Niv stoked the fire with a long stick. It was cold in the wastes. He sat huddled in his roche blanket watching the embers rise up into the night sky. The cliff face at his back protected him from most of the wind, but tongues of the cold air still lapped at his face when they got the chance. He didn’t want to be out here. This wasn’t his world. If it had been his choice, he never would have left Gehenna. He never would have assumed this ridiculous disguise. Who would even believe it? He missed the warmth of the brimstone in his room. He missed the volcano. He even missed Esrith, the old bitter chambermaid who took care of him when he was young.

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His view

After centuries of hiding in the dark corners of the world, and years of bleak existence bound to the will of others, she came. She leaked into the cracks of his hard exterior, melting his frozen soul, unaware of what she was doing. It happened quietly, without fanfare, but for him she was like the sun rising; painful and harsh after eons of cool darkness.

His eyes were attuned to the black cell he inhabited. He could make out the fine texture in the stone and concrete walls. The chains that held his wrists were cold and heavy, but they made no impression on his smooth skin. He hung against the wall, still as death.

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