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1ionFang

As Night Falls

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The air was motionless and deprived of all moisture. Greedy clouds full of storm and turbulence mocked life below with hopes of rain that would never fall. The land's surface so dead, so unforgivingly desolate, it may as well be stone. With nothing but distance in all directions, The only anchor to reality, the gates to Inns'th, slowly fading from view. From this point forward, nothing would truly be certain to the naked eye. But this is what the group of soldiers signed up for. To delve further into the depths of Yhimi, to the depths of the unknown. 

Mercenaries, adventurers, desperate men in need of work. No one really talks about why they are here, why they are doing this. It is an unspoken rule to never question a man's past. And so here this group hired by the Order of the White Hand, to scout out the terrain, obtain samples, specimen. Routine for the veteran workers. Not so much for those who were new. It was apparent in their eyes: Fear, trepidations, regret. Questioning if everything they did was worth the life they live now. That perhaps whatever punishment that were to fall upon them would be better than what they've signed up for here. But it's too late to make that choice now. This is the closest to hell on earth anyone could ever experience, and there's no turning back now. Once you're here, you're here to stay. It makes you wonder, why anyone would go through such lengths to be here without a knife to their throat.

He held himself, broken in spirit and nearly in body, staring blankly at his feet as he trudged on sluggishly with the others. Already fatigued and they've barely made a dent in their journey, it was clear to the party, that this desperate young man would not return. Inns'th is no longer in vision, and their journey is just beginning. 

 He would  not come back, in fact, he already knew. Better for the party, he supposed. Easier to split the reward. His shaggy black hair clung to the sweat on his skin, greasy and unkept. His tan cloth  shirt was drenched from collar  to chest in sweat, and so too clung uncomfortably to his body. His leather armor did little to protect him from the harsh environment and even lesser extent to any dangers they may come across. Perhaps this would be his last redeeming quality? Giving the party a better chance of survival without him. Of course this was cognitive dissonance talking. This quest was never meant to be accomplished by him. This was a suicide attempt by a man who is too afraid to do the deed himself. It's sad, and unfortunate, but ultimately his choice. Pallavi could appreciate the ability to choose. She offered a swig of water to the man, her sleeve sliding back slightly revealing her olive skin. He refuses silently as she knew he would.

The illusion of choice was always fascinating to her. She wondered what it would be like to not know for once, what will happen next. What the most "fortunate" path for one to be. To be sure with nearly 100% certainty what direction Time would flow. He made a cognitive decision to end it all here, and he believes that to be his choice, but many things took place for him to come to this conclusion- to be painted into this corner of futility. There are several vortices where he makes penance, and lives a new life. Travels to Genesaris after saving enough money, and work as the apprentice of a seamstress where he would meet the man of his dreams. He would design their suits and get married once he established his own place of work. Adopt and teach his child everything he wished he were taught in their age. In their teens this child would die after becoming a witness to a crime, wrong place wrong time. The man would fall into a deep depression and result in alcoholism to cope, a habit he holds to this day. The relationship with his husband further deteriorates, and one night, after a particularly volatile argument, His husband, pursued the man in secret to discover his activities at a local brothel. They promptly separate and the man dies of kidney failure 2 years later. This was the 'best case scenario' for the man, post his crimes that lead him to Inns'th in the first place.

'Best case scenario'.

She wondered what the man's husband would be doing right now. Unfortunately, she cannot scry a man she has never met, though she supposes she could find the seamstress' establishment based off this man's course in future to a degree. Though the further into offshoot timelines she may scry the less  accurate the space in which it inhabits and her own mind begins to fill in the blanks. It becomes more of wishful thinking, fanfiction even, than an accurate prediction. The stronger the stream, the more likely, and it was very unlikely the man would take the course of action that would change his life around to something more redeemable. A life where he could, for a time, find happiness again.

This was Pallavi's best case scenario in a way- being here. Impersonating a young man in order to survive and stay hidden. Hiding her talents as a Seer. There were no other possible outcomes according to her visions, that would result in her survival. She did not have a death wish, but she understood the suffering here, was not nearly as bad as it would have been had she stayed where she was after what she did. Ending it all with the man seemed appealing, but she knew there was more to her story. Or, she at least, hoped there was. That somehow her future was not as defined as this mans. Suicide just didn't feel like a  just outcome for her.

  "You mind?" a man beside her beckoned to her water pouch. "If you're still offering."

It was Ashe. A man who's presence does not completely make her uncomfortable. He knows her as Pierce, and knows nothing about who she really is. Still he is the most trustworthy person out of the men she usually interacts with. Mostly because he too is an outcast. He's about 5'8, Dark skinned with jet black dreads that reach his shoulders. He wears leather armor, fitted loosely around his lean figure, signifying they were given by the White lotus and also auburn boots that belonged to him apparently.  He used to be a Bard in his past, traveling the world, aking music, but that's as far as he is willing to divulge and she prefers not to scry as to loose her first impression on him. That impression being he is actually a nice person.

"Yeah, sure." She hands the pouch to the man who took a similar swig and returns it.

"Thanks".

Scruff looking men looked wearily at the two, who seem to be the oddest of the bunch. Two of the most recluse, non-verbal members of the party. And seemingly the weakest. And yet they've survived this far. Questions would surely be made, but before this the leader of the party interrupts the integrity of the silent dialogue. He abruptly stops in front of the party, indicating they stop as well. Both hands are used to hoist the metal helmet off his head, his dirty blond locks unfolding into a mess of sweat clumps over his forehead before slicking it back with his hand.

"We'll take a short break here. This will be the last one until nightfall, so make it count."

 

 

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