4 Rova 4715 – Fireday

Doom. That is what it feels like to wander down into the depths of a dark cave. I wonder if whatever is down here intends to be our doom, or simply enjoys the taunt. Regardless, we still moved deeper, the smell of rotting meat invading our senses.

As we descended I began to realize that the sound of “doom,” must be coming from a creature, and not just the echoes of water. The tone changed which to me shows some sign of intelligence. Far ahead there is a lamp, but it does little to light the cavern. Unfortunately any attempt at stealth was thwarted by dear Lucia. While she exudes grace during a fight, her investigative tactics do need some improvement.

The cavern opens up in various directions. Niccolo described an area full of empty bunks – enough for at least thirty or more people. That will come in handy.

I, however, found myself drawn to the area across from the bunks. A dock lead out into a small body of water. A half-submerged statue of Calistria stands in the center of it all. Why the center? How would congregants gather in such a place? Perhaps the area drains somehow? There is a portcullis at the far end of the water, but it seems like that would just allow more water in. There is something about this room that I can’t quite figure out.

As I stepped further onto the dock, the smell of rotting meat grew more prevalent. Everyone save the good professor joined me. I must admit I hate dealing with drowned bodies. Depending on how long they have been in the water, it can become quite a mess in a short amount of time. Then there’s the chance of saponification, but that typically takes much longer.

I pulled on my gloves and moved to pull the body out of the water. I was able to tell almost immediately that the majority of the damage was post mortem – except perhaps the leg. Adria began helping me and pulled out a tooth from the wound, but then everything went to hell.

Honestly, I barely remember the frenzy of the minutes that followed. All I know is that an alligator burst from the water, and tried to pull me under. I vaguely recall spells flying, and then I am certain I witnessed Niccolo jump onto the alligator’s back striking until it released me. During the chaos, one alligator lost its life, and apparently a second fled through the portcullis. I’m not exactly proving my worth to my rebel friends at this point.

I finally noticed the bird creature watching us once the air settled. The hairs on the back of my neck instantly stood at the sight of it. I had seen drawings of dire corbies before, and read plenty of their savagery. Maybe Adria will be able to communicate with it, and all will be well.