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The Song: Stone and Water

After a very uncomfortable tour of the mine leads to what is obviously a dead end - and the wrong cave - the foreman, under some duress, agrees to lead the party to the real cave, and the real pool, to see what might be seen.

Date

April 30, 2020, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Lora

GM'd By

Lora

Participants

Amund Brigid Dante Esme Katherine Rane

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Lyceum near The Roseward - Mendiluze Mines

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


The Song: Stone and Water has started at Outside Arx - Lyceum near The Roseward - Mendiluze Mines.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Brigid before departing.

The journey out of the mine is no less harrowing, no less uncomfortable, than the journey into it was. There is the arduous climb back up the narrow rock tunnel that led down into the cavern, helped along by a rope that Evaro secures up above and holds, but the going is made no easier by the idea that they are headed out again. Because they are. One pick-hewn tunnel full of rock debris looks much like another, one pile of stones, one beam slightly bowed under the weight of the incalculable weight of the mountain above near indistinguishable from the next in the flickering lamplight. Really, they are headed out; surely the foreman would not be so foolish as to try a second bout of trickery now that he has a whole passel of angry nobles, would he? Surely not. Yet it is maybe not a relief when there is daylight visible up ahead, glum and grey and yet somehow bright after the descent into the mine.

Evaro doesn't take them down into the mine camp. Instead, he leads them perhaps a quarter of a mile further away from it, following a trail that has been cleared in the underbrush along the edge of the cliffside. It ought not be surprised that their destination is another cave. This one is simultaneously older and newer than the one they'd seen. It is narrower, a sharp black crack in the stone, easily missed until one is right on top of it except for the collection of candles on the stones around the exterior, most of them burnt down to little wax stumps. As before, he passes around the cup of mushroom brew.

The baron's temperament was easy enough as he followed along through the oppressive darkness, expecting at any point to come upon the /right/ location. But upon being led outside? And further away from the camp? There was a notable tightening to his jaw and a deepening to his brow. The leather of his gloves creaked as that fist tightened around the hilt of Goldenshade. There was work to be done here and he was not a man to waste time. With the passing of the mushroom brew, once more did Rane decline but this time with little more than a glare to Evaro.

Lips tight and eyes squinted into an expression of displeasure with the townies who led them down to the fake pool, Dante certainly doesn't fail to indulge in daydreams of possibly poking Evaro in the calves with a sword. Still, he restrains himself. Once they get out and come to another crack, the Marquis isn't at all looking happy. A finger points at Evaro as he ignores the foul brew, hand on his sword hilt. "Let's get this over with, Evaro. Daylight won't be too much longer after your pointless stunt, and I am running short on good will."

There was little to be said and or done when it came to hiking out of the cave, trekking further away from the camp and coming to an entirely new position. How adorable that none of this was mentioned by all those who have gathered, or were they being tricked as well? Glancing to the narrower crack in the stone, brows furrowing, " What led you to this location, Evaro? "

Was asked with a tone that swayed neither towards irritation or comforted happenstance - purely void.

The mushroom brew is declined once again, waiting for the maddening descent into moore tunnels.

Katherine follows the procession of nobles as they make their way out of cave, struggling physically through the whole ordeal, and maintaining an air of oppressive silence. She shares looks with those present for this journey, ones that all bespeak their united frustration at the turn of events. When the light of day greets them upon their departure, Katherine squints her eyes and glances around to gather her bearings. "You have got to be joking," she murmurs low, between heavy breaths of exertion. It is the first thing she's uttered since they left the expansive cavern almost an hour ago. As the mushroom broth is passed around, Katherine folds her arms over her chest in obvious declination, no longer accepting what hospitality Evaro is inclined to offer now that he's wasted so much of their time. Her posture evidences the same extreme impatience voiced so eloquently by her cousin.

Esme follows with the party and was totally here the whole time. The whole time. She stays close to Dante and Narcissa.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Esme before departing.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Esme before departing.

