"There are only two corsair ships and three of us. We outnumber them."
The redhead grinned at Koss' optimistic joke. With a growl, she raised her spear high, the squeaky-clean point glistening in the sun.
"Then let's prove that to those damnable pirates!" She shouted, rushing down the hillside headlong into the burning village.
Hours later, the battle was over. Dusk was settling in. The village of Chahbek was still smouldering, but the once-raging fires were dying out. The embers cast an eerie glow over the corpses strewn about. Through the smoke, a young woman could be seen walking steadily in the dim light. Her white armor was tattered and dirty, her face smeared with blood and soot, and the spear was dripping in gore... the handle broken off and splintered.
She ran her fingers through her fiery curls and pulled a busted crate up to the campfire where the rest of the group was situated. A monk was fluttering from soldier to soldier, healing and praying where necessary, bandaging those who did not need immediate care.
Kara cleared her throat, jutting out her chin stubbornly and ripping a strip of cloth from her skirt for a makeshift bandage. As she wound the cloth around her spearhand, she smiled at her fellow heroes and spoke proudly:
"We've won an important battle. I know we did not expect to fight today, and we lost many of our friends. Some of them may rise tomorrow, some will rest forever beyond the Mists. But they fought well and died well, protecting the people of Istan. Citizens who could not have fought for themselves. There is no greater glory than the victory that protects those who keep our homes warm with love and laughter. Tonight, we will arrive in Kamadan and we will know we have done well by our people. We have a few hours journey ahead. Get some rest, drink some water. You have done everything asked of you and more."
She stood, smiling once again at the warriors. Their spirits appeared lifted and their heads held higher. As she turned away, she heard one of them tell an old, worn-out joke about the stench of the corsairs. The rest of the men groaned and laughed. She'd done her job. Not only had they slain every last sack of scum that dared threaten her people, but she had helped ease the pain of battle. Kara walked toward the pavilion which housed the severely wounded. She knelt beside each straw bed, touching the hands and faces of those writhing in pain. In their delirium, she seemed an angel of the battlefield- her Paragon Crest shining like a halo, her shimmering golden eyes lined in kohl and seeming to glow against her brown skin. Even though her white raiment was torn, it seemed all the more likely that she was sent from the Gods.
An angel of the battlefield. It was her crystalline voice which had directed them and kept them alert in the midst of chaos. It was her healing touch that comforted them now.
Alone in her own tent, Kara wiped her spear and inspected the damage. Useless. She could have the blade removed to another shaft, but it was old anyway. Perhaps she could find a new weapon in Kamadan.
It had been too long since she'd returned to that city. She could still hear the buzz of the crowds on market day. The voice of her dearest "friend" calling out to her.
"Kara! Kara Jassik! I'm going to find you, Kara!"
She turned to her sleeping mat, pulling off her dirty armor and placing it aside. It wasn't white any longer. She would need to get that cleaned and patched. So expensive to repair such things.
"Karaaaaaaa! Come out, come out wherever you are!"
She crawled under the blankets, pulling them up around her neck and laying flat on her back. An hour or two of sleep would do wonders for her tired and bruised limbs.
"You know I'll find you. You can't hide forever, Kara!"
No... but I can try, Neinet. I can certainly try.
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Thread: A Sunspear's Life for Me
19-03-2007, 02:10 #1
A Sunspear's Life for Me
19-03-2007, 02:13 #2
((A year or so earlier...))
"What appears cold and unforgiving is at times only a thin protection shielding something vulnerable and warm."
One hell of a day.
Kara pushed her fiery hair back from her forehead, beads of water and perspiration sliding off her nose. Her face was set in that stone-cold expression... a combination of frustration, contempt, and embarrassment. She tried very hard to perfect the art of showing none of the three.
She had waited far too long and worked far too hard to put up with such behavior.
The seven young men under her command laughed and shoved each other playfully. One of them, a hydromancer, stripped down to his undershorts and jumped into the river after her, flinging water all around as he waded to her, lifting her trim frame effortlessly into his arms.
