The Envoy came unbidden and unwelcome to us.
A strange ship approached the borders of our worlds, broadcasting in our language and demanding our attention. The dialect was old and arcane, a metre and style we thought long forgotten in our history.
We approached in force but before we could engage, the ship launched a small lifeboat and abandoned it. We waited many hours before allowing the simulacra to board it.
It has been scanned minutely but we have found no transmitter, location device or weapon. Our telepaths have attempted to read it, but they tell me it is not entirely alive. Perhaps it is like our simulacra, an artificial being made for its own purpose.
Its message was simple, that we should step aside and allow the darkness to fall. I am sorry to say that our response was not unanimous.
Over the long years we have become tired and afraid. Our men folk come and go with increasing rapidity and there are fewer children in the nurseries. It would be easy to accede to its demands. There is great uncertainty now of the threat we thought we were facing. Is this thing a creature of the great Enemy, or just another evil that thrives in the absence of light?
Once thing is certain, the mere presence of this envoy sows division and conflict amongst us, Clan sister against Clan sister, Blood sister against Blood sister. My actions already have brought us much bitterness.
That is in the past. As leader of the Gathering of Ravens, I cannot countenance any parley with the enemy, for it leads to compromise and fatal distraction. We were created to resist evil, not to serve it.
Standing by the shores of the great sea, refusing now to talk to us, the envoy is a sign that we are nearing the abyss. We must assume that our long cherished isolation is betrayed, and that the darkness is drawing around us.
It is as though the stars are holding their breath, waiting for the first sounds of battle.
-- The Clan Mother Zylyra, leader of the Gathering of Ravens
V3 figure with the Mirilian outfit and Sapphire Fox hair from DAZ. Terrains created in Vue.
Scene assembly and final rendering in Vue 5 Pro Studio. Hair repainting and post processing in Photoshop CS2