The Darkness Desolate
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Malika was silent for a time, regathering her composure. She was embarrassed by her reaction, especially in front of this man. Finally, she nodded solemnly.
"The Archbishop is gone, as you presume, holy man," she said, "as is everyone else I ever knew. The deathless descended upon Varenne just after nightfall and ravaged the village. To my knowledge, I be the sole survivor and that only because I carry Morduth, having been trained in its use. My father wished me to be able to protect and guard myself should something ever happen."
She took a deep breath. "Something happened. I know not where the deathless came from, only that they were suddenly there. I grabbed the sword from its place upon my father's mantle even as he was cut down by one of the deathless. It took all my training to escape the village, rusted as the blade was then. It barely cut, and I was forced to hack my way to freedom. It was only after drinking the blood of the Lycanders that Morduth's metal shone again and awakened in my hand."
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After the service was over, Orthael sat next to the swordmaiden on the grass and looked out into an …Curse the Darkness
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