Priscilla walks along a roughly hewn stone path. The walls start off as rough, jagged rock, smoothing out and bearing increasingly deep indentations. By the shape of the shelf carved into the rock, it is clear that they are meant to house the mummified remains of whatever noble family created the crypt. Stone working tools lie strewn about the path, and dried puddles of rust-colored liquid coat the cool stone.
Sær remains in Priscilla's arms, still not yet fully thawed. His head pops over her fur, the rest of his body still encased. Every so often she leans her head down to blow warm breath across his body, even as the air warms and their breath no longer forms puffs of vapor.
The cave is pitch black, Priscilla's scythe unable spread it's eerie light past its leather sheath. Her large jade eyes open fully, her pupils expanding as far as they can. The cave is slowly outlined in blurry shades of gray to her.
"Priscilla, try raising your tail," Sær whispers.
"Hm? Why?" She asks.
"The reason your tail is so sensitive is because it's used like an antenna," he replies. "Since you're only half dragon, it probably isn't sensitive enough to feel much outside. But down here with no wind or animals, you should be able to feel vibrations in the air."
"I never knew," Priscilla says incredulously. "But how did you?"
"Your father's book," Sær answers.
Priscilla stretches her tail out, stiff as a board, then continues her trek. The cave goes deeper and deeper, until it feels as though they are entrenched in the very bowels of the earth.
"We're so far down," Sær remarks. "There must be a thousand feet of earth above us."
Priscilla shudders. "Pray do not remind me."
"Thousands of tons."
"All pressing down on this cave."
"Ready to come crashing down at any moment."
Sær laughs, popping back into the comfort of her fur.
~ ~ ~
Ghostly moans and whistles whip through the cave as the wind flows through it, tugging at the tapestries on the wall. The way forward is blocked by a massive stone door, so large that Priscilla could fit through it without stooping down.
Priscilla digs her feet into the ground straining against it with all her might. Sær follows suit, but the door doesn't budge. A faint breeze tickles his cheek, and he stands up, listening intently.
"It is no use," Priscilla huffs, slumping against the wall. "Let us go, Sær. I tire of this Dreary cave."
"Sær?" Priscilla says, her voice sounding very small in the long tunnel. The lamps had grown fewer and far between, the last so far away that it is no more than an orange pinprick.
Suddenly, there is a great clatter ringing out from behind the door, the sound of wood striking stone. With a mighty creak, the door shifts, dust cascading down around the nervous crossbreed and settling in her fur.
Priscilla hefts her scythe, prepared to strike.
An unkempt black and white tuft pokes out between the small gap, the head of a smiling man appearing shortly thereafter.
"Hello!" Sær chirps. "Guess who found a secret passage?"
Priscilla breathes a sigh of relief. "I suppose being gaunt as a ghost has it's advantages."
"Gaunt? Pshaw!" Sær snorts. "There is nothing but lean muscle on this undead!" He flexes and tries to arm-wrestle Priscilla's tail. With a flick she sends him flying.
"Yes yes, you are very intimidating, dear," Priscilla says, rolling her eyes. Sær grabs onto her shoulders mid-air, sitting on them and resting his forearms on her head.
"Almost to the end now, I think," Sær says, yawning.
"It's about time," Priscilla grumbles. "This adventure is starting to drag on a little too long for my taste."
"Agreed. I think an extra-long bath is in order when we get home."
"Are you calling me smelly?" Priscilla chuffs indignantly. "I will have you know that I do not sweat, and my fur repels dirt very well."
"I didn't mean-"
"In fact, the only time I smell is when you sweat all over my fur at night! The amount of times I have woken to find you burning up under my tail..."
Sær shifts uncomfortably. "It's hard to sleep if I'm not hugging it. You can't just get me addicted to fluffy tail and expect me to quit cold turkey once the summer arrives!"
"Well, you had best figure something out. If I wake up to find my precious coat all matted with sweat one more time, I shall pick you up and toss you into the laundry basket right along with your smelly smallclothes. See how you like that, mister man!"
