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Subject: Greetings friends, vagabonds, and weary travelers! rss

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Luke Butler
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Gather 'round the fire and join me for a story. An epic tale of heroism, perseverance, betrayal, and tragedy. For tonight, you have the unique pleasure of learning what TRULY happened that fateful day. The day that would shape our future and change this world, forever.........

"That's the last of them", Midnight growls through gritted teeth. The air around her still crackling as her Energy Shield finally begins to dissipate. The body of the goblin now laying scorched and crumpled at her feet. The flames still eagerly licking at its crude, makeshift wing device. Raising a hand to her face, she can feel the small trickle of blood flowing from her nose. She slumps to her knees. Weariness suddenly crashing over her like a wave. The price of magic is never cheap. The bodies of enemies litter the battlefield and one of the few remaining towers is now barely more than a pile of rubble. Near the base of the ruined tower she spots the lifeless form of the brave young foot soldier. He had answered the call to arms requesting only a mere 100 gold pieces be left to provide for his family should he not return from battle. "Poor kid. Thank you for your service. Let peace find you on the other side."

"Midnight! Thank the heavens!"

Startled, she explodes to her feet, spinning quickly, her hands already glowing with elemental power. Felicity, her wings beating softly, landing lightly a few yards away, a look of concerned relief on her face.

"You're hurt. Let me help. Stay still."

"If you sneak up on me like that again, I won't be the one needing help", she says, eyes narrowed, "I'm fine, just a little dizzy. Where are the others?”

"From my vantage point in the tower I could only see Ember, or rather her endless stream of arrows darkening the sky. It's safe to say Fae isn't far. Valcor was locked in combat with a Bridge Troll on the eastern path. A small band of orcs thought they could take advantage of the opportunity to sneak by and make a run for the gate. At least one of those orcs surely regrets that decision as Valcor's mace practically took its head from its shoulders. Amongst the chaos and cloud of dust, I lost sight of him in the melee. That stubborn man is likely to get himself killed before this is over.”

"What is that?” she asks as she notices a small glowing light rising into the sky.

"It's coming from the eastern path. Ember must have found him."

"Over here! Felicity, it's bad. Hurry!” Ember shouted trying to hide the panic in her voice. She had found Valcor half buried under the body of the Bridge Troll, surrounded by dead orcs. His once shining breastplate now mangled and covered in blood. His spiked mace still lodged firmly in the troll's midsection, precariously holding much of the troll's weight. Ember had been able to carefully ease him out from under the hulking form thanks to the mace. He had slain the beast, but at what cost?

“He’s still breathing”, Felicity said, laying her hands on his bloody armor. The warm healing energy beginning to flow from her hands into Valcor’s broken body. “This won’t be enough. His shield arm is crushed. The metal twisted and bent around the flesh.”

“Ember, your side!” Midnight gasped noticing the large, gaping wound in the Ranger’s abdomen, soaking her tunic with blood. For the first time, Ember was aware of the searing pain in her side. The adrenaline proving a valuable asset during the battle but now abandoning her.

“I had to retreat from the tower as it crumbled around me. I didn’t see the Goblin Berzerker until it was too late. He connected with me a heartbeat before the falling debris crushed him.” She slumped against the dead troll. “We won’t survive another assault like that one and the enemies are becoming more ravenous.”

“Valcor might not survive THIS one“, Felicity said, healing energy still flowing from her hands. “Come close, the power of my Pendant of Grace may be enough to staunch the flow of blood and close your wound. Ember take my hand.” Felicity reached for the pendant around her neck. A knot formed in her stomach. “It’s gone! It must have fallen off as I glided off the tower, or on the run over here. Midnight find it!”

Midnight sprinted away, backtracking over the same route they had taken to find Ember and Valcor. As she neared a small copse of trees, a large form bounded into her path, head low, a deep growl rumbling from its chest.

“Dammit Fae! You scared me.” The large wolf’s head rose instantly upon recognizing his companion. His tail started to wag. “What is that? Give me that!” Midnight reached down to take the small, shiny item from the wolf’s mouth. “It’s Felicity’s pendant! I don’t care what Valcor says about you Fae, you’re a good boy! This way.” With Faelan bounding along ahead of her, Midnight ran back to the others. “I’ve got it Felicity”.

“Great, Valcor and Ember are going to need it. Hand it to me.” Midnight reached into the small pouch, produced the pendant and held it out to Felicity.

“No! No! No! What happened to it!? It’s destroyed. It’s useless like this.” As Felicity inspected the small pendant she noticed numerous indentations as if some wild animal had been chewing on it. Many of the small gems that had been set into the precious metal had been dislodged and were missing. With an exasperated sigh, Felicity stood up and threw the pendant into the trees. A large wolf went bounding happily after it.

In the distance, the low hum of war machines could be heard. A battle horn bellowed over the battlefield. “You better start praying to whichever deity you worship. It’s going to take a miracle now………”.

To be continued

The guilty party! Way to go Fae.......

Spoiler (click to reveal)

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John Wrot!
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Love this! Love it!
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