Ash Dunkel/Related Pages/A Discussion in Atlas Park
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
On a bench in Atlas Park two old men sit, to the mundane eye they appear to be having conversation about the weather and the local news when in reality they communicate mind to mind about much more serious things.
"It is good to see you, Burning-One's-Bane."
"I ask that you not call me that, you know I prefer the use of my First Name."
"Very well, Dirge-of-the-Forest, but you have earned that name have you not? Single handedly killing three Seraphim is quite a feat."
"Old One Wards-the-Light, that was centuries ago, and Yahweh's servants are not the threat they once were."
"You always were overly humble, you should not-"
"Old One, forgive my rudeness, but I called you here for a serious reason, not to discuss past deeds. I must speak with you of the King's Row Incident."
"What is there to speak of? The Rabid Shadows were dealt with and any evidence pointing to our kind has been eliminated."
"It is where they came from and the fact that Ballad-of-Conflict was among them is the problem however."
"Ah yes. The one who was accidentally summoned back from the Nether a couple of years prior?"
"Yes, him. He was in a crazed state when we found him, but he has been recovering and we have gained a great deal of interesting information regarding the Incident. You already know that the Rabids came from another reality?"
"Indeed I do, however I was under the impression that there was little concern. This was a singular incident that won't be repeated."
"That is what was initially believed, however Ballad-of-Conflict has been able to give us more and more useful intel indicating otherwise as he has recovered."
"Are you sure anything he says is useful? How do you sort reality from delusion? I assume that none have attempted a Mind Probe. The danger of contracting Ballad-of-Conflict's affliction would be to great."
"I am very much aware of that, but it is not just Ballad-of-Conflict's account we have to go on. It seems more than Rabid Ferals traveled from that other reality. We have found that the Rabid Ferals were led out by an intelligent, but insane, Shadow Folk. We were unable to capture him but he was witnessed and was clearly rambling on about "bringing his siblings" to our world. Ballad-of-Conflict has indicated that the world from where they came was in it's death throes. They had apparently stripped their world of life almost completely and had begun turning on each other for sustenance."
"If Ballad-of-Conflict is any indication, this should not be a problem. He is already recovering and will be back in control of himself soon. This new Shadow has most likely hidden himself from us out of fear and will make contact when he becomes lucid."
"The problem lies in that none of the Rabid Ferals that were captured have shown an sign of recovery. We suspect that after a certain point the madness is permanent. Even though Ballad-of-Conflict and the captured Rabids have indicated that this madness is non infectious, that there may be an intelligent rogue Shadow willing to open a rift to a world that will most likely corrupt ours is cause for concern. You achieved the status of Old One while I was still a Feral. Our brethren will listen to you. I am requesting you spread this news to any of our kin that you can and ensure that Paragon is monitored for anomalous activity."
"Very well, I will do this. I suppose you want this Shadow brought in alive if possible?"
"If it all possible, yes, we are already working to cure the Ferals and could perhaps do the same for him if we are successful."
"It shall be done, I trust that is all?"
"Yes, Old One."
"Then I will take my leave, however, I would like to speak with Ballad-of-Conflict in person when he has recovered sufficiently."
"I will inform him personally."
The two old men conclude their seemingly mundane conversation, shake hands then walk off in opposite directions to carry out their respective tasks.