„The darkness is my friend” she whispered to herself „I will not fear, I will not waver. Swift and true, I must be swift and true. Just a wolf. What is a wolf to the shepherd?”
The clatter of hooves on the paving stones was more audible know. She tried to peek out from behind the cloak and saw a huge destrier bearing down on her. She moaned quietly and one arm went out, groping blindly.
The horse was close now, and must have caught her scent, for it whinnied. She gave a muffled sob. I must be brave she thought, I must not let my brethren down.
The rider saw her and dismounted, he was a big man – she could see him through her cloak - torch held high in one hand, steel gleaming in the other.
“My lady, are you well? What befell you?” he asked uncertainly. Now is my time. If only they could see me now… If only they were still alive… She let go another racking sob.
He knelt down and carefully pulled the cloak from her and looked at her tear streaked face, scar and all. “Who did this to you my lady? Outlaws? When did this happen?” He looked at the destroyed wagon, the horse, its blood congealing in a large pool right next to the fallen woman. “I will bring them justice my lady, come” He sheathed his sword, and grabbed her left arm, tightly but gently, and pulled her to her feet. Her eyes were downcast, and she mumbled something unintelligible, right arm hanging limply beneath her, under the cloak. “Please, my lady, tell me who did this to you, so I might bring them to justice in the name of Heironeous!”
She looked up at him then. His face was a mask of concern. A strong man, into his middle thirties. Strong and handsome. He was wearing silver plate embossed with a white hand holding a lightning bolt, and he seemed to wear it easily, even though it must have weighed a lot. He wore no helmet though. She smiled up at him. “You did this Sir”. The look on his face as her right arm swung up, ripping the cloak from her shoulders was sweet, oh so sweet. And as her arm was swinging with its heavy load, his face morphed into their faces. The men who had raped her, her father, who tried to sell her, her brother who had scorned her, and her mother who had died and left her with them. The men and women and children of Murkbottom who stood by and let it all happen. The cloth tangled about its head didn’t do much to soften the blow as the flail connected and caved the shifting faces in like a melon. The resulting red ruin could have belonged to any of them. The horse neighed and reared. The knight fell like a sack of oats. “I dedicate this death to Hextor to pay for my service! Let me be your shepherd Maker of Chains! Let me brand your cattle and lead them to your pens! Let me put down the wolves and false knights that haunt the land!” She walked over to the horse, grabbed its reins and muttered soothing words until it quietened down. Oh, if my sweet father and brother could see me now. All smiles now, she gave a whistle.
A few minutes later Brother Nolan walked out from among the trees leading his horse. She picked up the torch as it was like to gutter out in the blood oozing from what remained of its previous owner’s head. Nolan walked up to her, took one look at the ruin of a knight lying at her feet and nodded. “I see your ploy worked. We may go back to the temple now. I see you have a new horse. It is definitely an improvement over the previous one Sister.”
Sister! It is done! I am one of them. I have a family. She trembled with delight. And those that would stand in our way would cover in fear, if only they knew what was coming for them.
They rode back across the border and on to Silvercoast, to pay homage to their liege lord, Robert Blackhead, avatar of God. Nolan rode his black horse, man and animal armored in black steel, with a dark red fist molded into the metal. She rode the white destrier, with a silver greathelm dangling from its saddlebag.