The Mists of Avon: Chapter 4
It had been a long day. Sonia still wasn’t sure what to make of what had happened in the prison in Wolt. Had it been the right decision to leave? Honor dictated that she avenge her father. But honor also dictated that she serve the Princess. And what if she hadn’t survived the encounter? She wouldn’t be there to protect the Princess anymore, and that was something that she definitely couldn’t let happen.
Instead of continuing in circles, Sonia decided to focus on the current situation. They had escaped Wolt and traveled about halfway to the capital, Ralingrad. They would probably make it to the capital by midday tomorrow. Now, they were in the middle of Konos Forest. It was named for its Konos trees, with their distinctive blue leaves which are useful in many types of medicine. They had found a clearing, where Antoine had started a small bonfire, which he, Sonia, and Ruby had gathered around. The horseman was busy tending to his horses. Or maybe he just didn’t want to become too involved in their mission. He was putting himself in enough danger by helping to transport them through enemy territory.
The sound of Ruby’s voice broke her train of thought, “You two got anything good to eat in that big wagon of yours? ‘Cause they don’t really feed ya so great in prison, believe it or not. It’s just bread and water, every day.”
“You were only there two days…” said Antoine.
“Alright, both days then.”
“We have a wide variety of meat in the wagon, actually. You can go see for yourself if any of it appeals to your refined tastes.”
Ruby stood up shaking her head, but she was also smiling as she headed over to the wagon.
Sonia quietly asked, “So, are you going to ask her to join us on the mission?”
Antoine shook his head, “We shouldn’t need any help with the actual mission. I only need to know what to prepare for.”
“Don’t tell me this is about not wanting to cut her in on your profits…”
Antoine smiled, “Only partially.”
Sonia asked, “Then what’s the rest of it?”
“I’m skilled enough to do this job on my own. There’s no need to involve Ruby in this.”
“Involve me in what?”
Ruby had just arrived back at the bonfire. She held the leg of a vosling, a flightless bird commonly found in forests such as this one, actually. She sat down and held it over the fire to heat it.
Sonia answered, “Our mission to steal the Lion’s Seal from Neo Avon Palace.”
“Sounds like a good time… I’m in,” said Ruby with a shrug.
“I appreciate your willingness to help, Ruby, but we’ll be just fine without you. I am a professional, after all,” said Antoine.
Ruby crossed her arms as she said, “I’m the only thief that ever stole from that place without gettin’ caught. You’re gonna need my help.”
Sonia asked, “What did you steal from there, anyways?”
“Just some old dagger. There were all kinds of jewels in the hilt, and I guess it belonged to some famous knight,” said Ruby. “Dmitri had it out on display to show off to some rich people that were gonna join his side of the war. I don’t much care who wins the war, but I figured it’d be fun to ruin his little show.”
“You must mean the Dagger of Fournier,” said Sonia. “Arthur Fournier was a legendary knight from the early days of Avon. His weapon of choice was a dagger, which is rare for a knight. The legends say that his dagger was sharp enough to cut through diamond. I’m surprised you wouldn’t keep something like that.”
“I never keep any of the stuff I steal,” said Ruby. “I sell it on the black market right away, since walkin’ around with a bunch of valuable things is the perfect way to get caught.”
“What about that bracelet?” asked Sonia. “Didn’t you steal that?”
Ruby said, “I got this from my parents. I’ve had it since I was five.”
“What happened to them?”
Ruby had begun to fiddle with the bracelet as she said, “They died in the last war, thirteen years ago.”
Sonia had no idea what to say. She knew what it felt like to lose a parent. But two parents? And at such a young age? She cursed the Jamascans for starting the war. Too many innocent people in Avon were killed because of it.
“I’m sorry…” said Sonia. “I didn’t know.”
Ruby shrugged, “Don’t worry ‘bout it. It all happened a long time ago. Besides, who knows where I’d be if things were different, ya know? I’d bet ya my two front teeth I wouldn’t be the best thief in Avon.”
Normally, Sonia would have taken issue with Ruby’s pride in being a good thief. She decided to let it slide today, though. It just didn’t seem right to get into an argument about it right now. Antoine had no such issues.
“Someone’s feeling confident today…” said Antoine.
“Today?” asked Ruby. “I’ve been the best since the day we met, ‘Toine.”
“I think that may be exaggerating a bit.”
“Then, how come ya needed my help so bad back when we first met?”
