With a cautious watch kept on the creatures, you move to crack the shell of the egg on the branch. It has not yet made contact when the nearest of them is beating the air right beside you and has its tentacles on your skin, one at the upper arm, one the shoulder and - pain! - astounding pain, racing, rushing - crackling - fills all your upper body, and muscles clench hard, seem to tear, as light and leaves dim, and blue fire flashes. The view leaps away, and you realise you are falling, the layers of the canopy crashing up past you, leaves ripping at your arms and legs, branches striking your back, your hea -
- - - - - -
Your adventure ends here.
The life runs out of your body amid the ferns and roots at the base of the oak. Creatures circle high above the crown, mourning their loss. A breeze teases grass into darkness...
You did not discover the secrets of this world. You were not well suited to it. But the tree is kind to life. The energies at its roots are powerful. It is likely that some part of you will assume another form and emerge there again, born of the feathery green fronds and towering arches. Then another adventure will beckon, a chance to do better.
The oak awaits a new beginning...