We watch over Bayliss for a few days. He barely moves, but has clearly been tended. Eventually, a Pictish woman approaches. Gwalchmai greets her – she is Itaine and has been looking after Bayliss for some time. He asked her to wake him if we appeared.
She is far more powerful than expected, Bayliss even had gods on his side and still failed. But he discovered a weakness – her power can be destroyed. She draws power from Llyn dulyn – a lake with a red island which has stairs to the underworld, in the cavern at the bottom, there is a black stone which must be broken. The lake is in the mountains near Yns Mon.
Back at Luguvalium there are still funerals from the attack. Itaine says she will heal us in a grove to the North. Merin, Gwalchmai and Elias go with her, while Morchades, Grainne and Cadwaladr seek healing from the Christian healers.
We are tested, either at the Church, or in the Grove, and we are healed. Merin gifts Itaine a golden armband and she returns North.
Before we leave, we make Carafanon the Lord of Luguvalium and we head South.
We are met by a messenger from Pengwern who gives us contacts across Powys, we travel by night to avoid questions until we reach the mountains.
After some time searching, Gwalchmai finds the lake. It is up high, with steep cliffs around it that block the light. The water is freezing and nothing drinks it. A small causeway leads to a red rock island that seems to always be in shadow. Gwalchmai sees magic all around with The Eye. The sun does not even touch the island at its highest, but the Solstice is only a few days away and we decide to wait.
On the Solstice the sun does manage to to light the island and we cross to it. It feels like the cliffs hate us and the fish in the lake do not look good to eat. There is a big black slab of rock on the island, it feels nasty and unwholesome. Gwalchmai says the sun may be weakening it, so we lift it to show steps leading down into the dark.
Merin leads the way down as saw steps like this during the fight at Luguvalium. The stairs are perfectly cut from the black rock and are very steep. The black stone swallows the light and the walls feel unpleasant. Down and down the stairs go, horrible carvings cover the walls and we feel the weight above us.
Merin leads out across the cave. There is no echo, and the carvings cover everywhere. We can hear water ahead, so we go towards it.
Eventually, we come to a carver pedestal, with a status, like the Dark Man statue at Girdle Stanes with the face of the King of the North, standing over a spring. The stream leads off across the cave, it fits into the carving on the floor. We follow the stream to a pool.