It is bitterly, relentlessly cold.
The wind bites and claws at your coat. You are soaked through- the wreck hadn’t exactly been clean- and frost is beginning to form on your sleeves. Your boots drag in the snow.
But you cannot rest, either, until you have done what you came here to do. It is cold, yes. But this cold is nothing to the cold of the void, the cold of Between. Nothing, to what he knew. And besides- you will not be cold for much longer.
Over the ridge, then. Stagger past the twisted wreckage of ships even less fortunate than yours. Approach the end of the world.
Look up at the Watchers. They were here before the beginning. They will still be here when even memory fades to dust. They are here now to witness you, as you-
- stop. Something isn't-
(Wet linen, dear. A spark won’t do, not until we dry out.)
- ah. There is that. A reckoning will have to be postponed a little longer. A fire?
(A fire. Look, here’s some dry wood. And of course you brought matches? Good. Save some for later.)
(I wonder what became of all these people. So many ships lost on this shore. Do you think someone came to rescue them? Or did they wait here in the dark and the cold and the hunger, gazing into stars they’ve never seen before, here in the night under the world, until-)
(- oh, you’re done already?)
Your makeshift campfire is a pathetic little thing, but it lights anyway. You lay out your sodden coat, and sit down next to it. It will be hours yet until you are dry enough. This delay so close to the end of your journey is agonising, but it’s far better than failure at the last possible moment.
You rub your hands together and shiver. Soon, you will reach your final purpose. Their eyes will be upon you- a message, delivered at long last.
But for now, you watch. You wait.
(Do you recall how we came to this place?)