Blair Street - The South Gate
The Horde waited in South Tunnel. All two hundred and sixteen warriors, lined in their litters, companies and regiments.
The tunnel’s walls allowed for no more than two abreast and the tightly packed space felt hot and claustrophobic. There was a murmur of low voices and the movement of impatient bodies flushed through with adrenaline. The time was almost three in the morning on the second night of the new year and the city above was sleeping off the excesses of Hogmanay.
Punnr sensed change far ahead of him. It was time. The South Gate Keepers would be checking movement outside and folding back the non-descript steel doors at the foot of an iron ladder that ran down from Blair Street.
Blair Street slopes gently south from Tron Kirk and drops to the deep cleft that is Cowgate. Cobbled and atmospheric, its main claim to fame is South Bridge, which runs parallel high above its eastern edge.
North and South Bridges were constructed in 1785 to facilitate the city's growth northwards to where the New Town would be and south across the Cowgate gorge to the university area. Within the nineteen arches of South Bridge, life flourished - workshops, taverns, illicit trades, even homes - and tunnels and chambers were created. But as the years passed, conditions became vile and the spaces were abandoned, built over, forgotten.
Today, these vaults are a hidden world, visited mostly by licensed tour groups. Stories abound. Strange figures. Sudden drops in temperature. Unexplained voices far within the dark tunnels. Ghosts they say.
No, not ghosts. The voices beyond the walls belong to Sveinn's Horde as they practice, plan and prepare for the next Pantheon season.