"Never fear, m'lady! I'll save you!"
Her fist connected with his nose before he could even begin to laugh again.
Blood poured from his nostrils, the pitiful man becoming more like a child in seconds. He had immediately dropped Kara back into the water, and she had landed on her feet this time. She was prepared now.
She walked out of the river as dignified as a half-drowned Paragon could be. She didn't bother to shake or wring or anything at all. She allowed her hair to fall back into her eyes and pretended she didn't notice.
She turned sharply to face the imbicile again. He was still in the water, crying. Actually crying. A grown man. Well, a scrawny Elementalist who wears purple undershorts... but still, he was technically a man.
Kara snatched a towel from another soldier's pack, the Necromancer raising a finger and making a soft noise of protest before a huge Warrior clapped a burly hand over his mouth. An angry woman was a thing you did not want to give a reason.
Gathering her strength about her, Kara tossed the cloth to the sniveling idiot. By now there was a pinkish swirl around him in the water.
"Wipe your face and get your clothes on. I'm not your mother and I don't care. If you're not ready to move out in five minutes, you can beg the Mandragor for a ride home."
She narrowed her amber eyes at the rest of the group. Her soldiers. Yeah. Some soldiers. They were more like adolescent simpletons. It was all some of them could do not to stare at her white armor as it clung to her in places she didn't even want to know about. Damnable water and their damnable games.
"That goes for all of you. Pack up and move out."
The Sunspear Great Hall was beautiful on the outside. Marching toward it gave one the feeling they would walk through the gates into a garden. An oasis. There would be polished marble floors and pillars of gold, everything covered in the sweet-smelling white and pink blossoms that grew on vines around the rivers and wetlands. Beautiful fountains would play music on the smooth river stones laying in the basins, and all would be cool and clean and inviting.
Yet, as Kara stepped into the Hall, the vision faded. She'd spent so much time here the last few months. It made no sense that such a longing for luxury would cling to her. The reality of the Great Hall was that it was, quite simply, a hall. A fountain was surrounded by weary, dusty soldiers and travelers filling their canteens. No flowers, no marble floors, and of course, there were tents and weaponsmiths. Trainers paced the upper floor, lecturing the younger generations of Sunspears on tactics, command, magic, and prayer. All the palm trees were on the outside.
She had dried quickly. One tended to dry quickly in the arid climate of Istan. The thought crossed her mind as she climbed the steps:
"I must look a mess."
Of course, immediately after she thought it she reminded herself that it didn't matter. She was no lady. She was a leader.
Well, trying to be.
"Ahai! Second Spear Jassik. How fared the training?"
Kara saluted her superior.
"Officer Runduk, Sir. I'm afraid we ran into some trouble. But do not worry. I took care of him."
The dark-skinned officer narrowed his eyes at her, only guessing what might have happened. He glanced behind her at the newly arrived group: exhausted, unhappy, one of them even slumped by the fountains with a rag stuffed up his nose and dried blood at each corner of the cloth.
Runduk looked back to Kara, whose chin was tilted high, eyes narrowed, and the faintest hint of failure behind her expression.
"Kara..." The officer was exhasperated. This woman would not accept anything less than perfection from her team... yet she criticized, beat, and ran it out of them. With expectations like hers, it was a wonder a Sunspear trainee hadn't turned up dead.
Death by redhead. Some wouldn't complain.
He shook his head.
"Maybe you need to take a break. Unwind a bit."
"Sir, I would rather continue training. They can fill their canteens and restock rations. We'll reach Champion's Dawn by tomorrow if we-"
"No, no. I really believe they need a rest. Stay here a night. You could use a pillow as well, it looks like. That may soften your spirits a bit."
"But sir, the harpy problem at the cliffs will-"
"I'll send Solis' team up there. They're fresh-faced and pacing the hall for something to do. Don't worry. Get some rest."
"Kara, take a walk. Relax. That's an order."
