When he had descended the stairs from the Wise Man's pagoda on the mountain's top, he came to the River of Time. Here he sat for a while, and Golden Arrow came to his side. Perhaps she already knew that her fate was set, and perhaps he too saw his own destiny in the murky waters of the river.
"Autumn is supposed to be a time of peace and reflection! Can you blame me for being a mite irritable, Master Raven? You birds do not seem to acknowledge the fact that there are other interests involved here as well. No, with you it's always, "you need to see this at once, Sir M." or "I need your signature on this piece of paper right away, Sir M.""
As the Empire collapses under the weight of war, the lands turn to martial law, where law retains any foothold at all. Bands of deserters, brigands, mercenaries, and local militia is the only power in large areas. As those living there are becoming only to aware of, might is the only thing that makes right once civilization crumbles.
Many fell creatures are drawn into light as the war between North and South rages on. Some follow the armies like carrion-birds, preying on the weak and the wayward. Others have a stake in the game itself.
The rivers of the Underworld are dark and empty places now that the King of the Dead has fallen. Many are those who lose their way; some are drawn down into the Deep, others are doomed to wander the lands of the living. Some also say that creatures who were held at bay by the Ferrymen are now creeping back into the realm of the dead.
[Picture source: 1 Håvard Legreid; 2 BibliOdyssey; 3 Onlinekunst.de;4 Keith Thompson; 5 Eleni Tsami]