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 How a lilly withers

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Alfos
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PostSubject: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:24 am

((Some of you may be familiar with Ishsah, the Herald of the Legion, on the Alliance side. Ish has been a villain on the ally side for years, almost since the start of the server and has done a great job being the "bad guy" for the Knights of Lordaeron (but not only them). In any case, on Friday night Ish and Alfos had yet another rundown, although this time it was arranged OOC. This is a detailed account of what happened.

Before I leave you to the story itself, I want to explain two things. First, this is my first attempt to write something on a present tense. The idea is to give the whole thing a more immediate and tragic feeling. Second, there are some references in the text that can only make sense if one has read Alfos' story (link). It's a long read so I don't expect people to read it but it's there for anyone interested)).



Death...

The air is thick and heavy with the stench of it, making breething an effort. The trees, the grass, even the stones of the buildings look rotten, decayed, dead. He looks around, desperetly searching for any kind of life, a simple breath of bright color to give him hope.

He finds none.

Fear suddenly covers his senses and he reaches out with his mind to find Dreamwalker's thoughts, hoping that at least his trusted companion is with him, ready to bring him hope, even if only through waking dreams.

There are no dreams in this place. Only Nightmares.

His heart sinks. Voices in the wind whisper now, taunting him, mocking him.
You are alone they say, You have failed. Distant mourning can be heard, cries for help from every soul that ever walked on the once green land of Hillsbrad. You have failed the whispers repeat, again and again until he winces. He walks on, trying to ignore the lack of life around him but his feet are heavy and his heart is low. If only the whispers would stop, he thinks...

"Like what I've done with the place?"

The mocking voice brings back his focus. In his despair he finds enough courage to speak.

"Is..Is this real, Ishsah? Or is it another one of your tricks?"

"It is one of many realities, Alfos". Her voice is filled with arrogance and mock. "One I find rather pleasant. What better place to have you fall than the world you failed to protect?" Her words are dripping with poison.

Hatred spreads inside of him like fire and he raises his eyes, narrowed and filled with anger. She just stands there, leaning on the rotten doorstep of the Order's home, her arms folded on her chest casually but her mechanical eye glitters with taunt. His body trembling with hate, he pictures her dead, her limbs severed and her insides spilled to the floor, her tainted blood covering his face...He almost lunges forward, screaming. But no. If he does that, she wins. He draws a deep breath and lets his hand get steady again.

"Failed?" he says and his voice is clear now, as is his duty. "You said it yourself, Herald. This isn't the real world. Besides..." his hand moves towards the hilt of his sword. It trembles in his hand and a soft growl is heard from the blade. "...I am not dead yet". Lighting cracks from the hilt to the tip of the sword as he whispers a prayer.

A wicked grin covers her face and she takes out her axe, the unholy runes on the blade covered in life-sucking ice.

"Not yet..." she says and brings the axe over her head, ready to strike if he moves closer. She doesn't charge he thinks and then he knows why.

A foul cry echoes in the dead of the world around him, as a corpse sprouts from the ground, dirt and stones falling to the side as the undead creature leaps from its grave straight to him. But he expects a trap. Stepping back, he swipes with his sword, just before the ghoul lands, rotted flesh being torn and scorched from the blade. The ghoul stambles as it lands but does not stop, despite the gap on its side. With a growl it lunches towards him again.

A single word is heard, as his left hand points towards the unholy creature. Golden light lunches forward and strikes the ghoul. The creature stops and its questioning eyes soon receive an answer. Light shines between its rotten flesh and a few seconds later, nothing but ashes and a stench of burned flesh remains. Not giving himself time to congratulate himself, he turns to the Herald.

"Is that it? I expected a trick, Ishsah but if that's all you have prepared..."

Her one normal eye glitters with anger but only for a moment. She smiles ironically and then starts screaming commands in a language that was not supposed to be spoken by mortals, raising her hands in a commanding jesture. The ground beneeth him starts to tremble and he steps back, his sword at the ready and his face frowned and alarmed.

