Charlie has finally reached the City Of Magic, where waits the lost elven magic he has been searching for. But the city is a ruin, his friends are missing, and there is a darkness known only as the Void slowly creeping over everything.
When Charlie comes across a group of elves, he hopes they will be able to help him locate the Silver Catacombs, but everything is not as it seems. There are two groups of elves in the city, one who resist the Void and one who worship it. It’ll be up to Charlie to figure out who his true allies are. Danger lurks around every crumbling ruin and betrayal always comes from within.
The stuttering sound of an automatic rifle filled the air as Raven loosed the last of her ammo. Thomas was unable to see if the bullets had any effect on the wraiths, but one of the ponies screamed and the wagon suddenly lurched forward. Thomas had just enough time to roll his legs up out of the way before the slight protection of the wagon was gone.
Wraiths darted here and there, swooping and diving at those in the tunnel. Not three feet from Thomas, a dead elf laid in a puddle of blood, his chest ripped open to the bone. A panicky terror began to well up inside Thomas as a little voice in the back of his head screamed at him to run. The only safe way was back the direction they had come, as he seemed to be at the edge of the battle and that way lay free and clear.
Another An-Dean fell beneath a shrieking wraith, his face left unrecognizable by the creature’s claws. That did it for Thomas. He rolled over onto all fours and crawled away until he felt it safe enough to stand. Then he ran.
“Thomas,” Miranda’s voice called after him, “don’t leave us.”
He didn’t even slow, but ran full out as fast as he could down the tunnel. Toward safety. Toward life. What good would it do him to turn back anyway? Better a live coward than a dead hero, he thought. He was not Charlie, to throw himself between someone else and death. That was a fool’s notion.
Charlie was probably already dead. And if he was stuck here anyway, he might as well live to enjoy it. He was aligned with Ezel, who would be leader of the An-Dean once those wraiths killed Mish. And with Everclear gone the Solari were open for grabs. Maybe he could make a decent sort of life for himself here. It wouldn’t be like back home, but any kind of life was better than the alternative.
So what if Miranda died? Even if Thomas was king of Angland, even if Charlie was dead, she would never be his. Ezel could be Miranda for him whenever he wanted. There was no difference. But even as these thoughts rolled through his head, his pace had started to lessen.
He stopped to catch his breath then turned to look behind him. Either he had been running longer than he thought or the tunnel somehow threw off one’s perceptions, for it seemed he was far away from where he’d started. The site of the battle was nothing but a dim blur in the distance.
Something held him there, transfixed, something fighting against his natural inclination to keep on running and it took him a moment to work out just what it was. It was the same something that had prompted him to tell Commander Onguard about Miranda’s mental ability, thus saving her from the slaughter at the camp. The thing that had made him fight to keep his hold on Charlie’s mind in the castle and had prompted him to take action and shoot Everclear. Now it was telling him to go back because, of all the rotten things he’d done in his life, leaving Miranda behind to die without even trying to help was the one thing that would keep him up at night.
Somewhere, somehow, despite all that had happened, he had fallen in love with her without even realizing it. It struck him now, leaving him feeling dazed and disoriented. “Well, shit. How did that happen?” He didn’t know, but it left him with no choice.
“I must be crazy,” he muttered, as he trotted back toward the fight.