Jonathan’s Dream (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Chapter Eight, Part Eight
Sleep evaded Jonathan that night as he pondered all that had been decided in the meeting with the Foyanthyl village elders earlier that day. The journey to the Kingdom of Pengarth was not feasible at this time of the year, as winter storms were already frequently assaulting the Tregarrons. The only possible course of action was to continue under the mountains, yet the system of passageways connecting the hundreds of Slejuv villages didn’t extend far enough to clear the precarious winter snows.
For this, they would have to travel deeper under the mountains, into dark places where few have ever traveled. Only Siyall had been to the depths of the nether realm before, and not of her own choosing. Years earlier, she had been taken by foul things down into the depths, and only through her cunning and skill was she able to return from the shadows below. This is why she was chosen to lead the journey, for she volunteered to reenter the darkness in the hopes of guiding them to Pengarth – but no one knew the way…
For this, Siyall required the rarest stone of all – the Sylathal – of which only a single thin vein of rock existed. The Sylathal always glowed a faint greenish glow on the side facing magnetic north. This was necessary for traveling through the depths of darkness below, in order to determine which way was east to Pengarth. Without this stone, they would be hopelessly lost underground, even with the lights of the Talspar and Talspin to illuminate the darkness.
Each of them – Siyall, Siyth, Jonathan, Dijia and Ruylan – were given Talspar rocks to carry, and in addition, Jonathan was given a sturdy leash to keep Sammy close to his side at all times. None of them would survive without light in the darkness below. Only Siyall would carry the Sylathal, for there were few pieces available to spare. The group was also provided with a guide rope to secure themselves to, so that none of them would get separated in the dark caverns below.
Siyall had also explained to the group about the stench and foul environment they would find underground, and each was armed with not only their personal swords, but also given additional leather armor and weapons to carry. The silver swords of the Light Bearers would flash their brightness underground regardless, as the Light was within them, and Jonathan still had his Talspin pendant from Gramps to provide additional light.
It was the Talspar’s light that had helped Siyall escape capture after being taken below, as the unmentionable things that lived in the darkness would not approach the light. Only in this way was she able to escape the creatures that had captured her unawares from a commonly used Slejuv passageway – for at the moment of her seizure, Siyall’s Talspar was tucked away in her pocket.
All this was little consolation to Jonathan as he lay awake in the night, realizing what the morning would bring. In theory, as long as the travelers maintained their illumination underground, they would have safe passage through the bowels of the mountains to emerge beyond the Tregarrons and into the fertile land of Pengarth. However, it was only an assumption, for no one had ever attempted such a journey, let alone lived to tell the tale.
Sammy shared Jonathan’s restlessness, for he could smell the foul air wafting up from below even within the village of Foyanthyl, when none of the others could. Whimpering aloud in his nightmares, Sammy made running motions in his asleep, fueling Jonathan’s concerns that Sammy’s dreams were a prelude of darker things to come…