I shouldn’t be here, Praedan thought as he pushed through the dense thicket of the Deadwood. The trees were rotten and barren. Praedan struggled to wrestle himself free from their curled and clawlike branches, their sharpened barbs scratched and pulled at his skin as he weaved his way through. Does anyone even know that I’m gone, he wondered. Praedan ducked to avoid the slivered offshoots of a tilted tree whose upper branches were still so far above him that they were almost impossible to see. As Praedan gazed up into the sky he saw that the forest was beginning to grow dark and cold around him. From below the canopies he watched as a mist of twisted black took hold of the sky. It stretched up and outward to places far beyond his eyes sight. As the darkness enveloped the treetops he was pained by the discomforting thought of how fast the world above him had vanished. His skin prickled and it made Praedan more than a little uneasy to recall that he was alone. A fearful stillness came to him. And as he stood, frozen in the darkness of the forest, he could not help but to feel the nervous tension that loomed heavily in the air. There was something about the clouded sky that provoked an unease - a fear that came perilously close to toxic. What am I doing here? he asked himself, the question had grown heavy in his mind. There’s something wrong, I shouldn’t be here.
Chapter One Excerpt: The Deadwood