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Milenkhov

The Shroud of Ba'as

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The young knight stood on a bridge in a deserted wasteland of rocks and fog. He turned often, as if waiting 

for someone. For something -- he recalled her; with a pristine golden band upon her ring finger on her left hand. She disappears; as a familiar face walks into the view, an aged Rhenyari figure on his fifties, the smell of oils and vanilla embracing the surroundings. The knight did not know if he was dreaming or if this was real, but he sat down, only to meditate like his tutor had done in the past. 

 

Basho! - so it was this what brought down the Master of the Canals?”

 

“You know your stuff.”

 

The bastard takes a similar golden band from his pocket, it begins to glow, and he exhales, placing it upon the bridge, the shining  property never ending.

 

Ya Mitras! - it bleeds mist!”

 

Above the ring, the ghostly image of a female appears again. She beckons for the Lieutenant to approach, smirking momentarily; She raises what seems to be a sword, and strikes the band with all her might, it stops glowing, and her smile now fades away with the image.

 

“Why, the torment, the pain and the sorrow, they haunt me every corner. A never-ending circle!”

 

Bann Addi -- this is but part of the spiral, not the circle you speak of.”

 

The younger figure turns, to face a friendly frame, the one that conversed with him all along, he exhales deeply before words emerge from him.

 

“Tell me. Can you see her?”

 

Nai, this is your grief, you are the one that mourns in the Nikta - but I will stand by your side.”

 

Addi attempts to move, but a dense mist prevents him from doing so, the Basridi stands around, unsure on how to proceed, this time noticing a ghostly image of the Grand Lady amidst the mist, she approaches the Orel and the mist disappears in a bizarre explosion, the harrowing spirit walking away.

 

“You told me I would overcome this, but it gets harder every single day, the only thought that I find myself absort at all times. Simon, you know this!”

 

“Haye!”

 

A sword materializes in mid-air and the Rhenyari beckons for Adrian to take it; in a subtle gesture, as if in an offering of inner peace. The sorrowful bastard heeds the call, gripping the hilt of Svjetlast with ease, just like he did before, just like his forefathers did, the ancient heroes before his time.

 

“Must I forget, must I walk free of the past?”

 

The Archancellor closed his eyes, entering a state of meditation, his features becoming serene and calm, perhaps he had an answer, or he was looking for one to give the young urchin that once stepped into his bounds. But that did not matter, for Adrian was even more confused, afraid and tired. The cold touched him, like a death-grip, the ground beneath him transformed, liquid like the waters of the lake. 

 

“Simon!”

 

He bellowed, attempting to rush to his side, but it was too late, he began to drown, he felt the grip of his enemies from beneath the waters, pulling him onto a realm of darkness. Only a small creature overlooked the ordeal, a bird; it seemed fond of Sir Adrian, as it just continued to circle above him, not after lowering to his reach, only to unveil another Khesm -- a letter with only four words, yet a extremely familiar scent, his expression changes as he is fully submerged into the depths.

 

“Are you?”

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For all that glittered in the storied city of Ba’as, there was a noted dark phenomena that lingered around its people. The great disparity of status within its tall walls and its austere despotic practices inspired melancholy that traders named “the Shroud of Ba’as” – mirroring the great fogs the city would suffer from adjacent magestone geysers. To every rich gem trader or wizened sorcereress that escaped its inequalities, there was a poor leper or galley slave to serve their counterpart and remind the province that suffering was an overt inevitability. 

 

It was one of the great hopes Simon had fleeing the east that he would be rid of that smog of grief. But as he gazed to the young Adrian in mourning, there was an innate truth that spoke to him, that the Shroud was not founded by men, but made by men – and it could yet be undone by men.

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Sister Isidora of Ba’as, once heiress to that land and it’s vast bounty, shivered within the confines of the pontifical college which she now called her residence. The stars had shifted tonight, she had noticed, something her father had always said brought ill-tidings from her homeland. Her icy blue gaze narrowed, wary of the darkness that seemed to swirl somewhere in the cosmos.

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