"This.... might have been a mistake..." Ehoron mumbled to himself as he stumbled through one of the many alleyways that crisscrossed throughout Crocus. It seemed a simple enough task; dip into the city, sight-see a bit, find the airship, and get out before the growing pit of darkness inside of him burst out and hurt innocent people. Instead, he had rapidly found himself lost within a labyrinthian mess of roads, footpaths, and circuitous avenues. Pride kept him from admitting that he had lost his way and asking for help, certain that he could navigate the streets himself without aid.
And for his pride, Ehoron stumbled about in the dark. His footsteps were punctured only by the shallow, sharp gasps that escaped his lips as the darkness roiled within himself. Every breath, every sight, every sound; all of it was taken in as through filtered through an oily sheen. That sickly sweet taint turned his insides; it froze his bones and set fire to his very nerves. It took every ounce of will to not scream in pain. The world itself seemed to alternate between being far too bright and loud to being just the faintest glimmer to his senses. Abruptly he missed the ground with one feeble step, his foot caught over a discarded bottle and sent him tumbling to the ground. He groaned weakly, his body wracked with spasms as the darkness began to boil him alive. 'So... this is.... how it ends...' That sad, lonely thought floated just below the darkness, inviting him to accept oblivion.
"Well, well, well... What do we got here, boys?" A voice cut through the din, cruelty and condescension dripping from every word. "Looks like this poor sod's had a bit much to drink." Faintly, he was aware of the foot belonging to the voice stopping just shy of his face. "What sort of folk would we be if we left him like this?" Laughter cracked the silence, giving those words an ominous meaning. "I think he looks overheated, Bajern. Mayhap we take that nice lookin' coat off 'im." Another voice came from beyond Ehoron's sight, confirming the existence of others, for all the good it did him to know that.
He felt several pairs of rough hands begin to claw at his coat, seeking to remove it from his near-lifeless body. More sought his boots, and soon a squabble began to break out over the spoils. Ehoron simply lay there, barely clinging to life as he desperately racked his mind for something to hold onto, someone who might care enough to wonder where he had gone. His one hope of salvation seemed a false promise as every person he tried to imagine or remember had either faded from his life entirely or instead had been turned away from him when they realized the malignancy that dwelled within him.
"Come on, you oafs. Take his gear and let's go. Theorik will have ruined all the fun for us if we don't hurry it up." There was something in those words, a true evil yet unspoke that caused Ehoron's spirit to stir if only for a heartbeat. "I don't wanna waste another night lookin' for more women to take when we got some waitin' for us." At that, something inside of him seemed to crack and break. For all of his pathetic existence, hurting all that came close to him while he dared fashion himself a hero, he had told himself that if he were to make a difference, save just one person, it would be worth it. But if he couldn't save someone before the darkness consumed him...
The men were fighting amongst themselves in earnest now, staking claims on their imagined spoils, and as such failed to notice Ehoron rise from the stone alleyway. He swayed there for a moment, his footing still unsure before one of the brutes seemed to notice and gave a shout of alarm. That was all the warning they were given before Ehoron suddenly lunged forward with one hand outstretched. Those not standing closest to Ehoron were treated to a spectacle as two of their own were caught by fell ice shaped into a massive gloved fist. Already poorly lit for the passing of the sun, the very light within the alleyway seemed to be subsumed by the black ice that entombed those two poor souls. Their faces were etched with horror and pain, but all too soon those untouched were left to look down as Ehoron quietly began to walk around the massive formation of ice and straight towards them.
His shirt had split down the middle almost to his waist, revealing a chest far more broad that it ought to have been for him. Dark etchings stretched upward from his waist and covered his torso before spiraling out to his arms. As he moved closer to them, the air began to grow cold, far colder than natural for that time of day or year. No light seemed to touch his eyes, which somehow seemed to fix each of the men standing before him with an unflinching gaze that announced the forfeiture of their lives. Terror began to fester in each of their hearts and one managed to rip himself away from the approaching spectre of death when he was stopped by an almost imperceptible wall of ice. Insidiously it taunted them with the existence of a world just beyond its frigid borders, but for all the world could see beyond the alleyway's entrance, not a soul seemed to inhabit the alley.
"'Twould seem that each of you has elected to relinquish your lives..." Their attention was ripped back to the deranged man walking towards them. He gave them a thin, wan smile as the black ice slowly reached down from one arm to form a deadly looking blade which he held up to the weakened light. "Your lives have no value left to them, save what I grant you. And what I grant is neither peace nor mercy, for you are far beyond grace or salvation. For your acts and pride in the lives you've squandered, for the lives of others that have been spoiled by your existence, you shall be granted only oblivion."
Bereft a soul to care for them, the bodies of the men were left within the dark confines of the alleyways. Their bodies had been turned blue from the unnatural cold. Every ounce of heat had been stripped from their bodies, their blood frozen solid, leaving them near statues. Horror was etched onto each of their faces, their eyes left wide open and their mouths agape. By the time the first person caught hint of their fate and sent out a cry of alarm, Ehoron had already moved deeper into the city. Yet for all the sun and fire that illuminated the world around him, his eyes remained dimmed and hollow.