Chapter 0:

Prologue

A Whisper in Scarlet


Harkam Telishan stomped up the frost-covered hill, his breath puffing in wisps. Once he made it to the top, he sidled up next to the other man standing at the peak.Bookmark here

“You seem to enjoy dragging my arse out of bed at the most unholy hours.” He said, pulling his cloak tighter around himself to keep the cold out.Bookmark here

Sevastian Lecrae said nothing as he continued to look down on the village below. Getting no response, Harkam followed his gaze.Bookmark here

It was still dark, perhaps an hour or two before dawn, and the village’s lamps twinkled faintly in the thin morning fog. Renning was not a large village by any means, perhaps a couple hundred souls, and most anyone who spoke of it considered it completely unremarkable.Bookmark here

But not Sevastian. He knew what it would contain tomorrow, and exactly how far he would go to get it. If his sources were right, one of them lived in this village, and another three would arrive in time for the festival tonight. Capturing even one of them would change things. Two or more could shake the very foundations of the world if he could manage it. But no, now was not the time to be overly optimistic. If any of them had been Awoken, they’d possibly be strong enough to stop him. No matter. One would suffice. But if he got more… Gods.Bookmark here

“Is everything in order for tonight?” Sevastian asked, finally.Bookmark here

Harkam nodded.Bookmark here

“Your… helpers are still in the forest where you left them.” He said. “As for what we’re here for, I was able to get the names and faces of the three out-of-towners from my network. Once the festival begins and you set things in motion, I will hunt and collect them. I can’t promise I won’t hurt ‘em, but they’ll be alive when you’re ready for them.” Bookmark here

He paused for a moment before continuing.Bookmark here

“As for the fourth, no one seems to know who they are. The soulseers only know that they’re young, perhaps even a child. Beyond that, nothing.” He said, his nasal voice taking on an edge of frustration.Bookmark here

Sevastian crossed his arms behind his back, turning his attention back to the sleeping village below.Bookmark here

“The attack will start shortly after the eighth bell. If you have anyone or anything you’d prefer to survive the night, I suggest you get them out before then. Once things are in motion, it will be very difficult to stop them.”Bookmark here

Harkam nodded.Bookmark here

“I’ll see it done, Lord.”Bookmark here

Sevastian smiled softly.Bookmark here

“Yes, I’m sure you will. Until this evening, then.” He said.Bookmark here

Without another word, Sevastian seemed to burn from the inside out with a bright glow for a brief moment. Once the light dimmed, the only thing that remained of him were black scraps of ash drifting off in the faint morning breeze.Bookmark here

Harkam looked at the place where the man had stood only a moment before and shook his head as he turned to walk away.Bookmark here

“I swear I will never get used to him doing that…”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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