Maggie leaned back against the pillar behind her.
The cavern they found themselves in was immense, larger than any building Maggie and Rory had ever seen. This was St. Paul’s Cathedral or Notre Dame, but buried under the earth, chiselled from rock.
They were far away now from the elements and the blizzard which raged in the open air above. They were sheltered; they couldn’t even hear the moan of the wind from here. Silence surrounded them, pierced by the odd footfall or whisper which would set up an echo that bounced eerily around the great hall of rocks.
Maggie saw Gavina glancing nervously towards the worm-tunnel which had led them here to this echoing cavern. She was anxious in case the soldiers proved persistent, and should find it too. After a while she encouraged the others to move further back into the darkness.
The centre of the hall seemed to be supported by a giant pillar bigger than a tree. Its diameter was as large as a house, and mineral deposits had formed golden ropes down its length. Behind this the cavern opened up into further hidden depths, alcoves and archways bridging the gaps of darkness. This was a very hollow mountain indeed. The gold light of the lantern picked out statues and sculptures of extraordinary design, leering goblins, tall ladies in crinoline, monsters and wolves.
Hopefully, even if the soldiers did get this far, maybe these sights would terrify them enough to persuade them to turn back – if they were of a superstitious nature. This is what Gavina encouraged them to believe, and the old woman Sorcha agreed with her.