The drums sounded again. I did not hear them starting, as if they were never gone. Deep and frenetic like an army from lands unknown they marched through the stone. They resonated through the still humid air of the upper Agowl louder than they ever sounded on the surface. Like voracious predators, they hunted for weak minds whose ignorance is blindness. Reverberating throughout the ground around my feet the haunted rhythm surrounded me. It slowly circled, observed, and converged. The rolling thunder ran through my bones, penetrated my ribcage, defeated my heartbeat, and suffocated me. At that cursed instant, I ought to run yet I crumbled. Waves of fire traversed my shaking mass, there on the rough gravelly pathway. The massive and hastily carved pillars around me shook and trembled like witnesses of the atrocious truth.
I cannot pretend to understand what is down there beyond the ruins. What monumental force, what unnatural monstrosities could possibly haunt the lands beyond reality?
As I completely surrendered to words that were not mine, I was dragged away. Crawling through the sharp ridges against my will, away from the only safe path, and into the dense nightmare of crevasses and spikes. I could only watch, terrified, as my own body lead me deeper into the inescapable maze of cruel rock. From my frothing mouth came sounds and screams I did not recognize. Like an agonizing blind beast, growling and howling in the dark I kept creeping off the beaten path. Under my knees the ground would sometimes vanish, dropping steeply into blackness, before revealing itself to my touch again a step further.
I must have hallucinated because I could swear that my ill-adjusted eyes saw things in the precipices. Things I shall not describe for I could never do justice to the fantastical dementia of those things. Just beyond my reach was this world of unimaginable complexity and novelty. Yet I was not the explorer anymore I was being explored. And my puppeteers were about to leave me stranded.