Duty – Death of a Knight

It is not often we hear tales that are true, especially when it entails a death of a warrior. But this tale, is told by the dying.

It was all quite glorious in the end. One man against insurmountable odds, fighting evil forces to bring glory to his people. A name often overlooked, forgotten in the annals of time. There I stood alone, on the steps between floors of an enemy occupied tower. The fetid stench of death in my wake. The stone of the steps beneath my feet wet with the dark ichor that once flowed through my enemies veins. Gathering my strength I rushed forth onto the next floor, the enemy made aware of my presence by the death screams of their own which played harmoniously with my every feint and strike. My voice echoing in a sombre yet glorious recounting of the deeds of elves and men recorded in songs that have been passed down for generations.

I met with resistance on the threshold of the chamber, three orogs armed with halberds trying to keep my bloodthirsty blade from their throats. The first fell, providing me a glimpse of the chamber beyond where the trap had been lain. As I deflected one halberd with my shield, and another with my sword I could see the weaving of magic from a lone shaman across the room. As I shouldered one orog out of my way, driving my sword into the seconds gut to clear a path I was hit by his magics. I felt my own protective wards falling, and with greater fervor set to the task of fighting my way to the true danger across the chamber from me. As I entered the center of the room, four more shamans stepped out from behind pillars where they had remained hidden, the trap now fully evident. I pressed on, there was no turning back. I had just closed the distance between me and the first shaman when I was struck from all sides with a barrage of ghostly bolts of magic. Things grew dim, aside from my own pained screams all I could hear was a dull thudding of orcish war drums. And then, all fell silent.

Unlike past brushes with death, I did not find myself at the foot of the Judge, but instead floating in an inky blackness, void of sensations. Yet a voice spoke to me from this darkness, a voice recounting my accomplishments. It told me of things, revealed truths about myself I had refuse to acknowledge before. It spoke of my mistakes, and fed my longing to see them corrected.

It offered a way.

For a price.

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1 Response

  1. Robert D
    Now I know how that sounds, nothing good ever comes "with a price." Still, I am hesitant to suggest that the deal was not for the best in the end. See, as I began to wake, for short fleeting moments at first. It was as if I was drowning, scrambling to reach the surface for a simple breath of air. When I could find that breath I would realize that I was not truly dead, in fact while I was within the void something else was in control. Inevitably the darkness would force me beneath its murky essence once more. I could not recall much at first. I do vividly remember the scene where I first awakened. Within a shallow cave, the floor and walls lined with fresh kills. Orcs mostly, some animals. Bones were hung upon the walls with some archaic patterns that made no sense to anything I had seen in the books I had read. Memories surfaced while I was lucid, yet it took time for me to build up the strength to resist the blackness within. I could remember people, places, events. I found it difficult to hold onto control at times. I fought the blackness, but it always sought me out like a hound that had my scent. And so I masked who I was, I became someone new with each dawn that had me hovering on the brink of limbo. The voices I heard in the darkness would lend me aid, provide me clues to assert my dominance over my mind and body. I could make them out at times, murmuring mostly incoherently whilst I was awake. At times however, it was almost a symphony of clarity that helps me to survive. I shudder to think what I might have done while I slumbered in the black. I know it remains, awaiting my return. Yet for now, I remain defiant.

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