There is an eerie quality to a vacant city. Perhaps it is simply the rarity of the silence along such streets, but the looming threat of whatever destroyed these people cannot be discounted. It is always there like a specter – watching our every move, waiting to be discovered.
Balthandar and I continued canvasing the city until the sun began to set. There was a sense of urgency to our actions today. It felt as though whatever clue we sought would be found in the tiniest of details. As though we must be careful to observe everything in order to keep from missing it. And yet we do not know what it is we seek. What here could possibly tell us of Salisir’s passing?
The sensation is shared, I know, because neither of us needed to speak as we went from door to door, building to building, room to room. These people lived in a luxury that belies the savagery of the Nanten. The architecture is much more Klotian than it is Imperial or Nantese. Perhaps that lends to the eerie atmosphere more than any other feature.
Klotia. It should not surprise me that the lower reaches of the Nanten would be influenced by their dark neighbor to the south, but I have not seen Klotian architecture in years. I did not recognize it as such until around noon, though I knew something was off. I have never seen Klotians build anything in white. It was almost as milky as Klotian skin. Still, their influence is unmistakable.
It’s the jagged finish that is put to everything. The intentional asymmetry, the gruesome spikes and gargoyles. The smooth whiteness of the stone hides these darker encroachments better than you would expect. It creates a subtlety that almost leans one’s opinion of it all towards beauty. Perhaps that’s the strangest sensation of all: appreciating anything Klotian.
We did not find what we were looking for. There are no clues as to what befell the people of Senida, be it disease or war. Or worse.
There is a story from before the Apocalypse, before even the Golden Era and the Long Rise. They say that once there was an Expressionist so strong that she could do something like this. That in fact she once did make an entire population disappear. She took a city in her hand, and then the people were no more. They say the mists that were the byproduct of that one action lingered in the city for years.
What if there is someone so powerful near us tonight?
What happened to the people of Senida?