Lux Tenebris - The Light of Darkness IC

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Malkuthe Highwind, Mar 22, 2014.

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  1. Sol, the city of the sun, radiant even in the darkness of night. While the moon shone in its lofty perch, and the stars twinkled beside her, the city shone brighter still. The sounds of celebration hardly ever died for none of its children needed food or wine or sleep.

    The fiddlers kept fiddling, the flutists kept fluting, the drummers kept drumming, and the dancers kept tapping their feet to the festive tune well into the dawn... and into the next night. Would that all societies be so carefree and unimpeded by any notion of evil as they.

    But the Shadows were creeping in. Nooks and crannies hidden from the city's light were beginning to grow darker. Dark desires were growing in men's hearts, hearts that had never known pain, anger, sadness hunger or even lust.

    And yet the fiddlers kept fiddling, the flutists kept fluting, the drummers kept drumming and the dancers kept tapping their feet to the festive music, none the wiser to the darkness that was knocking at their doors.


    Across and back. Left and right. Left and right to the sway of the music. Magnal drew the bow of his Setilum across the instrument's strings, making them vibrate in all manner of pleasant tones. Beside him the drums were being beaten, the pipe was being played, the tambourine was being hit and the lute was being plucked. He stood on the rim of one of the golden fountains of Sol, bending back and forth and tapping his feet to the beat of the song as their friend danced and thumped his feet and sang the ancient words of joy and merriment.

    Music and song and dance and the rush and gentle gurgle of the cascading water behind him filled Magnal's ears and he couldn't be happier, playing like this with his friends. Out of the corner of his eye he thought he saw shifting shadows, but he simply ignored them, instead paying his complete attention to playing the music. This was one of the oldest songs known to Elyne and it was one of the happiest as well. The music seemed to have some power as it made almost everyone happier. All the people in the square were dancing along to it, despite it being relatively early in the day.

    The sun was just beginning to set behind the players, bathing them in a warm golden glow and making lights dance throughout the square because of the cascading droplets of the fountain and its faceted gem fountainhead. The sun was halfway beneath the horizon when the final chord was struck and Magnal leaped off of the fountain's rim onto the paved square to the cheering of all the Elynians present. Droves of people surged towards the group of musicians, none of them to Magnal. He smiled genially, it wasn't a big deal, really. Yet somehow, some tiny part of him told him that was a lie. A shadow shifted again in the corner of his eye.

    "Hey. Want to go down to the docks and watch the sunset?" Magnal stumbled forwards as their flute player clapped him on the shoulder. The man, for being a Dawn was particularly strong. Though, Magnal paused, that was only logical as the Dawn were known to get stronger through the course of the day. Magnal shrugged. He wasn't too keen on watching the sunset even though he evidently had little more to do. "Oh come on. We don't have to play for another few hours. Might as well, hey?"

    "Alright. Alright." Magnal said, setting his instrument reverently in its case and slinging it over his shoulder just as bells nearby tolled the Seventh Setting Hour and the orchestra began to play "the Journey of Sol" as was customary at the hour. "But you are getting me a fried Kilanis, yes?"

    "By Oath, Magnal. Will you never get tired of that fish?" chimed their singer as he walked past them with his shoes slung over his shoulder. Magnal shrugged and grinned sheepishly at the singer. "Alright. Well come on. We don't want to miss it. The Day's almost upon us and the Passage is more visible on the days leading to it!"

    "Oh, that's right!" exclaimed Magnal, breaking into a jog and settling into pace beside the singer. "I had forgotten." Again. There was that shadow in the corner of his eye. Magnal felt a twinge of something bad inside him. Was it what they called fear? He didn't know, not truly. He turned to face the shadow, and he saw a pair of faintly glowing eyes surrounded by tendrils of shadowy mist staring at him. A barely discernible mouth opened in a silent roar and sparks of lightning danced in the creature's maw. Magnal grabbed the singer's arm, looked at him and pointed. "Do you see that?"

    "See what?" The singer squinted. Magnal whipped his head back to the corner He could see nothing. The shadows had returned to normal. "There's nothing there, Magnal. Are you alright?"

