Brevian moved through the rough-hewn stone and earth of the catacombs beneath the tomb using the pale light cast by his sword to see. The smell of rot and decay filled became stronger as he progressed further into the Broken King’s lair. He could hear the occasional shifting of earth and rocks as he pushed forward.
As the tunnel opened into a cavern, Brevian lifted his blade above him and whispered, “Lux.”
The blade flared with light, showing the ceiling hundreds of feet above him, as well as the dozens of bodies that surrounded him. The soldiers that had been sent weeks ago lay slain among the cultists.
“So this is what happened,” Brevian muttered as he knelt next to the captain of the soldiers, “I hope for all our sake, you were able to stop the ritual.”
“BREVIAN!” Allira cried out, echoing through the cavern.
“Allira,” Brevian replied, turning in a circle, “where are you?”
“BREVIAN, HELP ME!” Allira screamed.
Brevian’s breath came quickly as he searched through the bodies. He recognized some of the faces of the men he had trained but failed to find Allira. The sound of a chain rattling above him drew his gaze.
There, near the ceiling, a tiny figure struggled against the chains that held her.
“ALLIRA!” Brevian called out.
“Welcome, Lord Brevian of the Ashen Wood,” a deep, gritty voice said as the earth beneath Brevian’s feet began to shudder.
The floor around him began to fall away, taking the corpses of the fallen with it, as light erupted through the chasm before him. Deep below, he watched as a massive form moved, jagged and spiked like a dragon made of iron. It stretched what resembled a hand up and grabbed the ledge in front of Brevian, pulling hard as it rose before him.
A crooked, crowned head the size of a farmer’s house came into view with two giant, glowing eyes that burned with a deep crimson. Each movement of its body sounded like grinding metal as it lifted itself high above Brevian, looking down on him with a cracked grin on its face.
The Broken King had returned.