A hand creeps from the ground and starts pushing up, then another one, a few meters away. The ground is pushed aside as a ghoul appears. Then another follows and another and another, the earth in Hillsbrad's courtyard giving up her dead seeds to be riped by the Herald's will until nothing around him remains but the rotten faces of the dead, looking at him with a craving for blood and life.

The Herald extends her hand, palm down. Then makes a fist.

The first line died fast. The Lionheart roared as it slashed and cut all around him, golden lightning cracking as a thunderous roar was heard. The others hesitate but only for a moment. Dying again was a blessing compared to what the Herald had promised to do to their souls if they failed. Hissing and spitting, they charge at him.

He ducks as a clawed hand aimed for his head then, with a spin, he slices at one's legs behind him. Sensing an assault from the left side, he raises his elbow and a pained growl is heard after the cracking of a ghoul's teeth breaking on the strong plate. Feeling covered from that side, at least for a while, he turns to his right and thrusts with both hands, piercing through the neck of another attacker. But it is a mistake. The toothless ghoul behind him grabbs his shoulder plate and pulls it, just enough for another to come and bite his exposed neck. He screams and faulters. More fall on him now, some grabbing his armor and others clawing or biting wherever they find flesh. Pain covers his senses and he can barely feel the warm blood staining his shirt under the armor. He stops struggling and the Herald looks up, a grin lining up on her ivory face. But it is quickly wiped off. A roaring moan is heard, mixed with words of a prayer that make her unholy spirit tremble, even if it is for a moment. She can see light coming from somewhere between the piled bodies and suddenly the ghouls jump back, screaming. Their flesh hisses as it burns and they seem helpless for some seconds. For most of them, it was their last. For the rest, it was almost the last. A few seconds later he stands alone in the field.

"Disappointing..." she says but they both know better. They were never supposed to kill him. Oh, she wouldn't complain if they had. But they served their purpose. He knows it. He has strained his strength too much already and he hadn't even managed a swing against her. He tries hard to persuade himself not to pray for his wounds. He will need his strength if his plan is to work and he needs her to be near him, touch him.

"Any more?" he taunts. Her good eye narrows and the other focuses on him. Without a word, she brings her axe to a ready stance and walks down the stairs. Cautiously, she cycles around him, weighing him. He is nothing she says to herself and he is wounded. My victory will be swift. My Master will be pleased. She tries a swing but the Lionhear parries in reply. He does not try to take the initiative and she is angered. With a cry of hatred, she lunges forward.

Thunder and ice merge as the blades meet, again and again. Axe and sword try to penetrate the other's defences but every time the other parries. Her strikes are swift and accurate but her anger and hatred deprive her of control and the Paladin is always prepared. The more she continues to fail to land a strike, the more she is angered. She channels her rage around her and the ground beneath them becomes red as boiling blood comes out. His plated boots heat up and his feet start to ache. Walking becomes difficult and he is sure he will have to miss a parry if it keeps up. Growling between his teeth for being forced to use more of his power, he whispers a prayer. Veins of golden light are carved to the ground around him and the blood hisses and is consumed.

She curses in her language and a bolt of dark energy covers him. His body weakens and the sword feels heavy, so he barely manages to parry a swing aiming at his head. Moaning with the effort and still pressing against the axe with his right hand, he extends the other and golden fire leeps from it and strikes her in the torso. But she is no ghoul... She grinds her teeth and keeps the pressure on, growling at him with hate. With a cry, he pushes her axe to the side with his sword, and aims a kick with his heavy boots. She falls back, moaning as her head hits the ground.

And, finally, the world around him changes.

Light creeps back and the familiar smell of the Hillsbrad crops fill his nostrils. He breeths in heavily, his eyes feasting on the color of the world as if it was the first time. It is Hillsbrad. It is home.

