Averon thrashed his arms as he fell from the flaming battlements his body spiralling towards the torrential river below. He braced himself, tucking his knees deep into his chest. Head swimming as blood loss took hold; he tried to blot out the pain of his wound. His back burned as he crashed painfully into the river forcing the breath from his lungs, his descent slowing as the cold water engulfed him. Lungs bursting, he swam frantically for the surface, the deep gash on his throat searing as fierce as any flame.
Averon’s heart pounded as the light from the fires above drew ever closer. He freed his sword, unfastening the buckle and discarding the weighty, jewelled scabbard in one fluid motion, urging himself to make one final desperate push for the surface.
As he emerged a blow to his chest expelled his remaining breath and the light once again drew further away, the darkness of the cool water embracing him.
The two men sat silently either side of the altar. Atop it, cocooned in a light veil of hessien, lay a mans body. A meagre streak of blood seeped through the veil near the chest. The body moved as the form surged and fell at irregular intervals. Rahn got to his feet and approached the altar, placing a hand gently on the brow of the dying man.
“He is the one”
The second man remained in position, kneeling aside the altar. Faint wisps of auburn hair protruded from the hood of his cloak as his head hung limply above his clasped hands.
“You are sure?”
“It is definite, he bears the mark as foretold, and carries the legendary Keilm blade. It could be no other.”
The hooded figure struggled to his feet. ” Then how do we proceed?”
Rahn brushed his hand over the wound, a weak stifled groan confirming the man beneath the veil still lived. “It will take time to repair his transient form. For the moment he will remain with us here, in this hall.”
The man bowed solemnly before Rahn. “Then elder, I will take my leave of you and allow you to proceed.”
Rahn nodded gently, never removing his eyes from the man laid out in front of him. He turned to face the door as he heard it close, to ensure his disciple had indeed left, before drawing his gaze back to the altar. Rahm leaned in close to the ear of the cocooned man. “I hope you can fulfill the dreams of this old man, boy. You have many struggles ahead of you before you can claim what is rightfully yours by fate. It shall be a long and hard road to travel, but I promise you this, I will prepare you accordingly. Our day will come.”
Rahn kneeled in place near the altar and began to chant.