Amund is, as always, at the back. His sword is lowered, still drawn but not lifted with intent to harm and possibly slaughter the foreman and his associate. Waving off the cup of mushroom brew, the Northman turned Oathlands knight casts a skeptical look around, but he doesn't voice anything on what this might be. Bridget's question is definitely relevant, so he pays attention to the answer. Not much other than that.

Amund clearly meant Brigid, not Bridget.

The Brigid is soothed.

Katherine checked stamina at difficulty 15, rolling 12 lower.

Katherine checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.

Brigid checked stamina at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Rane checked stamina at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

Rane checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Brigid checked willpower at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.

Esme checked stamina at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.

Esme checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 17 higher. Esme rolled a critical!

Dante checked stamina at difficulty 10, rolling 24 higher.

Dante checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.

It's difficult to tell whether Evaro is disappointed that nobody will drink his mushroom broth, or whether he's weary of answering the question. "Scouting for new mines, Lady Moore; I told you that. I wasn't, personally, looking for them. Some of the crew does it. Same as you saw in the main shafts. The tunnels, the blind feeling, the very real potential that you are going to go in and never come out." Which has evidently been a real enough threat for a couple of the group, as both Vulpiano and Narcissa have decided to return to camp and not go climbing through the rocks anymore. Because that is exactly what is going to happen here. Single-file, through the narrow opening into what isn't a man-carved tunnel at all but that crack, that extends deep into the mountainside, shrinking as it goes. The unarmored, underfed miners have little enough trouble with this, needing to but turn sideways to slide on through.

This is harder going. It's tighter. The air is damper, the stone walls closer. None of it - not so much as the corner of a turn - has been carved away by the mining crew, it is entirely raw. Nothing is propping the tunnel up. There are no beams, no spare lights, and where smaller forks splinter away, leading abruptly into pitch blackness, the way seems marked only by more of the remnants of candles, bits of wax set in the corners like makeshift shrines. None of them are lit, but look as if they've perhaps been here a very long time, been built upon by procession after procession. There is the idea that they are descending, but it could just be the imagination over-fired by the acoustics, by the way every sound echoes in the dead, flat air. Could they get out again if Evaro left them? A definite maybe.

It is maybe not as far a trip this time. It is only difficult, in a way that is felt in the joints, as muscles that aren't normally required to be used in this fashion are taxed. The foreman doesn't stop for breaks this time. Doesn't tell any stories. Only plods along ahead like he might've decided to kill them all through exertion.

Until, rather abruptly, he stops to twist the metal case on his lantern, which has the effect of dimming the light awfully. The other fellow, at the back of the line, does the same. In any other circumstances this would likely seem to plunge everything into darkness. And it does, but it's incomplete: bright as a single candle now, instead of a miner's light, that faint, orange limning allows them to see one another, and him, and the stonework ahead. But just barely. "This," he says, "is where you will need to have some faith."

"I may not speak for the entire group, but the amount of faith I have in you is rapidly waning." The trip was indeed tougher, but thankfully his breathe was returning despite the stitch in his side. He squinted and did his best to look forward through the darkness in hopes of seeing more and deeper signs of the stonework.

Darkness, winding tunnels, up, down? Wait, maybe up and then maybe down? There wasn't much thought put into Brigid's methodical stepping and ducking, senses heightened to adjust her body and pay attention to any sudden changes that might occur. At the mention of faith however, a brow is checked before she waits for further explanation.

After more wriggling down rough mine shafts, squeezing through tiny seams in the earth and the oppressive dark, Dante appears to be still doing pretty well. He might just be powered by sheer irritation and annoyance at this point, allowing him to shrug off ill effects through a negative mindset. And now this theatric business with lowering the lights and asking for faith. "I have faith in the gods, Evaro. I have pretty much none in you after the last bit of foolishness you pulled. So. What are we doing here in the dark? What kind of faith are you asking us to have?"

