‘CREATING THE CHESSMASTER’

She feels its serpentine glare before she hears its hiss.

 “Tsssssssssssssssk!” Warns the serpent as its wraps around itself, scales slithering in the sand. It stretches its maw wide, revealing two glinting fangs.

The girl freezes, not that she could see the danger before her. The last thing she ever saw is still playing on rewind in her head. She could not have been more than fifteen years old at the time. 

It had started off as a single pinprick of light amidst the oily black mass enveloping her home. She had already felt its presence very clearly, as she had always. It was hard for her to not notice it – a swirling maelstrom in the center of a vast sea. Over time, it captured her curiosity and gradually grew to become an obsession she could not ignore. Eventually circumstance gave way to opportunity, allowing her to flutter towards that tiny spark. 

She had not realized it would burn her so.

Now, in the face of looming danger, she begins to resent her curious nature. Her delicate form slowly unfolds as she rises from her crouched position, revealing tattered and soiled white garbs. The girl begins to back away from the sound of the threat, but her limbs were already tired from her travels. Her body had not undergone trials such as these before and so the girl’s body fails. She stumbles, falling backwards. The serpent, angered at this sudden movement, begins its warning again.

In her fear, the girl did not notice the stranger who now observed her plight from the relative safety of obscurity.

Thud. A fast moving, unidentified object buries itself in the sand beside the girl’s right hand. Her jade eyes, now gray and no longer able to see the light of the world, frantically dance left and right. She is certain this will be her end and so she squeezes her eyes shut in anticipation.

“Listen carefully to me, young one.” The stranger’s voice, baritone and commanding, now hews the panicked girl’s mind with his orders. Her head instinctively snaps towards the sound of the man’s voice beside her.

“The journey before you is a long and painful one. If you are unwilling to take it, you may choose the serpent.” The man perceives the girl’s predicament without being told: he knows she is blind and cannot see. He is also all too aware that this world is a brutal and unforgiving place. The girl’s unseeing gaze slips towards the serpent once more, as if to consider this option.

He pauses momentarily before continuing. Even the serpent seems to heed his words and it offers a fresh contortion to crane its head towards the newcomer, as if sizing him up.

“However… if you choose the blade by your right hand, you will join me and walk beside Death for the rest of your days.” His words echo with crushing gravity and she knows they are sincere in the silence that follows.

Even the serpent seems to wait patiently. 

It does not take her long to make up her mind. In bold defiance, her cut and bloody right hand forcefully gropes the ground until it finds the knife’s polished pommel. She rips it from the earth’s prison and turns her head once more towards the sound of the man’s voice.  

Pain.

She closes her empty left hand around the knife’s naked blade. Blood seeps from the fresh cut and crashes to the ground one drip at a time where it mingles with the sand and dirt, as if to ink their agreement in crimson.

“Good.” The man says with a satisfied grin. The girl slides her cut hand down the blade to the pommel and manages to point the sharp end towards the snake now. The tip wavers in sync to the rhythm of her ragged breaths.

The snake, now sensing the girl’s own killing intent, rasps its third and final warning as it coils to strike. It doesn’t get the chance to. Just before the snake can lunge, a second knife pierces its open maw and pins it to the earth, flung by the newcomer’s adroit hand. 

The girl is able to sense that the immediate danger has passed. Now standing upright, she gingerly turns towards the man’s voice. She is clearly able to hear the careful and measured cadence of slow and deliberate footsteps towards her, but she is not afraid. The thud of the stranger’s boots against the earth stops as he stands before the shivering teenager.

“What is your name?” The stranger’s voice is calm and the girl can now sense a shade of gentleness she had not detected earlier. Her lips part to reply, but the stranger cuts her off as if he had suddenly thought of something else. 

“No, no matter. Those who walk alongside Death have no need for names. Come, young one. We have important work to do and you are not yet prepared.” The girl cocks her head to the side and her jaw goes slack – she has a million different questions to ask the stranger right now, so many that simply none of them can force their way out of her head.

The man turns away and begins to walk once more. He does not break his leisurely pace to glance over his shoulder and offer a smirk to the blind girl and her shock of messy, white hair. Not that she could see it. 

At that moment, the girl hears a fluttering sound as something lands at her feet. She looks down to where she instinctively knows her own feet are bare, bloody, and torn. The blind girl could not see what had been thrown, but she could feel its warmth. She kneels down and picks up a fur-lined poncho that the man had nonchalantly tossed at her feet.

