A Mysterious Figure
Meanwhile, another figure stood. The figure, who appeared incredibly enigmatic due to his imposing height and ragged, tattered cloak which hid his face, stayed unmoving while the relentless rain slid from his form. The figure enjoyed the sound of that the rain made upon impacting with his cloak. Occasionally, the figure would sway as a gust of wind touched his skin; seemingly moving along with it before returning to his initial position. Great crashes of thunder and wicked bolts of lightning flashed overhead, but still the figure did not flinch. He stood, head to the ground, apparently watching his mud-stained leather boots. Of course, this was not true, for this particular mysterious figure could not see. He could not smell, or hear either. He had never experienced the world in this particular manner; only through his mind did he 'see,' 'smell,' and 'hear,' the world. His mind was precious to him; it was everything he had, and anything that he'd ever need. This mysterious figure was an Umbran. The Umbran felt a need to feel water on his blank, black face, so he removed his hood and allowed the cold, refreshing droplets to slide down his skin. The ability to feel the life around him, and, in his opinion, the most precious sense of all, was the only one he was truly allowed to possess. Nature had decreed that he be limited to this. Still, he felt no sorrow; his one sense allowed him to have a much clearer perception of the world than others. Any other being would have been clouded by their vision, deafened by their hearing, and confounded by their smell, but not this Umbran. He was gifted with the extraordinary powers of the mind, which was all he would ever need.
The literally faceless Umbran figure proceeded to don his hood once more, after he decided he'd had enough of the rain on his featureless visage. Still, he stood, in the middle of the village, which appeared as featureless and dull as his own face. The Umbran often liked to travel to relatively deserted places, such as Desus, to seek solace and reflect. Despite constant training to become more powerful, the cloaked Umbran needed some time to look back on his life, and possibly shed some light on its future.
Suddenly, a slight shuffle at his feet. The stoic, tall Umbran looked down to see a small, beige infant playing with the mud at his feet. This beige being was a human, with long, blonde hair and grey eyes. She stared up at the Umbran, a glowing curiosity in her eyes. If he could have smiled, he would have, but he didn't. The cloaked figure simply looked down at her; although he had no eyes, the same feeling of curiosity overcame him. He had never seen a female human before. It was strange for both of them, since she had most likely never laid eyes upon an Umbran either. She was not afraid of him, though. An admirable trait. The curious young girl inspected him; through his hood, she could barely see a slight patch of white on the right side of his face. "You look like a moo-thing," she said playfully, smiling.
A sense of forewarning overcame the Umbran figure. He knelt down as low as he could, but no matter how much he attempted to have a height that was level with hers, he was always too tall. The young girl gazed at the blank face beyond the darkness of the hood. Curious as she was, she began extending her hand slowly, towards his face.
"Do you want to see a magic trick?"
A voice suddenly whispered these words, but the little girl could not hear them. It was as if they had been spoken directly into her mind, without even being spoken in the first place. She withdrew her hand, a concerned look plastered on her face. "You are a strange moo-thing," she said. Slowly, solemnly, the figure nodded.
"Well, do you?"
The little girl nodded, coming to the realization that the strange moo-thing was the source of the whisper. Slowly but surely, around the two beings, small, thin spires of metal began to emerge, astounding the young girl. There were four spires in total. At first, they stood straight, but they soon began to bend at the ends, extending over the heads of the human and the Umbran. They intersected above the two, coming together with a slight clink. "Wow!" The girl marvelled.
"You have not seen anything yet."
As soon as he said this, a piercing bright light began descending from the sky, towards the two individuals: a lightning bolt. The bolt of electrical power split through the sky, a booming crash of thunder right behind it. The little girl shrieked as it surged towards her, but she did not move. The lightning did not hit the two beings, instead it stopped at the intersection of the four spires, saving the mysterious Umbran figure and the little girl. The little girl watched as sparks from the lightning bolt travelled down the metal spires, and harmlessly into the ground. "Amazing! You're a magician!" The little girl decided cheerfully, as if she'd entirely forgotten her fear from a few seconds ago. The faceless Umbran, obviously a mage, nodded once more.
"Now run along, your mother will be missing you."
The little girl looked confused when the Umbran Mage said this. "Mother? What's a mother?" She asked innocently. The Umbran stared down at the young, and stood up once more. The spires of metal sunk back into the earth from whence they came, leaving the two beings in exactly the same position they were in before. A stoic, tall Umbran in a ragged cloak and a curious young human girl observing the moo-thing.
"Come with me."
The young girl obeyed, following the tall Umbran away, deeper into the village. The two walked for a little while, neither saying a word, before the reached a building that stood out from the rest, somewhat. Unlike the other unkempt, old houses from which this village was composed, this tavern appeared more orderly than the rest. With the exception of the rain on the roof, no part of it was leaking, and, surprisingly, no pungent smell hung thick in the air. The little human girl appeared anxious at the sight of the place. "But, magician, that's where the drunkards go," she explained worriedly. The Umbran paid her no mind, he simply entered, with her following closely behind.
"What can I do you for, sir?" the barkeeper said cheerfully. The Umbran mage, with no expression on his face, came closer to the barkeep until all separating them was the counter. The barkeeper struggled to maintain his cheerful attitude at the sight of the looming Umbran. "I want you to find a suitable caretaker for this girl," he said, motioning toward the young human cowering behind him. "But I-" the barkeep began, but was cut off by the sight of the strange Umbran's black-and-white face. "Will do," he said simply, and motioned for the girl to come towards him. "It'll be fine, girl. Go ahead." The girl stepped forward from behind the Umbran, apparently shy. The Umbran thought that strange, seeing as at the sight of himself, she had not flinched, but at the sight of a barkeep, she hid in fear. The smallest things can be the most frightening, whereas the larger ones are to be faced with courage, the Umbran reflected, as he watched the girl being led away by the barkeep. This wasn't the first young orphan he'd encountered living on the streets, nor would it be the last. The Umbran remembered when he himself was an orphan on the street; if his mother had not been kind enough to take him into her care, he would not be here today.
The Umbran mage turned his gaze. To his right sat a table, and around that table, two Musi and a cloaked figure, much like himself, sat. He knew this was where he needed to go, for he had been summoned to this dreary little town for one specific purpose: to sit at that table. After sitting there, who knew what could await him?
So, he sat. Briefly, he performed a quick mental scan of the three adventurers with whom he sat. He saw that the one next to whom he sat was a Monk, the other was a Mercenary, but the third one he could not decipher. Most likely the rain messing with my head, he decided. However, from the little he could detect about the mercenary, he certainly seemed like an interesting sort.
The Umbran first sent a telepathic message towards the mercenary alone. "Hidden one...do you not possess a face? If so, why hide it?" He noticed that several beings, mainly Lizan, stared at the two hooded ones with suspicious eyes. This town clearly did not welcome strangers.
Then, he announced himself officially to all three of the beings at the table.
"I am Abraham Soule. I believe you requested my assistance?"