The Blind Blade

by Naren

Sybil's little hands reached out and she dabbed her fingers in her mothers perfume. Sybil dabbed the perfume all over her little face. The eight year old Stygian girl stood on top of a lavish ottoman as she played with the oils, perfumes and fragrances. Sunlight rained through the massive window across the room which made her complexion glow. The girl's pale face was accented by the charcoal make-ups that she learned to apply nearly after she could walk. Such was the life of an upper class Stygian girl.

"Young lady," her personal guard, Marcello, bowed as he opened the door to her grand chamber.

"Yes, Marcello?" Sybil said looking to Marcello via the reflection in the mirror.

"Your father will be in shortly," he bowed and closed the door.

The young girl was dressed in a red silk which was trimmed in a golden hem. A silken waist wrap held her dress together with long tassels dancing around her waist. The door opened slowly and Sybil turned to hop off of the ottoman.

"Daddy!" Sybil ran to her father with open arms as she saw him enter the room.

Her father was a tall man with a great booming voice. His skin was pale and his hair was as black as the midnight sky of Stygian. The man was balding, but his hair was braided in long locks that reached past his shoulders. He was dressed in a night robe of lavender as he had just awoken. In is right hand, he held an adult size crimson cloak with black trim. Sybil wrapped her arms around her father's legs and embraced them. Her father scooped her up into his left arm and they kissed.

"Good morning, my little Sybil," he smiled softly at her, causing more wrinkles on his aged face.

"Good morning, Daddy," she hugged his head and kissed his nose with a giggle.

"This is for you, my little Sybil, it was your mother's," he added.

"Mommy's?" Sybil said as she curiously reached out and ran her tiny fingers over the cloak.

"Yes, I want you to wear it today while you go to the market with Nana," he put the cloak on top of her head and then set her down.

Sybil tossed the cloak over her shoulders and clasped the cloak around her neck with the golden family seal on it. Sybil giggled as she grabbed her pouch of coins and prepared herself for the day of shopping. Her father made his way over to her bed to sit at the edge of it.

"Your mother was wearing that cloak the day we met. I had the clasp replaced with our family's seal, little Sybil." He said clasping his hands together.

"I love it, Daddy," Sybil said as her fingers moved over the seal once again. Sybil fastened the coin purse to her belt as she moved to her father.

The two embraced and Sybil then made her way to the servant's quarters. Sybil's small eyes wandered around the great halls of her family's manor. Servants were hanging new tapestries and moving about to prepare meals among other daily activities. Sybil stopped at the servant's quarters and knocked on the door of her Nana's room. A woman of leathery dark skin smiled as she slid out from around the slightly opened door. The woman wore clothing of linen and had nothing very noteable about her at all. Sybil's great green eyes widened as her Nana took her hand.

"Nana, how are you?" Sybil smiled happily as she began to skip.

"Oh, I'm well, Young Lady," the elderly Stygian said softly as she took the young noble's hand into hers.

The two made their way out of the manor and spoke of woman things. They spoke of silks, perfumes, horses and things of beauty that Sybil may buy with her grand purse of coins. Amongst the commoners, Sybil stuck out. She recieved bows from many as she browsed such goods. Nana looked about at things as well as she rarely was allowed to leave the manor and it was as much a trip for Sybil as it was for Nana. Sybil stopped as she saw her friend and ran to him.

"Naren!" She called out and ran to him.

The little Stygian boy raised his head from the bench that he was laying on. He smiled softly and waved to her as she made her way to him. He was clad in black and brown dirty rags of linen and cloth. Long dirty black hair drapped beyond his shoulders as he stood up. Nana followed closely behind Sybil and stopped as she greeted the little street vagabond. Nana looked at the two with a faint smile across her leathery lips. She knew that she shouldn't allow Sybil to fratinize with commoners, but he made her smile.

"Hello, Sybil, I got this for you," Naren held out an apple that had several dents on it and was slightly beyond it's eating days.

Sybil smiled widely and took the apple with a nod, "Thank you, Naren. How have you been?"

"I'm all right. Do you want to play?" Naren smiled wide.

"I would love to," Sybil pulled out a small pouch of glass marbles.

The two children played for about an hour before Nana gave Sybil a tap on the shoulder, "It's time to go, Young Lady."

Sybil began to pick up her marbles and Naren helped her pick up.

"I'm glad that you came today, Sybil," Naren smiled at her and gave her a tiny kiss on her cheek.

"You have a good heart, Naren," Sybil stood up and embraced Naren.

The two seperated as Nana escorted the young noble back to her manor. The day continued as normal that day between bathing and meals. Sybil took to her studies and did some art work as she normally would. Night fell as it usually would and the young Lady fell asleep easily that night.

Havoc called out as guards armored feet was heard through the halls. Sybil sat up in bed and looked at the light from under her door. She held the warm blanket up to her face as she heard screams of battle outside her door. She heard Marcello screaming orders, but it faded as did the sounds of battle. It sounded like they were moving towards her father's chamber. The door burst open and the little girl reached towards her night stand for her cloak. She pulled the cloak to her body as she wept. She was yanked from her bed and a black clad man with no face threw her over his shoulder. The girl's marbles fell from her night stand and the bag fell. A shattering sound was audible, but only she heard it. She could only cry and hold her cloak against her body as she was carried out from the manor. As she was helplessly carried, she saw the servants dying and being raped. There were many of the black clad men here and Sybil didn't know who they were.

