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The Bells of the Deep

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The deep roar of falling rock is a sound no dwarrow wants to hear, and Daera turns toward what had been a moment before a working face. Ne can feel the hands of others holding nir back as they all watch the dark stone shatter and tumble toward the abyss they've worked above for years without worry. The rumbling and sliding seems to go on for hours, though ne knows it can't be more than minutes.

Minutes that take nir brother along with fourteen other dwarrows into the unknown depths of the Deep. No one will search for them, because there is no hope for their lives, with the dangers of the Deep. Everyone knows the Deep is the worst mine to trust your life to, but it offers up the best gems.

The first sound ne hears beyond the ghost of the roar are the great bells in the higher reaches of the mine, the ones played out and left behind. A peal for alarum, for rock-slide, for those who will already be counted among the dead, entombed in shattered rock.

Other bells will take up the toll, ringing the news through the mountains, from Hall to Hall. Daera strains against the hands that hold nir for a moment longer before turning, and clinging to nir companions with a strangled cry.