My candle held aloft, I stepped cautiously down the stone stairway, shivering, chilled to the bone. My fingers trailed the damp walls until I reached a dungeon-like door, adorned with an ouroboros crest, symbol of the alchemists; I was in the right place. Turning the handle, I pushed, heart pounding.
The light glowed a misty, murky yellowish green. Pungent, sulphurous vapours rose from a cauldron where liquid effervesced with a burbling, bubbling boil.
I caught a glint of gold through the steam, and there he was, my new master, pushing up his spectacles as they slipped down his sharp nose.