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 The Boy and the Girl

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Drilac'n
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Posts : 487
Join date : 2009-10-29
Age : 26
Location : Cabinet Vaults

PostSubject: The Boy and the Girl   Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:00 am

Part one:

Giggling, the boy gave the girl a shove and sprinted away, who fell onto the wet grass with a thump. Climbing to her feet she shouted after him before giving chase, grabbing the crude wooden sword out of the long grass as she moved. Sunbeams flowed down from the cloudless sky, the light catching the pollen that drifted through the air on this bright summer day. A butterfly fluttered through the air, not a care in the world, and thin wispy smoke rose from the calm city of Andorhal, a mere mile away from the playing children.

Raging water could be heard in the distance as the river to eastern Lordearon flowed its course into the nearby lake. Tall trees had blocked out the skyline and the sun as the girl chased after her friend, who she could still hear running just over the next small hill. Slowing, she looked around, the light giving up to darkness under the thick canopy further in. Bushes and brambles weaved near unbreakable walls further in, and she had no idea where the path was. Looking nervously around she took a few steps, a twig breaking somewhere in the dark canopy. The girl could do nothing but freeze, her muscles stopping entirely, fear running through her body. A snort protruded from behind the wall of thorns, and, turning her head slowly, the girl could have sworn she saw a pair of red eyes looking out at her. Timidly, she took a few more steps, her limbs loosening up after her fright, but she still gazed warily around, Gripping her wooden sword even tighter. She could no longer hear the distant babble of Andorhal on market day, the roar of the nearby river filling the air, she could feel its moisture on her cheek. A shadow moved across the corner of her eye and she span around to face it, gripping her sword with both hands, pointing it shakily at the shadow, which had disappeared into the darkness. Again she saw the shadow, and span around, looking rapidly from side to side, swinging her sword wherever she saw movement. She was so careful watching the rabbit she didn’t notice the wall of fur and teeth burst through the thorns behind her, hungry for some meat.

Spinning round at the noise, the girl raised her sword towards the bear, but the wooden haft slipped from her hands as she saw it closing in on her. Falling to the floor she threw her hands over her head, screaming. As the bear pounced over her, the boy, who had been running towards the girl, leapt at it throwing the whole weight of his body onto the wooden sword that was gripped tightly in his hand. Bear and boy rolled over the girl who was crouched protectively on the floor unharmed, the beast twisting and throwing the boy off, snapping round to try to dislodge the wooden sword that was stuck in its bleeding side. Angrily giving up the attempt the bear turned on the boy, who had scrambled over to the girl and now crouched over her, her sword in his hand, pointing it at the bear. The beast paced around the pair, sizing up his smaller opponent, looking at the sword with distaste and a slight lick of fear. Eventually deciding that it wasn’t enough of a threat to deter his hunger, the creature closed in, his mane rippling from the movement of his powerful muscles. Batting the boys sword out his hand, the bear raised its neck to strike down on the children.

The Girl saw the flash of light even through her clenched eyes, and looked up, the boys arm around her shoulders and his other raised, his palm outstretched and the bear wincing away in pain. A turning she was a fully armoured man charging the beast, who had little time to turn before a mace smashed into its side, driving the sword in deeper and causing the bear to roll over in pain. The man was dressed in glittering silver armour, a Clenched fist emblazoned onto his tabard a golden flecked mace clenched in both hands. Scrambling to its feet the bear faced the knight again, but was soon on the floor again as the mace smashed into its skull. Looking up at the boy, the girl wrapped her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly, eyes clenched shut as she faced away from the man and the Bear.

~~~

“Come on Sythbo, not much further!”
