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Nature Abhors a Vacuum

Nellise spent a minute examining Sayana‟s wound, then made herself as comfortable
as one could while sitting upon a stone stairway and began her prayers. It wasn't long
before Aiden began to feel a subtle change in the air as the channelled energy flowed
around them.
He laid back and closed his eyes for a little while, content for the time being to allow
the process to work on his battered body. The rhythmic sounds of Clavis' hammer
striking metal could be heard as the dwarf mended Nellise's armour while she worked.
A few minutes later Nellise stopped, slumping to one side with her strength spent.
Pacian quickly put his arm around her shoulders and laid her down next to Sayana.
“She will live,” Nellise whispered, placing a ha nd on the girl's arm supportively.
Aiden felt improved from the healing, though he was still unsure about his leg. He
hobbled over to check on Sayana, keeping his weight to one side just in case.
The sorceress was breathing normally now, though he couldn' t tell without taking off
the bandage if the wound had healed over completely. Just the fact that her eyes were
closed and she seemed to be resting normally was a good sign, so it seemed they were out
of trouble for the time being.
“Did you hear that?” Pacian asked, tilting his head slightly. Aiden gave him a
curious look, listening carefully for any kind of unusual sound. He heard nothing for a
long moment, and then a kind of dull 'thump' from above, accompanied by the sound of
dirt and small rocks hitting the floor of the stairwell.
“Is this tunnel about to collapse?” Aiden asked, suddenly anxious at the tho ught.
Now the pain had subsided he was more acutely aware that they were cut off from the
surface by tons of rock. Clavis quickly moved closer to the collapse and took a look at it,
trying to find the source of the noise.
“I need more light up 'ere,” he complained. “Light up another torch and shine it on
this section for me lad.”
“That's the last torch,” Pacian hedged. “Once it's gone, we'll have to wait for one of
the ladies to light our way.”
“Bollocks, I'll have to feel me way around,” Clavis muttered, carefully feeling the
surface of the stone. “The rock ain't fallin' away from this side, but that surely does sound
like stones being moved away on t'other. I guess me cousins aren't quite finished with us
yet.” Pacian groaned at this news, and Colt spat out a few choice curses.
“Way I see it, we got two options,” the big man growled. “Either we start lookin' for
another way to the surface real quick, or we fortify the place and fight them when they
break through.”
“Does it look like we're in any condition to fight?” Pacian snapped. “O f course we're
running, the only question is where to?”
“There weren't no other way up that I know of,” Clavis retorted, “otherwise most of
me people would have made it out alive when the waters came. All I know is that we
canna go back up this way without a fight. As far as I know there's only this level that
ain't flooded out. If we don't find a way through there, maybe we can hide and wait 'til
they pass, then make a break for it.”
“Wait...” Aiden said hesitantly as an idea flashed through his mind. “You said 'when
the waters came'. That means there has to be a breach in the walls on one of the lower
levels, right?”
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