Her mouth snapped shut. That was that. She saluted sharply and turned away.
Last edited by Kara; 19-03-2007 at 02:22.
19-03-2007, 02:22 #3
19-03-2007, 02:24 #4
Kara walked in front of the group of heroes. She held her broken spear high, she jutted out her chin, and she focused her eyes straight ahead.
She was a vision of formidable elegance. Strong, stubborn, true... she shone with a rare radiance.
Music filled the streets of Kamadan. Drums pounded, trumpets blared, even harps could be heard from the balconies of practiced and educated ladies. It felt good. Hot sun, cool ocean breeze, and the energy of the Istani people surrounded the soldiers. It was a day of celebration as the yellow and red blossoms fluttered from the rooftops. A celebration of victory... their victory. Her victory.
Sitting on the steps, staring into a cup of wine, Kara pondered the meaning of her life and what she wanted to do next. Climbing the ranks of a Sunspear was probably a decent idea. Defending the weak, living a life of glory and honor...
She took a sip of the bittersweet liquid. Being only a Sunspear wouldn't be very unusual. Many people were just Sunspears. She glanced at the new spear to her right. A gift from the people of Istan for cutting off the corsair raiders and striking fear into the hearts of any who survived.
A true Sunspear weapon. Once again she looked into the cup, as if trying to divine her future from the drops of wine left.
19-03-2007, 02:30 #5
She stood before her father, Castellan Marius Jassik, her amber eyes blazing with pride and dignity. She didn't show the resentment that she carried deep in her heart, nor did she look up to him as her superior.
The tanned man with black hair and icy eyes did not see much of his reflection in the firey young woman, but she was the image of her mother. What she gained from him was in her eyes. Not the color, but the sheer strength and determination. She looked at him as if she barely knew him, but she knew exactly who he was. The man she had idolized in her childhood, despised in adolescence, and competed with in her young adult years saluted her.
"Castellan Jassik at your command, Spearmarshal Amah."
Something tickled her neck. She ignored it.
"It is good to finally see you face-to-face, Father. I hardly remembered what you looked like. Now that Elona is at peace again, I hope you will consider retirement. I think you've fought enough in your lifetime. Why don't you go home and find whatever it is you've been fighting for?"
Kara knew there was nothing. Her gaze was full of fire, but her face showed no anger. Her mother, the "love of his life," was dead. He had spent years away fighting battles that had nothing to do with his homeland, and Ralin Tahet-Jassik had died with only her daughter to comfort her. The woman had said only kind and admiring words of Marius, a great Sunspear Castellan, a hero. Courageous and dazzling to behold. She had loved him so much...
But Castellan Jassik had not been there to hold her hand as she took her last breath. He was off being courageous. Kara had no memory of being bounced on her father's knee or held in his arms after a nightmare. He hadn't been the one to teach her to throw a spear or hold her head high. The only things she remembered of him were his departures. She had no idea just how many times she had watched him leave. No hugs, no kisses, only his back. He'd turn to her simply to say "Do not cry. The daughter of a Sunspear never cries."
Kara studied him, strands of silver at his temples and in his beard. Lines etched by the sun and deepened by frowning showed in his face. He was not the man of stone she had imagined him to be. He was no giant, no terrible angel, and between them, she was the hero standing there.
The tickling on her neck returned, and she opened her eyes.
Jhai sat beside her on the bed, trailing an iboga blossom over her shoulder. It took her a moment to focus on him, shaking the dream from her mind. His eyes were calm and kind. He had removed the Gods-forsaken mask that she hated him to wear. She nearly smiled, looking up at her ranger. Sunlight filtered through the sheer veils on the window, a cool ocean breeze stirred them and rustled the flowers on the bedstand.
Jhai grinned and leaned over her, smelling sweetly of dust and forest. She noted the flowers beside her were freshly picked, and in a new vase.
"Good morning, Captain Kara Amah. This is your wake-up call. Your husband would like some time alone with you. He's just arrived home from a long and difficult journey. I believe he could use a paragon's touch."
