“Completely out of breath I collapse to my knees exhausted. My legs feel like they’re on fire and my lungs like they might burst at any moment. I was really starting to miss that old horse despite how crazy it was. Running on foot for nearly 5 days straight will do that to you. The poor thing died from exhaustion practically at the start of this insane journey and it was starting to feel like I might just follow suit.” “I guess it’s just like that old Paladin, Cross, said before I took off without so much as a plan or a strategy. I really am too reckless. I had to try though, Seraphie was in danger and waiting would only get her killed. I’m still amazed how that creature, Skorn, had snatched her up right from under our very noses. “ The cunning of that ancient Torlion was truly without peer. He’s already nearly killed me twice yet even so I still couldn’t bring my self to finish him off when I had the chance. I can tell that he isn’t a wicked creature by nature, it’s the necromancers who are controlling him… but to what end. I pray and pray again that Seraphie is safe. He doesn’t mean to kill her that much is clear but can the same be said for Garlind and his dark army?” “I’ve lost so much time already though… please be safe Seraphie. Wait for me I promise that I’ll find you. You’ve taught me so much about this world; about my self… helped me to achieve a strength that wouldn’t have been possible with out you. I would have died a dozen times over already if you hadn’t been there at my side. I must repay the debt. You deserve to be happy no matter the cost. ” “A cold deathlike chill creeps across my body as the sun fads into the horizon. This land is so harsh and desolate. Could anything really be capable of surviving out here? Every thing is silent. No wind or animals… even the birds refuse to roost here. A heavy mist enshrouds the ruins that lie at the base of the two mountains. They hide the gates to my targets home lands.” “My body shudders remembering those old elites back at the training halls… they’ve filled my head with one too many tales of horror concerning the lands beyond those frigid mountains. Stories… I wished that’s all they were. You could see it in their eyes and read it by their scars when ever they would speak of these lands. There are terrors that dwell in that darkness that few Paladins have ever survived to speak of. A place were monstrosities like Skorn are barely even the tip of the iceberg. I can only wonder how the people who live there manage to eke out their living.” “Having gained my second wind I begin my decent into darkness wading knee deep through a frigid swamp… seemingly endless. Chunks of strange icy rock formations act as a labyrinth hoping to seal my fate here and now. From beneath the frost I can see countless contorted faces trapped in ice… I try to ignore them but their pitiless gaze wears thin on my nerves. Underfoot I can feel and hear the sound of crunching bones… a sound that is ceaseless no matter how many miles I travel. Just what the hell happened here so long ago?” “I could recall only a single story written in the book of legends (the one Seraphie gave me to help inspire my training) to which so monstrous a place could be a result. It told of a single Lich, a master of blade and mind, who took on a legion of fully seasoned soldiers who had hoped to lay claim to these land. They were slaughtered so viciously that their people abandoned all they had conquered up to that point and fled far to the lands in the south never to be seen again.” “I crossed over the bodies of thousands already with thousands more waiting ahead. Lord please give me the strength to persevere, the wisdom to overcome and the grace to stand before all who would stand against you… let me be a beacon in a world of utter darkness. Please use me as you see fit.” “As I draw my blade its glasslike alloy starts to sings resonating with my soul. I’m absolutely sure that my prayer had been heard. Legions of skeletal hands stretch out through the crimson murk, proof that my faith will now be tested by the darkest horrors these lands have to offer. Seraphie I’ll be with you soon…” See my other MOD’s Choices? Dueling Sisters and Dragonslayer . See the inked version?