Antoine chuckled, “Clearly, your memory is suffering after your tragic ordeal in the prison. That is simply not how it happened. You required my assistance, not the other way around.”
Ruby said, “No way, I’ll tell ya how it really happened…”
Five years ago, Ruby had only been living on the streets for a couple weeks in Avon’s capital, Dausten. It might not have been the safest place for a thirteen-year-old, and maybe she would’ve rather had a reliable roof over her head, but it was better than all those orphanages she had been through. How many had it been? Seven? Eight? She didn’t much care at this point.
Getting new clothes hadn’t exactly been high on her list of priorities, as she tried to find a place in the city, so she was still wearing the uniform of her last orphanage, though it was completely unrecognizable now. The shirt had originally been white, but all the dirt and grime that had collected in the last couple weeks had made it mostly brown. The black pants were in even worse shape. The right pants leg had been ripped off around her knee when she ran into a pack of wild dogs near the outskirts of town. All in all, she guessed that no one would mistake her for one of the richest people in town.
One afternoon, Ruby was walking down the street, when a large man with a shaved head bumped into her.
“Hey!” Ruby shouted. “You gonna apologize or what?”
The man turned around and approached Ruby. And it turned out he had a friend, too. He was just as large as the first man, but had more than enough hair, as it fell down over his shoulders. Ruby thought that he should trade the first one some of his hair.
“And what do you expect me to apologize for, kid?” asked the bald man.
“For bein’ so rude and bumpin’ into me,” said Ruby. “And while we’re at it, maybe ya could apologize for bein’ so ugly, too.”
He cracked his knuckles as he approached her and said, “Someone needs to teach you some manners, kid.”
He tried to punch her, but she sidestepped the blow. Ruby knew that she would want to end this fight quick, though, since he was going to be able to take a lot more hits than she was. There was one area she knew would be vulnerable, no matter how much bigger he was. She stepped towards him and drove her knee into his groin. Or somewhere in that area, at least. He collapsed to the ground in a heap.
At that very moment, his hairy friend grabbed her by the wrists and held her up in the air, stopping her from doing anything other than kicking at the air, which she did for good measure. She had to find a way out of his grasp. But before she had the opportunity to, she heard a man’s voice.
“Unhand the girl. Did your mother never teach you proper manners?”
The voice belonged to a man in a brown vest, who had just walked out of the cantina.
“Proper manners?” said the hairy one. “Look what he did to my friend!”
The bald one was still on the ground, wincing. He even looked like he might vomit.
“Do ya wanna end up just like him? Or are ya gonna let me go?” said Ruby before spitting at the hairy one.
“You might wish to heed her advice,” said the man, as he walked up next to him.
“And why is that?”
“Because your pants are on fire,” said Ruby.
The hairy one looked down at his pants, confirming that they were actually on fire, as the flames began to work their way up from his ankles. He instantly dropped Ruby and ran off screaming, with his friend attempting to follow him, though he was wobbling a good deal.
“I didn’t really need your help, ya know…” said Ruby. “I could’ve handled ‘em just fine myself.”
“Either way, I would avoid instigating such fights in the future,” said the man as he turned to go.
“Wait!” said Ruby. “How’d you do that? I mean, you did set his pants on fire, didn’t you?”
“Yes, I did,” he said. “But I really must be going now. I have work to do.”
As the man started to walk down the streets, Ruby still wanted to know what he just did. She wondered if he could teach her to set things on fire like that. And she wondered what kind of work someone like that did, anyways. It might be fun. Of course, she knew that he wasn’t going to let her come with. But he couldn’t refuse if he didn’t know she was there…
Ruby had followed the man for about an hour when he finally stopped. He had traveled into an area that was pretty heavily covered in Mist, before he finally reached his destination. From what Ruby could see, it just looked like some kind of old temple. It was a pretty big building, made of stone, with stone pillars holding up the ceiling. There were some statues outside, but they had been smashed to pieces long ago, by the looks of it. She wondered what kind of work he could have that would bring him all the way out there. For now, she was just going to wait it out in her hiding place, behind a bush about twenty feet from the temple.
The man was standing outside the door, staring at the keyhole. He didn’t go inside, so Ruby assumed that he didn’t have the key. And she was even surer of that when she saw him throw a fireball at the door. It faded away before even reaching the door, though. So he definitely did set that man’s pants on fire, but maybe he wasn’t very good at setting things on fire? At any rate, Ruby saw this as a chance to get in on the action, and maybe also get the man to finally answer her questions, so she stepped out from her hiding place.
