Visions of flame and blood passed away. Screams of the dying dissolved into long mournful wails. Evening rays faded into the bleak shadowy ceiling of the caverns of Rondinburg. Destin groaned, rising from his stone bed.
“How long have I slept?,” he whispered. The cavern echoed his voice with dull murmurs that seemed to mock him. Above him, icicles of stone hung in ancient solemnity like teeth in a yawning mouth that would never close. All was deathly silence save for a dripping sound from somewhere far away. It lasted only a moment. A muffled wailing pierced the damp air with an eerie ring like the wretched howls of lost spirits, wandering, wandering, never finding. A heavy feeling settled in Destin’s chest as he stumbled past bodies of prostrate figures, sleeping or wishing they could. In the next room, he could hear the soft wailing very near, coming from many voices whose bodies he could not see. Walking was difficult. The only lights were a few candles struggling against the dampness. (more…)