"Black rain continues to fall from the sky, it's been falling for as long many can remember. Black with the power of the curse, painting the grass, the trees and the hearts of people a dark shade of grey. Can you still remember it? I do, I remember a time before the rain, a time when the sun used to shine. It was during that time that I met you. Oh, how I wonder where you are now. Still wandering somewhere under the endless black rain, I imagine. It is perhaps the only thing about this rain that I like, no matter how far or wide you go I know we are still under the same sky, drenched by the cursed black rain."

A woman sits by the window of a wooden hut. Long black hair covering half of her face. Flames of the burning fire reflect in her in her one visible purple eye. She lifts a slim elegant pipe to her lips and takes a drag. She blows out the smoke in perfect ring shape.

"What was it, that you used to say? It can't rain all the time, right. Ciel (1)." She blows out more smoke and it takes the form of a bird and flies thought the ring of smoke before vanishing.

The forest has long lost its life. The trees stopped growing new leaves ages ago, the birds have left for other lands. Deer and other game animals were scarce, the wolves were rabid with hunger, but there were worse things than the wolves in the woods. The black rain brought with it not just death but corruption as well, such was the magic of the curse. Those who survived it would bare a fate worse than death.

A lone figure walks along the muddy path across the woods. Wrapped in dark robes the man leans on a long staff for support in the slippery mud. Strands of white hair fall from under the hood, thou his face is not yet old. It is impossible to tell the time of day because the dark clouds block the sky, but it is getting darker, thou at night it becomes pitch black. The woods are the least safest place to be around night time.

Deep in the woods a pack of wolves crawl out from their den. They have had no food in days. Some have resorted to eating their weaker kin to survive. The wolves sniff the air, there is something strange outside the den tonight. Not prey, no, something dangerous. It is a black swirling mass of something, it seems to be watching them, waiting, taunting. The pack leader charges and the others follow. Whatever it is, it is an intruder in their territory and it will either become their food or their death. But neither of the two happen. The wolves get lifted into the air but that black mass, that keeps twisting and changing form. It had no visible limbs, it lifts them of the ground without touching them. It twists and turns and somehow begins to slightly resemble a human. Strange inhuman voices fill the air and the wolves howl in pain as their bodies are being torn and twisted but curse power into monstrous beings. Their minds now gone completely blank, all instinct erased, only the insatiable hunger remained .

"There is an intruder in these woods, get rid of him" the voice in their minds rings loud and clear.

So they obey. A pack of wolves now turned into mad monsters by the curse that brought the black rain.

The man stops and listens. On his long staff hands an oil lantern. The only light for miles. It is night time now. The sun set, pitch black darkness and the endless falling of the black rain is all there is. The black rain fall without sound, so unlike rain it does not absorb the sounds. The man can hear it, no matters how fain it is, the cracking of a small twig somewhere in the woods. For a moment he tenses and listens. Silence. He moves forwards again.

It sees it's pray, the lonely human, who slightly resembles the one inside the black mass, but he is not their master. Masters wants him dead so dead he shall be. He smells a little weird, but the beasts don't care. They leap at the traveler, only now the pack leader recognized the smell, but it too late. The man smells of sage grass (2).

The traveler halts and prepares for the upcoming attack. He knew he was being followed, he had sensed the beasts a while ago, they were following him for a while now. From the footsteps he counted at least six of them.

One was coming from the right, he jumped back and smashed his lantern on the beasts head thus setting it on fire. The fire then lit the oil he had spilled in a circle around himself- sage oil. The smell of sage had the beasts paralyzed.

"He who strikes fast as lightning become my blade" the man rose his staff to the sky and bolts of lightning struck the beats, killing them.

Three were dead. The pack leader held back at the last moment. He and other three held hid in waiting till the fire died out. The smell was becoming weaker, the time attack was coming close.

The man knew some beasts escaped into the shadows. He was out of oil and the lightning spell only worked if the target was immobile. It will not work again.

"It seems, I have no chose." He mused

Parting his black robes he resealed a long sword attached to his belt and unsheathed it. The blade was of impressive size and girth and from the symbols carved on its hilt it was obvious that this was a spell -sword.

The beasts charged, all four leaping into the air. Blade cut them without even touching them. A swishing sound briefly echoed through the air as if a breeze had blown. The man waved the sword in sweeping gesture and all four exploded into pieces.

The man fell to his knees leaning on his sword, blood running down the hand that swung the blade. On his wrist a brand now visible, a mark of a contract. Magic always comes with a price, and the price he paid for the power wielded was blood.

The fire of the lantern he tossed at the cursed beast had burned on the remaining oil but was now going dim. The man knelt, feeling fatigued and weary.

"Why, why does it have to be like this. " his vision clouds as his consciousness begins to fade.

The last light of the lantern dies and pitch black darkness covers all. Nothing moves, not a thing, just the black rain endlessly falls.


1 Ciel- sky in French

2 Sage incense can ward off evil spirits/beings.