    "Yeah... yeah..." Magnal felt a faint burning sensation on his cheeks. He didn't know what embarrassment was. Something more sinister coiled around his heart. He didn't know the feeling either.

    It was resentment.

    Because no one ever went to him after they performed.

    No one ever praised him.

    He shook his head.

    #1 Malkuthe Highwind, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  2. Andreas was more than pleased with what he found.
    His travel to the continent of Sol was satisfying. He always loved the fresh wind, the salty smell of the Ocean, the company of the crew. He liked the life aboard, and even the biggest waves, able to shake everything from prow to stern, making the ship hurtle and wail, only had him smiling. More than once he thought about taking the life of a sailor, transporting people, hearing their stories, songs, legends... but maybe, someday, even the water would tire him. The sea holds secrets he would never understand. He wanted something different.

    Once more ashore, he started exploring Sol, heading directly to the Capital. Where more could he start? He wanted to know better the people, the culture, their art and interests. His path was clear, as the concept of 'order' seemed nearly omnipresent in this unknown land, reflected even in their geometric disposition of pathways and constructions. After his experience in Lune, where organicity was cardinal, and the nature ruled most of the aesthetics - and his own homeland, where wilderness and transience were everything he knew, this new world was impressive. He was not disappointed. Soon, he started to love that. A new form of beauty was just at the reach of his senses.

    If he could compare - and that was a hard thing to do -, Andreas would say Lune was like a song. It had harmony, despite its untidiness, and poetry, and deep emotion. A dreamy disposition for the land of Night. Ignis was like dancing; furious, fleeting, swift and tough, the perfect burning flame, even when things were calm, like the stories around campfire. And now Sol was like a book to him. Clear like a sunny day, adjusted, enlightening... holding a story he wanted to read in every word. But enough with the metaphors!

    In a part of the Capital, people were playing and dancing. The perfect atmosphere! His body wanted to move, but he tried to hold back his desire to take part in the festivity. He was already getting some attention, probably because Aurorae were not that common around the place, and he wanted to keep his anonymity for a little longer, and just observe. He took his place somewhere nearby, watching people sing and play, or just watch, like he was doing.

    A troupe ended their songs, and the musicians paused their instruments, being replaced by others very quickly. He clapped with the others, enthusiastically. He noticed two of them were just to pass in front of him.

    "Congratulations for your performance." He said to the two, grinning. His aura gleamed in many pale and cold shades, contrasting against the golden colors of the sunset.
  3. The initial stretch of her venture had proven perilous and bounding, the wheels of the wagon the least maintained of their caravan and by far the noisiest and most outspoken of all the other wheels. It was a bumbling stretch to Sol with long nights spent in the glow of darkness, voices locked in constant chatter as the others - a dozen others, one family and the rest either drivers, navigators, or craftsmen - engaged themselves, pressed the time by telling stories locked on repetitive, broken record spirals. It was good though, kept the longing at bay, the deep budding of homesickness buried beneath the layers and layers of laughter and deep, resonating hymns.

    Although her mouth fell open to speak, her voice rarely came, and though she kept more often to herself, the excitement wore on her face that told in her stead volumes of excitement and thrill and anticipation, raw, primal, violet at the core, uplifted despite the panging which echoed through her. Her hands remained busy as she worked on threading hole ridden pants and shirts for the family, for the drivers, and whoever else needed work. All in all, a well-to-do voyage across the country that bounded them toward the borders and beyond, and closer and closer to Sol.

    Licking her lips, she was among the first aside from their guides to witness the glowing brilliance that was the silhouette of Sol on the horizon, a beam against the blossoming dawn-dark sky that captured her. Her eyes were glued as they encroached upon the sprawling, towering sight, unable to compute it against the stories, against her own ever-moving world. By the light, she'd spent her entire life in movement, no one place considered home - only sacred - and to see Sol was to break a thousand limits in half. Her heart raced, pulsed, and she was on her feet, checking things once over, twice, thrice times as she got whoever was dull enough to be at rest up to engage them in the sight.

