It’s already February! Wow. We had a great January fighting a giant and helping small twig creatures, but now it’s time to go looking for a mythical well that grants special powers.
What’da’ya say? Shall we get started?
Stale air surrounds you in the dark cavern, holding in its every dusty particle the feeling that you are the first person to breathe it in in several hundred years. The dust you see floating in your lantern’s light has already started to coat your jacket and skin in a fine layer.
There’s a thump behind you and a cloud of debris wafts outward from the dropped pack that now sits slumped on the stone floor. It matches the pack you carry. A moment later, the rope trailing down from the hole in the ceiling quivers and Peter’s leather boots appear as he belays himself into the cavern to join you.
“Thick in here, isn’t it?” he says, looking around. After years of searching for this place and finally finding it, he shows no more enthusiasm than an old dog.
“They’ll kill us for opening the door without notifying them,” Peter mutters as he lights his own lantern.
“Not if they don’t know,” you say. The dry chalk taste of stale air coats your tongue. You spit but it doesn’t help.
Peter snorts. “It’s not likely we’ll find the Well and get out before they notice us missing from camp tonight.”
You don’t answer. Peter would complain no matter the situation, and you don’t want to give him more ammo by validating his comment. Although admittedly, he’s correct.
Arnold and Horace are the group’s two other companions but they’re in the group only to keep an eye on you, and to dispose of you as soon as you serve your purpose. Baron Avedo hired them as your ‘help’ in searching for the Well, but you and Peter quickly realized neither muscle-bound man knew anything about treasure hunting or archeology.
That morning, knowing you were close to the Well entrance in your search, you convinced the two men to dig out the vines obscuring part of the mountain east of your location for the day. Beneath those vines they’ll find a wall of ancient script, which they’ll spend the time copying because you’ve repeatedly told them to do just that. You’ve already translated the script, but they don’t know that.
They’re under the impression that Peter and you are doing the exact same thing on another section of the mountain.
You have no intention of giving Arnold, Horace, or ultimately Baron Avedo the Well. When the Baron first realized what you were searching for on ‘his’ land, he threatened to take your research and leave you for the scavengers if you didn’t include him. Cornered, you’d agreed to take along his men.
“Which way, my stoic leader?” Peter cuffs you on the shoulder.
“Let’s see.” You move through the cavern with lanterns held high. The scuff of your footsteps echoes, telling you how vast the room truly is. It takes a good hundred yards before your feeble light touches a wall.
“Think the Well will grant me waterbreathing?” Peter asks.
“Knowing my luck, it’ll give me an unreasoning craving for mushrooms,” he goes on as though you didn’t speak. Peter hates mushrooms and water.
“Mushrooms?” You frown. “Really?”
Waterbreathing is part of the legend, but you’ve never heard the Well and mushrooms mentioned in the same sentence.
“Mushrooms.” Peter shudders. “I’d crave them but my logical brain would still know about their fungusiness. It’d make me crazy conflicted.”
“You’d have to have a logical brain for that,” you say as you stop before the cavern wall.
“Huhh, guess that’s true.” Peter stops beside you.
The lantern light flickers off two levers sticking out of the cavern wall. They’re coated in a layer of gold, which bears etchings in the soft metal. Peter reaches out a finger to touch the gold on one handle.
You read the the etching on the other one, “To continue, you must trust one path or another, never both. Choose the Raven’s Flight or the Salamander’s Crawl.” The lever you’re reading has wings below the words. When you check the right hand lever, it bears the same words but instead of wings, it finishes in the sinuous body of a reptile.
When you look at Peter, he shrugs. “Don’t like ravens or lizards,” he says.
Let me know in the comments which option you choose! Next Thursday we’ll continue the adventure with whichever option gets the most votes. Until then, I hope you have an amazing week.