The Emerald Song, Act I: Red

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The Dark City

Act I: Red

Chapter 11: The Dark City


Unfortunately, although not entirely unexpected, the city in question was as barren as the dusty terrain surrounding it. There was a stasis, the more the black haired male pondered on the subject, relating to how Tylarus functioned as a whole. The temperature, the weather, the growth in flora… they were all completely unchanging. The only natural event that did alter, however, was the day and night cycle, implying that they were not frozen in time.

As he walked through the empty streets, lined with various houses and shops that seemingly belonged to no one, the man experimented with other physical laws: gravity still functioned, sound waves still resulted from making any sort of contact with any given object, even breathing for the most part was entirely normal. The air was thicker here than anywhere else, he noticed, but he contributed this to the fact that the city was the only enclosed area of modern civilization. Everything else in the land was either forest or a valley.

He eventually came to a large opening with an odd, circular structure in the center. At first he assumed it was a statue of some kind, but upon closer inspection he realized it was supposed to be a fountain, albeit lacking water. The opening was a courtyard, he figured, and sure enough, he turned to the north to find a large set of cobblestone stairs that led to a large, dark stoned castle.

"…Probably belonging to the lich," he muttered before sighing lightly. When he turned, however, his observation was given a response. It was a soft croak that resonated from the fountain, and as he quickly turned back to the structure he found that a rather large, black raven had perched the very top. Its eyes were too dark to be seen amongst the deep hues of its coat, but he knew it was staring directly at him. "Seems whatever aggregated all of us here is not biased merely towards sentient beings." He then wrote this bit of information down into his book and pondered once again. Ravens were commonly viewed as symbols of death, or anything that served as a similar incarnation. It was possible that the lich kept this bird as his pet to stave off anyone superstitious enough to believe it to be such a harbinger. If not, however, it was also a plausible implication that the source behind everyone's gathering was in fact working with a sentient mind, and a traditional one at that; this being could be versed in symbology and other various means of getting his or her message across, thus turning Tylarus into more than just a simple country with odd features.

He shook his head lightly to pull himself out of his meandering. It was ultimately pointless to speculate without having more than a handful of disconnected facts, and with this in mind, he resolved to keep the symbology theory as a secondary aspect to look out for.

"Well, that is a beautiful specimen… would you look at that!" an enthusiastic voice echoed through the streets behind him. The man immediately latched onto the hilt of his blade and whipped around to face his new adversary.

The voice belonged to a male, though the gender could only be determined through the timbre of said voice and the stature the figure had. He was very tall, besting the black haired male by two feet at least. The rest of his body was covered in many black robes and coats, and covering his head was what the human discerned to be a bowler hat; the most prominent feature, however, was the white mask that covered his entire face. It had two slender eyeslits and several black markings. Oddly enough, latched to his back was a large, brown coffin.

"I haven't seen such a thing around here before," a female's voice responded, and sure enough, a much shorter, delicate looking woman tailed behind him. She had long, blonde hair that rode down her back, and poking through the sides were elongated ears—an elf, the stranger thought. She wore a plain, white dress with many adornments attached to it.

The man did not drop his guard, continuing to glare at them both with the coldness in his eyes as they approached.

"Really? Well, it certainly is a…" the masked man stopped upon noticing the black clad human. "Well hello there. Is that raven by any chance yours?"

The elf did not speak as her hand went up to her mouth, as if she was shocked by the scene. The man's placid expression remained unchanged as he unsheathed his blade and pointed it in their direction.

"…Identify yourselves," he demanded with a ragged voice. "Are you part of the Legion?"

Both of them blinked several times before the masked one decided to answer.

"You're a feisty one, aren't you?" he snickered, grinning broadly behind his covering. "It's rather impolite to point a weapon at a lady… and especially heathenish of you to threaten a Holy Father."

The stranger was unamused.

"…Just answer the questions."

"You're being rather rude, you know," the elf stated indignantly, yet deciding to make her stance behind the priest in case this one was a lunatic. "All he did was inquire you about the bird. Aren't you able to be a bit more civilized?"

"Shut up. Are you part of the Legion or not?" the man insisted, causing the priest to once again laugh.

"That's enough out of you, you're starting to get on my nerves," he said, stepping closer to the male. "Who do you think you are anyway, asking us questions like that? Are you part of the Legion?" The elf stood back and smirked, hoping the father would teach the rude man a lesson.

"…In case you haven't noticed, many, if not all, of us have been forced into this land for an unknown reason, and there is a three way war going on at the same time," he hissed. "I am collecting necessary information."

The father blinked and turned back to the woman, who in turn only raised a brow. He then turned back.

"So I'm not the only one, then!" he exclaimed. "What a relief."

The male quickly wrote this down. "…And you?" he asked the elf, pushing past the masked priest.

"I hardly arrived here voluntarily," she said, raising her head upon noticing the man's note-taking. With the priest and the tyrant, she hardly knew of a normal, decent man within Tylarus.

"…That means neither of you know why it is we were called here," the stranger muttered, turning away to make his leave.

"Oy, where do you think you're going? Don't we get some answers as well?" he asked.

"…No," the dark man answered quickly. He did not want to waste anymore time with an overzealous, religious buffoon and an overly-stuffy elf. As he made his way back down one of the many cobblestone streets, he recalled how the lich was in the region; thus he decided to take an alternate route back to the tavern—through the rogue woods.

"Yeesh… what an odd person," the father chuckled before glancing back to the elf. "Well anyway, thanks for showing me around."

"I will inform Lord Garren of his and your presence within the city," she said straightly. "He should not have insulted one such as me."

"Heh, you bet," he answered. "Be safe, now." He then tipped his hat as both parted ways.

The raven cawed once more before spreading its wings and flying from its perch.


Glossary - Day 8

UNALIGNED

- The Stranger / Race: Human / Status: Active

- Sakiya / Race: Human / Status: Dormant

- Thaia / Race: Fae (Sylph) / Status: Active

- Zhei / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

- Akulien / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

- Maelomi / Race: Unknown / Status: Active, Tavern Mistress

- ? / Race: Feline / Status: Active

- Vairnlor / Race: Lich / Status: Active

- The Father / Race: Unknown / Status: Active

THE FAE COURT

- Avelia / Race: Fae (Fairy) / Status: Active, Fae Queen

- Kael / Race: Fae (Kelpie) / Status: Active

- Dimitri / Race: Fae (Faun) / Status: Active

THE LEGION

- Garren Myzen / Race: Lich / Status: Active, Legion Tyrant

- Sirena / Race: Elf / Status: Active

TERMS

- Tylarus: Name of land.

- The Tavern: Establishment in between the Fae Forest and Rogue Woods, south of the Graveyard.

- The Corrupted Tree: Black, deadened tree located in the Graveyard.

- The Graveyard: Plot of land between two rivers and in the center of the land.

- The Fae Forest: Eastern forests, surface world of the Fae Court.

- The Wastelands: Northern plains, home to the Legion.

- The City: Capital of the Wastelands.

- The Raven: ?

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