Monday, June 22, 2009

Chapter 5, Part 2 - Jhan

Wyrena sighed with relief as the wound on her leg closed and the dull ache went away. The cleric of Ilsidahur who was tending to Wyrena's wounds looked up, and asked, "Does that feel better now?"

Wyrena nodded, responding, "It does. I can't even feel any more pain."

The cleric nodded. "I am going to give you a prophylaxis as a precaution against infection, but you shouldn't have any more troubles with that wound."

Wyrena nodded and stood up, her leg giving no indication of having had a deep wound just moments before. "Thank you, sir. May Tyr's blessings be on you."

The cleric smiled genuinely and escorted Wyrena to the door. Wyrena waved and walked back out into the courtyard of Jhan, watching somberly as the body of one of the slain caravaneers was carried into the cleric's abode. The sergeant in charge of Wyrena's unit had offered to pay for those who had been killed by the raptorak to be raised from the dead, although it left precious little left to show for their work escorting the caravan. Wyrena felt partly responsible for her failure to do more to protect those who had died at the hands of the raptorak, and was glad to know that they would soon be back in the land of the living.

Walking slowly, Wyrena meandered across the courtyard to the north, stopping once she got to the entrance of Tyr's chapel. Wyrena walked in, and took a seat on one of the benches near the back, giving a prayer of thanks to Tyr for her earlier epiphany and the strength to own up to her shortcomings and warn the Justicars of what Porphyria now knew because of her. Wyrena felt a brief feeling of peace wash over her, although she could not tell whether it came from herself, or some outside source. Perhaps it was all the same.

After finishing her prayers, Wyrena stood up and left the chapel, going back to the courtyard to rest against the fountain at the center and to await the arrival of the rest of her party. Wyrena waited somewhat impatiently, as it was getting late, and although the trip from Jhan to the Ivory Tower would likely take no more than a few hours, she would prefer to get there sometime before midnight.

The courtyard was filled with the citizens of the citadel of Jhan, most of whom appeared simply to be milling about and talking with friends and acquaintances. Wyrena looked around for people she knew, spotting several who she had previously met while serving garrison duties, but nobody who she really felt the need to go up and talk to.

"Lost in thought, Private?" The familiar voice of the sergeant came from behind her, and Wyrena turned around, saluting her commanding officer.

"I was just thinking that it was getting late, Sergeant, and I'm eager to get back home." Wyrena said.

The sergeant nodded, replying, "We will be going fairly soon. The rest of the unit is just getting some food. I'm surprised you aren't getting dinner, actually."

"I'm really not hungry, Sergeant."

"I can understand that, I suppose, although I always find that a good fight makes me hungrier, not less hungry." The sergeant responded, "I just hope you're not uneasy over what we did out there today."

"No, Sergeant." Wyrena quickly said, "I know that we have the duty to destroy chaos wherever we find it. I just have a lot on my mind at present."

The sergeant looked as if he were going to ask what Wyrena had on her mind, but seemed to think better of it, and instead simply patted her on the shoulder, saying, "Well then, I hope you can find some peace on the ride back home."

"Thank you, Sergeant." Wyrena replied, saluting again as the sergeant wandered back to the restaurant where the rest of the Justicars in his unit were eating. Soon, the whole unit was gathered by the fountain, and made ready to ride back to the Ivory Tower. Wyrena looked up at the sky, and saw that the sun had already set. It would be past midnight before they could make it back home.

Armour gleaming in the torchlight, the small unit of Justicars mounted their horses and made their way out of the gates of Jhan, heading down the road to the Ivory Tower. It was not long before the quiet of the long ride made Wyrena forget the thoughts that had been troubling her.

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