She pauses a moment, squeezing the bundle against her chest for a moment and biting her lip. All of the emotions she’d been too afraid to think about, all of the pain she’d pushed out of her mind suddenly bubble to the surface. She buries her face in the bundle for a moment and fights the urge to scream. Instead, she stands tall again and dons the garbs the stranger has offered, wrapping herself in their soft warmth. 

The stranger’s scent invades her nostrils now – pines and evergreens. She relishes the silence of the scene, interrupted only by the measured steps of the stranger, a steady metronome by which she could measure his direction and distance.

Despite her state and despite being able to see nothing, she forces herself to take one step forward. Then, she forces herself to take another step forward. Then another. And another.

Before long, the girl has silenced the cries of her screaming thighs and her blistered soles. She continues forward, now steeled with a grim determination to survive. The man’s gift, far too large for her small frame, carves little waves into the dirt and sand as it drags behind her.

Her story continues.


The game of chess is like a sword fight; you must think before you move.

Her thoughts are already in motion, as are theirs. Now we will find out who can think further ahead — the Chessmaster, or her latest set of adversaries. 

Her hands are dark, the color of burnt bronze, and while they are dotted with scars, they remain slender and effeminate. Those scars serve to remind her of the many lessons she paid for with spilled blood, only some of which was her own. Within her clasped hands is a smooth cane fashioned from dense walnut. The warm earthen tones of the cane complement her skin’s own radiance, although that is impossible for her to see.

After all, she is blind. The brilliant jade of her green eyes was locked behind a gray cloud many years ago, never to shine again. While she may still be blind despite the many seasons that have passed since the night of her escape, she is no longer the inexperienced child that she once was. At this point in time, she is a capable young woman with an additional five years of survival to her credit. 

She is now the Chessmaster. 

Her opponents are blissfully unaware of her royal pedigree. To them, she is merely an opportunity. An object. A target. A naive, blind girl traveling by herself, armed only with a wooden stick. One of the vagrants licks his lower lip as the second stifles a cackle from the third with a swift rap to the solar plexus. As the breath flies from the third vagrant’s lungs, causing him to double over and wretch, the other two begin their approach.

Beneath the veil of her slate shemagh, the Chessmaster’s upper lip curls into a smirk. Her shoulders round and she slouches forward, resting more weight on her cane as she continues forward on her way. With each step, her sandals leave another pointed indentation in the sands. Her foes perceive her as vulnerable now.

She knows very well what they are thinking. These bandits are, above all other things, quite predictable. Their intent, unabashed and rancid, wafts towards her like some ripe and foul carrion’s odor. The Chessmaster’s smirk hardens in disdain.

“Oi, wait up there, little lad–” The first vagrant’s wheezing voice is cut off abruptly, as is his advance.

In an impossible display of spatial awareness, coordination, and timing, the Chessmaster straightens her posture, flourishes her cane up high, and then brings the smooth walnut whistling down to bisect the cruel leer of the first bandit just as he enters her range. The heavy, wet snap of the walnut cane shattering his partner’s nose causes the second vagrant to freeze in his tracks.

Meanwhile, her victim’s world slowly rights itself. It takes him a second to realize what happened. He is now seated in the sand, his head is throbbing, his nose is on fire… and his brain is still trying to process the impossibility of what had just happened. The sharp pain of his broken nose keeps interfering with his ability to think and so instead, he cries and babbles incoherent curses from his seat in the sand.

“The fuck?” The third of the trio has recovered and jogs over now. The other member of the trio remains frozen in place. The woman doesn’t need to see his alarmed expression to know that they are startled, and so she takes this opportunity to grant herself a clean conscience. 

She begins to draw a line in the sand with her cane. Effortlessly pivoting on the ball of her foot, she drags the line around herself to create a circle. No longer supporting herself on the cane, she settles into a balanced half-squat. Her right hand slides to the top of her cane and her pinky and ring finger grasp it firmly while her index and middle finger remain loose and pliable. This is the proper grip she was taught so many seasons ago.

“The game of chess is like a sword fight. You must think first… before you move.” The Philosopher’s rich baritone emerges from her subconscious to momentarily break her concentration. Only for a moment, though. After all, she’s gotten quite good at defying her former teacher. 

