The Swordlands

Memory Of An Unknown Legionary

Salvation

On a cliff’s edge far above wave-weathered rocks, a young girl shivers in the wind. Her dress is torn from running through the bracken along the rocky coastal path. There at the top she is looking out at the setting sun upon the Kindersee. As the Warforged approaches the girl startles and looks up. She is a short way below him, having climbed down the rocks to a precarious outcrop. She has tears down her cheeks and a desperate look in her eyes.

“Go away!” she called up through her tears, “I want everyone to go away!”

“Child, come away from the edge, you are in danger here.” cautions the legionary, reaching out as he slowly draws closer. The girl inches forwards, sending stones skittering off the clifftop and into the roaring wind and crashing waves.

“Don’t come any closer, I just want to die!”

The Warforged stopped. Considering that the wind might change direction, he thought that he may be able to reach her if he dived forward suddenly. Would the rocks beneath their feet support him if he jumped? It was uncertain. This should be resolved through dialogue.

“Come back, my child.” beckoned the soldier, “You are upset, but it will pass.”

“How would you know?” sobbed the girl, “You don’t fall in love like us, you don’t know what it means to give your heart to another and then be betrayed!”

“I do not, but I know that all wounds heal in time. I can help you.”

“No you can’t! You can’t help me! What is the point in living? We are all going to die. Surtur will come, and Thrymm shall follow. All that is will turn to dust and disappear in the wind. Every man, woman, and child in the land knows this. We are born knowing this and we die knowing this. There is nothing you can do! You can’t save us, noone can save us!” The girl screamed as she shifted another inch across the last rock between her and certain death.

“That is beyond our control. But you could certainly live a full and happy life many times over before the end of time my child. It is our destiny.” reasoned the soldier, beginning to grow unsure that this would end satisfactorily.

“Well I don’t want it! It’s not my destiny! I’m not going to live for you just to be able to die for you! I’m going to die my way!” The girl readied herself to jump, leaning back against the rocks she would leap from. The Warforged realises he has mere seconds to act. Trying to grab her would likely result in both of them falling to their deaths. Was there nothing he could do, nothing he could say?

“Stop child, you do not understand!” he shouted into the wind, “Ragnarok is not the end, for the Crown of Byfrost is the salvation of mankind!”

The girl looked up. The soldier had but another second.

“He who holds the Crown holds the Bridge, and from the Byfrost Bridge shall the last among men watch the giants fall!”

Later that night the Warforged returned to the village with the girl wrapped in skins. Her father fell to his knees thanking the legionary and offering blessings to the god of storms for not taking his child from him. The soldier left the village before dawn. It would be many years before he realised the price that all mankind would pay for saving a single life.

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Joe

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