Elum pierced the surface of the waters with barely a splash. Such was the power of the old-path he had activated, that the somatic memories of his Buorthern sailor-diver ancestors coursed through him as he descended into the depths.
Though Lux had broken his fall enough that his bones were not crushed on impact, he had still enough momentum and technique that his body offered precious little resistance to the already turbulent waters. He plunged deeper and deeper, until he reached a level of profundity where all appeared calm. There was an all-encompassing darkness, but it did not smother. It was an empty space, and though his inner ear told him the truth that he was hurtling forward through space, he felt at once suspended in that vastness.
For a few brief moments, he saw himself as from outside himself. His body an object under witness and guidance of the ancestral paths he had called down. In the distance, he thought he heard the patient, furtive steps as of a doe in the forest, and the peal of bells.
He returned to himself, and quickly saw approaching what seemed a tiny islet in the dark abyss which continued on unfathomed below. He knew it to be rather the top of an outcrop of rocks below, and assumed it meant his death.
But instead of impacting with force, his body of its own accord turned slightly, hands flaring, and he slowed to the subtlest halt, his face nearly touching the sand coating the tiny protuberance of rock. On it grew a small, but lusciously foiled plant with many waving branches, which seemed arms beckoning him to say hello. It glowed slightly.
Without thinking, he reached out both hands, and plucked several branches from the plant. Two in his left, one in his right. And just as suddenly, he kicked and flapped slightly, and found himself expertly hurtling back topward with great velocity, his tiny branches securely in tow.
Meanwhile, far above, Lux circled the area around the falls, and its lower effluent, hunting for her human companion with keen eyes. Finding nothing, her worry increased.
Elum surfaced, gasping, much farther down-river (he assumed) in an area he knew not. His life prior in the Great Forest had not taken him down into the Cyric Cleft and beyond. Though this patch of river at first seemed calm, he knew his life was in danger. The area immediately preceding the Break Water, an impassable rough, large water-course which was fed by not only the Weeping Waters, but many other smaller expulsions from the vast cavern system linking to the Hypogeum. He called out to Lux on their light channel, and she responded at once, speeding to reach him.
As the waters picked up force, Elum sputtered and spun, and in an effort to right himself, he lost hold of the branch of the magic plant in his right hand, and it floated away and out of sight. He gripped still carefully the other two in his left hand, and set his resolve to not lose them.
Just then, Lux arrived, and swooped low to clutch at his wet shoulders and clothes which clung to him. He trapped one of her claws in his free right hand, and together they flapped and sputtered and struggled in to the shore.
Elum crawled up, and lay on his back, nearly passing out from the exertion. Suddenly, his eyes shot open, and he looked down at himself. Clutched still in his left hand were two branches of the plant he’d retrieved from deep beneath the Weeping Waters. He knew not then its name, only sensing dimly and instinctually its importance. It’s name was axla (one of its many names). It was a plant the Majonans had brought with them from the Buorth.