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Flames of Darkness

Posted on Fri Apr 14th, 2017 @ 10:40pm by Mikhael Stormdanovich

Chapter: The Feast of Samhain
Location: Feltonwood Hold, Harkania, Cymeria
Timeline: Late Night, October 31, 3550

From his vantage point, Kinas could see that the celebration was winding down. It was late evening, and most of the revelers were either seated at the long trestle tables or seated in the grass beneath great shade trees. There were a few dancers in the area of the courtyard that had been sectioned off for that purpose and children slept beneath the long trestle tables. Men and women sat or stood together in small groups catching up on news and gossip. Cymerian Guardsmen prowled amongst the citizenry, watchful of the dark forest beyond the Gathering, but not watching the people too closely. Kinas was sure that members of the High Lord's dreaded Morrighan, those Shadow-damned demons that protected him, also patrolled the area. There would be no better time than now. . .

Mikhael stood in the courtyard, sipping on a mug of cold spiced fruit juice. He had been watching the dancers, a group of older children, that were performing some of the more intricate folk dances native to the Cymerian Highlands. Just as the soft, sibilant sound of the small pipes wound down, a scream of such agony split the air that, for a brief moment, it immobilized the High Lord. Mikhael whirled, pulling Gwerth, his smaller sword, from the scabbard at his side.

The scream came from a man standing amidst a large group of people gathered near one of the food tables. He wore the dark brown robes of a scribe or scholar, but his hair and eyes were wild with fear and hatred. He held his arms high above his head, his hands gripping a clear globe filled with a murky liquid. Even as Mikhael began to stride toward him, the man pressed his hands together shattering the globe.

"Your souls are condemned to dwell in the Abyss," the man screamed as the liquid sluiced over his upturned face. Faster than the eye could follow, he pulled something from his robe and brought his hands together.

Horror filled Mikhael, and he bellowed, "Guard!" Gesturing toward the man, he increased his pace to a run, knowing he would be too late.

Steel struck flint and sparks ignited the man's robes. As flames engulfed him, he staggered toward a knot of people who were too startled to flee. All around the Gathering were the sounds of glass breaking as more and more men followed the first, igniting themselves into a fiery death squad. More globes shot from the treeline as archers sent globes of warfire to burst on the ground and on citizens turning the feast into a nightmare of fire and agony.

 

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