The cloaked man took a sip from his Mug of Ferris Ale- renowned all over Cinder for its fiery nature, very few ordered it and even fewer could keep it down especially now that the vile concoction had been warmed by the fire that the cloaked man had sat in front of for the past 10 minutes; the cloaked man could hold his liquor at least- greater than any 10 Welders put together could- which was quite surprising as under the heavy cloak the cloaked man was not a man at all; but rather a scrawny boy who had not yet reached his twentieth birthday. Welders were the de facto infantry of the land of Cinder tasked with welding together the broken relations caused by the war – the glue that holds humanity together; they wore a single golden Cog wheel emblazoned on the breast piece of their black flame-reinforced turtle scale active-plating armour that extended to cover most of their body in battle powered by the steam vessels that each one carried upon their backs.
The boy had wandered Cinder all his life and had begun to wonder if he had come to the right place, he had ended up in the charred Will tavern in Holden drinking with a mismatched group of brigands who couldn’t invoke the faintest interest from him. Now even the Hearth-fire; oblivious to the apparent chaos that surrounded it slowed down its flickering dance to cast a warm enveloping haze over the somewhat plain inhabitants of The Charred Will, its warmth hovered for a moment over the boy- then abruptly went out. An inhuman note rang out from the clouds and struck into the hearts of the Charred Will’s patrons, upon hearing this the boy left both mug and payment on the table and walked calmly through the murder of Holden denizens towards the now open doors of The Charred Will tavern; cape flowing behind him. He did not stop to ask why, but the piercing shriek had seemed to him as if a summons from a higher calling, and he was anxious to answer it in its strange magnificence. Instinctively, he reached once more to rest his hand on the single crest that adorned his cloak, and as a child; stepped forward out into the eerie darkness that now disturbed the fragile peace Holden was to expect for no more than a week at a time.