My brothers would kill me if they knew, Eruviel thought grimly as her gloved hand rested at the strange sword hanging at her hip. Her usual weapons absent, she had retrieved Rainion’s sword from the Barrow Downs after she’s returned from Othrikar with Threz. Bits of moss still clung to the fine details on the crossguard but the metal of the blade still gleamed like it had all those years ago. The rune-master had given her an odd look as she had him bind small runes to either side of the pommel, but she would not take any chances. She was sure that it was the ancient blade that made her feel strange, but the wound on her upper arm did not help. Looking up she nodded, her face pale as she moved to greet the sell-sword that walked up into her yard. “Good evening Joan. I . . . I really appreciate this.”
Joannee removed her helmet, a frown creasing her brow. “What’s wrong?”
Eruviel ran her tongue along the inside of her cheek as she looked down at the sword. How in Arda do I explain this? “A . . . friend of mine, Arathier, has been unfortunate enough to be taken over by a wight. This is all rather . . . strange, I know, but I intend to convince it that I will kill it by killing Rath. I can do it, but I needed to have my back covered and to have him taken to the infirmary after. I can pay you, of course.”
“Well, are we allowed to injure him, or no?” the woman asked as she drew her crossbow.
Eruviel ‘s eyes widened and she quickly shook her head, holding out a hand. “Oh no. I-I do not want him injured more than nessicary. I just need him to not get away. My hope is to bind the wight to this blade.” She pats the weapon at her hip. Since her and Rath had agreed on this solution she had been reading up on anatomy as a refresher. To be honest, she had lucked out, the wight having been too tired from fighting back Rath to hear her through it’s host. She was very good at killing, so she felt confident she could strike and not kill.
Joannee put her helmet back on and raised the visor. “If either your life or mine is at risk, I will not hesitate.” She paused for a moment before adding, “Wait, did you say Arathier?”
The knot that already sat in her gut twisted. You have got to be kidding me. How does she — Her thoughs were interrupted as the Eldar, Bellethiell walked up the path, armoured to the teeth like Joan, her shield strung on her arm. Nodding a bow to her with a small sigh of relief she looked back to Joan. “I did. He and I are . . well we were.” She shook her head as she beckoned Belle to join them. “The relationship can be difficult to explain.”
Bellethiell offered a bow as she stepped over, her eyes darting between the two of them, “I am here for whatever you need my lady.”
“What do you mean?” asked Joan with a raised brow, looking at the new elf, “Another mercenary?”
Eruviel blinked, looking to Belle with a chuckle. “Oh no, she is not competition for you. Joannee, this is Bellethiell, an armorer by trade.”
Joannee slid her visor down. “Good. I would not want someone interfering.” She drew the string back on her bow and loaded a bolt.
Bellethiell stumbled back a bit. She tried a short bow to Joannee before stuttering, “Just — just here to help is all. Eruviel, how can I assist you in this . . . endeavor?”
Eruviel ‘s stern expression cracked a little more and she nodded down the lane. “We will be going to a house in the next neighborhood. Joanne is watching my back. I need you to make sure the wight does not . . . spirit him away before I can get a good shot at him.”
Bellethiell nodded quickly and made her way down the hill, readying her weapons. Watching her move ahead Eruviel almost felt bad at seeing her young friend’s hands shake. Who else could she have asked? Nilla was gone, and Threz was still healing from the battle. She didn’t have the heart to ask Eirikr, and asking Anyatka was simply out of the question.
“Shall we?” Eruviel asked with a nod to Joan. “And no killing him. I’d prefer any injury done to be by me,” she added with a smirk and a jab of her finger.
Joannee answered by aiming the crossbow to make sure it was sighted. She then lowered it.
Steppping forward, Eruviel shoot Joan a look. I mean it. She’d just turned around when Belle’s tremoring voice called out from below. “E-eru-uviel?”
Glancing back to Joan she jogged down to the gate. “What is it, Belle?” She was mere yards away when she saw him, and she skidded to a stop.
Arathier towered over Belle as the young Eldar blocked the path, his eyes black a night. “Move Elf! Only one of your kind will die tonight.”
Eruviel could hear Joan stop behind her, and she knew the woman had her crossbow aimed at Arathier’s chest.
Bellethiell turned over her left shoulder, her eyes glistening with fear. She drew up her left arm and pointed to Arathier.
Eruviel ‘s eyes narrowed at the man as she drew her sword, pointing almost too calmly to Belle with her free hand as she approached. “Block the road, dear friend.” A cold chill went up her sword arm.
Arathier glared at Eruviel and sneered as he took a step towards her. “Elf you will not stop me! This mortal will be mine.”
Joannee coughed a bit as she placed the stock of the crossbow into her shoulder. “Keep talking like that, and we’ll see who stops you.”
