Nymeth, it was quiet city. Always had been, almost eerily so. Untouched by what was going on around it, one would almost think that it had been in an entire different place when the Corruption spread across the Earth. Unless you had ever been outside of the walls or the Holy Barrier that encased the city, you never knew what lay beyond. It was a lie really, what the residents knew. To them, they had a paradise. Completely self-sustaining, there was no reason to ever leave. The city was expansive, spanning for several miles in either direction. With farms, a marketplace, small swathes of wilderness and plenty of room to move, even after so many years, it was one of the most ideal places to live in the world. As a Sanctuary, it was one of the final bastions to humanity as well, and as such held a great deal of standing in the world. Like the other Sanctuaries, it was held together primarily by religious sects, the groups responsible for maintaining both the wall and barrier that separated humanity from the evils outside. No one had any issue with the status quo, and after all, why would they? In the new world, there was hardly a need for government. Nothing was unified really beyond the single Sanctuaries, so a singular group did not really control anything. For everything the Seven Faiths did for the people, they were more than happy enough to abide by their laws and customs. Ironically enough, it seemed like the 'end of the world' had been the most unifying event in human history. There was no strife or discord between sects, despite there being several gods one could pledge their allegiance to. For all the hell that had taken root, living inside a Sanctuary was almost like a utopia.
While the majority accepted the rule and were content with their lives, there was a minute portion of the population that was unhappy with the way things were. Those who went outside the walls and returned knew the true horrors, and saw true strife. Sure, everyone was aware of what lay beyond the safety of the Sanctuaries. But to be told what it was, and experience it for yourself first hand were two totally different things. Those that returned often had jaded views on life and their place in the Sanctuary. Individuals unfortunate or weak enough to fall to the corruption often went mad, running off into the depths of the Wastelands never to be seen again. In most cases, it was only the occasional brazen trader that ever ventured out, as well as their entourage. Usually consisting of a handful of guards, and a member of one of the Seven Faiths, the expeditions had a decent chance of success despite the hardships faced. There were safe routes through the Wastelands, and the occasional Holy Seal was placed on a post to create almost a safe zone of sorts. For all its terror, there was still a need to communicate between Sanctuaries as well, and so the Wastelands was often traveled. That had been the standard some years ago however, as now things have become gradually worse for humanity. Some of the Seals that made the Wastelands navigable have been destroyed, and the demonic hold on the land has become more potent. It now takes a group of Holy Men to make any trip, as opposed to a single member. While Sanctuaries still prove to be a safe haven, some people worry that the demons are encroaching, and soon not even the barriers will keep them safe. Time will tell, but for some, there is no waiting. Many who have traveled and seen what is happening believe the end to be approaching, the true end to human kind. If humanity is to survive, they'll need to gather and rekindle the Idols of the gods and push the demons back to Hell.
"I'm a demon! I'm going to eat you!" A young boy laughed, chasing after his friend with his arms outstretched. His pepper-black hair swept back as he ran, his green eyes shining brightly in excitement. He must have been of noble birth, as he was dressed fairly well. His friend too, each bearing some sign of wealth. The boy running away was a stark contrast from his friend, having brilliant blonde hair and shining blue eyes. Giggling excitedly, the two fell to the ground as the brunette boy tackled his friend, biting at him in a playful manner. The two tussled for a moment as they rolled about on the ground, stopping only when they rolled into another person. Glancing up, the brunette boy saw someone in a green cloak that fell to his knees. With his hood pulled up, all the child could make out was the blue eyes staring down at him.
"Hi mister! We're playing demons! Want to play?" the blonde boy chimed in, smiling brightly up at the stranger. When he was given an angry glance, the child edged away slightly, his smile faltering. "We weren't hurting each other or nothing, just playing." Timid as the stranger knelt down, he relaxed slightly seeing the youthful face that appeared from under the hood. The boy seemed friendly enough, no reason for concern really. After all, the boy had Dia's Crest on his cloak, meaning he was from the church. As everyone knew, the Disciples were the kindest people around, right?
"Playing demons, huh?" Looking between the two boys, the older male closed his eyes, smirking faintly before his lips formed a hard line, hiding the angry glare he bore under the shadow of his hood. "If you two knew what a demon was, you wouldn't be playing. If you knew how horrifying it is to watch a friend be torn to shreds before you, or skin be pulled from the bone you wouldn't be playing." His tone sounded flat, but there was a definite hint of venom behind it. Seeing the lighthearted expression gone from both boys, he hardly relented. "Demons are not something you play with. You kill demons, or they kill you. Don't be so ignorant and think they're a game." Confused and unnerved by him, he watched as the children ran off, neither looking back as they hurried to their respective parents. Earning a few angry glances, the older boy stood up, returning the gaze indifferently before continuing his trek across the plaza. It wasn't his fault they were ignorant, all he had done was try to open their eyes. Let their parents have them believe in childish sport, he'd like to see how far that got them in life.
All around him, the plaza was lively with activity as the townsfolk went about on their daily business. As usual, everyone was ignorant to the dangers facing them, or perhaps to thick-skulled to even consider them. Trying to open their eyes was a beleaguering and daunting task, not that he'd even waste his breath. No one listened to him, nor any of the others touched by the Corruption. They were all mad, or just depressed, as many would say. In reality, they were just the few who recognized the world for what it really was. Sighing to himself, the boy resigned to watch some senseless play take place on a stage near the center. He was supposed to be taking duty on the walls as a lookout, as he was hardly permitted to do much else anymore. He would do as he was told, simply because he was one of the faithful and did not want to displease Dia. Still, he was one of the few who could travel outside, and felt that it was a waste to keep him away from the enemy. "Idiots... The whole lot of you..." he grumbled under his breath, speaking to no one in particular.