4/10

Cortica River, noon—This weekend my family and I went to the Jacksonville Zoo, which has a pretty nice exhibit of South American fauna, including giant otters and arapaima, so for once I was in the mood for exploring the Amazon. Fortunate timing, as I once again have a backlog of tasks awaiting me. Nineball Larry, Jr. is along with me, so I put him in the “diver’s seat” (a bad joke I’ll bet you don’t get to use every day). We started upstream to avoid the piranhas and right away, under Spirit Falls, the giant piraiba catfish at the mouth of the temple swims right up to us and takes the “servant’s ring,” which I wasn’t even aware I had. It then proceeds to turn into gold and becomes a legendary, the Gold Eater. He’s eaten so much gold on the river bottom, see, that he turns gold—he just needed that one ring to put him over the edge.

Gold Eater

We move forward, exploring the temple and taking many pictures (my son’s a perfectionist when it comes to the camera), when we see, emerging from the temple, a gleaming white caiman. It’s another legendary—King Gigide, who was first mentioned in that Zahhab Region find a while back. Apparently encountering the Gold Eater unlocked the cabinet that imprisoned the King. The multisensor yields a bagload of loot, and we return to the boat.

King Gigide

It’s raining torrents, and I remember that there’s something we’d find in the mangrove beds if we searched in the rain. Sure enough, we pull up the Dark Statue. While we’re in the area, we stop to watch the giant otters, which are not as cute or animated as their real-life counterparts. I ask Jr. to take a photo of the western sandbank, one of Jean-Eric’s requests. We head back for Nineball Island after a momentous visit.

The Dark Statue is worth 12,000 P, but the big find is a stone statue of a golem worth 13,000 P. How did the Golem of Prague wind up in an Amazonian River tributary? Must have something to do with Nazi fugitives smuggling and perverting Rabbi Loew’s clay factotum to build an army of sedimentary super-men and reclaim the lost glory of the Reich in the jungles of South America. The game literature isn’t clear on this, but I’ve got new material for some awesome Indiana Jones fan fiction.

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