Renaris | Holy Palace | Morning Renaris, the Holy City, was a bustle with the dawn of a new morn. The previous day performers and citizenry from all corners of Argoria had flooded the streets overwhelming the city guard in a matters of moments. Yet that was of no concern on this day, in fact should that very thing have not happened the nobles at the palace would have found something awry indeed. For today was coronation day, a once in a generation affair where all came to witness the next Magnus in line take the seat of Holy King. The streets on this year though were particularly abuzz, for young Alto Magnus XI at the age of sixteen would be the youngest in history to take the throne. An already monumental event threatening to become historic was as much as anyone normal person could bare, so as it were a jovial air filled the city. Though the entire day was marked officially as the time of coronation, the actual deed would not occur until late midday. Morning was meant as a time for the citizens to drink and be merry whilst the nobility prepared themselves for the ceremony. Within the castle Alto Magnus stood in his room, dozens of servants scurrying around him tugging upon his garb and making the final measurements for his royal dress. At his age he was already used to this sort of thing, so as they did so he patiently listened to his advisers outline the proper procedure for his crowning. He had of course heard this all a hundred times over by now, and at the moment wished to focus more and reeling in his nerves than remembering the correct phrases and what hand to wave with. Alto had almost pipped up and dismissed his adviser when another entered. Rammont Ge'kar, the royal Castellan. "You look the part of a true king, your grace." Rammont hissed as he entered the room. Alto had never liked the man, even as far back as when his father was still king. Then eyes, lips, shallow nose, the man looked the part of a serpentine man, and over the years had managed to work his war from a foreign dignitary to a member of the Holy King's council. "It's fitting that such a young king will lead us into the birth of the next century I think." "Y-....yes Rammont." Alto's voice caught in his throat for a moment as he eyed the castellan through the mirror before him. Alto was not frightened of Rammont, not int he least bit, but the sense of despair that followed the man always put him on edge. "Your father was naught but a few years older than you are now when first we met. Truly, it is a shame he and your mother both passed so young. They would be proud of how you've grown under my guidance I hope, especially your father. You look just like him you know." Rammont spoke coyly as he moved in closer behind Alto and narrowed his gaze upon the young king to be. "Of course Rammont." Alto spoke in a dismissing tone. "We are all grateful for your efforts over the years." Alto had heard all this before, word for word. Rammont seemed to enjoy reminding everyone of how invaluable he had been in running Renaris when Alto's parents passed away with him so young. Alto cared little though, and had repeatedly tried to dismiss him from the council for as long as he could remember. Somehow though Rammont was always able to convince the nobility the kingdom would be lost without him, thus retaining his seat. "At your age though I do not want to impress too much upon you. With me taking my crown you are due for a good rest, do you not think?" Rammont retained a strait face despite the clearly visible insult mixed in with Alto's platitudes. "You are most gracious my liege." Rammont spoke softly flashing a wide toothy smile. "The Father shall always provided for his children after all." Hearing about the Father was something else Alto had grown tired of over the years. Perhaps during the time of The Great War the Father had been a reality, but in the world Alto knew he was nothing but superstition. "And his children shall always be blessed." Alto finished the quote sarcastically in a half chuckle. "That we are your grace, that we are." Rammont retorted, then promptly bowed and took a step towards the door before stopping in turning. "I will make sure everything else is prepared when the time is right. Just focus on dressing up and remembering your lines for the ceremony my liege." Rammont quipped and left the room quickly. Alto snorted and shook his head. The only thing he cared to focus on right now was who he would replace Rammont on the council as soon as the coronation was over, but that was not to say he did not know what to do. Even the poorest of children in Argoria know intimately of the crowning ritual, so Rammont's pestering was for naught. A few lines of scripture repeated, a drop of his blood, and Alto would become one of the most powerful men in all of Argoria. As Alto continued primping for the ceremony Rammont stalked down the corridors. There was a quickness in his step and he rounded the corner, slowly opening a doorway to a stairwell where he