(here is my 'envoy' to order - derexx. those 2 of you who occasionally follow this blog will recognize him....)
I am surrounded by damp and dark and din. I am covered in wet stickiness that smells of copper and terror. The clarity of time has convinced me the noise was the wind in the trees and the animal rustling of the underbrush – not the screams of the dying people and the movement of assassins thru the woods of my home. The combination of stenches assaulting my nose makes me want to sneeze, but the voices in my head beg me not to. The feminine one pleads for me to stay small, stay hidden; the masculine one tells me to be silent and make no move. The more desperate I am to flee this place and find a measure of peace, the more desperately the voices entreat me to remain.
Eventually the last breeze blows, the last animal settles, and the terrible green sky turns to a bright, deceptively comforting blue and gold. The voices lose their sharp edge and turn soft, lulling me to sleep, still curled like a fetus in the womb within the gloom of my hiding place.
The day passed to night and back to day again before I awoke. The horrible smell still resonated, but the quiet seemed like a comfortable blanket I was reluctant to disturb. But hunger and the voices urged me to climb out, be reborn into whatever new world awaited me. I seemed to be buried in a tiny hollow formed when a tree fell and rotted from the inside out. Where the disintegrating bark met the receptive soil, the ground was soft and easy to dig thru. After several minutes, I released myself from my underground womb. In the light of day, the scene before me looked hazy, like the aftermath of a nightmare. All the people I had known, friend and acquaintance and kin, lay strewn about the village like clothes blown from the line in a summer storm. Pieces of flesh, discolored from advanced decay, and clean bones dropped like hints littered the ground, glowing a sickly green that cast a vicious tint on the remains of satyrs.
My grief caused me to sink slowly, my blood soaked garments cracking and popping and impeding my descent. My cries drowned out the voices in my head – or perhaps mingled with them.
All things end, and grief is a thing. The will to survive began to exert control over my survivor’s guilt, and the voices began to make themselves heard again. The female voice was concerned with food and clean clothes, and began to demand I find something to eat to regain my strength. The male urged me to seek arms to defend myself from future attack, and to make my way to a town for help. My head rebelled, but my hunger combined with the voices compelled me to pretend not to see the things I had to move aside in my searching. By the time I finished, night was almost ready to fall, and my voices urged me to hide again and rest for the coming day.
The voices woke me several hours before daybreak, advising me that it would be easier to see the green sky that always hovered over the enemy in the darkness. Cautiously, I crept toward an imperial road that led to the next nearest town. Far off, I could see a green glow, making a path of horror to lead death on. It seemed to be heading to a little explored edge of the world, far from the wholesomeness I once knew.
As dawn began, I found the road. I knew it led to the portal city of Bristugo, and from there, I determined to make my way to the palace of the queen; our village was remote, even by satyr standards, and news could not have travelled much faster than I, even if any others had survived the attack.
On my way, I told all I met about the attack, and was told my enemy was known as the Withered Aegis, a collection and coalition of undead monstrosities constantly terrorizing the realm. Always do they seek to extinguish life and undo the beauty of Istaria.
Thankfully, I found shelter and comfort with those I met on my journey, and made Bristugo in less than 2 days. Eager for audience, I immediately took the port to the queen’s compound, and requested an urgent meeting. The queen listened intently to my story, and expressed her sympathies for my terrible losses. Muttering aloud to herself, she talked about needing assistance from the other realms. Suddenly, she turned again to me and asked me if I would be willing to become an envoy to the realm of order, become a voice to carry her desires for cooperation to defeat our common foe. With the last few days’ events still fresh in my mind, I made the impulsive decision to accept the queen’s offer. There was no more home or family for me in Blight, and whatever small thing I could do to help defeat the WA had become my life. The voices in my head chimed together in agreement.
And so, the queen outfitted me as best she could, considering I would be starting from scratch in my new home. The queen provided me with letters of recommendation and a list of names – people of order already friends with those of Blight. They have made my transition to my new life both easy and welcome. I look forward to my continuing service to both my homes, and to our eventual victory over the dreadful foe threatening us.