Paladin of Woten the Preserver
The statement is simple, it conveys action, it tells you nothing of importance. It suggests success in the run. It is the details of the running however make for an epic telling. So once again.
She ran, in to the ruins of the building. Knowing and fearfully of what she would find. The governess lay on the floor in a spreading pool of crimson. No sign of struggle here. They had entered and started for the rooms in back. The governess rose to question them and been cut down. Opening the door to the hall..
She ran. The short hall led back to two rooms, left and right. He hadn’t run away. The footprints in the blood told the tale of his fight. He met them at the door. A fighting retreat to the room on the left. Her room. The marks showed he killed one, that was drug off after.
She ran through the open door on the left. He had made his stand here. One small boy against 2 men. 1 was a common thug, the other something worse. Something worse she would attend to personally. He fought hard died harder. From the looks of it he had probably killed the other thug here before he fell. Amazingly she found the girl was still alive. Wounded and dying but alive. As she held the girl comforting her in her last moments, her training left her. The part that said she was always to remain above any action. The part that was to remain cold and calculating left her. She found the tears hot on her face, realizing now she had come to love these two. One was dead without ever hearing the words I LOVE YOU. The other would die shortly, having heard it only once. She wailed and sobbed and the girl spoke all the answers to her. His name was Darvin. Our governess was miss Dorn. My name is Cynthia. You will be faster when your son’s life is in the balance. Your soul is again open to love. The girl, Cynthia was wrong, she couldn’t have children. She set the place a blazing pyre to the three of them and
She ran into the night. It took years. Long years to track down all the leads. Years more to avenge the three. Years to cover her tracks so nothing would lead back to her.
Cynthia Dorn walked down the gangplank into Grythania at the Port of Kinsale, and started her new life and new job. She was going to be a member of the city watch and as soon as she had enough money she would buy a nice plot of land far from the city and if she had her way, never be seen again. Now service to the city watch is a nobel profession but not one that lends itself to great wealth. Five years later as the house was finished she left the city never to look back. She thought her running had ended, she was wrong.
She ran in her dreams and woke outside. Nights of passion, a midsummer night’s dream, a fantasy come to life. She thought she should start going to town, maybe talk to people, before she went crazy. The nights she dreamed of running with nature, running with him were magic. But then
She was running late, like two months late and that was impossible, on two accounts. One no men here and two she was sterile. It was the first thing done when you were chosen as she had been long ago. She was lost here no idea of what to expect, so she got help. A few hands to help around the farm and a house keeper, cook ,and midwife who asked no questions. Five years later her son Darvin walked past the kitchen window on his way to the chicken coop. Cynthia was chopping veggies, a fleck of gray caught her eye and she ran.
Darvin saw the ruin of the chicken coop. He saw the dead birds all about. He dove inside the coop and pulled up the door a moment before the big wolf hit it. The wolf clawed and bit at the door, trying to reach Darvin. It seemed not to care about the damage done to its claws and teeth as it assaulted the door.
Cynthia saw the wolf attacking the door and threw the cleaver she held. It struck home, deep in the wolf’s side. It got his attention. She transferred one of the two daggers from her left hand to her right, and moved towards the wolf. It lunged, she slid sideways, whispering the cantrip, as her dagger bit. The wolf snapped his head around and missed, then took a step. BOOM thunder slammed into it.
Darvin saw his mother attack the wolf, heard her whisper then BOOM. When the thunder rang out it was as if the Steel of his Will struck the Rock Flint of him, throwing Sparks across his Soul.
Another wolf broke from cover lunging for Cynthia. He nipped her, pain exploded from the bite. Poison raced into her. These wolves had been driven mad by poison. Someone wanted them dead. She would have to strike hard and fast, kill quickly, before the poison and the pack brought her down. She struck, dodged, rolled, sliced, got bit, and the thunder rolled.
With each clap of thunder, Sparks shot across Darvin’s Soul. He gulped great drafts of air as everything left him. He stopped crying. His anger left him. He forgot the coop as he stared through a small crack. His world shrank to his mother and the pack.
