Art by Havsbris_ Footfalls raced across the soft ground along the Regalian countryside, not far from the coastal beaches. With the snap of splitting branches and the whistling of pushed air, something was traversing fast, racing through brush and foliage, till the thumping stride eventually came to a rest at the end of a canopy. The fourty-year-old allar brought their pace to a casual walk, surveying the ornate labyrinth of forest and cavernous rock formations. Ahead of them was the sound of crashing waves, striking the harsh and razor-sharp stones which divided land from the sea. The sun was warm and pleasant on the feathered plumes of the Maz-Allar, the salt brackish with a tang in the air. It was liberating to be outside in the crisp October air. With a nose so sensitive, one might argue that the beach itself had a nostalgic scent to it. Zzalangua had been out for a walk, avoiding and planning the re-establishment of order in Regalia. Something they were convinced will happen at some point. As they droned within their head just like so many times before over these thoughts, their hand extended reaching out to climb over the cliffs and sharp rocks. They wanted to acquire higher ground so they could take in their surroundings more fully. The Maz-Allar, energized by what lied ahead, increased their climbing speed, striving to mount the rock cliffs until- CRACK! Pebbles and debris flowed down to the waters below after a jutting handle of rock gave way. Fate had played its dice at that precise time, and luckily for the Maz-Allar, fate had rolled high. Their second hand desperately extended to catch themselves as their legs dropped downwards, head craning with widening eyes in a combination of fear and washed-over relief. They were still alive and well. It's amazing how such a minor blunder could have brought everything to a halt in a matter of seconds. They continued their ascent, although this time with a lot more caution. Their hands began to shiver and tremble less as they took the final stairs to the cliff's crest. With a final push, the allar straightened and took her place on the world's throne. They got closer to the cliff's edge, looking out over the raging seas of the Crowned Coasts, which were shrouded in a thick mist of clouds. A tear would have trickled down Zzalanguas' tarnished cheeks if allar could cry. They were awestruck by nature's splendor. They had been chained to the bounds of the city and its districts for so long that they had forgotten what peace creation had to offer. As they drew closer to the edge, trying to perch on it so that their feet might rest, dangling freely over the ridge's fringe, Zzal's memories of near-death pushed to the back of her consciousness. Nothing unexpected could disrupt the cautious allars reflection, and nothing happened for hours, so they stood there uninhibited; unthreatened by the possibility of falling. In their brooding absorption, their lives, both pleasant and painful recollections, reappeared till sunset had arrived. This was why the allar had come: to see the sun reflected in the ocean's horizon in both warm and cool hues of beauty. They lifted themselves up with an exhale, dusting off their thighs and bottom. CRACK! Again? The audacity nature had to interrupt and constantly fight was beginning to become an annoya- Before the allar could finish their thoughts they froze. No, this was different. This crack trembled like a quaking landslide. This was something unavoidable. One false step and the entire side of the rock may give under their feet. Their heart began to race, their head twisting left and right to find an escape route. THERE! They saw it. Carefully, the allar lifted a foot, aiming to extend it in that direction. All the while soil and gravel sank at their feet. They were running out of time. With a desperate hop, they attempted to dive towards the contour in the ground. They just needed to make it towards that crack, and then they could laugh about this at home. With a squat in preparation, right on cue, the ground rumbled with horrific gravity. With a croaking yelp, Zzalangua extended their hand as far out as they could. Fate, which watched from above, grinned, a dice pre-emptively shook in their hands. Clack, clack, clack. The die had been cast, and Zzalangua was not so lucky this time. The surface of the violent waters below grew even more fierce as large boulders, gravel, and soil terrorized its splashing surface; and... One unfortunate allars body, which had succumbed a deathblow upon striking its deadly concrete waters.