Ria of Bladehold

In recent months, the Manka Run had become known as the most dangerous circuit of all the routes through the razorfields. It followed a road along the edge of the Liet Field, passing through several outlying settlements before looping back toward Bladehold. It could be done in a week but usually took two. I had taken Anton, Hyath, and Minhu, mainly to keep an eye on them. We were two days into the ride, just hours away from the small settlement called Ten Shields.

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Kessla of Temple Might

The elves destroyed another shrine. It wasn't one that I'd made, but it didn't matter. Archdruid Benzir sent me to repair it as fast as possible. It was to the east of Temple Might, where the Rey-Goor creep is the worst. I'm not sure there are any beasts left there to honor, but I kept my mouth shut and did what I was told.

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Kessla of Temple Might

Just after dawn, the commons was packed with people. This wasn't unusual; many people gathered there before the heat of the midday sun. But this morning they were clumped around the south end of the commons. Someone was making a speech, his voice echoing loudly off the copper-stalls. I circled around the edge of the crowd and through the heads of the people I saw Camik. My heart lurched. Benzir himself had told the man to leave the temple grounds. When the archdruid found out about this, he would be very upset.

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

If I were a braver man, I would say these words to your face.

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Ria of Bladehold

I watched Minhu struggle with the sword. It wasn't a complicated form, but Minhu was small for his age, and his shoulders weak. I knew the rest of the young recruits in the squadron were watching him, judging his flaws.

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

As I write this, the events of the day shadow my mind.

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

When I was a boy, I looked forward to the energizing gaze of the Red Sun. Now I dread it. Once it rises and sees all that I have seen, I fear its gaze will not be kind.

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Kessla of Temple Might

Two days later, I was heading home through the Tangle when fear doubled me over. A sick feeling still lingered in my belly as I searched the glade for signs of life. But there was nothing to be seen.

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Ria of Bladehold

Decades ago, the settlement of Ten Shields had been the sight of a formal accord between the Auriok and the leonin over the conflicted territory of Liet Field. The name "Ten Shields" came from the symbolic exchanging of shields between five Accorders and five leonin warriors. The Shields Accord enabled stable relations between the warring Auriok and leonin who shared the region. Now most of the children who lived in the settlement don't even remember where the name of their home had come from. Or that there had been a time when leonin and Auriok would rather fight each other than exchange a few words of conversation.

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Kessla of Temple Might

Once the beast had gone, I thanked the elf again and cautiously made my way back to my home. Kio-Father was waiting for me at the door, as if he knew something was wrong. He made me sweet tea and put a blanket around my shoulders. He busied himself with chores until I was ready to tell him what had happened.

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Ria of Bladehold

In the seconds it took to cross the platform and look over the edge, Hyath was already dead. In the seconds it took to pull my dagger from my belt and hurl it toward their attacker, Minhu had been torn in half.

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

After today's events, I am glad you are even alive to write to. Dozens of our brethren are dead, and many others lie in a state of foul decomposition, ashen and less than half alive. I began these letters in the hopes that you would one day understand my actions. More and more, I write them as a chronicle of war—less as a brother, more as a warchief.

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Kessla of Temple Might

The black-haired elf was beside me when my eyes opened. I was lying under a soft blanket on the hard floor of a narrow corridor.

"I'm sorry for the lack of comforts," he said. "This is one of our havens."

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

Today the red sun rose—the signal for our assault. Today we struck back at the Phyrexians at Oxid Ridge. Today was the first time I did not think of myself as a member of Anvil-tribe or part of the Vulshok culture—today I was truly Mirran.

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Ria of Bladehold

My mount had been named Leonie. She'd been my companion for four years. She knew the route between Ten Shields and Bladehold better than me. But she was lost.

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Ria of Bladehold

It was the seventh day of the siege of Bladehold, and Pilat had barely slept since it began. As captain of the meager force of soldiers and civilians that had been cobbled together to defend the city, he was in demand every second of every minute. And he wasn't sure how much longer he, or his beloved city, was going to last.

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Farris of the Anvil

Dear Sharaia,

As we all pursue our dying day, we must find peace with the cold choices we've made and allow ourselves to burn with hope as well we can. We must embrace our errors—even those that hurt those we love—and bury them deep. While we draw breath we must kindle the places in our hearts that can still hold heat.

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Kessla of Temple Might

"Get in and get out, Kessla," my friend told me. The black-haired elf who called himself Nee had become all that was left of my family. His black eyes looked at me with concern. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

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