Out of the corner of her eye, Eruviel saw Belle take another small step back at her post, drawing her hand to the small blade at her waist. She was in good company. Sliding one foot back, she leveled the ancient blade at him even as an unnatural urge to kill set into her. Is this why Milloth warned me away from this thing? “Then you should have run instead of coming after me, you fool. You have made my job easier. I was serious, what I said the other night,” she says darkly.
Arathier looked around. “What will you do elf, kill your human?” He gave her a evil smirk as he saw the anger flash in her eyes before motioning out to the three of them. “You have not brought these two to kill him. . . you are so weak!”
Joannee walked down the pathway, crossbow still raised. “Look at me. Do you honestly think I will not kill you? I am here to protect her, not you.”
“Aye!” Belle shouted in response, nodding confidently up to Joannee before turning her gaze back to the possessed man. Her hand clasped her blade tighter.
Eruviel could hear the blood rushing in her ears. The wound on her bicep began to throb, and she began to suddenly feel off balance. You have to . . . You have to go now! “You should not underestimate me,” she shouted, furious as she lunged forward, the blade aimed at his abdomen.
Arathier dodged out of the way at the last minute, grabbing her wrist as she sliced into the air where he had been. “Elf, I have been alive for far longer than you could imagine. I cannot be killed.”
“Everyone can be killed,” she spat. With a sharp yank she turned her trapped arm counter-clockwise to break his grip as she kicked at his stomach. Breaking free she danced back a pace, ready again to attack.
Bellethiell strode a step forward in a readied position to attack. Joannee’s breath began to slow as she prepared to take a shot.
Arathier stumbled back, glaring at her. “Would you kill him, Elf?” He snickered wickedly but his body suddenly went rigid, his fists clenching as a bright blue pushed away the black in his eyes. “E-Eru. . . you have to do it,” he managed.
Her eyes misting over at the sight of Arathier fighting back the wight, Eruviel nodded curtly, and she lunged forward again before the wight could regain full control.
Arathier’s eyes widened as the blade pierced him, his body shuddering as his shirt began to soak with blood. He looked at her in the eyes, his own turning from black, to blue, then back again as he slowly looked down at the blade, sputtering for breath.
Eruviel drove the ancient steel into him, her armored hand grasping the blade only a few inches from the tip so as not to run him through. “Now I have you,” she growled as her shoulders tensed under some unseen effort. Somewhere behind her she heard Bellethiell gasp, but she pushed it all out of her mind as she held the sword point into him. Through the blade, she could feel the wight thrashing in panic and she began to draw it out as she had done with nightmares and sickness in the past. It has to work . . . . Curse it all, it will work!
Arathier shuddered as the wight passed through him and began to bind itself to the sword. A shout rose from his throat as it desperately tried to reattach itself to Arathier’s body but could not regain the lost ground.
Almost. Just a little longer, Eruviel told herself as the runes on the sword faintly glowed, sealing the twisted soul to the elven blade. Eruviel’s arms began to shake as her green eyes paled, her hands clinging to the sword as it took on a sickening black aura.
Arathier closed his eyes for a moment as he regained full control of his body. He shuddered as he took a deep breath, looking from the sword to Eruviel. Joannee straightened, lowering the crossbow. She slid the visor for her helmet up, watching what was going on with a confused expression.
Then it was done. Eruviel drug her feet as she stepped back, pulling the sword from him. Her hands wet with hot blood, she held the sword out to the side. Her head spun and the chill that had run up her arm before now filled her. “Take — take him to the infirmary, Joan. If you please,” she rasped.
“That is a far, far distance to travel with a stomach wound. Are you sure?”
Arathier shook his head. “T-Take me home. I h-have everything that is needed to heal t-this.” His eyes slowly began to close.
Eruviel looked up to Arathier, her eyes still pale as she took another step back. A need for more blood trickled into her mind, almost like a small voice. “Call for a healer to see to him. Home remedies will not be enough for that wound.”
Arathier grit his teeth and looked down at the sword before turning his stern gaze on her. “Y-You must put the sword back . . . .”
Joannee took hold of his arm as he began to sway, “Right . . . I have no idea where you live, so you’ll need to stay awake.”
Eruviel ‘s hand gripped the hilt tighter, but after a long pause she nodded. I cannot keep it. I must ki — NO. Orome steel me, I must put it back. Where no one can find it. “I might be a while,” she managed as her mouth went dry. Her head rolled more than turned as she looked back to Belle. “Arwenamin, i-if you’d come with me . . . ?”
Bellethiell nodded, her usually merry face hardened and resolute. “Of course my friend, shall I go get the horses?”
Eruviel nodded, turning slowly to walk down the road. “If you would.”
(( RP taken from in-game and edited for tense and detail.))