Carrion Fields

Let Them Come - By Tahren

It was unfathomably, bitterly cold that night. My armor was frigid, patchwork whitesteel and mithril chilling my skin even through the padded leather beneath. I wasn't the only one shivering, staving off the affects of sleep interrupted; the signal beacons in the foothills had been lit by our scouts a scant hour ago. Darkness marched toward the Fortress gates, and only a handful of us answered the call to defend.

I brought my attention back to Landren, speaking before us. If the cold bothered the shaman, he didn't show it.

"...for the good of Thera. It is, and always has been, our duty to protect..."

I moved my spear from one hand to the other, executing spins and forms in slow progression to warm up my joints.

Meyrshal stood to my left, still tuning his harp. I felt for the bard - holding a steady voice in this weather would be a challenge. He swayed under my gaze, though, and when he caught my eye, he gave me a little wink. I swear that elf sleeps with a cask under his bed. Just listening to his mellow strumming seemed to help the morale of our motley crew.

"...serve the Light and Thera in our defense against the encroaching Darkness..."

Movement caught my eye at the edge of the torchlight. Ah. Chokiare. The felar danced with deadly grace in and out of the shadows. Daggers flashed and were gone. A short-bladed sword of pure, fiery light swept in a high arc, and was sheathed. Paws struck out, claws extended, and then balled fur-covered fists retracted into a defensive posture. He flowed between stances, agility and strength betraying an assassin's training. The martial trance that he was achieving was both beautiful and terrifying to witness in combat.

"...against the horde we stand, turning away the Darkness with our hearts, our Light..."

My skin prickled and my hackles rose. I set the butt of my spear against the instep of my foot, cradling the shaft with my elbow. It was Itholin who stood before me, weaving his hands in the air and speaking in tongues. He was frail, even for an elf, but he had an understanding of the elemental magics that I would never grasp. The cold of the air disappeared instantly as he layered shields of frost and fire and water and earth upon me. Satisfied with his work, he moved on to stand before Meyrshal, weaving his arms and uttering incantations again.

Then they were at our gates.

The sky brightened and lightning rained hell upon the Fortress gate. Invoker. The chill air became denser and shifted subtly as a giant ball of ice crashed against the outer wall. Anti-paladin. A flurry of steel upon steel announced the presence of a warrior. Swords - likely a fire giant. Gentle humming and coalescing darkness outside - a dark healer and a necromancer, too?

Landren cleared his throat and stepped forward, placing himself between The Watcher and the gate. We followed suit, taking tactical positions to make our stand. With confidence befitting the Captain of the Brigade, Landren shouted to be heard over the melee at the gates.

"They are drawn to us, the Holy Brigade of the Phoenix - and so, they are drawn away from the innocent!"

He clapped his hands together and with a thunderous roar, light suddenly seemed to emanate from him. In an instant, an ancient silver sword named 'Death to the Dishonorable' leapt from its scabbard into his hand.

"I say let them come."

Welcome to the Carrion Fields. When the time comes, will you have the courage to make your stand?

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