The Maw of the Dragon
IN THE BEGINNING
And so, we start in Thrax prison. The most secure location in all of Sylphania, and possibly the world. Staffed by those goblins that have left their clans for civilisation, Thrax is a gloomy and soulless place housing over 4000 prisoners. However, you’ll not be staying there very long. In fact, on the first night a golden opportunity presents itself.
The prison wagon trundles in through the gates. You see around you various other convicts who have been fated to an eternity in Thrax. The complex seems small on the surface: four medium-sized buildings perched on top of a hill. You’re all piled out of the wagon, hands and legs in irons. You see that at the centre of these buildings is a square with a chopping block and gallows raised in the centre. Overlooking the square are four nightmarish-looking stone statues with wings and horrible tusked faces. Suddenly there’s a juddering sound and you can just about see the hangman’s noose pulled taught before your supervisor yells “KEEP WALKIN’!”. You can see that the statues have changed pose – they now applaud and laugh, pointing at the gallows.
The supervisor takes you down several floors, each containing cells stretching into the darkness. Eventually, he leads you into a block that has four empty cells next to each other. You prisoners are all locked up in your cells and the lights are extinguished. Hours pass. Perhaps days. Eventually, for a few brief minutes, the section ward leaves his post. Normally, the guards stop any and all communication between the prisoners, but now there are no guards you are free to speak.