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Sky Alton

Quest 1: April

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  Ash slips and slides under your feet, nearly sending you to your knees (again). You pause, taking deep breaths of the soupy air. A faint breeze ripples over the blasted landscape. The path curves around a shoulder of volcanic rock up ahead. You’ve no idea how much longer it will take to reach the summit. Or, you think as another plume of smoke shoots into the air, whether you really want to. You stumble on up the track, running over the only clue you have to what you’re here to retrieve


 The Treasure (10 beans):

Crafted of gold by Hephaestus, I make you fleet of foot. What am I?

  Do some research and put your answer at the top of your submission


  You make it a little further before you have to pause, sinking down on a rock. You slowly turn your head, taking in the desolation around you.


 The Journey (20 beans):

Make a graphic of the volcanic landscape you’ve found yourself in. Upload your image to an image hosting site and include the URL in your submission.


  The air is much colder up near the top. A bird cries from somewhere above and a fleeting dark shadow passes low over you. The wind whips gritty ash into your face and you duck your head, trying to protect your eyes. You are so preoccupied with this that you nearly pitch forward into a deep crater with sheer sides. Scrambling to regain your footing on the disintegrating ground, you catch sight of a gleam of gold in the dark depths of the hole. The treasure is down there, far out of your reach. The bird from before, a magnificent gold and red phoenix, comes into land on a boulder around 20 feet away and gives you a look as if to say ‘so, now what you gonna do?’


Victory (20 beans):

  In 100 words, describe how you would retrieve the treasure from the hole. There is no right or wrong answer: just so long as it makes sense.

You have: What’s around you as well  as a length of rope (but nowhere to tie it), a metal spike, some food and a little water

You cannot: Summon the object (as it is immune to magic) or climb down the sides unaided as they are two steep


  The deadline is 11.59 PM HOL-time on April 30th. Send all your tasks in one private message to me (Sky Alton). Once the deadline has passed, feel free to share your images and or your solutions as a reply to this thread (but only AFTER the deadline).

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Crafted of gold by Hephaestus --
Hermes' winged sandals would make an exceptional item to add to my hero's garb! Can those wings be added to the boots, though, instead?


Oh, look ... GOLD.  OHHHH. Gold.  Oh, look, a phoenix! Captain Jack is distracted by the sheer beauty of the bird, and then looks again at the gold.  Bird. Gold. *light bulb*

My hero has a bit of knowledge about phoenixes and once he can tear his eyes away from the gleam of gold (for the fifth time) he realizes that, in the food which he has, are some lovely herbs. Well, there are sandwiches within which herbs were placed. Yes, some sage and some rosemary and oh look some parsley and even some dill.  Fortunately the sandwiches are mostly dry bits of bread and cheese with the herbs, so the herbs are not laden with condiments which might turn off the phoenix (because all they eat is herbs).  Carefully separating out the bits of herb from bread and cheese, he placed some very carefully on a table size rock, and then backed away. What would the phoenix do? While backing away, he greets the bird "Helloooo lovely. Would you like a treat? Here is some pretty fresh rosemary that you might love to snack on."

Backing away, he waits while the intelligent creature decides what to do. She takes a leap from the boulder upon which she had landed, and glides over to where the herbs are sitting waiting for her. Carefully looking at them, she sniffs and then delicately nibbles on the rosemary stem. Swallowing it, she looks at Captain Jack for some more. That was good!

He smiled and cautiously walked closer, holding some parsley in his flat palm, being mindful of his body language to pose no threat. She  regally checked out this next offering and carefully nibbled it from on his palm, not cutting into his skin with her very sharp beak.

"Why not try?" Captain Jack thought to himself.  "I have some more food for you, and I will give it to you whether you do what I ask or not." (Knowing that some creatures can tell if they are told a lie, he made sure to say only what is true.) "There is gold down there, in that crevase. Would you go down and get it for me, if you can?"

The bird heard him and and craned her head to peer down into the crater. She looked back at him and clicked her beak.  (He wondered, just off the moment of wondering, if that was a beak or a bill or what?) He reached into the pouch where he had stashed more of the herbs, and pulled out some dill. She nibbled it thoughtfully, then, with a huge leap (startling him so he tripped backwards onto his butt) she soared up and around and then down into the crater. A few moment's later, she came out grasping a couple of gold chains in her claws and holding a gold tiara in her beak.

Dropping them on him, as he was getting up, she landed back on the rock and waited for him to give her the rest of the herbs -- which he did with great praise for her courage, agility and thanks for getting the treasure to him.

Edited by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
taking out 'instructions' from top post

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Talaria or winged sandals




I would first go to enlist help from the phoenix. I would explain to the creature how important it is for me to get this treasure. I would tell him that I have this rope that I wanted to use to tie around the treasure to haul it up with, but if I did that, I would have no way to get back up myself. Not to mention, there was nowhere to tie the rope, too. I knew phoenixes were very strong creatures, so I thought I would ask if he wouldn't mind flying me down there so I could tie the rope around my treasure before looping the rest of the rope around my waist so I would not lose it. Once I had that, the phoenix could fly me back out of the hole. The goal though was to get the phoenix to agree with my help, so I had to appeal to it kindly and sweetly as they are proud creatures. I would offer it some food and water of course to earn its trust, and the metal spike may be good to have just in case I needed to use it to dig into the sides of the hole to climb back up should the phoenix abandon me. I could also use the spike to climb down, much like one might use an axe to climb up the side of a ship like they did in the old pirate days. But hopefully the phoenix would agree with my first plan.

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