A long pause, and then the members of the group seemed to turn to each other simultaneously. If I hadn’t been scared before, I was now.
After another pause, the Third Elder snapped his fingers, and a scroll the size of my arm dropped into my hand. I scrambled to keep it from hitting the floor, while the voices of the assembled council loomed into my head:
Y O U W I L L F O L L O W T H E M A P . Y O U W I L L F I N D T H E K E Y . A F T E R , W E D O N O T S E E Y O U R P A T H .
Fair enough. I bowed deeply, rubbed my eyes with my free hand, and when I opened them again, I was back in the heart of the valley, and the heady scent of rotting vegetation augmented the brewing nausea in my throat.