the young vindicator

I fell.

For the first time since my birth, I fell on the field.

They struck with a fury rivaled only by my own, and that of my brothers. A wound to each side of my chest, a shattered shoulder, I could feel it all - but I knew that I remained an active part of this melee. The haze had taken me, my vision was blurred, to simply recall this… darkness encroaches.

The Temple is with me, and I shall not fear.

Let sword pierce me, let axe split me, let mace break me, and I shall continue forward. I rallied with my brothers, and onward we pressed. My sword met the skull of an enemy, he fell alongside his fellows. All around me, my brothers and sisters were cutting through their ranks.

The enemy moved for Easthold, for my Hymn-Singer, for the cleric that I was sworn to protect from the day she joined me. Two bore down upon her, and it was not thought that shifted my body in front of her, it was something far deeper, something far quicker.

“THIS NAME HAS DIED HUNDREDS OF TIMES BEFORE, WORMS. WHAT IS ONE MORE?”

The words left my lips as the blades pushed through flesh and skewered me through the gut. There was no pain, only pressure. Only the cold. That cold that still lingers, that still crawls across my flesh.

A final thought passed as the darkness claimed me.

Lo, though the time is dark, my faith shines.

It was not on this plane that I met him. Even as I slipped, I could see him fading. I could hear the song of my Hymn-Singer, and so I followed.

We met through will rather than through strength. Age and the softness of the south had weakened him, years of it had robbed him of his one reason to ever exist. He was not the one meant to serve Stromgade, and so it would be over in as little as a blink.

It was not on this plane that I met him, but my final hunt was completed all the same. Now there can be no doubt - I am Tolen Steelguard, Vindicator.