The seated vagrant now manages to wrestle back control of his senses and he stands up, wavering like a maple leaf in a stiff, autumn breeze. Turning a truly murderous glare towards the Chessmaster, he draws in a deep breath to speak, but once again, our heroine steals the initiative.

“If you want to continue your miserable existence, I suggest you stay out of my space.” The Chessmaster cuts him off with her powerful declaration. The vagabonds find themselves completely enthralled by the woman’s voice. Had the louts been more studious in their youth, they might have chosen words like ethereal or perhaps even euphonious to describe its sound. Perhaps they would have compared the timbre of her eloquent speech to the texture of silk, satin, or gossamer. So enchanting is the Chessmaster’s voice that it seems to reverberate through the dim recesses of their simple minds.

After a brief pause, the foul stench returns with greater intensity. The three men begin to circle the Chessmaster with slow steps, but they do not yet dare to step within her range. Her first victim’s nose continues to leak, adding yet more stains to his dirty rags. His eyes find those of his partners and they each nod in unison. Moments later, they spring forward. 

Her eyes cannot see the light of day anymore, but they can still read the wicked hearts of the vagabonds with an intuitive ease. As her first victim lunges forward, arms outstretched and grasping, she too moves to close the distance. The Chessmaster steps forward into a low lunge as she ducks past the thug and his clumsy embrace. 

In the same instant, a brilliant flash of blue steel erupts from the woman’s right hand. Her first victim’s broken nose is now the least of his worries. As he staggers forward, off-balance, he crashes into one of his partners. The inertia causes his rent intestines to spill out from the fine incision that the Chessmaster’s hidden sword left behind a moment ago. His shocked comrade grabs him by the shoulders and throws him to the ground, leaving him to contemplate the freshly revealed contents of his abdominal cavity. 

The Chessmaster doesn’t plan in terms of one move at a time though. Thinking in simple terms was never her style, nor was losing a contest of wit or skill. She correctly anticipates her next assailant’s follow-up. With unparalleled grace, she pivots on the ball of her foot and casts her fatal stroke once more; as the second bandit steps into her range, the tip of the razor’s edge finds one of his femoral arteries through the inside of his thigh. Steaming scarlet sprays from the wound and the man collapses as his leg is no longer able to support any weight. 

His blood-curdling death wail seems to stun the Chessmaster for a moment. She visibly grimaces and her rhythm is interrupted. Taking advantage of this, the last bandit barrels forward, using his superior size to body the woman in her moment of weakness. Although graceful, she is sleight of frame and it is now her turn to fall. She is thrown to the ground by the bigger and stronger opponent. 

She manages to break her fall by slapping the ground with her left hand and letting her momentum carry her forward into a roll. She comes to a stop lying on her side and tucks her knees up towards her chest. She does not stand right away – instead, she raises her sword to hold it in an unassuming defensive posture between her and her foe. She can feel the grains of sand against her earlobe. An authentic-sounding whimper escapes her lips.

The man’s footsteps shake the earth as he approaches her in confidence to claim his prize.

He is about to find out that the Chessmaster is quite an actress.

His places his left foot down within her range and the woman’s flashing steel draws one final stroke to end this deadly encounter. The man’s once imposing frame now comes crashing down to the earth as his foot is all but severed at the ankle by the Chessmaster’s steel. He tries to direct himself towards the prone woman, but she has already tucked and rolled away from him. He slams into the vacant earth like a felled tree instead. 

Now standing upright, the Chessmaster dusts herself off with a scoff. Another victory. A few wispy strands of white hair that managed to free themselves from the confines of her shemagh now float weightlessly in a gentle afternoon breeze. 

She sets off on her way again, not bothering to finish the wounded. After all, she knows that they can no longer pursue her. After some time, the cries of the injured vagrants fade into the distance and the metronome of her steady steps becomes the only sound to punctuate the descending dusk. 

And still, her story continues.


The brooding black mass of the coming storm clouds heave and seethe in the heavens, gradually encroaching upon a lone campfire dotting a dim and desolate hellscape. 