“Ya need a little help there?” asked Ruby.
He said, “Following a complete stranger out into an unfamiliar area is a questionable decision, to say the least.”
“Probably. Course, you need my help to get in this thing, so threatenin’ me probably ain’t exactly the best choice for you,” said Ruby. “Besides, I could take ya in a fight.”
He gave a slight smile. “So, how will you be able to assist me?”
“I’ve been pickin’ locks since I was eight years old. It’ll be a snap for me,” said Ruby.
“Then, by all means…” He stepped aside to let her examine the lock.
Once Ruby got a good look at the lock, she could see that the keyhole was much bigger than normal, probably over a foot long. It looked like it was put in place to show off more than to actually keep people out of the temple. They must not have expected anyone to want to break into the temple, or at least they didn’t expect anyone to break in by picking the lock. It was an old style of lock, too, with an obvious weakness. Ruby took her dagger off of her belt, holding it up to the keyhole. It would fit through the opening just about perfectly. Now, she just needed something to attach it to. She spied a metal tube hanging from the man’s belt that would work perfectly.
“Hey, gimme that metal… thing on your belt,” said Ruby. “Wait… It’s not gonna set me on fire or nothin’, is it? I mean, fire’s your thing, isn’t it?”
Antoine handed her the metal tube. “No, fire is not ‘my thing.’ I’m simply trained in the mystic arts. And this is a staff that I use in battle.”
“Wait… you mean mystic arts like magic? But I thought magic was long gone, since those Magi people got taken out in that war?”
“You’re entitled to believe whatever you wish,” said the man. “However, you have seen me set a man on fire already, so that should tip the scales towards a belief in magic, miss…”
“Name’s Ruby. What about you?”
“My name is Antoine.”
“Well, ‘Toine… how about you use some kinda magic sticky powers to attach my dagger to your staff here, like this.” Ruby held her dagger on the end of the staff, forming a makeshift key.
“I don’t know about ‘sticky powers,’ but I can do this…” said Antoine as he froze the dagger in place with ice. “May I ask what you’re doing?”
“Just makin’ a skeleton key. These old locks only got obstructions in the middle part. So, if ya make a key without anything in the middle, it slides right through and opens the lock.”
The key did just that. There was a slight pause, and the doors slid open on their own. Ruby had never seen anything like that before. Doors weren’t supposed to open on their own. But Antoine didn’t seem surprised at all.
He explained, “This temple was built by the Magi. When they ruled this country, the regular people of Avon who could not use magic were treated as second-class citizens. They were forced to build this temple and to bring offerings to the Magi. However, my client believes that the last offering was never taken because the Magi were overthrown. That’s why he hired me to obtain it for him.”
“So… you’re sayin’ this is a magic temple?” asked Ruby.
“Precisely,” said Antoine as he handed Ruby’s dagger back to her.
As they entered the temple, Ruby saw more statues. These statues were still intact, but they all looked the same. They all depicted a large, bearded man wearing a cloak with his hands raised in the air. It looked like it was meant to be intimidating in some way, but Ruby thought it was just creepy to be surrounded by so many statues of one person. Especially such an ugly person.
“So… Who’s the guy with the beard?”
“He is the former King of the Magi, Maximilian Bernard,” answered Antoine. “He was known as a cruel dictator, who used his power to oppress both the regular people of Avon and even his own Magi people.
“Nice guy,” said Ruby. “But, at least that explains all those extra pounds he’s packin’ in these statues.”
Antoine put a hand in the air, signaling for her to stop. They both stopped just short of a narrow passageway, lit only by torches hanging from the walls.
“Look at this hallway,” said Antoine. “It’s meant to confine you to a single path, making for a great opportunity for a trap.”
“So, what do ya wanna do about it?”
Antoine took the staff from his belt and extended it to a length of about 5 feet. Ruby figured that his staff must be magical, too. He pushed down on a spot on the floor in front of them with it. A fireball shot from one torch across the hallway to the one opposite it.
“So, why don’t we just crawl under those?”
“Because of this…” Antoine tapped another spot, and a small lightning bolt flashed down from the ceiling.
“Ok… Maybe crawling might not work…”
Antoine stooped down and closed his eyes as he placed a hand to the ground. Slowly, ice began to spread from his hand, covering the ground in a sheet of ice.
