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Waiting for Winter

Old Vault Category: 
Old Vault ID: 

Corso wandered wearily back to his lodgings. It had been another very disappointing day. "Still waiting", he thought.

It had been a find all right, a once in a lifetime discovery that could have made him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But Corso was a Paladin of Helm from the old school and he believed that all of his earnings belonged to his God and His church. Luckily, in this instance the church had seen fit to honour his request for a new blade to replace the one he had broken off in the chest of the leader of a band of half-orcs and orcs that had been threatening the local farms and outlying villages as well as travellers coming up from Waterdeep.

The memory of the fight came flooding back in vivid colour. "Yes", he smiled; Helm had been good to him that day.

They had attacked the Orc camp just as dawn started to light the eastern sky. Armed with his sword and wearing his plate mail armour and carrying his shield emblazoned with a symbol of Helm, Corso and his band of eight fellow knights had charged through the camp trampling the rough tents and lean-to's, skewering the few guards that had been posted. The fight had only taken a few minutes and all ten orcs and half-orcs were dead without even a scratch on any of the attackers. They had spent the next few hours burning the corpses of the dead and scouring the camp for anything of value that they could donate to the church.

Unfortunately they stayed just a little bit too long. Just as they had been about to mount their horses and return to town a larger band of half-orcs and orcs had surprised them.

Corso knew he had been lucky when an arrow, shot from the cover of the forest, had glanced off the shoulder of his armour and buried itself in the eye of one of his companions, killing him instantly. At the same moment a screamed guttural command rang out and from out of the trees charged more of the bandit band, lead by a huge half-orc. This one stood at least a head taller than Corso. And Corso was not a small man.

The fight was bitter and the advantage of surprise was with the orcs. But the training of the remaining knights of Helm and the concern of their God for their plight saved the day.

Recalling the bitter struggle, Corso shook his head. By rights, he should have been dead now. First the arrow that had taken the life of one of his companions then, as luck or fate would have it, he met the fearsome half-orc leader of the band in battle. He had been on the defensive from the start. The half-orc had incredible strength and an almost supernatural speed. It had taken all of Corso's skill and concentration to stay alive. In fact, he could not remember making any aggressive strokes in the fight at all.

But somehow his sword had ended up buried half way to the hilt in the chest of his adversary. As the half-orc fell to the ground the sword was torn from Corso's fingers and pinned beneath the orc's massive frame where it snapped on the ground.

After that the battle had ended quickly. All of the second group of orcs and half-orcs were dead along with three of the knights.

Once the knights had recovered from the battle Corso had lead them back to town. On the way they had discussed the fight and how Corso had miraculously defeated his gigantic opponent. As clearly as Corso could make out from the differing accounts of what had happened, all of a sudden he had been surrounded by a golden nimbus of light and his sword had moved with a quickness the eye could not follow and had beaten down the half-orcs guard and then plunged deep into his heart.

"In any case", thought Corso, "It wasn't me, it was Helm". His luck had extended even further when he searched the purse of the fallen bandit leader. Mixed in with the copper and few silver coins he had discovered a huge diamond. Corso didn't even want to guess how much it was worth. To do so would have exposed him to the temptation to steal what was rightfully the property of the temple. After all, Helm had saved him that day. Several times in fact.

After he had returned to the temple and handed over all the spoils gathered from his victory over evil he had petitioned the abbot for funds to commission a new sword. It wouldn't be cheap and would take a while to make. But his last sword was in two pieces and he had needed a new one.

Corso had searched out a weapon smith of high reputation and commissioned the weapon. That had been four months ago. At last, tired of waiting, Corso had visited the smith this day hoping to find out when the sword would be ready. As he climbed the steps that lead up to the corridor in which his room was located the words of the smith echoed in his frustrated mind.

"It will be ready when it is ready," the smith had said, "We are still on track for a Winter release".


Waiting for Winter © Ix

Migrate Wizard: 
First Release: 
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