Act I - Chapter 1: The Wishing Well Waterfall

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I stood at the cusp of Wishing Well Waterfall, watching the world spin before me, waves colliding with the sort of innocence the Ocean of Ethers was known for: a both grand and calming smattering of watercolors beneath a soft orange pastel sky, a beauty that evoked whatever mood you requested. My request of the moment being inspired depression. I wanted it so bad I nearly dropped to the ground in prayer for it.

You could be surprised—suicide, not such a simple task. The doubts and regrets flood your head like the ocean filled two times over. The idea of never coming back makes it difficult. Though this beautiful waterfall, trailing off to the pink ocean below like some sort of falls of life—something like this slowly gives you the desire go through with it.

Despite the clear scent of the ocean engulfing the air, I could only catch the stench of the alcohol that drenched my suit—the smell that consumed my red tie and bowler cap, the bitterness of the blood in my wounds, the shriveling flesh that would see me off from this planet.

I took in another breath as I remembered the legend that led me to this point: The ancient peoples of Foreverville, from a long deserted village a good two or three miles off into the forest, once used the Wishing Well Waterfall as the grounds for sacrifice to their luck goddess—her name lost to time. Much like throwing coins into a fountain, they believed dropping one another over these falls would lead to good harvest, fertility, and if your faith remained strong, the goddess would bless you with something akin to eternal youth.

Of course, now they're dead, all of them.

I figured I would try my luck with their goddess, so I took the liberty of making my own wish. A prayer that The Assassins' Guild of Ill to the north would be over run by irate creatures from the depths of the snow, that every living assassin would drown in a flash flood and, right before those two wonderful events, everything they held dear would evaporate into a collection of feathers that held themselves frozen in the sky, a symbolic announcement of their end.

Why so much hatred for this Assassins' Guild of Ill? And how does a man reach a point where he seeks a poetic death like this? Equal weight given to chance, general bad decision making, and its naturally interwoven cousin: romance.

Being born in the Guild of Assassins severely limits your options in dire straits. All of your friends are basically pre-ordained from birth, and every talent you possess is guided in a single direction, giving you nothing to surprise an educated aggressor with. It also doesn't help that the woman you've fallen in love with will more than likely be a part of this guild as well and, luck be all, fate lines her up to be next in line as the Ya'Yic, or "queen" of the guild, making your position as significant as it is powerful.

My dear fellow members knocked off our old leader—a summons for reasons that remained a specter to me since a bullet placed itself right through his temple the second he entered the firelight. Swimming black shadows and blood red snow—his life filling every gap in the white up to my feet. Time held still-in that moment; I could only hear the sound of my own heartbeat. When I withdrew my shock to manage to properly react, I found myself standing on a starting line. My life long friends, colleagues, and mentors lovingly painted my name across every bullet they placed into their guns that day. They would all turn them towards me "because Vinny killed Ya'yic Artin".

If you run from Ill, then you're gambling with outrunning death: stumbling across the frozen black forest that surrounds the assassin homeland, hiding your own trail of bullet wound blood in the snow, sleeping buried beneath decaying leaves in riverbeds, spending near entire days hiding in trash cans: weeks of suffering across half of an entire continent, questioning each next day of life.

The sheer nonsense of it all, the explanation that dangles on a cloud in the distance, one you're never going to have a prayer of reaching before you're filling in cracks in the Itallis concrete with bodily fluids—it inspires you to stand on top of some place as poorly named as this bellowing Wishing Well Waterfall—with your legs exhausted, and your gut swirling with rum. You begin to have dreams and visions of being able close your eyes for once in this month and waking up with certainty, a relieving, comfortable mistress, your real lover, the one that will lay you to sleep with restful death.

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