Passing through the entrance of the sea-battered cave, we find ourselves in the rough equivalent of a small vestibule. And I do mean rough. The cavern walls glisten with damp, but there’s no hint of lichen, seaweed, mushrooms, or any other substance that might lend a yielding texture to the implacable stone. Beneath our feet, the stone floor slopes down toward a wider opening that seems to be leading into the main chamber. It’s also pretty dark in here, but there’s just enough light for us to see. By unspoken agreement, we decide against lighting a torch until we have a better idea of what other creatures we might find inhabiting this place.
Once past the small entryway, the cave opens up dramatically. A velvety green phosphorescence shimmers distantly from the walls around us, and a narrow skylight pierces the roof above an inky underground river. Our path leads us along a wide sandy bank, but in the strange light, the substance beneath our feet appears less like sand and more like soot. It’s an unsettling scene, and for a moment I seriously consider heading back outside and taking my chances on the cold stony beach.
But aside from the gloomy view, the first thing I notice is the noise of the water. It’s a constant cascade of murmur, bubble, and splash, amplified by the rocky walls and startling in its volume. Surprised by the intensity of the sound, I turn to say something to Jenassa, only to find that my hasty speech is echoing throughout the cavern. So much for being stealthy. I immediately stop talking and make a mental note to proceed silently in here, since the ongoing reverberation of even the slightest sound makes normal conversation next to impossible.