The flames of the fire ripple and oscillate as they are mirrored in the pearly contrast of the Chessmaster’s own eyes, threatening to reveal the brilliant jade treasures that lay dormant there. The winds of the coming storm cause her short, chalk-white hair to frenetically whip about the frame of her face. Her lips, somehow overflowing and yet subdued, now curl into an amused grin, as if the night skies have just told her some amusing anecdote. Without realizing it, she finds herself falling deeper into the cumbersome fur-lined poncho she still carries, as if to seek solace in its dulcet embrace. The lingering smell of pine needles remains present despite the long years that have passed since it came into her possession during that chance encounter many seasons past.

In the distance, a single light, unnatural and somehow mechanical in nature, begins to flash on and off. It is a piercing chartreuse green and it is also distinctly visible, even through the veil of night. Its routine, rhythmic flashes echo out in the darkness, not that the Chessmaster can see them with her own eyes; she has already adapted to a world of darkness. All the same, she tilts her head to the side as her grin grows ever wider. Indeed, it is apparent to her that an old friend has decided to pay her another one of his periodic visits. The baritone boom of thunder grumbles in the distance, as if the hungry sky’s borborygmi serve to announce that the Philosopher has graced the stage once more.

The Chessmaster’s ears, highly attuned and ever attentive, can now make out the familiar beat of the Philosopher’s approaching footfalls. Indeed, there was a time in the past when that familiar metronome used to guide her own uncertain footsteps forward. That time has since passed though, and she now marches forward, slowly but surely, to a symphony of her own synthesis. Of course, in doing so, she earned the Philosopher’s timeless admiration and loyalty. The simple fact that he himself marches to this tune even now, after the passing of long and arduous years, is testament to this truth. The Philosopher’s footsteps now come to a full rest as he respectfully announces his presence to the young woman.

“Good evening, old friend. May I join you by your fire?” His words project powerfully through the still night air to reach the Chessmaster’s delicate earlobes. She allows herself to relish their sound for only a brief moment before responding with authority.

“What if I say no?” Now it is the Chessmaster’s turn to speak her lines. The woman’s voice, as mellifluous as ever, rings like music to the Philosopher’s ears despite its content. It is now the man’s turn to become flustered as he finds himself pulling back the charcoal hood of his coat. His face is nearly as pale as the moon’s own effulgence. The slate tones of his blue eyes glitter patiently in the darkness. 

“Then I would rest in the shade, alone, and bear my solitude in silence.” The Philosopher begins. “You already know this, too.” As he finishes addressing his old friend, the pitch of his voice dips in a subtle, yet noticeable way, suggesting his certainty of this sentiment. The Chessmaster nods and the corners of her eyes curl up in approval as a Cheshire cat’s grin sneaks across her sly features.

“You may join me by my fire, oh melancholy Walker of the Dusk.” She teases him playfully and shakes her head left and right, causing her short white locks to bob enthusiastically. Despite some of the more rugged aspects of her appearance, such as her short shock of wild, white hair and her bulky, over-sized clothing, her voice is still undeniably tragic and beautiful, like a cherry blossom’s languishing last breath in a sudden frost’s onset. The invitation rings out like a joyful rondo to her guest’s ears and she can hear his footsteps resume, gradually growing to a soft crescendo before coming to a rest once more.

Now the Philosopher can be seen in full, his form completely illuminated by a mixture of flame and moonlight. He is a tall, lean man with striking, handsome features accentuated by high, gaunt cheekbones. Long silver tresses shimmer in the twilight’s touch and now his slate blue eyes come to regard his friend, the Chessmaster, as she sits next to the campfire. Much to her disappointment, her guest, very predictably, sits across the campfire from her. She can all but see her own disappointed stare reflected in both the Philosopher’s mind and gaze now. Many moments quickly pass in quiet succession, gradually accruing into a comfortable silence. The roaring flame licks the night sky to mark the uninterrupted passage of time here.

“Shall I presume that you know why I am here, Chessmaster?” It is the Philosopher’s turn to speak again. Despite the content of his message and his companion’s incredulous reaction, his words are tender and sincere; the Chessmaster feels them resonate with her own heart and finds her lips parting involuntarily.

“Now who is asking silly questions?” Only a brief lapse in her defense. Once again, the playful Chessmaster finds herself smirking at her old friend and the pitch of her own sing-song voice frolics about, as if continuing to playfully mock her dutiful friend. It is now the Philosopher’s turn to bare a toothy grin and respond with equal jest.

“Well then, let’s get to it. You know the rules: winner picks the game.” His grin gradually grows into something resembling smugness. The Chessmaster’s eyes light up as they recognize his feelings of overconfidence. Instantly, her mind glimpses into the not-so-distant future where she will unravel that confidence and so she allows herself a delighted sigh complete with a brilliant smile to match.

