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The snow crunched underfoot. It sounded like a child taking a bite from a pastry. The air was cold, crisp, and dry and carried the sound cleanly. I stopped and waited, listening. No other sounds but the whistle of wind among the ruins. The last cries of a dead city.
The snow and ice had penetrated this place deeply. It stuck between the stones like mortar, and coated boulders like moss. This place had been locked away in the frigid cold of the north since before the Fall. I wondered if perhaps it had been frozen here since before some prior Fall. Did the long dead citizens of this place worship gods whose names would never be uttered again? I didn't know. I would probably never know, which cast strange doubts in my mind. How could there be knowledge that the God of Knowledge did not know? Or did lost knowledge cease to be knowledge at all?
I shook myself out of my reverie and checked the crystal again. An artifact or cypher, I wasn't even sure which - so much for the god of knowledge! - the crystal was pointing me toward something. It had been leading me here for months. The bar of light drifted left and right as I moved my hand, the movement was ever more exaggerated as I had neared this ruined place, and I knew my goal was close. I followed it once again, allowing it to lead me toward whatever fate it held.
After an hour I found it. The ruins of an old building. A temple perhaps, or a library, or both. I liked it, the style was simple, clean, appealingly functional. I meandered for a bit, picking through the rubble of a collapsed room, before continuing to follow the direction of the crystal. It led me to a large table, the altar I supposed.
It was covered in ice and snow. Entombed. I prepared a spell, laid the energy out in a diffuse blast that melted snow and liquefied ice and in moments the altar was cleared of water that had fallen before I was born. I waited for the steam to blow away, or re-freeze and fall once again.
Then I saw it. Laid into the altar, gold and silver, a symbol. A book and a scroll in the hands of a human shape. My symbol. Partly chosen, partly gifted by fate. I began to wonder the nature of the Falls, and just how cyclical the rise and fall of the gods truly was.