The 9th World

Out of the Shadows

The decision to abandon your childhood home was not an easy one, but in the end you had little choice. Since before you were born the overpopulated township of Fen had been struggling, but when the blight hit and almost all of the crops that your families had been cultivating for over a generation failed, it was leave or starve. A few stayed behind, but you suspect you’ll never see them again.

The diaspora spread in every direction, and the most able bodied volunteered to distribute amongst the caravans to protect travellers from the bands of marauders that occasionally wander the countryside. Your caravan has travelled westward for days to the closest and largest stronghold in the region: Braedon’s Bluff.

Your group numbers nearly 80 now. There were more, but a day ago, nine of your group vanished in the night with most of your remaining food. The sick and elderly are in dire straits. There is a priest of Althea among you, but his skill in healing isn’t nearly sufficient to take care of a group your size, even in the best of times.

After what feels like a long, hopeless day, the beleaguered caravan stops atop one of the rugged hills that characterize this region. While you begin to unpack what few comforts you have, an excited commotion stirs in camp. You climb a small outcropping to get a better look at the direction people are looking and you spot what’s causing the stir.

On the horizon, atop one of the grand cliffs that tear the landscape, you see the city. Beneath it in the cliffside you see the mines, occasionally lit by work lanterns and punctuated by the movement of those who work within.

All at once, excitement and relief spreads through the camp. You can’t be more than a day’s travel from Braedon’s Bluff and from salvation.


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