Teveriel (prime)/A Paladin's Zenith

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The curved blade flashed as it swept through the air, taking the wight's head with it. Teveriel's cloak billowed outward as he whirled with the momentum, splitting open the ribcage of another. There was a terrible scream and he rushed toward its source, heavy boots beating noisily on the mud-choked road.

They had the old human surrounded, shambling and hissing as they advanced. His leg was badly wounded, the flesh nearly hanging off the shinbone in bloody ribbons. The elf's pace never slowed, leading with his shield as he collided with the nearest wight, sending it thudding to the ground before it met its end at the end of his blade. The rest were upon him now, screeching with rage. He had only an instant to react as he sheathed his blade and gestured, murmuring a short phrase in Old Kannalan. A white haze shrouded his vision and his movements became not entirely his own. A longsword black as night materialized in his hand and it burst into white flame, lashing out in a heated frenzy at the mob of shambling corpses. One by one they fell, writhing and screaming as their corporeal forms were consumed by the divine fire, and only when the last of them disintegrated into ash did Teveriel's vision return to normal.

Losing himself to the Divine Incarnation of Voln left him feeling disconcerted and drained, as it always did. He had long resolved to use the ability sparingly, but he had increasingly grown to rely on it in recent days. Regaining his bearings now, he took a quick survey of the village. All was silent now, save for the groaning of the old man. He went to kneel beside him, inspecting the wound carefully. It would take quick action, but he would live. "Let us get you to an empath," he said, curtly but not unkindly.

The frail human was in too much pain to even thank his rescuer as he was lifted easily into his mailed arms. Teveriel's gaze lingered on the torn bodies of the undead he had slain as he picked his way among them. He hated them, he had come to realize. This was no divine quest he had embarked upon; it was vengeance. In the hollow eyes of every undead abomination he slew, he saw the grotesque and transformed faces of his father and brother screaming at the end of his blade. He saw Caliel, the traitor, and Morvule the Serpent. Setting his jaw firmly, his eyes narrowed. What if it is vengeance, then? What difference does it make whether they are destroyed by his blade or one whose purpose is true? It all comes to the same ending--oblivion, where they belong.

The old man was unconscious now, and Teveriel took care to ensure he was held securely in the saddle before swinging himself onto the stallion's back and urging him to an easy, ambling gait that would accommodate the wounded man. He was almost grateful for him; focusing on the life he held in his hands allowed him to dismiss all thoughts of pain and death, at least for a time.