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Parts: From Flowers to Swords, From Flowers to Swords Pt. II, From Flowers to Swords Pt. III

Chapter I - Humble Beginnings Edit

Year 0...

“And make sure you get me plenty of Stranglekelp! And don’t get your dress wet either, Soraya!”

“I’m not a child, father!” Soraya’s reply was exasperated. Today was her birthday, yet still she had to go out and work.

“You’re not an adult either, young madam! Now get to it before your old dad sets your hair on fire!”

“Jaritas!” Her mother squealed from the stock cupboard.

Soraya huffed, pulling on her knee high boots and slinging a tattered, woven bag across her shoulders as she listened to her parents frantic squabbling far in the back of the family shop. The Dwin’urdrenns’ were not an overly well off family. Happily middle-class, they owned a small medicine business in the busy western district of Silvermoon. Soraya’s father brewed the various potions and elixirs, her mother ran the finances and Soraya was left with the somewhat degrading task of picking the various herbs that were needed to stock the shelves.

At ninty years of age, Soraya had blossomed into well formed young woman. On the crux of her adult life, she often found herself wanting to be outside the confines of her parent’s home. Silvermoon had so much to offer a girl of her age! The streets were bustling with elves, the odd human scattered here-and-there, only all too keen to whisk her away for a weekend to Lordaeron. How she wished that perhaps one day she could take up the offer! But no, for now she would stay where she was, doing what she did best – working, not complaining and getting on with her drab life.


Year 20...

Long gone were the days of flowery dresses, low necklines and fancy hair. Soraya had grown into her adult life as more of a tomboy than the elegant woman she could well have been. Fastening her dull, black jerkin across herself, she looked once more into the mirror, puffing her troublesome hair out of her eyes. She was off out for her father, again. The tedious routine of getting up, eating and going around the woods hadn’t changed for almost her entire life. With one final adjustment of her hair band, she slung the now tattered bag over her shoulder and headed for the door.

“Soraya!” Her mother’s voice echoed from the hallway. “Soraya! Where’re you going?”

There was a sound of swift, small steps and shortly after Verlanna Dwin’urdrenn appeared at the doorway. She was short for her kind, dwarfed even by her own daughter. She looked much the same as Soraya in many respects, yet her ashen hair framed a much kinder, older face. Fine lines dotted around the lips and eyes which emitted a pale, blue husk in the dim light.

“I’m off to get daddy’s herbs, mama. Nothing unusual.” Soraya forced a smile.

“Well, you should do something unusual! You’re a young adult, Soraya! You should be with your friends! Maybe finding that special someone, yes?” The elder smiled a little playfully, but there were undertones of longing riddling the latter half of her request.

“I don’t have friends, mama…” she sighed as she shouldered her way past her mother. “I work, remember?”

The bitterness in Soraya’s voice left her senior recoiling slightly, her slim lips pursed into a frown.

“Maybe you could at least dress up a little? Put in a nice blue dress! They go so lovely with your beautiful eyes, dear.”

“Goodbye, mama.” The door opened, she placed a foot outside.

“Come back for dinner! Your father’s cooking for a change, sun help us!”

The door closed, and Soraya sighed with relief.



She hadn’t gotten very far. Humming contentedly to herself, she’d kept a slow pace from the city gates to where she now stood; picking flowers, more than herbs, along the way. Her bag was littered with plumage of various colours that stood in stark contrast to her dark clothing. A small smile creased her lips as she spotted exactly what she wanted jutting from the side of one of the larger trees. She headed over at the same ambling pace, looking all to at ease with the world before her ears caught wind of a piercing noise. A scream.

She stood deathly still, the sound so unusual in her usually tranquil woods. Her ears twitched. Another, then another! Before long cries were ringing out far and wide, the shrill voices overlapping in discordant mania. It wasn’t long before she discovered the cause.

Clattering of what sounded like metal and bones soon filled her ears. A repeating thud of a marching army resonated throughout the area, only drowned on occasion by the sounds of fighting and death. Its cause, as Soraya soon found was a host of monstrous creatures; some huge and lumbering whilst others look almost elven in their rotting guise. Where they stepped and even preceding their movements by a good few feet, the land withered, blackened and died.