    Their approach to the wall was welcomed and with an exchange of gems and documents the gates flooded open, and goodness, the noise! The noise! Nostrils flared as she took in the air, breathed deep and leapt down from her wagon, giving the driver his due before bidding her goodbyes, retrieving dates for their return. She hoped she had enough to fill her stores of tools, she hoped she had enough time to make due and make more, and learn, learn, learn. But first: a place to stay. A letter in her vest was plucked with quivering fingers and she glanced down at it for the address.

    She had never felt so small till now, with countless people buzzing, but she was quick, and quick she was as she bounded down a street to search for the merchants' district and there, a needly shop she had no idea was closed.
  4. A small group of Ignans guided a beast drawn cart through the marketplace of the city of Sol. They stood out starkly against the rest of the pedestrians, with their weathered cloaks and rustic clothing. Through their time here selling their wares to various merchants, infrequent visitors to the marketplace would point them out among themselves. The proud Ignans took no notice however, they were busy conversing jovially among themselves, their auras pulsing merrily. Except for the Flame in the lead, who was also conversing with his brethren but who's did not pulse with as much merriment. His aura was more steady.

    They had arrived just before the sun started setting and by now their wares had been mostly sold to their regular buyers, although one had not been present this day so they had an assortment of uncut gems left in their cart. It was of no important matter, they could wait until the next day to give them to Luccio, he liked their gems so. In the mean time they now could now store their cart and their beast of burden away and mingle more freely among the people of Sol. As they started heading back their way was blocked by a crowd of people cheering and giving praise to what appeared to be a group of musicians.
    "Excuse us" Ikaika projected his voice with polite authority, touched with an accent, to the nearest people of the crowd so they could get their cart by.
  5. Vlastimir

    "Don't you see, Elis? Smithing is easy, come hither cousin, and I'll show you!"

    "No! Ah- I mean, it's fine really. Oh, look at the time, my class should be starting soon, I should- "

    "You jest, you surely jest! I know you have the day off, but if you despise me so..."

    "But I do not- "

    "Then it's settled! You are going to add smithing to that library of knowledge you have in that cunning mind of yours! But, dear lord, what am I doing keeping you at my forge on your day off?"

    "I really don't mind it here, though."

    "No, I insist that I treat you to some of that tea you love so much! I've recently done a piece that brought in quite some money, so let me treat you today Elis."

    Vlastimir grabbed ahold of the smaller male's shoulders and gave him a childish look that could win over anyone, or at least of his soft-hearted cousin. To that, Elis quickly nodded. Vlastimir pulled off his thick leather apron and cast it aside, tossing it on a workbench. He washed off his hands and gave his face a once over before turning to Elis, his expression feverish. "Well, let's go then!" Elis grinned.

    Away the two went, Vlastimir gently yet firmly securing Elis's thin wrist in his large hands whilst weaving in and out between the many people on the bustling streets. The larger man had a grin on his face and a mischievous glint in his eyes as he observed his surroundings. "The streets are busy, as usual." He chirped pleasantly, having calmed from his burst of excitement. "C-Can we rest a bit?" Elis panted, looking up at Vlastimir with an embarrassed expression. With an understanding expression, he responded. "Of course!" After nudging past two chattering Sol residents and excusing himself, he stopped at a stand selling deliciously fresh fruit. "We just received these, very cheap." Vlastimir looked up at the merchant's face before rubbing the back of his head sheepishly. "Alright, I'll take two then." How could he resist? His stomach reassured him that it was a worthwhile purchase by growling rather audibly. Being a blacksmith was work that used a lot of energy, and he was rather hungry. Tossing one to his cousin, who caught with ease, the out-going Ignis-born man sunk his teeth into the fleshy fruit and rested the elbow of his free hand on the shoulder of his traveling partner. Vlastimir took another bite before pointing at a passing by troupe with his pinky finger. "It's a shame," he swallowed before continuing, "we missed such a thing, it must have been quite the performance!" Elis nodded in agreement as he took a bite of his own. "Ah, this tastes amazing!" Elis exclaimed, the corner of his lips pointing upwards into a smile. Vlastimir responded with a hearty laugh, nodding with enthusiasm. "Indeed it is, cousin, indeed it is!"


