Part 30: Level Two: Only One Right AnswerLevel Two: Only One Right Answer
Once out of the Bazaar, we proceed through the maze to the only PoP left. Note that we're on the same maze of this route that contained the Twisted Temple on the other; the "River Route" is one maze longer.
A vast canyon complex extends as far as the eye can see. Far below you lies what may be the river that carved these chasms. Looking ahead, the canyons are an impenetrable, insanely-recurved maze. How can you hope to traverse this place without a guide?
There's a surprisingly large array of options here, and all of them are terrible. We already know what we need to do, so we're going to do that, but see below for all the ill-fated opportunities that arise if you're foolish enough to enter here without a magic carpet.
Use Magic brings us to the above selection screen, which suspiciously mirrors the fake magical items that we could've bought. Selecting any of them will then prompt the use of a magical phrase, from the following:
We're looking for the carpet and "Na Namblor Voyant!" At least if the old man in the dusty magic shop is telling the truth, anyway.
The carpet unfurls and hangs in the air. You step on it and lead your horse onto it likewise. The horse is unsettled by the prospect of flight, but he is well-trained; he gentles under your hands. And then...
...awed at the colors of the stone and the immensity of the complex. You gape, half scared out of your wits, half awed by the land below you. Soon, you come to this place's exit.
This entire PoP is essentially a trick, a gate for people who got the magic carpet. Trying to do anything but cheat will not end well.
Alternate Solutions & Deaths
Let's look at just how badly it can go! First of all, we might as well search for a guide.
There is no guide here.
...Oh. Alright then. Guess we'll go... down?
Obviously, abandoning both our horse and armor is the way to go here!
You come to a small ledge and rest a while, then continue your descent. A handful crumbles away. You slip and fall, bruising and scraping yourself along the rock. Desperate, you grab the branch of a twisted bush that somehow manages to survive along the cliff face, and it halts your descent. There are no other handholds within your reach, however, so you hang there, wondering what to do.
Oh thank goodness, a friendly bear!
Grab Paw: Desperate, you clutch the cave bear's paw. It hauls you up to the ledge and bites your head off. It munches contemplatively.
Stay Where You Are: The bush peels away from the cliff face and you tumble to your death.
So much for that option. I guess we'll return to the start and this time we'll try going... right?
Right again, I suppose? The wider trail is always a trap.
You inch along the trail, leading your horse. Suddenly, there is a whinny of terror and the reins are ripped from your hands. The horse is gone. Behind you, the trail has collapsed. The ledge beneath you collapses, too. You cartwheel through the air, sedimentary bands flying past you, the sky flashing blue... There is a loud thud. It is the last sound you hear.
Okay fine, we'll take the left trail.
Ah yes, the natives! The fanatical Mad One worshippers that the Tercelid soldier warned us about! I'm sure they'd be happy to guide us through.
"Ahoy!" you say. "Good sir! I must needs traverse these canyons, and would hire a native guide of trusty mien..." Another rock hits you. Cursing, you draw your dagger, clench it between your teeth, and start to climb the cliff face after Whiskers. Another rock hits you, this one atop your noggin. You fall to the trail. As you try to rise, more rocks and a flight of arrows greet you. You lapse into unconsciousness.
Clearly our mistake was not going left at the start. That'll get us out of here.
Well, we've gotten down the canyon, let's just get up the other side and be on our way.
You climb for hours and come to the lip of the canyon; only to see, again, that dozens of others lie beyond. Wearily, you begin the next descent. Two weeks later, your water is exhausted. You can find no river. Your mount is dead of heat prostration. At last, you give up all hope, and lie supine in the hot, eternal sun. You feel the life leaching from your body.
Hmmm. Better revise that plan then, and stick to the river.
You congratulate yourself on your foresight. At least here you will always have water. Also, no matter how much these canyons fold back on themselves, this river must leave the canyons somewhere. All you need to do is follow it, and someday you'll find the end.
There, you see? There was an alternate solution the whole ti-
Some days later, it begins to drizzle. You think nothing of it, until it begins to pour. The river is rising rapidly. You dash down the canyon for some minutes, and do find what might be a trail leading upward. With your horse, you trot rapidly up to it. Then... There is a loud rushing noise behind you. You turn; a veritable wall of white water is boiling down the canyon. It bowls you and your mount over. You bob along, desperately trying to snatch a breath of air in the brief moments that your head is above water. Repeatedly the water smashes you against the canyon wall. You lose consciousness and drown.
Stupid nature, foiling all our plans. That covers every possible approach except using the magic carpet, unfortunately, and not a one isn't fatal in some way.
Hey wait a second. Magic. Show me that list of spells again?
Now normally, using any spell other than "Na Namblor Voyant" will do us no good, like so:
Nothing seems to happen.
...But I wonder what happens if we chant "A Fimbator Baragon?"
The world turns gray. You feel yourself hurtling through space... Suddenly, you find yourself in a smoky tent made of animal skins. A shaman wearing feathers and tatoos sits across a rude fire from you.
"What?" he says. "What are you doing here? You spoke the words at the wrong moment!" With words and blows, he drives you from the tent.
And this does, in fact, take us back to the shaman's yurt and its corresponding exits, meaning we're either forced back into the Twisted Temple maze or to start the entire River Route over again. Admittedly, a second chance to get the magic carpet thing right is better than dying like every other outcome, but boy is this a confusing result if you were brute-forcing and trying every spell.