Terrance had been proud once. Her hand lost due to her arrogance. Prior to that she had been a very curious creature, always landing in some new trouble due to her nosiness and impetuous nature. While the hand had returned due to the Temple Healers, the lesson she had learned had remained: while pride is acceptable, never underestimate an opponent due to their seeming lack of skill.
Now, however, she was simply a Half Elf trying to get by. Her half-blooded nature had only recently come to light, and it did not truly bother Terrance that much.
But now, her life was marching toward a conclusion.
The Hero’s Doom rests in the Hands of The Shadow Knight…
The word’s bitter refrain echoed through her mind as she walked toward the small fortress in the distance. She had found the words etched on a stone of fortune, which told those who touched it what their doom should come by. Had she not succumbed to a fit of curiosity, she would not be any the wiser.
But Terrance was not about to run. If she ran from her fate, her doom, she would never stop running until it caught up to her. She would never outrun it, merely spend her final time fleeing and dreading an hour that would surely, inevitably come.
Terrance refused to live in fear. She hadn’t until then, she wouldn’t now. Her head would remain held high, her knees unbowed. While not arrogant anymore, she was still a proud person, and pride demanded she face her doom on her terms.
As she approached the fortress a sentry spotted her and began to blow a trumpet of alarm. She raised her hand and a bolt of pure white energy soared from it, colliding with the sentry and silencing him but good.
A gate barred her way. She raised her hand again, her sword held firmly in her other. A large concentrated beam of white energy flew into the gate, and with a thunderous crash it exploded inward, showering the men behind it with splinters, pieces of metal, and holy rage. No one that had been behind the gate would trouble her.
As a group of assorted highwaymen and thugs rushed toward her, her mouth gained a bitter twist. She evaded their attacks with elegance and grace, the setting sun making her glistening white armor look as though it was all the color of blood. She danced through those who opposed her march toward her doom, leaving them wounded and fallen behind her.
Another bolt of energy flew from her hand, silencing the crossbowman who had almost fired at her. Her blade deflected an axe strike from a thug and looped back around, slicing him down. She saw a great stairway in front of her: it led to the great hall of the fort. She began walking up it, never wavering.
The doors of the great hall opened and a horde of enemies spilled out, all shouting and charging toward her. Her mind registered it as a temporary delay, nothing more.
She was hard beset, but despite the deluge of offensive force raining down on her, she maintained her grace and her power. Soon, though many, all her foes lay broken at her feet. She resumed her march.
As she reached the double doors of the great hall, carved with dragons and knights, seated before her was a knight dressed all in black, a massive morningstar mace resting in front of him, his hands on the bottom of its handle. He sat on a throne, and his helmet was spiked as though it were a crown.
“Your doom is here, knight. Stand and face it.” She said, the anger in her words edged with bitterness.
The knight rose, and towered over her. She was short already, but his height was incredible.
“You’re bleeding, little elf. Run away home and mend before I do something you’ll regret.”
His words were true: she had sustained an injury while she fought on the stairs. She did not care: if this was to be her doom, let it be one that would be told and retold as a legend of strength and pride.
She leapt forward, and her sword… struck empty air. Despite his incredible height, he was incredibly nimble. Terrance ducked almost a moment too late, and felt as one of the long spikes of the morningstar scratched the back of her breastplate. She rose and leapt, bouncing off the back of the throne to reach his full height. She bellowed in rage and white hot energy enveloped her curved Elven sword. With a mighty blow, her sword cut into the Shadow Knight’s helmet. Had he been a second slower, it would have cut through his head. Instead, it merely cut through his visor, showing part of his face.
However, the evade was costly, for now he was unbalanced. Terrance pressed the offensive, raining down blow after fury-filled blow. If her fate could be avoided, it would be, but if not, she would make it a costly win for her adversary.
His armor now covered in scratches, some of which were darkened by the blood coming out of them, the Shadow Knight realized the power his opponent possessed. He was nearly sandwiched between her and the wall: if he kept evading by walking backwards, he would soon be out of places to run.
Terrance swung her sword horizontally, and the Shadow Knight let go of his morningstar with one hand and grabbed her wrist. He pulled as hard as he could, and her feet left the ground. With a yell she flew into the wall, her back and head taking the brunt of the impact. She hit the floor and lay crumpled on her side, her eyes closed.
The Shadow Knight believed he had won for a moment, but then her eyes snapped open. Though doubtless her right shoulderblade was shattered beyond almost any repair, and her sword arm was doubtless sprained, her rage spiked, giving her strength for one final push. She rushed forward drunkenly and rammed her sword into the Shadow Knight’s leg. Though no longer glowing with white hot energy, the blade was still wickedly sharp, and with a scraping sound it went through.
The Shadow Knight howled in pain as his leg gave way. He fell to one knee and looked up to see Terrance, holding a long silver dagger in her hand.
His hand darted forward and wrapped around the lower half of her face. Before he could do anything else though the dagger was rammed through his elbow. Another howl echoed from his lips, and his arm fell limp by his side. But one arm remained. He balled up his fist and punched Terrance as hard as he could in the stomach. He realized his error: though it would wind her, it would not finish their fight. She flew into the wall again and cried out as her several of her ribs gave way to the pressure of the punch and the impact she had made with the wall.
The Shadow Knight struggled to rise and as he did, he grasped the haft of his Morningstar. With great effort he dragged himself toward his still seated opponent. For a little Elf, she had made a surprisingly tough opponent.
He raised his massive mace and bellowed in rage. She bellowed back, raising her remaining arm. A beam of energy came from it, though now tinged with red. This blast was holy rage mingled with pain and blood: it would not last long.
But it lasted long enough. the Shadow Knight fell backward, his helmet and a good portion of his breastplate incinerated off by the sheer power of the blast.
Terrance coughed. a small line of red came from the corner of her mouth and trickled down her chin.
She knew the veracity of the fortunestone’s words: though all her foes were fallen, she could not survive the damage she had taken in the process. Her head began to slump, and she exhaled her last.
A man in a white robe entered the scene of the battle. A small smile played across his lips. He was in time, but almost too late. He draped a small golden amulet around Terrance’s neck, and with a glimmer of gold she faded away from view.
With a pained gasp, Terrance awoke in the Temple. dressed in a plain white robe, she sat bolt upright and her eyes darted about as she strove to get her bearings.
“Where…” She began, but speaking was incredibly painful.
“You almost did not arrive in time, sister of faith.” A young man said. She looked at him. A priest.
“I… I had no intention of coming… How am I here?” She asked.
“A brother of faith gave you this, a Resurrection Talisman. You must have been dead when he arrived, though, for many of your injuries have not fully healed.”
Terrance fell backward onto the soft mattress. How? While the Temple had been striving to find a way to save the lives of Adventurers who fell in battle, it hadn’t been successful… had it?
“It is a new thing that the brother of faith designed. He had help from the Blessed: Arkenmagics were what we were missing. He insisted on giving you the first one. I told him where you were going and he came after you as swiftly as he could. I am glad he did.”
Terrance was as well. Her doom… she had perished: the prediction came true. But life had come again to her broken form, and now… now the future was open to her.
(This Story takes place right before the Resurrection Amulets were created. fortunate for Terrance they were invented when they were, eh?)