"Don't you mean who I am?" Garin asked, a puzzled frown on his face. He lowered the blanket back down to his waist.
"No, who you are from this day forward is a departure from who you were." She managed a thin-lipped smile.
"My name is Garin. What is... Where am I?"
"It is my unfortunate pleasure to meet you Garin. My name is Imyne, I look after the house of Rebirth." Before he could inquire as to what that means but she cut him off. "Please, get dressed, I took your measurements while you slept, they should fit fine. When you are ready, meet me outside. Don't disturb the others, it isn't fair to them." Imyne says.
Garin couldn't shake the feeling that something isn't right here. Regardless, he put on the clothing she gave him. True to her word, the black boots, brown pants and hooded tunic all fit perfectly. Garin felt the cloths looked like they belong in some fantasy video game or a movie set. Strange and unfamiliar from the cloths he used to wear.
As Garin rose he looked around the room. It was plain and empty of adornment for the most part, however both the longest walls of the rectangular room were lined with beds. half of the beds are occupied, half of them are empty with tidy sheets ready for use. Males and females alike sleep soundlessly within the building. He judged from their bare shoulders they too are naked, however a small bundle rests on the foot of each bed, a similar bundle of clothing just like his. A quick count reveals there are thirty beds along the walls, with a thirty-first bed beside the door.
Having spent enough time in the otherwise featureless building Garin walked to the exit, trying to keep his footfalls light on the stone floor. Upon exiting the building, it took a second to adjust his eyes to the bright sun, leaving him temporarily blinded. He held out his hand to block the stinging assault of the suns rays, judging by it's position in the sky, he slept until noon! Finally able to see, Garin peered around the foreign environment. People walk about, casting glances at him and talking in hushed tones, but nobody seems to be taking too much interest. Imyne stands out among the crowd in her white dress. Beside her stands another woman, garbed in a similar fashion as him, but with a brown skirt. All of her cloths are worn and patched in places, but not in a state of dis-repair. Red hair flows loosely to her shoulders. Imyne is first to speak.
"Garin, This is Edelinne, and she can answer all of your questions. You are in good care." She says in her usual hushed tone.
"Good." Garin proclaimed, an annoyed frown on his face. "Then what the hell is going on!"
"I like this one!" Edelinne grins. "Go on Imyne, I've got it from here."
Imyne bows and shuffles back into the house of rebirth, perching on the bed beside the door.
"Welcome to the Realm of Exesus. A little bit of a mouthful, but its what they call it." She shrugs. "As for whats going on, you are simply next in a long line of unlucky people. Living out your life when BAM! Twenty-third birthday lands you here. Nobody knows why, it just happens."
Garin frowned. "What do you mean? People just appear in the beds?" He looked back at the House of Rebirth.
"Yea. Kinda creepy. One moment the bed is empty, and the next, someones there. Imyne looks after them until they wake up."
"How long does that take?"
"Anywhere from weeks to hours. Poor thing hardly sleeps at all. Just walks the rows of beds, praying over them. Doesn't seem to do much good since they wake up in this nightmare realm regardless."
"Why does everyone keep talking like that? Unfortunate to meet me? Nightmare realm? What is going on?!"
The smile fades from Edelinne's face. "Look, there's something you need to get straight here. This 'Realm of Exesus', its going to be your death. Outside these walls..." She points broadly around her at the stone walls towering over and around the squat buildings "we are the lowest of the low. Every time you step outside those walls, you take the chance that you never return. Most new faces never make it a week."
"Why? What's out there?"
"Nightmare creatures, and hungry ones at that. You could be forgiven for thinking you walked into some fairy tale. Giant spiders with webs to match, snakes that gulp you down in minutes, hell, even the trees around here are hungry. out there... We are simply cattle ready for the slaughter."
"Then why even go? Stay here where it's safe?"
"While there may be plenty of hungry bellies out there, there is just as many in here. We can't grow enough food inside the walls, foraging for what we can. But it only takes seconds for everything to go wrong. One moment, you will be picking some blue berries and the next thing you know some beast is carrying away the person who stood beside you not seconds ago. And you can only watch." tears glisten in the corners of her eyes.
"With what?!" She matches your tone. Do you know how to mine iron without a pickaxe? Even if you did, could you build a forge and make swords, and shields with it?!"
Garin lowered his eyes. "No."
"Don't think we havn't thought of that! Don't think we havn't tried! It's a lost art! Pampered with technology we no longer have, we are all worse than useless here! Some of us have been here for years watching all our friends disappear one by one!" Her hands tighten into fists. before forcing them open again and breathing out slowly. "I'm sorry. You didn't deserve that."
Garin remained silent, examining the rocks at his feet.
"The other reason we risk the wilds is to get there." She points off into the distance where a white smudge residing on a mountain can be seen. "Some say if you can make it to the white towers of Exesus, you can go home. A tempting prospect to anyone who has been here long enough."
"Has anyone ever made it?" Garin asked, finding his voice again.
"We don't know. Some say they have, but people often laugh them off as liars. Mostly we never hear from them again." She stares off at the castle for a time before turning her attention back on Garin.
"Look, I'm here to get you on your feet as soon as possible. For now, you are only just another mouth to feed, and a liability. So it's important to get you up and about as soon as possible. The longer you stick around, the more valuable you will become. The more valuable, the less you have to venture through those gates, and the less likely you become somethings snack."
"I am Edelinne, Keeper of the Medallions. Just like Imyne, I inherited my responsibilities from the person before me, and that person the one before them. We do this with veteran survivors to prevent the loss of what little knowledge we have of Exesus. We do know they are magic of some kind, and every reborn must have one." She reaches inside her tunic and retrieves four stone medallions, threaded onto a necklace. "There is The Serpent, The Wolf, The Dragon, and The Flower. Some say this seals your fate, and shows you a glimpse of your end. Some say they bring aid when you least expect it. But everyone must choose. But before you do, know that there is a test. One I cannot prepare you for. Those who fail the test... don't last long here. But you look like a quick learner to me. So what will it be?"