    Elis hadn't originally planned to spend his day exploring the streets with Vlastimir. No, rather, he thought it would be like any other ordinary day off, which consisted of him sitting on a work stool whilst reading a book, planning his next few lessons, or watching his strong cousin work away at the metal with impressive dedication. Life seemed to be full of surprises, because suddenly Vlastimir offered to give Elis lessons on how to mend a broken sword. It didn't look very easy, and Elis had doubts as to whether or not he'd be able to constantly pound away with a hammer of that size. While Elis was busy doubting his own strength, Vlastimir was already beginning to mend the sword, intending to set an example for his sibling. Elis was quick to think of an excuse, one that might hopefully persuade Vlastimir otherwise.

    "Don't you see, Elis? Smithing is easy, come hither cousin, and I'll show you!"

    "No! Ah- I mean, it's fine really. Oh, look at the time, my class should be starting soon, I should- "

    "You jest, you surely jest! I know you have the day off, but if you despise me so..."

    "But I do not- "

    "Then it's settled! You are going to add smithing to that library of knowledge you have in that cunning mind of yours! But, dear lord, what am I doing keeping you at my forge on your day off?"

    "I really don't mind it here, though."

    "No, I insist that I treat you to some of that tea you love so much! I've recently done a piece that brought in quite some money, so let me treat you today Elis."

    Elis sighed softly, but could help smiling at how spontaneous Vlastimir could be. As soon as he agreed, the larger male had rushed off to the back, reappearing looking cleaner and soot-free. Elis opened the door. "Well, let's go then!" he chuckled, amused by how excited Vlastimir was just because they were spending a day out exploring.

    To be honest, Elis struggled to keep up with Vlastimir's pace; Elis blamed his shorter legs. He was glad that his cousin had a secure hold on his wrist, otherwise he might've disappeared amongst the bustling people. "C-Can we rest a bit?" Elis panted, taking note of how he wasn't exactly the most athletic person out there. When his cousin responded with an "Of course!" , it meant music to the smaller man's ears. While stopping, Vlastimir purchased two fruits, which look somewhat strange at first. Reading the small label on the stand, Elis noticed that they were from Lune. He suddenly felt some pressure on his shoulder, and realized he was just turned into an armrest. Following the direction Vlastimir's pinky pointed, he noticed the troupe as well. They seemed to have just finished a performance not too long ago. "It's a shame, we missed such a thing, it must have been quite the performance!" Elis agreed, taking a bite of the fruit. The sweet flavor of perfectly ripened fruit filled his mouth, surprising him. "Ah, this tastes amazing!" he commented, eagerly consuming more. Today seems like a good day. Elis thought to himself.

  6. Magnal

    Magnal and his companions had met a few more strangers along the way, and as always, none came to him. The strange and frankly, disturbing, feeling that had wrapped itself around his heart was growing stronger with each passing moment. The sun was just about to descend below the peaks of the Mountains of Dawn and the small troupe of musicians sat on a wharf over the placid waters of the Lakes of Gold. They watched intently as the sun approached the end of the day's journey only to return the next morn. One of the musicians nudged another and whispered "So, are you ready to give up some coin? You know I'm going to win!"

    "Pfft. Nonsense. I'll win this time." A few moments later, the last sliver of the sun descended below the mountains. A brilliant flash of green light exploded and washed across the land. The musician that had been so confident of his chances was dumbstruck. It was in that moment of weakness that the other man whom he'd had a bet with saw it fit to push him over the wharf into the water.

    He came back up, sputtering and wet, shaking a fist at the musician. Magnal laughed. Those two were always up to some sort of mischief. He looked over to the vocalist of their little troupe and motioned him over to the shore. "Hey. Can I talk to you, in private, for a second?" The other Elynian raised an eyebrow at Magnal and nodded his head in assent. "Can you wait for us? We're just gonna have a little chat" the Radiant called out to their friends.

