Part 10 - The Upside Down Garden
They traveled to the hanging gardens and found that the entire section of the city was upside down. Apparently, this section of the city, which was once a vast garden, had somehow inverted when the city crashed. They had to climb the vines that overgrown everything, which actually proved to be helpful as they moved through the upside down buildings.
As they approached the center of the gardens, they could hear a busing sound. Soon they found themselves under attack by giant insects. They all survived the initial attack but Gaspar discovered he had larva burrowing into his flesh. The attempt to remove the larva proved to be fatal, and Gaspar died.
They left the garden the garden where they met an Oklu named Teketh, who was the new incarnation of Danel. The creature’s Ka was similar enough to Solar Ka that the incarnation was possible. He said it was very disorienting to be in a non-human body, but he was learning to adapt. They then returned to the gardens and ventured in again.
After fending off another attack by the giant insects, they were able to get the lay of the land. The gardens were dominated by two large towers, one to the north and one to the south that grew like giant stalactites from the ceiling.
They began to climb the north tower. On the way up, Solaneker lost his grip and began to fall. Teketh discovered he had superior reflexes as he was able to snatch Solaneker from the air in mid fall. As they continued to climb, they again came under attack from the giant insects. Fighting them on solid ground was hard enough, doing so while climbing vines was near impossible. They were forced to flee inside the building structure where the insects could not get to them. Climbing inside was more difficult, but it helped avoid the bugs.
Eventually they reached the top of the tower. There they found themselves in the center of a large hive. Suspended above them was a massive insect queen. She could communicate with them telepathically. They told her that they were seeking one of the vault keys. She told them she had one and would give it to them if they killed the queen in the other tower. They asked her why she did not do it herself. She explained that all of her kind could sense each other. The fact that they made it so far into her lair indicated that it would was not the case for them.
They climbed down the tower and made their way to the opposite tower. They climbed the other tower, this time from the inside. It was long and arduous, and they had to stop a few times to rest. It was all worth it as they were able to climb the entire tower without incident.
They were able to get into the hive undetected. They snuck up the interior of the hive and attacked. By the time the insects realized what was happening, they queen was dead. This sent the others insects into shock, allowing them to escape.
They returned to the first tower and the queen gave them the key she had. They then left the gardens. They found a place that they could safely rest and recuperate. They then discussed where they should go next.