Dropping her bag with a gasp, she sprinted closer to the trunk of the nearby tree and pressed her back to it. Holding her breath she dared not look at the nightmare that was crashing through her homeland like a wave of death and destruction.

She could have been the hours or minutes, it hardly mattered when each passing breath felt like a lifetime. Amidst the obvious fighting she’d not once dared to glance anywhere but in front of her until a whispery, yet strong voice filled her ears. She had to see where it came from, her curiosity suddenly overshadowing every fear that had locked her in place. Tipping her tear stained face oh-so-slowly around the great trunk, she scanned her surroundings. She saw devastation and death beyond belief, but no sign of the strange voice. Yet, something more disturbing filled her view.

Her parents were fleeing, her father practically dragging her screaming mother as they darted deep into some of the unscathed woodlands. Soraya knew she should have been happy; they were alive! And what’s more, they looked likely to escape the havoc. But all she felt was abandonment, regret and betrayal. They had left her alone, to die. Turning her back to the tree again, she slumped down its length. She wanted to scream – to scream and cry until she had no more tears left – yet a solid, undying fear kept her from doing either.

More time passed, which luckily for Soraya was uneventful. She was no longer sure how long she’d been huddle by the tree. She felt cold, weak and alone. He spirits were dampened seemingly beyond repair, and she felt as if no evil could possibly make matters worse. She soon found herself to be gravely mistaken as a surge of energy that she was unaware she even possessed flooded away from her. She suddenly felt gaunt, and strung out; colder than before, yet she began to drip in sweat. She thirsted for something unknown, yet she knew nothing nearby could quench what she wanted.

Unbeknownst to the quivering wreck that was Soraya Dwin’urdrenn, the Sunwell had been destroyed.

Chapter II - Addiction
Edit

Her house was ruined. Where once stood a large, two story shop with twisting and intricate architecture was now merely but a skeleton of it’s former self. To Soraya, who had been born and raised around the house, it was easy to make out what was left of the lower rooms. The counter remained half standing, its contents smashed and strewn over the floor, seemingly pointlessly. If what she’d heard was true, the attacking army (that had been dubbed “The Scourge”, apparently) sought no purpose but to lay waste to life.

It had taken Soraya some days to actually accumulate the strength and the will to want to visit her house. In the time that had passed, she spent amongst others like her, relaying stories and piecing together what she could of the disaster. What was now clear to them all was that the Sunwell had been destroyed, and they all felt the effects dearly. Most doubted they would even survive the next month, if no drastic measures were taken. Soraya herself knew little of such things, and resigned to agreeing with the general, obviously well informed, opinions of the surviving nobles. Days and nights had passed in which she scarcely ate, and became more and more withdrawn. The idea of visiting home – a potion’s store – to steal was born from a desperate need to survive.

Carefully, she stepped amongst the rubble with as much grace as her tired legs would allow and edged herself towards what she knew to be the remains of a stock cupboard. Her heart sank as she saw everything in much the same manner as the rest of her ruined abode; each bottle smashed, its contents smeared and drying on countless pieces of stone and wood. She suddenly became annoyed at herself for expecting anything else, as though somehow her need for mana would have allowed all the potions to remain in pristine condition. As quickly as her disappointment had shifted to anger, her anger switched to desperation. She knelt beside a particularly soaked shelf and ran her fingernails deep into the grain before licking them clean of whatever she’d managed to pick up. Her momentary relief was all but overshadowed by the following plummet into anxiety. Hugging herself tightly, she remained where she was, crying long into the evening.





News reached Soraya’s ears that Kael’thas had returned from Dalaran to save his ruined people. The news couldn’t have been more welcome to her, and she rushed with all her might to see her Prince and, she had decided, hero. A large (by comparison) crowd had already gathered by the time her tattered self had managed to reach where the Prince stood. She strained and tiptoed to catch a glimpse of the royal, hoping desperately that he looked as terrible, gaunt and ridden as her. However, she was met with the same Prince she had always remembered. He stood, seemingly pristine and without a hint of lingering hunger. His blue eyes flared with just as much energy as she’d noticed on the rare occasions she’d been taken to see a parade, or royal gathering and his sculpted face was caring and purposeful.

