That was the strange mine of souls. As secret ores of silver they passed like veins through its darkness. Between the roots blood welled, flowing onwards to Mankind, and it looked as hard as Porphyry in the darkness. Otherwise nothing was red.
There were cliffs and straggling woods. Bridges over voids, and that great grey blind lake, that hung above its distant floor like a rain-filled sky above a landscape. And between meadows, soft and full of patience, one path, a pale strip, appeared, passing by like a long bleached thing.
And down this path they came.
In front the slim man in the blue mantle, mute and impatient, gazing before him. His steps ate up the path in huge bites without chewing: his hands hung, clumsy and tight, from the falling folds, and no longer aware of the weightless lyre, grown into his left side, like a rose-graft on an olive branch.… Read the rest