The Knight Owls are disbanded.
The Rooksmith floats in pieces, high above the clouds beyond the Edge, its fragments of stone and ruin casting shadows across the land of Wyrmrock; reminders not to trifle with the gods.
Those who bore the mark of the Owl have gone into hiding. Gone are their resources; their very existence disavowed. Raptors - fierce mercenaries - stalk the cities for signs of the "Broken Order," eager to snuff out the light they once represented.
This is an Age of uncertainty. After the Elderburn, beyond the industry of Cloudsinger, this world seeks Reclamation of its virtue.
This is Io-Firma, the 6th Age.
One Night in Stormwrack
Nestled in a rainy caern of the Wynnrik mountains, the cramped slums of Stormwrack are a bustle of activity. Buskers seek spare coin to offer up to the tavern masters, while merchant cruisers and shikaras weave through the tight waterways linking the city's dense districts. Rain hammers down as a couple races under a rail-stop, the lights of a Steamrail arching into view across the bridge. An engine fires and wheezes down the road, the gnomish rider peddling as fast as he can to keep it running in the downpour.
And as he whirrs by, a dark cloud of smoke and gas curling in his wake, a small cloaked figure darts across the road. The rich waiting assume an urchin, or a street child, as they are want to wander, and pay this creature little mind. But a keener eye would reveal that this is no child.
The gray hood, soaked and dripping, lays matted against green skin, obscuring long, pointed ears - sets of tiny spikes, piercings, and hooks running the length of them. Bright, yellow eyes gleam under the hood, darting back and forth as the creature enters an alleyway. A door opens in the distance; a rotund dwarf hurling a pale of fish bones into the alley. The creature freezes as a bundle of cats descend upon the bones, fighting until none remain. Only when the path is clear again does the creature move, padding quickly around the next bend and squatting down behind a set of crates.
The yellow eyes scan the alley in frantic bursts, keen to any noise nearby. Satisfied that no prying eyes shall see them, the creature pulls a bundle from a satchel. Unwrapping the dense silk folds, bright verdant light spills out, illuminating the smiling face of the goblin girl under the hood. Scars and scratches and scuffs of dirt line her face and hands, but her eyes smile and dance in the light. What mysteries does this artifact hold, and what dark powers can she harness? Or perhaps, she could just look at it a little longer...
A chill wind lances up the alley and the girl snuffs the light out, wrapping it tightly in the silken leather bundle. She catches her breath, noticing that she can see it, even on this humid evening. Her eyes widen with realization, and she gazes only for a moment at the spreading frost on the opposite wall. Sound has already begun to bleed away in the alley... At the crisp, slow clip of a pair of boots approaching, she sprints, knowing that hiding will do nothing for her.
Darting down the alley, the frost snaking down the walls as she runs, her muscles chill and tense, her gait slowing. "No..." The alley becomes tight with cold, her lungs fighting for air in the chill, and she is driven to her knees, gasping. She catches her breath as the slow clip echoes along the walls, directionless. Her yellow eyes narrow, scanning behind her. They are met with a growl, as claws scrape slowly on stone, and a massive wolf pads into view at the mouth of alley. It sits, its own patchwork leather armor hardening with frost, and waits.
"Good evening, little lady."
The girl whips her eyes forward to find them staring at a pair of duelist boots, jet black and cold to the touch. Her eyes rise and take in the features of the entity in front of her, each detail familiar and terrifying. The deep navy cloak, fitted officer's doublet, runic gloves, the edges of adamantine bracers under the coat... But the worst is the face; pale skin, pulled tight with magic, a black cloth tied over the eyes, the fabric seeming to bleed into the tri-corner hat on its head. It is always hard to tell the nature of a being with no eyes.
"You have something that belongs to our Queen. It would befit you to return it."
The goblin girl steels herself, seething, "It was never hers to begin with." She flinches from the familiar sound of ignition as a lance of cold, arcane fire manifests at the officer's side, coalescing instantly into a three-foot blade. Though it burns with blue fire, droplets of boiling water flow from its edge, darkening the chilled stone. A lesser being might dissolve into fits of sobbing by now, but defiance dances on the goblin's tongue. "...and it will never belong to a Shiver like you." She snaps her fingers...and her form disappears in a burst of violet mist.
Five hundred feet away, an old merchant shoves off from the boardwalk, kneading his sore hands from a long day of artisan work. His elderly ears ignore the slight popping sound and a few shaking barrels at the bow of his shakaras, and the night fog obscures the long green ears of a goblin ducking behind a crate as the ship begins its meandering path through the waterways...
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