For those without Sparks, the Call had been a most agonizing experience. And for three of them, they awoke in a world of muted greys and sounds. Sybil Malach, Loque, and Arlo Creede were all in an unceremonious heap, next to a roaring fire in a fireplace. The heat washed over the trio in waves. Up atop the fireplace was an old, ornate clock. Its hands struck midnight, and a loud ding-dong rang out of it. A door in the face of it opened up, and a small, toy soldier walked out on a gangplank. It jumped down, landing on Sybil's shoulder lightly. The Spirit of Time whispered in her ear, "I have been called to assist you, Daughter of Knowledge."
Meanwhile, up from the floorboards seeped some dark sludge. It moved up through them, and a stench most foul filled the room. The sludge and mud and muck formed a semblance of a humanoid form, slithering over Loque's form, speaking to him. "I have been called to assist you, Son of Dragons." Then it squished warmly across Loque's back.
Finally, a dark, putrid green humanoid being floated through one of the bookshelves. It had long, crimson claws and deep yellow eyes, and a mouthful of an impossible number of fangs. "Son of Stories... I have come for you." The Harvester clacked its claws together, chuckling at some private joke as it hovered there, its hungry eyes staring at the man in his ridiculous hat.
Then a loud, wailing scream echoed through the building, vibrating to the very souls of the three mortals, and all three spirits' heads snapped in the direction of it. Together, "She knows we're here..." In the library, there was a single, wooden door, locked. There was a window on the opposite wall, large and grand. It revealed a dark, foggy court yard below and an endless forest of leafless trees.
And ghosts. Thousands of them, bumbling around in the fog. It would be felt that these ghosts were lost, were hungry. Overhead in the sky, the muted moons smiled down on them. The Beneath had just received some mortals, a rarity there. And their scent would travel far, and travel fast.
Throughout the library were shelves of books, tables and desks for studying, ornate rugs and paintings. Everything was immaculately cleaned, not one piece of dust, not one book left out of its place. The woman's shriek screeched through the house once more, sounding as if it were one room closer now, though the true distance was difficult to discern.
The Harvester with Arlo just smiled, "Empties are always fun."