Hearing the voices growing louder, he quickened his pace even as his bloodied feet slipped on the rough stone of the ground.
He thought he must be getting close when he met a rocky wall blocking his path.
He finds the gap, pushing through, to then fall into a large river.
The torch did not snuff out, as it would have were this a normal river; instead, the flame burned brighter and the stick gently tugged him, guiding his way forward through the River of Torn Souls.
Following the pull of the torch with trepidation, he glanced down at the lost souls drifting aimlessly and whispered, "This time I'll keep my promise, Esra."
As he looked back at the river behind him, he was troubled by the enemy's men drawing ever closer to him.
He allowed the currents to pull him to the depths of the River, and no longer in immediate danger, he looked around at his surroundings for the first time.
So he reached. . .and took the book beside that tome, some children's fairytale about eggs that fell from high places.
He drew his ethereal knife, the Oathbreaker, and slipped the edge of the blade between the links of the silver chain, but was interrupted as a shower of tiny stones rained down from the ceiling.
Refusing to second guess himself any longer, Hakkan freed and offered the book of nursery rhymes to the river, trusting in the mix of innocence, darkness, and absurdity to appease the torn souls within it.
Taking in the new, unfamiliar sights, he saw a familiar face beside him.
Valerie gasped, and almost as if she was in a trance, she feverishly muttered, "He's here now, Hakkan, don't turn around."
There he stood: Humpty Dumpty glared at Hakkan with yolk oozing out of the crack on the side of his head.
His eyes widened in horror at the terrible sight, "It wasn't my fault!" he pleaded with the hateful egg. "I tried to save you Humpty, you know I did! I called for all my father's horses and all of his men... But they couldn't... They couldn't..." his words trailed off as the egg drew closer, nothing but vengeful malice in his eyes.
Hakkan heaved the rock, struck the eggshell of this Humpty Dumpty, shattering him into pieces, and from the egg shards an enormous, dark, shadowy monster appeared in a swirl of black dust --- a dreamleech indeed.
Before doing anything else, Hakkan turned back to see Valerie, sure she'd know what to do; however he saw nothing but an ominous purple mist.
Valerie died fourteen years ago, when Hakkan sacrificed her to the river of lost souls in his quest for power; unfortunately, choosing the wrong book bound him to be Lich King's servant rather than his master.
With the rush of strength humming in his veins, Hakkan found the power to pull forth a shield, cast of iron and stone, from the air itself.
Taking a deep breath, Hakkan closed his eyes and propelled himself forward, through various lands from common children's fairytales and legends, until he reached the psyche of the book containing the city of the lost tower--where the lynch king waited for him atop the tower standing in the center of the city of nightmares.
"Lol fag," the Lich King says.
Hakkan threw his shield at the Lich King, striking him in the face.
The Lich King is slain and the nightmare ends, so Hakkan thought.
"Lol fag," the dream taunts Hakkan.
The Lich King, made of nightmares and failed dreams, is still waiting for him to arrive.
However, the Lich King was prepared for his arrival; the king simply laughed at Hakkan's attempts to damage him as he prepared to finish him off, just as he had done to the many others who were foolish enough to challenge him.
But when the Lich King swung his sword towards his head, Hakkan blocked the blade with his shield; the shield shattered from the force of the attack, but our hero was left unharmed.
Another word for a writing desk is a davenport... What rhymes with daven? ... Riddle solved. ^_^
Because Edgar Allan Poe wrote on both. ^_^