13). The Priestess of New Delphi
She sits upon her raised chair her feet high above the ground, as they never touch the ground; not if she is to receive visions from Apollo Helios. Priestess, prophetess and bodily host to the essence of the God she reaches toward him, toward his avatar, the Sun, as she reaches toward truth, and above the earth, never touching its soil, she will remain till the end of her days as priestess.
At the end of her days, when age and infirmity take away her ability to receive the God within her, the priestess steps from her chair and passes the bowl of seeing, which contains a deep red and potent wine, and the living stem of the tree of life, to the youngest of her handmaidens who then ascends the golden chain, never again to set foot upon the ground till the end of her days. Or so it should have been.
The Priestess of New Delphi dwells within a sacred cave. A golden chair with the feet of a lion is raised high so that the Priestess's feet dangle freely, never chancing that she may touch them to the cold stone floor, and thereby become tainted with the base earth. Beneath this chair the stone floor is split, and from this crevice pours forth a subtle smoke that loosens the mind and allows the visions of the Priestess to pass wordlessly from the greater realm wherein dwells Apollo Helios to those supplicants deemed worthy (normally worthiness is judge by the weight and worth of the supplicants offering) to receive her prophetic sight.
Or so it should be.
Recently a darkness has crept into the sacred caverns and ominous are the visions granted to Apollo's Priestess. Beneath the caverns of New Delphi a slumbering power has awakened and mixed with the sense altering drafts from below now comes the stuff of nightmares.
New Delphi is a wealthy and powerful holy site for the Hellenic people, but they themselves cannot disturb the sacred ground. Only outsiders may journey beneath the caverns of New Delphi and seek out what taints the dreams and visions of the Priestess. Success will bring great reward and the gratitude of the worshipers of Apollo and his Priestess. Failure may well mean a lost and lonely death, if not worse, beneath the cold stone of New Delphi.