The Barrens. The place where horror stories were born, cautionary tales were exchanged and people were frightened by the mere thought of entering them. They were desolate, somehow cold, even with the sun relentlessly pounding the earth around them. There were few people that hade entered The Barrens and ever come back. The ones that did often ranted of strange creatures, monsters that hunted within the sand, appeared out of nowhere, and were even more vicious than the vampires. Few believed the extent of the stories, but even fewer wandered into The Barrens after hearing them.
And now they were here, preparing to jump head first, straight into hell. They had traveled hundreds of miles through her forest to this godforsaken land of sun and sand. The supposed new home of the vampires that had at one time been some of the most spoiled aristocrats. They were the aristocrats that had stood against the king during the war, and fled the palace when it became clear that they were not going to win and their lives would be forfeit.
Aristocrats that Braith now sought to gain support from for this upcoming battle. That was, if they could ever find these mysterious vampires amongst the vast expanse of emptiness that unraveled beyond this last border town. The town was frightening enough, the lands beyond were overwhelming. Aria wasn't used to such emptiness, not after being surrounded by trees and caves for most of her life.
Ansiety twisted within her belly. Sweat trickled down her back as she kept her head bowed and the hood pulled low over her brow. She could feel the curious stares burning through the dull gray cloak of the servant's class covering her. Breath was stiff beside her, his shoulders squared as his body thrummed with tension. She didn't know what to do with her hands as they walked silently down the street. She ached to reach out and touch him, to somehow connect with him but it was a move she knew she couldn't make.
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