He stopped on the road away from Pyratic.

He turned his back to his destination, and reviewed both the road he had travelled and the city that lay beyond it. Never was there a place like it, and nowhere could there ever be again. Darkness was falling, and he was far from the only person on the roads at this time of the evening. Resisting the tide of people fleeing from the burning remains of what had once been the Magictions Quarter hundreds of years ago, before the war. Why it was called Pyratic had been lost, along with the thousands that had lived there in the time. Now it was living up to it’s name, as the flames flickered and lit up the sky and the other three city areas, divided by the Wall. If you looked with a magictions’s eye, you could see the guards atop the wall, throwing water and rocks at flames and refugees respectivly. The last thing the city needed was the fire spreading, so the first thing the Poltack had ordered was the closing of the gates to all but those who could prove their address was not in the poorest district.
Jascain, however, had recently fallen upon hard times. His soot blackened clothes conspired with the ragged canvas bag at his back to make him look like one of the more wretched denzins of Pyratic. It could be said that who knew him would be shocked to know of his fall from grace as one of the foremost artists of the City, but those who knew him then would never even know he existed now, the same way he stopped existing as soon as his work – and him, though not in that order – fell out of the Poltack’s daughters favour.
The flunkies and hangers on who he thought of as his friends at that time had dropped him like a bad apple. On the way down, you find out who your friends are, he doubted he had a real friend left.


And that was the word that changed it all. “Except”. Except maybe, if he was lucky, and if he hadn’t totally destroyed whatever friendship there had been by that argument long ago, there may still be the slightest possibility that…

He was fooling nobody, least of all himself, but that sliver of hope was all that remained. In the last month, he had lost his life, his Fianc, his dream, and now his house and all he owned. There was only one place he could go now.