"We have travelled far to reach you!" said Mythran. "The road has not been easy!"
The statue of Amoras looked down on Mythran with a smile, "The road will not get any easier here on. Before you…" the stone hand of the woman waved to a double door behind her, "is the door to what you Pagans call the Lost Vale."
The strong masculine voice of Odion interjected, "And in there you will face the greatest quest any Pagan has undertaken…"
Apothas this time spoke, his voice an unconcerned monotone, "This quest will take you across the Lost Vale. It will mark the beginning of the age of mortals, and the end of our type of being on this planet."
Amoras continued, "We are tired of this existence, bound to this planet. We are bound here as a reminder that the Destroyer stole our powers, and gave them to the beings known as the Titans."
"You lie!" said Beren, "this is heresy. The damnest thing I had ever heard!"
"Be still Sorcerer," said Devon, "the titans have done us little favour in the past. Alright, they saved us from the Destroyer, but they exacted a terrible price for their services."
"You speak wisely," said Amoras.
"But wisdom is not all you will need to succeed," Odon said sternly. "You will need faith in your abilities. Man made the Titans… man can destroy them, or man can give them their powers and supremacy again."
"Beyond this door lies the great stair. And beyond that…" Apothas said, sounding unconcerned as usual, "lies the Lost Vale you seek."
"There on the Lost Vale, among the Zealans you should seek two halves of a shield," said Odon. "And a portal to the Ethereal realms. There you will all see power beyond imagination."
"The shield is similar to the device before you, but with a symbol of our other brethen," said Apothas.
"I have seen that," said Beren, "in my dream!"
"Yes," said Odon, "the other three must be trying to contact you!"
"Eons ago an ambitious priest and magic-user had gained too much power. We allowed him to imprison the other three brethen. We thought our influence would grow with their destruction," Amoras confessed.
"But, the timely intrusion of a valiant zealan warrior stopped their destruction and the other three remain imprisoned somewhere within the caves of the valley," said Apothas.
"It is up to you to find them! Once you do they will reveal your final goal! A goal which will unite the peoples of this world, and allow them to reclaim the lands devastated by the Titans and the Destroyer!" Odon raised his fist. "To one of you will go the ultimate power that this land contains."
"You must use it wisely to bring freedom to your people, and the peoples of the Lost Vale," Amoras's sweet voice spoke sternly.
"For beyond lies the Trolls, and the last of our followers. Seek out Lord Traust-Nagirrek! You can trust the Lord of the Zealans, for he is indeed a good man, and he possesses one half of the shield. The other half belongs to Pothos, leader of the good Trolls. Alas, through feuding in wars each side believes their half of the shield to be a holy relic, and have secreted it well."
"And one final thing," said Odon. "We have sensed a power rising in the valley beyond. Beware of it, for it seeks the enslavement of one of you… now go! This power draws near!!"
All three statues raised their hands, and the room began to shake violently. The walls collapsed around the treasures of the room, and at the end, the wall revealed a crevasse, and a great fall to the bottom.
"Quickly!" said Mythran, "through the new exit!"
The companions raced towards the opening, soon they were teetering on a narrow ledge, back to back. Devon and Cyrrus faced south, Mythran, Beren and Darion north.
"Don't look down!" said Darion.
"I just did!" said Cyrrus, "I feel sick."
"That's no way for a guardsman to act."
"I'm not a guardsman, I'm a healer."
The cave shook like the room had done previously.
"This is hopeless," said Beren, "we are going to fall to our doom!"
Mythran took out a scroll, and began mumbling some spell words.
"What is he casting?" asked Cyrrus.
"Interesting," said Beren, "a spell called Feather Fall. If it is successful we can float to the ground. But still, if we're going to float, I'm jumping this way." He nodded to the north, where looking down, the companions, fighting back the nausea of the height, saw a shallow pool of water. "It's a much easier fall. We can actually see what's down there."
A voice from behind the sorcerer called, "So, trapped groundlings, who shall fall to me! You first, old one."
With a rumble, Mythran stooped over the edge. Darion's arm caught the mage. Then the ground shook again, and Darion found himself with a fist full of brown robe.
Mythran lurched forward, knelt down, still chanting, and fell off the crevasse. With a crunch and a splash his body hit the shallow water below and stay still. The air around the companions chimed.
"The old fool's spell has worked!" said Beren, amazed. "He's dead but the spell remains!"
"Excellent!" said the Lurker, "so I can claim you all undamaged."
The ground shook again, and both Devon and Cyrrus slipped off the crevasse, and slowly floated into the darkness, just beyond the reach of either the warrior or the sorcerer...