Cethin felt the hook sink into his ankle, tearing at the tendons and chipping away at the bone. He gripped tightly with his hands onto the tile shingles, since his torn left foot could no longer gain traction on the wet roof. There was a tug, and pain soared up through his leg, then into his hip. Yanking his injured leg back, he heard his attacker grunt as it turned into a contest of pure strength. Cethin was unsure he would win this tug of war.
    With the rain pelting in his face, his one leg now useless, the other slowly losing traction as his fingers became raw upon the slate tiles he knew he was running out of time. He had to risk a kalter knowing that accessing his morass would be risky. Without truly concentrating who knew what else could crossover.
    No matter, he thought to himself, I just need a small boost.
    Clasping the tile with one hand, he used the other to clutch a coin inside his pocket; his focus. As he did, there was another tug on the line, and he slipped. He skidded down the roof, his knees digging into the slate edges, his fingers blistering from the effort to regain his grip.
    Finding the coin in his pocket at the last second, he pinched it tightly between his index finger and thumb. He closed his eyes, focusing. Like gripping a hot coal, his fingers began to burn, and his pocket smoked. It would seem to an onlooker like he was burning, but nothing would catch fire. This was simply his kalter forming.
    His right hand briefly reached up into the air, forming a fist as he did so, and then Cethin used all his might to punch down into the roof. Slate exploded, as his hand tore through the tiles with no effort. His kalter enforced body stopped sliding, his hooked leg now dangling over the side of the roof.
    One more tug from the rope, but this time no pain. His body became rigid while the coin in his pocket poured energy from the morass. He stood up, the slate buckling under the now massive weight of his form. He kicked forward, shaking the leg which the hook butted. The hook broke, the rope snapped, and his foot freed.
    Cethin tore his fist from the roof, and he began to run, disappearing over to the other side of the gable end. He jumped, using his now inhumanly muscular legs to propel himself into the air, soaring up and over the cobbled street below and splashing into the river a good fifty rad away.
    The plume of muddy water shot up and rippled out. Cethin's pursuer now watched as the murky waters of the river washed over him, quickly removing any trace that Cethin was ever there.     
    With no one left to chase, the figure slouched away into the foggy weather. There would be another day. This hunter had time.

Prologue

Confines of Divinaile

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