To understand the past, one must understand the future. In all and in each, the echoes of the other. Destination, origin, and route; as flower, leaf, branch, trunk, and root. So on through fungus, soil, insect and all those who dwell and toil in the dark below.
On one such branch, of one such future, the Hypogeum lies submerged and all but forgotten. What was once a ring of guarding mountains is now an atoll, whose opening amongst the salt sea into fresh waters within faces two Houses whose names or purposes few now remember. A deadly current winds out around from the former Breakwater, a cloak and shield against the foolish, apart from a tiny narrow safe passage where once the bridge of the city of Abbadon stood, cracked, and eventually crumbled.
Any lucky or unfortunate enough to pass through the eye of this needle find themselves in waters where lost and broken are the pilots’ instruments, and a song not heard for many ages can be once heard again as new. And in the center of whose inner sea might be called forth by one skilled enough in that Music, an island and small mount, atop jutting forth a humble temple, a gleaming wet jewel to be reclaimed. And in this temple, a well which knows no bottom, and whose deep dark memory reaches back before even the ages of Quatria, to which we presently return…
Upon arriving in Elum proper, the Pentarch sailors found themselves greeted by those people as long lost cousins. The missing thumb of their outstretched hand. The children lead the way, followed by the Silent Figure, in turn followed by the three sailors themselves, Benda the Brave, Tendar the Tall, and Ofend the Round. The villagers took them by the hands, gripped their shoulders, and touched their faces in ritual greeting. They offered them sweetdrink and dried cakes made from mashed salted fish, berries, and fermented grains, and the empty bellies and aches suffered by the sailors on their long voyage at sea were soon forgotten, replaced with rejoicing and the powerful unshakeable feelings of homecoming.
They slept that night in the loft of the family home of Garth Daub Al Elum, father to two of the children who had found them on the beaches by the docks, store-keeper of Elum, and member of the Elder Council which governed with great wisdom and prudence that village, and the surrounding region of the foothills below the Temple Mount.
Meanwhile, on that blessed mount, though the sailors themselves were fast asleep and did not hear, a high fierce note of one lone singer cried out in the night, signalling the close of the first day of the Dark Dance Cycle. Dressed in the flowing black robes pinned full of flowers associated with the part, the young virtuous woman playing Delrin the Beautiful, sad mate of Elum, fell silent upon the parapets of the Great Arch. And after a held count of emptiness, the waits blew their lesser horns in response, and all torch fires burning still in that city and in Elum far below were extinguished.