Purpose.

Soraya immediately knew upon seeing him that purpose was what she needed. His very presence filled her anew with a confidence that made her feel she could battle through the stifling pains of her new found addiction, and that she could soon stand as he did, tall and proud.

Amidst the swell of her own thought, she missed much of what the Prince had to say. She caught glimpses of his words, her emotions roller-coasting with each passing minute. His father, the King, had died – she became depressed - he was heading away – she became more depressed – to find a new source of power and energy for his people – she became enthralled!

Shortly after the crowd dispersed, leaving her standing alone and staring at the spot where her hero once stood. From this day on, she was resolute to do something useful. To live.

Weeks passed, with no word from the Prince, yet her spirits didn’t falter. She had put to good use her limited knowledge of first aid, and had taken to patching up the wounded and helping those who fared worse than herself. She was content like this, but still her home vastly stood a wreck. Silvermoon was being rebuilt at an amazing speed, yet still seemed no where near completion. And in much the same way, her life seemed far from rounded. She still craved something to sedate her own pangs of addiction, and she knew she couldn’t walk around in rags forever.

Her needs became answered sooner than she could have hoped, however, as a gift arrived from a strange land from her Prince. Deep within a hidden chamber of New Silvermoon, a Naaru began to be exploited.


Chapter III - Purpose
Edit

“The Light has betrayed our people!”

Soraya winced. Had it?

“It has betrayed our people, sending thousands of our loved to their untimely deaths and allowing our beloved Quel’thalas to be desecrated beyond repair!”

Soraya frowned solemnly; yes, it had.

The figure speaking before her, and many other hopeful elves, was a woman she only knew as Lady Liadrin. She was tall, for a female - imposingly so. Her rich, sunburst hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail that Soraya could only imagine added to the constant headaches which she received from withdrawal. Surely this Liadrin woman suffered them too?

The tall female paced evenly up and down the line of recruits, continuing to lecture on the betrayal of that which the once held dear. She would stop every so often, and take a stern, piercing gaze at the faces of her kinsmen, her eyes scanning calculatedly.

“This… black carpet,” she continued, stomping her foot down onto the Dead Scar to emphasise her point, “will continue to serve as a reminder that there are things we as Sin’dorei cannot forgive!”

Soraya cringed again. She hadn’t grown accustomed to being referred to as a Child of Blood, and although she understood and even agreed that the term was of the utmost respect, she felt she would never get used to it.

“The humans and their bastard Prince! The treacherous Quel’dorei who abandoned us and disgraced their fallen kin! And lastly… the Scourge!”

As if scripted or rehearsed, a skeletal figure trudged into view. Its gnarled features twisted into a wicked grin upon seeing the masses of living and without thought, it lunged. A smirk passed Liadrin’s lips. She did not turn to look at the creature; she merely outstretched a hand in its direction. From it burst a radiant, golden glow that travelled the distance between the elf and the undead within the blink of an eye. Within even less time, the walking dead was nothing more than a pile of ash, an echoing cry of pain all that was left of its existence.

Soraya trembled at the power, her eyes wide and her jaw slack. Her company all did much the same, but each except her bought themselves to some sort of order when the strong eyes of Liadrin once again fell onto them. She stared at Soraya, who finally composed herself before moving on.

“The light is no longer to be served. It will serve us as a weapon, and be used to protect our people from such devastation ever again! We, the Blood Knights will succeed where the Farstriders failed so badly. Now I ask you this… why do you want this power?”

She was met with similar answers from each: “Power!”; “Glory!”; “To protect our loved ones!” Finally, it was Soraya’s turn to answer. She felt no want to be powerful and glorious. She had no loved ones to care about, and her mind was filled her needs – her want to be rid of her aching addiction. She buckled under Liadrin’s stone gaze.

“Because I must.”



