Of Blood and Birds (Expositional)

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    Nicholas Gritsipis
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    (OOG: Takes place minutes before ‘A Mild Distraction’.)

    “If Cruach was without mercy…”

    Perth sat cross legged on a barrel of mead, in an elderly farmers cellar. He didn’t intend to steal anything, but wanted some peace and quiet and perhaps a bite of food. His sword was drawn, its blade crackling with aetheric energy. In its reflection he could see faint shimmers that echoed of faded stars. He called it Star Shatter for a reason, well before he took the similarly named cursed dagger.

    Sometimes, looking into it, he would make a game of connecting the lights and trying to make out objects and people. Currently, it showed the same visage that haunted not only his dreams but every waking moment of his life. The man had taken so much from not only Perth but his family as well. ‘A toll to be paid and a gate to open’ Perth thought to himself, flicking the sword out to dispell the sparks. He now saw himself in the black shadowed metal of the blade. His face, though young, seemed older in reflection of all he had seen.

    He was once a follower of Cruach and Maerra, in what felt like another life. Well, technically, it was a few lives ago. He chuckled to himself. “A long way from Adarna.” he mused quietly.

    Why had he decided on Adarna? He always reasoned it was because Artemis was a very capable healer and it was as far as he could get from Cruach, but now those seemed more like excuses. He did what he had to in order to survive, burning the temple, but could he really run from a gods wrath? Especially one as potent as Cruach?

    He pulled a defaced coin from his pocket, nothing too special, just a gold piece with one side scratched through. It protected him from a blow in the battle, the winds of fate and good fortune blowing his way. Perhaps it would also decide his fate now, as he did owe it to the small token. As he flung it into the air, he thought to himself.

    “If Adarna would not destroy, and Cruach was without mercy, then the decision is already made.”

    And the answer was clear.

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