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Old 08-17-2011
roguethree roguethree is offline
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Location: Illinois
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Wrath, Deception, Part I

"I needed you . . . and you came."
The paladin sat, armor and all, in the temple's mess hall. Several torches and fonts of light kept the room always well-lit, chasing shadows into nooks and corners beneath furniture and behind tapestries. The mess saw use at all hours of the day, and right now, newcomer Trevor Lecarde was its master, cooking furiously to feed fifty men on an almost daily basis.

The man was rough of speech, like so many of the peasants that had visited his parents' land in Cormyr, asking for work or shelter. He blinked away the thought; the food was actually good, subtly seasoned. The knights and priests wouldn't be sure what to make of it.

"Y' know, ne'er seein' you smile, 'er, 'igh Adjudicator. Kids loo' up at ya. Ya ough' a take time t' live."

Dain was silent for a few moments, digesting the man's speech as he slowly chewed a morsel of chicken.

"I doubt I have many years left, and they'll be spent in duty."

"Duty," the makeshift chef replied, "ain' all marchin' an' killin'. Ya got a duty wit' all those folk 'at admire ya.' Ya gotta show 'em 'ow t' live. 'Ow ol' are ya?"

"I'm twenty-six."

"Twenty-six," the man echoed, "I coul' tell by the look in yer eye ya' seen things men ain' shoul' be seein'. 'Sa hard lo'." The man took a few moments of quiet to tend one of his many pans of simmering food; the smell of actual spice slipped through the cracks under doors and in stone and breezed through the temple; knights were breaking off prayer and trickling into the mess hall. "If ya' 'ad one month, jus' one month, what'd ya do wit' it?"

The paladin pushed his plate away and rose from his chair. "Your advice is noted. Gratitude for the meal."

He left the table, the mess hall, passing a dozen or so meal-bound knights in the Triad's usually sparse corridors. They looked excited, eager, and their boots lent a feeling of activity to solemn chambers. He passed them all, his right hand clenched over his heart; they hastily saluted in return, hardly slowing on the pressing errand of the stomach.

He found his way outside. Moments after he inhaled the unseasoned air, the bland texture of the city's breath offending a tongue that still thought of food, someone's voice found his mind.

"Dain . . . Emiliana. Ruby's outside my room. Please come if you can."

Emiliana's room was literally a stone's throw away. He didn't run to the Sundren Comfort; he walked, purposefully, with the same eagerness that had driven his knights toward dinner, with the same expectation of fulfillment that well-cared for food offered a grieving stomach. He stepped easily into the inn, offering the attending clerk a quiet smile as he turned for the steps upstairs. He mounted them without haste.

He arrived upstairs, his armored boots sending hollow echoes through the empty hallway that bore the entrances into the private lives of notable Sundarians. He stepped onto fine carpet, its soft texture muffling his footsteps as the steely hiss of a sword leaving its scabbard slithered into the air and faded. She was there, speaking something toward Emiliana's doorjamb.

"Evening," the paladin's smoldering tone greeted.

The crimson-haired vampiress, in full armor and wicked in her decadent smile, turned to face the paladin. She gently stroked the surface of Emiliana's door with gloved fingertips. "We'll talk later; it looks like I need to leave."

She clutched the holy symbol - the homage to the Blood God - that hung over her breast, and red light glowed between the cracks in her fingers. She smiled playfully at the paladin, one brow twitching in a sensual taunt as the magic in her amulet took shape to spirit her away.

Two steps and he was upon her, his sword arcing in with wrath and purpose. For her part, she looked surprised, betrayed, and as the searing of righteous divinity marred her flesh and made her cry out, she ran. She brushed past the paladin that wouldn't allow peaceful escape; she sprinted for the stairs, for the door, for the moon out over city streets.

Her cloak billowed out behind her, and he caught it in hand. He planted his feet and threw his hips back, jerking the vampiress off her feet. Two more steps again had him upon her, and stood on her throat when he drove his blade through her breast. Her unholy flesh gave way to mist, and she glided out of the inn, into Sundren's darkness, bound for home.

He sheathed his sword and found Emiliana's door, striking the wood three times with a single knuckle in the same cadence he always used for this particular portal. She eased open the wooden barrier and looked upon him, her features comely and soft in the evening's torchlight.
"I needed you . . . and you came."

She stepped out into the hallway and set her hand upon her door.

"I did." His gold-flecked eyes fell upon her hand, and a tempest swelled in his breast. Her eyes were upon him, he knew, and he closed his own, rolling them aside so that they'd miss her when he opened them again.

"Goodnight, Emiliana." Long strides bore him with desperate haste from the inn, out into the Sundarian night. He breathed its bitter air deeply, using its blandness to subdue the storm driving against his breast. He looked up behind him, to the high windows that overlooked the street. Demure luminance in her chamber cast her silhouette over the drawn curtains, and he clutched at the neck of his armor, as if breath might come more steadily if only he had a bit more room.

He tore himself from the inn, from the city, to the long road toward Aquor, and further north.

Last edited by roguethree; 01-04-2012 at 01:16 AM.
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