Component 01 - Awaken

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--23 Arcolum, 21300 (Century of the Pheonix)

Snow blanketed the town. Long since renounced, it remained untouched by the recent world. Below the debris lay the laboratory of a once proud artificer.

If one took time to dig deep enough, they would have discovered a wealth of lost knowledge; tomes, recipes, alchemical gadgets and other, perhaps, darker things.

The most intriguing relic being a humanoid figure. Not elf, dwarf, nor even orc; just little more than a skeleton with iron plating, adorned with tubes, gears, and secrets. But no one had found it, not after one dark moon cycle, nor even two. Not for one hundred.

The deities had made certain that no one would return to Triden's Gate by cursing the land with deadly monsters, savage races, and a perpetual snow unable to sustain life.

Not even ships made port without the risk of colliding with icebergs and wrecked vessels in the harbor. All lost to the ages.
If the gods had known what secrets remained under the dirt, just one giant's height down, they would have left no traces—They would've destroyed much of Anhsook Del Iris in retribution.

This day, on the one-hundredth anniversary of its destruction, something shifted.

From beneath the lost laboratory, iron fingertips poked their way out of the snow, touching air for the first time in a century. If the rocks and wooden beams moved any other day, they would have gone unnoticed. But as fate would have it, two adventurers had come to town to brave the deadly land; a young half-elf girl, with auburn hair to her shoulders, and a tall elf fellow with short cropped blonde hair. On his back, the male held, a longbow and quiver; the girl, a rod made of the finest mythril.

She stopped and turned, staring at the building behind her. "Wait! Gavin, did you hear?"

The annoyed elf, over three hundred dark moons her senior, appeared from around a building and approached. "Lavina! Stop this instant!"

The girl tucked a lock of hair behind her ear as she leaned forth and examined a collapsed building. It looked to have been residential. There didn't seem to be a sign belonging to an establishment.

She knew! Something had shifted, and nothing had so much as creaked since they arrived for their third tour of the cursed town. Not in all three days. "No, Gavin, you desist. I'm serious this time."

"Every time." Gavin gritted his teeth, behind quivering frosted lips.

Lavina's thick winter boots left soft prints with each step as she made her way to get a better look. A budding archaeologist, she needed to examine as much as possible.

If she had known how vulnerable she looked in a dangerous place like Triden's Gate, she still wouldn't have thought twice about coming. For a half-elf, twenty-six dark moons was still young—not even an adult. No matter how old she tried to act, it didn't change she was a child in the eyes of all elves. No one in the treetop city of Windale would see her otherwise.

Lavina stopped at the charred skeleton of a house. The noise came from there.

A chilled gust opened her cloak, revealing the fair skin of her legs and stomach. She didn't wear armor like her companion. She was a caster, and it would only encumber her ability to weave even the simplest of dweomers. Thus, she suffered every time the wind blew.

Gavin rubbed his arms. "What this time then? Pray tell a warm hearth in this god's forsaken ruin?"

"You're jesting isn't amusing." Lavina turned and held a padded finger to her lips. "Hush, or you'll scare it away!"

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