Xastasia paused at the edge of the forest and listened to the soothing sound of Nanyan birds cooing from the willowy branches of the shimmering, purple Shastia trees. A vast silver meadow stretched before her, as soft blue moonlight illuminated the path that would lead her to the next village. A gentle breeze blew strands of long auburn hair around her face, and she closed her eyes as the events of the past two weeks flashed through her mind.
The entire city of Nazraphoria was in a state of panic, and the citizens were anxious. The cause of the enduring darkness that had descended two weeks ago, leaving the whole city in perpetual night, remained disturbingly elusive. However, this was not her most pressing concern. A new threat, from a faction of dangerous mages, known as the Brotherhood of Shadows, was wreaking havoc in the city as the Brotherhood attempted to establish a new world order; one of anarchy and destruction. The so-called noble leaders, nervous with the prospect of having their government overthrown, could not agree on what to do. Finally, they decided to call out to every mercenary in Nazraphoria and beyond, promising them untold riches if they could rid the city of this new menace. They had stressed the importance of protecting the ruling council as they focused on solving the mystery of the phenomena, and furiously denied it had anything to do with protecting their own ambitions of power. Unconcerned with politics, as a mercenary, Xastasia's job was clear. Find the Brotherhood, learn their secrets and eliminate them.
Startled out of her reverie, Xastasia crouched low in the underbrush, as two hooded figures approached from the east, so close she could see their breath in the chilly air. They stopped a few feet from her position and began a rather heated conversation. It was impossible to see their faces, but the rank odour of death and suffering that hung around them like shroud, could mean only one thing…dark shadow magic. Her fingers clenched tightly around the hilt of her sword and her golden eyes burned with hatred as the blade became engulfed in flames. Both men turned with horrified expressions as the warrior woman with blazing sword, flew out from her hiding spot. Her hair whipped around her like a fiery cloak as she spun in the air, striking both men across the abdomen in one clean swipe. She landed on her feet, and her auburn hair billowed out behind her as she listened triumphantly to their cries of outrage. Sheathing her sword, she raised her hands and called forth the power of fire, her lips moving rapidly as she murmured the incantation of Fire Sight, the spell that would show her their secrets. Searing heat radiated from the flames roaring to life all around them, and as Xastasia focused on the flickering glow, she frowned. This was not a vision from the two unfortunate souls gasping at her feet. Revealed in the dancing light was a vision of a terrifying beast, surrounded by countless tortured souls. The beasts aura exuded death and destruction, and as black tendrils curled outwards as if reaching for her, Xastasia shuddered. As the macabre scene faded from view, she glimpsed a navy haired mage amidst rippling water, her black eyes filled with revulsion. An uneasy feeling swept over Xastasia with the realization that this had been no vision, it was a premonition. But, a premonition of what, and who was the other mage she had observed? More importantly, if she is real, is she a friend or foe.