For anyone thinking of starting Corners of Darkness (or who is debating on continuing), this is the first page of the newer version so you can decide if you want to wait or not.
THIS WILL NOT BE UPDATED UNTIL CORNERS OF DARKNESS IS COMPLETE.
This is just so you can decide if you want to start the old version which will end up vastly different from the newer one. The old version will still be updated and will be finished first.
It was a gregarious day for the skies in Haalm; one of those days where the clouds covered those sensitive parts of the sun that exposed more than what the eyes were comfortable enduring. The birds soared their wings in flocks over the skies, their joy carried by the wind that swept comfortably pass the multitude of architecture that made up the capital city. Sweeping along with it was the dust from the surrounding barren cliff sides. There was little vegetation to take advantage of the breeze, for the extreme anger of the sun in the years before had rendered fissures of red clay throughout the land except for where societies had cultivated their works of art, which would look like a new age to outsiders of lower origins, but utterly menial compared to the other capitals of the galactical world. Still, nature did its best to thrive in the mild temperatures upward a century in degree, and though the sky only echoed the cries from the inhabitants of the valley below, the state of bliss went all but noticed.
Carnage was widespread across the city. Its civilians fluttered the streets, some running for their lives, others causing outrage as if they were in madness: flipping cars, bashing glass, looting innocents and adding to the blood stains that paved the white marble of the eloquent sidewalks slithering around every lustful curve the city possessed. Cracks found themselves intruding on the glittering metal surfaces of structures said to conquer time, and slowly, they began morphing in form until they could no longer hold themselves together, their limbs falling into the anarchy.
A man stood atop one structure that hadn't yet been consumed by the bloodwave sweeping across the city, and the slow crumble hadn't provoked a single sense of urgency of his idle state. His tattered, dark purple cloak sunk from his hood and shifted in the wind as if it wished to be carried to the birds above. Along the upper section of it rested a darkly greyed out silhouette of a head, with its left side slightly darker than its right. The eyes were hollow with a burgundy streak painting itself thick down the cheek from the right socket and into a pained grimace that resided opposite of a sadistic smile on the darker side.
It was known as the Double-Faced Insignia, a symbol whose origins were known to few, and whose meaning was known to fewer.
The hood casted a shadow across the rough features of his face, sealing his identity much to the content of his conscious. His eyes peered out from their darkness onto the pandemonium below, but his mind was too busy trying to recall a time in his life when people didn't have a reason to scream.
Whether it was their two-faced lovers, their innocuous, cloud headed children, or the groups of robbers, looters, and marauders who would slaughter the families of those who double crossed the wrong people, they were always screaming. It was an accepted part of his life in the slums of Arkna, even if unwillingly. And in sight of his tempered memories, he could do nothing but snort mirthlessly at the panic beneath him. It was here where he saw the true difference in power between those who were strong, and those who'd been empowered. The men, women, and children that weren't consumed by the madness fled as they should, turning to shout as the cries of those before them were heard. Half of them wouldn't even know what was worth panicking over until the tides had set and the rats had come out of their burrows to dig their noses into things that shouldn't be dug into, and yet they blared on as if a contest had been declared until their vocal chords gave way to the lack of life in their lungs. They could be understood though, for those declared in innocence shouldn't have to mingle into the chaotic world that shaped their peaceful lives; though if life was ever good at doing anything, it certainly wasn't maintaining the borders between worlds.
The man turned his sights instead to those who'd called themselves soldiers and protectors, as they quickly rose to the task of ushering the civilians, yet reluctance was found in their eyes at every sight of the boy rampaging in the distance. And in spite of it, they believed themselves to be doing some sort of good; that the power invested in them was rightfully given because their intentions lied with the hearts of those they'd let get consumed in the chaos. Those same hearts who had no notion of anything past the convenience they were provided. And the man could do nothing but let out another humorless chuckle.
There's a boy slaughtering people by the thousands, but God forbid little Susie trips on her shoe strings.
The echoes of the sirens was something he wasn't quite used to; his response to chaos was more along the lines of tranquility. If anything, the sides of the spectrum would have to be overwritten for those outside of his world to understand the virtues that guided him. And even then, their lack of experience would only paint an outline toward understanding, but that was perfectly fine. He had no interest in reliving his past no more than he already did on a daily basis, and even if he'd been the kind to lose his sense through the over-indulgence of toxins and spry about his times of hardship, those on the opposite side of the spectrum would remain on the opposite side of the spectrum, and he had no interest in theoretical enlightenment; the only thing people understood was power, and most couldn't differentiate any other type from fear.
And as he met the eyes of the boy-beast radiating his madness through the masses, he saw what they couldn't, and it angered him down to the atoms of his bones. But he wasn't anything if not level-headed, for he'd have been killed a long time ago if the opposite were true. And with his puzzle now clear, the cries of the birds and the gleaming of the sun became toxic to his aura. His back turned to the image now burned in his head, and down he disappeared into the dark alleys of the city below.