Tanglewood
Journey
You stumble upon a small open chapel in a clearing, where you find the frozen body of a knight. He is one
of the questing knights, but his quest has failed, are there any questing knights remaining? The remnants
of his armour are broken and corroded. He appears to have died from multiple wounds. Solemnly you
pray for the knight, regardless of your own beliefs, it is the least you can do. A breeze gathers
momentum, reverberating the frozen branches of the trees, echoing in the chapel, rustling crystals of ice
and snow. Is this place haunted by ghosts or dryads? It speaks to you, the trees speak to you.

Can you see the Dragon? It is all around you. See his green scaly skin in the bark of the trees? Green
Vitriol, our Green Lion, the Spirit of Nature whose outward form you perceive. Ever traversing the Cycles
of Time, ever renewing itself by shedding its skin. By consuming itself it nourishes itself. It is so vast and
so immense that it encircles the World and if you saw it whole in a single glance, then it would burn you to
cinders. Do you know how ye are made, child of Man? Your conscious intellect is but an island, a
temenos, surrounded by a sea of unconscious, above it and below it. You are rooted in that sea, from
whence you came, long ago in the mists of antiquity. Who are you? Are you that conscious ego? Are you
that unconscious sea? Are you afraid of the sea?

They say that the trees have secrets and that they whisper to one-another. How can the trees guide you,
how can they speak to you? Does your reason or your fear reject this notion? Look at that great oak over
yonder. Rooted in the dark depths, from whence it derives a portion of its nourishment, feeding also off
the fire that burns far above in the depths of space and finally nourishing itself with the air and the waters.
It is a bridge between the air above and the earth below, balancing the four elements that give it life. Thus
it grows, and bears fruit. In the end its fruit must fall and perish, as does the ear of corn, if it is to shed its
seed. The time even comes when the old trees must fall to make way for the new trees. Be as the trees,
Listen to the secrets they whisper about forgotten times...

Shall we tell you of the Druids, the Celtic Christians and of Jack Green? Shall we tell you of the secrets of
the Grail? Who is the King and who is his Queen? Shall I tell you more of the Dionysian Mysteries; of how
the father the Sun impregnates the virgin earth to give birth to their child? Or of how their child must die to
scatter seed? He dies to give you life, but do not despair, for he is always reborn. Of this I have told you
enough already, for the World has been deceived by those who have been given the keys yet do not
enter and who guard the gates like vicious dogs whom nobody dare approach. Shall I tell you of the Cult
of Isis? Known throughout the Ancient World they worshipped the triune divinity of Mother impregnated by
spirit, Father and Son. Shall I tell you of a thousand heresies? I shall speak no more of that which the
World cannot hear. There are things that must remain secret. Besides, the Black Serpent may be
listening. Suffice it to tell, that the Fifth Element is the key. Listen, they are coming...

You hear the sounds of a party approaching. You hear their wailing and lamenting, for it is a funeral
party. Curious you head their way and watch from the side of the path as they approach. A priest is
leading the congregation. Suddenly one of them spies you, points and cries, 'I know this person, I saw
them with the alchemist, engaged in sorcery!' The priest rallies the angry mob and they rush upon you!
Angered by the ceaseless winter and the plague and famine that has ensued, they turn in fear to
superstition for answers. You turn to run, but you don't get far, as you stumble over a tree root and fall to
the ground. They are upon you, striking you with stone, fork, spade, flaming torch and boot. You struggle
to your feet, can you fight them? Would it profit you? Seeing a break you run, shielding your head as they
rain down blows upon you. Pushing one aside you break out again, but dazed you cannot run fast and
again they are upon you. They seek to regain the favours of the powers that be, by punishing their
heretic!

Do not despair if the World hates you, for it hated me first. Do not despair if you are thrown out of the
temples. What are you? Atheist, Christian, Pagan, Mystic, a servant of Satan, ... I have been called all
these things, and yet, whatever they call you, whatever you call yourself, you are that you are! They do
these things only because they have been given the power to do so. Now they stone you and spit in your
eye. Weep not, for if men do these things when the tree is green, then what when it is dry? They leave
you pinned to a tree as you pass out, perhaps mistaking you for dead. Forgive them, for they know not
what they do.

You awake, covered in blood, upon the forest floor. Painfully you crawl forwards, forwards. Pulling
yourself to your feet you stumble and roll down a slope and fall a short distance and land upon rocks. You
lie in a rock pool upon the windswept shore. Pushing your head and chest up from the ground, with great
difficulty, you see a ship down below, moored in a pool, waiting for the tide to return, but you cannot see
the crew. You pass into darkness.