As a fire burns with a murmur of flames, with the intermittent crack of exploding knots in the logs and the falling and settling of coal, so on the forest floor the hours of dusky light consumed away with rustlings, patterings, sighing and dying of breeze, scuttlings of rodents, snakes, lizards and now and then the padding of some larger animal on the move.
This is a quotation from Shardik by Richard Adams.
I don't exactly understand what clause so on the forest floor relates to? Does the fire burn on the forest floor (then I don't understand the so and the comma here) or the hours of dusky light are on the forest floor (seems most probable to me, but I don't understand an aim of so)? Or may be falling and settling of coal on the forest floor, then again why are there the comma and so? And another thing I don't understand here is the grammatical role of consumed away. It looks like past participle here but where is a verb in this clause then? If it's just past indefinite, then what exactly it consumed away?