Sweet candy canes! :o
I just wrote four paragraphs describing the Snowflake Gardens, and I am running out of superlatives! Eek!
It seems that every time Carol discovers a new area, it's even more majestic that the previous ones. However, I'm drawing the line on this one. This is it, this is The One. Ever since I drew it in the center of the map, I always intended the Snowflake Gardens to be the most magical place in the entire Ice Cube Caverns.
It is indeed magical. It turned out to be the only part of the caverns which was not hand-built by ... someone, I don't know, whoever ancient folk built the caverns. The Snowflake Gardens grew organically from the core of the mountain, and it's the source of all its mysticism and supernatural glow. Uh-huh, who knew, right? I certainly wasn't expecting that.
The Snowflake Gardens are so called -- actually, Carol will eventually name them that -- because it holds the ancient magical snowflakes, which keep the spirit of the caverns alive. Of course, whoever has played the game also knows that the magical snowflakes have an extra special secondary power: they can stun your enemies and allow you to escape. Before the end of this chapter Carol will find that out first hand. ;)
Speaking of chapters, guess what happened? I decided to split the earlier Chapter 7 into two. It always bothered me that, even though it's called "Sweet Candy Canes!" to describe Carol's discovery of the Candy Cove, the first half of the chapter is spent describing Carol's introduction to the Ghost Of Christmas Presents. To me, the chapter name sets up an expectation which, due to the order of events, diminishes both the initial meeting with the Ghost and the later discovery of the candy hoard.
This was especially distressing to me, since the part where Carol meets the Ghost is written in such a tender and lovely fashion, it is my very favourite part of the story.
So, I decided to split the two at an appropriate spot and call the earlier part "Dancing Spirit," a suggestion from a friend. The new title is very fitting because it all starts with Carol observing the Ghost frolicking around the chamber tending his presents.
All this means that the Snowflake Gardens chapter was moved yet again to the next spot: it now comprises Chapter 10. However, since I was already working on that chapter and Carol had finally made it to the eponymous room, it really didn't bother me this time. It just means that my outline now reflects 12 chapters plus an epilogue. Good times!
Anyway, that's it for now. Carol is deep in the Snowflake Gardens and she's about to have an encounter with the Bad Toy. It's time to find out what those magical snowflakes can do. Until then ...