Tonight, Crispen Smythe felt very strange, as he watched the
flames at the fireplace flicker away. "A dying flame." he murmured.
An appropriate if rather maudlin metaphor, thought Crispen. He
sighed. He was weary and wanted very much to finally rest. But
not tonight, Only the dead slept on this night. The Eve of the Dead.
Each year on this forsaken night, the people of Maranor would
lock their doors and light their altar candles, fasting and keeping
vigil until dawn. For the constellation of their god had vanished from
the sky, and with no protection from their god, the Shadow World
drew ominously near.
It was clear that Crispen was expecting someone, as he kept
glancing over at the hour glass with eager anticipation.
"He's late," Crispen whispered softly to himself. Almost as if in
answer, a sudden gust of wind blew in through a window and the
Sensing a presence in the room behind him, Crispen turned
from the fireplace. In the dim glow of the flickering fire, he saw a
tall, dark, and slender figure appear in the center of the chamber.
His full-length, hooded cloak billowed in the dissipating wind of
his arrival, then settled down around him, giving the brief
impression of wings being folded back.
"I am never late, I arrive exactly when I mean to."
The voice was unmistakable. It was deep, and resonant, with
the old, familiar sound of crackling bones.
"That was quite an entrance.." said Crispen. "Are you ready
to fulfill our deal ?"