The beast dwelled in the deepest caverns of the kingdom of Meilith, where once there had been a lucrative mine, at least before the dragon's arrival brought a storm of casualties and destruction. For the most part, the caverns were given a wide breadth and rarely were they a punishment chosen rather than execution. But this was a special case; all four of these offenders, special cases. Six soldiers accompanied the prisoners: one for each charge, and two to watch from the back and front of their company. Due to the hazard involved, ventures to the caverns were not made such a public affair as something like a hanging. The guards were to bring the felons and seal them in; if they defeated the beast, it was rumored that another way out would present itself. But no one honestly expected them to survive. "Oi! Keep movin', criminal scum!" One guard used the blunt end of his spear to jab his charge in the back when the youth had the gall to cease walking. "We haven't got far to go, and no amount of stalling is goin' to stop ya getting what's comin' to ya." And it was a rapidly approaching reality; they were now but a hundred meters or so from the mouth of the tunnel into the long-abandoned mine. "Oh, I'm well aware of that, good sir." The young man responded in an almost mocking tone. "Just enjoying the sunlight, the last of it at least..." He shot a look of true disgust at his guard and the party continued moving towards the entrance. He was young, or perhaps just looked it, but to any casual observer he couldn't have been more than twenty years. As they trudged along, shaggy dark brown hair fell carelessly about his face, obscuring amber eyes that held little more than a scowl. In stature he was tall and lean, and his armor---all of it dark, in barely distinguishable shades of green and brown---appeared as though its primary concern was neither practicality nor heavy endurance, but stealth. It was in the way he carried himself as well that one could assume him to be sly, a thief, a rogue. Behind him, closely eyed by her guard, was a diminutive figure in a white cloak. With her hood up, nothing of her eyes was visible, only the reddish gold of her hair as it lay, braided, over one shoulder. Her garb was all of white and gold, and the designs with which it was embroidered indicated not only a magic user, but one of high standing in some order or another. Clearly she was now fallen from grace; pale blue eyes looked to the entrance wide with anxiety as it grew visible before them. She began muttering frantically, something sounding more like prayer than incantation.