Carrion Fields

The Desert Marketplace - by Treebeard

The wind whipped in across the dusty desert city, swirling sand across the form of a proud elf. The marketplace bustled with the trade of another day; Hamsah Mu'Tazz was Thera's crossroads, a place where those from every walk of life came to trade, drink and spill blood. Solasarath crouched before the massive marketplace fountain, leaning his worn and polished sword against the stone rim as he cupped both hands to slake his thirst.

It was a dangerous place. Not far to the north, the dark Empire concentrated its forces, constantly plotting to subjugate the world under the dual credos of Darkness and Order. To the south, rumors abounded of an unspeakable power roiling beneath the desert dunes of Araile, of dark things coming to pillage in the night, accompanied by the twisted and depraved.

The sudden and silent scattering of the market crowd was the only warning Solasarath had before the massive bovine form of Gondrak slammed into him, knocking him flat. He stretched one hand towards his blade in desperation, the fingertips barely brushing the burnished hilt before an armored hoof slammed his wrist into the stone fountain, crushing it.

Rolling desperately, the elf rose into a half-crouch. Shutting his eyes for the briefest of instants, Solosarath drew up the image of the fiery Phoenix in his mind's eye, calling a divine sanctuary to protect him from the infernal fury of the minotaur's blades.

As Gondrak closed the distance, the elf called fourth a second prayer, unleashing the divine retribution on the dark crusader. It was a powerful clerical spell, returning tenfold the harm its victim had levied upon innocents during their lifespan. Gondrak had marauded Thera for decades, and as such had the blood of countless stained upon his black heart. In that instant, it seemed as though all those souls unleashed their anger against the bull, and he let out an earth-shaking bellow as his very being was scorched to the core.

Rising to his full height, Solosarath used the moment to dive for his blade, thinking to use his superior agility to bypass the massive bull. But, though badly wounded by the retribution of Shokai, Gondrak had studied the ancient ways of the warrior monks and managed to intercept the elf mid-spring. Using his massive shoulder, he drove the elf to the ground with a powerful bash. Before Solosarath could retreat, Gondrak swung one of his foul blades low, forcing the elf to somersault backwards and upwards (an impressive feat from his prone position).

But, having fought agile foes before, the black warlord anticipated the move, driving his second claymore through the elf's armor and piercing straight through his shoulder. Pinned and in unspeakable agony, Solosarath could only watch as the minotaur brought his first blade to bear on the elf's throat. Uttering a triumphant snort, he finished the elf with a brutal slash, robbing Thera of one of its fiercest protectors of the Light.

Welcome to the Carrion Fields. Champion good or evil, the spell or the sword, but never let down your guard.

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