Katherine strains through the new cavern, her physical exhaustion showing in the way heavy breaths echo down the gnarled rock hall. The narrow pathways elicit a similar reaction of narrowing airways as panic begins to set in, a fear of becoming trapped in this makeshift tomb for all eternity, just like so many other miners who have been lost or buried beneath falling rubble. When at last they pause in their movement, Katherine nearly runs right into Brigid's back. Thankfully, she manages to stop in time to merely press hands in a cautionary gesture at her upper back. She takes that brief moment to rest her head against the woman's armored shoulder to recover some of her much-needed energy.

Amund checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Amund checked stamina at difficulty 10, rolling 19 higher.

One might and maybe should have questions about Esme after this. She has a sure foot and seems use to the work, that's probably all her knight training. The fact that the darkness doesn't seem to bother her (My old friend) might be a little off putting. The words don't even seem to phase her. She's a Disciple. She has Faith. She opens her mouth and then closes it. She simply says, "We all have paths we must walk. I trust that all will walk the path best suited to them. The Gods will guide." Does she sound like she's smiling and happy? Why yes, yes she does. How, the next words offered to Dante. "This is kinda cool. I mean, it's so dark and edgy. Yet soon you get to see so much and then there is all this cool stuff. I mean, you get to use your other senses. It's not just your eyes and..." THere's a feeling that this 'mock' whisper continues with more of a whisper to the poor, frustrated, dour, grumpy pants of a man. Cousins!

"You wanted to see a miracle, my lord," Evaro answers. It is about as far as he gets with his explanation before Esme chimes in. The very wan, flickering light adds a stuttery stop-start quality to the way his head turns so that he can look at her, expression difficult now to read. Maybe he shakes his head! Maybe not. Still. "Watch your steps."

He continues around another bend where, for a general mercy, the cramped tunnel opens outward, but it goes out further than the light of the lamp seems to extend easily. Single file, everyone can come along to stand beside him, in that dim pool of light, where they do, in fact, get the general impression of very large stalagmites - or are they stalactites? - rising up off the floor, but they've seen plenty of those during today's little sightseeing affair and there just isn't time to properly appreciate them. Nor, maybe, for the foreman's take at dramatics, because as his associate comes in as well, bringing up the rear, they exchange looks... and then close up the lamps completely.

And it still is not absolutely, utterly, overwhelmingly black. Not so dark that it becomes a tangible force, a smothering blanket wrapping all around them, denying even the ability to see one's hand in front of one's face. But it is close. Oh so very, very close.

"Be quiet now," says Evaro. "Be quiet and listen."

Being quiet is easy for Amund. The sense of disquiet he felt the longer he went into the mines has been, so far, successfully suppressed. And he keeps pace with his companions well enough, almost a natural when it comes to exploring. That sword is gripped a little tighter when the lights go out, and the eerie red glow of it can be seen washing over its immediate surroundings. Just a pale kind of red, contrasting the gold of the diamondplate.

There was a stillness to the baron, a quiet that was betrayed only by the creak of his leather gloves and that, for only a breath of a moment. It was silence indeed, even if he did do his best to ease closer to Brigid and Katherine. Or at least where he thought they were.

Stillness comes over her then, breathing easing into a steady inhale and exhale and lashes actually close for a moment as her ears open up, everything else as Esme expounded upon in giddy excitement, reaching out, " Limerance bind and Gild guide. " Came softly from her lips then, more in a whispered release.

The Brigid ^.

Going silent, completely silent, and listening around him is no problem for Dante right now. Not when he's expecting some kind of trap or malevolent act to be sprung upon them down here in the most smothering of pitch black dark, like mouldering, damp velvet wrapped around their heads. The Marquis grips his sword tight, waiting.

Katherine recovers most of her composure and follows the group as they round the bend into the more expansive area of the tunnel where soft light emanates from somewhere, though no matter where her eyes shift, the source remains obfuscated from view. She is silent, just as Evaro commands, though likely because she truly has little to offer in the way of helpful conversation, and even still because she remains out of breath. But as they stand there, still and steady, it becomes easier for the baroness to pick up whatever sound they are supposed to be listening for.

