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Chapter Six: A Pleasant Surprise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Page 2

that hold together tightly without any outside help.  Although the door and its lock look ancient, they still appear to be very efficient.  Just below the peg, you see a well-carved wooden handle, formed by a three-sided piece of wood that unites seamlessly with the door.You set the map and candle down carefully, then grab the bar of wood that serves as a lock and hold it up with one hand, brace yourself against the floor, and pull against the handle with all your weight with your other hand.  Despite its heavy appearance it swings open easily.

You enter the room after picking up the candle and map.  The floor is a step or two below the hallway’s floor, and is dirt instead of stone. You

immediately understand what is meant by the room’s name: there is cage after cage, each containing some strange and different creature. One, about 10 feet from the wooden door, is made of a strong-looking metal, with close-set bars, holding an animal that, at first glance, you mistake for a bright-green lizard.  You realize your mistake when you see wings on its back and small tongues of flame shoot from its mouth.  Another, significantly larger, cage contains creatures that look like enormous purple bats.  You see a caged sphinx and several paper-clip-sized flying pigs (this cage looks more like a net bag with nearly microscopic holes than a true cage); a parrot with a snake’s head; a many-eyed snake with smaller snakes hanging from it in a way reminiscent of hair;

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