Displaced in Shadowfire | World Anvil


I was only a child barely into my choosing when the mountain erupted in the event that we now call the Ostfen Displacement. The very ground exploded into the sky and I saw my father evaporate in front of me. He had a puzzled look on his face as he went.   As horrific as that was, it was the fate of my older brother that has gnawed at me, my whole life. His displacement. And I suppose mine too.   We were both running in a panic from the rivers of molten rock that were flowing through the streets of the town. There was some sort of shimmer and he just froze in that instant, just hanging in the air, mid-stride. Time had stopped for him, but not me only a few feet away. I tried to approach, to grab him but the closer I got, the harder it was to move. Even with all my strength, the closest i could push was still inches away. I was repelled back, again and again. I called to him, but there was not even a flicker of response.   The lava was still flowing relentlessly towards us. I was crying and I could barely breathe. But there he hung and I.. I had no choice. I had to back away. The molten tock just flowed around him, not touching him. I could see he was not burning, but my own skin was blistering and my hair smouldering.   So, I turned and I ran.   Eventually, after the refugee camps, I found a new life in Helton. I grew old and wealthy. I had influence. But Ostfen always had its hands on my shoulder. I obsessed over the fate of my brother that I had left behind. I needed to know, to see him.   The exbidition was harrowing. Many people died to get me back to Ostfen, but they knew the risks and I paid them well.   When we got there, there was barely anything that I could recognise of the old city. The ruins of the town was still haunted by the horrors of the past. Ghosts and demons stalked the streets. Fractured walls floated chaotically above the ground, and the cooled lava buried much of what remained below. The search took an entire cycle of the moons, and those of my retinue who hadn't died abandoned me there to my obsession.   But I did eventually find my brother. Digging down to the remains of that street we had fled down so long ago. The lava was 20 feet deep, but not around him. It had never even touched him in his liitle frozen bubble of time.   There he was still, forever running. My older brother but so young now to my eyes. I remembered him as big and strong, but here he was still just a child himself, and caught forever in that moment. He was so full of energy, and there was me, arthritic and slow with age.   I remain here now, scrabbling in the ruins of Ostfen for game and roots, dodging ghosts, and keeping watch over my brother.   Perhaps one day he will finish that run, skid to a stop and look around in wonder at the changed world that he has fallen into. Perhaps an old man will be there to greet him, with a smile, and watery eyes that look strangely familiar.   Perhaps.

Cover image: by Midjourney


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