He sat in the center, near the fire pit. The gathered witnesses ringed the outside of the circular room save one; Lydia, the cutters guild master, approached Marcus from behind, a small green-bladed knife in her hand. She raised the cutters implement, decorated with runes, above her head, spoke the ancient prayer. The witnesses chanted the words in response.

Marcus knew what would come next, that his soul would feel the cutting edge of that knife, that his hand would grasp the blade, slicing his palm, binding his soul to the blade through his blood sacrifice, binding him to the guild by providing him with the tool of his craft, adding him to the lineage of cutters extending back almost to the founding of Book itself, defining him and adding a new chapter to his own story and the history of the guild, but to the legacy of his father.

He welcomed the pain and the new life ahead of him.