“Welcome to the garden of Ogmios,” said Merlin, his words whispered by ghostly voices till they faded into silence. “Here he tends the roots of the mountain and grows his home from living rock. Look well, Heart of Earth, for you will not see its like again.” Rhea was spellbound by the beauty of the place and could well believe that this spectacular hall had been wrought by art and not mere chance. All the colours of a pigeon’s breast glowed on the graceful curves of the rock, catching and reflecting the golden witch-light.
Rhea had seen the show caves of Cheddar and the deep, silent caverns at Chislehurst, neither of which possessed the vibrancy and vigour of this place. Cheddar’s wedding cake loveliness was as nothing compared to the living filigree of stone through which she now walked.
In the centre of the cave, a large central space held a great slab of millstone grit, shaped like a couch with a raised pillar at one end. It reminded Rhea of the altar on the moor which she had touched that first day, save only that this was much larger and had not suffered the erosion of wind and rain.
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