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Shifting Visions

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The Tower vanished behind them, leaving no barriers between the Blue Robes and the freezing air on the mountain’s peak. The whistling of the wind and the occasional yowl of a demon far below was all that could be heard for several moments. Snow quickly began to dust their robes, some of it flying through the illusions of their masks and into their faces. The raid that had forced them out of the Void was inevitable, but nothing prepared them for it.

“Three of us. That’s all that’s left…” 

The Prophet and the Artificer snapped their attention to the Shopkeeper. They were staring blankly at where the Tower had stood moments before. The defeat in their voice was nothing new. Hints of it had always been there when they spoke of the war across time. The despair was new. It was worrisome. The pause afterwards quickly became uncomfortable.

“I… I’m sure we’ll be alright. Others may have escaped in other ways, and the next Messenger should be on their way,” the Prophet tried to comfort the other two. He sounded more like he was trying to comfort himself.

“Really? I know the prophecy, I know it says ‘Three members will test the worthy Messenger,’ or something like that, but...” The Shopkeeper shook their head and crossed their arms. They tried to suppress a shiver. “... I don’t know if we can survive this…” they added, just barely loud enough to be heard over the wind.

The wind picked up, forcing the Prophet to hunch over to avoid being knocked down. He silently cursed his height, focusing on the bite of the cold in a desperate bid to calm his frantic thoughts. He looked at the Shopkeeper, knowing the swirling doubts they were having. They had not moved. He wondered, fleetingly, if they would want to. He knew they were rapidly reaching a breaking point.

“We may not, but we have to try to survive. At least until the scroll is near us again.” There was no response from the other two. 

The Artificer glanced around the icy peak while the humans spoke, scanning for any possible demons nearby. He kept his feelings to himself, though they were a tumultuous mess. He knew that the two humans were having a hard time, and he was sure they could all pull through together. But everything felt a bit dull. Even thinking of doing the thing did not have the same glee about it. He supposed that the grief was going to be there for a long time. At the very least, he had to try to support the other two. 

“I think we can win!! There’s always going to be more Messengers, and that means more Blue Robes! We’ll be fine, Shoppy! But we do need to find somewhere warm,” a pause as a thought popped up on his priorities. “Maybe we can honor the fallen Blue Ro– Shoppy?” The Artificer reached out to the taller mage. They were shaking, though the little robot could not tell if it was from the cold or from grief. He hoped that it was more of the former, for now.

The Prophet sighed, then shuddered when an icy gust cut through his robes. His nose was already starting to run, and his toes ached from the chill of the snow around his feet. He prayed that the prophecy he had received centuries ago was true. Otherwise, the Order, and the entire world, was doomed.

‘Godspeed, Messenger.’