When the smog first appeared, the areas affected were sealed off from surrounding regions. City-states appeared within safe areas established by barriers provided by the Mages' Union. Some residents volunteered to be runners, foraging in the ruins of cities in the too-recent past and harvesting crystalline energy to power the barriers. But the smog persists. As it bears down on the city-state of Brook Mills and threatens its protective barriers, the runners there began escorting people to other, already crowded city-states farther from the infectious fog. It's on this run that Loren Howard makes a mistake that could serendipitously lead them to their freedom from the smoke. An original post-apocalyptic fantasy story funded by Patreon and Ko-Fi.