Scourgelady (melee offence officer)
Joined: 17 Oct 2007
|Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 4:29 am Post subject: The Light of Dawn
|A thousand voices screamed at the edge of hearing, begging, cajoling, half-understood words blurring and easing together into a wall of sound. Seja found herself to be screaming too, and then she stopped, wondering why. There was no need to scream, everything was fine now. The King would see to that. The blackness before her eyes seemed to swirl and shift a little and she saw a small village, a collection of red roofed buildings amidst endless green fields under a sky as blue as any she had ever seen. Home.
The voices were fading now, along with the vision, blurring as if seen through a window on a rainy day. Two voices grew louder however, seeming to argue, first one and then the other raising in volume. Seja wondered why they did not scream like the others. Curious.
“Well, looks like this is another one of them, by the tabard she’s wearing. But she’s a she. Death Knights take women now?”
“They take anything, provided it’s dead. Say what you like about the Scourge, at least they’re an equal opportunities employer.”
“This one ain’t dead though, look. She’s breathing.”
The voices faded away again, and the screams returned, but these were screams of adulation, adoration. The crowds pressed against her on all sides in the cramped stands, but on the tourney field a young knight with straw coloured hair rode his victory lap before saluting the royal box where an old man with an iron crown looked on with pride. The knight turned again and looked straight at her and she knew, knew that he had seen her. She screamed then with the others, screaming one name over and over. His name.
“We can end that soon enough. Hear that name she’s whispering?”
“Uther’s beard … they just don’t give it up do they? Quick, let’s slit her throat and get out of here before she wakes up and does for us.”
Seja wondered who the voices were talking about, but they were drowned out by the thunder of hooves. She saw them again as they crested the hill. Armour as golden as the sun itself, they swept down the slope as a wall of gilded steel and smashed into their foes. Leading the van was the mightiest of them all, his grey beard belying his strength as he laid about him with his war hammer, the silver hand on his tabard clenched as if to grasp victory itself. As quickly as the scene had come, it blurred again, and this time an ashen sky swam into view. Two men in mail towered above her, but they were looking to a third, reined up on a great warhorse. A silver hand decorated his surcoat.
“Forgive us, milord, we were merely … checking. Just in case, if you get me. Can’t be too careful, you know, especially after …” His voice trailed off. The other man spoke up, “She was saying his name, milord. That’s not good.”
The man on the horse said nothing for a few moments, but turned his gaze down to her as if deep in thought. He dismounted in a swirl of blue silk and glittering steel, before handing the reins to one of the two footmen. He waved a hand in dismissal and they walked off a dozen paces or so, passing out of Seja’s field of vision. Kneeling down beside her, he drew back his hood. Receding grey hair and a beard that was more salt than pepper decorated a face that, though weather-beaten, was kindly enough. Seja opened her mouth and managed to whisper a name.
The man looked up towards the other two soldiers. “That does not seem to be the kind of name I would consider suspicious to utter.” He looked down at her again and smiled sadly, “No, girl, I am not the Lightbringer. His strength left this world years ago, and we are the poorer for it. You however seem to be still with us, at least for the present.” He reached towards her with a gloved hand and Seja felt a pressure on her fingers. “Squeeze my hand if you can understand me.”
Seja blinked slowly. ‘Her’ hand? Nothing was hers, not her body at least. It was just a tool, a living extension of the King’s will. Her mind? Yes, maybe that was still her own, a prisoner behind walls of flesh that no longer obeyed her. But the King’s voice was gone, as was … hers. Yes, she was gone too. That terrible scream, that must have been her. Seja twitched a little, and became more conscious of her surroundings. Cold, grey, damp. That was it. No, wet. A chilly, slimy dampness on her skin. She remembered the knight’s hand suddenly, and tried to move her fingers. She screwed up her face with the effort, before remembering that she didn’t know how to. The man must have seen her expression then, as he smiled and spoke softly as if to himself.
“So there’s a person in there after all, eh? My men will be glad to hear it.” He looked up at the two soldiers standing nervously off to one side. He spoke up, a little more loudly, “They’ve been seeing mindless ghouls in pretty much everything since the battle. So I guess I can forgive this momentary lapse of theirs, provided it does not happen again.” The two men seemed to relax a little at that. He looked back at her. “Now then, girl, do you have a name?” Seja tried to reply, but no sound came from between her chapped lips. Instead she coughed raggedly and retched up a gob of blood-filled spit, before falling back into the puddle in which she lay. The old man’s eyes filled with pity as he uncorked a leathern flask at his side and held it to her lips. It was plain water, but cool, yet to her it was the sweetest thing she had ever tasted, and she drank eagerly until she threw up on herself. The paladin gently wiped her face clean with the end of his cloak, not seeming to mind at the state this left it in. Seja cleared her throat and tried again.
“Who are you?”
The old man did not reply at first but got back to his feet. He addressed the two soldiers quietly, “Have some medics with a stretcher take this one back to the Chapel. She needs to be seen to by those who can heal the living.” He remounted his horse and looked down at her one last time. “Those who follow me call me Highlord, but to one who knew the Lightbringer, I suppose we need not stand on such ceremony.
You may call me Tirion.”