When night finally fell, and the people of Legrash went back to their homes, the party moved to the temple, careful to avoid attracting the attention of anyone still awake. They found that the temple was empty and lit only by the soft glow of the Lloydstone. As they opened the curtains that led to the back of the cavern, they took extra care not to wake Pollen, who spent his nights sleeping in Lloyd’s old tent. As they approached the mine shaft, Ignus lit a torch and volunteered to operate the crane that served as a makeshift elevator. Delin, Leanna, and Lloyd stepped onto the wooden pallet that served as the elevator’s floor, and descended into the darkness.
As they traveled foot after foot into the mine shaft, they saw the progress that they people of Legrash had made. The shaft opened out into a small area every fifty feet, serving as storage space for crates of supplies and other necessities. Several small indents were made in the walls of the shaft, solely for the purpose of putting a statue of Lloyd inside. Still, as they continued further, they began to see a number of strange formations in the wall, almost as though the rock there had been melted away by something. Similarly, there were a number of rough tunnel openings about three-feet wide that appeared sporadically along the walls. These formations increased in frequency the further down they went, and when they finally reached the bottom, they found the cause.
When the elevator touched down against the pockmarked stone floor, the first thing that the party saw was several brown, moving objects at the openings of the tunnels in the shaft walls. When they sensed the presence of movement at the bottom of the shaft, the objects popped out of the tunnels and revealed their true form: stubby, three-foot tall brownish-green creatures with hard chitinous plates protecting their head and back, and rows of razor sharp teeth lining the insides of their flat, wide mouths.
Before they had a chance to react, one of the creatures opened it’s mouth wide and launched a globule of viscous green goo at Delin. He managed to just barely dodge it, and it splattered against the back wall, sticking to the solid rock and melting it into a greenish-gray puddle on the ground. Thinking quickly, Lloyd, placed a thick metal tube bisected by an orange glow of light onto the ground, setting up a force field that separated them from two of the creatures. Leanna, in her now light-less state, barely managed to summon forth the energy to create an Onslaught, but what little remnants of light remained collected themselves in the tip of her finger and she focused it at one of the creatures. Delin followed up by launching himself towards the creature and wrapping his arm around its head in an attempt to keep it from spitting more goo at them. Meanwhile, the other two creatures curled up into balls and began spinning, their thick outer shells grinding and cutting into the stone floor.
With one of the creatures immobilized by Delin, Leanna and Lloyd finished it off with a quick burst of light and jolt of electricity. Noticing that the other two creatures had disappeared into tunnels cut into the floor, Lloyd pulled out a burnished metallic sphere with a single white lens on the outside, and readied it for when the creatures returned. They never did, however, and the mine shaft remained quiet. Now, they were ready to put their plan into action. Lloyd, for some reason, insisted on being naked and covered in explosive goo, so Delin and Leanna did their best to accomodate his strange wishes. Afterwards, Delin and Leanna returned to the surface on the elevator, leaving Lloyd alone in the barren mine shaft, and waited until dawn when followers would arrive to continue the previous day’s work.
When dawn broke, the sounds of activity could be heard outside. Pollen walked into the room, surprised to see someone else in the cavern. “What are you all doing here? I wasn’t expecting you to be here so early.” Ignus explained that they felt a strong presence here, and came to determine the cause. Pollen went down into the mine shaft by himself to investigate, and several minutes returned with a gooey and shivering Lloyd. Pollen took off his robe and gave it Lloyd, as he turned to the party and exclaimed “This is truly a great day! Lloyd has returned to us in the flesh to lead us to the heart of the mountain! Please Lloyd, you must come with me, your followers need to hear your message from your own mouth.” Still covered in goo, Lloyd walked with Pollen out of the back of the cavern, while the party slowly followed behind.
When they reached the main hall, Lloyd addressed the people who were gathered there. “This is a great day for us all! The one true Lloyd has returned!” He beckoned Lloyd to move up to the pulpit so that he could speak to the audience. As Lloyd spoke, he could see that many of the followers were completely caught up in his presence, and stared at him with eyes full of excitement. There were, however, several in attendance that did not accept a naked, goo-covered man to be the almighty Lloyd they had heard about, even if he looked like him. They shouted jeers while Lloyd spoke, calling him out and forcing him to prove his abilities in front of the audience. Lloyd charged his hand with electricity, in an effort to show his power, but the few unruly audience members pointed out that Pollen used the same ability on a daily basis. “Lloyd has only just returned to this world, he has not yet had time to regain his true powers.” Still, even as he said this, there was a look of expectation in his eyes,
In an effort to prove himself, Lloyd moved to the Lloydstone and shocked it with a surge of electricity from his hand. However, almost as if taunting him, the Lloydstone remained inert. At this point, other members of the congregation had started to question Lloyd’s authenticity. Seeing that the crowd was beginning to turn against Lloyd, Ignus stepped forward, ignited his armor in a blaze of orange and crimson flame, and addressed the people with the confidence of a nobleman. He explained that he and his companions were indeed gods, and had come here to collect Lloyd for a mission of great importance. To support his words, Leanna summoned forth as much energy as she could, causing her skin to emit a bright yellow light. Delin, in true Delin fashion, kicked off as hard as he could and launched himself into one of the cavern walls, leaving an imprint of his forehead in the dense rock. Both appreciative and deeply disappointed, Ignus continued with his speech and told the people that Lloyd was indeed the one true Lloyd, although weakened by his battles, and that when he next returned to Legrash, he would prove himself to them many times over.
None of the people there could deny that the four individuals in front them held unique abilities, and caught up on Ignus’ words and attitude, the crowd prostrated themselves in front of the party and begged for their forgiveness. Ignus bade them to stand, and told them that they would be in Legrash until tomorrow morning, when they would set off for the Steadfast to continue with their world-changing mission. Pollen stepped forward and declared that everyone in town should take this day to celebrate the return of Lloyd and his allies, and learn as much as they could from them before they left. Satisfied with the way things had gone, the party left the temple and went off to mingle with the people of Legrash.
Lloyd spent the day basking in the apologies of those for doubting them, and immediately started accepting offerings. He requested an embroidered pillow from one of the children, with full understanding that it was the child’s prized possession, and commented that now that he had returned, the village should spend its time selling gems and materials from deep inside the mountain to gain wealth. He mentioned that the next time he came back, he hoped that the village would be more accommodating and less muddy. Pollen had been following him for some time, and although he kept a smile on his face, there was a look of pain in his eyes. Ignus asked around for an armor-smith, capable of making him armor fit for a noble. Although the people of Legrash were not capable of creating such armor, he heard from a visiting merchant that the city of Jyrek in Thaemor would most likely have what he was looking for. Similarly, Leanna inquired about someone able to remove the creature attached to her back, and she was told that a big city such as Jyrek would likely have the resources needed to detach it.
After spending the night at the Rusty Nail, the party leaves Legrash in good spirits. The village sends them off with heartfelt goodbyes, and wishes them the best on their journey. Pollen, however, is not around to see them leave. They party travels for another week along Tremble Pass, facing few issues, save for a pack of wandering Pallones. When they reach the Steadfast, they spend some time among the pilgrims that set up camp along the entrance to the pass, and learn more about their destination. Leanna notes that the sun is still fixed in the sky, now to the north-west, but for the other members in the party, the sun is moving across the sky normally. Still, the party decides to move south to Jyrek, where they hope they can find answers to a few of their many problems.