I will take out my dagger and draw a line across my palm. "Blood." I then take the tip of my dagger and shave off some of the edge of the new wound. "Flesh." Trying to follow his example as closely as I can I use the dagger to trim off one of my untended nails. "Bone." Giving a slightly hopeful look I will bend over the bowl and allow a stream of saliva to escape my lips, I'll wipe the little bit that gets caught in my beard on my shirt sleeve and, "Water of the body." Finally I will breath long and soft into the bowl. "Breath."
After I have finished I will stand up and wait to see if I have passed the test.
*edit for water of the body*
The reptilian looks at you for a while, blinks once, then steps forward. Another packet is drawn from someplace, and a reddish powder is sprinkled into the bowl. Both packets and the vial are tucked away. Making some gestures above and around the bowl, the bowl is then carefully swept up by the claw tips, and lowered to the surface of the water. The bowl is then swirled in circles as it is lowered bit by bit until finally some water slops into the bowl.
The contents of the bowl hiss loudly, as if the water instantly boiled. The bowl is swiftly, but carefully, placed back into the depression. A curt gesture beckons you to the opposite side of the stone from where the reptilian is standing. A streamer of mist rises from the bowl.
I will quickly take my place opposite the reptile and watch the mist.
The streamer of mist sways hypnotically, gaining thickness and opacity. Abruptly the watery surface inside the ring erupts with mist which flows into the sky with force enough that you feel it as a blow. Your hair and clothing whips about your body as the thick clinging mist whistles past you. It imparts a sensation of falling so strongly that you can no longer sense the ground beneath you.
Just as suddenly, the mist is gone, diminishing above you into a swiftly shrinking cloud. With alarm, you realize that you are actually falling from the sky. Your heart barely has time to skip a beat when, twisting, you impact the earth on your feet with a thunderous boom. The Earth-feel flows into you making you strong. Standing up from the crouched down position you landed in, you stretch out the kinks.
You are massive and strong, your thews pillars fit to uphold the heavens, your mere step brushes aside the ancient trees that barely reach your waist. Your cry of joy at your sheer strength levels all before you, sending forth a massive flurry of leaves ripped from the trees. You are connected to the earth, feeling everything around you.
Then you open your eyes. There is an endless sky to both your right and left, strewn with fire. After some moments of disorientation, you realize that you are laying on your side upon some of the smaller stones that surround the big stone. You feel a momentary terror of the big stone that fades as swiftly and inexplicably as it seized you. The fire is the morning sun casting its' orange light across the sky-reflecting water.
Fragments of dream-like pieces float about you, fading, slipping away. The Four Ways. The Threatening Hammer striking the Anvil. The overwhelmingly pressing need for swiftness. Enmity between all Four, but most of all between two of the Four. Fatalism. The Sky-Ring breaking. The Forever Wound lost and invisible.
You sit up, looking around. Your axe stands at attention upon one of the rocks, unsupported. The reptilian is sitting in or on the water, regarding you, your axe, or both, steadfastly unblinking.
I will regain my composure as I stand up, straightening my clothes I will reach for my axe.
"Oy! at was a wee bit odd. Did ah pass the test?"
Trying to keep an eye on the reptilian to see if I can discern his reaction to what has just happened.
He eyes you unblinkingly for a time. "No tessst." Long pause. "You aaare more than whaaat you ssseem." He is about to speak again when you hear a low, deep, throbbing sound. He jumps upright, then freezes in place, cocking his head to listen intently.
The sound is intermittent, with pauses that strike you as deliberate.
The reptilian suddenly hisses, and his inner lids flutter oddly across his eyes. He shakes his head slightly, and then drops something into the depression where the bowl had been sitting. "You, leave, thhhere!" he exclaims, pointing to a specific arch with one claw. "Firssst, drop sssomethhhing sssmall of value hhhere." And he points to the depression. So saying he turns abruptly and heads for the archway where the stream exits the circle, opposite where he entered before. He is greeted by loud caws from the corvid, who apparently remained outside of the ring the entire time.
You hear an exchange of hisses and caws, and from the increasing tone thereof, gather that some sort of disagreement is taking place.
I will reach in and drop a single gold piece into the depression. Not in nearly as big a hurry as the reptilian I shoulder my axe and make my way towards the arch he indicated that I leave by.
Shaking my head, "O'll never understand you surface folk. Some crazy stuff yall got goin up 'ere. Now, is one o ya goin ta be able ta help meh get outa 'ere?"
Once you have exited, the reptilian practically bounds in his haste to get part way around the circle of stones. "Hsssaassaaashshss.... You, fffollowsss water. At fffork, take righhht watersss, righhht only!" He makes an emphatic gesture with right arm, pointing upstream of the water that enters the stone circle, then slashing it to his right. Then he slaps his left hand to his right shoulder. "At hhhead, risssing sssun, hhhere, from ssshoulder!" He stands as erect as possible and brings his hand about 15 degrees forwards from his shoulder. "Sssun hhhere!" He flexes his claws meaningfully. "Fffind black fffield withhh lighhhtning armsss." He extends his left arm fully to the left, and extends his right arm over his head, then slowly brings them through a full arc as if turning some massive wheel. "Thhhen sssun hhhere!" His right arm is extended back behind him and he looks over his shoulder to check that the angle is right. "Go until you fffind deep clear watersss."
The throbbing sound becomes louder, and is joined by a crickety sound, only very deep. "Go! Now! Until no drumsss you hhhear! Quick!"
He turns and runs, leaping over the terrain, around the circle and downstream, still spitting sounds at the corvid, which flaps its wings frantically to keep its perch, and squawks back.
Off I go, as quickly as I can muster, upstream taking only the briefest of glances behind me to make sure I'm not going to get hamstrung.
He runs downstream and out of sight, but you momentarily spot the corvid flapping heavily off to the side, away from the reptilians direction, or from yours. Soon even the stone ring is lost from sight as the thicker growth on the banks of the stream increases. You splash upstream for a ways, but notice that the stream is getting deeper as you go. You reach a fork, both pouring into the stream you stand in, the left fork is fairly deep, the right fork is clearly a small but swift stream.
I will look to see if I can find perhaps a game trail that follows along the deeper water if not I will continue down the swifter moving, shallower stream to the right.
The banks are high enough that there is not an easy place to climb up, or for animals to climb down. You start along the stream to the right. The throbbing sound, which you can still hear, abruptly stops. You have a bad feeling.
Hoping that my suspisions are unfounded I will stop my journey upstream and turn around to make sure that noone is following me.
* 1d20+4 *
occ. sorry forgot how to roll
* Spot Check *
so the check gave me 23