Black stains

For the gaming thing competition. Might edit names and stuff later to turn it into something else. But right now, I literally have no idea what is gonna happen. It just... Started.

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3. Bilgewater

Ariss stared at his hand. It was pale, deathly pale. He clenched it, unclenching it moments after. He repeated this process, testing out his hand. He frowned, a deep crease appearing between his brow. He remembered pain. Intense pain that would not stop, before black. Cold blackness. Before he stuck his sword in the Ice Drake's muzzle. The beast lay before him, face a mask of surprise. Ariss looked down, seeing the blood, the thick blood, coating his now-shredded shirt. He stood, feeling slightly light-headed before the feeling ebbed away. Now he thought of it, all feeling had gone.

He returned to the bush he had taken cover in, right before he had charged out on the beast, and retrieved his trench coat, putting it on, and buttoning it up. The hole in his chest was completely covered. The only thing that was off about him was the dark red bloodstain around his throat. Ariss ignored it. He left his sword with the Drake. Ariss didn't want to take it with him. Something inside told him he didn't need it. Not any more. He could tell he was dead. He could also tell he had lost an eye. Strangely, he could see with both. It was as if there was still the ghost of his eye there. Which was strange, he had to say. Ariss tore a strip of cloth from his shirt, tying it scruffily over the empty hole. No point scaring his wife any more than he had too.

He spent the next few days travelling. His footsteps were silent, animals took no notice of him. He walked through the world as a mere ghost, or so it seemed. They could still see him, they just didn't find him a threat. Where they had gone out of their way to avoid him, they now ran right before him in their daily lives. When he saw the distant houses of his town, it filled him with none of the comfort that it used to. The dirt paths were deserted, strange on Saturday- the market day in the town. His boots thudded along, and Ariss was all the more conscious of the noise he was making.

Looking towards the sky, he saw the sun low in its ascent up the blue void. Early morning. He was surprised how little the course of night and day, weeks, seasons and that lot had not bothered him. It was summer, and so it was lighter more in the mornings. It couldn't be any later than five. No wonder no one was around. Ariss gave a heavy sigh, moving further and further into the streets, as they turned to sloppy paving. A bench neared, and the undead man slumped onto it, his limbs weary.

An hour later, the first person walked by. They didn't notice him. Obviously Mrs. Orin was too busy setting up her stall to see him. The second person passed.

“Ariss?!” The voice called, the owner sitting themselves down beside him. He looked up, to be met by the cheerful face of his sister. How fitting that his one sibling was the first to see him like this. A gasp replaced the cheerful greeting. “What happened to you?” She exclaimed, hands cupping his head, bringing it down so she could turn it from side to side. He felt the shiver moving down her spine, before she snatched her hands away.

Ariss let out another sigh, speaking gruffly to her. “An Ice Drake happened.” Before standing, brushing himself down, and looking at her carefully.

“But why, my brother, is your skin so cold? So pale? So...” She trailed off, trying to find the right word for it. Ariss pitied her. She wished, oh so much, that he was not dead. She wished that he had survived. She wished that this was a dream. He spread his hands to her, a tired smile across his face.

“So dead.” He finished, prepared for the hug when it came. She squeezed him tightly, Ariss noticed the way she hugged the side of him more. To be honest, he didn't blame her. No one wanted to fall inside him whilst hugging. Anyone who did was just weird. He heard sobbing, and stroked her hair comfortingly.

“But why?” She asked, looking up at him. Ariss merely shrugged in reply, before looking off into the distance.

“I was stupid. I came unprepared.” He stepped away from her, almost regretting it. “I suppose I am no longer part of this race any more.” He opened his coat for her, and her only. She stared at what had once been his insides with horror, before he hid them away again. “I must go. If anyone else sees me, I suppose they might try something... interesting.” Ariss shook his head sadly, starting off in the direction of his house, in hopes to say his last goodbye to his wife. His sister just watched him go, tears falling to the ground at her feet.

My past was particularly dark. Even the chain warden would have moved into the shadows to let me past. He may have been a warden... I used to be a beast hunter. My soul is a particularly feisty one. I will not part with it so easily, as so many seem to think.

The meeting with Syndra was not very useful. She just told me what all of the others had told me. Thresh. Maybe he is my only chance? Maybe he is the only thing that could give me answers? Thoughts run through my head as I move swiftly through Ionia. Now I need a way of finding him. Everyone knows he comes from the Shadow Isles, but anywhere other than that? No one has a single idea.

Ionia is a pretty place, I doubt the chain warden would be here. Deep lakes of crystal surround me. The long shadow cast by Syndra's celestial fortress has only just let me go. I look up at the old temple now. Tall, white pillars adorn the outside, whist the white walls with their intricately decorated sides form the inner rectangle. Windows of all shapes and sizes are placed in crude groups, indicating where the hall, bedrooms and kitchens are. Other then that, I do not know what lies in her fortress. It floats between two craggy peaks, with a third towering up above it a little further away to the south.

Forests fill every other gap. Between the lakes, on the mountains, even in the villages and towns. I need to get to Bilgewater. From there, I can get a boat. Once I have a boat, I'll just have to sail to the Shadow Isles. Some part of me, deep inside, the small part that still feels things, is excited. I never thought I'd feel that way again. I wonder, why am I excited about meeting Thresh? Surely I should be scared?


 

Ports. Long, wooden jetties. Lots and lots of boats, bobbing in the waves. People part to let me through, not bothering to look at who I am. These people must have seen everything. Everyone, everything. I'm just one of the normal people, or so they think. Sailors call out on both sides of me, screaming at each other, barking commands. Bilgewater is full of life, and I feel like I don't fit. Somewhere, deep in the midst of the crowd, there is some sort of music. It's jolly, one of the slightly more pirate-y ballads. How fitting for such a pirate-ridden port.

My boots clunk on the rotting wood, with more volume than any other, so it seems. The death in me sets me apart, with something as simple as footsteps. Some people glance up, others just move on. I keep searching. Searching for one phrase. 'Heading to Kaladoun'. As soon as I see that, I'll be on that boat, no matter the cost or anything. Besides. People would most probably think I was returning home or something.

Once I get there, I would search for Yorik. Apparently, he is the person in the boat, the person who takes Thresh, Elise and all of the others to the Shadow Isles. Why, this is going to be a very interesting trip.

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