Tuesday, February 24, 2015


"The master has returned."

I heard the rumor again, a whisper between two acolytes walking ahead of me, as they dodged patches of ice on the bridge. Their conversation was buried by the sound of the barreling of the train coming into the station beneath us--buried like their foot prints by the falling snow and buried like my memories in the past.

"The master has returned!"

The train came to a halt and priests, hailing from the far east, could be heard playing their bells, whistles, and chimes as they stepped out onto the platform. I wondered if they had just started their performance upon arrival or whether they had been playing it all trip or whether they had been playing it for days. If their master had returned, celebration was to be expect.

The light dusting of peace and joy and good will towards all men would soon be blasted away by the blizzard of war.

If "the master has returned", skills like mine would be in high demand in the city. That is what Munna told me. I do not know who I am but, Munna says, I am a soldier.

My name is Breeze. At least that is what Munna calls me. I don't remember my real name.

I woke up on a night like this. I had been left to die in the snow amongst the fallen of a small skirmish from the master's last war. Munna found me there.

Munna is a merchant. Some people call her a thief but, really, she is merely an opportunist. She had been about to pry the sword from my gut as I was waking up and, as I tried to pull myself up, sliding up the blade that pinned me to the ground she stopped me. She helped me. She took me to her cart and patched me up.

I've done odd jobs for her ever since. I could've gone to the rebels or the army, but I wasn't sure which side I had been on. I was wearing a soldier's uniform but it wasn't like the army to leave a body behind. They had won that battle. They haven't lost a battle in a long time. That is why it surprises the rebels and acolytes alike of their master's return.

It would be dangerous to go to the army or the rebels. If I go to the wrong one and they recognize me as an enemy, either side would take me prisoner, torture me for information, and, inevitably, make an example of me by taking my life. That is what Munna told me. And she is probably right. I've seen the holovids of the military executions and it was hard to forget finding the bodies of loyalists hanging from lamp posts in the lower city.

"The master has returned!" A young bald headed priestess shook her tambourine at me as I climbed onto the train, one hand instinctively reaching up to the hilt of my blade before I caught myself and nodded at her, before turning back to take a seat on the train.

If the master has returned, I have to go up to the middle city. I have to find Eska and Varda. It might already be too late.

It is snowing in the city. It always snows in the city. The weather is always changing but the weather is always the same.

Dunkey be damned.

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