The mists rose, and with them, fear. It was almost tactile. Thick and heavy in the air, like you could reach out and touch it. It crept through cracks in the windows and underneath doors. Even the hearth fire seemed unable to dispel it. People, from the lowliest peasant to the highest lord in their keeps could feel it. The sickening sense of dread that curdles your stomach and makes you sleep with every candle lit, just to try to keep the darkness at bay. And hopefully what lurks inside that darkness.

 

Within her caravan, Thalia cradled her tarot. It had not led her astray yet, but now she was beginning to get nervous. With each new reading, she could feel the influence if these beings, these... Harbingers growing. Even in her usual readings unrelated, their presence was felt. She prepared her cloth and lit her incense. The chimes tinkled quiet and cheerful in the background. Her mind clear and focused, she pulled from the deck. The familiar sound of the cards against each other comforting and safe. Arranged in order, she began to turn the cards over.

 

The Nine of Swords. The sound of chimes seemed to become the clinking of chains, though muted, as if far away.

 

Flip

 

The Tower. An uneasy feeling began to settle in Thalia's bones as she felt a wave of palpable anger from the card.

 

Flip

 

The Three of Swords. Upright. The chimes were silent, their absence noticeable, as a feeling of great sorrow filled Thalia's soul. She realized that mist was now beginning to gather on the floor of the caravan. Her hand shaking, she reached for the final card.

 

Flip

 

The Nine of Swords. Again. The art on the card now bearing a terrifyingly familiar skeletal visage.

 

The mists grew thicker as the muted screams from the caravan faded into the night.

 

 

The time has come. The Harbingers are here. As you run through the woods or huddle together for comfort and shelter, ask yourself this, dear reader: Who will you be?

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