“So… your answer to just about anything is just to use magic, huh?” asked Ruby.
“It hasn’t failed yet.”
With the floor frozen over, the switches could not activate, so Ruby and Antoine simply walked down the hall. As they reached the end of the row of torches, the hallway began to widen, which seemed like a good thing. Until Ruby saw that it was filled with huge metal blades that swung from side to side, that is.
“I don’t suppose ya know an anti-huge-sharp-blades spell?” asked Ruby.
“Perhaps I’ll study that one for the next time we travel to an ancient Magi temple filled with deathtraps.”
As they approached the blades, Ruby’s heart started to pound faster. One false move and it was all over, that was for sure. But she wasn’t about to let Antoine think she was scared.
“I’ll go first. Ladies first and all that, ya know?”
“You have a very loose definition of the word ‘lady,’ apparently…” said Antoine.
Ruby muttered, “Maybe I should just throw ya in front of the blades…”
She focused her attention on the blades again. There were three of them, lined up one after the other, with maybe about five or six feet between each blade. They were all moving pretty slow, though, so it might not actually be as difficult as it looked. She figured that she should have plenty of time to get past each blade, as long as she just dealt with one at a time.
She stepped up to the first blade, and took a deep breath to prepare herself. Once the blade had swung past her, she dashed past it into the gap between blades. She did the same thing to prepare for the next one. But as she made it past the second blade, she felt her foot press down on something and heard a ‘click,’ and the floor suddenly gave out on her. Her arms shot out, hoping to latch onto something. Anything. Her hands just barely managed to grab onto the edge of the floor, where the trap door ended.
“Ruby!” She heard Antoine’s voice from behind her. “Ruby! Are you okay?”
“Yeah,” said Ruby as she pulled herself up. “Just great.”
She heard Antoine let out a quick sigh of relief, as she focused on the last blade. She couldn’t let one little near-death experience distract her from the next one. As soon as the blade had swung past her, she bolted ahead. Once she was past it, she turned around and let out her own sigh of relief.
“A little advice, ‘Toine… Don’t do what I just did.”
“Don’t worry. I don’t intend to.”
Antoine pulled out his metal staff and extended it again. He took a running start and used the staff to propel himself into the air. At the peak of his jump, a burst of wind pushed him forward, past all three blades, and he landed next to Ruby.
Ruby shook her head, “Show-off.”
Antoine simply smiled and gave a slight shrug of his shoulders. Ruby tried to ignore it as they both walked through the door in front of them. It led to a small room with a tiny window placed high on the wall, which sunlight shone through. There was another statue in this room, but it was different from all the others. It sure wasn’t a statue of Max, unless it was a statue of him before he started sporting that ridiculous beard and wearing that cloak. And before he put on an extra forty or fifty pounds.
“So, who’s the guy from this statue?” asked Ruby.
“Not much is known about specific people of the Magi, beyond their Kings,” said Antoine. “And I do not think this man was a King during their empire’s reign.”
“Ya know… From a certain angle… He kinda looks like you, ‘Toine.”
Antoine studied the statue. “I’m not sure I see the resemblance. Maybe all handsome men simply look the same to you?”
Ruby said, “Yeah… I don’t think that’s what’s happening here…”
Ruby had a feeling Antoine knew more about the Magi and all of this then he was willing to tell her. There were too many signs pointing towards some kind of connection between Antoine and the Magi. The fact that he used magic, just like them. The statue that looked like him. All of his knowledge about the Magi. But if he didn’t want to talk about it, that was completely fine with her. She didn’t exactly want to talk too much about the past, herself.
Ruby walked over to the door in front of them. She tried to push it open, but it wouldn’t budge. She noticed some writing carved into the door.
“Hey, look at this,” said Ruby. “It says, ‘Make the traitorous one see the light to proceed.’”
“So, the ‘traitorous one’ must be represented by the statue…” said Antoine.
Ruby nodded, “Yeah, that’s what I’m thinkin’. And the light must be the sunlight from that window up there. So, maybe we could just push the statue into the light?”
She walked over to the statue and tried to push it, but she couldn’t get it to move an inch. Even with Antoine’s help, there was no way they were getting the statue moved across the room to the spot of sunlight on the floor.
“That’s a no go, I’d say.”
“Instead of trying to bring the statue to the light, why don’t we bring the light to the statue?” asked Antoine.
