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Corruption, Part 2: No Good Deed...

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(Read the previous entry here or refer to the Fiction Index for a full listing.)

Bells. Again, Corrigan wakes to the sounds of bells tolling. This is not the single, small bell from Northshire Abbey, however. This is the glorious melody of the Cathedral of Light in Stormwind. Every morning for the past week Corrigan has woken to their sound.

Every morning since he became a Paladin.

Halfway through his morning prayers, Corrigan was interrupted by a knock at the door. "You may enter." A young squire, no older than fourteen years stepped in.

"S-Sir Corrigan. Sir Duthorian Rall wishes to see you."

"Thank you, boy. Please inform Sir Rall that I will be with him at the completion of my morning devotional."

"Does Sir feel it is wise to make an officer wait?"

"I am sure a Paladin as tenured as Sir Rall will understand my wish to speak to the Light and ask it for strength. Now, deliver the message, if you please." The squire nodded and set to his task.

After completing his prayers, Corrigon donned the plate of his order and quickly made his way to the main hall of the Cathedral, where Duthorian was awaiting him. Duthorian was a veteran of many campaigns, and had earned his station in Stormwind. However, one look at the man made it clear that he was ready to defend the city, its people and his Faith at a moment's notice.

"Sir Rall, you wished to see me? I hope you do not mind me finishing my morning prayer before coming down."

"Not at all, Corrigan. Far too many forget the importance of dedication to the Light these days. I am happy to see a young Paladin such as yourself knows what is truly important in life. However, it is also unwise to make a superior wait. While I understand, Hiighlord Bolvar may not."

"Highlord Bolvar... Fordragon, Sir?"

"None other. You are to take this intelligence report from the Northern Continent to him. Our enemies appear to be stirring. I cannot trust this to a simple squire, as high station always attracts dark powers with prying eyes."

"Yes, Sir!" Corrigan took the report and made his way to the Keep with all possible haste. Sir Duthorian's words troubled him, but now was not the time to ask questions. He did not want to make the Highlord wait any longer than necessary.

Of course, Bolvar Fordragon was a busy man. After waiting for his chance at an audience, Corrigan was sent off with nothing more than a "Thank you, Paladin. That will be all."

On his way out of the Keep, Corrigan paused to view an altercation. Two guards were restraining a woman, yelling, screaming, kicking and fighting, while their captain tried to reason with her.

"You MUST let me see the Highlord! I need his help."

"Highlord Fordragon is far to busy to give private audience with a commoner. If you require assistance, please see the city watch."

"Don't you think I've BEEN to the city watch, you dolt? They're not willing to help me, NOBODY is! She's running out of time!"

Corrigan's curiosity and sense of duty got the better of him and he stepped forward. "Captain, may I be of assistance?"

"Be my guest, Paladin. I've heard enough of her shrill voice for one day. Men, escort the lady outside the Keep. Sir, she is all yours."

After stepping back into the city, Corrigan turned to the sobbing woman, "What is the problem, ma'am?"

"Finally, SOMEONE in this city who cares about common people. You must help me, Sir, they've taken her!"

"Calm down. Who has been taken, and by whom?"

The woman looked up into Corrigan's eyes. Looked up with eyes of the most radiant green Corrigan had ever seen, a green so shocking that it did not seem possible for a mortal to possess them. "Sir, kind Paladin. It is my sister. She has been abducted by Warlocks. They have taken her to the Slaughtered Lamb tavern. I fear she may come to great harm at any moment. There is no time to waste, you must help her!"

Again, Corrigan's head was filled with questions. Again, time was a factor, and he was prevented from asking any of them. He just had to trust this woman, who would concoct such a story if it were not true? "Wait for me at the Cathedral. I will return with your sister, worry not."

Corrigan ran across town, to the Mage Quarter. He knew the Slaughtered Lamb, if only by reputation. It was said that dark mages practiced their crafts within its walls. They were allowed to remain untouched, as there was no proof of any wrongdoing. However, if they truly had abducted a girl, the time for action was at hand.

Corrigan stepped into the tavern and looked around. The common room was empty, but he could see a passageway descending before him. Step by cautious step, Corrigan made his way down, listening, feeling for anything out of the ordinary. Twenty paces down, Corrigan started feeling queasy, surely something sinister was at work below. Further on, Corrigan heard a noise behind him, almost the hiss of a snake. Turning his head, Corrigan looked back to find nothing.

Upon turning back around, Corrigan found a large, hooded figure standing mere inches from his face. The hood was drawn so far forward and the passage so poorly lit, that nothing but a dark void was visible within. Before Corrigan could draw his sword, or even cry out, the figure whispered a single word.


Instantly, Corrigan's vision blurred. Within seconds he was falling to the floor. He blacked out before he made contact.

Syrana said...
September 2, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

You are right, Corrigan was a goodboy once upon a time. Hmm, I'm wondering if the girl he is trying to rescue is Sylphine? *tries to patiently wait until the next part*

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