The party walks for several miles inside the large cave hollowed out long ago by a river that is now just a noise of rushing water inside an aqueduct. They run into many gnomes moving this way and that and they see several smaller side passages tunneled away from the main route.
The whole of the cave has been dimly lit with phosphorescent fungi clinging to the damp cave ceiling. Everything is cast in dim blue light. Now that everyone in the party has darkvision, the combination of dim blue light and darkvision limits your vision to about 100 feet.
You are stopped several times by wandering gnome guards, who let you continue when you show them the writ of passage you hold. Now ahead of you you can see a brighter area of blue light. With a greater intensity blueish light is filling the entire tunnel.
What looked to be a solid wall of blue light is now a huge floor to ceiling portcullis, brightly glowing blue. To either side there are constructed towers built into the wall squaring off the passage so that the massive 30×30′ portcullis fills the center.
As the party nears the portcullis they see an identical setup 60 feet beyond this one and huge counter weights hanging toward the walls between the two portcullises are suspended by massive chains that run into the towers. It is clear that they can not be raised at the same time (think airlock) as you watch as travelers are let inside the middle section as one gate closes, then a minute later the other opens.
There are several gnome soldiers including 2 on lizard back who hail you ans ask to see your papers. You wait quite awhile as other gnomes gather around you and several carts as well. Eventually the guard returns your writ and the portcullis begins raising (like a garage door) and you enter the area between the two portcullises. There are several gnomes in brightly colored vests which give off a yellow glow, they hold yellow glowing rods and shout an usher your group and the other gnomes in.
You spend many minutes in the central area before the far portcullis raises. The ushering gnomes with the yellow batons are yelling and even those who don’t; speak gnome know it means “get out” There is a crowd of gnomes on the other side being held back by other usher gnomes, as your group leaves they start yelling and prodding the awaiting group inside.
You are in an IMMENSE cavern. It is all dimly lit with blue light and speckled with some brighter lights from fires and other phosphorescent glows. A huge rough cut stone staircase which looks formed from the bedrock spreads out descending before you, fanning out from 50 feet at the cave mouth to 80 feet at the base. A smooth track has been cut in it to one side for wagons.
Two large mushroom shaped fountains both looking like an erect phallus spray water at each side of the base of the stair. Many gnomes are moving this way and that and the crowd you came in with pushes past you.
There are dozens of squat buildings only seen as outlines in the dim light and several thick columns that run upward into the darkness dotted with light indicating they are hollow and occupied. This is the bustling Deep Gnome city of Glimmerfell.
The King’s name is Ardin Greybeard you have a writ of passage to see him, although no instructions as to where in the city he is located.