It felt like a lifetime had passed since I’d last been in Ardeni Dreus. I stepped from the unassuming building Zander used as a portal, and onto a backstreet of the greatest city in the world. The majesty of the city still wowed me, but the excitement wasn’t as great as the first time I’d been there. I looked down the road, and saw Prestira’s bar at the corner. It was shuttered and locked, the windows broken, and the sign torn down. People passed me without even noticing me, their faces downcast and haggard. I hadn’t realized the first time I was here that Prestira had lived in a slum. I was so struck by the city around me that I hadn’t recognized destitution, but I saw it now. Ardeni Dreus was a great city, but there was a hopelessness within it that did not exist in Alkandra. There was fear in Alkandra, there was rage, heartbreak, and sorrow, but there was not despair and misery. The world had its evils, and I preferred them to be painful rather than numb. I planted my feet onto the cobblestones, and shot into the sky.