The Nursery Caves

I looked up at the castle walls, high above us now, gleaming in the moonlight. Zahkon knelt near the waves, tears pouring down his face. I could understand, somewhat, the pain he was going through, and knew he needed to get some of his feelings out. I was glad Brena had saved him though, I was sure Lyra would be back and I knew that if Zahkon died while she was gone she'd never forgive herself. I touched him on the shoulder briefly, for some comfort, as well as an order to stay put, then began to lead our group into the caves. Yara came up beside me and soon the moonlight, and Zahkons limp figure was behind us.

Yara, Valenstar, Brena and I, a rather small party of four, wandered through the dark caves for several minutes before I began to detect some small bits of light reflected waveringly on the ceiling. A few more steps and we were suddenly looking out into a larger chamber. The first of the Nursery caves.

It was empty. Water came up from somewhere far below, ending in a deep, glassy pool. The stone near and beneath the water glowed with blue light, reflecting off crystals studding the walls and ceiling and causing a dim but steady source of light. Carvings traced up and down the walls, all the way down into the water. Elaborate swirls becoming figures that told stories in a language I couldnt hope to understand, then vanished into swirls again.

"Do you like it?" Yara said quietly, still her voice echoed off the water and stone.

"Its beautiful." I replied, just as quietly.

"If I were a stone that could see the future...." Valenstar began loudly, ruining the moment. I gritted my teeth as his voice bounced back at us a hundred times. "I'd go that way."

He guestered widely at the water, crystal clear and smooth as glass, I could see a tunnel leading away from the empty cave. I guestered for Yara to lead the way and she dove neatly into the water, melding with it without so much as a ripple.

Brena followed almost as gracefully and so my entry into the water looked rather clumsy in comparison. Valenstar cannon-balled into the water, sending up a flurry of bubbles and causing the surface to churn wildly, but we were already swimming through the tunnel, which branched off into many others, but Yara seemed to know where she was going. By the time I felt my lungs were bursting, we surfaced again, in a much smaller chamber.

The End

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