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(Welp time to pull random blurb that would make more sense had I written more but its too late to go back so here goes)
Florence paced rapidly within the confines of his room, his mind racing. He knew that the plane was growing increasingly agitated with their stay, yet that was not the only troubling news. The nightmares grew only worse, and they had spread to the rest of the group. The Syndicate was slowly losing its grip on Falun as fatigue plagued it. And the spies they sent to other factions, they’ve proven fruitless in their endeavors. It was as though someone or something was preventing them from reaching their goal. Without their intel, it was only a matter of time before the Blightwood or another colony made their move.
And Ruthas. Florence could tell there was something up with Ruthas, but he didn’t know exactly what. Ever since the emergency meeting, Ruthas had grown increasingly silent, avoiding any questions that were the slightest bit personal. Eventually he would not reply to any of Florence’s calls until hours later, even in the most dire of circumstances. It wasn’t like him at all. Ruthas was a talker, a charmer, not a brooding skulk!
What disturbed Florence the most was the aftermath of the Accord’s destruction. Despite calling him several times, Florence did not receive any message from Ruthas. He knew Ruthas was still alive, for the bonded corresponder would’ve not called at all if he was not, much like how Deirdre’s was silent. Florence stopped pacing as he lifted his corresponder from his neck. He huffed, then began to enter the code to call Ruthas for the 10th time.
“Aww, you’re not gonna greet an old pal?” A familiar voice said.
Florence turned around to see an eerie figure emerge from the shadows. Its body was hidden within the darkness, save for an immaculately carved mask. Blue, piercing eyes glowed in it, staring straight into Florence’s soul. Its appearance was enigmatic at best, but its voice gave away all Florence needed to hear.
“Y-y-you’re here! But how! I thought you were somehow caught in the destruction of our ally!” Florence gasped. Ruthas simply laughed.
“Florence, Florence, Florence, how you are so wrong,” Ruthas replied. “The Blackfair Accord was never our ally, only yours.” Florence’s eyes widened as he understood what Ruthas meant.
“No! That can’t be! We trusted you! And you threw it all away! And for what? To satiate your own desires?!” Florence exclaimed. Ruthas’ eyes narrowed, his gaze striking fear into Florence, before letting go of his petrifying stare and chuckling.
“Hah! And here I was hoping you’d have figured it out already! No, I don’t simply work for myself. I work for a force far greater than you can imagine, one that could bend entire planes of existence to satisfy the darkest of desires. I work for a true God.”
We have been plotting for the arrival of a new god. One that will help us conquer entire planes of existence!
“Wait, you were responsible for King Vayne’s death?!” Florence asked in astonishment.
“Hmmm, close! But that honor goes to Malkhan. I’m just the janitor, cleaning away all those who want to keep Falun from crumbling,” Ruthas sneered. He crept closer to Florence, a knife formed out of shadows in both hands. Florence slowly backed away, until he hit the window. “You are one such person who has to be… erased. But don’t worry, there’ll be someone to replace you very soon.”
Florence subtly peeked out the window, and noticed somebody sneaking towards the building he lived in, clearly intent on checking out the commotion he was in. He looked back at Ruthas, who seemed to have paid no heed to what was going on outside. A small grin formed on Florence’s face, unseen by his assassin. It was clear he wasn’t going to survive, but if he had a bit more time, his death would not go unwitnessed. Fighting back was out of the option, for Ruthas was a much more skilled combatant than him, but Florence knew another way. Backstabber or no, Ruthas loved to talk, he loved to gloat.
So he was going to let him talk.
“Why… why all this destruction? Why go out of your way to devastate the Accord? They were never a part of Falun…” Florence asked despondently. He peered into Ruthas’ eyes and saw a glimmer of temptation. Ruthas took the bait.
“Well, you are correct. Your “friends” didn’t even have a clue as to what really caused Falun to deteriorate like so. That is, until they found this.” He pulled out a small black chunk that glowed a deep, faint blue and sapped the warmth out of the air. Suddenly, Florence felt as though he had no clue who stood in front of him, almost like Ruthas vanished and was replaced with a stranger. Said stranger put the piece back in his coat, and immediately Florence remembered who stood in front of him.
“This chunk is but a small taste of the power Nothor has to offer. We knew that this artifact would prove vital in our quest to awaken our God, but there was one small obstacle before we could transport the Heart itself. The Blackfair Accord.
Ruthas continued on. “So, I set in motion of their downfall, starting off with the assassination of their four leaders,” He looked away from Florence, almost as if he was sad. But that sadness was quickly shoved away. “And poor, dear, nosy, Deirdre too. If only she didn’t stick her head in places where they didn’t belong. But isn’t what this organization is about? To pry open secrets best left forgotten and use it against their foes? The Syndicate was doomed to fail from the very start. Falun was bound to crumble anyways. So why not end it now?” With a swift motion Ruthas plunged a dagger into Florence’s chest. Florence reeled in pain, as his mind and flesh were excruciatingly wiped away. He watched helplessly as a living shadow manifested right next to him, slowly gaining form and color until it became a copy of Florence himself.
It looked exactly like him except it was… wrong. Its legs were twisted and bent in the wrong direction, its eyes were a sickly blue instead of deep brown, and its lips were curled in a manic smile. Florence looked back at Ruthas, who seemed to share the same glint of ecstasy within his eyes. Right before he ceased to exist, Florence heard Ruthas laugh evilly one last time.