The Morghun Host (title image)

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The Unit
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I think its about time I told this tale, though young Twiglet, it may sadden you.

The Burning of my First Home

Shortly after the incident with the helmet, I met a beautiful elven woman called Sirana. She was living in a settlement of mixed races, human and elf living side by side in relative harmony. I had happened upon it in a time of great need, as I had been set upon by brigands whilst I made my way through a shady glen, and during the brief fight I was badly stabbed in the side. None the less I dispatched three of the felons, fled as fast as I could manage, and staggered off to try to find assistance. The next thing I knew, I was in a bed, and as I opened my eyes, saw the most beautiful face I had ever lain eyes on. Then darkness took me once more.

Upon waking, I found the elven woman sitting by my side, minding me, for I had a fever (bandits rarely keep their swords clean). I had been delirious for nigh on a week, and in all that time she had apparently rarely been away, for she was a healer. She told me I had been found at the edge of the village, in a large puddle of blood, and had been brought in by a local farmer. Time passed and we spent much time together as I recuperated. We talked often, and when weather and my strength allowed, walked out a ways together. To get to the point, after a while we realised we were in love, and in due course we wed. Several months later we found our first child was on its way, and threw a party to celebrate the happy event. The whole village attended, and there lay our mistake. Unbeknownst to us we had been watched by the men who had waylaid me, and they had been plotting revenge, for as I later found out, one of the men I had killed was their leaders son. I found this out from the leader, Coruvin, just before I plunged my sword through his skull (but I will get to that, oh, too soon). They had sent spies to observe what the celebration was for, but dared not attack, as the settlement was too well guarded. On finding out, they slipped away.

Nothing more happened, and nearly a year later my Sirana gave birth to a boy, Erundil. We were supremely happy, I the proud father, Sirana the doting mother. Never have I known a happier time, and possibly never shall I again. When she had recovered, she set about the needs of the village, as her healing power had been somewhat channelled into the wellbeing of our unborn son. She had to go to the edge of the glen to collect some healing herb or another, and, being headstrong and sure of her safety, as all had been quiet for sometime, went alone to forage.

The guards found her body two days later, although we had searched in vain for her since the previous day, and the night before that. She was face down in a small stream, a long knife protruding from her back. She hadn't even seen her killer. As we turned back to our home, me numb, the towns folk shocked, we saw smoke. We all dashed back to find the houses in flames and men ransacking and raping where they could. We fought like demons, and soon the bodies from both sides filled the streets. To this day I know not how I survived, as I had been wounded several times, but had dealt my fair share of death. I battled through corpses and flames to my house, and heard the wailing of a babe. My son! As I reached the house I saw a tall greasy looking man, pointing towards me, Two men raced to meet me. All they met was death. I plunged into the smouldering house, and found Erundil still safe in his crib, bawling, terrified. I turned with him in my arms and fled my once joyous home.

Outside I took a breath and looked wildly around. All was carnage, and flame. Not many from either side had survived the fighting. As I turned to leave, I espied a tall figure in the smoke. I put my son down safely, drew my sword, and charged at he who had been directing the massacre. He turned just in time to meet me sword on sword, and the clangour of our warring was to be heard above even the crackle of burning timbers. Many times we hacked and slashed at each other, and we both received sapping wounds, but in the end I prevailed, smashing the fingers from his sword hand, and burying the blade in his thigh. He screamed and fell, whilst I just stood there and asked "why?" He replied through gritted teeth "it is a matter of blood. You killed my son. I was to be revenged. I Coruvin, will have my vengeance!" I wasted no more time in parley with him, and with a bestial bellow of hatred buried my sword in his face. Staggering away, I found Erundil, and, carrying him in a rough sling across my back, found my Sirana's body. Lifting her gently I told her our son was safe, and that she would be with me always. I believe her shade heard, for I seemed to gain some inner strength, and my wounds began to knit. Crying tears of love and bitter sorrow, mixed with a burning hatred of the world. I took her to the blazing remains of our house, and put my wife upon the fire.

That happened three hundred years ago, and although I will never forget her, the pain has at last gone.

Not to sad for you I hope?

Source: S. Erridge

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