Helm’s Chosen

The wind blew through the trees creating its night time song. The subtle hint of winters touch evident but not yet dominate. The two figures huddled on bent mounts riding against the wind wrapped their cloaks tighter about them. The night shadows created by the torch light cast their deceptive shapes about them causing one to slip his hand to his sword.

"Keep a wary eye out Card.”, the older of the two remarked.

Card merely nodded to him his eyes forward on the road ahead. The torches they carried casting a paltry light as he watched for danger. Bandits did not often venture out this late in the season but it was always wise to be cautious.

Meuron as the man next to him was called shifted in his saddle peering into the dark. He did not like travelling at night, but the need was dire. Wrapped and placed in sealed bags were precious healing potions and scrolls being sent from the local temple to a village where a mysterious illness has occurred. This cargo was locked in a chest that swayed with the steps of the pack animal that carried it behind them.

Meuron glanced at the boy beside him noticing his intent gaze. Always serious this one, he thought resuming his vigil. How often boys his age would busy themselves with play but the local priests mentioned he was special somehow. The Priest at the temple insisted that Card go with him on his journey to the village saying that his God had demanded it.

He snorted in his beard in annoyance. What did priests know besides the coin they collect from the poor? He had reluctantly agreed but only because he knew Card. Knew him since he was first found by one of the Priests at Temple of Helm. He always respected them for taking the boy in but didn’t like how they made him clean and work to earn his keep. He was sure they were not happy that the boy was not interested in becoming one of them as a Priest, and that secretly pleased Meuron.

He wasn’t a big one for Gods and their ways and thought a man should rely on himself rather than be weak and lean on a God that does not answer. What have they ever done for him any way? They certainly didn’t care about his daughter who had taken ill, or was it he was to proud to ask them? Card was a good lad though he thought. Although he wasn’t a Priest, Card had come to his home as he often did but this time with strange purpose in his eyes. He had gone into his daughter’s room ignoring any calls he had made to him. By the time Meuron had entered her room they both were sitting up laughing and talking.

The excitement of seeing his daughter up and well caused him to forget or make the connection at that time between Card’s arrival. It wasn’t until later when he related the story to the Priest at the temple that things were made clear. Card had somehow healed his daughter! The Priest seemed excited by the story and rushed off to find the High Priest. Card was to be a ‘Sword’ of the church and take up the mantle of Holy Warrior for his God Helm he later learned.

And now ten years later that boy had become a man and a Paladin of Helm in his own right.  After this cargo run Card was assigned by the church to aid the Queen to the south, and the ongoing war.  A sadness touched his face as he regarded Card.  The things he will face and see.  Will he be strong enough to stay the as he is now, and not let the darkness that is rumored to the south overtake him?

Helm protect and keep him...

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