Chapter 3

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Khyrhyelle, Lhynette and Qelharre descended into the depths of the Towers' dungeons. The Towers had many underground passages and levels, most terminating in dead ends. Passages began under both towers but only one was interconnecting. There were also many rooms, most empty, a few containing precious (or dangerous, whichever way you prefer to look at it) herbs and artifacts mainly used for casting elaborate spells.

The passages were unknown to any save the Council. And of the Council, only Khyrhyelle, Wyxotte and Qelharre knew most of the layout. This was the first time Lhynette had ever been past the storerooms. She replaced Wyxotte on this excursion for two reasons. First, Khyrhyelle had decided before that should the teleportation spell fail, Lhynette would accompany Qelharre on their quest to retrieve the wizard. Second, it was doubtful that the dwarf could take the strain of descending the dungeon at her age.

They had been travelling for nearly an hour, passing the storerooms on the first two subterranean levels as well as the actual dungeons on the seventh level. They had reached the eleventh level. Movement was slow. The passages were narrow, sometimes only wide enough for one to pass at a time. While the walkways tended to slant downward, the levels themselves were set off by stairs. The stairs could be difficult to negotiate, sometimes having as many as a hundred steps, sometimes very steep and sometimes winding. The only light was supplied by the torches the witches carried. Combined with the stale, heavy air the smoke from the torches burned already tired eyes. A Spell of Teleportation would have saved much time, but Khyrhyelle's energy level was too low.

"How much farther?" Lhynette whined. She had stopped and leaned against a wall. Her white robe was soiled and her cowl was lowered, revealing shoulder length golden blonde hair damp with sweat. Like Dhynelle, grey had begun to set in. Her doe-like soft brown eyes pleaded for a rest.

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