    Magnal and his companion made their way to a nearby alleyway. "Alright. What's this ab--" A tremor ran through the ground beneath their feet. The other Elynian stopped, eyes wide in shock, and inexplicable fear. Another shockwave hit them, but this time, it traveled through the air, and it felt more like a pulse of tainted power. The wave knocked Magnal to his knees.

    Soon after, on its heels was another tremor that shot through the earth, bringing both men to the ground. The pulses, air and earth, alternated for a good two minutes before everything went dead silent. Sol, not known for its sombreity was completely and utterly quiet. Nary a word was spoken. Nary a string was plucked. Everything stopped for a moment.

    Wretched emotions twisted and turned and demanded retribution within Magnal and he curled up into himself in sheer emotional pain. He tried to will the negativity to go away, but it would not. His heart, his lifesong was not used to this taint that was now afflicting it. Shadows grew longer and deeper. His friend walked over to Magnal, trying to calm the convulsing Radiant, but to no avail.

    Boom. Another wave came, but this time it simultaneously came through land and air. "Magnal!" Boom. Another. The singer shook his friend, trying to wake him from the horrible resentment and hunger that was searing its way into every cell of Magnal's mind.

    Boom. Magnal stopped his convulsions and looked at his friend. Boom. The look in the Radiant's eyes terrified his friend, so much so that he was petrified. Boom. "Magnal?" The Radiant had never been appreciated as much as the other members of his troupe, but he had always given his best. He had never been enough. Even if he was the one that made the least mistakes, he was still the least noticed. Boom.

    Boom. He was no more famous now than the day he had started because all of his 'friends' had seen it fit to deny him the spotlight. Boom. No more. He would shine brighter than all of them. "Magnal?" asked the singer, backing away slowly from the Radiant, fear gripping every fibre of his being. Silence

    "What are you doing?" Magnal rose and walked towards his friend, eyes shaded by the forward tilt of his head. Nothing prepared the singer for what came next. Magnal lunged at him and with one hand tore out his throat. "W-why?" he croaked out before blood came rushing out of the wound. Magnal had not thought he was so strong, but he raised the limp body to his lips and drank of the blood.

    It was tasty. Refreshing. Fulfilling. He looked at the chunk of flesh in his hand, still red and dripping blood... It looked delicious, all of a sudden. The hunger that twisted his stomach demanded that he eat it. He did. Shoving the slab of meat into his mouth raw. He chewed and as he did he felt stronger, more powerful.

    A woman passing by saw Magnal kneeling by his friend and walked over to inquire whether everything was alright. Then she saw the gruesome sight of Magnal peeling off meat from his friend's neck. She screamed. She screamed. The high-pitched wail echoed through the silent streets... and then all hell broke loose.

    A swarm of shadows erupted from the peak of the lighthouse, covering the entire sky in a large pulsating mass of Tenebrae that slowly spiraled as it descended. Shadows erupted from the doors of the lighthouse, a tidal wave of death that washed over the streets...

    The shadows were smart. People in the streets could outrun them, but people trapped in their homes could not. As the wave of shadows crashed into buildings, they tore through and devoured every single soul that came along. Where once there had been but one scream, there rose others, an entire chorus of screams that filled the twilight sky with their strained, terrifying chords.

    Magnal stood. This was the accompaniment he had long waited for to make his music perfect. He smiled. His teeth were stained with blood and between some of them were stuck pieces of flesh from his fallen friend who was still bleeding out his lifeblood onto the golden pavement. Magnal walked out into the main road, covered in blood.

    He raised his setilum to his shoulder and began to play. Haunting, drifting, terrifying strains rang out from the instrument and hung in the air, almost as ominous as the seething mass of shadows that was descending upon the city. Elynians that saw him scrambled out of his way, terrified of the blood that stained him and the music that came from his instrument.

    He saw the wave of shadows coming his way. He played louder as the chorus of screams that rang out through the city grew ever more discordant and loud. A woman was unfortunate enough to trip before the mass of shadows. They lunged at her and in an instant, Magnal saw her skin be stripped from her flesh, her flesh from her bones, and finally her bones crumbled into dust that was devoured by the shadows.

