Sorry I did not post sooner, but had to rest from the trip (details to follow). I have some very exciting news! The 3rd ring HAS BEEN FOUND and is now
secure! It was one heck of a find! I was stumped for a little while, but ENLIGHTENMENT ensued and the path became clear. Among the swirls it was
hidden and has been safely found. But, that is just the beginning of the saga that happened after it was found. First, I will let you know the details
of the find, then let you know the adventure afterwards to secure the ring. I must give special thanks to HUNT_ADMIN, if it were not for all of
his/her head banging clues; I would not have this terrible headache.
Also, ZSan, Helen, and Smirkley, your motivation and great ideas helped me
especially allot! But, I think without the help of all of us as a team, -5- would have the ring back in his possession! Great Job all, this is a win
for the TEAM!
Well, we needed to logout of ATS, then go to thread 3600; you will notice a banner at the bottom. The ring will be apparent once you click the banner.
For fun, I will let you look for which one. If you want, just let me know and I will let you know which one it is in.
A day after getting a verification that the ring was being special couriered to me, I got an anonymous phone call. I suspect that it was Cerberus, but
cannot verify it as he refused to give his name. He was speaking in a hushed voice and said that he had to get off the line very quickly. He said that
the courier had been tracked and that the ring was in danger of being retaken. I was told to head out very quickly to SenGen temple at the base of Mt.
Fuji. The voice said that this was urgent and NOT a joke. Well, I thought that this had to be a joke, because this being just a game could not
certainly be real. Well, I U2U`d HUNT_ADMIN about the joke and to find out when it would arrive as I was really excited. Well, I got the strangest U2U
back. All it said was... "The ring IS in danger. I understand if you do not want to take up this path, but to carry out the responsibility of being a
Captain of Enlightenment, we need your help. This is most urgent. If you do take up this quest, I implore that you keep this matter very secret and
watch out for danger. The messenger has not been heard from and the forces against us may already be on the ground in Japan. Please U2U me with your
answer as we will need to get our own forces on the ground if you cannot take this mission." To my surprise that is all it said. No joke, nothing! I
thought about it and then thought about everything that has been written from the beginning, well, since I took on the quest from the beginning, I
decided it was my honor to carry this quest out.
Well, on Friday afternoon, I got in my car and headed out to the temple. It took about 2 hours to drive there and it was fairly uneventful. I drove up
to the temple, but it was very quiet and no one seemed to be around. I had no idea where to go, what to do, or whom to talk to. I searched the area
and saw a monk that was praying. I impatiently waited for about 20 minutes, but he showed no sign of stopping his prayers. From behind me there was
suddenly a voice in the corner that said... "If you seek enlightenment, you must seek it in prayer". I turned around, but, there was no one there. I
pondered it for a minute and decided that my best chance was to pray next to the monk. Not knowing what to say or really what to do, I headed towards
the monk that was praying in monotone sounds. I kneeled down next to him and started to look at the few Buddhist statues for a clue. Then I heard the
word "ring" mixed in with his prayer. I started listening very closely to what he said and it took bout 45 minutes of kneeling next to the monk, but
the phrase finally ended at:: "...... ring is safe. The evil forces have been held at bay, seek enlightenment from Kusushi." I kept listening, for
another 15 minutes, but that was the last of the English. The phrase actually made no sense to me. Who was Kusushi?
I rushed back to my car and decided that I needed to make a stop at the local information office. I asked if they ever heard of Kusushi. They
immediately answered that it was a temple at the top of Mt. Fuji, other than that, there was a restaurant with the same name. Well, I doubt I would
seek enlightenment from a bowl of soup, so I decided to get directions to the temple. Well, come to find out, the SenGen Temple is actually the
gateway to the top of Mt. Fuji.
The trek up the mountain took a rough 10 hours through the clouds until I reached the top at 3,776 meters. It was beautiful; I actually arrived in
time for the sunrise to be viewed above the clouds. I was so tired, but dragged myself to the temple at the top. There were several young looking
monks and one very old one all cleaning the temple by the time I arrived. I decided to talk to the old monk, but try to keep my true intentions a
secret and hope that he picked up on it if he even had any idea what I was talking about. I asked the old monk if he knew where I could acquire some
"recently discovered enlightenment". He looked at me curiously and pulled a piece of parchment from his robes, looked at it, then he smiled, walked
over the incense and burnt the parchment. He then called over one of the young monks and told him to guide me to the Inner Sanctum. I was led to a
chamber with only 7 candles and a statue of Buddha. The young monk motioned me inside and then he left re-closing the huge iron doors. The room was
very dark and I was not sure what to do next. I looked around and finally noticed that the statue was holding something that was shimmering with the
light from the candles. It was the RING! I lifted up the ring carefully and placed it in my pocket. I tried to leave, but the doors were locked tight.
I started looking for another exit, but could not find anything. After about 15 minutes the doors were opened and I was ushered out of the temple
I made my way back down to the base of the mountain and headed back to home. I have secured the ring in a very secret and safe location and have
mentally noted the word. I am sure that the next ring will be a great adventure for us to find. Smirkley and Seth.... Be on full guard now, there
could be agents anywhere! Good luck! UNITE BROTHERS AND SISTERS! We will finally take possession of all of the rings! We will PREVAIL!!!!!!!!! The 4th
Captain shall now be cast... Good Luck! 360004
Geez JCM be careful, I hope everyone in the hunt is aware of the risk of becoming a CoE. -5- you are going down clown!
EDIT: Added paragraphs
[edit on 7/19/2004 by zsandmann]