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Scorched Note

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This note is found in the Tomb of Nephos.

There's nowhere left to go, nowhere to run.

I got separated from Amal when a cave-in blocked the passageway into the depths of the tomb. In his typical unnatural calm, he said to go on, that we'd meet up again further down. But as I walked, the earth began to shake. Groaning and rumbling, the bedrock beneath the temple cried out like a waking beast.

I panicked and began to run but every step seemed to aggravate the beast further. I made it less than 20 feet before the shaking brought me to my knees. I continued to crawl, scraping my arms against the jagged stone floor, with no concept of where I was going, no plan of escape.

With a bone-shattering crack, the floor of the temple opened like a gaping maw, revealing the white hot river of flame below. I could not have imagined the depth of terror that consumed me in that moment as Amal's desperate screams echoed through the passage behind me. I somehow summoned the courage to move and dragged myself away from the searing heat. For a time, I cowered there as the tomb shook around me. Its groans and cracks resembled an oppressive voice that called out to me, that called out to all living things from the depths of the fiery river that flowed around me.

Then, as the shaking subsided, there was calm. I could still hear other cracks and booms in far off places, but the temple I lay in was still.

Now there is nothing, nothing but the sizzle and drone of the molten earth that now defines the island of solid rock that will be my final resting place. There are no riches, no treasure, only burning death and the voice that beckons me into the flames.