It is still the 20th; the day is still cool, the sky clear and there is no sign of rain. You set out for the southern Bolat Range, which you can distantly see. Coming at it from the north, you will be approaching the cuestas from their gently sloped backs, so that you cannot see the cliffs (these would look out over the sea).
For most of the afternoon, you will follow a clean, trimmed pathway created by the loggers, until that gives out about three miles south of the carter's post. The path continues, but now it has begun to grow over, as the loggers have not worked this part of the forest this season, and perhaps most of the last. The forest closes around you and you feel the slope as you begin to climb perhaps a hundred feet an hour.
Night comes as this second pathway quits, so you make camp near a bare karst outcropping surrounded by trees, which provides good shelter. The journey so far has been easy, but you can see from the forest that the next day will not be. Standing on the top of the nearby rocks, you can see the ridge to the south, a line of three humps extending from the northeast to the southwest (or, to put it another way, the nearest hump is on your left and it grows farther away towards your right). The nearest ridge, you would guess, is about 1,500 feet above you and three to four miles away.
Looking the other way, towards the northwest, you see the cliff of a cuesta that is at least five miles from you. The cliff is broken by a bowl in the middle of it, so that you begin to think of it as "Cauldron Mountain." You have no idea what it's real name is.
The next day (the 21st of May is a Sunday), you pick the easiest looking direction through the forest, on the argument that if something intelligent is living out here, it must make its own tracks and trails, as it must emerge from the subterranean occasionally to make hunting trips for extra food. Kismet leads with his machete and you cross through some light thickets and into a series of rocky meadows, separated by further thickets that you must hack through. You are moving generally in a south-south east direction, towards the middle hump on the ridge to the south. You find yourself climbing about 300 feet in the first hour.
Now, at this point, I roll a die to see what you might discover, and roll the unlikeliest chance possible. Weird. On a hunch, Kismet chooses to lead the party up a nearby defile, a stone path between banks that might have been gouged out by a glacier ten thousand years ago. This leads you onto a ledge that overlooks the valley between the back of the cuestas and Cauldron Mountain, about 300 feet over the swoop of the land below. And here you find a shrine.
It is a single block of stone in the shape of a font, weighing in the neighborhood of four tons. It is two feet by four feet, and four feet high, with smooth, masoned edges and a basin in its center that is about five inches deep. On either side of the basin are two gargoyle-like shapes, each about 12 inches high, looking down into the basin as though willing water to appear.
The basin has water in it, about a gallon. This cannot be rainwater, for you're quite sure that it hasn't rained in this country for many days. Moreover, there is a bundle of wildflowers on a small shelf above the basin, bound with twisted grass, that must have been collected that morning. The wildflowers are the same as you've been seeing, mostly dandelions and crocuses.
I'll let you decide what you make of that. There is no evidence of a trail leading immediately from this location, but you are surrounded by an area of bare rock, about a hundred yards wide.