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ARC 1: The Beginning of Something New

on Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:26 pm
STRINGS OF FATE


In the small village of Mástiga all appeared normal until, one day, a makeshift wall was erected just outside its boundaries. It was tall enough, such that you could not see over without a ladder, or climbing a nearby tree. Long trails of smoke, thick and white, rose to the heavens here and there from within, while a curious smell, akin to herbs or medicaments lingered about the camp at all hours of the day.

Armed and armored city guards stood outside the only entrance to the camp, their faces covered with a strip of cloth, their hands clutched around long spears or halberds. For a few days, the people of Mástiga were curious, though none dared ask the guards why the camp was created.

That is, until the news finally made its way to the village.

A plague. A scourge. An act of the Gods.

A fell sickness had been reported all throughout the Domain of Thysía, which had forced the government to begin creating quarantines to separate the sick from the healthy. If rumors were to be believed, hundreds, if not thousands of Thysían citizens had fallen ill from this sudden disease, and had been taken in for treatment by the royal physicians.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“A plague has already taken the lives of many, and threatens to take the lives of many more!”

A royal physician, garbed in a spotless white robe, yelled to the crowd of curious villagers. His eyes swept the crowd, sympathetic, imploringly.

Please, if you haven’t been checked for the disease, come at your earliest convenience. Those that do not are taking their lives into jeopardy—the lives of their loved ones. I implore you all, heed my words today.”

The physician headed back for the quarantine camp, tying a cloth strip across his face as he passed by the guards. They had been ordered to let any citizen though the entrance for an exam.

And indeed, after a day or two, many had started to filter out from the village to the camp to be checked. Evidently, the physician’s ardent warning seemed to reach their ears. He only hoped it was quickly enough, for news of the recent death toll had seemed to spread just as quickly as The Disease itself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mastíga had a population of around twelve-hundred—a smallish village set along the eastern coastline of Thysía. By the end of two weeks, at least eight-hundred of its citizens had visited the quarantined zone for a checkup. As in every city, village, or town, there were those who thought themselves invincible against ailment; obstinate and brash, these citizens stuck out against the norm. And with fears of the plague reaching their own little corner of the world, more and more people attempted to convince them to get checked.

The physician sat back in his chair one evening after a full day of screening the citizens, wiping his brow of sweat and sighing wearily. His tent’s flap opened and another physician walked through, holding a scroll and inkwell.

“I worry for this village.” The man said as he set down his belongings atop a nearby table. Surgical instruments sat nearby, still pristine and unused. He took a glance at them for a moment before looking back to the head physician. “Those who haven’t been checked are risking the whole population.”

“Indeed. Thysía faces a grave situation.” The head physician replied. “I pray the Gods spare at least one village or city from this plague.”

The physician gave a sour look. “If the Gods are true, why in the world would they design such a Disease? Why would they subjugate the Thysían people to such horrors?”

The head physician shook his head helplessly. “All we can do is try to prevent further suffering.” He paused for a moment and looked out from his tent to the thousands of stars dotting the cool autumn night’s sky. “I fear that this is only the beginning, and this Disease may spread far and wide.”

The two physicians looked to each other, their apprehension mutual.

“Just as Matthias had warned.”
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