The Halflight Path is a dangerous route from the base of the Storval Rise into the Varisian city of Kaer Maga via the Undercity. It is maintained and patrolled by the Duskwardens, who charge a hefty fee for escorting caravans into and out of the city. It is used by travellers who value speed over safety, and are willing and able to pay for the privilege.
The route upwards starts at an ancient bronze gate called the Twisted Door. The Duskwardens open the door at dawn. They greet any assembled travellers and assess the fees for using the Path. This ranges from two gold pieces for a lone pedestrian to several dozen for a caravan.
Each traveller is issued with a Halflight charm, and they are split into groups of no more than a dozen. The Duskwarden escorts maintain that the benefits of stealth and having each group be a manageable size outweigh any apparent safety in numbers afforded by a larger party.
The trip itself takes an hour or more, depending on the make-up of the group. Most of it is through underground tunnels, but it occasionally emerges onto the cliff face. Some of the tunnel is natural stone, perhaps carved by water and improved upon by physical labour, but other places are wholly artificial.
Some walls are decorated by crude cave paintings; others are marked by complicated frescoes. All sections show signs of the work of the Duskwardens, who carefully block off dangerous side passages. Their groups are expected to pass such areas in silence; the sounds of unknown creatures scratching at the walls reinforces the need for caution.
No travel takes place after sunset. The Duskwardens use this time to patrol the tunnel and shore up the barriers. They are competent to deal with most of the dangers of the route, but there are still casualties – and sometimes entire parties of travellers are lost. 1
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