The hole in the ground is called "Angband". It is not a nice hole. However unpleasant a hole you are imagining, it is probably worse than that.
The orf knows how to live in this hole. If she waits until the blacksmith from division 209 is in a good mood she can sit in her smithy and watch sparks fly, bright and hot against the darkness. If she's well-behaved and submissive and quick and clever she can pretend to be an Elf, a real Elf or an imaginary one, for some hapless prisoner whose plot arc needs more personality diversity or a few extra facial expressions in a crowd scene, and get memories of that Elf or at least a skeletal backstory and add precious songs to her repertoire. If she goes down this staircase when a mission's gone well then she can get roughed up by Weird-Ear's squad and look battered enough that nobody else feels obliged to make up the difference for a week, but Weird-Ear doesn't mind getting her turned on first so it's much better than running into somebody with more refined sadistic tendencies. If she goes up two floors and over half a mile of dicey corridor navigable only by copious mindreading she can visit the spot where her mother died, but she doesn't usually do that. If she gets a scar that doesn't seem like it'll fade she can get a bit of the kind of white rock that makes scratches on the black stone of the fortress and show the tattoo artist from division 447, three hours' walk away, how she wants it neatened up and colored in or scarified - she's got a waterfall of overlapping circles burned into her shoulder, spirals up her calf, a field of bowing wheat scratched in over the whip marks, shooting stars down her temple from when she visited the blacksmith in a bad mood and she grabbed her by the hair and held her face near the sparks till she'd apologized enough.
If she goes alllllll the way up, and avoids the guy who likes feet who'd make it hard to walk back and avoids the Balrogs who are too hot to even get near and avoids the entirety of division 192, she can find Thuringwethil even when they aren't working on the same hallucination together! And she can bow very very deep.
I have no idea which titles I should currently possess. Who are you?
A pleasure. What's your name?
He makes about as much of a face as he made the first time she jostled him and a bunch of bone shards crunched into one another. Where are you going?
It's a long way from here on foot, I expect the Enemy'd catch up.
We're probably close enough, I just don't wish to be used to lead them into a trap. Why didn't you stop when ordered?
I'm in a great deal of pain, here, I'm sure I'd be charmed some other time.
- so you don't know what you've said?
...it seems like it wouldn't be hard to infer that you'd said things that would oblige you to obey shouted emergency orders but he's not stupid enough to point this out. He nods, closes his eyes - Tyelcormo?
It's probably a trap, don't get too excited. But maybe Huan can check - we're running from Angband, on foot - don't you dare get yourself captured -
He clings. Not super effectually. It's okay, he tells her, he's ours -
He doesn't respond; he seems to be biting his upper arm very hard.
And then they're out of the illusion darkness and on into starlight; there are plains, and grass, and mountains looming up ahead of them.