Nat sighed, reminiscing on the unfairness of it all, life, the Runiverse and everything. ‘What life?’ he snorted, the squeaking sound throwing him further into the bottomless void of self-pity.
Few however could deny Nat the right to be a little depressed, an essling born to a pair of Nature esshounds meant that his entire life in Essterra -or the Runespan as the solids call it- was spent being bullied by his Nature, Law, Chaos and even Cosmic brethren. It was not overly uncommon for an essling to be born of an esshound union but an air from two Natures? Unheard of, he should have been an Earth, only Cosmic esshounds produce airs. To add to that his parents decided to call him ‘Nat’, practically the purest Nathound name there was. ‘Yes’ he glowered ‘Life is rubbish’.
Nat sat on a floating island staring out at the devastation on its neighbours and wondered again why the solids, the humans, couldn’t manage to get to them and why the essbeings on the other islands weren’t running away to escape onto a safe island. Why did even Nat’s own family stare wistfully at those murderous islands waiting forlornly for when the death of one of the Nathounds, or Bodyhounds, Coshounds, Chaoshounds or Lawhounds would mean that they too were summoned to one of the human populated islands. The Bodyhounds alone were ever killed for the solids seemed unable to leech the essence from the others and for this Nat was glad, his family were safe. Only the wise Astralhounds did not seem to care either way. Many a time Nat had attempted to query the prophets on those deep questions but always received what seemed to be an undecipherable riddle for his pains.
A couple of days after Nat had sat pondering on life, one of his best friends, an unprejudiced Bodyhound by the name of Doddy was snatched from right in front of him as they were talking. Running to the edge of his purple hued island Nat saw Doddy appear and instantly be viciously set upon by six humans in varying states of apparel but all with the same aim. They ripped out chunks of his essence ceaselessly and within seconds so much was stolen that he imploded, leaving only his bones which the humans also picked up and used to kill the next Body esshound that appeared, a pretty girl who he didn’t recognise.
Nat’s lamenting squeal for the fate of Doddy brought many running to find what the catastrophe was. Most instantly looked over the edge of the pinkish island to see if someone had fallen to the infinitive depths of the abyss below. It took almost an hour to console Nat enough for the more patient to get the full story and when they understood all the esshounds and esslings reared back in disgust. They thought him either a jealous or cowardly fool not for understanding the honour that Doddy had received and trotted off in scorn. Only his other best friend Astara remained. She was a youthful Astral esshound and not as out of it as the others of her race, she alone understood his grief and loneliness but to her frustration she could not make Nat understand as the others did. So she did the next best thing. She was there for him and she comforted him to the best of her ability.
For what seemed an eternity Nat stewed over the implosion of his friend until suddenly ne made up his mind. Without further ado he crept into the sleeping corner of his island and gently stole a few scales or a ruff off all of the essbeings sleeping there. He now had essence from every race on Middle Floor Runespan -as the humans with the blue skin and pointy heads call the world- aside from the Astralhounds. He was stumped, how was he to get that? Suddenly a wise old esshound by the name of Astran approached him. Nat had always been rather afraid of Astran and was now completely tongue tied as he tried, rather lamely, to explain what he was doing. Astran completely disregarded Nat’s words and eyed him with a piercing gaze which suddenly glazed over as the Astral contacted the spirits. Just as the silent tension was getting too much for Nat Astral plucked a single ruff from his deep purple back and dropped it by Nat’s snout. Then he walked off without looking back. Nat was totally bemused but appreciative of the support for his quest from one of the acclaimed wise men and prophets. He was uplifted and his essence swelled with hope. But now how could he do it?