Esme comes to a slow bubbling hush. She smiles in the low lights. Well maybe. She could have been all EFF YOU. One can't really see, but she does await this miracle to present. If she's armed up, it's hard to tell.

Esme checked wits + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.

Brigid checked wits + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.

Katherine checked wits + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.

Rane checked wits + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 34 higher.

Dante checked wits + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.

Amund checked wits + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

Rane heard a noise and twitched an ear in that direction. The darkness was overwhelming and wholly disorienting, were it not for the sounds. But there was clearly /something/ sliding against the stone. He whispered, hoping that the darkness didn't swallow sound too. "There's something near.."

In the beginning, there is nothing. Only darkness. A long, terrible, awful stretch of darkness, spooling out into the void that seems to have surrounded everyone. There is almost no light at all, save what threads of it seep out through the cracks in the lantern casing, but they don't really illuminate anything, just prove that the foreman and his associate haven't gone anywhere... unless they conveniently left the lights on rocks and booked it. In the dark.

All around is the smell of wet stone, and the feel of it, a subtle chilly dampness that lingers sickly on bare skin, not quite strong enough to be humid but somehow apparent none the less. Here someone coughs. There someone shifts, a boot scraping against the rock. Leather creaks. Human sounds, made flat by the surround of vast, empty air. A minute passes. Two. It's almost like it was in the last cave, except Evaro didn't turn the lights out there. How much time passes becomes hard to tell. Enough to tax already strained patience... patience to be rewarded as a single musical note sounds from somewhere in the distance. Quiet but clear, crystalline: it's stretched out and held like it can make the air itself shiver. A second follows it a few moments later. And a third, strung along just as the previous one begins to fade.

Rane heard a noise and twitched an ear in that direction. The darkness was overwhelming and wholly disorienting, were it not for the sounds. But there was clearly /something/ sliding against the stone. Something sounded and the baron's eyes widened all the more. Notes sounded. "What..?" That was all that came from Rane's lips as he looked around and, yet again, shifted closer to Katherine. For her benefit of course.

Esme moves like a cat in the night. There is something just feline about how very silent she gets. It's almost like she's at home in those shadows. They are one of her and she is one of them. Her head tilts to the side for a moment. "Does anyone.. smell peppermint?" Her nose wrinkles up, although, the actions may be lost on them. Then she looks towards where they are going.

Having seen something in the dark, if not much, Dante's free hand reaches up to touch the large crystal hanging from his neck, sword drawn in the other. Tensing, he continues to listen carefully, surprised by Esme's question. "No, I don't. Although anyone who took a crystal, grab onto it. Evaro, what do these do down here?" His eyes scan Rane, Brigid and Katherine to see if any of them had taken one as well.

The whistling. Each chord struck, a lingering echo of a tune lifts to pluck at Brigid's mind and she then recalls it as the tune which was reverberated throughout the camp. While haunting, Dragoon's hand reaches for Canon and let's the templar's blade slither quietly to freedom. Glancing towards Dante, free hand clutches at the looped crystal at her belt, " It's the tune we heard when we first arrived."

Amund hasn't taken a crystal or drank some mushroom juice. So he holds on to his sword, watchful, though evidently he has no idea where to go to even begin to wander in the direction of that song. Nor, as it turns out, does he have any inclination to just walk away from the group.

The darkness deepens for Katherine. Her vision is eclipsed by utter nothingness, and where once there was deafening silence for several minutes is now interrupted by unstable breaths. The woman becomes gripped by panic and fear, at least until those hands reach out to find one of Rane's and take it into a tight, comforting grasp. Suddenly her fears begin to subside -- just a little, and then she hears it. The notes ring clear in her ears one after the other. The voices of her companions over the din of those musical notes bring some additional comfort; she isn't alone, not yet. Dante's inquiry about the stones captures the baroness' attention, and she reluctantly removes her hands from her husband's to pull the bracelet free from her wrist and hold it up to her eyes unsteadily. Her hands are shaking involuntarily.

