• Published 9th Jan 2019
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Twilight Queen - Voidseeker

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encounter

Encounter

Battle raged around him, wailing of the wounded and dying drowned out by the rage filled screams of their enemies and the sound of metal crashing against metal and over it all stood the stench of blood, gore and smoke as the village burned around them.

He questioned the point of it all. Their Lord had feared a peasant revolt so, he had sent them here to keep order and to punish any potential rebels. And they had done exactly that. Dozens of villagers had been dragged from their hommes and executed, but every death had only fueled discontent and brought more people over to the rebel side. Fear had worked against them and now the village was in full revolt.

The villagers were armed mostly with farming tools like pitchforks, scythes and hoes. Dressed in their ragged clothes they fought fiercely and without mercy. But most of them had already fallen to the knights’ superior strength.

But to call themselves knights would be an insult to the profession. They weren’t trained and noble warriors like their Unicornian counterparts. Most were younger sons of some noble sent to serve their Lord so, they wouldn’t cause problems for their older siblings. Other were criminals or mercenaries looking to escape punishment or justify their hunger for murder. He as well, a fifth son of a powerful noble, who wanted him out of the way. They were untrained, poorly equipped and severely lacking in morals.

He was tired. His silvery armor, that seemed more suited for a city guard whose only purpose was to stand still and look pretty, was soiled with dirt, blood and soot. The armor was in bad condition, whilst he usually kept it clean, he didn’t see a point to maintaining it properly. The armor consisted of a chest plate that did nothing to protect his neck, pouldrons that only served to get in the way, his arms were defended only by strips of cloth and leather gloves and bracelets, for his legs he had a skirt made of strips of metal that only reacted his knees, he didn’t even have shoes having to make do with poorly crafted sandals and his helmet left his ears and face unprotected.

The armor wasn’t good, but at the same time it wasn’t bad either. Despite all its many misgivings it was still a suit of armor and he could have made do, if someone had thought to give them at least somewhat decent weapons. The shields were round, covered with carvings and decorations and were about the size of dinnerplates, making them difficult to use, and nearly useless to a self-trained soldier like him. Their swords looked more like long daggers and were always dull no matter how much you sharpened them.

Most of his comrades had either brought their own weapons or stolen one from the corpses of their enemies. His own sword was something he was proud of. It was a Unicornian double-edged sword with a sharp and strong blade, handguard decorated with gems and silver, the handle was wrapped with leather, giving him a good grip, and a silvery spike served as the pommel. But it wasn’t the swords beauty that made it the pest in the company, that job was left to its enchantments. The sword would never dull or chip no matter what it hit and if he channeled his mana into the blade it would burst out in flame. He wasn’t a mage or a smith, but he knew it was far from the best the arcane forges in Golden City could produce.

He had gotten the sword when a Unicornian knight had handed it to him in some shady tavern, before picking a fight with a drunk and swiftly getting killed after the drunk pulled out a knife. He had decided to keep the blade, decision that had saved his life many times.

The battle was drawing to a close, villagers farther away from the knights were already running towards the forest at the border of the village. If it were up to him, he would have let them go, but they had their orders and he didn’t feel like dealing with some of his more zealous companions. So, he chased after them and quickly got lost.

After wondering for, what to his tired body felt like, hours, he finally reached a clearing. When his eyes adjusted to the light, he saw an unusual, but not unwelcome sight. In the middle of the clearing stood a woman. Dressed in odd clothes, that did not hide her attractive figure, she had a set of majestic wings, larger than any Valkyrie’s he had seen, and long dark purple hair, that reached past her chest. But what really caught his attention were her eyes. He had once heard that the eyes are windows to the soul and he could almost feel the power irradiating from hers. Just by looking at her, he could say that she was smart, powerful and brave, judging by the magic that began to swirl around her hands when she noticed him.

And that’s were his mind ground to a halt. “Valkyries can´t use magic. Who and what is this woman.”

But before he could get his answers the wind turned and brought an overwhelming stench of decay followed by a feeling of intents dread. He knew of only two beings who emitted an aura like that. Timberwolves, malevolent spirits of the forest, corrupted by the violence and hatred, that his homeland had become infamous for, and husks, mindless slaves of the Dark Heart, fools who sold their souls for the promises of wealth and fortune. Neither of which he wanted to meet in a dark forest or anywhere for that matter. But since the sun was still up and the sky wasn’t covered in black clouds, the most likely culprits were timberwolves.

He turned around and narrowly dodged one of the wolves, who had lunged at him. Quickly retreating to the middle of the clearing and taking up position next to the mysterious woman, he readied himself for yet another battle.