tired face and said “You’ve come, you’ve finally come…”

Chapter 2: Swirling Path

“The Swirling Path is a natural barrier that protects our Palace. But it appears that the Evil forces have managed to enter it and even as we speak are planning to attack here.” She continued in a weary tone and told me how the Azure Sea Valley was a major vantage point in the battle against the Chess Army. Should it be lost then it would be virtually impossible to save the palace from future dangers.

To put a stop to this I rode at once to the boundary of the Swirling Path to drive away the evil Mussel Ladies. They were guarding a huge pearl which had absorbed many good men’s spirits.

The Fish Guardian, Fang, thanked me for my efforts and promised to keep the pathway clear from now on. So I left him to it and went to find Huac, who was at the Withered Flowers Path. He looked worried and as I approached I could hear him sighing loudly.

Chapter 3: Bloom Poison

Huac informed me that the Flight Portal was under threat from the Lady Flower, who had a pollen so poisonous that just a few grains could kill a man. There was no other choice but to do away with her. Luckily I had noticed on my travels that the Bozak were unaffected by this pollen and I deduced that it must be because of their scales. If I was to survive the encounter then I must get myself some.

Creeping slowly up to a Bozak I managed to grab a scale off of its back. I threw the scale forcefully at the root base of the Lady Flower. And my plan worked the scale completely repelled the pollen long enough for me to dispatch the cruel vixen.

Huac had pointed me in the direction of Bloom Cave, but the way appeared to be blocked by a myriad of Spined Flowers. They made it impossible to pass by. The only solution was to uproot them all.

Chapter 4: Protecting Flowers

Huac had reported to me that these flowers were grown by the South Sea Fairy and were placed there to guard the pathway. If I wanted to pass safely then I must get the permission of their leader Huam. However, she held me personally responsible for the damage done to her children. And even though I begged and pleaded with her she would not believe me. When I had finally convinced her that I would never intentionally hurt her or her family, she told me of how the Elder Draturtles had been eating all of her flowers. And if I really wanted to prove my good nature then I should go to deal with them for her.

So, to defend my honor and affirm my loyalties I did as she asked. The Turtles were banished and to make sure that they never came back I killed their Leader. As way of thanks she finally let me pass through Bloom Cave.

As I passed through the Dropping Flowers Cloister I came across Juao, a guard there who I asked for directions.

Chapter 5: Cloister

The Dropping Flowers Cloister is below Bloom Cave and also very close to Zin Palace. But the pathway seemed to form two separate forks; one leading to the Ice Cave and the other leading to the Fire Cave. Juao had told me that some of the flowers from Bloom Cave had moved here to the cloister and been transformed into the vicious Venom Vine Ladies.

With Juao fighting at my side, we drove the Venom Vine Ladies away and captured their poisonous vines. We were even able to do away with the Red Coralmen from the Fire Cave Gateway and the Violet Frost Ladies from the Gateway to the Ice Cave.

How we were able to withstand their Fire and Ice powers I will never know. All that mattered was that we were victorious.

I had managed to find the Seaeye in the Azure Sea Valley, where I also found Wuga, the Ride Guardian. However, after looking at him I could tell that all was not well.

Chapter 6: Gem Combination

The Seaeye Monument had been sealed by a very powerful spell and required the Zin Gem to open it.

Wushan had said that the Fire Turtles, servants of the Zin Immortals, had the Gem. But that over the millennia they had evolved into two separate species; the Fire Turtles and the Ice Turtles. And so as they divided so too did the Gem. One half of which went to each faction. The only way to retrieve the jewel would be to defeat both gangs.

Luckily both of the branches could be found on the Swirling Path, so it was easier to take them on at the same time. After their defeat I collected the two halves of the Jade Jewel and took them straight to Master Dazang.

After that I once again returned to the Seaeye Monument. Everything was in place to deactivate the seal…

Chapter 7: Twins

By using the Zin Gem to open the seal I also read aloud the incantation. Suddenly I found myself transported to the beautiful Coral Sea, where in the middle stood the magnificent Zin Palace. Once again through the Rainyflower Platform I could see the fabled Zin Twins standing in the Purple Crystal Palace. Zin Moonlight spoke to me in a voice as delicate as a snowflake. “Your life will be forever changed after you have heard the tale of Zin Palace and its history.” Zin Star added that they were exhausted from resisting the onslaught for so long and that they had been waiting for help to arrive. All the while they prayed that an Army would one day come to rescue them. And now things were taking a turn for the worse as a new Evil Force seemed determined to commence an attack on the Swirling Path.

