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Here you can find a riveting rendition of NAN's prologue chapter by my friend Quentin Oakwood. Brace yourself.


The Prologue by Quentin Oakwood

"He's coming! The Sinhail is coming!"
"Good for him, I guess," said Ragan and sniggered, while his fellow peasants were shouting and running in circles.
"He's coming here, you moron!" said Willay, his wife. She tried to drag him towards their house, but she wasn't doing very well. Ragan was a large and uncooperative peasant.
"Which of you idiots invited Him?!" he shouted at his fellow villagers, but they paid him no mind. Some were busy running away towards the forest, others decided to barricade in their homes. Mothers dragged their screaming children inside, even though a screaming child is just about the worst thing possible to have inside a house on lockdown. With a possible exception of five adult goats, which old Unmoor was herding towards his hut.
And there He was, riding on His great big horse right into the village of Ifhedde, as if He owned it. Which He probably did, technically, as no peasant would dare to tell Him otherwise and risk becoming a very unlucky peasant very quickly. When He arrived, only the slow, the dumb, and the stubborn were still outside. Ragan being all three of these. But even he knew better than to do something foolish, like politely asking the Sinhail to go away. He tried to stare at Him with malice, but he failed, and ended up gazing intently at the cobblestones. They didn't care, but at least they didn't fly up to smash his face.
"Tanidala's house?" the Sinhail asked nobody in particular. Havi the snivelling coward pointed at the place. He was one of those too dumb to hide, mainly because in panic he somehow managed to get his both feet stuck in the same wooden bucket. The action of pointing caused him to lose his balance and fall on his face. The Sinhail paid no heed to thid display of clumsiness. He got off his horse and walked towards Tanidala's house, ignoring all the peasants. "Chattair, do whatever it is you do with horses."
Ragan only now realized that the Sinhail was not alone. He had been staring not at him so intently that he somehow completely missed his companion. And an entire horse he was riding. Chattair was a boy of fifteen maybe, but not an ordinary boy. A samedal, a weird human-like being, but with fangs and claws. Which was all that Ragan knew about them, really. The samedal took both horses and tied them to a fence. This was Ragan's chance to do something.
"Are you going to do something stupid?" Willay asked, as he moved towards the boy. He ignored the question. He knew she wouldn't believe him if he answered no.
"Do you need help? I can help."
"Go away," Chattair replied and went after his master. Ragan of course did the exact opposite and followed him in turn.
"What do you want from Tanidala and Leveru?"
"A unicorn."
"What?!"
Chattair sighed. "If you really need to talk to me, could you stop being dense? It was a joke. I want nothing from them. My master does. Seriously, just go away. You are stupid. Around my master stupid people drop like flies."
Inside, Tanidala was sitting on the floor in the corner. "I've drugged him, but I couldn't get him up the stairs. He's in the basement."
"You could have drugged him upstairs," the Sinhail said plainly, just as if he had suggested a different color for the walls.
"Should I drag him up, sir?" Chattair asked.
"No, I'm sure he'll do it himself." Only now the Sinhail seemed to notice that Ragan also came inside. "What is he doing here?"
"He followed me, sir. I think he likes me. Can I keep him?"
"No. I allowed you a bird once, remember what happened?"
Chattair turned red. "I eated it."
"Exactly. Now, get on with dragging."
Chattair went to the basement, to get on with dragging, presumably. Ragan looked at Tanidala. Tanidala was looking at the wall. The Sinhail was looking at nothing in particular, for which everything in particular was most likely very grateful.
"Sup?" Ragan asked Tanidala, doing his best to ignore being ignored by the Sinhail.
"Go away," she replied. He didn't, of course.
"Tani, what did you do?" he asked again. But she joined in on ignoring him.
"So, this magical thingy I am looking for," the Sinhail said to Tanidala. "You know where it is?"
"Yes."
Right then Chattair reentered the room, with Leveru in tow. The end result wasn't pretty, but was quite predictable. Chattair was strong, but still a boy, and Leveru was a rather large peasant. Too drugged to properly resist, but not cooperative either. Add claws to the equation, and the peasant was bleeding quite a bit. Chattair in turn had been bled on quite a bit, and in addition was red-faced and panting. He stood there for a second, as if waiting for the Sinhail to help him. Of course that didn't happen, so he unceremoniously dumped Leveru on the floor.
"Tell me, quietly," the Sinhail said and approached Tanidala. And so she did, Ragan did not catch what she was saying. Probably he wouldn't anyway, as he was busy staring in shock at Leveru.
"Very well," the Sinhail said. "Pick him up," he told Chattair.
The boy looked as if he was going to say something nasty, but he thought better of it and went back to peasant-lifting.
"What... is going on?" Leveru murmured, as he got propped against the wall.
"I am going to decouple your soul from your wife's," the Sinhail said, as if he was sharing his boring plans for the evening. "With your soul taking the damage."
"But... why?"
"Because fuck you, that's why!" Tanidala spoke up. "I will not be linked with you for eternity, you asshole!"
"Stop! You can't!" Ragan shouted, as the Sinhail approached Leveru.
"Yes I can," the Sinhail spoke to him for the first time. "Go away." And he pushed his weirdo purple glowing hand right into Leveru's chest. Leveru twitched, screamed, his eyes rolled back in his head. Chattair let him go, and he fell down to his knees.
"Done. Finish him off," the Sinhail told Tanidala. She looked at him in shock, and didn't even realize that Chattair put a gun into her hands. "Typical." He unsheathed his sword, put the blade alight somehow, and with a quick move decapitated Leveru. The head by some weird coincidence flew right into Tanidala's lap, which caused her to laugh and sob at the same time. Meanwhile Ragan was retching in the corner.
"Get the horses," the Sinhail said to Chattair. "We're done here."
"Not so fast!" Ragan shouted, as the boy left and the Sinhail tried to follow. "You killed him, you son of a bitch! You cut his fucking head off!"
"His soul was broken," he replied. "You know the rules."
"Because you fucking broke it!"
The Sinhail just shrugged.
"You won't get away with this! This ends now!" Ragan ran up to Tanidala, ripped the gun out of her hands, and aimed at the Sinhail. "You will fucking pay!"
The Sinhail seemed amused. "No I won't. Give me the gun and go away."
"No I won't!"
"Ragan, please..." Tanidala said.
"No! Stop telling me to go away! Everyone tells me to go away! I will not! I will stay right here and shoot this bastard dead!" He made a few steps towards the Sinhail, who didn't react at all. Now he had him at point blank, aiming right into his forehead. "Everybody dies if they are shot in the face!" He pulled the trigger.
"Yes they do, but you'd have to, well, shoot," the Sinhail said, as nothing happened. Ragan pulled the trigger again and again, but to no avail.
"It can't be empty! You wanted her to shoot him! It fucking jammed?!" He turned the gun around and looked into the muzzle. And pulled the trigger for the last time.