The dark void seemed endless as Aphari approached it. A freezing cold gust whooshed from the basement, causing Aphari to shudder violently. Amongst the blackness, an orange glow emerged, bathing Aphari in a soothing light. Her mind eased as the luminous figure glided forwards, taking the shape of a wolf.
"Do you remember the stories they used to tell us about the guards, Aphi?" It spoke serenely, the words almost like a song in Aphari's mind. She stepped forwards, wanting to reach out to the glowing wolf and bask in its warming glow.
"The noblest at heart and protectors of those in danger, we could be that one day!" The luminous wolf's voice scratched on the surface of a distant memory in Aphari's mind. She concentrated harder, her thoughts sent searing pain through her head.
The luminous wolf came closer, she almost felt the heat from its breath. But then something else seeped from the darkness, bringing the frozen darkness with them. They swarmed the luminous one and drowned out its warming light. Harsh whispers struck her like poisonous barbs.
"Don't leave, I want you to hear him scream."
Aphari fell back, stricken with fear. Seeing his opportunity, Gar lumbered forwards and headed through the dark stairway leading down to the basement. His feet caught up beneath him and he tottered hastily down into darkness. He tripped on the final step and fell, grazing his chin along the cold stone floor.
He winced and opened his eyes to see two clawed feet standing in front of him. He slowly looked up and couldn't believe what he say.