Chapter IV - New Beginnings
Edit

Soraya looked awkwardly intfront of her full length mirror that came as standard in her new room. The Blood Knight’s Temple was furnished in a similar fashion wherever she looked; the same deep crimson and black hung everywhere. Her bed linen, her rug, her curtains and even her towels were either black, red or a mixture of the two. Elegant details were etched into most of her furnishings in the most subtle of gold that still shone brightly amidst all the darkness.

Her garments were not too dissimilar either. More focused on the red than the black, it was garish and not overly appealing to the eyes. Yet, it was better than the raggy clothes she’d had to suffer for the past months. Upon first donning the chain mail, she’d stumbled, fallen and been punished. Since that time she’d learnt how to hold herself in such heavy attire, and was certain not to make such a mistake again; her sore arm would see to remembering that. She eyed herself one more carefully, stopping when she caught her own gaze. Sighing, she pulled down the skin around her eye gently and frowned, watching the mixture of blue and green practically swimming around each other in a battle for dominance. Having seen the effects on the Magisters already, she knew all too well that eventually, the green would overpower the blue.

“Oh mama…” a sigh escaped her lips. “You would be so disappointed.”

“Dwin’urdrenn!”

She jumped at the voice, turning to face the door and standing swiftly to attention. The apparent “Master” designated as her personal tutor stood in the hallway, his unforgiving eyes piercing deep into hers. She often wondered just how long the source of her new powers had been kept from the populace, considering people such as her Master and the Matriach were already experts in their own right. Nevertheless, she was grateful to have a teacher. Far more grateful than he was to have her as a student, she imagined.

“Your Trial begins. Follow me, swiftly!”

“Yes, Master.” She nodded obediently, following him down the corridor. Master Bloodvalor was not to be kept waiting.




The “Isle of Tribulations” as the dank, desolate island had been named, was where Soraya soon found herself. She stood at the entrance to a small, yet unimaginably dark cave. She felt uncomfortable, as she always did when she was taken into what had been dubbed “The Ghostlands”. The area was devoid of life for the most part, and what little there was seemed to be corrupt, diseased or in some way down-right dangerous. It pained her to see the once lush woodlands of Eversong so uninviting and chilly. Nevertheless, she had to focus on the task at hand. A task which, to her, seemed pointless.

Light the flame, and wait. Those were her instructions. She glanced sideways to her Master, who seemed to grow more agitated by the minute, before stepping inside the cave. Slowly and carefully she paced forwards, her flame torch illuminating the short path to a pre-set brazier. Flicking her gaze around once more, she set the flame to the tinder and waited.

And waited, and waited…

She had just settled herself uncomfortably on the floor when a figure rushed inside. She gasped, jumping to her feet and quickly reaching for her sword. She almost dropped it as her gaze fell upon the tabard of the approaching figure. He was a Blood Knight. And he had murder in his eyes.

Steadying her grip Soraya was quick to dodge his first swing. She dared not attack; not until she was fully aware of what was going on. Thankfully, her fluid movements had been what set her apart in combat drills. She moved with a grace that was withheld for the most refined of dancers, and although she’d never known it she had a natural flare for the skill.

“What are you doing?!” she shouted out to her attacker. He remained silent, and swung again. She parried. “Tell me!”

More silence. His attacks became swifter, and she began to lose her composure. She couldn’t dodge around him forever, and her heavy armour was beginning to take its toll on her fitness, or lack thereof. With little else to do, she swung at him violently.

Her blade cut him clean across the chest. She watched wide eyed as he staggered backwards. Without a second though she continued her assault; her sword piercing his chest. She withdrew it, and stared helplessly as the Knight’s limp body now fell onto the stone floor. There was a loud clatter as he own sword fell from her hands, its metallic clang echoing deep into the cave.

A slow applause filled the silence that was left when all the commotion had ended. Footsteps made their way to the scene, and Bloodvalor observed his quivering apprentice with a satisfied grin.

“Seems you are worthy after all… That killer instinct must be honed.”

She didn’t know what to say, or what to do. She merely stared at the dead body, her lip trembling as her eyes slowly filled.