"Good gods, what have you all done to be so afraid of a bit of the dark?" Evaro's voice is softer than it has been, as if he, too, is compelled toward quiet by the press of the darkness and by the melody that has picked up. There's a peculiar glassiness to it, a wane and wax of the notes that cannot quite be placed, though as Brigid calls attention to it the melody itself does seem familiar, heard in the pilgrim camp above. "They don't do anything here, my lord, they..."

He trails off as the light changes. As, in the distance, blue light blooms, a slow seeping up the walls and the stones and over the water. It isn't bright. It has a strained quality to it, like it has to fight its way to even be seen, but it waxes better than the lanterns that have been dimmed so very low. It doesn't quite manage to fill the space, either, the blue light fading into shadow, but there is at long last a visible suggestion of where they are. Another cavern, yes, but this one is massive. Stone columns like tree trunks join floor to ceiling here and there, each made more complicated by the way they've been formed than some master stonecarver might dare to undertake, exaggerated by the faint splash of lights and the deep pools of shadow beneath. Some of these have been broken away, clearing a rough path down to a pool about five paces from where Evaro stopped them. There's no proper beach, only that cleared space and the shattered remains of all of the stalagmites that were knocked over to clear them; hundreds more rise up around its edges like swords. Above, hundreds of their opposites aim downward, like stone daggers.

The melody continues to play. Slow, faint, oddly resonant.

Brigid glance's to Evaro, " Again, it's you that isn't wholly trusted. " Came with an amused hiss, before glancing towards where the dim ethereal blue light paints a roughshod path towards the pool and it is there that she points the tip of her sword before making her way there, steps calculated and smooth along the pathway. Ears are open, eyes take in the wonder of the underground cathedral.

Rane released Katherine's hand with the same reluctance and reached up to the gem around his neck and Dante's remark. There was another level of awe as he took a tentative step forward as well with the lulling blue glow that at least gave them somewhat of a perspective. At Brigid's remark, the baron grinned slightly, though it was unseen. "This place is..." He faded once more and stepped toward that pool not far in front. He knelt down and looked back at Evaro. "What is the worst you've seen happen to someone here?"

As the blue light pulses and grows over the walls, Dante glances at his crystal to see if it responds or answers to anything going on around them. Otherwise, he murmurs to Evaro, "This is no mere dark. What is this light that comes, what is that sound, that song - that was on the lips of the people above?" Watching as Brigid and Rane grow closer to the pool, between the jagged rocks, he frowns and shifts, drawing close to Esme. "Be careful, cousin. Something here is very wrong, and I don't think Evaro is acting like himself."

"Are people drawn to swimming in those waters? Those look like rather sharp pikes. It might be a bad idea to dive or jump in." Amund considers after regarding the pool and the 'beach' that surrounds it. "As for what I've done," he says, without humor, to Evaro, "you wouldn't want to know."

spikes, he said. Not pikes.

Esme has grown silent but not always with awe. Her emerald green eyes look around the area as she takes in the structures and the light. The faint song that plays. The water. "Sometimes things cause you to see what they want you to see, not what there is. A song to bring a ship to the fall. A drink to replenish life at the risk of something far more." She speaks in soft tones as her eyes move back towards Dante. "The question might not be what is here, but what is not here."

Katherine steps nearer to the water with her bracelet of stones in hand, wondering if perhaps returning the specimens to the water will make something happen. Of course, she is momentarily dazzled by the tendrils of blue light faintly radiating in the distance, eyes focusing there even as she kneels closer to the liquid pooling there within her immediate reach. Slowly, despite her rising anxiety, she lowers the rocks into the water and impatiently waits. The shaking of her hand stirs ripples across the otherwise glassy surface.

