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Tales23

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The Sacred and The Corrupt
#1
Prequel - Take me Out!

Spoiler:

All about the crowds roared in excitement as the two men took their place in the midst of the arena. On one end stood the Crusader, his person clad in layers of dark plate which has seen it’s worth and then some in combat. His shoulders were riddled with dents as his legplates matched it well, shimmering brightly with it’s myriad of scars. As a snowy gust blew in his ichor-stained tabard fluttered as the other rose to oppose him.

His opponent had proven to be a worth while magister, already surpassing a previous foe in order to advance this far. Where the Crusader was decorated in trustworthy plate, the man opposing had a carefully decorated robe and mast, wielding nothing more than a simple staff in his grasp.

Each man of honor regarded one another with a bow and wishes for a healthy combat before taking up their weapon of choice. When each struck their combat stands, the announcer barked out in a bellowing voice that could be heard over the roaring crowd.


“Begin!”


The beginning of the end.

The armor-clad Crusader barrels forward at a break-neck pace, taking the mage off-guard as he managed a decisive carve into his leg with the shimmering edge of his blade. Despite the large wound so early on into the combat, the Mage still managed to hobble out of the way of the Crusader’s attack, returning the favor with a bolt of fire that danced through the corners of his plate and against his pounding chest. As he recoiled, the magister released his next move in quick sucession. All about him the air heated, growing warmer and warmer until it tortured any soul within his range. Though, this was only preparation as he released the engulfing waves of superheated fire, which drove straight onto the Crusader and swarmed every inch of his person.

At this moment he could feel it, the plate grips cracking and warping, the searing of his skin as superheated plate melded with raw flesh. His armor tensed, restricting the Crusader in every painful way as he attempted to turn about, performing one last attack out of spite, out of the refusal to go down without a fight. It was all in vain, for as he turned about he was met with one last blast of flame that sent the towering Crusader barreling into the ground, and soon unconsciousness.


“How is he?”

“It’s pretty bad...”

“Bad? How bad?”

“See for yourself.”

The priestess motioned to the enflamed Crusader with a pair of thick sheers in her hands. From what wasn’t covered by the clean sheets was a rather gruesome sight. His chestplate was trimmed into manageable pieces before being ripped from his person, one by one. With each shred of armor, a layer of blackened skin came off as well. The onlooker winced, eyeing the unconscious man with pity before marching off silently. The priestess met his silence with a sigh of her own before turning her attention to the patch of revealed skin. Without a moment’s more of delay she took up her scalpel and began the delicate process of scraping off his dead, burned skin and healing it over with a handful of golden light.

She worked and worked, the careful process burning away at the night’s candle but still she did not give respite. Not when the victors came to feast, not when the defeated came for rest. Her brothers and sisters tended to them all, but she had a task to complete. As the hours grew later, the pile of his scrapped armor grew until one couldn’t notice it more than a collection of scrap metal possibly from an engineer’s failed project.

As the dawn’s light shimmered on his bandaged chest, a single, pain-filled eye cracked open. It searched about briefly, first finding his wife who rested on the bed beside him, though right in front of her bed laid the pile of armor which he viewed with a sinking thought.

Back to square one...
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