Arka almost loses her footing but catches herself at the last second. Her hoofed feet scramble back to solid rock as loose pebbles tumble into darkness below.

The long journey from Hornswatch had made Arka question the wisdom of her excursion more than once — but now that she was here, on the descent into Screecher’s Gorge, she felt a calling like one she’d never experienced within her horned skull.

She would go deeper. She had to.