Although he ached from head to toe, Nomis eased himself up and moved to the back of the crack. He wondered which part of him had been in the Garden because his ‘clay body’, as Pelydryn had called it, felt just like that … cold and clammy!
He climbed down and went through into the main Elfin tunnel that led from the eastern entrance to the living quarters of the colony. The amount of workmanship done by the Elfin stonemasons never failed to amaze Nomis. They must have laboriously enlarged the joint between these two massive blocks, forming the outer skin of the Great Tower, originally constructed by the Dynols.
They had needed to gain admittance to a safer building ground for the thousands of displaced Tylwyth Teg folk. This smooth, regular and yet ornately carved, entrance tunnel led to a rougher tunnel. This was hollowed-out from the seven-foot thick, stone and earth infill that the Dynols used to give their castle walls strength and depth between the two outer skins of stonemasonry.
As Nomis felt his way inside, he was glad he hadn’t witnessed the burning of their original wooden castle near the river, a hundred and nine years ago. The attack and the terrible screams of both Dynols and Tylwyth Teg as they burnt to death, were still talked about, in hushed yet shuddering tones, by those who had survived.
Nomis turned a series of corners and reached up high above him with an unlit firebrand to light it from the tunnel torch. At all the major points within the Elfin tunnelling, there was a collection of spare firebrands. Once someone had finished their journey through the maze of tunnels and passages, they would extinguish the torch and leave it with the spare ones. It was one of the younger Elfin’s tasks at each break of day to go round and check that the firebrands were evenly distributed. Nomis had once been in charge of this very tunnel and stairway junction.