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May 25 2021 -

Whispers in the Deep

ram could not help himself but let out a big yawn as he trudged through the mineshaft, pickaxe in hand. He was one of three prospectors who had been sent out to explore this uncharted area below Kazordoon, a fairly routine affair for them which did not elicit much excitement. Bram would have much preferred to sleep a while longer instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, and thoughts of his warm, cosy bed occupied his mind as he was barely able to keep his eyes open. Merely a little rest...

You are so tired. You need to sleep. Just a short nap. Lie down. Lie down.

Bram spun around. Now wide awake, his gaze was trying in vain to pierce the pitchblack darkness which filled the mineshaft ahead. Nothing stirred in front of him, as his heartbeat drummed up a storm.

"Is somebody there?", did he finally inquire, quietly, as not to awaken something inside the tunnel.

Again, no response but a dark maw starring at him. The dwarf tried to calm his nerves. He was tired, did not have his wits about him. No reason to panic.

You can be one of us. Join us. Join us.

"Who said that?!", shouted Bram. The voice sounded so near. Sweat formed on his forehead.

"Said what?"

Skagi had appeared behind him, with Agvald approaching as well. Both prospectors looked curiously at their colleague.

"That wasn't you? Tell me that was you!"

"What in Durin's name are you even talking about?"

"Those whispers! That... voice."

Agvald and Skagi looked at him with a mix of confusion and concern, before exchanging a disturbed look.

"Are you alright? You don't look too good."

"I'm fine, I'm fine. I mean... I'm a little tired, but... what I heard..."

"Maybe you should lie down. Just a short nap."

"Wha... what did you just say?"

They mock you behind your back. No one can be trusted. They are planning and scheming.

"A nap might do you good is all I'm saying."

Your friends are weak. They will give in to the voices. They will kill you.

"Stay away from me!" screamed Bram as he ran back to Kazordoon as if the elder gods themselves were after him, leaving behind two very befuddled dwarves.