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The Comtesse DeSpair
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Dusk Settles On The Castle DeSpair

The Comtesse DeSpair wandered forlorn through the topiary garden and watched the mist rising gently from the Valley Dementia and settling all about the Sullen Spires that rose above the Castle DeSpair. She looked up to see the last traces of the dying sun flickering off the snowy crags and reflected on the passing of another dreary, sunlit day. At least the approaching mist gave her some solace, for perhaps it would settle in for a long stay, rather than simply slithering through on its way to somewhere more deserving its comforting cloak.

It had been so long since a good storm had struck Catatonia. The Comtesse chuckled to herself at the thought that she may have forgotten the howling sound of wind sweeping down from the Spires and into the Valley Dementia, or the rhythmic pounding of wind-borne rain against the sturdy glass of her bed chamber. "As if I would ever forget such joys," she thought and almost cracked a smile... until a Dark Thought entered her mind. She imagined the peasants of Catatonia laughing and frolicking contentedly within the sunlight's warm embrace. "They are all the same!" she thought, with a bitter zeal. "They think the same tedious thoughts, they dress in the same tedious style, they like and dislike the same tedious activities... They are not Clever enough to enjoy inclement weather, the simpletons!" The Comtesse has long been prone to such fits of bitterness and melancholia, but if you had lived her unfortunate life, you would too.

When at last the sun's final death throes had flickered off the tip of the Spires, she turned and began the short walk back to the beckoning doors of the Castle DeSpair. As she neared the doors she heard the howling of wolves from the Brooding Forest which comprised the easternmost expanse of the DeSpair estate. She stopped and turned towards the eerie echoing howls and smiled to herself. Few things in life, she thought, were as comforting as the rising mists, the melodic howls drifting from the forests, and the promise of a peaceful evening alone inside her bed chamber, drinking tea and reading quietly to herself.

Those fools in Catatonia would never know such peace...



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