September 1, 2000
The day started out glorious and sunny. I headed through the bustling streets of the city of the City of Medievia, heading for the stables, where I would grab a warhorse and set off on an expedition to explore the mystical lands around me. As I pushed my way through busy janitors, begging mercenaries and watchful guards, I pondered over where the following few days proceedings would take me.
After much shoving, I finally reached the stable. I tugged the swinging bell cord, and out of nowhere, a small boy appeared, leading a majestic specimen of a warhorse. I thanked him profusely, and tossed him a few loose coins as a jumped up onto the beastsí sturdy back.
Now that I was mounted on such an imposing animal, I seemed to have no problem threading my way through the streets. After a quick journey, I arrived at the looming gates that guarded the entrance to the city of Medievia. The guards on duty smiled at me knowingly and wished me the best of luck for my forthcoming journey. I asked them if they knew of any areas that would quench my thirst for exploration. One of them looked closely at me, and in a trembling voice said, "If you dare to cross its boundaries, much will await you at Xezadha Cathedral. Beware though, for many a person has met their fate there, through the hands of bloodlusting murderers."
My heart jumped when I heard this - this was the place that I had been dreaming of! I tentatively asked which direction I must travel to find this Cathedral. After been given a rough indication of which way to travel, I bade the guards farewell and set off, with a song in my heart.
After many hours travel, I came upon the bridge that I had been told to use to cross the fast flowing river which ran beneath it. I stopped to have a piece of waybread and some beef, and a refreshing swig of cool, clear water. I travelled swiftly, and by the time night fell, I felt that I must have covered a large part of the distance to my intended destination. I dismounted my warhorse, stretched my legs and tethered the horse to a nearby broken limb. I lit up a campfire, and after eating my full, hoped that when morning broke, it would find me still alive and well.
As the sun came up on the eastern horizon, I packed up my camp and untethered my horse. I had not had a particularly good nights sleep, due to the fact that I had heard numerous strange sounds all through the night. Thankful that I was still alive though, I hopped on to the saddle which straddled the horse and continued my journey. As the day wore on, I started to feel that I was growing near to my destination. Far off in the distance, just about as far as I could see, were faint circling forms in the sky. I realised that they were birds and I instinctively knew that they were flying over the Xezadha Cathedral. I was nearly there!
Three hours of hard riding later, the imposing structure started to rise above the ground before me. I decided that, as nightfall was not far off, I would try to reach the Cathedral, but would wait for morning before I actually entered its sinister walls.
I arrived at the entrance as the sun was growing dim in the western sky. It had taken me nearly two full days of riding to finally get here, but now I could hardly contain my excitement! With a spring in my stride, I set about setting up a campsite that I could return to at the end of each day. I constructed a crude hut of branches and leaves, and built a large fireplace outside of the entrance to the hut. I ate some much needed food and drank some revitalising water before I surveyed my handywork. I was fairly impressed with myself, all things considered. Knowing that I would now be fairly safe from scavenging predators, I settled down in my new hut. In my tired state, sleep came quickly...
Before I knew it, the first rays of the sun were shining into my face. I sat up slowly, and took a minute to get my bearings. I stood up and went to see what the weather would hold in store for me today. The day was splendid and it buoyed my already soaring spirits further.
After making sure that my horse had been fed and watered, and that I had eaten my fill, I set off into the unknown interior of the Cathedral. I was greeted by two Xezadha Acolytes, who welcomed me warmly. I decide that this wasn't as bad as the guard had said so I cautiously moved further into the gloomy hall. Pews lead off to my left and right and I decided to go and explore them.
I moved slowly down the left pew, not knowing what to expect. Suddenly, an imposing figure loomed out of the dark in front of me! Not know what to do, I attacked. Without realising it, two more of these figures had moved in behind me! I muttered some arcane words, and the ground began to shake and tremble. With a scream, two of the figures fell into the large cracks created by the shaking. The remaining figure, which I later found out was a Xezahda Worshipper, yelled at me, "You will pay for this. I will mop the floors with your blood!" at the same time slashing at me with his large, deadly looking sword. I saw the blow coming early, and moved back far enough that it only nicked my forearm, causing a nasty little cut. The bloodlust of battle had now taken over, and I immediately replied with another muttering of words, laying my hands on his exposed skin. He let loose an ear splitting scream as his skin was burned beneath my hands - he fell to the floor in a pile of robes, dead.
