The Sanctum of Lykagi is an ancient shrine dedicated to a local sea goddess deep in the forest outside of Marisport. Once a prominent destination for pilgrims seeking healing or cleansing it has long since descended into a state of obscurity, rarely sought out and often outright avoided.
Deep within the forest there is a large crater in the ground – the earth and stone walls of the crater look as if some behemoth creature reached out a hand and scooped the earth away, leaving behind an indent where no plants will grow. The crater is easily ten feet deep and thirty across leaving a large gap in the otherwise dense foliage of the forest around it.
The floor of the crater is rocky around the edges where stones and earth have fallen in and not been cleared away but otherwise easy to navigate. The only thing of any note within the area is the stone structure set prominently in the middle of the crater's basin.
Carved boulders are set in a ring around two parallel sets of stone steps leading down into the earth.
The steps descend steeply into unnatural darkness, even in the height of day, with a gap of mere inches between the two sets of stairs eventually leading to a smooth stone tunnel with a floor always covered in a thin layer of stagnant saltwater.
Along the tunnel walls faint light glows from cracks in the stone, lighting the way along the narrow - near claustrophobic - tunnel until it opens into a large chamber.
The stone chamber, lit by the same faint blue glow of bio-luminescence as the tunnel, is round and echoing with the faint drip of water falling into the stagnant pool of sea water that fills it but for a single stone pathway that rises ever so slightly from the water. The pathway, made of a slick black stone nearly indistinguishable from the water in the low light, leads up to a dais near the back of the chamber.
Atop the dais is a statue of a women carved from stone as slick and black as oil, easily twelve feet tall, sitting cross-legged with a large shallow bowl of silver metal settled in her lap.
It is no human woman, however, the 'legs' wrapping around the bowl are seemingly many many thin tentacles and the hands clasping its sides are webbed and edged in wicked claws. Her face is impassive around its gaping mouth of jagged teeth and unseeing eyes of pale moonstone staring back towards the tunnels opening, gill slits laddering down her neck and unclothed sides. Hair like ropes of seaweed spill down down down nearly to the water beneath the dais.
Lykagi is a minor local goddess of sea-life who is most notably depicted as being the Bringer of Tides, historically worshiped by fishermen or sailors of the area although deference to her has fallen by the wayside in recent times.
Her story begins long long ago when the oceans were still and the world young. Born deep within the sea's embrace Lykagi was a solitary goddess dwelling in the darkness of the deep sea amongst her creations - the odd water-breathers who make a home of the cold waters far beyond where most can survive, the dark and the deadly creatures of the deep.
Yet she felt pulled, called up by a single thread of silvery light far above that pierced through the lonely darkness.
Up she swam, entranced by the moonlight and wishing to bathe in its beauty, but she was no more made for the upper world then her creatures were.
The piercing light of the sun and too-warm waters were too much to bear, driving the goddess back down into the darkness of her home again and again even as her longing continued to draw her back towards the surface. And so they say the tides were born of the pull of Lykagi's love for the moon, growing strong when the moon shone bright and waning when the moon dimmed.
While only a minor, local goddess Lykagi was - at one point in time - very commonly worshiped in the area by those who made their living from the sea. When a small underground cavern in the nearby forest was found to have a source of saltwater flowing through it a shrine to Lykagi was built where she was protected from the sun yet closer to her love, the moon.
A faceted prism in a silvered stand was set between the stairs leading into her sanctum, set up so that when the moon was at its peak the moonlight would hit the prism and be refracted down the tunnel to reach the moonstone eyes of Lykagi's statue.
It was said that those who came to her sanctum seeking healing could lay in the basin upon her lap when the moonlight reached her and holy water would fall from the eyes of the statue, cleansing them of their malady.
Offering to Lykagi would also be tossed into the saltwater along the sides of the Sanctum's chamber and believed to be carried out to sea. Within recent times, however, worship of Lykagi has dwindled somewhat.
The once flowing current of saltwater that moved through the Sanctum has grown stagnant and her bowl going dry as less and less people have come to petition for healing.