On our return to Pumaango, the day had grown long and it was time to retire to bed. In the morning, my companions set out to complete a request by the local herbalist. I insisted we keep a few vials of the scorpion venom, who knows when that may come in handy. While they were taking care of their business, I opted to go for a swim. The oasis had been calling my name since I came to Pumaango and it would be wonderful to get the sand out from between my shell. I had planned on skimming the bottom for treasure, it is surprising the number of things people lose in bodies of water, but I was in for the surprise of a lifetime.
I swam out towards the middle, following the bottom of the oasis. The bottom sloped steeper, and steeper, until there was no bottom. Confused, I dived deeper. I swam as far down as I could safely swim. The light grew dim, the water chilled the deeper I went. The further I swam the greater the unease I felt. This did not seem natural. I swam, I swear I could feel something watching me, just outside of my vision. Unnerved, and sensing it was about time for me to head up, I swam to the surface. Dragging myself to the shore I sat there.
I sat along the bank, unsure of what I had just discovered. I contemplated different theories of what this could mean. I will get there in a moment. As I meditated, my friends found me. I told them of what I had experienced, and they encouraged me to write it down. I do not remember the trip to my room, but there I found myself.
The Deep of Pumaango Oasis: Theories on its existence.
I will need to take the time to speak to the locals, but first I want to record my first impressions.
My first thoughts are that this is a natural cavern, connected to a deep underground reservoir. Many years ago, a star fell from the sky. The sound it made as it hit the ground could be heard for miles around. Curious people came to investigate the site of the fallen star. There they found a large object made mostly from iron. It is possible that when this impact happened it cracked the surface of the Oasis, allowing the underground reservoir to come into the light. This could mean that much of that fallen star could be found at the bottom. I swam, I would calculate, about a mile down. If this is a natural occurrence how much further down could this go? If this is a large water reservoir, is it possible that the other oases in the area are also connected? If this was an underground reservoir, where did the fish come from? Did they develop entirely in this body of water? If they did, what monstrosities could be lurking in the depths?
Other explanations for the presence of fish could include the oasis being connected to a lake. The oasis is fresh water, so it is not connected to the seas, or if it is, then this is a spring of water flowing to the sea. Or perhaps fish were transposed to the deep oasis so as to better feed the people in the area.
Another thought that could explain this phenomenon. This is a connection between the Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Water. Swim deep enough and you could find yourself in another plane of existence. This theory will need more research into connections between planes. I would also like to investigate the walls of the oasis. Do they expand at a certain point, are they slowly coming together, or once they drop off are they vertical? In my curious state, I did not think to observe the nature of the walls too closely, but they could help me understand the cause of all this water.
Once I finish helping my new friends with a few errands of theirs, I will come back and investigate this more in depth. Ha! Look at that, I made a pun.
While I was writing down my theories, my new friends came and got me to join them southward. I’m not entirely sure of our mission, Mossy has a friend that was captured, possibly working the mines. Altan and Rainer have a contact at a dig site in the area; the blacksmith is missing. Malaika often talked of how she rarely made plans, she just did what felt right. This feels like the right course to follow, so I will. I do hope that these new friends, when the time comes, will be willing to follow me into the deep to explore what is down there.
We will need to be prepared. Potions or spells to breathe underwater, the ability to see clearly in the dark, and being able to enhance our swim speed are good starting points.
On our way southward we met a caravan returning to Pumaango. They had been attacked by bandits. They asked if we would act as guards to the mine. So, we joined them.