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of reality, seeming to belong to a more fundamental level of existence. As he stared at them, at those brilliant eyes that orchestrated so much suffering and death, he felt dissolution spreading inside him, felt as if he might fly apart at any moment, as if everything might fly apart, spin into a wild fury of chaos. It was a feeling from the past, a feeling he must fight.

He forced his eyes away. For the first time, he realized the full extent of the Shadows' superiority, their ancient power and knowledge. He had been a fool for believing he could come here and accomplish any part of his task.

Yet he was kin. As they carried power, so did he. As they worked behind the scenes, manipulating others, generating chaos and destruction, so did he.

He moved ahead through the cave. He didn't know how far he could get before they stopped him. If he'd gone unnoticed thus far, he didn't imagine it would last much longer. It might be that they already knew he was here. In any case, he must find Elizar and Razeel as quickly as he could. Then, one way or the other, he would be done.

He discarded his breather, having no further need of it. Once he got some distance from the Shadows, he flipped probes onto a few nearby Drakh. He hoped that the devices would go undiscovered here, where the Shadows believed themselves safe. He needed all the information he could obtain.

At the far end of the cave, two wide tunnels led in different directions. Focusing his sensors ahead and below, he searched for any sign of mage energy. The frequencies where that energy normally revealed itself were overrun with activity; Shadow tech radiated at those same frequencies.

A sound echoed down one of the tunnels, the regular beat of footsteps falling in unison. From around a curve, eight Drakh
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