The Girl was running backwards, the large rucksack seemingly weightless as she skipped away from the Boy who was panting heavily as he jogged, flailing his arms slightly. Giggling she turned and sprinted away, gaining distance on the boy who was still struggling with the huge rucksack, filled to the brim with heavy stones. They were both dressed in comfortable linen clothes, for ease of movement in endurance training, hers with a lower cut top typical of the few female Paladins that were taking the two year training course. Over the past few days the group had run from the training camp just south of Andorhal, over the Alteric mountain pass and down through the headlands past the small town of Strhanbrad and out along the huge finger towards the town of Tarren Mill where Lord Abbendis waited for them. Looking forwards, Sythbo sped up after the girl, the edge now in sight.
“You could have waited Serra” Sythbo said after catching his breath to the girl, who was sitting merrily on her rucksack at the very edge of the cliff, grass breaking out into rough rock that led down the finger, the Church in Tarren mill just viable, the tower peaking out above a few trees. Sythbo could also see one of the Internment camps, and he shuddered as he saw the green swine wandering in and about one of the roughly build lodging houses. Taking a second to admire the view he looked out across the beautiful planes of Hillsbrad, the sea barely visible on the horizon, a thin blue line at the edge of his vision. Sun was streaming down on his soaked back, several scratches and cuts covering his face, forbidden to ask the light to heal them until they got to the Church. “Prayers should be saved for mass” he had been told, “Only to be used outside the House of lights hallowed walls upon the most extreme circumstances.” Isillen’s words rang in his ear, as Serra smiled and slipped the backpack back on, waving at Sythbo before jumping off the cliff with a little spin.

Sighing, Sythbo strapped his backpack back onto his back, shivering as the cold sweat on his back pressed hard against his skin. Looking gingerly over the edge he hopped off with the same little spin, falling a few feet before grabbing the jagged rocks to quickly stop his fall. the sharp stone cut deep into his fingers, the weight of the pack pulling him down, before he reached his feet around to find a foothold and changed his grip, sliding slightly down the cliff face. Crossing his arms he reached down further, finding grip on the sheer rock face, his slow decent speeding up as his fingers began to numb and he began to ignore the pain. Sparing a look down Sythbo gripped harder, the ground seemingly moving away from him, Serra completely out of sight. A bird flew underneath him, cawing loudly. Breathing deeply, Sythbo loosened his grip and continued descending.

It was growing dark by the time his feet finally reached solid ground, his arms feeling stretched from the constant weight, and now they were free they seemingly had gained a ‘weightless’ feel. Hopping on the ground lightly and shaking off, Sythbo narrowed his eyes, and gathering his strength began to run towards the Church, determination and faith carrying him more now than actual strength and physical ability. The breeze on his damp face was freezing, but the feeling was a welcome change to the burning sweat he had felt for the past hour or two, and while the pack still weighed him down, its load wasn’t so taxing as it had been, the vast assistance the ground gave him in comparison to the cliff face assisting him, mixed with the Exhilaration that, after seventy two hours, he was almost there. The Buildings were growing closer, despite the fading light, and the light that shone out of the windows of the Church gave Sythbo strength, filling him with faith and happiness. Grabbing hold of a lit lamppost Sythbo swung around it, slipping his bag off and throwing it on top of the pile already outside the church, stepping inside the door.

Bending down, his back roaring in pain from the effort, Sythbo slipped off his Torn shoes, placing them by the door, and half walked half staggered down the isle. Kneeling at the rail near the Sanctuary at the head of the church, Sythbo clenched his hands together and said a short word of thanks to the light, before standing and turning to look at the rest of the congregation. There were about twenty of them, the rest of the group he and Serra were training with. Serra was sitting happily at the front, her wounds already half healed, and patted the seat on the pew next to her, which Sythbo sat on. Quietly sighing he felt a cold hand touch his, and he looked up at Serra, who smiled at him and turned to look at Isillien, behind the pulpit. Their Lord began his sermon, Sythbo and Serras little fingers still touching on the Pew.