began his decent. The castellan made this trip many times throughout the day, for his chambers were located on one of the palace's lower levels. He had once boarded in one of the castles many towers, but after his last near removal from the council the others thought it best if he was removed from the future king's presence as much as possible. Not that it bothered him to any great degree, in fact he preferred being so removed from the others in the palace. It was far easier to go on the way he wished in his new chambers, a beneficial occasion now that the day had finally arrived. Rammont pushed the large door open and entered, the old hinges creaking and filling the corridors. The stale expression on Rammont's face slowly shifted into one of sheer pleasure. His thin lips parting taking on the form of a crooked grin. Slowly he shed his clothing like a skin until he stood bare in the middle of his room. Each step he took echoed through the air as the castellan approached the hearth in the corner of the room, lighting it. A pale orange glow began pushing back the darkness, Rammont's shadow dancing on the wall behind him. "Yes young king, his true children shall always be blessed." The castellan cooed as he arched his back and let loose a shrill laugh that filled the bowels of the palace. Renaris | City Square | Evening Distant screams filled Doran's ears as he ducked into another crumbling building just south of the square. The notion to rush out and lend aide settled in his mind for a moment but was quickly pushed aside as an unearthly roar rose and silenced the screaming. So Doran remained quiet, crouched within the remains of some sort of bakery, and all around him Renaris burned. Never in all his life did he expect such a scene to play out before him again. The visage of dancing flames and mounds of dead carpeting the ground like a field bringing back memories of horrors long past. This time though Doran had saw with his own eyes the rift appear, he had saw the young Alto Magnus XI disappear as the crown was placed upon his head, and he had saw the aberrations pour forth as the sky darkened. Now Doran thought of what to do, a way to escape. The visions had led him here, had showed him this very scene, but for some unknown reason he had thought he could have his revenge if he followed. How foolish had he been to think anyone but ill would become of using something tied to the foul creature whom wrought him so low. Another scream pierced the silence, another series of roars followed it before silence once again fell. How many beasts could there be stalking the streets? How many people were even left this late in the day? Doran could not even fathom an answer, but something inside told him it would be a while yet before the creatures that emerged from the rift moved on in search of more prey. No, he would have to stay still and quiet for a while yet before attempting to find a way out. Then the pain began, dull and pulsing in his neck. The mark burned within his flesh reminding it's bearer that it was forever present. He had felt the sensation a few times over the years, but never to this degree. Something was close, something much more powerful than the normal dark entities that appeared in the world. A low grumbling began emanating through the streets, shaking the foundation of the building Doran hid within. "I can feel it Marked One." A rigid voice rang out, riding upon the grumbling roar. "I can feel your air." It spoke again as it moved closer, the mark on Doran's shoulder burning with greater intensity. Though pain clouded his mind, Doran knew he had two choices. He could remain hidden a bit longer and hope the get the drop on the creature in the streets, or he could make a break for it. The choice seemed clear as he rose and peered through the falling rafters. Doran had seen many things during his years of travel, men of all shapes and sizes and even monsters. This was neither, it was something all the more sinister. It appeared as a great bear on two legs, lean and fierce, standing taller than three men. Large claws jutted from his hands and feet and walked towards Doran, sniffing the air. Upon it's head were horns of black ivory, dripping with crimson. Fighting a creature like that was something Doran did not wish to attempt, so he waited. "So few of you Marked Ones still live. Your flesh will be a rare treat for me." The creature goaded as it continued sniffing the air, and Doran saw his chance. It's head turned from Doran's position, and so he dashed from his hiding position back towards the labyrinth of alleys in the opposite direction. Doran was fast, always had been, so he was assured he had made it into the alley safely. He knew if he could make it to the city garrison there were sure to be some guardsmen still holding out. There he would at least have people to use as decoys to escape this hellish nightmare. However; Doran's thoughts were interrupted as a thundering roar shook his nerves from very close behind him.