Paign jumped to his feet and wove his way through the falling bits of flame, fractured stone and debris. As he came to each of the fallen commanders, he laid his hand on their foreheads and bowed a moment.
Glancing over his shoulder, he shouted, “I’m sorry, all of you! I never meant for this to happen.” Turning back, his eyes welled with tears.
As he neared the line marking the end of the ledge and the beginning of the void, Paign noticed noises, none of them pleasant, quickly increasing. Other sensations were returning as he approached the edge. Heat. Pain. Stench. Fear was already with him.
Peering over the edge, Paign was staggered by the number of gargoyles advancing on their position. Many were scaling up the tallest stalagmites, then jumping to a long stalactite. Many more were in flight. Filled with wonder at the bravery of Prohximus, Conomorg and Ita-Mudak at defending their ledge in the face of such an overwhelming force, Paign’s knees buckled under.
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