My companion shrugged her shoulders, and a shiver shimmied down my back as we entered deeper into the valley. Ice encased the opening to our way home as though frozen in time.
The books had spoken about a place such as this. We had followed the old legends and ancient paths but working out the meaning of the symbols had taken decades. Yet here we were.
The lake water gave off heat as we worked our way around the shore. The surface rippled as something moved deep within. The water began to move in violent waves, and the ground vibrated under our feet, nearly knocking us over. A low roar echoed from the depths of the lake.
Fire erupted from the center of the lake, and flames reached the ice-shrouded cavern ceiling. The fire lapped the icy cavern roof, and we watched transfixed as the ice melted then refroze as quickly as it melted in a continuous cycle. The roar subsided, and the water receded toward the flames. The ground shifted and compelled us to move with it, and we found ourselves near the base of the intense fire.
It was then we heard a voice emanate from deep within the fire. The words became louder and clearer, echoing off the snow and ice.
“It is time for new Gods to rule this land. The land has chosen you. You have shown great courage in the face of the fire.”
We hurried up the lakebed slope as the fire disappeared into the ground, and the lake level returned to normal. We stopped in shock as we reach the bank to find thousands of people kneeling before us.
We were the new Gods of this strange land.