The first night there was nothing. No sounds, no colors, only the dead. Night after night, as he became closer to the burned remnants of his house, the dreams became waking; filled with memories and twisted visions of things long past. But they moved, they thrived with life. With each passing night, miles closer to home, they all seemed more vivid and frequented his thoughts until it became almost unbearable. Darren knew all that he needed: nothing good remained in the Briarburn estate. - - - - - The leaves crackled under the heels of his leather boots, traveling cloaked flapping about his sides, held together by the Raven-brooch he wore at his left shoulder. It was not until he found the small village of Carlyle, a mere few miles from his home, that he felt he had pushed on enough and could allow himself to take a reprieve from the journey. In the old days Carlyle had been a small farming village, but now it appeared a prosperous version of its former self, streets bustling with travelers coming through the main thoroughfare; no doubt connected to the recently established Eastern Highway that now traversed this part of the kingdom. No doubt that the increased traffic also supplied a thick supply of victims for any evils that lurk within the woods. So many questions left unanswered, but truth would be won with hard work and temperance, as it always had. Thinking of the days to come, he came by a soothesayers booth, selling different elixirs or remedies, replenishing those he had used on his travel. The kindly old woman conducted his business on the side; despite her best attempts to show it, she was more interested in relating a formula to her other customer, something he only recognized bits and pieces of.