Daniel struggled to his feet and made his way towards Felicia, all the while wind howled and whistled past stinging his face. Through his blurry vision he saw the girl from the ampitheater she was heading towards them and shouting something but he couldn’t make out the words, “What!?” he shouted back still unable to hear his own voice over the wind. The girl grabbed both their hands and started leading them to what he assumed was her house. As Daniel helped Felicia inside he couldn’t help feel that something, was moving and heading towards the center of the city, towards the castle. With a great heave he managed to close the door, muting the wind outside. Panting he felt himself slide down the door onto the floor in a sitting position. “What the fuck was that? Storms don’t just come out of nowhere like that especially not in the middle of summer! I mean we could’ve died out there!”
Well what is this that I can't see
With ice cold hands takin' hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I'll open the door to heaven or hell
"O Death" Ralph Stanley
The walls and basic structure of the palace could just be made out under the thick sheets of ice now covering it, Every piece of glass had been broken and snow now covered the throne room, The wind whistled through the quiet halls of the seemingly empty castle and the pale moonlight cast everything in a eerie glow. The only movement came from a tall lanky man in an impeccable suit and top hat, who walked briskly towards the throne, a face partially covered by a silver mask peered at an icy statue which sat on the throne a pair of red eyes slitted like those of a snake regarded the now frozen king, the man then brought up his skull topped walking stick with one gloved hand and tapped the kingsicle making a high pitched ringing noise that caused the man to chuckle and reveal a row of serrated shark- like teeth.
“Pretender” the man said in a voice that was both soft and dulcet and hard and raspy “you were not even my stand in, you were a fat slug feeding off the gifts I gave you!” the man laughed, “Veingaden has never chosen a ruler based on ‘gender’ or ‘age’ not until you came along, you knew didn’t you slug man? Didn’t you!?” he said laughing harder, “and speaking of family, we seem to be missing someone. Oh dear! Well that won’t do at all.” The man laughed and took a few steps back, “well as wonderful as it’s been looking at the hovel you’ve made of my home, I really must be going! Busybusybusy you know?!” With that the man snapped his fingers as he did so a loud rumbling began and a building arose from the icy ground rising with an impossible speed, smashing the castle and all of it’s frozen inhabitants the man laughed wildy as he rode the top of the rising tower, higher and higher it climbed until he could see the very edge of his city. As the man gazed out over the distance he took a deep breath and cried out in a volume that would’ve been impossible for human lungs “VEINGADEN! YOUR TRUE MASTER HAS RETURNED!”
>>>>>>Daniel was still propping the door, partially out of concern that it would burst open if he didn’t and partially because he was too tired to get up. The girl Lierah had been unable to start a fire and Daniel had fallen into a state of half wakefulness, For what seemed like hours the storm raged on when it all of a sudden stopped, as the wind died down a fire burst into existence in the fireplace causing all three of them to jump. Rubbing his eyes Daniel stood up an opened the door, outside it was covered in snow but despite it being nighttime he could see fine the stars shown far brighter than they had ever had before, and throughout the city strange hooded men in long flowing robes prowled the streets.
“Uhh excuse me” he asked one of the nearby hooded ones, “what’s going on?” the hooded creature turned towards him and all Daniel could see were two bright yellow dots of light within a hood filled with darkness. “Aah you are confused yess? A natural state of affairs considering what has come.” It answered in a high pitched whisper, The tall hunchbacked figure walked towards him “a great change has come delicious friend, but worry not, all will be well. Yesss, all manner of things will be well!” with that the creature of indeterminate gender continued walking heading towards some unknowable goal. Daniel gently closed the door and turned back to face his two female compatriots, “I think I’m going to head outside for a bit, just wanna find out what level of hell I’ve found myself in” was this a dream? It felt like a dream. Just then he heard an echoing voice in the distance cry out “Veingaden your true master has returned!”, “oh that can’t be good,” Daniel muttered before heading out the door.