And saw a golden corkscrew spire, nearly as high as the glacier itself. It wasn’t more than a hand’s breadth within the ice, or I never would have seen it. I reached out toward it.
“Guardian,” said Nogilian.
“Yeah,” I said again. In response to my motion, the spire flared with lines of blue and green light. They shot up the spire like veins, flashing through the ice for one long moment.
Roads that went nowhere. A caldera worshipped and called the Cup of Gods. This corkscrew in all-too familiar tones. One wondered what exactly one stood upon. I started forward at a crawl.
“Guardian!” hissed Nogilian.
I put out my hand. “It’s okay,” I said. “I think I know what happened here.”
I turned a jagged corner of ice in the path. It was filling in that way, too. “Hold everyone back,” I said.
Before me, spirits danced. I know no other way to describe it. The cleft filled and swirled with waves of golden incandescence like twisted glass, fluttering in a wind entirely their own. Shafts of green and blue shot through the pattern, mirroring the scheme of the corkscrew in the ice.
I rode nearer. The Cup of Gods, I thought. The faith of this world had held that all deities were gone.
And saw, of course, that not all the spires were in the ice. Just where the lightshow began, half of one emerged from the glacier on the right. Beyond it, another protruded on the left, canting at an angle which suggested wreckage. Obviously, those were the ones making the display. On an impulse, I looked into the ice on my right again.
And beheld a sweeping arc, again blue and green and golden, that twisted around itself like a shell one finds by the sea. It was the kind of thing you could have easily fit a dozen people in, if none of them had spines. It very definitely joined a larger shape at the bottom, though in a way so gentle that there was no seam.