    The wave approached him, roiling and thundering as it went. Closer. Closer. Magnal could feel his death coming, and he was ready to face it now that he had found his perfect music. Then the wave crashed around him. It parted around the glowing Radiant even as his light, once pure gold began to take on streaks of crimson.

    The shadows seemed to be terrified of him. He played louder and louder. The wall of shadows stopped. All around the cities the shadows stopped where they stood. Then, they dove into the ground and vanished.

    The screaming? Well, the screaming never stopped.
  7. (I love the music you choose for your roleplay.)

    Vlastimir and Elis

    The two were in the midst of engaging in a bit of small talk when suddenly, the earth beneath them began to tremble; at first it was just strong enough to startle the duo, but the next brought them to their knees. It seemed the tremors did not have boundaries, and it shook the earth and the sky continually. Elis remained on his hands and knees, sputtering as dust swirled around him. Vlastimir lifted his torso and rested on his knees, hand flattened against the side of the fruit stand as he braced for any further quakes.

    "Elis, are you al-"

    An ear-piercing scream stopped both men in their tracks.

    "Get up! Get up now Elis! Now!"

    With widened eyes, the Flame-born hastily leapt up. Elis had nearly slipped while doing so, but was soon pursuing his cousin in the midst of chaos. "Move!" Vlastimir shouted, shoving bodies of frenzied civilians out of the way. Elis gasped for air but did not loosen his stride. Behind them, the tearing of flesh and cries of helpless victims could clearly be heard. Neither of the cousins stopped running, adrenaline prevented them from feeling the urge to turn back. Elis almost did, however, when he heard the cry of a newborn in a house nearby. He had just began to slow down when he heard glass shatter; the crying had stopped soon after. Tears began to fill the small Candlelight's eyes as his chest began to ache, but not out of exhaustion, no. These were newfound feelings. Despair. Anger. Hatred. He let out a pathetic sob, an exasperated cry, and ran even faster. The shadows pursued mercilessly.


    Vlastimir's brows knitted when he heard Elis cry out behind him, but paid no mind. When he was a child, his father had always told him that it was survival of the fittest, no matter where they were. Vlastimir looked off to the right, hopefully to see something to show this was nothing but a dream. Instead, he was surprised to see a familiar face playing a deathly tune. It was one of the troupe's members, though he looked nothing like a Elynian, much less an entertainer. Vlastimir gritted his teeth, how could someone so ordinary looking wreak havoc at this level? He quickly averted his eyes back when his gaze landed on the body of a half-eaten woman. It wasn't something he'd want to recall when the madness settled.

    "Here, Elis!"

    He grabbed his cousin by the arm and ducked beneath a booth as things seemed to reach it's falling point. The man who owned the booth, however, was pulled out by a shadow, screaming.

    "Please, help me!" he cried, before disappearing over the edge. Vlastimir bit his lip and shut his eyes as a grotesque crunch could be heard, followed by a soft thump. He opened his eyes slightly to see the merchant's decapitated head resting in a pool of fresh blood; Vlastimir almost gagged. The Flame threw an empty sack over it, hiding the horrifying sight. He shivered, glancing over at Elis. He then saw that his once innocent-looking cousin was now coated in a thin layer of blood. Vlastimir ran a hand through his hair and looked down as the shadows seemed to return to whatever Hell they came from. "Elis..." He mummered, taking another peek at the smaller man, wondering if Elis had gone bonkers or not.

    Elis was suddenly pulled behind a stand, and pulled out of his inner rage. He landed beside Vlastimir in a heap before repositioning himself in a sitting position, knees tucked close to his chest. Elis whimpered, looking at his bloodstained hands. Why? Why did this have to happen? It was supposed to be a good day, a fun day.. and yet...


    "D-D... Don't talk to me.. I want to go home, Vlastimir, please.."


    Elis looked at Vlastimir with a pitiful face before roughly running his hand through his hair, burying his head in his arms. Elis' small frame shook as he began to sob. He inhaled sharply before going silent, unmoving. Elis balled his hands up into a fist. He then screamed, outraged, before going silent again.

    Elis could swear he heard his parents screaming back there. He could swear..

