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Old 02-22-2015, 03:58 AM
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Prologue: A Time of Joy

Dreams within nightmares, consumed by dreams. There was a rhythm to Katrina's sleep that fell along those lines. Black and white lines would run parallel, on and on without ceasing to eternity. And within the recesses of her mind, this was a terrible thought akin to lunacy. There was a flame at the end of those lines. At the end which didn't exist. A bright, warm flame. And though it may grow to consume her, that was less frightful than the lines.

With such dreams as these, it was perhaps a comfort to awaken within the abbey, simple though it was. Aohd was a kindly man, if strict, and wouldn't dream of forcing the children to work on such a day as Liberty's eve. He hadn't yet, in any case. Tomorrow was a day to be treasured, and all within the town knew it. There would be music, and sweets, and competitions in honor of Andoran's freedom from Cheliax and it's devil worshipers. The finest day that Cyremium knew was right around the corner, and she would have the entire day to prepare, or ease away at her choosing. First thing was first. Time to get out of bed, and sample some of Master Aohd's famous raspberry tarts, an annual specialty.
Ultima Ratio Regum
The Last Argument of Kings,
Inscribed by Louis XIV on his Cannons

Last edited by Sinister; 02-23-2015 at 05:41 AM.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:39 PM
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Every morning Katrin found herself in the same barren room, not much better than a jail cell. The same musty rafter beams adorned with cobwebs greeted her groggy eyes, the sun splashing through the narrow window sill and reaching across the dusty stone floor. Her morning ritual typically consisted of rising from the meager bed that was pushed against the wall, its mattress so flat that she could feel the iron bars beneath, washing from the basin, and once again donning the same drab ensemble—a modest dress of three total, all of which were fashioned from worn monk’s robes and leather string.

The girl went about this routine almost half-consciously, as her mind was drifting elsewhere…to the warmth of the beckoning flame; those strange lines, that carried her endlessly through the vast expanse of Time; the meaning of dreams rarely tickled her intrigue, but this one always seemed to be sweeping her toward inevitability. Katrin peered into the rusty mirror propped on the dresser, tucking a wayward braid behind her ear. Forcing a smile as she glared at her reflection, regardless of how gentle those violet appeared, there was a menacing glitter to them.

It’s no use. No matter how friendly a mask she puts on, there’s no breaking a sealed reputation. The monks were kind, but aside from Aodh that’s all anyone was. Shallow. Superficial at best. It was a fearful kindness, too, their wary eyes saying entirely different things than what spewed from their mouths…She knew what they were thinking. Crazy Katrin, the village madcap. Not that she could argue, or blame people for their distance. There was most definitely something wrong with her, though it was a subtle condition that only reared when pushed over the edge.

Maybe I’d be better off in Chiliax? Katrin mused, pinning a bright red feather to a tightly wove braid. Something tells me they’d be a little more understanding. Despite grinning at the thought, her desperation shined through those lonesome violet. This is Liberty’s Eve for Rae’s sake! Wear a blasted smile and get on with it!

The girl’s thoughts gamboled on and on from one thing to the next, not minding where she walked, or where her feet wandered to. The abbey’s corridors were long and rustic, with simple wooden pillars separating the paved walkways from the courtyard. Her gaze always flew to the iron gate when passing by, capturing glimpses of the rolling green hills freckled with baying sheep, and the golden patches of farmland that lit the yonder hills. There was a world out there, beyond the abbey gate—though she was oft reluctant to leave the familiar safety of these fortress-like walls.

She didn’t like the quiet stares from villagers, while on errands for Master Aodh. Then there was Braxton and his gang. They enjoyed picking on the abbey wards, since in their minds orphans were helpless and couldn’t fight back. Katrin did, however, after getting hit in the head with a flying rock. Nine years old at the time, she had turned right around, plucked a stone from the ground, and slinged a shot back at the scoffing boys. Unfortunately, it hit Braxton in the face and chipped a tooth. Ever since then Braxton hasn’t forgotten the humiliation suffered, as he’s reminded of it every time he smiles. Despite trying to avoid him, Braxton and his goons made a habit of stalking her around the village, heckling and trying to frighten her…but they’re much too spineless to try anything more than that.

Snapping from her worries, Katrin hadn’t even realized that she’d been munching dazedly on one of Aodh’s raspberry tarts. It was delicious, as expected, but Katrin set it down as she looked around, a bit perturbed at how deeply distracted she’d been. Sitting alone at a bench in the abbey’s mess hall, monks sat together in clusters about the hall, silently eating their breakfast. Hildegard was seated with her friends, no doubt dreaming about what’s his name...Oooh Julian this, Julian that! He was talking with so and so, why does Maggie get all the attention?! GRR!

Same ol’ gossip, Hildegarde is as jealous as they come. Burn her flesh, melt her pretty face…then she’ll have something to complain about. Widening violet caught a glimpse of Hildegard consumed in flames, her red curls crackling with embers as it was quickly devoured, her face drooping, bubbling, and blackening amid the ferocious heat. Tendrils of puncturing fire writhed from the girl's hollowed sockets and gaping mouth, licking a flailing tongue as a final, gusting scream from the depths of hells strangled from the corpse's bony, aghast jaw…slinking forward then, a mere petrified hunk of smoldering charcoal.

When the vision faded, Katrin took another bite of her raspberry tart.
DM of The Serpent Amphora

Last edited by JFlynn; 02-24-2015 at 01:36 PM.
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