“Compose yourself, Dwin’urdrenn!” Bloodvalor yelled in her face. “It was a necessary test. The Blood Knights are a brotherhood, but we must ensure that our brothers are alert and prepared at all times. Was it necessary to take his life to make the point to you? Yes, and that is as much a part of your training as any sword drill.”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Every fibre in her body wanted to protest. To last out at her Master as she had done to the Knight she slew. But she couldn’t. She was locked in a sea of emotions, unable to even utter a reply.

“We don’t have time for your foolery, girl.” Her Master continued, “Leave it too long, and you wont bring him back!”

“Brwha…?!” She stood, staring. Bring him back? How? She could barely heal her own wounds, let alone perform such a feat! The Naaru was too strong for her to control! Surely it would never allow for her to take so much energy as to revive someone!

“Try! Hurry!”

She nodded briskly, and focused all her will on conquering that of the captured Naaru. She strained, ever muscle tensing as she tried desperately to cast the spell she required. Light engulfed her hands and soon faded again into nothingness, and with it went her remaining energy. She collapsed, her head hitting the stone floor with a sickening thud.

“Useless…” uttered Bloodvalor, as he continued where she had so drastically failed.


Chapter V - Development
Edit

The cold marble floors of the training halls were so very soothing to Soraya’s hot cheek. She lay on her side, one ear pressed to the floor with her new sword strewn across the room, far out of reach. She closed her eyes gently, still trying to catch her breath. A welcome darkness began to overcome her, but no sooner did she begin to feel relaxed was she rudely interrupted.

“Get off the floor, you whelp! What do you think you are?! One of those petty, filthy swabs who frequent Murder Row?!”

Without a word she pushed herself to her feet, and painfully stepped over to collect her sword as her Master’s words continued to echo throughout the empty hall.

“You are a Blood Knight, Dwin’urdrenn! It’s high time you acted like one and shook off your disobedience, your laziness and your pathetic attitude!”

“Yes, Master…”

“You will not leave this room until I deem you are fit to leave this room, do you understand? Now come at me!”

With her back turned, Soraya snarled. Bloodvalor expected so much of her! So much she was sure she couldn’t give. The room was empty, spare for herself and her Master. The other trainees had long gone, their combat drills completed and finished hours before. She had been kept behind by her mentor, who had deemed her an unskilled nuisance. In Soraya’s mind, this clearly wasn’t the case. Her fellow students praised her as a natural swordsman, and she often found herself besting them in spars. But fighting those like herself and fighting Masters were two very separate things, and her tired body was quickly realising.

“Now, Dwin’urdrenn!”

With a frustrated grunt, she spun and lunged. She attacked him with a ferocity that was being unleashed from over a year of pent up frustrations. She had seen her fellows come and go, advancing through the ranks at a pace which far outmatched hers and she knew it wasn’t because of a difference in skill. It was because he was holding her back. A metallic clashing of blades filled the silent hall, the strikes fast and hard. Yet, no matter how she tried, Bloodvalor always parried with ease. She decided to change tact.

Her attacks slowed, yet she still pushed him backwards around the circular room. She eyes his movement, his legwork and his openings. She calculated the optimum time to do what she had to, to show him she was worthy of leaving.

Her moment came.

She lowered her blade, dropped her guard and bought a leg swiftly to the side of his chest. Her movements were fluid, her speed impeccable and the force at which she hit could shatter bones. Her Master cried in pain, and recoiled away from her as she bought her sword back into a guard position, certain of the oncoming counter. But no such attack came. He glared at her through burning, green eyes; his teeth clenched in a visible snarl. He dropped his sword, clutching his side with his now free hand and began to pace towards her, his other arm stretched before him.

“I will not suffer your underhand tactics, you whelp!”

Soraya’s eyes widened as she saw a flash of bright light burn in his palm, and then hurtle towards her. It collided with the flat of her blade with such force as to knock her several feet into the air, and several more backwards until she landed in an ungraceful pile on the floor.

Bloodvalor was soon over her, his plate boot crashing down onto her sword-hand. There was a painful crunch and Soraya screamed in agony as several of her fingers broke under the pressure. Her eyes filled, but she refused to cry. Not in front of him.