"Your magic is failing, Herald! Look! We are back on my world, now! No more tricks!" He dares to hope. He thinks about using the rest of his power to heal his wounds and bring strength to his weakened body. Yes... Perhaps here it could work. Perhaps here he could defeat her.

"Perhaps" is not enough. He must protect them and a "perhaps" is not good enough. He -will- protect them and he knows only one way to do that. She looks at her and lowers his weapon until she is back on her feet.

"You are a fool, old-man" she says grinning with arrogance. "I was down. You should not throw what feeble chance you have away".

"If I had striken you, Ishsah" he replies calmly "I would not be me. Killing you isn't worth losing myself".

"Then I hope dying is!" she screams and lunges anew.

He steps back, shocked by the ferocity and speed of the attacks. He barely manages to protect himself. In the backround he can hear voices and cries of the Knights but he doesn't have the luxury of paying attention. She is too fast. She is too strong.

There is nothing special about the last stroke. It's a swing, aiming at his hand, like many before it. But this time, he missed it, it is as simple as that. The axe crashes through his shoulder plate and with a cry he falls to the ground, the Lionheart dropping to the side.

I remember this... he thinks and he knows what comes next. Only this time, the blade won't stop at the torso.

He is on his back, his breath heavy and sharp. He moves for his sword, only to see it kicked away by the demon. A cry leaves his lips. He closes his eyes and, for a moment it looks as if he smiles. It will happen as he had hoped...

"I see now, Ishsah... What you miss... You make nothing and bring forth nothing because you are nothing. A pet. A puppet, with no cause or respect for anything".

She ignores him and raises her axe. It lands with force on his chest, the armor giving in under the blade. He coughs blood but with his last strength he grabs the axe, opens his eyes and looks straight into hers.

"I was always one to share, Ishsah... And now I share this with you. My own Cause, my own Respect. Take that too, as you take my life. Take it and love it, hate it....Fear it!"

Her eyes widen as his close. The last thing he sees is a blue lilly blooming on the countryside of Lordaeron, the smell of cinamon and roses filling his nostrils.

His breath stops with a soft sigh, the smile still engraved on his face in his last moment.
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Roéd
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:57 am

((Epic story Alfie! *dries a tear* You realy wrote an amazing battle scene here!))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 12:28 pm

((That was a very well written battle scene! In my own writing, that's one of my weaknesses, so you've got all the more respect from me. Keep it up! Smile ))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:13 pm

((Wonderful as always. Battle scenes are always tough to write, you pulled it off well.))
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Skulleater
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 1:54 pm

(( Alfos...are you...dead?!? ))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:13 pm

((Only slightly Razz))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:17 pm

(( This....this can't happen?!? WHY?!? ))
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Alfos
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 2:52 pm

((Well, various reasons really. His age, among other things as well as some IC...ideas he had. Hey, if nothing else, there's a reason for a peaceful cross-faction RP event Smile ))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:03 pm

(( God, do it! Also, you quit or have a new main or wha'? D: ))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 4:52 pm

((Name and appearance change. Name's Naspyroxx. I'll post about the event here when it is arranged, which will happen when I find a suitable place))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:00 pm

(( I am going to hunt you down Alfos...and when I do...I want you to duel Tizarash!"))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:13 pm

Skulleater wrote:
(( I am going to hunt you down Alfos...and when I do...I want you to duel Tizarash!"))

(( Who? :p Also, grandly written Alfos. Was glad to be there to see it. Well, part of it. ))
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Iselinn
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:41 am

((This was such a great event, from the beginning of the joifull party, to the oh so scary and sad, bitter end at HQ. Alfos' death has shaken all the Knights, and the whole event was so good that me and a few other guildies ( dont worry I wont tell on you), was drying real tears at some point there (I prefer to blame the opera I listened to at the time ;p). So all you involved from the party to the end; thanks for a great event, wich will be remember by alot of people for a long, long time. On a mote serious note, Alf... Who will inherit the house? *straightens halo, looking oh so innocent*))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:28 am

((The house goes to Riat, of course, but considering we're getting our asses kicked out in Cata, I'd say that the whole thing will just be another reason for him to be grumpy about.

