At World’s Edge – Chapter 1

The desolate visage stretched as far as the days felt long. Spread was a fine saline dust that painted the flat landscape. The earth cracked under the pressures of parchedness, and only the sporadic appearance of shrubbery suspended the otherwise repetitive atmosphere. Bare were the brown bushes that sprouted from the mosaiced ground, between splits and trenches that the arid air had carved. It was a portrait of repulsion, and a scene of despair, and brave were the souls that skimmed across its terrible surface. They would be glad when they left the dreadful silence behind. A most spacious cell was where they found themselves, marching to a distant drum. They pondered at the fleeting beauty of the clear sky only to be dragged back to reality as they stumbled over the brown rocks that littered the land. The vastness of the barren plain was second only to the expansive sky that appeared as a speckled veil thrown over blue-black.

Kicking up a screen of dust as they went, the band marched on wards. The metal of weapons could be heard scraping; the rustling of hide bags and their contents was also audible. Standing proud was the standard ahead of the group, a flag bristling in the wind, attached to a blemished wooden staff. The cotton banner itself was entirely black, save for the white orbit that decorated its surface, followed by a black orbit, and then a white circle center – it resembled that of a colourless eye. It was supported by Mombulu, who held nothing else for it was his sole purpose. He was shortly tailed by a more mysterious figure. His face bore an orange mask with a red strike down the center, and strung to his belt were two curved blades. They were a steely grey with streaks of yellow; they glinted ominously in the starlight. He seemingly surfed across the alkaline sand; his movements were gracious yet timely. His whole being would impose a dreadful fear into his adversaries – he knew this well.

With the others shuffling behind the standard, Mombulu turned and called over the gentle chatter of the band, “I can see the ravine ahead”. At his mention of Tink Ravine, a stillness spread through the crowd. It was a nervous hush that instigated the sound of the sands shifting into the limelight. Bustling through the remainder of the crowd came their religious oracle, Cescar. In one ancient hand she held an even more antiquated staff. It was the same, albeit slightly short, height as her, with several circles of wood carved from the cedar it was shaped from. Like a tree weathered by the relentless storms of dust, the staff was scarred by age, with the surprisingly agile woman showing no sign of her own fragility in her confident movement – she thrust the staff forward. Her green cape dragged across the floor, frayed, whilst her collar contained a collage of feathers that rose above her head high. As she barged her way through the bundle of veracious warriors, she came to a halt and gestured to the far distance


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