“Oh my… an ample opportunity for you to practice you healing, no?” He smiled smugly at her writing form. “Now, get out of my sight!”


Chapter VI - A Dark Path
Edit

"Have you ever thought how this might be affecting you?"

Soraya's mother’s unspoken words echoed through her head. She knew full well her mother knew nothing of her profession as a Knight, yet she also knew that she most certainly would not approve. She sat in her dark room, eyeing the small book she'd picked up from the Silvermoon Archives. She trailed a hand across it, glowing in a feint light as she tried to read what she could. The cover and a few pages had Thalassian translations, but it was hardly enough for her to be able to research what she'd wanted. She sighed and closed the book, clenching her fist to extinguish the light in her hand.

How had her Master launched a wall of light at her? All she knew was that it hurt - not healed. In between her studies she'd been trying relentlessly to for some kind of force from her Holy magic. Each time she released it, it merely scattered throughout her room like thousands of tiny fireflies. She imagined the Paladins had it easy. Say a few prayers to the Light they so despicably served and there you have it; a new power. For her it was a different matter.

She stood and tuned her thoughts inwards. Selfish ambition flooded her mind as she stretched out an arm, eyes glowing behind closed lids and a grin seeping its way across her face.

"You won't deny me. I'm in control here!" She extended her thoughts, trying to contact the captured Naaru, deep within the bowels of the Temple. Glowing waves of light began to spiral round her arm, twisting and turning before coming to a rest at the palm of her hand. Then they stopped and retracted. Some force was stopping her; she could feel it holding her back and she knew what it was.

"By the Sun! I'm the master here! Not you!"

Her anger boiled as she spat out the words. In response the light returned, quickly spiralling down the length of her arm. She opened her eyes and bent her will fully against that of the Naaru. She wanted this; craved it, yearned for it. Then it happened. Her hand exploded with a wall of light that overturned her bedside table and filled the room with a blinding flash.

She smirked at her destruction, and counted another defeat against the Naaru to her superior will.

"Have you ever thought how this might be affecting you?"
The thoughts rung through her head again.

"Better than I expected... Mama."


Chapter VII - A Not-So-Fond Farewell
Edit

The crimson and silver blade cut neatly through she still air, meeting it's target with loud clash. Again and again Soraya repeated her steps. Feet overlapped, the sword changed hands, she twisted and she twirled, ducking and dodging, swiping and thrusting.

The Blood Knight Intiates who stood in a circle around her watched her elegant dance in awe. The pace picked up. Bloodvalour advanced. Now the Light came into play. More twisting and turning. More ducking and dodging. An offensive spell cast - low powered of course - dotted here and between the carefully choreographed fight. She was a blend of light and dark. Her flowing black cape following her every movement like a dark silken river, lifting and falling occasionally revealing a bright flash of light reflected off of a perfectly placed sword.

Eventually the dance stopped. Soraya had a sword at her neck, yet she grinned nevertheless. Her sword was held behind her, in no good place to strike. Bloodvalour raised an dark eyebrow.

"I see nothing to grin about, Dwin'urdrenn."

She said nothing, but merely directed her gaze down her left arm with a slight nod. Bloodvalor followed it, a frown slowly seeping across his face as her came towards a a hand wrapped in a crimson glove. The hand held a dagger; a dagger pointed directly towards his outstretched underarm. Bloodvalour was not amused, but Soraya could her a few snickers from the Initiates who had gathered.

"You know you can't use that in a spar," he said bluntly.

"I know, but it's funny," was the slightly sarcastic reply.

Both withdrew their weapons and gave a slight bow. The crowd dispersed and eventually they were alone on the dark training room. Bloodvalour strode to the doorway, not saying a word to the student left alone in the centre of the room. Soraya knew she had dented his pride, and the thought pleased her.

He reached the curtain-dapped arch before stopping and turning, regarding his pupil for a short while. She was certainly special. The young woman who stood before him held such pride, such finesse. Clad in black and crimson, burning determination upon her face. So every different from the scruffy runt who had first entered into his supervision. Someone who had previously never held a sword was now an extraordinarily elegant being. She almost matched him in skill. Almost. A slight smirk broke his tightly sealed lips.

