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To Shatter a Shard Jain shivered in the corner of his cell, his eyes squeezed shut to block out the world. A World devoid of Mercy. He didn’t know how long he’d been in The Cellar. All he knew was what Hoid told him, and the man took a perverse delight in tormenting him. There was a clang, as the cell door opened. Light fell on his eyelids, and he huddled deeper into the corner. Light meant that Hoid was back. His tormentor. What would it be this time? Another illusion of freedom? Some succulent meal that would turn to ash as soon as he partook of it? Or something new? A hand grabbed him by the neck, and pulled him upright. Ah, so it was to be a beating then. “Stand up boy. I’m freeing you.” Jain blinked his eyes open, and looked at his tormentor. Hoid looked regretful, an expression he had never seen before. He tried to respond, but only coughed weakly, and tried again. “I, I can’t.” Warmth Enveloped his body, and he suddenly felt better than he had in ages. A confident, fatherly voice sounded in his Ear. “Don’t worry Jain, Hoid isn’t going to hurt you anymore. We need your help. Odium has returned to a new Host. Now Rise.” He blinked again, then rose one foot. He pressed it against the stone floor and pushed. Hoid let go of his neck, and the prisoner stood on his own for the first time since his Panda’s death. His jailer was looking towards the door, so Jain followed Hoid's gaze to see Leif, the Holder of Endowment. “Thank you Sir. Why do you need me?” “After the last time Odium struck, we three are the only ones without hatred in our hearts. We three are the only ones to be trusted. Even the other Shards feel and act on his Hatred. We must find the Dread Lord and Destroy him, before he can destroy us. Furthermore, you were once Odium's own Slave. You know his actions and thoughts better than any other. Will you join us Jain?” “Of course.” \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ Ash, holder of Odium and Lord of Hatred, watched as the Seventeenth Shard gathered. The last time they had gathered in such numbers, they had been hunting his predecessor. For them to be gathering again spoke of a momentous event. Could it be that they had learned of his revival? Impossible. The only ones who knew were Devotion and Survival, and they would never betray him. A pillar of Golden Light came down from the heavens, interrupting Ash’s thoughts. A Pale Shin man stepped out and surveyed the crowd. He was followed by two Lifeless, carrying Corpses. The man spoke quietly, and the Lifeless dropped their loads on the ground. The crowd gasped as they saw their faces. Ash just frowned. Cleo and Kae, Shardholders of Devotion. It looked like they did know he was back. At least he could be more active in killing now, rather than arranging accidents. The Shin man raised his hands for silence. “Fellow Sharders, these two betrayed us. They have collaborated with others, to bring Odium back.” He paused as the crowd started chattering fearfully. “We were lucky enough to have captured them before they could cause too much Hatred, and their Shard has been given to a new bearer, but we don’t know who else is working for Odium. He has undoubtedly infiltrated us again, along with his champions. So, who among you are willing to help capture them?” Ash slid back through the crowd as people began to raise their hands in service. Luckily no one knew him in this current identity, so he could sign up as someone completely new, and no one would ever know. He signaled to the others in the crowd he knew, those few who had sworn their loyalty to him. They nodded, and rose their hands in service as well. Together, they would make the Seventeenth Shard tear itself apart, just like last time. Sign ups for Long Game 14 Have begun! Rules Signups will close on Sunday the 30th of August, at 9:00pm PST. (Exactly one week from this posting.) The Game will begin One hour later. Turns will always end at 9:00pm PST, and begin one hour after. We will begin on a Day turn. If you’re on Mobile, and can’t change the colour of your vote, please go to the bottom of your post, hit enter twice, and say who you’re voting for a second time, so that I don’t miss it. This is the First and Last game I will say this. THERE ARE NO SECRET ROLES OR RULES. Final Note*: I’m playing this game as a direct Sequel to A Game of Shards, so if you want to know where the prisoner, Leif, Ash and Cleo/Kae came from, Go read that! At least, read the Final Writeup. The Prisoner is totally Jain, I just need his permission to show that.