At the request of the Twins I collected some of the sand that surrounded the Palace and took it to Huac for him to keep safe. When I handed it to him he looked confused and clearly had no idea what to do with it.

Chapter 8: Desert

Huac suggested that I should go to the West Caves to investigate matters. When I got there I was shocked to find it completely covered by a cascading sand pile. That fell down endlessly from the top of the cave. In truth it looked more like a desert than the bottom of the sea. The cave was also home to the fearsome Yuan-Tis, Jintha Crabs and Grass Fairies. But how could that be for these were not sea creatures at all? I went to report my strange findings to Huac.

He was clearly perturbed by my news and asked me to bring back some evidence to help the investigation. So I returned with the hope of collecting something to take back to him. But every time I grasped a piece of a monster it turned to sand and slipped through my fingers…

I needed to know if this was the same for all of the Demons. I tracked down some of the Yuan-Tis and attacked but just at the point of death, they too turned into sand sculptures and crumbled away. Could it be? Are all of these evil monsters really just moving piles of sand?

I had never come across such an abomination before and had no idea what kind of dark magic could have created them. Let alone who was behind the scenes pulling their strings. It was Huac’s belief that this should be reported at once to Zin Moonlight and I agreed completely.

Chapter 9: Truth

Zin Moonlight said that the Master Summoner, Lord Daluo, knew of a talisman that had the power to turn things into sand. Perhaps this was the key to solving this problem? Unfortunately however, Lord Daluo had been badly infected by Demon Blood and every day cried out in pain. To help him get some relief from the agony I took with me a bottle of Heaven Holy Water, which has the reputation of being able to relieve any pain.

When I arrived in the Purple Fire Hall the Lord was writhing and screaming from the torturous effects of the blood. At once I rushed to administer the holy water and almost straight away his discomfort subsided. He was so grateful that he willingly told me all he knew about the magical talisman. It seemed that must be the one known as the Chaotic Jintha Funnel, the most precious item owned by the famous Emperor Yin. But on his death, in the last great Zin war, the fiendish Yuan-Ti had stolen it. The owner of the Chess Trap had hidden himself in the Golden Sand Well with the intention of recreating evil monsters from the surrounding sand. The Sandy Gold Body talisman had the power to create creatures that could destroy but that could not feel any pain. Indeed it was a cunning plan!

I returned to Zin Palace to relay my findings to Zin Moonlight. As I spoke she remained silent for she knew that this meant the nightmare was fast approaching.

Chapter 10: Jintha Lord

If the Jintha Lord really had got hold of the Sandy Gold Body Talisman then it well spell serious trouble for the Zin Palace. Following my orders I went to the Golden Wheel well to capture the sand cores of the Stoneleaf Yuan-Ti and the Chaotic Sand Dragons, who were both healers for the Jintha Lord. After she had carefully examined the cores, Zin Star proclaimed that yes; the Evil Lord did possess the talisman. So the only option we had was to destroy him before he destroyed the palace.

As we rushed into the Golden Sand Wells to attack the Jintha Lord, he created a huge cascading curtain of sand to block us. It became apparent that he would not go down without a fight. He summoned countless small but heinous Sand Goblins to attack and whilst we fought with them he created a giant pair of Sandy Hands. They grasped hold of us and began to tighten their grip… The Immortals called up their last reserves of energy and broke us free of the sandy prison. But, we noticed that all this effort seemed to be taking its toll on the Jintha Lord. He began to show signs of exhaustion and was losing his concentration. We seized the chance and whilst he was distracted by creating more Sand Gold Bodies we attacked. Our force was absolute and fatal. At the moment of his death he too collapsed into a pile of sand and rocks.

Although Zin Palace was not completely out of danger, this victory gave us new hope. If we could overcome a situation like this then we could take on anything Evil tried to throw at us. The spirits of the Moonmaidens had been lifted and we stood as one united force. We agreed to stand our ground to protect Zin Palace and all that is good.

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