The ancient elf turns to head back towards the illuminated passageway. He beckons you: "Follow me, if you will." You notice he casually winds his way around the clumps of dead bodies, from long familiarity, no doubt.
[OOC: to the best of my character's knowledge, do the bodies look as if they've been dead for a long time?]
Yes, they appear to have been dead for many years, probably decades. The cold, dry atmosphere seems to have preserved the bodies to the point where they are dessicated husks rather than decaying away to dust and bones.