Now that the fight was over, I realised how badly shaken I was. After laying a hand on my cut arm to heal it, I sat down to regain my wits. As it dawned on me what I had done, I started to smile. I had conquered the first obstacle that I had met at the Cathedral, and was all the stronger for it. I felt more powerful than I had ever felt before.
After I was ready to move on, I jumped up and headed further down the pew. I came upon five worshippers, and this time knowing that they would not attack me unless I attacked them, greeted them. They greeted me back, not as warmly as I had anticipated, but they did great me non-the-less. That's when I heard the shout echoing through the large hall, "Anyone else here?" I pondered over wether it was wise to answer this shout, after what I had been told by the guard. Throwing caution to the wind, I yelled out, at the top of my voice, "I, Clipos the Healer, am here. Who are you?"
I waited expectantly for an answer, but after five minutes, when none had come, I regretted my decision to shout out an answer. Whoever it was probably going to try and kill me!! I would have to be on my guard as of now.
I decided that I had had enough of this pew, and started back towards the main aisle. When I reached the main aisle, I headed further into the hall, wanting to see what lay at the far end. After what seemed an endless walk, I finally saw the end of the enormous hall with what seemed to be a doorway in it. I tentatively pushed open the door to see what lay behind it. What I found didn't surprised me too much - an altar, murals hanging from the wall, and a bowl on stilts to wash your hands in. I decided that this was a good place to get my breath back. I was still worrying about the other person in the Cathedral with me as they could not be up to any good.
After I had gotten my breath back, I stood up and strode to the door. Time to find out more secrets that this place most definitely had hidden away everywhere. As I left the sanctity of the altar, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck begin to rise. I had an uneasy feeling about something, but I wasn't sure what. I started to run, trying to get out of the Cathedral and into the open landscape where I could defend myself better.
I heard quite footfalls chase after me, growing ever closer. I realised that I wasnít going to make it to the entrance. I stopped as quickly as I could, and stood in the centre of the aisle, slowly revolving so that I could see the whole area. Nothing was visible. It was then that it struck me that the 'thing' chasing me could be hiding.
I sucked in my breath and mumbled a few words, clicking my fingers, creating a pink mist that enabled me to see all that was concealed in the room. In the far corner, I saw a hiding figure! It must have been my pursuer, for he leaped out from the corner and rushed at me, his glistening dagger exposed. I had time to react to this charge and neatly stepped aside, sticking out my legg and tripping him as he rushed past. He sprang back on to his feet and came at me again, the dagger hitting home this time. I felt a searing pain as the razor sharp blade cleanly entered my shoulder joint, it was then that I realised it - fight or die.
I figured that if I blinded him, it would surely swing the advantage my way. I muttered the necessary words and his eyes clouded over near instantly - he paused and clawed at his eyes totally confused by his lack of eyesight. I saw my chance, and using most of my remaining energy I placed my hands on his exposed skin, causing it to wither and crumble beneath my hands. He fell to the ground screaming, but managed to stumble to his feet. He came at me again, although this time he was much more encumbered - I was slow to react myself, drained of energy as I was. His slash caught me a devastating blow across the chest, laying open my skin down to my breastbone which made me reel backwards, my head spinning from the blood loss. Summoning my last remaining drops of energy, I once again placed my hands on his flesh. Sickeningly, it fell off beneath my hands and he sagged to the ground in a bedraggled, lifeless heap following it. I collapsed after him, barely managing to get a life-giving green potion from the backpack which I wore slung over my shoulders. As I drank the potion, I felt some life flow back into my body.
Hours later, I still lay on the floor, getting back enough energy to stand up and heal my wounds once and for all. I gingerly felt my chest to see if I would be able to heal the wound. It would take a lot, but it was possible. The body of my attacked, Kril, lay prone on the ground next to me. I had learnt my lesson, nearly being killed in the process. It was the last time I would enter a lawless zone like this...maybe...perhaps...okay, when I grow stronger, I will surely return, although this time, I will be the hunter, not the hunted !!