Picking a door Duncan pushed it open as bravely as he could muster, it was dark inside the reflection of the candlelight reflecting briefly from dozens of surfaces within, but unable to penetrate the darkness enough to see by.
Reaching back he took the candle off the wall, before moving back to face the gloom. With his light he moved forwards and into the room, in the darkness he could make out a bench in the centre and multiple shelves that lined the walls. Scanning around revealed to room as free from enemy much to the boy’s relief but neither did it contain the young girl they’d come looking for.
“Over there” Quillen pointed, towards the bench.
Duncan nodded, seeing what his young friend was looking at. The bench was blood smeared and attached to it lay chain’s and manacles.
“Do.. do .. all dungeon’s have those” Quillen dared ask.
“Our Castle doesn’t” Duncan replied “At least if it does I’ve never seen it, I’ve heard about them though they are used for torture .
“Torture… why would my father do something like that?” Quillen asked in disbelief his fear and revulsion still screaming out for all to see.
“Well she’s not in here” Duncan noted, let’s keep looking.
Heading to the other door, Duncan pushed this one open as cautiously as he’d done the first, finding this one dimly lit it led to a small corridor off which sat two celled rooms.
Creeping down to the first ignoring the growls and animal noises that came from the second, Duncan peered inside. At first he didn’t see anything, but as his vision adjusted to the darkness he made out a figure lying on the far side in a cot “Alice” he whispered “Are you Alice?”
The figure stirred and turned to meet his gaze. “Please help me” It begging.
Duncan looked pitifully at man as he turned, he was naked and dirty looking like he hadn’t eaten in some time, the figure rose and as it moved towards him he noticed the blood stains all over his skin, which in turn drew his attention to the blood that smeared the walls and floors. “May lord have mercy” Duncan mumbled his horror causing him to fall back away from the sight. “there are standards, even for prisoners”
Quillen nodded in agreement, “We’ll come back for you” he promised. “Let’s see if Alice is in the next”
Duncan composed himself and nodded, edging cautiously along the wall towards the next cell, from which by now whimpering could be heard. “Watch yourself” he warned Quillen, “Some kind of animal”
Closer to the torch this cell was well lit and inside both boy’s could clearly see what lay within. “It’s just a wolf” Quillen said sounding surprised.
Duncan nodded “but why do the have it chained up that way?” he asked, tilting his head to the side trying to fathom why anyone would chain up an animal in such a manner. It was chained on all four legs, all spread as far as the the physiology of the beast would allow, seeing them it began to whimper frantically.
“She’s not here” Duncan sighed “We came for nothing, Lar’s is attacking and she isn’t even here”
Quillen sighed, unable to share his friends opinion if nothing less the trip had been a learning experience though one he wished he hadn’t needed.
Heading back to the first cell, Duncan peered inside back towards the man. “Have you seen a girl?” he asked.
“A what?” the man asked, as though he hadn’t quite caught the sentence.
Moving closer Duncan spoke up “Have you seen a young girl, we have reason to believe Tarik has her?”
The man stumbled forward, reaching the bars, “A what, a girl?”
“Yes have you seen her?” Duncan asked eagerly.
The man nodded, “Yes… yes I’ve seen her” he whispered“she’s..”
“Yes..” Duncan nodded, moving closer still straining to hear what the man was saying. Then it happened as fast as a flash the man suddenly moved, reaching though the bar’s he grabbed Duncan roughly by the arms and pulling him in, smashing his head into the iron bars and before either of them could react he’d bitten down hard on the young princes neck.