In Defense

Homes of families simply living their lives were burning left and right. Little children were running with their mothers already burdened by babes and things she can take with them. She sneaked from one house to another, saving men, women, and children trapped.

When she got inside one house that has barely a scorched from fire, what assaulted her sight was a mutilated family, even a little kid dead while holding a bread knife. She took the knife from the kid and arranged his body as if he was sleeping.

As she looked around, on the far corner lies the kid's father, on top of what looked to be a Solamnic soldier. I only hope that he was not a knight, she thought to herself as she pulled the father and laid him beside his son. Then she took the body of the Solamnic and placed him on the right of the kid's father.

Seeing that there were no other bodies and sensing that there was no immediate danger, she took her war flute and played a soft music for the dead. The sound was calming and sad. As she reached the crescendo, tears fell from her eyes which rounded over the bodies after falling to the ground.

When she finished her music, she felt power and life around her. The blood on the floor and the walls disappeared, as the three bodies turns into tiny wisps of light and moved up, passing through the ceiling. Her offering was accepted and her hope that they move to a happy life granted.

This was what Amyrei did whenever it was too late for her to save anyone, in the hopes that they can move on to their new life wherever it may be. Offering them up to Branchala, the Song of Life, is their greatest hope for a new life. She can not let Chemosh capture their lifesong and trick them with his promises of a new mortal life.

Which she already lost as much. Where there are deaths, the priests of Chemosh -- ironically alive -- are but around the corner, patiently waiting for their chance to capture the lifesong of the dead as well as their bodies. These were the most challenging encounters she had in this invasion. She had to retreat many times, against her will, lest she falls and become one of Chemosh's vile creations.

Turning another corner, she heard a desperate cry, "No! Let my mother go!"

She quickly ran toward rows of burning houses all the while dodging from the falling debris. In the distance, she saw a woman being dragged. As she got closer, she heard laughter and the sounds of steel hitting steel. She casted one of her spells to improve her vision, and she saw a teenage girl fighting a Solamnic.

She wasted no time. She concentrated to harden her skin and improve her speed further. She sneaked behind the soldier and pierced him from the back directly to his heart. She sensed the men behind her tensed, surprised, and the teenage girl hacking the dead soldier.

"Enough!" She held the girl's arms. "He is dead, calm yourself!"

The girl wailed and sat, punching the soldier's body with her shaking fists.

Amyrei looked and assessed the situation. The other Solamnics are closing in. She pulled the girl up and whisphered to her ears, "Get a hold of yourself or we will both die here." She pushed her behind her while she firmly held on her dagger.

"You!" A mounted knight of Solamnia arrived, his black warhorse burning with more fury than his master, "Why did you kill one of your own, woman?"

Amyrei raised her eyebrows, "Are you that blind even atop of your horse?"

The knight's warhorse roared, standing on its two legs, almost causing his master to fall to his shame if not for his quick reigning of the creature. She noticed how its eyes were flaming red, she wondered if this knight accepted help from a mage or he was a victim of a misdirected spell.

"Has the Solamnics truly lost their honour?" She continued. "Killing the defenseless?"

The knight raised his visor and stared intently at her, "I recognise you, woman." Then his face lit up as realisation sets in. "Yes! You are the granddaughter of one of our own, Rose Knight Whitelight!"

"And what does that has to do with the atrocities committed here?"

Having been interrupted and taken back to reality, the knight replied, "Nothing." Confused and unsure, he continued, "Yes, nothing! Even if you are the granddaughter of Lord Knight Whitelight, it doesn't entitle you to anything!"

"I didn't ask for any," she murmured. The girl behind her laughed quietly and she noticed his soldiers smirking.

Shamed and red, he ordered to release the girl's mother and left. His men marched with him, although some stayed. They looked at each other and declared, "We want to help you."

Surprised, she asked, "You want to what?"

"Help you. Assist you with what you're doing. Helping people."

"You will be court martialed and I will have nothing to do with that."

"We are not the only defectors, we've been hearing about it."

She had heard as much, even met and talked with them. But this can be a trick, to help find those who defected, hoping she will lead them to where they're hiding.

"Do whatever it is you want. I heard whispers but it is none of my business. I work well alone." She turned around and looked at the girl, "Go get your mother."

She shook her head, looking at the remaining men.

"If these men touch as so much as a single strand of your hair, their throats will be their new mouth."

The girl looked fiercely at the men while she made a move of slicing her throat, then she laughed; then embraced Amyrei before she ran for her mother.

And so it was in Neraka. The Solamnics left the city during the cover of the night, ending the siege on the city. Or, as the Nerakans and Dragonarmy will write down in history, the Solamnics retreated after their might.

No one will ever know. But none of it is her business. It was time to get back to Palanthas and help there as well. Although she knew the Solamnics defending the city probably wiped out the Dragonarmies already.

She sneaked at the guards holding the northern gate. Once she was away from the city, she looked back and heard someone shouted, "A worshipper of Branchala helped us! Thank you!"

Then a voice of a minotaur boomed, "Have a taste of the Solamnics you killed! Yum!" Laughter followed.

Knowing they are watching from an advantageous position, she bowed in respect. She left in haste, moving through the deepest parts of the forest, and whispered to herself, "If only you knew how many lives of your kind I ended before going here, and I did this for the people you don't care much about."

###

Amyrei woke up from her bed, in her home in Palanthas. She sat up and leaned on the wall. The invasion ended abruptly in both cities as it had started. She recalled the Solamnics who defected. She remembered they told her that there are commanders who were only in it for the money and the looting, and they can not take it anymore.

She wondered what will happen to these soldiers. She hoped and whispered to her god, to help these good men start a much needed change in their order. A new war is brewing. If the light has to shine, a strong Knights of Solamnia is needed. A knighthood true to its Oath and Measure, and not its coffers.

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Character: Amyrei Whitelight Aisiele