A startling tremor shakes a young group from their work. Despite the importance of their study within the central chamber, it was the first time that any of them had felt such a disturbance within the underground sanctum. Leiutentant Mei Lin took charge of the situation, instructing her companions, the brothers Lao and Xiao, to follow closely as they begin investigating the cause of the disturbance.
After searching for just under half an hour, the three came upon a previously unchecked door that had seemingly been blasted off its hinges. Curious, they headed up the staircase inside and came upon three bodies sprawled out before a long crypt chamber. Although the body of a young child in green (Kin) and a dark wolf (Shadow) were undoubtedly killed as the result of some sort of melee situation, as denoted by the severe bruising and open gashes on their bodies, it appeared that the hooded man furthest from the staircase was still drawing shallow breaths, prompting Mei to immediately begin administering him with a healing spell.
As Albus had slowly begun to regain consciousness as the mysterious trio entered the room, it took several minutes for him to regain his bearings, even after feeling the warmth of a healing spell begin pulsing through him. He confirmed to one of them that he may be able to walk, but struggled mightily to do so. As he was helped to his feet, Albus noted that one of the three strangers had slung both Kin and Shadow over their back, neither of whom had a flicker of life showing from their forms. Mei, Lao and Xiao quickly, yet quietly moved out of the crypt and back into the main hallway, navigating along a thin, stone path that ran snugly beside the trickling river of acid until they came upon a plank that they had previously set up as a means of crossing the vile trench. Once across, they made their way back inside the dark central chamber from which they first departed just over half an hour beforehand, with Lao setting Albus down in a corner littered with several supplies as Xiao laid the bodies of the Kokiri and wolf on a workbench opposite them.
Now settled into the large room, which appeared to be adorned with several shackles upon the walls, along with various torture apparatuses that were littered across various benches and tables, Albus’ concern for his newfound situation grew immensely. Doing little to ease the wizard’s concern, Mei instead concentrated her efforts on questioning Albus’ reasoning for being present in the sanctum beneath the well. At the same time, Mei revealed very little about her own purpose in being down there, though insisting that she and her companions would depart the place come morning, and that they’d be willing to take Albus with them to the surface. Shortly after, she took a few moments to speak with Lao and Xiao, informing them that the bodies of the green-clothed boy and wolf should be taken by the two brothers back to their homeland – to the far east of Hyrule – while Mei would stay behind and continue investigating the vile cult that had ravaged their people, and who appeared to have first emerged from Hyrule.
In a separate time, Rocky and Talir now stood before a partially open steel door, staring into a room that is completely drenched in darkness. The pair took but a few simple steps inside as the darkness dispelled, revealing a natural cave-like chamber that held four long, pale-white humanoid-ish arms protruding from the floor in an evenly spread square manner, each separated by around 15 feet of room. Despite having some immediate second thoughts about entering the room, Rocky turned around and found that the door entering the room had completely disappeared, replaced only by more solid wall. As she began working towards thrashing her way through the wall, hoping to rediscover the doorway out, Talir was met by a large monstrosity emerging from the earth in between all of the arms.
The creature, a Dead Hand, appeared to be somewhat humanoid, save for the deathly pale, sagging skin that was littered with red blotches all over. Its neck was extended at least two feet up in the air, and it was slowly advancing towards the Zora, with its feet completely covered by the mass of its body. Though Talir appeared to do well in keeping the creature at bay, Rocky hadn’t the opportunity to finish breaking through the wall before the Dead Hand was upon the both of them. After a minute’s worth of direct melee combat, the creature burrowed deep into the ground, gifting the pair of adventurers the chance to come up with a wiser plan of attack. Speaking through action, they immediately separated to different corners of the room; as Rocky did so, she was swiped at by one of the protruding hands, barely avoiding being grappled.
Once in their respective corners, the Dead Hand emerged directly in front of Rocky, almost taking a huge bite out of her in the process. Dodging a few blows, along with the snapping of sharp teeth from the creature’s overly-extended jaw, Rocky unleashed a fearsome counterattack as Talir moved quickly to flank it. After another minute or so, the creature fell to a final, mighty blow by Rocky, crashing hard into the earth as the four hands also began to drop to the floor, one by one.
Not wishing to take any chances whatsoever, Rocky set about dismembering not only the creature itself, but the arms as well. At the same time, Talir set about investigating the room further, coming at last upon a small black pillar (standing only about 6 feet high) that seemed to be somewhat wedged into the ground on the opposite side of the room from where the entrance once was. Upon this pillar sat a small black wooden box, completely unlabeled, held shut only by a single latch. Noticing that there were roughly one inch wide gaps between the pillar and the ground, both Rocky and Talir thought better than to simply take the box off the unnatural construct, nor did they trust opening it at this stage. As such, they opted to have Rocky fire and arrow at it from a distance, knocking it off the pillar quickly and leaving just enough time for Talir to catch it mid-air. While this delivered the black box safely in their possession, it also appeared to trigger a mild earthquake as the pillar began to descend slowly down into the ground. Looking back towards the opposite side of the room, the pair noticed that the doorway out had finally re-appeared, granting them an opportunity to escape. Despite hearing the echoed voices of the ReDeads once more, they moved posthaste towards the door.
At an earlier time, Amara and Impa began their journey through the dark tunnel, eventually taking notice of a variety of red Sheikah symbols that appeared to be freshly-painted on the walls around them; despite her immense knowledge of Sheikah lore, even Impa didn’t appear to know all that much about them. As they continued to walk through the tunnel, they soon came upon a stone brick wall with a small indented space in the center, leaving room for a visible switch. Seeing little reason to avoid pushing further ahead, Amara pulled the lever, revealing a passage ahead that was only barely lit by a flickering blue light.
Just barely inside the next room, both Impa and Amara spotted a dangling lantern. Completely untrusting, Amara let fly with an arrow once they were both inside and on the opposite side of the room, immediately causing the object to swing somewhat wildly in mid-air. Within moments, the image of a ghostly figure draped in a purple cloak appeared before them, with bright orange eyes piercing them with its gaze behind its hood. The creature, a Poe, attacked them with its lantern, dealing some significant fire damage to Impa in the process. Amara proved rather successful in counterattack against the Poe, however, and ultimately forced the ethereal creature to flee down a nearby corridor.
After taking a few moments to recover, both Amara and Impa decided to continue moving past a severely broken metal door and down a dark, cold hallway. It didn’t take long for the echoed groans of ReDeads to catch their ears, and only just as a startling earthquake made its presence felt beneath their feet. As they pushed further on, they came upon five ReDeads who seemed to be advancing upon a pair of individuals at the end of the hallway, though the natural darkness made it rather difficult to determine just who it was that was n danger. Nevertheless, a battle ensued and saw the creatures cast down, leaving room for Amara and Impa to reunite with Rocky and Talir at long last.
Not wishing to delay their escape, the four proceeded immediately back to the exit, coming to discover that the brick wall had once again closed up, providing seemingly no opportunity to escape…