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"Listen here," An old, famous storyteller shouts over the clatters and laughter of many drunkards sitting around the tavern. As he speaks up, the tavern quiets, and the atmosphere became still, as everyone shifted their attention to the hooded man. They knew of him - of his stories that almost always happened to be anything but stories. He clears his throat. "If you listen carefully, at the end of this you'll be someone else." The storyteller looks around the quiet room, making eye contact with a few individuals before continuing. "When I was a boy, I've heard stories of beasts and monsters that roam the earth. Many are feared by humanity. A select few are accepted by us, for they are said to bring health and prosperity. The monster I am about to speak of does not bring well-being. It only lives to bring misery upon us. When I was a boy, I heard of a particular beast - they called it 'The Pale'." The storyteller shifts his weight from one foot to the other. "It is said that this being can turn into whatever it desires. It walks among us. It is possibly in this very room, and none of you would know." The storyteller jabs himself in the chest with a frail finger. "But I would. I've seen it. I've studied it. When they look like us, their skin is pale, but with a silver tint. Their eyes are piercing and grey and they seem to stare directly through you, as if you weren't even there. That is because you aren't. They are blind. That is, until you make a sound.. or move.. or breath. They feel you. They know you are there before you notice them. They glide around as if their feet were nonexistent. They never smile, or laugh, because if they do, you will see the sharp, pearly white teeth that shine underneath their thin lips." A man in the crowd shouts from the back of the room, "What does it eat?" The old storyteller studies man from under his hood. He licks his lips, then continues, "Do you want to know what it devours? Or would you rather be able to sleep at night?" He wrinkles his brows. "It consumes the goodness of humans. It finds people with good hearts and it sucks up the light in their soul. It eats the fond memories of your family. It savors the delicate taste of your unrequited love. It greedily devours everything that made you human to the last drop. And when it's done? When you are an empty shell of the person you used to be, it will spare you the life you would have been forced to live and eats you whole. Is that enough, young man?" The man did not respond, but the look of horror on his face spoke thousands of words. "It only eats in its true form, for a human body would not be able to digest its meal. Its true form is not quite as graceful as its human form. The monster itself is horrifying. Its body becomes something resembling metal, and its feet merge to form one slithering tail. It cannot support its upper body weight on its tail, so it uses its hands to crawl forward - slowly - toward you. It doesn't need to be fast, for you cannot escape it. It will follow you to the ends of the earth just to devour your being." A woman sitting close to the storyteller speaks up, her voice strong. "What are the odds we will see one in our lives?" The storyteller tilts his head to the side, and his mouth stretches into a closed lipped grin. "I would say that the odds are very great. Each of you will see it, but maybe none of you will know it is The Pale until it is too late. Perhaps it has already gathered you into a small area. Perhaps it has already eaten the guards and innkeepers around this very tavern. And perhaps - just perhaps - it has invited many of its friends to join it for dinner." The storyteller tilted his head back and let out a roar of laugher. His hood feel back from his eyes and his silver skin glinted in the tavern light. He opened his grey eyes and clamped his sharp teeth together into a ferocious grin. "Perhaps you would all like to stay for dinner as well."

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