While waiting for the approval process to run its course, I thought I would share a little piece of mine I did on another site. It is a complete stand alone piece, and I haven't given any thought to what happens after it. Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to have a look.
Kasseld knelt down on the track carved into the side of the mountain, as ephemeral claws of ice cold wind grappled with him to hurl him from his perch to his doom below. His visor was down to protect his face from the sleet and small stones carried on the violent air. His body rocked from time to time as the storm changed the angles of it's blows against him in its ceaseless attempts to topple him. But he had an anchor stronger than the furies of the storm that held him firm on the slick rocks beneath his feet.
The small woman was huddled close to his armoured chest, while his massive shield was on the other side of her, protecting her from the element's hatred of their presence. Even though he could not feel her through his armour nor could he look at her, he knew where she was and what she was doing. Some other sense was at work, guiding him in his duty to protect her. She had her duty, and he had his. His would soon be at an end, as she would be at the place of her need.
The brigands that assailed their camp were no match for his sword. The lion that took too close an interest in them learned a sharp lesson, and would bear a wound, possibly long enough to be a scar, for the rest of its life. Not even the river that threatened to sweep her away was a danger to him as he carried her across. One of the storm's first serious attempts to deal with them failed as the dagger like shards of ice shattered harmlessly on his shield, rather than tearing the flesh from their bones. All of these, and more he sheltered Drusilla from, and kept her safe.
But the terrors within her mind, he could not touch. She was one who was as her birthright dictated. Confident, strong of will, graceful, full of poise and beauty. She undertook her task initially with great courage and determination. But as they closed on the place, her will faltered like her steps and her courage wilted like the flowers under the summer sun. But she never stopped, she never turned back. But she got slower, and more afraid.
The storm howled its frustration at the inability to remove the intruders, reserving it's strength for another time. Kasseld needed no further prompting to move them closer to their destination. Together, they moved slowly, more due to Drusilla's reluctance than out of need for safety. Still, the winds made the way fraught with dangers, obscuring their vision as well as pelting them with debris.
Upon reaching a bend in the trail, the storm launched a fresh assault against them. The blinding flash of light was followed immediately by an earsplitting boom of thunder that was drowned out by the roar of anger from the storm. The fresh rain of ice cold water and sleet was joined by a deluge of earth and rock from above. The explosive cacophony was rounded out by a bone chilling keening. Kasseld was surprised to find that the creature voicing the hideous wail was none other than Drusilla, giving voice to her terror.
Step by creeping step, they rounded the corner as the storm tried once more to rid the track of the human intruders. After a wearying eternity, they made their way to a sheltered ledge, that was almost a cave. Kasseld sat Drusilla down, removing his helm. It was then, he saw the ledge hosted a malevolent, maw-like opening that housed a darkness that seemed to be almost alive. But his attention was drawn to spectacle 'outside' the ledge.
The storm unleashed its fury in a display unmatched by anything they had seen before. Multiple flashes of lightning illuminated small patches of the white air as the answering booms of thunder rolled over the land as the air moved with ever greater speeds that before. Kasseld thought that the storm was angry that it had failed, and started to take out that anger on the lands beneath its broad reach.
Satisfied that the storm could not reach them, Kasseld turned his attention to Drusilla. Her long, lustrous raven hair was dull, dirty and matted. The normally glowing ivory complexion was now ashen, sullen and drawn. Twin obsidian pits housed lifeless gray orbs where once bold azure drew one's attention. Her poised, graceful stature had been replaced by a bent shuddering huddle. He walked over to her, kneeling before her and placing a soft kiss on her forehead before standing to guard them both.
The kiss brought Drusilla back from the maelstrom of her terror enough to register her surrounds. She looked over at the mouth of the cave, her lifeless eyes seeing the pitch like darkness trying to tempt her to allow her to be enfolded in its velvet soft agony. She heard the low, deep moan wafting from the depths, reinforcing the hopelessness of trying to enter there.
Her hand was moving with glacial speed, drawn to the one place where her body was not cold as ice. When her fingers touched, a circuit of warmth was closed. Warmth of a spiritual essence blossomed within her. Her poise returned as she stood, her heart beat was stronger, and some of her colour returned. Her terror filled eyes looked back at her companion as she lifted a hand to him.
"Please, my friend, come with me. Stand at my side, and let me draw on your strength as I do what I must do, lest I fail."
Kasseld sheathed his sword, replaced his helm and took her hand in his. Drusilla led them both to the boundary where the darkness seemed tangible. Taking one last shuddering breath, she stepped into the darkness.