In any case, I have some screenies from that night. I missed quite a few interesting moments, mainly because I had to type and fight during most of the time, but enjoy what I have Smile


Edit: NOOOOO, I just realized I could have FRAPSed the whole thing then edit it...Damn it!!!!!!! ))



Ishsah crushes the party





The Herald's twisted Hillsbrad





Meeting at the defiled HQ







The battle...














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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:22 pm

(( There will be a memorial held for Alfos and a chance for final goodbyes from everyone. Why not make it cross faction indeed, but we will surely have to keep it out of battle! Or else we'll have to make a song that bards will sing later about "The bloody Funeral"....

The date for the memorial will be informed here so anyone can come participate if they want.

I already thanked our own guildians about this event on our own forums but in case there's others reading this who participated, thank you for you all. It was made into a super epic scene and I'm just glad to see such willingess to participate from everyone. Smile

I would like to hear anyone in the party or afterwards pursuing Ishsah to write something too. It would be grand to hear your characters points of view. ))
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Mon Oct 25, 2010 11:42 pm

((I felt inspired by Hollys wish and thought I’d try and see if I could get down some words about how Iselinn experienced the whole thing. I usually never write fiction, and especially not in English, so excuse my typos and poor English. Also, it’s already been a while since this happened, and as I have the memory of a goldfish, I can’t remember the details about who said and did what anymore. But this is at least how I remember it in Iselinns point of view))

Iselinn looked around at all the beautifully dressed people around her. There were many fashionable dresses and suits, some from tailors she knew, and even a few of her own designs. It was not often she got to see her male friends in formal clothes, and she enjoyed every minute of it with a mischievous smile on her face. A party like this was just what people needed, she thought to herself. The last months had been quite dark in the aftermaths of several attacks on the Knights, but she shook her head quickly. She would not allow herself to think about such things tonight. Tonight was a well earned break for them all. She drew in the fresh air of Darnassus, and smiled again as she heard the laughter and excited voices of her friends. Some of them held a drink in their hands. Looking at the wine and ale made the insides of her mouth feel dry. Again she shook her head and bit down on the inside of her bottom lip. Iselinn straightened herself up and reminded herself that with alcohol in the blood, she was an even worse mage than she already was from before. She let out a small breath of relief as her friend Sadine came towards her and pulled her out of her thoughts. The lovely, dark haired woman smiled as she came closer and while they exchanged some words, Iselinn thought about how happy she was that Sadine had joined her orders ranks. Iselinn could not help the tailor inside of her, and measured the young woman up and down approvingly. She had never seen Sadine in a dress before, and just as her mind was about to wander into what parts of her new fall-line would fit her friend, and other more work-like thoughts - something else stole her attention.

Iselinn froze. She heard the demons voice long before she dared to look up to face her. The demon called out for Alfos, and Iselinns eyes searched for the old man she held so dear. He was walking heavily to meet the foul creature that had been haunting Iselinns dreams since she first met her, many years ago. If it even was a “her”… Iselinn swallowed and felt fear taking her over. Her hands shook like leaves in the wind and she tried to steady them by folding them in front of herself. Sadine must have noticed the change in her. She kindly put a comforting hand to Iselinn’s shoulder as she moved herself beside Iselinn to watch. The crowd of nicely dressed people was staring at the vicious demon in her nightelf form. With the well known evil grin on her face, a fully armed Ishsah looked over her now quite vulnerable audience. Some of the men were fortunately wearing armor, while others rushed away and returned in their gear with weapons held high.