Sybil was bound and gagged before leaving the manor. The men moved quickly through the abandoned streets. Sybil still held the cloak close to her, but it snagged on a loose nail on one of the near by door ways. A long piece of the cloth ripped down the length of the cloak and Sybil never saw it again. She didn't see many things. She didn't see herself age as she thought she would have. She matured as a slave, a play thing, a work horse. The cloak with her all the while to keep her company and to remind her of a happier time. The woman knew that she would never reach her old status again, but more painful then anything...she knew that everything she held dear was gone.

It had been a long while since Naren had walked the roads of Stygia during the day. Naren's armor and clothing remained much the same as it always had. Midnight leather armor and clothing donned as the sun beat down on him. No weapons were visible as usual, but he did have a medium sized sack slung over his shoulder.

"Hm, beautiful day...", Naren thought.

Naren did perk a brow though as a traveller came his way. This was no ordinary traveller as he quickly noticed. It was a Cimmerian with an escort of undead. Naren allowed his lips to twist into a small smirk as he looked about.

"A path....nothing on either side of me....desert.....Hm, this does not bode well.", Naren thought.

They approached each other with nothing else in sight. Airuz, the warrior, stood in the path and he moved his hand back to his sword. Naren paused at that moment. They were fifteen feet apart....A good distance.

Airuz grinned widely, "Traveller, I offer you a chance at redemption. You may become a producer or remain a parasite....Give me your answer."

Naren remained standing though he dropped the sack and set his hands behind his back; slightly crouching......

"This is your last chance. Silence only confirms your guilt, worm! Heresy will not be accepted." Airuz drew his massive claymore from his back with a snarl and charged. Airuz thrust forward with his sword and lunged at a near unimaginable speed.

"Too fast!", Naren thought.

Airuz's blade cut directly through Naren's hood; ripping away the leather. Naren stumbled back, but the assault continued. Airuz laughed heartily as his claymore cut away a large chunk of Naren's long raven hair with his second cut. Wide eyed, Naren watched as the claymore slammed into the ground right next to his head. Naren was able to roll away and regain his poise for a mere moment. In that small moment, Naren threw his cloak towards Airuz and that gave him the small suprise he needed. Cloth hit Airuz in the face and blinded him for a moment. Airuz's immediate instinct was to swing in front of himself, yet he hit nothing. Naren was far too clever to attack from the front; Naren's off hand struck its mark right under Airuz's right arm.

"Parasitic scum!" Airuz shouted with hellish fury as his weapon sunk into the ground. With teeth clenched, Airuz gripped the hilt with his left hand and began to swing at Naren with near equally accurate and bull-like strokes.

"Amazing....He wields the sword with equal ease in both hands.....or in one.", Naren thought. Naren's dextrous body dodging the next blow by simply raising his leg into the air. The second swing was lower this time...Much lower....Naren sliding under the next blow as he saw his reflection in the glimmering sword. Naren's foot hit a stone hidden by sand and twisted his right ankle as he stumbled.

"Not good.", Naren thought.

Steel hit Naren in the back as he stumbled forward and fell head over heels. The beast of a Cimmerian had planted a perfect shoulder into the spine of the Stygian. Naren slowly rose up to his feet, obviously favoring his right ankle as he looked back with narrowed eyes at Airuz.

"Powerful...Fast...Hardy.... I'm still smarter....I hope...", Naren thought.

"Slay him now! Minions!" Airuz shrieked as his sword slammed into the sand and rose with god-like and near unstoppable attacks. Both skeletons cackled as they marched towards the fight with swords raised. They were slow approaching, which gave Naren a few moments to study them. Naren's attention needed to be spread, though it didn't work to his advantage as Airuz crushed Naren's rib cage with another relentless shoulder rush. Blood spat from Naren's mouth right onto the Cimmerian's face.

"This is it.", Naren thought.

The swords of the skeletons rose and fell in simple motions. Nothing as complex as Airuz was able to accomplish and this was Naren's advantage. Naren followed the Skeletons' motions and with a quick roll to the right side; both skeletons' swords slammed into Airuz's shoulders. Both blades stuck in his shoulders as blood trickled from the gauntlets.


Naren's eye shifting slightly to the side as he saw the same cloaked man applauding the scene....

Airuz growling as he raised up to his feet. The Cimmerian still standing despite two blades lodged in his shoulders. With a small grunt, the Cimmerian and removed both of the swords from his shoulders.

"This man is far wiser then you, Airuz and was able to use it well beyond normal comprehension. He studied the attack patterns and was able to judge the path of each of their blades.....Though, you may be stronger physically and have more knowledge of battle tactics.....I am will get to know me more here in the next couple of days. And you have just met Might. However, you will become My Will. The Will of Zeal."

"Only now, at the end, do you understand," Naren spoke softly from under his scarf with a sick sly smirk across pale lips.

Flesh ripped as the dagger was violently retracted. A large string of blood flew from the Scion of Set's neck as he fell on to is back. The only sound he could make was gagging and choking as his lungs filled with his blood. The shadow clad figure stood there for a long moment, like a statue, just watching.

"You have been judged, swiftly and justly."

Soft foot steps, nearly inaudible, caused Naren to turn around.

"Master Naren," Endus Sul replied as he knelt to the floor with bloodied daggers in his hands.

"You have completed your task, no doubt," Naren spoke out in dull tones.

The youth rose to his feet, "I dare not return with failure to speak of, My Master."

Two shadows, ever vigiliant, stalked along great pillars and raven colored walls. Each shadow moved to compliment the other. Never did they leave each other's sight and never were they unaided. If a guard saw one, he did not get the oppurtunity to alert the others. If a wall was too high, the other would lower rope. Like a finely tuned machine, Endus Sul and Naren, The Blind Blade had become the beginning of the Vigilant.