    Vlastimir and Elis

    Vlastimir frowned. "It's no use going out there.. you know what's waiting for us. Nothing good."


    He had jumped when Elis screamed, and put a hand on his cousin's shoulder, giving it a light squeeze. "I don't know what's going on... I... At least we made it through." Elis remained unresponsive. After awhile, the events caught up to Vlastimir and he realized just what had unfolded a few minutes ago. The Flame banged his head on the wall behind him and gave a frustrated shout before closing his eyes. His hands tightly shut, knuckles turning white.

    Vlastimir exhaled shakily as he bit his lip, holding back tears.
  8. Andreas was glad for finding a booth selling many goods both from Sol and his homeland. He experimented the local fruits (finding one delicious, and the other too sweet for his taste), and savored the small pieces of smoke-dried fish he loved, so common among the tribes who lived at the coast of Ignis.

    He was just extending his hand to pay for the food when the first tremor hit under him. Many fruits, scrupulously stacked, fell to the ground. Then came the second, and the third, making the people fall all around him, while he kept on his feet only due to his long time sailing and traveling. His senses quickly adjusted, searching for something that could explain the many quakes, and the first scream resounded in his ears, somewhere far from where he was. A second came from desperately close.

    All the people gathered around the small open market started running and screaming at the same time, and Andreas was engulfed by a compact and confused mass, running from the lighthouse. He was not sure about what was causing the disturbance, but followed the wave, soon trespassing most of the multitude with his long legs. The voices were getting frantic, and the screams changed in nature. He was not exactly aware of what 'panic' was, but the new kind of scream was familiar. He already saw many hunters getting wounded while pursuing a dangerous prey, and saw the terrible accidents that could happen with a blacksmith or a woodworker... These screams were from deep pain. Worse than anything he heard before.

    Before he could think clearly, he turned his head to find the source of the screams. What he saw, for just a half second, was jagged not only in his eyes, but more deeply in his mind, and made him so pale that even his aura turned sorely white.

    The persecutors instantly found that clear light shinning among the crepuscular shadows and adjusted the route.

    All muscles from Andreas' body contracted, and his heart skipped a beat. The Aurorae jumped on a booth, smashing all the abandoned vegetables, and reached a balcony; from there, he leaped to the terrace of the next building, starting his flight in the heights. The adrenaline rushed in his systems with such intensity he seemed close to explode, yet he found himself vulnerable to all the suffering coming from the streets by his side. When the world blurred, and he nearly missed a breastwork, he first thought he was losing his senses. But the sting feeling on his face, the warm humidity running from his eyes to his cheeks told him he was only crying. Something that never happened since he was too young to remember. And by the time, his father embraced him with his strong arms, and calmed him until he fell asleep.

    Now, he only wanted to wake up.

    By his left, he saw a small group trapped on a roof, cornered by the shadows. A man, a woman and a child. Both adults were not strong enough to jump with the child as extra weight. The man was trying to protect the others, putting himself just in front of the shadows, his aura expanding like a blazing star around him. Andreas turned without losing speed, grateful Sol was so regular with it's constructions, and in mere seconds he was with the kid on his arms, leaping to the next terrace...

    He would never forget. The brave eyes of the Solan. The grateful ones of the woman. The sudden spasm shaking the child in his arms, when he saw, looking back, a big part of his life being devoured by darkness.

    The music... since when was he hearing it? The two were getting close to an open area, with no more buildings to continue. On the ground, they would be caught in no time. His arms and back were getting exhausted from the spare exertion of carrying the young Solan. The end was near.

    From the last gazebo, Andreas looked down, seeing the sea of shadows surrounding them, everywhere. But he could also notice the small silhouette of a man, playing his setilum, making the ominous sounds he was hearing. The shadows would not attack him... Why? They froze for a moment. Two. And vanished.

    Andreas knees finally gave up, and he fell to the ground. The small one grasped his clothes, crying convulsively, and his arms tightened the golden frame, close to him. His mouth murmured reassuring and calming words he could barely remember later. But his heart was dealing with much more gloomy feelings. Some of them targeting the musician he just saw on the ground.
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