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This takes place on the night of Kythorn 5th, after returning from the Cathedral.

The night air was warm, and the stars illuminated the grasses of the fields. Not many people came out this far, not except the druids, but it was late and they had jobs, families, things that required sleep. The wind whistled gently by, ruffling the grass and his hair as he stared at the small piece of glass, twisting it about in his fingertips as the moon reflected off of its violet facets.

Her handwriting was even, but rushed and unkempt; the style of someone who had been taught proper penmanship a thousand times, but still couldn't be made to care about it. ‘Bring this with you, if you go out beyond the wall. All I ask is that you return it when you are done.’

The real one had value, he knew, or at least he thought he did. Not this one, it was a copy, a reminder, a figment of the real gem that she had lent him, what he thought had symbolized her trust. Friendship. It seemed odd, at the time, but not unpleasant. Surprising, even; it had been years since he thought he had a friend. Not since the girl with the almond hair.

The cold mountain air whipped through the straight tunnels, chilling the brazen traspassers as they stared at the unfinished statue: a faceless man labelled a traitor by the artist before he even possessed an identity. Her eyes turned to him, rolled up sarcastically, accusingly. ‘Rinzler…’ she intoned, voice somewhere between joke and blame.

He twirled the glass around slowly, watching it, his fingers tracing the edges that he had crafted. Did I do something? Something that made me less trustworthy to her? No…she’s immature, emotional, fickle.

The hulking creature gave a guttural cry as it lashed out, sending a table flying as it reached for the druid, its claws raking at her again and again. Everyone was trapped, the small office claustrophobic with panic, but it would only be a few more seconds, seconds until they were safe in the guise of smoke. ‘No!’ her voice called out, shrill with the edge fear always gave it, ‘You’re the only one here I trust!’ reaching for the woman clad in armour and robes.

Stupid. I’m stupid, she’s stupid, everyone is stupid. His hand clenched around the glass, tighter as he emphasized each thought. Don’t trust me, why should you, why should anyone? Obviously they shouldn’t. With a faint grind and snap, the false gem shattered, reduced to fragments and powder. With a wince, he opened his hand and let the pieces fall, and began to pick the remaining shards from the shredded, marked skin on his palm. Worthless. He flicked the pieces away with each thought. Fragile. The cuts dripped, forming bloody rivers across the blackened sun. Pointless. Disposable. He paused, a razor fragment in his fingertips poised to sail away to be forgotten. Rolling it between thumb and forefinger, he regarded it, and pressed it against his other hand. The small shard pierced, leaving a thin cut on his finger that he held up to the moonlight. A small crimson droplet rolled down the contour of his finger. Useful. Still, always useful. The only positive trait anything ever really has.

He threw the piece away, and stood up. Turning, he walked off into the breezy night. Useful. Nothing else. I don’t know why I bother fooling myself into thinking otherwise.