In the faint, fey blue light the gems have lost most of their greenish color, become a darker blue as though in sympathy to the faintness of it, but here they are dark. Everything is, and Evaro makes no attempts to help that along, leaving that subtle illumination that has crept up from across the lake, though still not wrapped the whole of the chamber in its light. It does reflect off the surface of the water, the occasional drip that adds with aching slowness to its volume briefly rippling the otherwise wholly-clear surface. "It is what you were told of, my lord," he tells Dante. "Not everyone who comes to the cavern sees it; not everyone hears it." He can't even pretend to hide the little snort at the marquis' warning about his behavior, but answers Rane and Amund instead. "No one swims. People go down to the water and dip in it, or drink it. The worst that happens to them is absolutely nothing." As Esme speaks he turns a little to look at her, then gestures down at the path that has been indelicately cleared toward the pool. "It isn't dangerous, unless you're careless and slip, but many less agile than you have been here and come out again."

Certainly nothing rises up out of the water as Brigid heads in that direction. Nor as Katherine kneels beside it, to dip her bracelet in. It does send another ripple off across the surface, reflecting the eerie blue glow. In answer, the music comes a little quicker, a little steadier. Less hesitant, though its source is difficult to determine thanks to its odd nature and the acoustics of the cavern, which do carry sounds about oddly.

There was a moment then, but a short one, as he cupped his hands into the cup and brought it to his lips for a very small, tasting drink. Just as he had before with the other NOT MAGICAL pool of water. "Not dangerous," Rane repeated. "I hope that's the truth." He looked around slightly before rising. "Not dead yet, I suppose that's a good sign." There was a wry smile, but at least that was done. "How long does it take before results are usually seen?"

"I did come here expecting something dragging miners through unused passageways into their deaths. Instead we get someone playing the same notes on an instrument over and over." Amund retorts to Evaro, glancing around as if ensuring there aren't nasty things lying in wait for the group as people start to do various things all at once. "Is this the end of the trip or is there more to it?"

A glance to Dante, a brow checked curiously before blinking a few times before attention is drawn to Amund, listening to the questions he asks. Slowly does it begin to drift away, listening to the notes and the tune, eyes divert upward towards the top of this cavern to see what she might be able to see or how far that glittering blue light might extend. For now, she is comfortable to keep her sword in hand and body poised for whatever might happen - if anything does decide to happen.

Brigid ^

Katherine drops her bracelet into the water, though perhaps because her shaking hands are growing harder to control. In fact, the stones are nearly flung out into the depths of the water, lost to all unless someone decides to do more than just sip the contents. Even in the dim light, others in the cavern might be able to tell her lips are curled into a serene smile, throwing the image of her shivering form into sharp relief. "The music, the light...so beautiful," the woman breathes out loud to no one in particular. And then, without further ado, she begins to step into the pool, one booted foot at a time.

A scowl is given to Evaro at his impertinent tone, "So then what-" Dante begins, then stops as Katherine starts to descend into the pool, a look of surprise at that smile on her face as she shivers and goes down further into the water, the beauty of the lights and the music apparently not having the same effect on the rest. "What is wrong with her? Did she say or do something?" He looks at Brigid with even more concern, nodding at Esme in agreement about something. "Evaro, get in that pool."

Esme moves towards the water, but she doesn't seem so quick to get into it. Her eyes do sort of note the change in speed to the music. Her eyes slide around the area and then towards Katherine getting into the pool. This causes Esme to take another step towards it as if she's prepping to dive in if the woman needs it.

Brigid glances to Rane, nodding her head towards Katherine before her attention directs towards Evaro after Dante's request.

Evaro stares at Amund. "You came here expecting something eating miners? Whatever gave you that idea?" It seems a serious enough question, if but the tiniest bit incredulous. Incredulity that spreads a bit, much like the light has, or perhaps it's simply lent that quality by the faint blue glow, by the music that is beginning to fade out again. "You did see all those people in the camp outside? Sick. Old. Wounded. You think I'd bring a bunch of people who almost died defending their homes into caves full of... full of..." He can't even sputter it out, and when Dante orders him down to the water he does actually bring a hand up to rub at his forehead. There's a mumble, something about gods saving him from silks, but he passes his lamp off to his associate and heads down to the water after her.

The only downside to all of this is that as the music begins to fade, so too does the light, dimming back down in the reverse of the manner in which it came up. Perhaps a bit more quickly.

Brigid checked perception + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.

