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Prologue: Seasonal Rain

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The rainy spring season had begun: a never-ending downpour of red seemed to flood the land in all directions. From sunrise to sunset, the deluge of blood was seemingly endless. With the constant unstoppable wave running, rivers of scarlet flowed and the ground remained soaked: wet and sticky, with a lingering metallic scent hanging in the air like a hovering bird of prey in waiting for a fleet-footed rabbit. The leaves on each tree branch were heavy, and dripped red after every sudden assault on the landscape, and each blade of grass stained in a crimson tone.

Above the landscape, the carrion-eaters gathered in a swarming flock of ebony which seemed to block out the sun. Their cries, like the shrieking of banshees, echoed in the air as each foreboding harbinger soared on silent wings. Beneath them, a scene of carnage began to unfold.

Corpses, maimed and slaughtered, were scattered upon the ground as if a grand hand threw the human bodies as easily as a great gale of wind does a pile of straw. Limbs
had been ripped off, slashes and claw marks gouged through skin, organs completely removed from where they once sat: the war has taken its toll on both sides. Mail and armor clad men were decapitated: spears and swords plunged into the enemy’s forces. Some failed to be identified from arrows impaling every part of the body, fletched in feathers ranging from white and yellow to scarlet. Skeletons lay next to comrades and foes alike, devoid of skin and muscle and charred as if burned by a hellish bonfire of flame.

Arcadian forces and the Pride were locked in combat, with no sign of either side surrendering to the enemy. Every morning began and ended to the sound of swords colliding. Mothers writhed in fear at the prospect of the ones they held dear becoming casualties and men marching head first into the fray. The sea of red would rise, until one side fell.



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