As the sun rose I stretched for a moment, shaking leaves from my blanket, then retreated behind a tree to prepare for the day. Our trek to Selu’tar passed unnoticed as I considered what I had seen behind closed eyes: a rainbow, ending in a pot of molten silver around which danced an invisible voice. This image had started me awake before third watch began, and despite the comforting glow of Dagon’s Reach, slumber did not return.
And lo! we came out of the woods onto an ancient battlefield. Our historians know not what occurred to the high elves here, but pilgrims frequent this holy ground during more hospitable seasons. Now, though, it is covered by a viscous silver liquid, which somehow also clings to the foliage. Travis, spotting a mausoleum, muttered something about home.
We followed him inside, and found ourselves drawn downward. The building was only an entrance to a great cave – though a cave nearly as bright as the sun left outside, with light emanating both from veins of rock lacing the walls and from large mushrooms that, I thought, seemed to move from place to place.
I did not sample these mushrooms.
At the center of the space was a statue labeled ‘Thalnoth: He Did Amazing Deeds,’ surrounded by a shallow pool. At sight of it, Travis shuddered. But he climbed into the water as our party scattered, then called me to join him in pushing on the pedestal. It moved, revealing a stair spiraling deeper.
The minutes of descent felt like hours, until it emptied into a garishly multi-hued chamber dominated by an alter, inscribed with runes none of us could decipher, glowing in five segments of solid color, each connected to a similar path leading down hallways of indeterminable length. Travis immediately turned back, and Val followed. I turned down the green path.
This continued through a set of double doors and led past other, closed doors before terminating in a small room at a basin of green glowing liquid. As I approached, six skeletons stepped away from the walls. The nearest of these spoke. Bob, as he called himself, had many questions – when he was enchanted, there were only seven hells, and he did not have many visitors. Nonetheless, when I filled a vial with the mysterious green glow, he and his crew attacked. I must have screamed with pain, for I was dead and warm in Tymora’s embrace until starting awake to find Tillia’s green face hovering above mine. Pantaghion was busy scattering bones while Bob’s skull whined from the floor, and Wynlynn slipped past to retrieve her own bottle of green. As she corked the vial, bones began reassembling into skeletons, and we began to run.
Wynlynn’s elfin strides raced ahead, so she was already down the yellow corridor when Tilia closed the double doors to green against Bob. Still wobbly from my experience with the skeleton, I struggled to follow Teal and Pantaghion – arriving only in time to see an unconscious Wynlynn washed past six fanged monsters with great snaking tongues and hands like hayforks. The paladin hoisted elf over one shoulder, tugged the concentrating druid behind, and raced back past me to the alter. I had barely followed when Tiulia slammed doors against the impact of a monster, and found myself stumbling into Val. “Lucky you got out”, Travis said with as much excitement as a block of wood. “Those looked like ghasts. Nasty things.”
Tilia grunted for him to help hold the door. A moment later, a comforting silver glow shone under it, and then we heard a howl from the ghasts. “Hurry,” Teal urged, “I can’t hold them with moonbeams for long.” Pantaghion wedged his shovel under the door, then again lifted Wynlynn and started up the stairs.
Val guided me to the surface. After a few moments to catch our breath, Tilia identified a pilgrim’s campsite and we settled down, still within site of the fountain, to try sleeping in the cavern’s strange light.