A visitation of my previous sins. A drive turned upon the southern continent in panic, thankfully far from any habitation. Screaming away from an engagement foolishly joined, and even more carelessly abandoned.
“No,” I said. “It must have been something else. The Augers had ten years to do this.”
Nogilian frowned. “The caldera, too, has been opened.” We had reached the lip of the Cup of Gods. He was right. The same finger that had gouged the gap in the western cliffs had furrowed the glacier that sat in the bottom of the bowl. The wound had not healed.
The Road to the Sun ended at the caldera’s rim, but thankfully so did the wind. The cliffs and peaks around silenced all. The path down onto the glacier was a slim trickle of snow. Nogilian got everyone sorted into fifth file, which was all the wider the trench down the middle looked to be.
We rode on down, the two of us on point. The ice piled high on either side, first one story, then two, then three. I stated to get the feeling that there was something wrong. It did not lessen when there appeared human-shaped humps lying on the trail ahead, covered by new snow and ice. The cleft was filling up again, would have been ever since its creation.
“Our Guardian,” said Nogilian.
“Yeah.” There was the issue of what had happened to the original Auger searching party. The lone survivor who returned had been nearly incoherent. When he’d started talking about the terror of the Void, I had assumed an avalanche or long fall.
Neither of which had happened here. And the bodies were lying helter-skelter, as though killed in fleeing panic. There must have been a thousand of them. I slowed everyone to a stop. That's when I happened to look into the ice, on my right.