Dian the Just

Disclaimer: I don't own Majesty or some of the hero's names.

It was a dreary overcast day. Gray clouds blotted out the sun, leaving a dreary light that was even further hindered by an obscuring mist. A large stone structure, like a small fortress jutted out of the ground, standing menacingly on the hillside. Its windows were arrowslits, its only decoration were banners and codes of arms.

Dian sat staring out of an arrowslit. Her shining armor contrasted with the drab grey of the walls. She was a Paladin, a knight that had dedicated her life to Dauros, the God of Law. She had felt an ominous feeling this morning it was the day that she left the Temple of Dauros. She had no recollection of a home before the temple. When she was very young, she was chosen to be trained at the Temple to Dauros. Most Paladins started that way. A few didn't.

Tearra was one of those Paladins. She had come from the North, bloodied and battle stained. Her sword was a chipped Minotaur axe. She carried the large weapon somewhat unsteadily, but she still held the bulky axe. Tearra had immediately been trained for being a Paladin. She of course consented, and showed a surprisingly large knowledge of the Way of Dauros.

Of course Dian was still in the Temple then. This was her first day as a Paladin. All the rigorous training and silent meditation gave her this, a seat inside the Warriors' Guild to admire the fog. There were no Dragons, no Minotaurs, Goblins, or even Ratmen. Dian had thought about all the stories the Rangers had told and thought there were many monsters out there. Sir Willem the Blue had said that there were, but only in the right spot. Sylves the Cartographer had said that Shadow Beasts had came in from the north, but the Rangers were apt to exaggeration, they were excellent scouts, but tended to enlarge their stories.

"Sister, slothfulness is not one of the Virtues of Dauros."

Dian nearly jumped a foot! Tearra had gotten right behind her. Kira, the Righteous had warned her this morning how strict Tearra was. Dian didn't know how strict though.

"Sit straight, slouching is not part of your training," Tearra said. "What were the monks thinking by taking you in. You could have at least been sent to the Guild in the south."

Dian was shocked. She had been aware that Paladins could not show characteristics that denoted Dauros, but Tearra was overdoing it!

". And where is your sword. If we were attacked, you would have nothing to defend yourself. You can't just magically summon it," Tearra said.

Dian scowled. She pulled her sword from her back. "Right here," she growled.

Tearra's eyes narrowed.

"Sister, she is new," Kira said, walking up.

Tearra and Kira were very different. While Tearra had her dark hair hidden in her helm, Kira let her red hair come out from under her helm. Even though both had the same armor, both emblazoned with the Fist of Dauros, Kira even made hers seem more casual. Her sword was shorter and was at her hip, as opposed to the back as the usual place for a Paladin Broadsword. Kira flicked her hair impatiently.

Tearra scowled and walked off.

"Tearra sometimes takes Dauros a little too seriously," Kira said, faintly smiling.

The huge iron doors of the Guild were thrown open. An Adept, a follower of Lunord, ran in. "Shadow Beasts have come, from the north. The Rangers are making a stand at the market, and some elves have banded together at their bungalow!" With that, the Adept ran out.

Kira smiled. "It looks like we will be showing some Shadow Beasts the power of Dauros."

Kira and Dian both bowed their heads and said a small battle prayer. Both raised their heads and walked out the door, drawing their swords.

Kira headed directly north. Dian however, headed south to the south marketplace to purchase some healing potions. She knew that the Healers might not be on the battlefield yet. She arrived in the market, and found much of it abandoned. She went straight to the Agrela Potion Shop and bought four Healing Potions. Putting these in a small pouch at her waist, she left the market.

As she headed north, she began to get an ominous feeling. The houses grew sparse and died out altogether. She was walking in the wilds. The trees began to press in, tampering with her range of vision. Soon, Dian had drawn her sword and was walking forward in a fighter's stance. A howl rent the quiet air, and even Dian with all her warrior calm was slightly shaken. She finally came over a hill and saw the small village below them.

The village had been established as a colony, of sorts. It had an outpost at the center. The main buildings were the market, the Temple to Lunord, unfinished as of yet, and the Rangers' Guild.

The market was on fire, and the Temple had been annihilated. Two Adepts were fighting back to back, caught up in a flood of shadow beasts. Two Paladins were down there too, most likely Kira and Tearra. The outpost had issued its two Palace Guards and Peasants were repairing as best as they could. Just as the Adept had said, the Rangers were making a stand. The elves had been forced onto the roof of their Bungalow, but they still fired arrows at the swarming beasts.

There seemed to be a grey tide of the beasts heading south, toward the village. Dian ran as fast as she could down into the horde. Soon, all she saw was slashing claws and gnashing teeth, all trying to rip apart her plate mail and tear out her innards. She thrust her sword forward. It crashed into the nearest beast. It fell over and deteriorated to dust.

"Energies of Light!" she yelled. A large blue light enveloped her.

A wave of arrows pelted the beasts. They were blue feathered arrows, meaning the elves shot them. Two beasts fell to the arrows.

Dian charged in again, slashing madly with her broadsword. She broke through the enemy line and stumbled out. She had came out beside Sir Willem the Blue, who was defending with a large shield. He struck out with his sword, and was instantly assaulted by the beasts. Dian knew she had to help, so somewhat unwillingly, she went back into the fray.

But what she faced was not a shadow beast. Only a quick sidestep saved her. A black phantom was here! Down in the south, she had heard of two occurrences of black phantoms appearing. One was when a ring of healing was taken from its resting-place. The other was far worse. At the grave of the Liche Queen, A group of eight Rangers were found dead, their wounds caused by black phantoms. Although the phantoms were never found, they did not disturb anyone else.

Dian turned and ran. A black phantom was too much. She ran, until the mail covering her legs felt like lead, and her arms like iron. She knelt, breathing heavily. She had found her way to the outpost. One Ranger was up on the ramparts. He occasionally fired an arrow, but for the most part, he was just looking around. He fired another arrow and finally noticed Dian. It was Sylves the Cartographer!

"Dian. Dian the Just, unless I'm mistaken. I see you've had enough battle, eh?" Sylves grinned widely.

"I will return to battle shortly Master Sylves," Dian said stiffly.

"You've got courage, loads of it. Don't know where you Paladins get it." Sylves was still grinning.

There was howling and a rumbling sound, like a stampede.

Sylves shaded his eyes with his hand and said, "The beasts are runnin'. Aye, they're a-runnin' all right."

Dian felt a stab of guilt. She had run away, leaving everyone else to fight. She stood up. Her legs had regained a little of their strength. She sheathed her sword, since there was no need for it now.

Kira came up. She looked rather concerned, for a Paladin. "Have you seen Sir Willem. He was in the battle, but we cannot find him. Tearra is still looking for him."

"Hey! I'll assemble the Rangers, get them lookin' fer this Sir Willem." Sylves leapt off the rampart. He landed on the ground in a kneeling postion. He stood up, picking up his bow. He ran toward the smoldering ruins of the Temple to Lunord.

"Come sister, we go home now," Kira said.

Dian followed Kira south, her performance at the battle weighing heavy on her thoughts.