“That’s where we fought the shadow beast?” asked Nicyes. “What in the name of the five gods happened?”

“It looks like a massive hole in the ground to me,” said Alquis, without a hint of irony in his voice. “You mean it didn’t look like that when you left?”Where there had once been a simple well, there was now an enormous pit that had grown large enough to swallow several trees. Rooting around in the rock and dirt were a number of strange figures.

“Nothing I did could have caused that,” he said. “It looks like Gaia is trying to swallow them up–” He gestured to the figures.

“Or she’s giving birth to them,” said Mercer.

“Who do you think the father is?” asked Arturo.

They all stopped talking and stared at the figures crawling and writhing around in the pit.

“I’ll bet they’re Typhon’s spawn,” said Nicyes. “Or Tartarus. Either one of them would make for a nasty brood.”

“Do you think they’re related to the snake creatures I saw at the Gilded Flame lodge? That would reinforce the idea that they’re Typhon’s spawn. Other than him, I don’t know, maybe Erebus?”

“Are those horns?” asked Mercer “What kind of horns do they look like to you?” The three of them fell silent and resumed staring.

“Goat horns,” said Alquis. “Like the cult of Heros, except they’re goat horns.”

“Ah, good eyes,” said Mercer. “But I thought Hades had no children of his own?”

“He doesn’t,” said Nicyes. “What Alquis means is they’re men, dressed to look like beasts. Whose cult do you think they are?”

“Pan,” said Alquis. “They’re Pan’s cult. And I’ll bet they’re responsible for everything — and I mean everything, we’ve fought so far. If any of the other temples knew they were here, they’d have been wiped out, which makes me wonder where they’ve been this whole time.”