"Then you had best watch yourself," Priscilla responds mercilessly.
* * *
Worn, dirty, tired and having had quite enough adventure for one day, The two lovers jump for joy when they see the warm magic lights in the distance signifying that they had finally reached the tomb. Priscilla jumps so high that she hits her head on the cave ceiling with a nasty thunk!
The main tomb is anything buy dreary, with high stone ceilings supported by pillars with intricate carvings telling stories of love and lust and battle and glory. Thick, warm curtains of deep reds and purples trimmed with gold hang between them, sheer silk veils making luxurious rooms where Noble-looking men and women lounge on tasseled pillows, drinking deeply from golden goblets.
The disheveled duo wander in, looking more out of place than Gravelord Nito at a baby shower. They slow their pace as they pass the threshold, looking around in wonder. The cavern expands as far as the eye can see, the ceiling only visible by the firelight dancing in the reflection of precious gems inlaid into the ornate stone carvings along it. Stairs cut into stone corkscrew up the support pillars, leading into upside-down houses carved into rock.
Spheres of light hover throughout the massive cavern, throwing warm rays upon rows of wheat and grapes lining the carved stone walkways. Ghosts carrying trays laden with wine and cheese float along the stone, flitting in and out of sight as they pass through light and shadow.
One gently floats to a stop in front of Priscilla, holding up his tray to her.
"WOOOOOOO~ould you like a glass of sang-REEEEE-a, madam?" It wails.
"Oh!" Priscilla says, covering her mouth in suprise. "I-I certainly would, thank you!" She reaches out, only for her hand to phase right through the glass. The tired crossbreed reels back, losing her balance and falling right on her rump, sending up a cloud of dust.
The ghost spins around her. "Psychhhh~" it taunts, wafting away on a scant breeze.
"You can't touch a ghost unless you're cursed," Sær says rather unhelpfully.
Priscilla's face burns scarlet, her fists clenched in embarrassed anger. "Oooh, that..! That..! That wretched wraith! You! YES YOU, YOU POLTERGETIC, POXY-FACED PRAT! THINE OWN MATRIARCH IS LADEN THOROUGHLY WITH ILLNESS, BESET WITH GRIEF FOR HAVING BIRTHED A SPECTRE WHOSE CRAVEN NATURE IS OF SUCH UNIMAGINABLE MAGNITUDE!"
Her angry tirade sends forth a flurry of ice crystals, the stinging gale sweeping up the spirit and flinging it unceremoniously into the distance. With a flick of her scythe, Priscilla hooks the jug of wine by the handle before it can crash to the ground, grabbing it and drinking deeply.
Sær jumps up, eagerly trying to grab the jug before she finishes it fully. She is having none of it however, and responds by upending the now-empty jug and placing it over his head.
"Aw," he groans.
"Cease your wine-ing," Priscilla quips.
"Don't put your old jugs in my face," Sær retorts.
* * *
The pair continue on their trek, quickly realizing that the cavern is larger than they ever could have imagined. Different sections existed for every necessity; this cave a brewery, that cave a bathhouse, more still for spinning wool, making potions, treating waste, repairing furniture, each post manned by servile spectres dressed in the tattered wisps that remained of their servant garb.
The noblemen and noblewomen paid them no mind, too engulfed in debauchery to care or even notice them.
Sær groans. "Well, it doesn't seem we'll be able to loot this tomb. I don't think these 'corpses' would take too kindly to that."
"Well corpses they must be," Priscilla replies. "They are not Undead, and clearly not of godly descent. And there have been no human nobles in Lordran for hundreds of years! Perhaps they too, are ghosts?"
She prods a passing noblewoman with the shaft of her scythe, whereupon it sinks in to her portly figure. To her immense credit, she isn't one whit intimidated by the thirteen foot tall crossbreed, not even paying her mind save for a huff of indignation.
"A bit haughty for a ghost, don't you think?" Sær says wryly.