“That’s strange,” Marcia said.
“Maybe they don’t need guards because they are way out in the middle of nowhere.”
“Yes, but I also noticed that there is no river leading to and from the city. Maybe this isn’t Svareah.”
“If it isn’t Svareah, then where are we?”
“I don’t know. This city is large, and I would have thought that I heard of it before.” They got to the gate and peered in. There was no one in sight. “You’d think there would be at least someone roaming around. At least there should be torch light coming from one of the buildings, but I don’t see any.”
They searched around and went into a few buildings. “It appears this city was abandoned, but why?” Lucinda said, her voice grim.
“The only abandoned city I know of is Ruinoneo, and this definitely isn’t Ruinoneo.”
“The magic of Ruinoneo would kill us; however, I don’t feel like I am dying from magic. It’s my hunger and exhaustion that are killing me.”
They continued search around. Behind the corners of buildings and houses, a shadowy figure lurked. He had been watching them since before they were captured in Lamax.
“We need to find some food and fast,” Marcia said, as they searched from house to house. “All the bread I have seen has been molded. We need to find some elven bread.”
“We also need something to drink. What about that well over there?”
Marcia looked and saw a well, as relief flooded over her. They both quickly went over to the well and drew up some water. “At last, we are having a bit of luck,” Marcia said as she poured water on her face. “Water has never tasted so good.”
“I feel revived. I wonder what happened to this place. Where would everyone disappear to?”
“I’ve been thinking, we came here through a portal, maybe they left through a portal.”
“A city-wide portal?” Lucinda looked at her quizzically.
“I don’t know. It does seem a little strange. I say we keep looking around to see what we can find. It seems like people just dropped what they were doing and left.”
“I say we find a place to sleep and then keep searching in the morning.” They searched in a few more homes before they found a couple of comfortable beds to sleep in.
It seemed like hours before Marcia finally drifted off to sleep. She was exhausted, but also nervous about sleeping in a place she was unfamiliar with. It seemed like she had just fallen asleep when she was woken up. She sat up on the bed and rubbed her eyes. She looked over to the bed Lucinda was in, and she was sound asleep.
Marcia decided to get up and look around a little. It still was dark out, and still none of the moons had risen over the horizon. She looked at the stars which seemed more hazy than normal. Suddenly, she heard a noise coming from the side of a house. She looked over and thought she caught someone’s foot rounding the corner.
She quickly made chase with Lucinda’s dagger in her hand. After sneaking around the corner, she saw a woman who seemed to have a faint glow to her. The woman appeared to be a poor lady dressed in brown rags with dirty hair. The glow seemed to mismatch her appearance. She looked at Marcia and waved her to follow.
The woman continued to move in between buildings at a rapid pace, and Marcia was having a hard time keeping up with her. Marcia wanted to call out to her, but it was difficult being on the move. It wasn’t long before Marcia began to worry that she wouldn’t find her way back to Lucinda. The lady was leading her deeper into the city where a large castle stood. Lightning flashed behind the castle, which Marcia found strange because there were no clouds. Unlike the rest of the city, the castle almost seemed alive. There were torches that flickered in the windows high up in the towers. Even though she couldn’t see anyone inside, she felt like she was being watched.
The glowing lady led her to a bridge which led to the entrance of the castle. Marcia hesitated as she looked down under the bridge. There seemed to be no water, and she couldn’t see the bottom. The lady ran across the bridge, into the castle, and then vanished. Marcia took her first step on the bridge and was relieved to find that it was sturdy. She slowly made her way to the middle of the bridge and looked at the entrance. She found three sets of green eyes staring back at her, so she began to back up.
She wanted to make a dash for it, but when she turned around, there were two figures dressed in suits of armor facing her. They pulled out swords, as jagged as the streaks of lightning that lit up the sky. Marcia knew that her dagger was next to useless against these foes. She faced the entrance of the castle only to find that the green-eyed creatures had come out and were closing in on her. They were large and carried oversized morning stars. Their faces were distorted. One had a long thin face with a crooked mouth. One eye was near its hairline, as another was next to its noise. Another had a triangular face that came to a point at the top. Its jagged mouth was in the center of its face with one eye on the chin and the other one was where the right eye should be. The third’s face was cloaked with a hood. Marcia had no idea what they were.
She grabbed a hold of her dagger. As hopeless as she felt, she wasn’t going down without a fight. Within seconds, the monsters were upon her and she had no time to use her weapon.