~~~


The cold breeze of a Hillsbrad mourning swept through the tent, the rays of the morning sun giving a strong contrast in temperature. There were only a few puffy white clouds in the azure blue sky, the lands rife with the singing of birds, the small camp silent save for the clatter of dice as the two night guards passed the time. In the distance a mountain lion woke, yawning to the mourning, before pattering off in search of a small unsuspecting animal. The nearby internment camp was silent, the man on watch fast asleep at his post. For the residents of Hillsbrad, it was just another day, but for the Future of Azeroth, it was a day that would be marked in the calendar for evermore.

For the sleeping boy, it started with a sudden awakening.
“Oof!”
“Get up, grab your armour. Lord Isillien wants us.”
Grabbing the pillow that had just hit him in the face, Sythbo Hugged it tight and rolled over, with a groan. The girl, who was fully armoured and standing over him, sighed, and gave him a sharp kick, her plate boots jabbing him in the ribs, invoking a groan of protest as the teenage boy peeked over the edge of the pillow, squinting at the six o’clock sun that now streamed through the opening of the tent.
“Get up!”
“Not with you here…” came the wearied reply, accompanied by a pathetic swatting of the air, followed by the boy burying his head in the pillow again. Again, the teenage girl sighed and gave him another nudge with her foot.
“Its not like I haven’t seen you with your kit off before Silly, you have five minutes.”
“Yeah… but that was back when we were kids, I didn’t care back then.”
“Well I don’t care now. Move!”
“At least turn your back.”
“Fine.”
Turning around to face out of the tent, Serra folder her arms and waited for the Boy to get up, grabbing at his armour that lay neatly polished at the foot of his cot. With a slight bit of consideration for the other sleeping Squires in the tent, he slipped his shirt on, before giving Serra Permission to turn around and help him out, which she did with some reluctance.
The squires, who were training to become Knights of the Silver Hand, each wore a chain mail shirt over a linen shirt and Cloth breeches. On top of that they wore the Tabard of Lordearon, and Plate Bracers and Vangreaves. Around their neck was a pair of Wooden Tags, with each Squires individual name carved into the wood. They had earned their tags, and not a single squire would take them off, until they earned the metal replacements. Punishment for loosing their tags was to clean their armour, then go out into the woods and cut another pair, on top of other tasks. No Squire who lost his tags could eat any rations until they cut a new pair.
“What does Lord Isillien want?”
“I don’t know, just be quiet and look Pretty” came the slightly Irritated reply, but it was accompanied by a shy look and a smile. They both stood to attention, fully Armoured, outside Lord Isillien’s large Red tent. It wasn’t unusual for either Lord Isillien or Lord Abbendis to order squires to accompany him on regal or personal visits, they both felt having a Squire handy to order around or present themselves to nobles gave the Lord a more Important look, and they both wanted to look their best. It also put them in a good mood, which was payment enough for the Squires, Lord Abbendis in a good mood often meant extra rations or permission to go hunting. Sythbo and Serra were often chosen to go together, it made Lord Isillien look like a tolerant man as far as sexism went, and the presence of a girl apparently worked well with any female companions he may meet on the way. As well as that, it was often commented that Sythbo and Serra looked good as a pair, relatives back home in Andorhal were often commenting quite loudly when they thought the pair couldn’t hear, that Sythbo’s parents should offer a Proposal to Serra’s father, an assumption Sythbo always thought ridiculous. “Serra and I are friends” He had told his mother on many an occasion, “I think of her as my Sister. I couldn’t…”
“Enter.”
Sythbo’s train of thought was interrupted by the Soft, yet commanding voice that came from inside the tent. Sythbo and Serra didn’t miss a beat of turning and marching inside, standing to attention just inside the flap.
