A Harvest of Broken Stars

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Chapter 39: Marble

Ada leaned back against the wall. It used to be cold, but not anymore. Instead, she felt oddly warm inside. And tired, so tired.

Find me, Gilmir.

She knew it wouldn’t work, no matter how hard she tried. Or how many times she tried. Even in his sleep, his mental barriers were up. When he was awake, she couldn’t even find him. His mind was guarded.

Ada had tried communicating with the elf as she had with the drow, conveying images and emotions rather than spoken words. Again, she projected what her senses told her about the cell. The cold, the sound of the rats, the smell of mould and decaying, human flesh.

She dosed and drifted away, leaving the dungeon and Sha’ton. Floating through the air, drawn towards something she did not know or understand. A warm wind enveloped her like a woollen blanket, comforting her.

Ada opened her eyes, and entered the gate of a beautiful city of gold and marble. Warm and clean. There was soft music, and laughter. Fair elves walked in the streets, smiling and singing. Everything was perfect.

‘Come,’ the wind beckoned.

Ada obeyed, until she stood in front of the long, polished steps of a marble palace, leading to an arched entrance on the third floor. Servants opened the tall double doors for her as she approached, and bowed for her as she entered the spacious audience hall.

In the centre of the round chamber, stood a huge starfall shard, taller than any man. Ada felt its immense power embrace her, remedying her aches and sorrows. Like a warm bath after a cold night out in the streets, but better. Much better.

Ada fell to her knees before the gigantic starglass. She reached out with her hands but did not dare touch it.

Movement caught her attention, distracting her from relishing the moment. Ada lifted her gaze, and saw a tall elf raising up from a throne behind the starglass. His blue eyes sparkled, like the sea on a beautiful summer day.

‘Welcome, Ada,’ he said, his voice gentle and melodious. ‘I’ve been waiting for you.’

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