She smiled finally. How could she not? She opened her arms to him and he kissed her.
"Oh, Angel. You are so serious even when you dream. Where is that smile again? You're so beautiful when you smile."
19-03-2007, 03:01 #6
"Then I challenge you to a duel, sir!"
Kara glanced up. This stranger now had her attention.
Jhai appeared to be drunk, but she knew better. While she enjoyed a good shot or four of Istani Firewater after a long day of combat, her husband didn't need alcohol. He didn't feel stress or pressure. He carried himself like a jester. A professional fool.
She suspected he ate mushrooms. He'd eat just about anything, after all.
"Duel? Oh! Oh! You mean you want to go fight? Man, yo. That's harsh. I was just saying you know? Melandru is cool and all that. It's just not my thing to go praying to trees. I'll hug 'em if you want. Trees are spiffy. But Melandru? You know, she's never done it for me."
The other ranger whose name Kara could not seem to recall stood there, his bow in his hands. His face was the color of an overcooked bean cake straight from the oven... just before it pops.
He was about to pop an arrow right into her husband's eyeball if she didn't do something about it.
"Alright. That's enough." Kara stood, exhasperated with Jhai showing off. She knew he was only egging the man on.
"This pitiful excuse for a ranger has taken my Goddess' name in vain and I will defend her honor!"
The paragon rolled her eyes.
"Then you can fight me." She lifted her spear and shield from the ground and prepared herself.
"Would you prefer to die here or elsewhere? It is up to you where we have this duel, sir."
The man was baffled. His eyes narrowed at her. "My lady, I have no quarrel with you, and I will not subject you to combat. My quarrel is with your husband."
"Then it is with me. I fight for him."
At this point, Jhai had gone an entire two minutes without speaking and couldn't contain himself any longer. As others in the tavern protested and ridiculed her for sticking up for him when he was a grown man and could handle himself, Jhai just had to prove them wrong.
"Dude, you don't wanna mess with her. She'd kick Melandru's barky butt!"
Kara glared back at her idiot.
"Sir I will have your tongue!"
Jhai promptly stuck out his tongue and the other ranger lunged forward, drawing a dagger from his belt. Without a moment's hesitation Kara swung her shield around and met Jhai's skull with a sickening and astonishing thud.
Jhai fell to the ground, out cold and drooling like a toddler.
Kara turned her attention once more to the thoroughly confused ranger.
"Now, shall we?" She pulled her shield up once more and inclined her head in invitation for attack.
The man just looked at her.
"Well... my lady... I, uh, I supposed that for the time being the issue is.... resolved." He looked at Jhai and then at Kara. Kara just looked right back at him, not changing her position or expression. "I see no reason to duel.... but please do try and explain to him that he should not offend others so readily."
She lowered her shield and took her seat once more, nudging Jhai with the toe of her boot.
"There is no reasoning with him. Sometimes he just needs to be put in his place. And I am not your "lady." I am a Commander and I should be referred to as such."
As the other patrons of the tavern whispered and glanced in her direction, Kara poured herself another shot of the potent Firewater. Before she had slammed the glass back on the table after downing it without trouble, the mysterious masked man had vacated the premises and everyone else was silent with shock.
Yes, Kara thought to herself. Yes, I just smacked my husband in the head with my shield. And yes, when he wakes up, he will still be an idiot.
Last edited by Kara; 19-03-2007 at 03:04.
19-03-2007, 10:45 #7
Hee. I like where you're going with this! You posted so fast no one had time to comment! Bwhahahaha! Welcome to the Fanfic Forum, I can already tell you're going to be awesome here:)
19-03-2007, 12:54 #8
19-03-2007, 13:45 #9
Very nice. -sighs- I need to get back into fanfictions again. I feel I had a bad start with my old write up.
Anywho good job. :)
19-03-2007, 16:58 #10Banes SonGuest
"Death by redhead"
TY! great line!