The interior of the large red tent was hung with satin and silk drapes, various shades of crimson, separating the canvas structure into a few different rooms. The pair stood in a long hallway, at the end of which was a shrine covered in candles, one of the blue symbols for Lordearon hung over the alter. Lord Isillien, the Spiritual commander of the Knights of the Silver Hand and the head of the temporary camp stood at ease in a Mageweave purple cassock and silken silver drapes. He wore the Tabard of Lordearon, the blue twin headed eagle, and was wearing large plate shoulder pads, with a blue cloth lining that caught the candlelight. He had short, reddish brown hair and was cleanly shaven, recently by the still full bowl and razor that sat on a small table.
“Ah, Squire Herat, Squire Lepps, so glad you could finally make it. Lets get a look at you.”
Turning, the Tall man strode up to the two teenagers and gave both of them a stern look, his eyes roving to his feet and back to their head. Tutting quietly to himself he accepted their attire, and Returned to his shrine, kneeling before it and placing a finger to his forehead. Systematically, both Serra and Sythbo kneeled, and placed their fingers on their foreheads momentarily, rising a second later with Isillien.
“I have been summoned to a meeting in Southshore. Commander Mograine himself has issued the summoning, and I want you two to accompany me. We will also not be going alone.”
Stepping outside the tent, Lord Isillien and the two squires stood to attention as a bugle sounded somewhere on the other side of the camp. Sythbo could hear horses and sure enough, Five horses appeared around the corner. Two men led the group, followed by a Young, attractive teenage girl and two teenage boys.
“Lord Fordring. High General Abbendis.”
Isillien bowed his head respectfully as the Two Men dismounted, both in beautiful ornate gold flecked armour. The Girl also Dismounted and walked up behind the High General, her hands clasped in front of her.
“Lord Isillien.” The high general spoke strongly, with an Eastern Lordearon accent in his voice. He bowed his head very slightly as he greeted Isillien, who mirrored his greeting.
“I don’t believe you have met my Daughter, Brigitte. She will accompany you and Lord Fordring to Southshore, the War in Northrend requires my Attention in Capital City. I trust the three of you will be very Respectful to Commander Mograine.”
“Understood Sir.”
“I want a letter sent instantly after the Meeting. I want to know what has Alexandros’ feathers all ruffled like this.”
“Understood Sir.”
Saluting, the gesture reflected by everyone present, The High General turned and Mounted his Horse again, Riding off towards the camp gate with his two squires in Tow, leaving His Daughter with Lord Isillien, Lord Fordring and the Two Squires.
“Squire Lepps, fetch a Warhorse, and two horses from the stable. We ride for Southshore as soon as possible.”


~~~

Even at the early hour of half past seven in the morning, marked by the Towns famous clock tower, Southshore was a busy port, Children running and playing in the mourning sun before school, Fishermen standing at the dock, The low toll of a bell heralding an incoming trade ship. Sythbo rode on the chestnut horse between Serra and Brigitte, Flanking the Two Lords that Rode before them, who had been chatting the whole way like old friends. The Three Squires spent their time in Silence, listening into the conversation that went on before them, revolving strongly around Squire Taelan, Lord Fordring’s son and one of the older Squires. He was apparently one of Lord Isillien’s favourites, who bore good promise as a potential Highlord in the Knights of the Silver Hand. His future, it seemed, was set. Sythbo knew Taelan as a bully, who worked off his Fathers grace. He could tell Brigitte would be the same. Looking to his left he stole a glance at Serra and flashed her a smile, but the look wasn’t returned. Almost disappointed ad being blanked he looked forwards again, but couldn’t resist stealing another glance, just in case she had turned to look. She hadn’t. Turning to his right to check the saddle on his horse, he noticed Brigitte snap her head forward, embarrassed to have been looking at Sythbo. What a strange girl.
The Two Lords dismounted their Horses outside the front Door to the Inn, Brigitte slipping off quietly and jogging to take their reigns. She passed them up to Sythbo, along with hers and Serras, and flashed him a smile with them. She then beckoned to Serra, who had also dismounted, and entered the Inn after the two Lords, leaving Sythbo to Lead the Horses to the stable.
