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Round 3 Finalist

A Heart-Pounding Test


The Guardian laughs with a childish delight, as he knew your decision to accept the challenge before you walked into his cave.   

"Many have come before you," he says, "all have failed. The knowledge you seek, the wisdom, is beyond time itself. The pursuit to save this broken planet has enticed generations. And for generations I have stood guard and watched all who enter my challenge fail. You will fail also, they all fail."   

You hear a clockwork rumbling as the walls around you begin to shift, the floor beneath you sinks away. 

The challenge has begun the Guardian bellows. 

"There is but one correct path, and only those with the purest heart can find the path to salvation for The Broken Lands. Your reward will be all the knowledge of time, your puny brain probably will explode even if you succeed," the Guardian taunts. 

You take a deep breath. There's no turning back now. You take your first step. The stone beneath you shifts with your weight, your heart drops, the stone holds. You can feel your heartbeat echoing through the chamber. Another step, another, you begin going faster through the unknown path, letting your heart guide you to your next step. The Guardian lets out a deafening howl as you reach the midway point, the walls rumble and the remaining stones start to fall into the chasm below. "Hurry now!" he yells.   

Your feet take over, pulling you onto each stone, almost bouncing from one falling step to the next. You can see the ledge, it's getting closer. Almost there.   

With one final leap, you've made it! The solid ground beneath you seems to vibrate your entire being, an unseen force is filling your mind with images from the past, ancient history, a timeline incomplete.   

The Guardian is standing next to you. A transformation starts to happen, the rough rocky  armor starts to fall away, revealing a soft and supple skin, golden hair, a beautiful woman emerges from what once was the Guardian.   

She speaks softly, but forcefully.   

"No one has completed this challenge in a million years. You are very special. The fate of this planet now rests in your hands. There is but one more challenge."

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