A/N: This is the updated version of my story. I submitted it in my school's writing fair and it won first in the county and is now in the Young Georgian Author's Writing Competition, I won't know the results until around summer and I am kinda nervous about it. In case you never read the original or are rereading it but forgot...Milla Rhasiwas (Mee-la + Ro-see-was) came from an old Labyrinth fanfic, it has since been deleted and I now use Milla as my own Character. I sort of hope that she will become my Bruenor or Drizzt so to speak. I know this is wordy, that is part of it. I wanted this to be as much about Milla's issues as well as a fantasy fic. Mostly because a lot of people from Georgia that were judging my story...well fantasy isn't their forte, so to speak.

Also I have some challenges on my profile if any are interested.

I also like to say personally I adore this story because it truly shows how I have grown as a writer since my first story written three years ago. It was for Legend of Zelda and it was sucky...epicly sucky. I mean I cried last time I recalled it.

Disclaimer: I do not own D&D, I do not own TSR, and I do not own Bruenor or Drizzt, OR the Labyrinth they all belong to their original owners... and they aren't even mentioned in the story. This is completely original and created from my own mind. It was inspired by the Chaos Curse, by RA Salvatore who inspired me to follow this path.

The Paladin's Grace

By Sylistra the scholar

With ceaseless elegance, Milla drew her blade with a precision that was often fabled in the shadows of rumor. Something about this weapon seemed to complete her arm in a most mysterious way. It filled her with a desire for death in it's most macabre sense that replaced all other emotion. She held this sword along with its golden twin and knew there could be no sanctity, nor pleasure in her actions. It was a necessity to do this, she would tell herself. She had to hunt, had to fight, and had to kill. Had none of the unfortunate events that happened previously, she would not be on this path, and she would not have to enact this sinful course. However it occurred to her; was she truly the heretic in all this? No, she decided, her superior or not she sensed the evil lurking inside her mentor, her leader, her guardian, and at a point that seemed an eternity before ... her friend.

Her mentor should have forsaken his pitifully eccentric levels of paranoia and he should have trusted their order. Instead the once-wise man crept into the library like the foul serpent he was, and stole the miserable tome that was forbidden and had now cost the lives of so many of her friends. Now several of the churches of their order were corrupt and overrun with the Hellish embodiments of destruction and death. Milla decided then, there was no going back. The only way to save the order was to slay her oldest friend.

Milla Rhasiwas almost cried then, but she shut her eyes in a remarkable protestation. She allowed her heart to ice over with determination. Now, with short swords in hand, she leaped off of the gate's edge, entering the formerly hallowed grounds of the fallen church where the paladin once prayed. With seeming indignation, Milla clutched her holy symbol around her armored throat, praying to her god. She prayed for strength and resolve to defeat the closest thing Milla had ever known as a father, and he was responsible for sending her world into chaos.

Milla took a breath and opened her eyes to see the proverbial flood of undead exit the fallen church. She knew several of the faces that were now scarred and decayed. If nothing convinced her to end the culprit's life, the sight of the walking dead would. She grimaced and knew her mentor had gone too far in his sickening games, because it was obvious he knew the toll this would take on her. She could sense his pleasure at her torment and used her outrage to fuel the fires that burned within her. She took that feeling of satisfaction and anticipation that was alien to her and used it to fuel the faith she knew would defeat the coming danger.

Sheathing her off-handed weapon, Milla Rhasiwas tore the holy symbol from her neck and held it towards the monsters that had taken over her friends' bodies. With diligent ferocity, she shouted her god's name and with blinding light, the undead felt searing pain as the pure light enveloped and disintegrated the decaying flesh of her fallen comrades. Watching the undead disappear in shimmering dust shook Milla. It had little to pertain with the killing itself, merely the fact that she was practically cremating her friends' remains in hateful spite. Milla shook her head from her reverie, though it wasn't a willful awakening. It was merely the flying fist of an undead monk and the aforementioned fist that connected with Milla's shoulder in a powerful punch.

Milla ignored the pain and flashed her symbol again, while slashing her blade across the undead's rotten chest. Though the cut was true, and would -in all likelihood- kill a normal man, the living dead continued it's persistent advance. Milla flashed her symbol once more, invoking the holy forces bestowed on her by her deity. Her shouts of his name cried her declaration of her fidelity to the order she intended to save. The attacking creature turned, fleeing from the pure light that inflicted a holy burn on the distasteful creature.

The warrior monks' remains were now becoming dust as the paladin continued to summon her holy light. The magical toll was little to none on Milla, she was of strong faith and will. She continued her magical prayers, shouting them with clarity, so exquisite, no undead remained within her vicinity. Within minutes, none remained and the air shimmered with the moon's reflection on the falling dust from over a score of the walking dead. Milla paused her prayers to watch the dust settle with grim satisfaction.

The Paladin nodded firmly to herself and returned her holy pendant to adorn her still-armored throat. She then wielded her other short sword once more, in her more customary fashion. Milla then took a solemn breath and continued on her way towards her mentor's destruction. Though it pained her, his time had come, as had hers. Her chances of survival were slim, but it mattered not. All that mattered was the safety of the few that had survived the swarm of dead and diseased. As long as her people were safe, and the evil was eradicated, she would be complete. With faith on her side, and her trusted blades in hand, she looked towards her enemy and despite the tragedy that had become her world, she smiled. She smiled because she knew she had found grace and took solace in it.