‘Did you see that look that Abbendis girl gave you?’ Sythbo thought to himself, ‘I think she doesn’t like you.’ ‘Are you kidding? That was a ‘Look at that Lovely Blonde Hair’ look not a ‘You’re Lesser than me’ look. ‘But she’s The High General’s Daughter…’ ‘What would Serra think?’
Still pondering the look, Sythbo Stabled the Horses and Marched towards the Inn, entering, touching his Forehead in thanks to the light for guiding him safely there. Inside he Joined Serra and Brigitte standing to attention in the Corner of the room, and watched the Leaders of the Knights of the Silver hand have their meeting.
“That’s Commander Mograine?”
“Yes Sythbo, Shhh”
Looking around, The Large Paladin standing behind the table cleared his throat and spoke in a hushed whisper, “Keep your voices down. There are strangers about. Brothers and Sisters. I have called you here today to discuss the fate of Lordaeron.”
At this, Brigitte moved in closer, still standing to attention, trying to see the large Thorium bound chest that sat on the table that the Paladins were crowded around.
“I hear Things. Things that should not be.” From their viewpoint, Sythbo could barely hear this, Commander Mograine’s voice near a whisper. Looking at Serra, the two of them took a few steps forwards, the other paladins fixed on Mograine. “The Dead rise. Undead, from the frozen northlands. Whole cities have gone missing. I… I have heard that… Northrend is lost.”
This comment was met with gasps from around the room, largest of which came from Brigitte, her father having led many of the battles in the Frozen north. However, unfettered from the disbelief around the room, Mograine continued.
“We must stand at the ready. I have faced Undead before. They are ruthless killing machines, devoid of any emotion or compassion.”
Lord Fordring nodded to this and, spoke clearly, and with confidence in agreement. “Aye. I’ve battled them as well. We are Ill-prepared as a kingdom to withstand such an assault.”
At this a murmur broke out, Knights turning to their neighbours and whispering a few words. The loudest, was a young man wearing the same Cassock as Isillien. Sythbo had seen him before, Doan, a mage, not a Paladin, but still a friend of Abbendis. He spoke his peace confidently directly to Commander Mograine.
“What do you propose Mograine?”
“Propose? I ‘Propose’ we prepare. That we prepare our loved ones, family, and friends… for the possibility of an Undead Holocaust.”
‘Holocaust?’ Thought Sythbo ‘In Lordaeron? Never!’
“And…” Commander Mograine continued speaking, after a pause, causing Sythbo to abandon his train of thought and pay attention.
“And there is this.”
Reaching to the large chest that sat on the table, Commander Mograine turned the key that sat in the lock. A loud click was heard, and the top flew open, the wood and Thorium thrown away by some force. Out of the chest a darkness grew, sucking light from around it, so you could almost see the light turn into blackness. Slowly an Orb rose from the chest, a large blacky-purple sphere, about the size of Sythbo’s fist. Several gasps came from around the room, several Paladins touching their face, others shielding their faces from the shadow, others standing at the ready, light brimming around their hands in defence. Brigitte was one of those, and she spoke, out of turn, in Horror at the Crystal.
“By the light! What is it?”
Without scolding her or correcting her for speaking out of turn, Commander Mograine looked directly at her and explained.
“I have had this Object in my possession for ten years. Since Blackrock spire… I wrested it free from the remains of an Orc Lieutenant, A dark Caster… it is from -their- homeworld.”
One of the paladins around the table had raised a hand to touch the Orb, and Mograine’s head snapped round, his voice speaking in warning;
“Do not get too close! I laid a hand upon it once… Only once and never again. The memories of that day… still linger.”
Slowly, as he spoke, Mograine pulled one of his Gauntlets on, tossing it casually down on the table and mopping his brow. The Whole room, watching only him, gasped as they saw his blackened withered hand, the shell looking like it had been dead years. Yet unfaltering by his hand Mograine continued.
