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Malika fled the village, passing scores of Lesser Dead as she did. Not one approached her, whether in fear of the destruction she had wrought just moments before or because they no longer deemed her a threat she didn't know.
Nor did she care. Her shoulder ached like fire. She wanted to clutch at it, to support it, but doing so would mean dropping Morduth, and such an action was unacceptable. For its part the sword had gone strangely silent after its contact with the Greater Dead, and she hoped the blade was not irreparably damaged after that loathsome encounter.
She ran, feeling more than seeing the boundaries of the village pass behind her. She fled into the woods, the one place where, ironically, she felt safe. She ran until she found the clearing again, and only then did she allow herself to slump down against a tree, laying Morduth to her side. She touched her shoulder gingerly, and nearly screamed in pain. The damage was severe, and she knew it would be some time before it was whole again.
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Orthael rocked backwards, groping blindly for the presence of the All-Consumer, but he found naught …This Vale of Tears
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