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 Post subject: Re: The Story of Tadaos
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:55 am 
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Final Chapter

The faerie peered intently at the bodies on the ground. One he could not identify; it had been hacked to bits and blackened by lightning or fire. It could have been male or female, young or old, light or darkie. A shredded girdle and white axe lay next to it, and the silvery grey hilt of a sword was barely visible underneath the body. He knelt and tilted the stinking mass to get a better look at it. He was quite certain from its position that the body had simply fallen upon it, rather than having been run through with it. There was a single word deeply engraved into the dark blue blade:

REVENGE

All around were all the signs of a great struggle. Boot prints in the dust circled round and round, in some places they widened as the wearer had lunged, in others there were many close together where they had backpedaled. Blood lay about, clumping the dust and hanging in the air with an unmistakable smell that brought back a sudden surge of memories.

On the journey to Kael from his homeland, the faerie’s caravan had passed through a small bit of desert. The heat had been terrible, but not as bad as the dry sirocco that swept through the dunes and cracked the lips and roughened the eyes of every man in the party. The wizened old gnomes had shown him a trick to make the dryness subside. They had handed him a small copper penny, and bade him put it under his tongue. At first he was skeptical, but when several others did it, he followed suit. Immediately he began to salivate, the liquid calming his parched tongue and chalky mouth. The only drawback had been the smell…the taste…it was as if his nose and mouth were continually bleeding. It was like that here and now; he could taste the blood that had been spilt by merely breathing the air. It made him sick to his stomach.

The other figure was definitely a man. He was tall, and the faerie could feel an aura of power that radiated from his body, even while more dead than alive. He was dressed in impressive armor, rare and exquisite. A bloodied and battered angel’s sword of the heavens was clasped tightly in his hand, and the last vestiges of protective magic were fading from his body. He was covered with grievous wounds and lying in a pool of blood that must have been a quarter hand deep; had been in an intense fight. Amazingly, the shallowest of breaths still dwelt within his chest, though it was apparent that he was critically wounded, and would die soon if not aided. The faerie wondered briefly if the wounded man had been in a group, and if so if they had won or lost the fight. It shuddered inwardly realizing that to the man, drowning in his own blood, it didn’t matter.

Looking more closely, the faerie could see the signs indicating that the dying man was from Tier, a sworn enemy of Kael…In fact the faerie recognized him (though just barely; he was burned and slashed far too badly to have an easy time of it) as Duke Tadaos. According to the rumors, he had murdered hundreds of innocent Kaelians. The faerie had always had doubts as to the truth of the rumors that he had sometimes heard about Tierians (he was certain they didn’t eat babies), but he would be damned if the illusionist would live to kill again. He loosed his sword in the sheath and readied himself for the death blow. He’d never killed anyone before, and he tried to prepare himself mentally. He carefully placed the tip of his sword in the crack between the illusionist’s breastplate and helm, positioning it so that he could end it all quickly, even with his limited strength. As the blade slid into Tadaos’ neck, the faerie once again found himself thinking of his childhood in a grove far from the empire of Kael.

He’d had a toy there, a small wooden knight, which had been passed down amongst the faeries in his family for generations, and he had played with endlessly as a child. In his fantasies, the knight had killed Tierian legions with ferocity unmatched. It had slain warriors like the mighty bard Sirix, hunted down the elusive ranger Legolas, and out maneuvered Zidane, the best knight in the land. It had killed with an intensity that had emblazoned him in the faerie’s mind as the epitome of honor and valor.

As the breath slipped from Tadaos for the last time, the faerie felt no honor. It was his first act of war, and instead of bringing him the honor and glory he had always secretly dreamt of, he only felt sad and alone, and he wanted to go home.

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Hobbie
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