“I surmise that this object is the living embodiment of shadows... darkness... It is a manifestation. It is a void.”
“I do not see how this evil artefact is relevant to the undead. We must destroy it!”
Isillien finally spoke, light brimming around his hands, raising them into an offensive stance, glaring at the Crystal and Mograine. Mograine however just shook his head and continued with his story.
“No, old friend, it is very relevant. Let me ask you this, brothers and sisters: Can good exist without evil? Can there be light without dark? And if that answer is no, then could it be possible that because this artefact exists, its polar opposite must also exist? Could you imagine what the material manifestation of the Light could do against the undead?”
Shaking his head at Mograine’s philosophy, Isillien shouted out across the room, partly in anger, partly in fear. “Nonsense, Mograine! It must be destroyed!” Raising his arms as he spoke, Isillien pointed his palms at the Crystal, the light that had been building there shooting out at the Shadowy embodiment, twisting as it neared the centre and rotating around the orb once, getting smaller as it disappeared into its dark heart, a small glint all that remained of the prayer. No-one spoke for a few long seconds, everyone staring at the Crystal.
“It… it consumed the light…”
Mograine broke the Silence, standing up for the first time, placing his hands on the table and looking close at the Crystal. Lord Fordring, who had been holding a bright star of light in his hands since the Crystal appeared threw it into the Crystal, which absorbed it like Lord Isillien’s, the prayer even changing the colour slightly. An older Paladin, who had been watching closely gasped as he saw this and summoned a spell of his own, stating in disbelief “Is.. Is it getting lighter?” As he threw the light into the Crystal. “The Colouration… its changing! Again Isillien threw a spell into the Orb, Brigitte casting one of her own and Joining in. For a few long minutes the four of them threw prayer after prayer into the orb, as it grew lighter and lighter under the constant muttering of the Four Paladins asking for the lights assistance, the others in the room backing them up. At last, the Orb began to crack, veins of bright light glowing out of the light purple skin, and eventually the skin peeled off, the pure light shining out from underneath causing Sythbo to throw his hands over his eyes, along with several others. Only Mograine looked directly at it, Speaking softly, almost to himself.
“By the light… Could it be… Could this be… I must know… I will know.”
Lunging out, he reached with his withered hand and grabbed the Crystal, the light shining from it through the gaps in his fingers, the black hand filling with light energy, growing, filling with life, with health, veins new layers of pink skin sprouting before every onlookers eyes. With a crack he pulled his hand back, clutching it to his chest and looked at it, and then back to the crystal.
“I… it… it is beautiful…” The Commander almost speechless, continued, “What I felt when I touched it… The Light! Coursed through me… and I… Through it. It.. It healed my hand!”
Mograine raised his hand to the sky, and every Paladin in the room, looked at it, and almost simultaneously saluted it.
“Your Hand! Its Healed!”
Reaching out with his renewed hand, Mograine grabbed the Crystal and Gently put it back into the box, closing the lid on it. As the latch fastened shut, the light vanished and for a few seconds, Sythbo could see nothing at all, as if his vision had been stolen from him. Slowly, it came back, and he looked at Serra, who was rubbing her eyes.
“Let us never speak of this day. Our Enemies are many. They need not know we hold such Artefacts.”
Commander Mograine spoke with new wisdom, and no-one in the room could do anything but agree. Raising his fist, Mograine spoke, strength and power in his voice.
“I have seen it... From this blessed crystal we will forge a weapon. This weapon will hold inside it a piece of each of us... And when it is used against undead, it shall cast them down. And in its wake, it will leave only ashes…”
Raising his fist with Mograine, Lord Fordring responded, in almost a whisper, Uttering the fabled words that would dominate fairy tales and stories of Heroics for Decades to Come.
“The Ashbringer…”

_________________
The way is shut,
It was made by those who are dead
And the dead keep it.

Skeleton in the closet.
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