The party makes camp one last time in the mushroom forest, the night begins uneventfully until Sherman and Noc are startled into a state of high alert due to a sudden and overpowering feeling of something changed in the air – a feeling of something watching the party, a slight tingle, maybe some kind of magic? The moment passes and nothing comes of it, they carry on with their watch but nothing else happens and the event is quickly forgotten. The next morning as the party stirs and begins packing their belongings to continue the journey, they realize that Sir Gaheris is no longer with them. His pack of belongings and his bedroll are still there and nothing appears to be out of place, though the bedroll is damp and deep in the folds it’s cold to the touch, almost frosty. A quick inspection finds a hastily written note:Dear friends,
I awoke last night to a vision of my mentor, Magnus Filgray, in dire need of help. I don’t know the nature of his predicament nor where he is in the world, but my dream seemed to indicate that he had been betrayed and is fighting for his life against some opposing power. I will reach out to him now in the hopes that he has enough strength left to open a portal for me to join him. I have no doubts that we will meet again, best of luck on your journey. Please send my retainers back to Rondel to resume residence in the Black Worg Tower, bid them to wait no more than one year for my return or contact, after which they are free to leave as they wish.
The remaining members shoulder their packs and continue through the mushroom forest.
You don’t travel far before finding a tunnel exiting on the far side of the massive cavern and leave the mushroom forest behind you. Not long into the tunnel, you start to smell a hint of salt in the air. As you continue, the smell gets stronger, almost briny. You see a light ahead in the distance, a small pinprick of bright light in an otherwise dark corridor. As you travel on, the light gets brighter and you are certain you are traveling towards what appears to be sunlight! The salty scent of the air continues to get stronger. You hear an occasional moan from up ahead.
As you get closer to the light, squinting as your eyes try to adjust to being in the dark for so long, you start to hear a slow lazy lapping of water against stone. You finally reach the end of the tunnel and find yourself looking out over a huge body of water. The tunnel just ends, a door-like hole in a massive sheer cliff face, there is a small drop of about a foot to the water, the edge of which is lined in a thick deposit of salt. The water itself is somewhat clear down about 5-6 feet before turning murky white in suspended clouds of salt, softly undulating in the gentle current. In the distance, you see a lonely island, too far away to make out any details. The cliff wall is smooth and appears to travel indefinitely to the left, right, and up, disappearing from your vision. There is a gentle breeze sweeping past the tunnel exit, causing an echoing moan from the tunnel entrance.
Just short of the end of the tunnel a pulley apparatus has been installed. A loop of cable wraps around the device and the ends shoot out across the lake towards the island. There is a looping chain hanging down from the pulleys.