Ahris

Changes in the air

Inside the “Head Shed,” the name Tenshea has given to the two-story building with the stairs and cave tunnels, you light some torches and prepare to look around some more. There are two tunnels from the ground floor and three on the second floor. Two of those upstairs are little more than widened cracks in the back wall of the building – that is, the mountainside – and are barely accessible. All five, however, go in for several or more feet and then open onto the same scene: a vast cavern, completely dark aside from what the torchlight can illuminate, reaching down into the mountain. Each of the tunnels ends either in a sudden drop-off or a small ledge, and all of them have gemstones inlaid around the openings into the large cavern. There are also sigils and runes painted and carved into the rock around those openings, and in many places inside each tunnel.

The cavern is so large that your light does not enable you to see the opposite wall, nor a bottom, A jagged, stalactite-covered ceiling is visible in the dim light above, with long, frozen-in-time drips of water as mineral tubes extending downward. The surface of the walls and ceiling sparkles with reflective minerals, and some larger crystals, mostly with a milky white appearance, are visible here and there in the rock.

In a way, it’s as if the mountain is a giant geode, bulging out slightly into the valley. Whoever made this place scraped, carved, and shaped the valley-side face of the bulge into this building, adding rock and mortar here and there to blend it with their odd, curve-intensive design style, and these tunnels provide access, at least to view, the inside of the thing. Like a geode, the inside dirty, unworked rock, with some crystal coming through here and there. Regardless, the interior is large – at least over 60 feet across and at least that deep from where the tunnels open into it.
Sigil.jpg
The rest of the town is as I described, with buildings seeming to fill residential or other official roles. One thing that you both notice throughout all the runes and sigils here and there – which are far more pervasive once you get used to seeing them – is the image to the right, usually etched cleanly into a surface, and in varying sizes. It is the most common of the runes, by a slight plurality.

Once you focus your efforts on digging out the rockslide, you spend most of the daylight hours doing so, eventually uncovering an opening large enough to crawl through. back into the mountain tunnel. All five of you are able to get in there by mid-afternoon – tired, dusty, and with cut, bruised hands.

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Lyle

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