Ellipsis the Hunter
Porphyra the Lyrist
Meteora the Amazon
Buff the Warrior henchman (level 1)
Chuff the second Warrior henchman (level 0)
Romulus the semi-domesticated (at best) wolf of Porphyra
Right at the entrance of the cave, Meteora the Amazon caught up with the rest of the party. Turns out, she got distracted by a game of chance back at the village, and lost all her clothes as the outcome.
So now it was time to go dungeoneering!
The party traced the river back to its source, a cave on the northern slope of the Feathered Queen's mountain. The tethered their donkey at the mouth of the cave and cautiously entered. The cave seemed natural: grayish-black rock with sparkling speckles, polished smooth by millennia of fast-flowing water. The cave looked like a horizontal funnel, a gradually narrowing passage.
Ellipsis scouted forward, with the rest of the crew following after him. They found a chamber off the main passage to the left. They entered, and found that it was full of clusters of small, needle-like crystals, shimmering with all the colors of the rainbow. There was a draft of air coming from further ahead, and a weird whispering sound.
The party realized that the whispering sound was caused by the crystals; and that the crystals echo any nearby sound and amplify it. Porphyra the Lyrist decided to test the acoustics and played a song: however, her voice cause a bunch of screeching feedback, which led to some of the crystals exploding, and maiming Buff the Warrior - a bunch of small crystal needles embedded themselves in his palm.
The party proceeded further, and found a long winding passage sloping upwards. It led to a small spherical chamber, with an opening ~10' above the floor. An uncanny light was seeping through this "window", slowly pulsating between blue and orange. The light of the group's lamp seemed to "retreat" from this otherworldly illumination!
Ellipsis stood on Porphyra's shoulders and looked through the opening: into a great cavern, full of large crystal, with a sphere of light and a whirlpool in the middle!!
The sphere of light was slowly "dripping" into the whirlpool. And a stream of water was flowing out from the pool, giving birth to the river.
The group decided to heal Buff here (Porphyra sang the song of "healing... nothing more than healing... trying to heal your... wounded hand!"), then headed back down to the main tunnel.
Deeper down, the "funnel" narrowed to just a tight tunnel, filled almost to the top with the fast flowing water. They noticed, that some of the weird light was visible through the tunnel, deducing that it must lead to the cavern they peered into previously.
The group wasn't ready just yet to wade against the current, so they instead explored a chamber off to the right from the main tunnel. Inside, they found a pool of water with a shimmering oily film on the surface. They poked the water, and the answer was a monstrous roar from a neighboring chamber --- and out came a chimeric beast, a six-legged crocodile with zebra-stripe patterns on its scales!
At first, the group thought that they could defeat the creature by attacking the pool, but the connection of the monster and the liquid didn't seem to work that way. The fight was tough. The monster's bites were strong, and two characters almost fell prey to it.
Then they realized another weird feature of the beast: for each hit it took, it shrunk a little! Soon, it was half of its original size, then quarter... and then, finally, it became the size of a regular lizard!
The players caught it, and continued damaging it (with Porphyra's "Song of Wrath"), and eventually the monster shrunk to atomic level (remember, kids, atoms are the smallest particles!).
The group climbed up to the chamber where the creature came from and found a crevice in the rock, with vapor rising from it.
At this point, Porphyra the Lyrist (who knows a lot of myth and lore) put two and two together:
GUARDIAN DRAGON + VAPORS = ORACLE
She eagerly ran up there and inhaled the fumes! --- and fell into a trance. Her soul detached from her body, and flew up like a bird. She flew around freely, and managed to explore four hexes in the nearby area at the speed of thought, while unconsciously relating her experiences verbally. She happened upon a lair of scorpion men in the wasteland, and a mine entrance at the east slope of the volcano.
Then she was dragged back to her body, but couldn't take possession of it! She remained unconscious. The rest of the group dragged her into another chamber, and decided to hole up here and rest until Porphyra comes to.
In the meantime, Porphyra had a visitation: a lady surrounded by an aura of light approached, and welcomed her among the Sibyls. She warned her about the dangers of the oracular power, and that she might now remain unconscious for several days.
To be continued!