Object 297

The Holder of the Firefly

In any country, go to any deep cave you can get yourself to. It need not be tall enough to stand, but it must be deep enough that you can walk for a while and be totally encased in darkness, and when you look behind you, no trace of the light from the outside is detectable. Once you are in such a situation, position yourself with your back to a wall and knock on the ceiling seven times. Wait for five seconds, and then knock six times more. (If the ceiling is too high to reach, you can instead knock as high up the wall as you can reach, although results are not guaranteed if you do.)

You will be taken to a deep part of the cave that every cave has - the part that the cave always chooses to keep a secret. Once there, you must look and walk swiftly and resolutely forward into the darkness. If you stumble or glance in any other direction, you will be caught in the enveloping black and will be forever lost.

Eventually, voices will start singing throughout the cavern. It will be an ever-changing song, and each change will invoke a different sensation; some will be emotional, and some will be physical. It is essential that no matter the sensation, from boiling anger or crippling pain to overwhelming depression and feverish passion, you must continue on, steadfast and unwavering.

When you have finally passed the chamber of songs, you will come to a large statue of a snake winding about a large gas lantern. From within the lantern will emanate a faint greenish glow. Navigate your way around the statue until you are standing directly before the snake's head. Then ask with a stout heart the following question: "What has befallen the guiding light?"

In response, the snake will unwind itself from around the lantern, and the source of the glow will be revealed as a small green glass pendant with no chain. Do not take the pendant, as it is merely a decoy, and will decay the arm of any poor Seeker that touches it. Instead, overturn the entire lantern onto the ground. It will crush the snake, which will convulse violently for a time, snapping at anything that comes close.

Once the snake is dead, go to its mouth and retrieve one of its fangs. Once the fang has been removed, it will begin to leak some of the snake's poison, which will soon evaporate into thousands of small yellow lights.

The poison is Object 297 of 2538. It will guide your journey, but you may not find the destination to your liking.