"Why did I decide to do this?" Varlynn asked himself in a near whisper, as he walked down the freshly repaired cobblestone of High House street an hour past dusk. He shook slightly despite the warm sea breeze that blew in off the harbor.
The ancient port city was very clean, despite the constant influx of boats to the harbor and all the rats and human vermin they brought from throughout the land. This was partly because no livestock were allowed within the confines of the crescent shaped wall that wrapped about the city and partly because of Ducal contracts held by several Transmuters who specialized in keeping the streets and stone buildings looking fresh.
As Varlynn turned the corner to Gull street, a white moth landed on his left hand. He nearly soiled himself as his mind registered hissing from the alleyway to his right. He recoiled and staggered backward, gasping for breath, he squinted his eyes trying to make out what was before him. In the pale ghostly green light of the lamppost above him, that buzzed every so softly reminding him of its arcane origins and swarmed with moths, he could see a solitary black cat with a white spot on the top of it's head. The cat was making a meal of some sea bird, which by this point even with Varlynn's great knowledge of animals was far beyond identification. Varlynn laughed softly to himself, "oh pussy you gave me quite the fright. But you are nothing to be . . . " Just then he felt a hand on his left shoulder, with the sort anxiety that ties your stomach in nots Varlynn spun around to see a man several inches taller than him standing behind him. This man was wearing a long hooded black cloak despite the warmth of the sea breeze blowing in off the harbor. Even in the pale green street light this man's eyes shown through with a strange shade of purple. His hair, which framed his angular Northman's face, was long mahogany brown and stood out as a sharp contrast to his porcelain skin. Behind him was a burst of white moths, it seemed the air was alive with them, as thousands of them were fluttering violently in every directing. Varlynn cringed as dozens of moths crashed into his face as he tried to spat them away he gulped and said, "umm . . . umm . . . are you the man who sent me the letter regarding the origins of the roses of memorial hill?" The man with the pale skin smiled and Varlynn noticed a small pendant on his robe that looked like a purple rose with a white moth sitting on it. Varlynn then steeled himself with bravery in the face of possible knowledge and said, "yes, yes, it has to be you! You are wearing a pendant with a depiction of one of them upon it. The purple rose . . . I must know what you know about them. You see they are the topic of my latest book. I theorize that they are derived from the blood of the god of the dead, the one that has died. Tell me, tell me what you know of them, I beg you!"
The purple eyed man smiled softly, and said, "child calm yourself, I shall tell you what you want to know but first you shall do something for me. Do you have the information on . . ."
Varlynn interupts him, "yes, yes, it is all here," he thrusts a scroll from his belt into the other man's hand. "All the information I could fine on the cult of the order of lies which resides to the south, and especially on the woman you hinted was their leader, the Dancer at the End of Time."
The man's eyes flash from purple to the deep red of the time of the dying sun. Varlynn backed up and gulped as he saw the anger in the mans eyes; however, he was intrigued at the same time as to how they totally changed color. The man spoke, "Her name is Thella Thorn, she did . . . she has . . . I shall find her and your help in this matter is greatly appreciated. Long ago I trusted her and she did me a great wrong. I plan to have . . . words with her."
Varlynn stammered, "umm, yes, sure, sure, that sounds fine to me. Hey, I don't like liers anyway," as he continues to swat his left hand before him to keep the white moths at bay.
The other man interupted him, "I do not like liars either or he whom they tell lies for. To your question, yes, they are of the god you mention, the Lord of Dusk, he who died at the hands of the whore of midnight. But they are not from the time after he was murdered but from the time before. Planted in soil infused with the life force of the land of the fey and the necrotic energy of the land beyond life, they are as close to perfect as the beauty of a flower can come. They have been infused in a way that makes them most persistent which is why the church of the false White Lord cannot rid the memorial hill cemetery of them."
Varlynn's eyes narrowed, "well how do I know you tell the truth on this matter? Or that you even know what you are talking about?"
A look of offense creased through the white skinned man's face, "I am truthful in all things if for no other reason than it would debase me to grant the usurper greater strength merely by my utterances. To your other question, the reason I know so much about those flowers is I transmogrified them from simple rose seeds to works of living art tinged with the anti-life of the plane of twilight, I planted them there on that high hill which once was crowed by a temple of my lord."
Varlynn's mouth dropped, "Your, your a follower of the dead god of death, the murdered lord of the dusk and you, you aren't alive are you?"
Several dozen moths have landed upon the pale man's cloak, "I stand between worlds, much like those roses, granted a stay by the hand of the god you call dead. This is why I seek Thella."
Varlynn, "Who are you?"
"I am A-Ya Doon, and I appreciate your time and the information on the Dancer's location."
Varlynn, his curiosity overriding his fear, "So why do you want to find her?"
A-Ya Doon, "She took something from me," he turns and looks off with a sad sort of look in his eye.
Varlynn, "What? What did she take from you?"
A-Ya Doon, smiling wistfully, "From me, my church, the relic trusted to me by my Lord and lastly my life," he turns and begins to walk away back down Gull Street towards the city gate. As he does the moths in unison begin to follow him.
Varlynn, his voice comes out as a high pitched squeak "And what are your plans for her once you find her?"
A-Ya Doon, "Tragedy."
Varlynn, "So you plan to kill her?"
A-Ya Doon, "I go forward for revenge."
Suddenly the warm breeze is gone and a chill falls over the coasts streets. Varlynn shudders, putting his arms about himself, looking down noticing the cat is gone, he mumbles, "flowers born of death with life from beyond, hmm, this might make my book a bit more interesting."