Vile Shadows

The Day the Storm Began
Side-Story Event

Eyre 29, 1423

Dark clouds covered the midday sun as thunder roared overhead and the heavy rain crashed against his as he knelt there in the grass. The red cloak he wore was soaked with water and barely covering his shoulders. His black hair was wet and stuck defiantly against his face as the water dripped down the wet tracks formed on his cheeks. Lightning arched out from the dark gray clouds hovering in the sky, as though they were threatening him. The thunder grumbled angrily once more in the distance as he slowly rose up from his kneeling position.

Casting his dark green eyes toward the clouds, he pleaded silently to the storm, asking it to take his life so that he could see her again. A bolt of blue lashed out from the cloud, crashing into the soggy field in front of him. “Please,” he muttered, stretching his arms out to his sides. The silver ring he wore on his left ring finger glinted brightly despite the storm as he pleaded again, with all his heart. The storm struck again, this time a little closer. He closed his eyes and waited for the next bolt to take him. A weak smile crept onto his face as he remembered the way she smiled at him. He remembered every minute he had spent with her since her father had taken him in, treating him as his though he were his own son. He recalled the day when he had first asked her to dinner. He thought of the first time they had made love. He could clearly see in his mind the look on her face when he asked her to marry him. He stood this way for what seemed like an hour, but the lightning refused to strike him down.

Tears welling in his eyes, he roared at the storm, “Take my life, damn you! I don’t want it anymore!” His voice grew silent and full of dread, “I can’t live this way. Not without her.” His rage overtook him. Opening his eyes as wide as he could, he thrust his palms skyward. “Kill me!” he demanded, calling upon his mastery of the arcane to force the storm into action. He gouged at the sky with his fingertips, ripping a bolt of lightning from the heart of the clouds above and wrenched it toward himself, only to have it strike just a few feet in front of him. He tried again and again until he was too exhausted to even be frustrated.

As he lay there, gritting his teeth and holding back his tears, the sky began to clear and he could hear something. It was a very familiar melody. It took only a few moments for him to realize that the sound was coming from his coat pocket. Reaching inside, he found a small music box. It was playing a gentle tune. The same tune that Branwen had hummed to him so many times before. In the back of his mind, he could hear her soft voice speaking to him, “Don’t give up so easily, Eiremis. It’s unbecoming of you.”

He eyes hurt from the strain of holding them open and his heart was pounding. He looked around frantically, trying to make himself believe that Branwen was near him, but she was nowhere to be found. At last, his eyes came to rest upon a familiar form. It was a raven with a scar across its right eye. The same raven he’d seen the night Branwen was murdered. It pecked at the ground, pausing only long enough to return Eiremis’ gaze. Eiremis rose to his feet and took a step toward it, only for it to lock gazes with him and fly away.

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