“Alright, sounds good to me. But how do ya wanna do that?”
Antoine knelt down next to the spot where the sunlight struck the floor. He closed his eyes for a moment and ice spread from his hands onto the spot, covering it in a sheet of ice. The light reflected off the ice towards the statue, but it narrowly missed the statue, hitting a spot on the wall just above its head.
“It’s just a bit too high,” said Antoine.
“Looks like I gotta come to the rescue here, then…” said Ruby.
She drew her dagger and walked over to the statue. She held the dagger up in the air, trying to catch the light on the metal of her dagger. It took a little twisting and turning of the dagger, but she eventually got it, shining the light right into the eyes of the statue. The eyes suddenly glowed a spooky green color, and the stone door slid open.
As Ruby walked through the door, she saw a green gem the size of her fist sitting on top of a pedestal. Antoine walked up to the pedestal, and placed a hand on it, closing his eyes.
“Now, what’re ya doin’?”
“I’m trying to sense whether a spell has been cast on this pedestal. I don’t wish to be caught in another trap as soon as I take the gem,” said Antoine.
“Sounds good,” said Ruby. “So… how’re we gonna split up the money, anyways?”
“I was thinking that I will take three-fourths, since it was my job, after all. You were helpful, but you would have never known about this without me,” said Antoine as he took the gem from the pedestal.
Ruby wasn’t about to be cheated. Antoine needed her help just to get inside. Besides, she had a feeling he was testing her, trying to see if she would be pushed around easily by him, and she wasn’t about to let that happen.
Antoine smiled, “60-40. And I’ll buy you something to eat.” He looked at Ruby’s tattered clothes, “And perhaps some new clothes, as well.”
Ruby smiled as well, “Now, ya got yourself a deal.”
Antoine remembered his first adventure with Ruby like it was yesterday. Maybe it would be nice to have her along for this job. But Antoine did not like to involve her in his more dangerous jobs, and stealing a valuable item from a palace in the middle of a civil war qualified as dangerous. Of course, she had proven herself to be more than competent in these types of situations countless times. And she would probably involve herself in something just as dangerous on her own, anyways.
“You can join us on this job, Ruby,” said Antoine. “And you will receive twenty percent of the compensation.”
Ruby scoffed at the offer, “50-50. You’re never gonna find the secret entrance to the palace without me.”
“60-40, and we’ll go fleece some of Dausten’s wealthiest at the Staruk tables after we’re done.”
“Now, ya got yourself a deal.”
Antoine turned to Sonia, “She always wins. All I must do is to convince our targets that she only wins by luck, which will run out.”
“When you’re actually cheating, right?” asked Sonia.
Ruby smiled, “Hey, you’re finally startin’ to catch on. I mean… why win a game when ya can steal it?”
Sonia was shaking her head. Antoine already knew she wouldn’t exactly be thrilled to hear their strategy, but he simply found it entertaining to see her reaction. He would almost miss having the opportunity to aggravate her, once this job was over.
Sonia stood up, “As much as I want to hear you explain the many ways in which you break the law, I think I’m going to go to sleep early. I would advise you to do the same. Tomorrow’s a big day.”
Ruby stood up as well, “Probably not a bad idea. I’ll catch ya in the morning, ‘Toine.”
Sonia had a point. They would arrive in Ralingrad tomorrow, and they would move to infiltrate the palace then, as well. It would most definitely be a big day.
Im almost enjoying this as much as Tales of the Guardian lol
Awesome new issue, Rogue! I'll have a proper review for ya tomorrow! And looks like you changed up the front post too, ya gonna add a bit of color to it next? It's already looking better!
Thanks Hawk and CK!
Yeah, I'm planning on adding some color, and maybe changing the way it's organized a little bit. Maybe I'll check out your Marque thread for some ideas, since the way you organized that is pretty cool.
@Rogue - I can give ya a bit of help with the design if ya want!
I liked the way you started it with Sonia still thinking about the revelation of the last chapter about her father's death and debating whether she made the right choice not confronting the traitor. It's very fitting for her to worry about her honor and whether it would be stained by not challenging him to a fight. But I also like you didn't linger on it for too longer and moved along to focus on to Ruby. It was fun to see Sonia's reaction to Ruby and how her usual straight laced honor approach was tempered by Ruby having lost her parents. She wasn't nearly as judgemental toward Ruby as she normally is toward Antoine, though Antoine obviously gets a kick riling her up about it. I also thought ya did a good job throwing in a few world building details with the forest and the flightless and of course, later on in the chapter when Antoine talks to Ruby about the Magi and their history which was a ton of fun and seem to be pretty important for a later part of the story. The "Traitor" looking like Antoine was a great twist I can't wait to see play though!