“Well, I suppose we could do something boring… like dice… or cards…” The tone of her voice and its lofty pitch feigns innocence as she bites her lower lip a bit to punctuate each of these options. Her acting could certainly pull the wool over the eyes of a stranger, certainly… but the Philosopher is no stranger, nor is he a fool. No, he is her worthy rival, after all, and she acknowledged him as such; thus her barbs were always made in a prodding, yet playful manner. 

“Playing into my hand would be very unlike you, my old friend.” The Philosopher has already predicted her answer, as that is one of his specialties; careful, deliberate analysis. He quickly shrugs out of the sling securing the peculiar bundle of black textile to his slender frame and begins rummaging through his pack. Peering inside its depths, the man begins to poke around as he searches for their next contest. The flickering fire waxes across his face, revealing two faintly perceptible crow’s feet next to his deeply set slate eyes. His angular visage sports no great beard of any sort; instead, he is neatly clean shaven. If she could see his face, the Chessmaster might have drawn a comparison to that of a doleful Great Dane, but alas, she has never been able to regard her friend with her own two eyes. After but a moment of rummaging, the Philosopher turns back around with a small, rectangular wooden chest in his hands. He holds the chest reverently, setting it down before him with both hands.

“You won’t sit next to me?” Although she is a great actor, the Philosopher’s own well-trained ears are able to detect just a sliver of disappointment in the velvety tones of her question. He allows himself a smug grin once more as he offers his verbal riposte.

“You needn’t disturb yourself from your rest, my friend. I will be your eyes again.” The man’s words emanate warmth and compassion, and yet his actions do not seem to belie those motives, at least by the Chessmaster’s perception. No, much to her chagrin, the Philosopher, her senior by nearly a decade, has never taken that sort of interest in her. This, of course, prompted all sorts of self-doubt from the young woman. Although he could not read minds, no details escape the Philosopher’s attentive gaze and so he notes her momentary discomfort with a mixture of curiosity and concern.

“Let us decide the stakes then, Chessmaster.” The Philosopher’s smooth baritone sinks impossibly low and its warmth seems to bleed and intermingle with the subtle roar of the campfire. A pillowy sigh escapes the lips of the young woman and she allows herself to feel vulnerable for just a moment. 

“I suppose you are after your usual prize then?” She asks him, her voice tinged with an incongruous mixture of both hope and skepticism.

“… As always, I am bound to uphold my duty.” As the Philosopher’s statement leaves his lips, the storm clouds in the sky above seem to emphasize the weight of his words and a flash of lightning races down to meet the horizon. The Chessmaster’s disappointment is evident as it is reflected in the Philosopher’s knowing gaze. 

“… Fine. If I win, you will turn to the east and you will walk without stopping until the sun rises once more and then begins to fall once again, Duskwalker.” The tenderness in her voice has disappeared now, replaced with an unsettling gravity of sorts. The Philosopher nods in response and proceeds to separate the small wooden chest into two halves, revealing a smooth, wooden plane within. Black and white checkered squares adorn this smooth surface and the Philosopher’s deft hands begin to place carved ivory figurines into their respective starting positions as the Chessmaster waits in silence for their contest to begin once again. 

“Pawn. E3 to E5.” No sooner have all the pieces reached their destination did these words leave the Chessmaster’s lips, which no longer bore any indication of jest or sport. No, now her brow begins to furrow as her competitive spirit awakes, hungry to consume yet another contest. The Philosopher, sensing this, obeys her command and daintily pushes the ivory chess piece forward two squares. Moments later, he makes his own move in a similar fashion.

“Pawn moves from C6 to C4.” He raises his gaze to regard the Chessmaster and though his eyes rest on her unassuming form, his mind has left the campfire already, running itself through countless scenarios as he analyzes past patterns and tactics used by his most respected adversary. No available data point is spared from his relentless inquiries. Once again, the hungry sky’s borborygmus grumbles menacingly. The Chessmaster can feel this tangible pressure building up across from her. This feeling is a sense of unbridled anticipation, a mixture of both anxiety and eagerness. It electrifies her senses and at the same time, it terrifies her heart with its unpredictable nature.

