It was utterly dark, not one thing could be seen at all. There was little noise, this dark place was deathly silent.
There was not even the sound of vermin.
This deep quiet was broken by a yell of surprise and a thump.
A grunt lumbered its way out from whatever had fallen, signally that the quiet was most assuredly over.
“Ohhh, what happened? Where am I? Why is it so dark here? Is anyone one here? Hello?” the voice was young, male, but was for some reason or another a bit cracked.
A heavy sigh replied to the young voice. Then trailing tiredly after the sigh was a dry dusty voice.
“I am here”
There was shuffling and stumbling as the owner of the young voice made his way over to where he heard the dry dusty voice. Hald luirn
“Where are we? Oh, forgive me, my name is Pugh Delver”
“Hmm, I am…” The voice paused a bit, as if recalling his own name.
“Haldluirn, I am Haldluirn, as for where we are, we are in an oubliette.”
An oubliette, a place where one was supposedly left to be forgotten.
“I don’t understand” Pugh complained “I was just in the mines, I wasn’t even in a labyrinth! I just fell into a dark crack”
“Well, given you came from mines, and there is no mines here or beyond this oubliette, I suppose you must have slipped from Kigan into Awarth.
Pugh was stunned, he had heard tell of people falling through mirrors, and shadows into Awarth, but he hadn’t realised that one could fall into Awarth through darkness, but he supposed it made sense, given that Awarth was the mirrorworld of Kigan, dark to Kigan’s light. He guessed that some people could end up in Awarth from dreaming.
“This is terrible, how do I get out, how do I get back to Kigan, my home, Darnuth?” Pugh wailed.
“You don’t, this is an oubliette, people aren’t supposed to get out, kinda defies the nature of these things to do that, young dwarf.”
“It’s hopeless th… wait, you can see in this pitch blackless?”
Haldluirn gave a coughing laugh, curiously there was a faint clacking.
“In a manner of speaking yes, though if you had the fortune to have been born a gwearn dwarf you’d be able to see far better than I can”
“Well, I’m not sure being able to see in the dark is a good trade off for weaker sanity, besides, though I’m a hath, I can still eat the rocks, so I won’t starve down here I’m sure there is a load of stone”
Pugh fumbled about in the dark until his hands found something. It was a strange rock, one that had the oddest depressions in it. It actually didn’t feel very much like any rock Pugh had felt before.
“Excuse me, but could you perhaps remove your fingers from my eye sockets?”
Pugh fell back in surprise.
“Y-you are a s-skeleton, y-your dead!”
“I did say that people don’t get out of here. I died my first here. To be honest, I’m surprised I haven’t gone mad, then again, maybe I have and you are just a figment of my imagination. I wouldn’t really be surprised”
Pugh was silent for a time.
“Ok, now I really want to get out, no offence but I’d prefer not to be among the living dead”
“Oh, none taken, I mean it is small mercies my spirit has not rotted into wraith yet, but there really is no way out of this place, believe me I’ve tried, both living and dead. If you feel around, you won’t even feel scratches I made while digging, because no matter how much I tried, I could not even make a single scratch. As for climbing? Well, I tried that too, but it’s completely smooth, and at least twice as high as I could jump”
“Wait, twice as high? What if you stood on my shoulders?”
There was silence.
“That is brilliant!”
Standing on Pugh’s shoulders Haldluirn was able to make the jump, not only that but he was able to fashion rope from his surroundings to get Pugh out of the pit too.
“Ahhh sweet freedom, well sort of freedom”
Pugh was puzzled.
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we are still stuck in a labyrinth. But hey, we might be fortunate and it might have a city in it or above it or something like that.”
“How am I going to get back to Kigan?”
“Well Pugh, I’m not rightly sure, welcome to Awarth, we might even get out of this labyrinth in a few years.”
“How old were you when you got into this labyrinth?”
“I can’t remember to be honest, don’t even remember why I came here, well we aren’t getting anywhere just standing here!”
So Haldluirn and Pugh went off in the labyrinth. Haldluirn glad to get his old bones out of the oubliette and Pugh uncertain of his future.