The door of the chapel opens, admitting an emperor, two priests, a scholar, and the wind. The wind circles once around the grey hall, sending dust in flight where it touches the floor with its searching fingers, and stealing away the smoke of the incense from the hands of the priests.
“Ahtranir…” The scholar mutters the unpronounceable word with awe, gazing around at the grey stone arches.
“I’m glad that you like it,” the emperor says coldly- or perhaps that is just the snow building up by the cracked open door. “You shall have the honor of spending your last days here, due to your lack of cooperation.”
The scholar’s eyes grow wide.
“You wouldn’t,” he says.
“Oh, I would,” the emperor says almost gleefully.
“I taught you! I’ve known you since you were a child! You can’t! you can’t…”
“You may be educated,” says the emperor, “but you still have much to learn.”
The door is shut on the screams of the chapel. Surprisingly, however, the screams are not of the scholar. They are of the wind.