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Shrouded in Darkness (semi-closed)


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[align=center](Several Moons ago)[/align]


He’d watched the patrols for suns, patiently stalking his prey and observing the behaviors of Gridania’s Wood Wailers. They never once suspected that they were being hunted, eventually an individual had caught his eye. One of the Wailers briefly broke away from his partners during the patrol, slipping through the brush unseen. He met with an Elezen that seemed to be affiliated with the bandits known as the Redbellies, words were traded along with a scroll and a pouch of gil.


A sinister smile crossed his lips, The Viper had been correct in her assertion of the Wailers, corruption had even taken root here within Gridania. It mattered little to him now though, he’d found his prey, and all he needed to do was wait.


A week passed, and each sun since he stalked his intended mark, learning about him. Wailer Stephannot Gerson was his name, he was no rookie; having joined just after Dalamud’s fall, he was careful and methodical, abilities apt for the life of a traitor. Today was the next intended meeting with the bandit contact, and it was this day that his luck was about to run out.


Bells later, Wailer Gerson separated from his patrol as expected; he carried with him the details and routes of the next week’s patrols. This arrangement had allowed him to live a more comfortable lifestyle, certainly more so than the average wailer of his rank.


He pushed away the brush and expected to see his contact waiting for him at the tree they’d designated, what he found was something much more horrifying. The body of whom he could only presume was his contact lie crumpled in the brush, reduced to a pile of gore amidst the foliage painted in hues of red.


Wailer Gerson’s jaw dropped, and his heart rate quickened as he tried to take a step back and return to his patrol. He’d hoped to escape whatever had done this, but it was too late. He was grabbed from behind and shoved forward, his face slammed into the tree, a trickle of blood ran freely from a fresh cut upon his cheek mixing with that of his accomplice.


He tried to resist, tried to cry out, but he was quickly beset upon again. A metal clad hand constricted around his mouth reducing his voice to little more than muffled screams. Searing pain promptly followed as a blade found its way into his back, puncturing his diaphragm and lungs.


Void energy flowed down the arm of the armored figure and through the blade into his victim. It would not take long for the voidlings carried by the energy to establish themselves within the new host and begin to feed upon his aether. They would halt his ability to be healed via conjury, and in turn spread via aether to any conjuror that made an attempt to heal the infected man.


The attacker leaned in as he pulled the blade out and stabbed the man again in the liver. The muffled cries of the man reduced to whimpers. “Prey, if you are fast, and your patrol manages to get you a conjuror before you bleed out, they might just be able to save you.”


When the attacker pulled the blade out and released his grip, Gerson dropped to his knees amidst the carnage, crippled by his own agonizing pain. Turning slowly, as his assailant disappeared into the wilderness behind him like a ghost, he could feel the warmth of the blood that ran down his back. A tingling numbness had begun to take hold, as he pushed himself to his feet and staggered back to his patrol as quickly as he could shouting for them along the way.


The assailant moved through the brush with the practiced steps of a hunter leaving little trace of his passing. Gerson would be dead soon, Gridania’s conjurors would attempt to heal him and fail, becoming infected in the process themselves. They would spread the voidlings to others and soon, it would be too late. His passing would mark the beginning of the outbreak of the infection in Gridania.


The assailant reached within his coat and removed a spherical device, he noted the message on its glassy surface "Them finding me will not bode well... for anyone. Otherwise, do as you will." He smiled wickedly beneath his helm and made his way to his steed. It seemed he would be returning to Ishgard sooner than expected.

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