The new day’s sun cresting over the hills awoke him with cheer. Despite its completely open and visible surroundings on the peak of a lush hill, his campsite along the stomped-in road meant that the light reached him as early as possible so he could continue his journey for as long as possible. Yet, the logistics weren’t main reason he had stopped here, it was far more important to him to feel the warm kiss of light once again.
Stretching out his bare form, he rose only far enough to be able to prostrate to the dawn. “Silena, Light of the World, bless me with your grace so that I may carry your banner…”, his daily devotion began, and it was soon rewarded by the tightness fleeing from his legs and a surge of strength into his chest.
“Rise, my sentinel. Receive my will and bring my Light to those who need it.” The reply rang in his soul without spoken word as he stood. It told him many things; that the Divinity which gave him purpose was concerned. That whatever charge she was about to bestow on him would be both brutal and necessary. Yet perhaps most important of all, Silena’s decree told Tolomir that she trusted no one else. “I am your shield and sword, most divine Light.”
“A plague of unholy nature has taken the village of Barthselhiem, draining my Light and afflicting the people. Cleanse this scourge in my name!” The order was given, causing his muscles to pulse with energy and his fists to tighten. “You will is my purpose, Divine one. It will be done.” And though his benefactor spoke no more as she rose higher into the sky, Tolomir smiled at the sight of such a gift caressing the horizon. He buried his firepit from the previous night and gathered the small pack that also served as his pillow before he continued on the northward path.
Tolomir knew Barthselhiem well, for the commerce village was well-traveled by many. For anything to take hold over it would require an impressive force of men and steel. This told him that whatever was there now must have been powerful. “A deep unholiness…no mortal needs to know that deep a pain. I only hope I arrive in a time of her satisfaction…” Unless Silena blessed him with haste, it would be a full day’s travel just to get there.
Thankfully, as befit the giver of Light to the world, the Divine was not as patient as her kin, so Tolomir felt no exhaustion as he ran. No pain dared strike his feet and his heart had been commanded to keep him true. Over the Broken Stones that marked the border of two nations that did not concern him, Tolomir’s pace was true. Silena’s radiance bathed him in full at the midday as he sprinted across open Wildlands, causing any beast in his path to make way for him, though many glared in hungered fury as he passed.
Only when reaching the Diamond’s Road did he encounter another person, a figure walking the opposite direction. Tolomir could not see their face, for the person was cloaked in plate and wore their helmet down, but the chill of death that flowed from them made Tolomir’s steps slow to a stop. To delay his travel risked Silena’s ire, of which no mortal should ever beg for. Yet, as her champion, Tolomir knew full well when he encountered one who had forsaken or blasphemed the name of the Light.
So, this is something I’ve recently been chomping on, and it’s a lot different than the normal flyboys and machinery I’ve done before. Hard fantasy has always been a genre I’ve enjoyed, but never fully acclimated to. So let’s see where this goes.
I hope you all enjoy.