The sound of steel clashing upon steel rang throughout the valley. The skirmish between the Tivuorians and the Myrskite and Usvaan forces took place on the border of Myrsk and Tivuor, in a rainy portion of land where the rolling hills and forests of Myrsk met the plains of Tivuor. The battle had been in full force for several hours now. A thin, pale man sprinted away from the heat of battle, a bloodied and moaning ally slung over his shoulder. The sprinting man was very tall and lean, with relatively smooth and pale skin. His hair was slightly curly and long, almost completely jet-black, save for a streak of turquoise running through the right side of his bangs, which mostly covered his face. Despite the look of grim determination on his face, complete with furrowed brows and grimace, his features were very soft and somewhat feminine. From each corner of his left eye were inked two lines that ran to his jawline. The streak in his hair, his tattoos, and his eye color were all the same shade. He wore the uniform of his nation, a light-blue coat over a silver breastplate, with a chainmail skirt and greaves of the same color, along with gauntlets that reached from elbow to knuckles. Most carried longsword or bastard sword into battle, but at his waist an ornate saber was sheathed. The handle was wrapped in strips of supple black leather. The hilt slanted forward at the bottom, a silver chain with a twinkling aquamarine in the shape of a four-pointed star hanging from it. The hand-guard was black metal, covering about half of the hilt. Scenes of Old Gods being desiccated by mist were carved into the surface. The blade itself was made of two different metals, the front half of the blade was a black metal from Tivuor, while the back half was the same silvery metal the breastplates were wrought from. The blade appeared to be segmented, like it was made of overlapping plates. As he reached his destination in the back of the attack force, he laid his comrade down gently, clasping the wounded man's fist as he moaned in pain. A medic attempted in vain to stitch together a grievous wound in the man's side. Several minutes later, the soldier's corpse was dragged off to a pile with the rest of the dead. The man remained, kneeling in the same spot. The way his head was bent, the marks on his eyes looked like tears. He sighed, stood back up and stared towards the battle raging ahead. “Lord Naeova!” a voice called out. The pale man turned towards a young, scared-looking squire. “Commander Coren is requesting your presence!” The squire looked more frightened with every word. Perhaps it was the boy's first time witnessing such horrendous bloodshed, perhaps it was Naeova's cold gaze. “Aye,” was all Naeova responded with, before turning on his heel and marching off towards the Myrskite commander's pavilion. He walked briskly, throwing back the entry flaps and entering dramatically when he arrived. “You requested me?” Naeova asked, his voice nonchalant. The commander nodded, beckoning for the lord to come closer. “A temporary cease fire has been agreed on. There's something odd out there and we'd like you to take a small force to investigate. There will be Tivuorians on the other side that will be assisting you. For the love of the Divines, don't let a fight break out.” Naeova nodded and left. He gathered five soldiers at random, and led them to the area the commander indicated. Sure enough, the Tivuorians were gathered on the other side. Naeova raised a hand to show he meant no harm, and let his saber fall to the ground. The opposing groups gathered, tension running thick in the air. Naeova payed no mind, and only approached what he was ordered to look at; a large mound that suddenly appeared in the middle of the battlefield. He looked at it, confused. “Any idea what caused this?” he asked, turning to the rest of the expeditionary force. The Tivuorian leader shrugged. “We heard a rumble, and it just popped out of the ground,” he replied gruffly.Then the ground exploded. Naeova was thrown several feet away, landing hard on his spine. His vision blurred for a moment and he groaned in pain, rolling on to his side and crawling away from the writing mass that was jutting from the ground. Screams and shouts and running soldiers were then added to the din. Find the saber, find the saber... Naeova repeated in his head, crawling around in the dirt searching for his ornate weapon. He spotted the weapon several feet away, and scrambled to pick it up. He unsheathed it, just as a large tentacle snaked around his ankle and hurled him through the air. He landed against a rock, instantly getting knocked unconscious. During the period he was unconscious, Naeova was visited by strange dreams; dreams of times long past, where noble white-haired man, adorned in ornate blue armor wielded a broadsword of exceptional quality. Mist curled around his form, coalescing into a thick cloak. The man's piercing blue eyes locked with Naeova's and it was as if each layer of the man was being peeled away, every secret becoming known to the blue-armored man. The man opened his mouth, and a flood of sensory information flooded Naeova's mind, along with a rumbling bass voice. He spoke without words, but Naeova understood perfectly. “Find them.” He woke in a medical tent later that day, finding out that the sheer number of soldiers on both sides killed the massive abomination. Afterwards, the handful of survivors on both sides made an uneasy truce, helping to tend the wounded on each side. Two officers were traded, going back to each capital to relate their stories. Perhaps it would signal the end of the war? The next week passed quickly--Naeova 'requisitioned' supplies and fled to Thyella, thinking it an appropriate place to start his search. It was the farthest place for him to go, as well, making it the easiest for him to stay hidden. The cold wasn't too bad for him, considering Usvaan was relatively cool year-round, its winters being extremely cold. Thyella, however, was almost a constant winter season, and even during early autumn, the ground was covered with a thick blanket of snow. Not to mention Thyella's pact of neutrality; even if he were to run into an enemy of Usvaan he wouldn't be obligated to fight. When Naeova finally arrived at the small, dreary village, the inn looked as beautiful as a palace. Dressed in dark traveling clothes and a white coat that reached to his mid-thigh, Naeova wasn't exactly prepared for the snow and bitter winds. Every other location in Naeova's journey to Thyella, his garb was enough, but once he reached the tundra, he realized he needed to invest in a thicker coat or a fur cloak. He entered the inn quietly, heading for the back corner so as to avoid drawing unnecessary attention. It wouldn't have mattered; there were only a few patrons in the inn. They gave Naeova a nod of welcome and turned back to their business. At least I can get a hot meal here, he thought, drawing his coat around himself tighter. He got up and approached the bar, ordering a bowl of soup. He ate it quickly, sitting in front of the fire instead of by his gear. He wasn't worried about thievery, not in such a small inn. I wonder if the others were compelled to come here. Naeova sighed. Hopefully he wasn't just going crazy.