"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come." ~ Rabi Thakur
A young hare-maid dashed down the path towards the south, adrenaline coursing through her veins. Her body protested the strain put on it from running so hard for so long, but the maiden felt she had little other choice. Her legs finally surrendering to exhaustion, the girl fell to the ground. "So cold," she said softly, between deep ghasps for breath. Sweat clouded her vision as she pulled herself over to a tree beside the path. The hare could do little more that prop herself up against the trunk, her body shaking from cold and terror. "So very cold," she whispered again, trying to catch her breath and will her sore, exhausted body onwards.
Several months prior, a traveler in a black cloak had visited her family's home. She thought it odd that he carried a scythe without being a farmer, but his peaceful demeanor quickly put it from her mind. After a few days, the traveler passed onwars to the west, into the deeper forest. Again, something did not seem entirely right with the stranger. As he left, he bid them farewell in a most unusual manner. "Untill we meet again," he had said, his voice having a matter-of-fact finality that had spooked her to the very core.
Another thought brought the hare-maid from her recollection: she was tired. Quietly, the lass curled up at the base of the tree, still shivvering from the cold she felt. She started to shut her eyes when her nose met the overwhelming scent of death and decay. Panic taking over once more, she opened her eyes to see a flash a silver. Half of a scream, the kind that one makes when witnessing one's own demise, escaped the young hare-maid before being silenced perminantly.
A black-robed figure strode quietly down the path seperating the greater Mossflower Woods from what little remained to the plains. The only sound accompanying this beast was the soft scraping of his ebon robe upon the ground on which he trod; not even a bird dared sing within a league of this beast. From under the hood of the robe appeared to float the skull of some unfortunate rat; two azure eyes peering out where another pair of eyes once rested. This 'rat' held in boney paw the haft of a scythe, it glistening in the sunlight that filtered between the boughs and branches of the trees about.
Southward, thought this strange beast to himself. A great many will need my services southward. Many, indeed, and I shall work hard. Very hard. I'll not let a single one slip by. Trudging on, the beast took notice of the sounds of life once more. A slight smile crossed his otherwise grim visage; he could tell he would have much work to do in the near future.