“I will,” promised Nomis as they carried their precious cargo into the tower.
The interior of the Hunters’ Tower was much the same as his own tower, housing around a thousand or so, but the Coblyn inhabitants looked very different to the Elfins. Their hair and eyes were indeed dark reddish-brown. If Nomis hadn’t fully understood before Gludog’s defensiveness about his colouring being so different: he did now.
Gludog awkwardly led the way through the maze of tunnels, juggling the single firebrand and the stretcher, being careful not to burn his patient. Suddenly, Nomis felt a chill breeze brush against his cheek. He was surprised to find that they had come to the edge of an underground lake beneath the tower. Small coracles were pulled up against the wall of the tunnel. A dim light shone from somewhere far above them.
“This is where we have to be a bit careful and keep a sharp ear out for the Dynols,” Gludog warned.
“Why’s that?” Nomis was puzzled, not seeing how they could possibly have any thing to do with them down here.
“This water’s the surface of their well and it’s dangerous to cross it if they are filling the pail on the winch,” Gludog replied, jerking his thumb upwards.
Nomis looked up and far above them, he saw a small circle of light. “Where’re we making for? I can’t see any tunnels leading off from anywhere,” Nomis asked. “Where are these coracles s’posed to be paddled to, then?”
“This is one of our better defences against intruders, don’t you think then? We make for that far wall of the well and then we climb onto that platform, attached to the side of the large bucket over there.” Gludog was already getting settled into one of the flimsy looking, round boats, unstowing the oars. He motioned Nomis to pass over the litter and helped him place the baby shrew comfortably in the bottom of the craft.
He paddled out into the middle of the well. Nomis was still at a loss to understand where they were ultimately making for; he could not see any way out. They reached the small landing stage attached to the side of the large bucket that Gludog had mentioned. When they were