The ebony storm clouds continue to spiral and wrap themselves around one another, the lone witness to their ongoing contest of wits. Several hours later, the Chessmaster finds herself alone once more as the Philosopher finds himself trudging eastward yet again. In this way, both of their journeys continue slowly onward. 


Flight. The sensation of weightlessness. The perspective of all creation crawling beneath you. A gift stolen from most by an infamous cutthroat called causality.

She was not like most, though.

The crow continues to trace its lazy circles in the sky as the surrounding landscape is reflected in its attentive blue eyes. Above the crow, beyond the heights any updraft could ever help it attain, a cruel sun stares tirelessly at the scorched earth beneath the bird’s oily wings. Instincts warn the crow that it is dangerous to climb any further and the prickling heat of the midday sun’s rays are an ever present reminder of this threat. Off to the east, the crow’s survival instincts offer it another warning; beware these brewing black clouds.

For many passing moments, only the flashes of heat lightning across the sky are reflected in the crow’s cold, black eyes. 

Wheeling around to face the west now, a single vision floods its sight; the vast, empty plain stretching endlessly into the depths of an impenetrable maw of shadowed obfuscation. The crow long since concluded that this route was unsafe, like many of the creatures clinging to survival that happened across it. This stretch of land is known to some as The Tumultuous Plains. This title was bestowed upon the stretch of land by all who heard the terrifying roars emanating from deep within the dismal din. No human had yet dared to venture far enough into the maelstrom to understand what sort of beast could create such a racket and it seemed unlikely that this would occur in the future.

With the way to the west blocked and a storm approaching from the east, it appeared that the crow really only had two options at this point; North and South. The crow’s instincts already warned it that the frozen wastes of the northern lands were unsuited for the majority of living creatures and that only the hardiest may survive there. The crow, a survivor itself, did not fear hardship, and yet it also knew itself well enough to know that it would prefer the warmer climate of the south over those frozen northern winds. The decision was made. 

The supple, lithe muscles in the crow’s back seem to relax as its wings allow the air to rush past and bring the bird into a graceful descent. Down the crow plummets towards the earth with wings tucked; a single figure dressed in white awaits it with an outstretched hand that is riddled with little pink scars. A flutter of wings and several loose feathers announce the crow’s arrival as it hurriedly beats its wings to gracefully decelerate and come in for a landing. The Chessmaster does not wince as the crow’s talons dig into her outstretched index finger. 

This sudden flash of pain serves to transport her from one dreamworld to the next. Just moments ago, her mind dripped with the sensation of flight and although she was truly awake now, the world before her looked just as unreal as it always did. After all, her clouded gaze can no longer capture the world the way a crow’s eyes can. This does not trouble her anymore, though; she has long since adapted to living in the thick miasma of darkness broken only by the pulsating poltergeists she has learned to recognize as other living creatures. If asked about these apparitions, the Chessmaster might describe them as glowing spheres of blue flame, although the word flame might not be a great label. After all, the little spark of life perched on her fingertip was mostly cool to the touch.

“Was that fun, Ebony?” The Chessmaster’s voice echoes in the empty air. The crow, Ebony, cocks its head to the side as it regards its master, as if considering the query. Before the crow can respond, the other blue flame perched on her shoulder offers its rebuttal; a bristling chortle.

“Yes, I know, Ivory, you want to go fly around too… ” The ethereal tones of her voice, dreamlike as the phantom world within which she resides, seem to sooth the dove that is perched on her shoulder. Ivory, the dove, ruffles its feathers a bit before settling down. In the meantime, Ebony decides to hop along the woman’s outstretched arm until it reaches its preferred perch; her left shoulder. The Chessmaster now turns and faces towards the south as she rummages through what appears to be a leather satchel hanging from her hip. 

“What do you think, Martin?” The Chessmaster withdraws a small field mouse from the satchel. Her third traveling companion, Martin the Mouse, offers no audible reply to her inquiry. Although the small mouse appears to her as yet another tiny, flickering blue flame in the palm of her hand, her mind’s eye can imagine his glassy eyes blinking innocuously as his whiskers tremble ever so slightly. This seems to be the answer that the Chessmaster wanted to hear. 

“That settles it then. To the south, and then onward to the Emerald Meadow.” Her words carry across the empty stretch of wilderness.

Her journey continues.

Written by “Jungle” (N.F.N.)
(C) 2020 All Rights Reserved.

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