A Battle Joined, part one

(Severen walked at his sedate pace through the misty forests that surrounded the ruins of Tristram. He didn’t know precisely why he had come, he just knew that it was where he should be. He was a wanderer, a nomad, and viewed as someone that people wished would move on rather regularly on his travels. He was a silent, private person, given to much introspective thought, and this meant that he was widely mistrusted by the peasants through whose towns he wandered. Severen didn’t much care. He was always going or staying at where he was supposed to be, and the reactions of the people he met on the way were irrelevant. Recent years had been uneventful, to say the least, but that had changed. Severen had been wandering the desert wastes to the Far East when he suddenly realised that the world had changed. Something new was happening, something he should be part of. He immediately halted his terrorisation of various bands of cruel desert bandits and went west. He didn’t know what he was looking for, but he knew that he’d find it. An Era of Revelation was at hand, and he didn’t want to miss it. All of life can be broken up into Moments of Transition, or Moments of Revelation. The future is all around us, waiting in Moments of Transition, to be born in Moments of Revelation. This was the time that great changes happened, altering the course of the entire globe. Severen smiled ferally to himself in the fog. NOW was the time to be alive, when life really mattered.)

(Life matters more than ever, when it is threatened…)

(Severen continued along the broken path through the misty woods with his steady stride, eating up the miles. He flicked a switch of dark, mist dampened hair from his face and paused. The mist was muffling all sound, but he thought he’d heard something. He froze stock still, completely motionless, green eyes scanning for motion as he slid a knife from his sleeve so carefully that not a sound was made. He resembled a tall, slim statue, frozen in the mist. Inside, Severen was pleased. The feeling he had felt in the desert had ended about a month ago, and he’d been worried that the Moment of Revelation had ended during the long time it had taken him to journey. It had begun to return though, and the feeling that he was being hunted only served to reinforce that. A wide grin wreathed his unshaven face again. The knife left his palm in a flat trajectory at waist height at a percieved sensation of filled space behind him and to the right. Severen drew a hooked knife from his belt and cautiously approched the figure. It was a very short demon-like creature, nailed to a tree with the handle of a slim knife the only thing sticking out of one eye socket. Severen checked its pockets, taking some money and other miscellaneous and entirely useless items, putting them into the voluminous pockets within his cloak. As he rifled the body of the dead imp, he heard more unnoise in the mist. Lack of noise where there should be noise, and a sensation of filling space. These creatures were good at stealth, he had to give them that. He drew a short handled axe and a slim sword from his back and froze again, waiting for them to make the first move. A sudden dark blob lunged forward through the mist from his left, swinging a barbed spear. Severen caught the spear with the axe and swiped with the sword, tearing out the throat of his assailant. He felt movement from the side, slashed twice with the axe forcing the creature to parry and fall back before braining it with a backhand from the axe. A much larger figure loomed from the mist, swiped at Severen with a massive forearm. Severen leapt backwards, the sideways blow only just missing his gut. He blocked another blow with the axe, bringing a shriek of pain and rage from his assailant. Severen used the pause to come to the attack, driving the demon back, but diving to the ground when it went for him again. He looked up at the towering creature coming for him, one of its arms probably broken from the axe. He ran off a short distance, drew back his arm and hurled the axe. It fluttered like a pidgeon as it flew through the air, embedding itself deeply in the monsters collarbone. The demon shrieked in pain, turned and found itself seeing a blur from the side. A solid kick to the side of its reverse-knee sent it staggering, another kick to the gut knocked it to the ground, and a double fisted punch to its throat had it choking to death. Severen waited for the struggles to cease, then examined the beast. The head and legs were that of a goat, but the body was that of a man, with the skin an unseemly grey hue. Again he checked he bodies of the dead for anything of interest, and drew a knife, advancing on the goat-demon’s body. He hadnt eaten in days, and hopefully the steaks would taste closer to goat than to human…)

(Later, Severen lay by a small fire, curled up in his dark leather body-cloak against the hollow of a tree, prodding the roasting demon steaks with a forked stick. He thought he heard a roared argument drifting towards him through the mist, but decided it wasn’t a point of interest. Whoever Intruder was, and why he had to stay away from whoever the shouter was, Severen didn’t much care. If all three of them had come to where they were supposed to be, then so be it. They would meet soon enough. And if they were shouting, they weren’t hunting him, and could thus be safely discounted for now. Severen followed his nightly ritual of checking the large numbers of weapons he carried, sharpening and cleaning the blood from the ones he had used, then curled up and went to sleep.)