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Library: The Vigilant Guard

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Author: nomiculious
Date:Aug 11 2004

The Vigilant Guard By Nomiculious
 
I was in the middle of the wilderness, surrounded by lush forestry and wild
animals.  It was hot, damp, and the middle of the day.  How I had arrived in
such a place was beyond me as the last thing I remember was being on guard at
"the wall."  Glancing around, I took notice that this was no simple forest,
but a labyrinth of branches, trees, and rotting wood.  The familiar sounds of
the forest around my home were gone, replaced with the wild cackle of some
misshapen airborne calamity.  As I struggled to regain my composer, the bones
and sinews in my right calf seemed to be in a state of some distress.  Peering
up through the trees and vines, I see smoke.
 
Listening closely for any sign that my presence here was detected, I hastily
decide to find some type of shelter.  What exactly I need shelter from I do
not know, but I easily reassure myself that the unknown pursuers will most
definitely be more than capable of ending my existence.  I began at this point
to weigh my options.  To head directly towards the source of smoke would be
foolish as it would most definitely put me in direct view of anyone sitting
around that flame, but to stagger off into an unknown wilderness, crippled as
I currently am and without any knowledge of my enemies, seems to be as foolish
as sitting here.  Reluctantly I crawl through the forest's dark brush,
attempting to be as stealthy as a leopard, and quite naturally I make more
noise than a stampeding elephant and disturb more than one forest inhabitant.
 
Eager to view whomever or whatever caused the smoke in the sky, I make my way
towards the source.  Once I reach the edge of the forest and a small clearing,
the fire becomes visible.  Carefully I remain somewhat hidden in my protective
and now appreciated natural camouflage.  The fire, mightily burning a meter
high flame, was situated directly in the middle of a circle of blackened
stones.  "Ah, a fire-pit" I sigh to myself, knowing that intelligence had
created such a thing.  At this moment I notice that the individual warming on
the other side of the large flame, billowing black smoke and soot at an
alarming rate.  I will have to reposition myself at a better angle to attempt
to identify our mysterious host.  Slowly I crawl back into the dense forestry.
 
As I crawl through vines, brambles, and other assorted branches the though
occurs to me that possibly this situation may not be as dangerous as I once
had assessed.  Perhaps I should have called out to this stranger and he would
have helped me to rest by the fire.  Instead I have to crawl around, through
this thorny nightmare of a jungle.  Too late I suppose, I might as well finish
my reconnaissance.  Rounding a corner around the clearing, I find another
position where I may lie motionless and watch the mysterious individual and
his super-sized fire.
 
Looking forward, I notice I am much closer this time.  Apparently the clearing
was misshapen and not a complete circle or the brush has been reclaiming the
land.  Either way, this was a favorable development.  I was almost trembling
with excitement, as I had not snuck up and spied on anyone ever in my life,
well at least not since I was a child.  At that exact moment, he stood. 
 
Now clearly a male human, only discernable by his body shape because of his
black helmet, he was standing completely upright towering over the flame.  He
seemed to be several feet tall and armed for battle.  His black armor and
cloak seemed to emit darkness, and just looking at him sent shivers down my
back.  Now I understand exactly why I had not called out for help.  At this
time I decide to retreat back into the wooded unknown.
 
I must have shaken a tree where a bird had perched, because as I moved the
bird shot skyward at quite an astounding rate.  While amazed with the speed,
it occurred to me that this was a very visible sign to our inhospitable host
and decided to chance a look towards him.  Much to my dismay his eyes, a burn
hue of red, stared directly back at me.  This man was no man but the true
incarnation of the childhood tale: A death knight.
 
He began walking rapidly towards me, and knowing my own injuries, I was quite
aware that escape was out of the question.  The only thing I knew to do at
this point was fight, and hope that I remember my training as a soldier.  He
drew his weapon; a wickedly shaped scimitar etched with runes that glowed as
he held it, and began advancing towards me at a faster pace.  I stood there,
fumbling for my sword as he got within striking distance.  The sword arched
high above my head and instinctively I prepared for a strong blow to my
helmet.  Hoping to deflect his hit I turned my head to the side and drew my
blade.  CLANG
 
Clang! Clang! Finally I was able to free my blade as the world spun around me,
I was dazed from the blow but still able to move, now unrestricted by my
injured leg.
 
"Whoa, down boy." Rolaren the guardsmaster said to me.  I stood there with my
sword half drawn, in full armorment, on top "The Wall."
 
"You know your not supposed to fall asleep on duty, next time you do I'll give
you more than a little tap on the helmet, now sheath that sword and finish
your patrol." With that he walked away.
 
"Heh, I'd rather do rounds than face off against a crazy death knight." I
joked to myself, reassuring myself that dreams were dreams and death knights
were things of fancy.  Still, I watched carefully for those red eyes in
distance and kept a vigilant watch from that day on.


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