"I imagine it was about this time that the Princess took ill," said Hamza. We all thought you had been possessed. With the Sultan gone, your cruelty and heartless rule were even worse than we remembered from the days of Jaffar. Our love for you quickly turned to hate, our respect into fear. Of course we did not realize it wasn't you at all"

"Perhaps it is fortunate I knew nothing of what was happening. I would have worried all the more," answered the Prince.

"Yes, with the Sultan away, all the people were victimized by Jaffar's evil. Have I told you how good it is to have you back?"

"Yes, Hamza, you have. But I don't mind you telling me again."

Hamza cleared his throat and looked down at his stack of papers. "Yes, well... Perhaps we should continue with your story." "By all means," answered the Prince.

Level 4

1. The stairway led me to another doorway and into a large open area lit by three oil lamps. Not surprisingly, the door closed behind me when I reached the top of the stairs and entered this new area. I could see several ways to go, but decided simply to head to the east.

2. I reached a wide gap, and stepped on a pressure plate that opened a gate to the east, but when I jumped across, I found only a dead end past the gate. The only other way to go was down. I lowered myself over the edge just west of the gate and dropped, swinging in toward the eastern wall.

Translator's Note:
As often happens, this part of the Prince s story has also been told several ways. Make your own judgment which version tells your preferred tale.

Version 1 - The Short Route

3. I landed painfully (it was a long fall) on a ledge with a pressure plate and a gate opened inviting me east. However, looked first to the west and spotted a potion on a ledge below me and against the western wall. I jumped from the edge of my current ledge.

4. I landed on another narrow ledge and investigated the potion I had seen there. I recognized it as a weightless potion of the kind I had drunk once during my escape from the dungeons. I seemed to be standing within a huge vertical cavern, and decided that the best way down might be to use this potion.

I drank the potion and felt the strange lightness take me over, then lowered myself carefully over the edge and, with a prayer to Allah on my lips, dropped like a feather into the seemingly bottomless blackness.

5. I dropped...

6. ...and dropped...

7. ...and dropped until I finally landed next to what I hoped would be the exit door. I could find no way to open the door, however I found a potion refreshed my health.

I decided to hunt for a plate to open the exit. I began my search to the east.

Version 2 - The Long Route

3. I landed painfully (it was a long fall) on a ledge with a pressure plate and a gate opened, inviting me east. I ran in that direction.

13. I jumped carefully across a narrow chasm, where I found a healing potion. I drank it; then, finding no other way to proceed, walked carefully to the edge and lowered myself over the side. A pattern of holes in the wall to the west alerted me to be careful of spikes, but I moved very slowly and no spikes appeared.

14. I dropped into another small area with more oil lamps. I spotted a skeleton to the west. I decided to head east. I jumped another narrow chasm and continued.

15. I found myself standing before a stone gate. A pressure plate before it cause it to open, and I noticed there was another gate just past it, and another pressure plate. Now I'll tell you, Hamza, when I saw a Life Enhancement Potion on the other side of the second gate, I was determined to get it. But I had a funny feeling about the two gates.

After some experimentation, I discovered that standing on the pressure plates when both gates were closed would open them both, but activating any plate when a gate was open would close it. Furthermore, the second gate seemed only to stay open a short time, and I saw no pressure plate beyond it to open it if I should be trapped there.

Finally, I decided to risk going after the potion. I maneuvered the gates until they were both closed. Then I stepped onto the first pressure plate and ducked. As soon as the first door was halfway up, I hopped under it and then ran about four quick steps, grabbed the potion and drank it down. As I was drinking, I was planning my next move and was in the process of turning around as I finished the draught. I then crouched down immediately and slid quickly under the gate, which almost crushed me.

My timing had to be perfect, and it was. Once I got past the second gate, I used the pressure plate to open the first one again. By they way, I went back and took a very quick look down below the area past the second gate, and saw nothing but a purple poison potion. I retraced my steps to the west.

14. There was only one way I could go from here, and that was down. I walked carefully to the edge of the gap in the floor, wary of the spike holes in the wall to the west, then lowered myself down and dropped.

16. The path led farther west, but I would have to drop to a lower landing to follow it. I saw a dart shooter and pressure plate below and knew that this would not be the routine jump it appeared to be. I took one careful step east, away from the spot where I had landed, then jumped so I would not hit my head on the low ceiling. I caught the edge of the pressure plate, activating the dart shooter, which fired harmlessly above me.

17. I had a sickening view of a lava pit directly below me, a healing potion to the east of it...

16. ...then I hauled myself up and ran to the west.

5. I could see a potion across a very wide gap, but the jump seemed too far even for me. So I lowered myself over the ledge and dropped. I could see no other way to go.

6. I landed painfully on a wide ledge next to a pile of bones and I eyed it suspiciously when it began to rattle. Off to the east, I thought I could see a potion, but another glance at the skeleton revealed that it was indeed starting to come to life.

Quickly, I lowered myself over the edge again and dropped.

7. Again, I landed painfully, my ankles and wrists twisted and sore from absorbing the impact of two such landings. But I spotted a healing potion nearby and drank it down greedily.

There was a door that might have been the exit I sought, but no way to open it. I headed east in search of a way out.

Translator's Note:
From here on, most translations are consistent.

8. I can quickly to the east, through a stone gate that opened when I stepped on the pressure plate next to it.

9. I passed another pressure plate but did not hear anything in the distance to indicate that an exit had opened.

10. I ran past some old bones that rattled as I ran.

11. More old bones. Was this some sort of trap?

12. More bones, a healing potion (which I ignored), and a pressure plate on a high ledge. I stepped on the plate and heard the distant grinding sound of a door opening. I began to run back the way I had come.

Something had really awakened the skeletons! As I ran past them, they jerked up from the ground and began a silent pursuit, only their rattling joints and the eerie clicking of their bony feet on the stony ground disturbing the silence of the cavern. It quickly became a race.

11. I ran...

10. ... and ran, leaping to gain some distance from my pursuers.

9. I stepped on the pressure plate again, but did not hesitate.

8. The gate! I was just about there, the clattering horde on my heels. As fast as I could, I ran through the gate, stepping on the pressure plate just beyond it. The gate snapped shut, stranding the stupid skeletons on the other side. I was safe. Well, more or less. For the moment.

7. The exit was open, as I had suspected it would be. I climbed yet another set of stairs. The skeletons had made me nervous. I hoped these stairs would lead me out of the caverns.

Continue to Chapter 5: The Shadow & the Flame (Level 5)
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