Warder Quinn sat in the blacked out carriage, being thrown around as it was dragged along the rough road from the city. A little light shone so she could read the many documents, books and reports that were her only travelling companions. Well, that was not entirely true. She was part of the large caravan of paladins moving from the city to sanctuary, but she not allowed out of the carriage while on the move. When they stopped for the night a large tent was connected to the carriage door, and she was kept away from the mass merriment that was the camp fire. Continue reading
Finn was exhausted. He had been forced to spar against superior opponents using sword, spear, axe, hammer and mace. He had lost every fight so far, but he was yet to feel humiliated. He had been disarmed every time, or forced out of the arena. He had yet to be hit, and he took a small victory in that. It was stupid of course, in a real fight he would have been killed every time, but still, with a concerning crowd gathered around he had take pride in something. If he didn’t he would give up, and he was not losing his sword.
A cheer erupted from the crowd. Finn had no idea why. He looked up to see Quinn approaching. She was holding his sword in her hand. She threw it to him. She picked up a great sword from the rack. Continue reading
Finn was not exactly being treated like a prisoner, more like a person with a deadly infectious disease. He was being well fed and watered; well, he was being fed and watered. The portions were small, and the food drab and tasteless. Indeed, it seemed to him the water had more flavour than the food, and he was sure that wasn’t a good thing.
He was still in his wooden shed, but a softish mattress had been given to him to add to the hard wooden bench. Food and water was shoved in through a window, with little to no conversation. All he had been told so far was that he would be taking a test. What is was, and indeed what for, he had no idea. Maybe he did have a deadly disease, and they were testing him for that. Continue reading
The White Owl was a shit hole, almost literally. The floors swam in a mix of urine, shit and what she hoped was stale beer. It was full of shifty sorts, and she could feel ravenous eyes roaming over her curves. Clearly they had idea who she was. She guessed that was the whole point. Still, her dress was not the best for this place, floor length skirt doing an ample job of mopping up a lot of the mess. She knew this was the last time she would be wearing this dress. Shame. Silk was hard to come by, and it did flatter her body so.
Whomever had decided to meet her was a bloody idiot who had no idea of fashion. She did not like that. It must be a man. She was sure even the lowest woman would have enough sense to never step foot in this place. Foot. Her shoes were ruined too. Continue reading
Paladin Quinn stood before Warder Bryce. Her mission had failed, and it was not her fault. Leaning against the Warder’s desk was the two handed sword the boy had been wielding. That young man was a hero, and he should be lauded as such. She knew he would not. Politics often killed a hero, especially when one wasn’t needed.
Bryce had taken an interest in the sword, and seemed to recognise it. Quinn knew by passed down stories that Bryce had had one hell of a life before laying down his weapon and shield and joining the administrative ranks of the paladins. By all accounts, it had not been his decision to do so. The few occasions she had spied Bryce swinging a weapon in training were the few times she had ever seen a smile on the old mans face. He was a warrior and fighter, yet here he was playing the political game he publicly derided during his earlier years. Continue reading
Finn had been dragged into the small paladin compound just outside of the city. He should have just followed. The journey may have been relatively short, but being dragged there made it appear to be the longest journey he had ever taken. Worse, he was covered in cuts and bruises and his clothes looked like ripped rags.
He was sat on a wooden table in a small wooden shed. The door was locked, and an angry guard stood on the other side. He had no idea how long he had been here, but he could feel a chill wind breaking in through the wooden boards so he guessed evening was rolling in. Continue reading
The high paladin is known as the Warden. A title the high priest has a problem with. He sits behind his desk, thin rimmed glasses trying to escape his nose constantly, head deep in scrolls, books and papers. The history of the paladin order, and how the priest order became an offshoot of it, must provide the answer, of that he was sure. But months of searching had revealed nothing useful. He was starting to think that a peaceful, thoughtful solution was not going to be the answer. Continue reading
Finn stood opposite a Paladin, and knew he was done for. At nineteen Finn was no small weakling, and indeed he was not untrained in combat, but he knew the stories of the Paladins. The fiercest fighters, backed by the blessings of the gods. He didn’t stand a chance. He should back down. He should drop his sword, raise his hands and accept whatever punishment was coming his way. He squeezed the grip on his sword, held in both hands, pummel before his face. He couldn’t do it. Not just because this sword was the only thing he still had of his mothers, but because he had done nothing wrong, and Paladin or no he would not be punished over something he didn’t do. Continue reading