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Old 12-02-2010
roguethree roguethree is offline
Legendary Hero
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 1,176
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He rode hard along the road to Sestra, he and his horse a black-and-white blur, kicking up clouds of dust that lingered and drifted lazily before finally dispersing into the breeze. His cloak billowed behind him as he stood up in his saddle, turning his shoulders down to better pierce the breeze that tried to buffet him from his perch.

The village soon came into view, its immediate sky choked with black smog and the orange glow of burning buildings. He dismounted as he approached the gates and sent the horse away. He strode through the portal, the iron of his sword hissing as he brought it forth from its sheath. Just within, a Corps guardsman sat slumped against the walls, his eyes wide and lifeless. Blood covered his hands that clutched at a sword buried deep within his chest, his lips just parted and stained red. The paladin moved on toward the village proper, his hood now concealing his features as the flames that engulfed some of the battlements cast eerie lights over his dark armor. A woman in mail of the Red Blades was in the road ahead, an arrow buried into her neck.

She choked, spitting up crimson fluid as she struggled to breathe. Her left hand held the shaft of the arrow where it entered her neck; her right was dug into the earth, her wrist bent and taut as she tried to overcome her dread.

The paladin knelt before her. His azure gaze found hers, and as she froze in his attention, he pulled her hand away from the wound. With a calm that stood arrogantly against the chaos engulfing the village, he tore the arrow free of her flesh and placed his other hand there. A soft, yellow luminescence flowed into the Blade's flesh, and she sucked in a gasp, her right hand loosing the earth as she sat upright, her arms snaking around the man's neck as she supported herself, her chest heaving with every deep breath that now came easily.

He made to stand, and as he began to drift away, her shoulders listed toward him until her clasped hands finally broke. She fell back on her elbows, her eyes fixed on the black cloak that wafted behind her dark-mailed savior.

There were no further sounds of battle. Able-bodied men and women rushed around the village, carrying bandages, pails of water, other men and women. Near the docks, a gathering of Corpsmen and adventurers watched the last of Luskan's black sails disappear on the watery horizon. The paladin looked down at his naked blade pensively, sparing a few moments' thought before sliding it back into its home at his left hip. Despite the crackling flames, despite the anxious shouts for healers and water, despite the anguished cries of the wounded, the town felt silent.

Already, the fires were falling to embers, the casualties were being counted, and healers enough were in place to tend them all. He turned back for the gate. As he neared it, the familiar Red Blade spied him and ran to pace alongside him. She leaned ahead of him, trying to peer into the depths of his cowl. The paladin turned his head to regard the woman, the sunburst in his irises shining with purpose from within the shadowed depths of his hood. As she caught his gaze, her pursuit faltered, and her feet rooted to the earth.

He offered her the smallest of smiles, his lips barely turning upward, and he returned his attention to the road before him. As he passed through the gate, the air at his right wavered and bent, soon giving way to a flawless white steed. He took the horse's bridle in hand, but he did not mount. He walked alongside the dutiful warhorse, their journey silent save for the regular, slow cadence of boots and hooves making their way along the earth.
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