But before I get too far ahead of myself, there's more to talk about, haha. Although I think you opened the chapter and the temple scenes well, the transition paragraph for the start of the flashback with Ruby and post-flashback with Antoine felt a little clunky to me. The big time leaps definitely makes it a bit tricky than the usual opening for a scene, but you overstated the time difference a bit too much. In the instance of the Antoine one, having the first scene focus on Ruby eating the vosling by the bonfire would've been an easy and fun way to establish it was back in present time. For the Ruby flashback, opening the scene with Ruby sneaking out of a pub with stolen food or getting thrown out of somewhere for looking so shabby would've felt more natural than the rather blunt info dump about how long she had lived in the streets and looking dirty and grimy. The fight works fine regardless though and shows how she likely ended up in jail in the present day, mouthing off to a few guards she happened to walk past.
The temple scene was pretty awesome! Like I said earlier, I loved all the Magi history and it came out very naturally between Antoine and Ruby. Ruby brought a lot of fun to it too, with her smartass remarks about the former King. The traps and puzzle they faced wasn't anything that Link hasn't faced down in one game or another, but it was fun to see Ruby and Antoine face them with their different high tech/low tech styles. I think you could've used a bit more finesse with describing some of the rooms though to give it a bit more of an awe factor. The descriptions were a little blunt with Ruby and Antoine walking into a smal room with a window when you wan to create a sense of awe and excitement exploring an ancient temple which is hard to get when ya say they just walked into a room. But Ruby and Antoine made it a fun read with their back and forth banter and how quick the two click together. Their negoiating money fit in perfectly with the present day scene where Ruby officially joins the mission.
So another great chapter! Not without a few bumps, but still fun and Ruby continues to be a great addition to the story with her spunky, smartass personality!
Wow, that is one big review! Thanks, Hawk! Glad you thought it was a fun chapter, with all the banter and fun action with Antoine and Ruby in the temple. This chapter was almost like a history lesson, between learning about Ruby's past and all the Magi history. It was important for me to make sure I got some more of that stuff established before they actually break into the palace in the next chapter and really get things moving a little bit more.
Thanks for all the feedback on the flashback. That was one of the biggest things I wasn't sure about. I had a tough time figuring out how to transition to and from the flashback, since I've never done a flashback before, really. Actually, I think I did one in that story for my fiction class, but that's about it. So, all the feedback on how I could do it better is real helpful. And you definitely got a point about the descriptions, too. Descriptions have never been my strongest point. I usually have to force myself to make the characters shut up for a little bit so I can actually do some description, haha. There's a bunch of chances for some major descriptive work in the next chapter, with them going to the other capitol, so I'll make sure I'm working on that, then.
But, I'm glad you think it's plenty of fun, since that's kinda the goal, to write something fun, of course. Especially with this story. It's way more fun than that story I wrote for fiction class or Guardian was, I think. Just a fun adventurous story in a fantasy world.
Flashbacks can be tricky, but ya didn't do too bad! Descriptions can be hard too, especially with something like a temple. It's not something you see every day or can just from experience. Google searching temples and stuff definitely will help ya out for a frame of reference for descriptions since the better you can picture something, the easier it tends to be to describe it. It also helps me to look at writing that does descriptions really well and see how they do it and try to figure out why they work to bring to my own writing. For me, that means reading Bond, but whatever ya have handy that does great descriptions works!
You mean you don't see temples everyday? I thought everyone did... I only really looked at the outside of temples to give me a general idea of what I was talking about, so I think I definitely should've definitely gone more in-depth with my temple research to give me a better idea, definitely. Good stuff to keep in mind for the next chapter, though, definitely.
I'm shocked too! Surprisingly few temples in New Jersey. Yeah, even just watching a movie like Indiana Jones or The Mummy, helps give you ideas and better visualize what the scene looks like so ya cna better describe it. I'll even break out a tape measure to help me better visual and describe scenes.
Weird, I thought New Jersey was famous for its temples, especially ones filled with magical deathtraps... Well, maybe this will give me an excuse to finally see the Indiana jones movies, since I still haven't done that.