Trys had just showed me to my bed after one of the most relaxing baths I have ever experienced. It was nice to be with Trys as well. Boys are all well and good, but girl time is always welcome. Although, trying to adjust to life in a group has been harder than I thought. On my own, I can pray and have time to focus on my Oaths. But with others who are, shall we say more flexible with their world views, it has proven to be difficult. Not to mention the point of this adventure anyways. Yes, we are trying to stop the Dragon Cult from further destruction and acts of evil, but we are collecting money to do so. It just does not seem to fit in with my pledge to Tyr. I will continue to help Terran find Talis, but after that…
I shake my head to clear away these thoughts. Nothing good ever comes from dwelling on the future. The present is what can be acted upon, therefore where our minds should be. It is one of Bajörn’s favorite sayings that he would drill into my head, often accompanied by a good thwack from a training sword. I smile as I think of the old Grimmjaw. He would enjoy hearing this story when I arrive back home. I reach up to my necklace he gave me and close my eyes in prayer to Tyr. My thumb rubs the back of the silver pendant as I finish. I extinguish the candle provided by Trys and lay back in bed. Not a luxurious bed by any means, but still comfortable. I begin my nightly ritual of reciting my pledge over and over until sleep cradles my mind.
Consciousness comes to me rather…oddly. I feel awake, but at the same time not awake. I stand in a grassy clearing surrounded by trees. A small dirt path lies ahead of me. Looking around and seeing no other exit through the dense trees, I begin down the path. At times I have to duck to avoid low-hanging branches that threaten to catch my horns. After a few minutes, a light begins to shine through the trees.
“I…I recognize these trees…”
I come out of the forest and in front of me is a log cabin, my log cabin. It was the house I lived in with my parents, until…screeching suddenly assaults my ears. I cup my hands over them, trying to block out the rush of memories. Wings, fangs, my mother screaming, Infernal, my father pleading, and finally blood. I fall to my knees, unable to move. Darkness encroaches around me. I lie in the fetal position, feeling so cold and alone.
A light pierces through the blackness. It chases it away and calms the screaming. The memories stop as warmth washes over me.
“My child, rise.”
The voice is strong, powerful. It resonates within me and I feel compelled to obey it. I get to my knees, ad as I stand, I look up. A hugs figure stands before me. My breath catches in my throat as I recognize this figure. I immediately fall down on to one knee.
“My Lord Tyr! You honor me,” I say in complete reverence.
“You called out to me Vallith, therefore I answered.”
“I did no more than offer my prayers to you Lord Tyr. I am not even worthy to be in your presence.”
I hear footsteps and watch as Tyr kneels in front of me. Where his eyes should be are the empty sockets. His right arm, missing the hand, rests on his knee. He has a kind, but stern face. It is framed by long white hair and a beard. His armor shows the muscles forged by countless battles against evil, but his giant greatsword rests on his hip. His left hand reaches out and grasps my right shoulder.
“Your blood does not define you, only your actions. You have devoted your life to me and follow my laws. I count you as my paladin, even if some of my Order is set in their human ways. Speaking of, this is where it began isn’t it,” responds Tyr, using his stump to gesture to the log cabin behind him.
I nod, “Yes my Lord. These events lead me to you. Well, to Bajörn who taught me your ways.”
Tyr smiles. “Yes, Bajörn. One of my most faithful Hammers. When he was injured, he prayed for direction in his life. So, I sent him to you. But enough of that. I can here to answer your prayer. You had questions about the purpose of this quest?”
“Yes my Lord. While I know the need to eliminate this Cult is necessary, I do not agree in the way we are doing it. I owe Terran to save Talis, but afterwards, I feel that I must pursue this on my own. Solely in your name.”
“My child, this is a righteous quest that you must pursue. And you can not do it alone.” At these words, he reaches up and places two fingers on my forehead.
Visions flash through my head. I see myself facing dragons of all the colors of the visible spectrum. I win many battles, but I am just as often killed. Sometimes I appear with other Knights of Tyr, other times alone. The countless scenarios race across my vision. In the last one however, I am with our group as we face a truly monstrous beast. Before I can watch the out come of this battle, I am pulled back into the forest.
Tyr is no longer in front of me. Instead, I am surrounded by the demons of my nightmares.
“You escaped us once child,” sneers one demon in Infernal.
“But you can not run forever,” hisses another.
They edge closer, gnashing their teeth and brandishing their claws. The terror that used to fill my mind is gone, replaced by the warm light and a sense of strength. I close my eyes and reach up to my pendant. I feel its warmth at my touch. As I open my eyes, the warm emanates throughout my entire body. A bright light fills the clearing. I reach out my hand and a ghostly sword raises in tandem. The demons shy away from my light.
“She summons the gods!”
I look behind me and see a spectral image of Tyr. I a fierce grin spreads across my face as I look back at the demons.
“I no longer fear you! And I dedicate my life to eradicating your chaos from this world! I follow justice and it will always defeat your evil,” I shout.
The light burns so brightly that even I have to close my eyes. When it feels like the light will swallow me as well, I hear his voice.
“Follow this path to its end, for it is what I has chosen you for.”
I shoot up in my bed. My heart is pounding and sweat glistens on my brow. I turn to sit on the edge of the bed, But my hand suddenly touches cold metal. I flip back the sheet and see a sword lying next to me. It is a greatsword with an elaborate design along its hilt. I can’t quite make it out, so I quickly light the candle. The blade is honed to a dangerous edge. I run my finger along it, cutting the digit with the merest touch. The blade seems to be coming out of the mouth of a dragon. The hilt is curved and seems to be twin spiked dragon tails, but facing opposite directions. The handle is wrapped in beautiful dark leather. At the end, what appears to be a dragon’s tooth protrudes from the edge.
The blade is honed to a dangerous edge. I run my finger along it, cutting the digit with the merest touch. The blade seems to be coming out of the mouth of a dragon. The hilt is curved and seems to be twin spiked dragon tails, but facing opposite directions. The handle is wrapped in beautiful dark leather. At the end, what appears to be a dragon’s tooth protrudes from the edge.
I lift up the blade between my hands. It is perfectly balanced. I can only wield paladin spells, but I need no magic to tell that this is a beautifully crafted blade. I reverently wrap it in my traveling cloak until I can figure out a better solution in the morning. I determine to ask Trys if someone can in the Shrine can Identify the sword in the morning. If not, hopefully D’handra would be willing to assist me.
I re-extinguish the candle and lay back in bed. Before I allow sleep to take me in its embrace again, I reach up to my pendant and whisper out into the darkness: “Thank you my Lord. I remain your faithful warrior.”