Part II: Cellinol's Pass
To see what comes, one must bleed-out all that came in the days before.
To know the end, one must turn those dark eyes inwards.
Seek this thing that all that followed, foolishly did ignore...
St. Aranov, Keeper of the Limbs of Torrus and watchman of the West.
The young woman who had led them to freedom, Bria, anxiously stepped ahead into the darkness. It was as though stepping into the mountainside itself, becoming one with black stone and ice-licked shadow. For a moment she paused, removing a small torch from her pack and attempting to light it with shaking half-frozen hands. From a spark a small fire was born, and before long a warming orange glow leapt across her face.
Standing, she turned to those behind, those who'd fled, battled and spilled blood with her. Those who had made it here despite Korrud shouts, piercing bolts and ravenous wolves.
Bria smiled to Gimlak, Faenala and Zemryn each in turn.
"I think we are close. Can you smell it? Old soot in the air?"
Just as she mentions it, her companions notice it too. Someone definitely had a fire lit down here in days gone by.
"We need to be careful. I saw a few spots of blood outside on the snow, before we came in."
Step by step, the party moves deeper and deeper into the old cave. A system of caves in fact, named Cellinol's Pass
during the last century by the district's nearest villages. But they are many days travel from here. In some parts of Solov, even the nearest things feel oh so far away...
Once, this place was a site held sacred to alpine people's hearts. Indeed, it is a land both as beautiful... and dangerous as any Solov god. Within a valley of steep black cliffs and an ever-frozen gorge, lie great walls of pockmarked stone, entrances to caves abundant. Caves which offer shelter in one hand, and great risk in the other. The remains of those who once became lost within stone's walls and endless caverns probably still remain. Locked in time by the cold within nature's own tomb.
Bria exclaimed, coming to a halt and waving her torch about ahead of her. It was a cavern some fifty feet across, a tunnel leading off into the darkness to both left and right. In the center of the space lay the dark scattered remains of a fire and several soiled bedrolls.
"They were to wait for us. They'd not abandon camp..."
White = Valley / gorge area
Blue Dots = Known cave entrances (the further into the black they are, the harder to access)
Green Dot = Current party location
Grey Lines / Blobs = Known tunnels and caverns
Broken Grey Lines = Unexplored exits / passages. [/sblock]