The situation was tense, and as the demon started talking, there more tense it got. Iselinn looked at the whole situation as if she couldn’t believe it. She knew Ishsah had been looking for Alfos for quite some time now, and once she had even found him. That much Calahan and Sadine had told her. But the demon had escaped that time. So why was she here now? And in such a public place… Iselinn forced her attention back to the scene taking place infront of her. Alfos stood in front, looking Ishsah right in the eye while other brave men stood ready right behind him. Tiaraszh, Kryptman, Elkan and Helfdane. Erethorn and Langlam behind them again. What in the world was Ishsah plotting? Surely she could not defeat so many, not to mention the ones that doesn’t need weapons or platemail to cause harm.
The answer to this question left Iselinn sick. It was like a punch to her gut. Ishsah challenged Alfos to a duel. She felt panic rising in her, for she knew Alfos would accept. Flashes of horrifying memories flew through her head. Images of blood pumping out from a slash in someones neck. Lifeless bodies bruised to the point where it doesn’t even look real. She looked at Alfos, and screamed out a “No!” as he agreed to Ishsah’s challenge. People were shouting, discussing with anger while trying to convince Alfos to not go through with such a thing, but the old man was as stubborn as always. Iselinn could not remember when she had started crying, she didn’t even notice until Sadine turned her and wrapped her arms around her. Iselinn wept silently into Sadines neck and returned her embrace, thankful for her friends comfort.
Ishsah left, and the people around them started discussing loudly, but Alfos stood his ground. After a while the group reluctantly accepted what was about to happen.

Alfos was now exchanging quiet words with Holly, and although Iselinn was far from close enough to hear anything, it was quite clear from Hollys worried expression what was being said.

And then he mounted his horse. Iselinn felt dizzy. She wanted to shout after him, wanted to hug him and tell him that even though she on so many occasions had snapped at him for sternly telling her how to act and dress, she had always deep down appreciated it because she knew he had always meant it well. She had imagined that it was the way a father would talk to a stubborn daughter, and since the Knights were the only family she had, Alfos naturally fit the role as the father of their order. Iselinn had always giggled while thinking about this, but not now. He was about to ride away, and she might never see him again… She bit her tongue for thinking like this. This was Alfos, for lights sake! Of course he would beat that demon. Of course he would… And she was not going to jinx it all by telling him all this… What kind of message would that imply? That she had no faith in him. Of course she had faith in him. No, she would not stop him to bother her with her childishness.
But he is old now…” said a small voice far back in her consciousness.
Alfos started riding, and Iselinn felt her heart sink in her chest. She looked to her feet, she couldn’t bear the thought of watching his back as he rode away.
“Iselinn”. The hooves of his horse stopped. Iselinn looked up at Alfos, he smiled at her.
“Be always as beautiful as you are today”. Iselinn felt her eyes well over as she smiled as bravely as she managed.

Everything after this remained like a blur for Iselinn, but she obediently opened a portal when it was asked. It had been decided that although they would not interfere in the duel and vandalize Alfos’ honor, they sure as hell intended to be there to support, and to not let the demon slip away, should the unspeakable happen.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Iselinn embraced herself as she looked around the now very busy town hall of their headquarters. People was talking worriedly and rushing back and forth. She felt cold since she had not had any time to change before they hurried to Hillsbrad. Some people were sitting down, peering at the floor with a blank expression in their eyes. Others paced back and forth and threw an order here and there. Some people returned from scouting the area, but all of them reported the same. No sign of Alfos, but definite signs of a combat. The word had traveled fast, and a few new faces had shown up. People who knew Alfos, and even some who only knew him by rumor. Some of these people voiced their opinions on how foolish they saw the whole thing, but they were quickly shut up by Tiaraszh’s razor-sharp tongue. Iselinn smiled and looked at the death knight appreciatively. She had though him to be intimidating enough when he was alive, and she easily sympathized with the two men Tiaraszh was busy scolding. Sardred, one of them, sent Iselinn an apologizing look as he realized they had tread over a line, but before she could react to him, a shouting was heard from outside.

“THEY’RE HERE!”