Rane's brow drew down after that small sip of water. The hurt in his side, the wound that he'd suffered just before this trip, dulled. It was still there, and he still labored, but there was a noticeable relief. "Katherine--" He looked for her in the dim light and found her in the water. He pressed a hand to his side and /almost/ smiled. "--Evaro isn't completely deceptive.." That bit was spoken to everyone.

Attention drifted towards where the light seemed brightest, a large column seemingly hiding the most of it clear on the other side of the pool. A glance towards both Rane and Katherine, " Do you care to share why? Or are you going to remain entirely vague? " It was spoken with the loose attention of one who was trying to pay attention to something else entirely.

Katherine walks out into the water, her smiling growing brighter with each long stride. Left unrestrained, she walks all the way to the center of the pool where icy liquid prickles the skin all the way to her mid-thigh. Her boots have been entirely filled by water, and when coming to a stop there where the trickles of liquid fall from cracks in the cavern's high ceilings, the baroness bends down, takes a seat, and then starts to run her fingers playfully over the water's surface. Her expression hints at some presence of intoxication; she is most certainly not herself, at least to those her know her best.

"Did anyone else drink the mushroom broth besides Lady Katherine?" Dante asks the rest of them, his eyes remaining fixed on Evaro and Katherine herself. Pointing at the foreman, he demands, "Drink some of that broth yourself. Something here isn't right. She's not acting right, we're going to see if you act the same way after drinking it." Walking closer to the edge of the pool, he blocks the exit to keep the man in question from exiting the water.

Esme watches Katherine for a moment and then there's the noise of water moving as Esme comes over and plops right next to her. There's a soft smile on her features as she does. "Tell me everything." Her voice has her normal vibrancy as she talks to Katherine. "Experiences are so different person to person. The Gods and what they create. Can you tell me about yours? The sights of wonder, the way it feels, all of that?" She's focusing on the noble woman. Not the first or last time that Esme's been wet.

Still muttering about silks, Evaro does stop to take off his boots, possibly to avoid some of what Katherine - and Esme! - are going to experience. It doesn't take very long, as they aren't in fantastic condition. As the blue light fades out entirely, Mikel opens up both lanterns. Brighter than they'd been. Less of that seeping, bare, dramatic illumination and now enough to sort've see by. The cave doesn't lose any of its magnificence in the process, though now they can see this side of it more clearly, including a few other pathways that lead off into gods-only-know where. But then one cousin is questioning the other about experiences and the foreman ends up stopping, knee-deep in the water, to sigh.

As more light is revealed, perhaps secure for the moment that there is a good focus on the pool does Brigid take a few booted steps to look curiously at the other pathways.

His attention was stolen completely by his wife and the other Fidante woman that are clearly in..some trance? This place was dangerous indeed. Perhaps not in the ways he expected, but still, something was very off. "Katherine, be careful. Lady Esme, you as well." Rane looked to Brigid and then back with what was /almost/ a sense of urgency,, but certainly something of concern. "Evaro, what /else/ have you seen these waters do?"

Katherine's happiness fades as the light fades, as though they are inexplicably linked. Esme is close enough to see this change in her demeanor, the cloud of sorrow that passes over her youthful features. "Well..." she starts, her gentle voice filling the cavern even if spoken in but a whisper, "I saw the light dancing upon the water. There were beautiful shapes...so beautiful. Perfect. I feel happy. Now I feel...not so happy. It's so dark and the water is cold." Hands raise to cradle her upper arms, and she begins to shiver uncontrollably. Eyes turn to Evaro who has now come nearer. "Where did the light go?"

Esme looks at the fading light for a few moments and brightens even more as her arm moves around the woman. "Let's get you out of here so you can get something warm to wear." She will attempt to smoothe her hand down Katherine's hair. She doesn't know how the light faded and then she lowers her brows and looks back towards where the bracelet was placed. "I don't know anything about any of this. It's a wonderful thing to feel healed. What happens if we put one of the other stones in the water?" She looks up at those that might have brought the others. "Is it just nothing?"



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