Beneath the dome of the Runeforge’s vast, central cavern, Mallisun was growling in the back of his throat. It was a subtle sound—a rolling rumble like muted timpani. Syphacia doubted any of the others would notice it at all. That meant it was for her.
Stop it, Syphacia ordered him over their mental link.
Not right here, Mallisun answered her.
I know, Syphacia replied. She looked down at the cat, “But growling isn’t going to help.”
Mallisun stopped the growl, but his ears stayed flat, and his tail twitched anxiously. The cat’s tension had put a tight knot in Syphacia’s stomach—as if she needed anything else to distract her.
Ahead of her, the others eyes were mostly upwards, trying and failing to take in the enormous scale of the place. Seven towering statues dominated the room, each bearing the face of a tyrant from millennia past. They looked like villains to a one.
Want to leave, Mallisun told her.
“We can’t leave until we find out what we’re here for,” Syphacia answered in a low whisper. “Right now we don’t even know how to leave. This isn’t like anywhere else we’ve been Mal. We’re not even in Golarion anymore.”
Still want to leave.
Redgar’s gruff voice boomed in the silence that surrounded them, “We’ll set up our camp here and explore the hallways one by one. We’d best organize a watch order…though it’s going to be hard to tell time down here.”
“There’s no sun,” Razan observed sourly.
“There’s no anything,” Coram added with a smirk.
Mallisun’s growl threatened to return.
Syphacia put a soothing hand on the firepelt’s flank, “Settle down Mal…just settle down. You need to rest. I’ll get you some venison out if you want. Would you like that?”
Mallisun answered, Yes… but he didn’t see happy about it.
Syphacia sloughed her pack off her shoulder and began digging for her pouch of dried meat. When she found it, she unwrapped it and knelt down to offer it to Mallisun. The cat took the whole thing with a single swipe of his sandpaper tongue.
“Chew it,” she told him.
Mallisun had already swallowed it by the time she got the words out. The cat thought, We leave soon?
“As soon as we can.”
Mallisun lowered his head, then moved forward to collide with Syphacia’s shoulder. He circled her three times before finding a comfortable place to lay down at her feet.
Not right here, the cat thought again as he closed his eyes.
“You’re right Mal,” she answered softly. Syphacia looked again to the circle of cruel statues that surrounded them, “You’re so right.”