It was true, they had all been given strong hints that their next task would be of a certain style and location. And although none of these hints suggested that the same arena was to be provided to them all. What presented itself to them now was not anticipated, even though it was largely the same in some aspects.
Those that had previously been tasked by Thetros, did find the same richly furnished room awaiting them when the singular blend of aromas piqued their collective awareness. It was the "trigger" they'd been told to expect the season before. And they responded now as they'd promised. But they were not together, as had been the case last time. Each had an identical such room all to himself.
Those tasked by Delroth found a greater degree of difference in their current environment than the "Thetrosian" group. That was most likely due to the fact that Delroth had never given much indication of what setting would be expected at this point.
His daughter, Zana, found herself simply waking up in her room as always, her lovely visage in the vanity mirror inspiring an unrepentant surge of narcissism and conceit. What else could honestly be expected from the child of greed and vanity? No doubt, her first waking awareness was the need to correct the imperfections in her appearance, few as they were. Her father had never said there would be any change in where she would awaken on this trial.
Nor had he told Navyri to expect any particular starting point for her test. She'd been in Etzos when he'd charged her with tracking down a carving of a Raven that apparently meant a lot to him. The chamber she found herself in was not unlike a rental unit in The Second Story Inn in Etzos, save for the complete lack of the sort of din one would expect from a boisterous common room below.
But like Zana, if she turned to face the door, she would see a semi-pastoral setting right through the doorway, as if no door existed. Something did though, for no sound or smell came into the room from beyond. There was a curiously unsettling feel to this awaiting hillside forest. Visibility was poor, due to a slow-moving mist, what trees could be seen were occasionally dead-looking, and there were odd green sparkles in the air, that were not bound by whatever air current guided the mist. They flitted irregularly. like insects.
Davic might have swatted at these annoyances, had any of them buzzed close. He alone believed himself to already be "outside". It may have gone unnoticed, however, that he was in a narrow niche formed by a steep hillside and some fallen logs; and that he too would have nowhere to go but forward into the scenery.
Tio Silver may have been looking from his generic Scalvorisian unit in hopes of seeing Delroth's magnificent chariot. The fact that there was no sign of it might be motive enough to creep from his room into the adjoining landscape. But if not, the sudden appearance of a beautiful orb may have been. It matched the appearance described to him by Delroth himself.
One such orb appeared before all of these mortals, just beyond their little "safe-zones". Each orb would suddenly turn jet black, sprout wings and launch into the air before any of the mortals could prevent it. All of them turned sharply, once airborne, and whisked out of view of the narrow scope of the doorway's visibility.
If they left their "room", the sounds of nature would suddenly be heard clearly, though no sources would necessarily be seen. If they looked back, they would see a round, wide structure, with doorways suggesting a "pie-sliced" room array within. They may recall that their rooms actually accommodated this build, being wider at the door than at the other end. Though their own doors appeared open to themselves, every other door looked closed and would be locked to them. Davic would only see a wide, flat-topped hill, with a single cave-like entrance from where he'd emerged.
It was upon the gathered mortals to respond as they chose.