"Dwin'urdrenn. It's been a pleasure."

He left the room without another glance. She was no longer his student. Soon she would be his equal. She was under the Lady's guidance now.


Chapter VIII - The Trial
Edit

Being accepted into the Masterhood was not something that was simply given to anyone. Those chosen were sponsored by their previous Masters, presented before the Matriarch and given trials. Trials that tested not only their strengths, but also their undying loyalty to the Order and its ways. Soraya was no exception.

Her trial was simple, as far as trials went. A human Paladin had killed a member of the Order – a very fine friend to Soraya, as Liadrin did not forget to mention – and in turn, her must be put in his place. He must be reminded that his ways were clearly inferior to that of the Knights and that he, nor any other of his filthy kind, could get away with such a crime against the Order.

It was easy to find the man in question. He lived a secluded life with his wife and son close to the boarders of the Plaguelands. An open glade nearby was where he trained the child regularly, teaching him the ways of the Light. It was there that Soraya waited in the thickets. Waiting and watching for the opportune moment.

She couldn’t hear what was being said, yet the very sight of the relationship sickened her to the core. Here was a father, wasting hours upon hours of his child’s life on teachings that would enable him no more power than the newest of Blood Knights. The ways of the Paladin were so archaic, so time consuming and so very, very wrong.

With a ruffle of his son’s hair, the Paladin turned his back. That was all Soraya needed. A rustle of leaves was all that warned the wandering Human before a Holy Shock collided forcefully against his back. Shortly after, a plated boot was bought crashing into his side, sending him toppling to the ground. Soraya smirked, not quite happy that he was immobilised and thus resolved to bring her sword crashing through his shoulder, pinning him to the ground.

“What do you want?!” He spat at her, watching as her black and crimson figure slowly paced back towards the young child who was apparently frozen in fear. “Leave him! Leave Nathaniel!”

“Oh… ?” Soraya knelt behind the child, slithering a slender arm around his neck to caress his face. Her eyes caught a glimpse of his ears – slightly longer than his fathers. “Tell me. Am I as beautiful as his mother?”

“You’re a monster! Let him go! Let my son go!”

“But sir… why should I do such a thing?” Her hand continued to gently caress the young half-elf’s cheek. “I mean, you killed someone’s son, after all. Perhaps a little older than this young… thing. But what difference does age make?”

With a motherly pat to the trembling youngling’s head, she stood and calmly paced to the father, removing her sword but careful to keep him pinned with a heavy boot rested to his chest. He grunted and squirmed under the weight, trying desperately to overcome the pain of his injuries.

“Did your daddy leave that lesson out, young Nathaniel? You see… the Light you so worship is not all smiles and sunshine. No, no, no… Daddy uses it to kill people. Did you know?”


Nathaniel shook his head, very slightly, his eyes teary. Soraya turned her attention back to the Paladin beneath her. He looked a sorry attempt for a creature. So easily overcome, and so very easily controlled by his emotions. If she’d seen a colleague like this, she had no doubts she’d put him out of his misery. Without removing her boot, she turned and knelt on his torso, a plated knee resting onto the man’s throat.

“Paladins are wrong, sir. You are wrong. You are inferior, your methods are laughable and… you certainly had no right to bring an end to a dear friend of mine.”

Calmly, Soraya glanced over her shoulder to the trembling child.

“Can your Light save him, sir?” She held her sword loosely in her hand, arm outstretched in Nathaniel’s direction. Another Holy Shock erupted in her palm, sending her sword hurtling towards the son. The deafening scream of the father drowned all sound of impact, and Soraya placed a plated finger gently above his lips with a patronising “sssh.”

“Seems the answer is ‘no’, then? As I expected…”

Her palm erupted once more over the human’s face. She cared not if he were dead or merely unconscious; in fact she hoped the latter. He deserved to live in the knowledge that his pathetic ways were no match for the Order and that a Blood Knight would always, always best a Paladin.

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