The doe had watched Darvin all summer. She had no fawns this year and so was tasked with keeping watch. When the wolves attacked she almost ran. You ran away from wolves. The wolves were in a bunch ready to swarm Cynthia and drag her down for the kill. The doe ran into the Pack scattering them. She kicked out, spun around, kicking out again. Instinct, the wolves mauled the doe. Cynthia attacked faster than she had ever done. Her daggers bit wolf after wolf as she struck and moved. The meadow was filled with thunder.
Darvin shook uncontrollable.
The pack was mostly dead, a couple had run to the woods. The might return. Cynthia and the doe were fading fast, the poison and the bites taking their toll. As they both slid to the ground, Cynthia grasped the doe and screamed to its face. HURRY!
The Steel was pushed hard against the Flint. The Sparks were many and hot. The word Mother escaped his lips. Darvin’s Soul ignited. Bright light shown from his eyes, nose, and mouth. He was filled with light and he moved towards his mother. Nothing was going to hurt her again. One wolf came from the woods, seeing the boy it attacked. Darvin raised his left arm to block. The wolf bit and the poison and something else flickered across his mind. Then hitting the light inside him the poison burned away. The other fiendish “ taste” burned away too. The wolf was filled with light burning into it. Darvin screamed and hit the wolf, its skin glowed, light came from it as it died.
“HURRY!” flashed across his mind. Woten the Preserver ran.
The indecision was gone. There was only the one now. The attacks had come simultaneously, savage, fast and deadly. Only now was it dawning on him what he had lost. He had always thought of them as them. They were to represent all the differing people’s of the land. They would have come together as a team, a family, shown the people here all could live and work together in peace. There was to be one of each of the major races to show the way. Now they were all dead. HURRY! One still lived. On of HIS CHILDREN still lived. The thought staggered him. His SON!
Woten ran. The tree stride spell he cast was still forming the portal when he rammed his way through. In the clearing by the chicken coop an oak tree exploded as Woten appeared. He saw the boy hammer the wolf. Saw the light pouring out of him and then from the wolf as well. The boy was far far to small and young to have any chance of surviving this. He would fast be consumed and die to the power inside him.
Woten ran at the boy, he had to get to him before it was too late. The boy moved to place himself between Woten and his mother, so long as he lived nothing would harm her. Cynthia coughed and spasmed. Woten grasped the boy in one hand, Cynthia in the other. He cast another tree stride spell and headed for the clearing. The boy couldn’t stop, once lit there was no extinguishing it. Not until he was old enough to understand and he’d be dead long before that. His only hope was the TREE, there was only bit of root pushed into this world close to here. A quiet grove Woten oft visited.
The boys light grew even brighter, it would flair like a sun as it burned him to death. Reaching the TREE he placed the boy on the exposed root. Tendrils of vine encased the boy cocooning him. The light from the child lit the vines, then the root and, Woten would later testify, the whole of the TREE lit up. It burned bright then went out. Only the boy and the vines around him pulsed with light in time with his heart beat.
Later when everything settled down and Woten had healed Cynthia, they both checked on the boy, he was sleeping. Cynthia reached up and took him. The vines still enclosed the boy , but otherwise didn’t interfere. Looking at Woten she bid him to take them home. The Forest Lord followed them to the cabin. Cynthia placed the child into Woten’ s arms and faced him
His name is Darvin she informed him. As she spoke she dressed in dark black leather armor. The chainmail of her days on the city watch was ignored. The daggers found their way into hidden sheaths. Are the others dead she asked? Without thinking Woten replied yes. Then he started what? I’ve known Cynthia said. I don’t care, you gave me a son. Something not possible except for you. She finished tying the Mask across her face. Get to know your son she advised. Make him want to do what you need him to. He continued to stare at her. She continued I’m used to being the pawn of others, it doesn’t bother me. Darvin tho will need to believe, make him believe. Woten stammered he belongs to the TREE now not to me. You both serve the same goal she yelled as she headed out. Cynthia where are you going? Cynthia? Finally Woten yelled BIREL!, that turned her. There are things Woten that you can’t do, she replied. That’s why you need us. They tried to kill my son. What I will do to them requires I wear this one last time, don’t ask more. I’ll return in a week, try being a father instead of a God. Allow Darvin to know you