They looked up from the bottom of the great pit where they lay,
and standing up, they cursed the game it seemed they had to play.
Limping together, they progressed to where the oak still reared
so far above them: its thick roots snaked down, twisted and weird.
Slowly they climbed, but when...
“I’ll go out first,” Moruna said, “for if by chance I fall,
you will still live to fight the beast… if that gives hope at all.”
Shaedast did not reply to this, but took his comrade’s hand,
and aided her (for she still limped) across the marshy land.
A hundred paces in, they came upon a dead...
Three islands lay like gleaming gemstones deep in Elif’s sea:
D’nim, Areth and Ulos, dwelling in fair harmony.
But discord once began to brew in caverns 'neath D’nim—
a fearsome creature came awake, with will and powers grim.
He scoured the islands with his claws and teeth, and flaming...