No power of the Dark Lord could now keep us from exploring out and delving to the very depths of the earth in order to obtain the second key to the lost city.
The next piece of the key to the capital city of the Gressig Empire was in a labyrinth buried in the sands of what we now call the Siegblum Dunes. Once we’d found the entrance we descended with caution and hammers and axes. The honeycomb of chambers below were ever changing and shifting — we could open a door, pass through it, and immediately double back on that same door and find ourselves in another part of the labyrinth. Then, in the middle of this baffling maze, we came upon a room filled with huge lithopyhtic mushrooms.
Fa’Sheen first tasted the mushrooms, as his penchant directed him, and upon his report that they were among the most complex and pleasing fungi he had heretofore enjoyed, the rest of us also also tried them. They were delicious.
We busied ourselves alternately collecting, drying, cooking and tasting the mushrooms for about a fortnight, during which time we discovered several effects which they precipitated. One, that they strengthen the effect of any magical additives which were combined in the stew, and two, there were always certain unforeseen effects, often unpleasant, which followed.
We found ourselves at liberty during this time to discourse amongst ourselves. Heretofore I have been terse. I have done so to make the narrative engaging and memorable. As to my comrades discourse, I have been more liberal with my summary, even perfunctorily abridging the narrative, paraphrasing when I should have quoted exactly the words of our interlocution. I will attempt to describe the scene in the drippy cavern of the mushroom in full.
Nash: “I’m fine with adding more spark, by all means, but any further additions we ought to be more judiciou…”
Fa’Sheen, opening an unknown vial of liquid and dumping the entire contents into a stewing pot of mushrooms: “Perfect, ah! Taste that bouquet! Now if I only had some more torrid desire, oh, here it is!”
Smash, pawing at the walls of the cavern: “I can taste with my hands!”
But I must continue. Waking from our reverie and exploring the labyrinth further, we soon found the center of the labyrinth, and the key it held.