[Raven. Rank 3. We sit on stools in her tent, eating from small bowls of porridge. She has fair skin, black hair, and wears a black dress. A gray tabby sits sleeping at her feet and a crow sits on her shoulder.]
I knew Thunder and Bastion. We weren’t best friends or anything, but I knew them. I grew up a short distance from them in Westfall, attended some of the same church meetings with them, stuff like that. Thunder lived just a few houses down from where I lived, so I saw him every now and then. Living so close made it easy for me to listen to the speech that Prophet gave. I really just needed to stick my head out the window and I caught the whole thing.
What did you think?
It was intriguing, but I didn’t really think anything of it. I mean, I supposed I was curious about the whole thing, but I was far more interested in the way the people reacted. I didn’t really think their reaction was called for, but I can see why they felt that way. Westfall is the sister city of Upworth, which is where the Prophet of Death resides, so the religion was set pretty deep into the people. But still, their reactions were very interesting to watch.
The people cleared out and my father called for me to come and help prepare dinner. Nothing special happened after that until the explosion. Did anyone tell you about the explosion at the inn?
[she takes a sip from her soup while I respond]
I heard that it happened. I don’t know the details.
Craziest thing I’ve ever seen. Well, I didn’t see it, but I was one of the first people to show up when it happened. It was pretty dark by then, so most of us were in bed. I don’t remember if I was asleep or almost asleep, but the explosion definitely woke me up. The whole house shook, and glass shattered, waking up my whole family. My father was the first one to run out the door and I was close on his heels. When we saw that it came from the inn, we dashed in that direction.
The south corner of the two-story building had exploded, blasting bits of wood in every direction. The floor and roof remained intact, which was lucky, but there were several small fires that had started up in the room. My father dashed off to help some of the other citizens put the fire out, but I just stood there and watched. I could see people scrambling about in the upstairs rooms, pulling bodies away from the fires. I watched through the open front door as the Drakes ran up the stairs and disappeared into the upper level. There was chaos everywhere, people running in every direction, others just standing outside their doors, watching. I stood there in a daze, until someone was thrown out the front door and landed at my feet.
I gasped and scrambled back, staring at the man that had been at my feet. He pushed himself to his feet and his hood fell back to reveal Prophet’s companion. He groaned, pulling his arm into his side. Prophet soon followed, but less aggressively. Mrs. Drake had the old man’s arm in a vice grip, pushing him before her, and she shoved him out the front door. She then turned and dashed back inside and out of sight. Mr. Drake stayed though and proceeded to yell at the duo. I’ll tell you; I’ve never seen Mr. Drake mad before. This was a whole new level of scary that I had witnessed. So scary in fact that I jumped when he addressed me and told me to go and get the city guard, if they weren’t already coming.
I whispered something intelligible, I’m sure, but ran off to do what he said. I ran to the closest city gate, thinking that was the best place to go to find the city guards. Nobody was there, so I ran to the next gate. There were a few soldiers there, so I rambled off something about a fire and dashed back to the inn. Some of the guards, confused, followed after me.
I got back to the inn to find that Prophet and his friend had disappeared. The guards talked to Mr. Drake and found that Prophet had taken off, heading south. Half of them went off after the duo, and the other half stayed to assist with the building. The citizens had managed to battle the fire, putting it out before it spread to the other rooms or into the bar downstairs. I would probably be able to tell you more about the damage, but I don’t really remember because my attention was pulled to something else.
The city doctor rushed past me, closely followed by a couple of assistants that were carrying Catherine Drake on a stretcher. I just stood there and stared, my eyes drawn to the burned hand and bloody face. She was alive, thank the gods, but she was having trouble breathing. Mrs. Drake was near hysterical and was gripping Seraphina to her side. Seraphina’s face was also bloody, which she tried to wipe off with one hand while she supported her mother with the other. The line of people disappeared into the darkness, most likely to the doctor’s place. Glancing around, I found Carac… sorry, Thunder… sitting on a patch of grass with his head in his hands, another of the doctor’s assistants working on his bloody back. I walked over and sat next to him.