Saora's Benediction 9 "Eastwall Tower. The road is just on the other side."
Soara looked up the hill they'd reached at the tall white structure on top, "Looks more like ruins than a tower."
"Everything does in the Plaguelands," responded Verita.
"Because of the Scourge?"
She didn't get an answer. She didn't think the Elf disliked her. It's possible she just wasn't friendly. Saora remembered all the other Elves she'd met in her journeys. Some were good some not, but all of them were are least polite. This one, this Verita, spoke as little as possible. Small talk to break the ice was pointless and consisted of Saora talking to herself. Silence at least made her look sane.
"We should rest here," Grifton called from behind. "We can use the tower's shelter as camp." The lead horse turned around and continued walking backward so the Elf could face the Dwarfs. Saora couldn
Saora's Benediction 8 "What happened here?..."
Armod growled deep in his throat, "Now you see what the Scourge does, Saora. Everythin' 'round them dies, even the land."
He was right. The Plaguelands had almost no vegetation. The ground was a deep red, showing even the dirt was cursed. Their gryphons flew them safely past horrible sights, from rotting ghost towns to cursed green lakes. It was terrible. A deep sadness engulfed Saora.
"Passin' the Crossin'!" Onyxe called. "Watch yer back!"
The gryphons soared over a hill and revealed Corin's Crossing, a large village of deserted, crumbling buildings. Crawling over every inch of the town were creatures that shouldn't exist. Banshees wailed in doorways, their see-through hands tearing wild, purple hair from their heads. Corpses with bits of flesh and muscle peeling away from their bodies wandered aimlessly along the roads, several glancing up h
Saora's Benediction 7 After more than a year of missions, assignments and quests, Saora thought she'd be better prepared for another summons to Stomrwind's cathedral. But as she climbed the steps, she felt the same old nerves returning. The thought of standing before someone as blessed as the High Priestess Laurena made Saora feel completely inadequate. It was like arriving on the first day of school to discover all the other students started six months prior. Not exactly encouraging.
She edged through the open doors, keeping close to the wall. Perhaps no one would notice her and she could get in and out quickly. She swallowed and stepped into the main room.
"Greetings, Sister Saora! Good to see you again!"
Saora cringed but managed a weak smile, "Greetings, brother. Light be with you." The young priest beamed and stepped aside. She glanced around. Every pair of eyes was on her. She groaned, tugging at her ceremo
Saora's Benediction 6 The sword at her neck tickled Saora again, "Bag on the ground, priestess." She swallowed, struggling to hold back tears. They'd tricked her, even after all the warnings. How could she be so stupid?
"Now, if you please," Rolf growled. The bag thunked to the grass.
"Scout. Check it out."
The boy, Scout, saluted mockingly, "Aye-aye, Cap'n." He shoved his bloodied arm into the pack. The cloak came out first. Scout sneered at it, wiping his face clean. Saora's stomach lurched, like she'd been punched by an invisible hand. Running the fabric through his hair, he tossed it aside with a whoop. The small wrapped package from the man at Northshire's gate was clutched in his stained fingers.
"Stop!" Saora reached forward, "That isn't--" Something solid whapped against the side of her head. Stars burst in her vision. She blinked twice. When had she fallen to the ground?
Saora's Benediction 5 Despite Marshals laundry list of warnings, Saora reached Northshires stone gates without any trouble. Travelers occasionally paused, shifting their heavy bags to wave. She paused at the gate. It was the farthest shed been from the Keep for as long as she could remember. Granted, that wasnt very long, still she was leaving everything behind. Once again her stomach twisted on itself. She could still go back.
She stepped through the gate.
Saora jerked in shock. A man stood before her, plain clothed and surrounded by boxes. Her eyes narrowed and she clutched her back to her.
The man laughed,
Saora's Benediction 4 "And dont talk to anyone on the road. I dont care if theyre pushing three babies and a puppy in a wheelbarrow, you dont talk to them. Got it?
Anetta rolled her eyes, Marshal, relax. She isnt four. She doesnt need the Dont Talk To Strangers lecture.
With the roads as dangerous as they are, you cant be too careful, the soldier continued. If you see anything resembling a bandana on their face, arm, pinky finger, WHEREVER, you start running. Bandits arent exactly the friendly sort but they love nothing more than an ambush. Dont give them that chance, ok?
Saora nodded. Satisfied with his long list of advice, Marshal nodded back and awkwardly patted the young priestess on her
Saora's Benediction 3 No! Saora fell to her knees beside the bleeding priestess. She could fell herself slipping into shock. Shed never seen so much blood. Desperate, she pressed against the gushing wound, trying to stop the unstoppable flood.
Help! she cried. Somebody help me! No answer. No thudding footsteps from the Abbey. She was alone.
Anettas eyes dimmed. The beautiful color in her cheeks melted to a pasty hue. Air entered her lungs in short, ragged gasps. She was dying.
The girls fists clenched. She was the priestesss only hope. She had to try. She HAD to. Uttering a quick and desperate prayer, Saoras hands spread lightly over the wound. She formed the mental image of the sun on a clear, spring day. Its warmth washed over her, strengthening her, filling her with its cleansing rays. She pulled that warmth growing inside her, moving it easily