i) The caverns are pitch without torches

The caverns are pitch without torches. Shyan strings a rope between herself and her companions, and at the vanguard, shield raised, presses blindly on.

Nearing the end of a day’s frigid, fruitless march through the black, the party spots the inviting orange glow of fire.

Their eyes ache after so long in the darkness.

“Fire?” Abia whispers.

“Lemme at it,” Fassn says.

Shyan nods. As they round a bend, several icy structures come into view. They seem to grow from both ceiling and floor of the cavern, meeting in an hourglass shape. The broad pyramidal bases of the structures have rough doorways cut into them.

At the noise of their approach, dozens of slithering creatures appear from the doorways and out of the shadows to peer with wide, pale eyes.

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