All heads turned to the door, and a split second later, everyone ran towards it, pushing eachother to get outside. Iselinn gasped as she saw Alfos and Ishsah fighting on the steps of their head quarters. Most people were armed, and stood ready. It was easy to see that it cost a lot from most of them to not join in. People were shouting, but Alfos and Ishsah kept their eyes firmly on eachother. It looked like they had been fighting for a while and Iselinn could barely keep up with the battle. After a while Iselinn’s eyes widened in fear as Ishsah delivered the final blow. The world stood still for a moment, and Iselinn could have sworn she saw a hint of a smile on Alfos’ lips before his face lay completely expressionless against the cold stone. Langlam was the first one to charge the grinning demon, and others were right behind him. Iselinn watched, completely frozen as Ishsah was jumped from every direction. Still that arrogant smirk on her face, but wait… Suddenly the demon got an unusual look on her face. She looked surprised, maybe even disturbed as she parried and blocked the first attacks against her. She uttered some words as she sent Alfos’ body an angry look
“What did you do, old man….” And as she fought of a few more attacks she turned and ran at an amazing speed with a mob of angry warriors at her heels.

Iselinn peered at Alfos’ lifeless body; she couldn’t believe what she saw… Tears trickled down her cheeks as she put a hand to her lips and shook her head in disbelief. Not a sound. Holly rushed over to Alfos and threw herself on her knees infront of him. She called for the light straight away. Holly worked hard, and for every second that passed, she looked more worried. Minutes that seemed like hours went, but Holly grit her teeth and refused to give up. A horse neighed, and the sounds of its hooves came closer. Langlam slid of his mount in hurry and ran up the stairs as fast as his plated body allowed him. “Langlam… Help her!” Iselinn plead, and before she could even finish her words, Langlam had gotten to his knees, grabbed Hollys hands and a bright light beamed up as their powers combined. Holly, whom had been summoning the light for a long time, looked like she was starting to get tired. Langlam looked only furious as he pressed on. Iselinn ran to Holly, wanting to support her, she sat down on her knees and put an encouraging arm lightly around her back.



After a while longer Langlam suddenly stopped. He stood up straight, so fast his plate protested as it collided together. He turned and took some fast, long steps towards the stone gates. “FUCK!” his rumbling voice filled the night and he smashed his gloved hand into the stone over and over. Holly seemed far away, just gazing at Alfos’ body. Iselinn looked at the cursing paladin beating at the wall until his plated glove looked damaged and even bloody. She wanted to go to him, sooth him, but she knew he was in a furious mood, and when she peered at Holly again she was even more worried. Holly was simply sitting there with her arms and hands tight around her knees, rocking herself back and forward with an empty look in her eyes. Eyes that were still fixed on Alfos’ corpse. Iselinn tried to talk to Holly, but she seemed to be in shock. This frightened Iselinn, so she just grabbed and embraced her, rocking with her for a moment.

Langlam announced quietly that he would try and find the rest, since no one had come back yet. He stepped heavily down the stairs and rode away. In the meantime Holly seemed to have woken up from her trancelike state. They got to their feet. Holly looked down at Alfos.
“He should be moved to his house. I want him to lie in his own bed, and not here on the cold stone floor.” And without any other words, Holly bent down and tried to lift the heavy, plated body. Iselinn looked at Sardred and Cailan as they walked up the stairs and reported what they had seen.
“Cailan… Help us carry him home, please.” Iselinn asked. Cailan nodded and Holly moved without a word as the huge man picked up Alfos’ body. He carried him in his arms like it didn’t strain him at all, and followed the women until they reached Alfos’ house.
The night seemed unnaturally quiet. The dog Stanley, whimpered as they quietly carried the dead hero inside.
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Roéd
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PostSubject: Re: How a lilly withers   Tue Oct 26, 2010 12:31 am

((Great work sis! I never even met Alfos's char and now i'm depressed. You've captured both Iselinns personality and set a dark mood to the story. Amazing!))
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