(I'm a new writer and don't claim to be good at it, so feel free to tear my work apart. This will be a short story about Lance Willakers' actions during the purge campaign)
His fist collided with the door in one single hit, creating the sound of a lonely knock against it. One knock, no more, the sound echoed through the hall behind the dwarf while he waited for an answer that would pierce the silence.
The reply was short, loud enough to be heard, but not too loud. Efficient and stern, just like his knock had been.
“Thank you, Grand paladin.” Lance answered as he opened the door and stepped inside the room. Gwenyth had changed ever since she had taken the position that the noble Virgo once held. Her hair was no longer the gentle brown locks that fell over her shoulders, it was unkempt, messy and long. But it was not just her hair that had suffered from a lack of care, her entire face seemed to be hurting under the stress of her new title. Bags hanged underneath the elf’s eyes, most likely due to a lack of sleep. Lance could even spot a wrinkle on her forehead, shocked by the realization of what this meant. He had never seen signs of aging in Gwenyth, she had always kept up with her silver consumption perfectly.
Yet, even with all these signs of stress, the Grand paladin sat there, looking towards the dwarf as he approached her. Her back straight, her lips a short line. Lance felt a wave of admiration for the new head of the order, even with all she had to deal with she still faced him stern and calm.
“What is it you require of me, Willakers?” Her voice was cold, but Lance did not take offense, there was no room for anything other than respect.
“I had heard you plan on lifting Virgo’s ban on the hunting of civilized ageless.”
“I am indeed, the word will be sent out this evening.” Lance nodded at hearing her words, and his hand gripped tightly around the hilt of the sword on his hip.
“It was about time.” The dwarf replied as he turned around and made way for the door again. No longer could the wretched undead hide, no more would they deceive and seduce innocent folk. He would slay every soulless cowardly undead within the cities, or his name was not Lance Willakers.
The woman’s husband let out a scream and desperately tried to free himself of the paladin holding him back. Lance just stood there and watched while two other paladins dragged the deceitful undead creature towards the dwarven warrior. They forced her to kneel in front of Lance and in one swift motion he took out his blade and jammed it into the woman's head. There was no blood as the wretched creature’s skin melted away and all that remained was a broken skull and a pile of bones. The man screamed out again and tears began to flow down his elven face, completely broken after watching the love of his life die before him. Lance turned away not wanting to watch, he pitied the elf, and wished it didn’t have to be like this. But hearing the sounds of his grief slowly fade as we was dragged away enraged the dwarf even further. If it hadn’t been for these damned soulless undead he wouldn’t have to tear these families apart, but it was better this way. There ageless didn’t feel, they deceived these families merely for their own safety. They would continue to do so again and again as they lived on and watched the people they pretended to care for grow old and die. Lance’s hand gripped onto the hilt of his sword with so much force that he felt a faint pain in his fingers from it, but he didn’t care. He had a job to do which would save these people, even if they couldn't see it at first.
“Mister Willakers, Sir!” A distraught paladin called out to him from the other side of the street. He rushed over to the noble dwarf and attempted to speak again but his voice was out of breath and he could only mutter incoherent words.
“Pause yourself boy.” Lance told him while putting a hand on the young recruit’s shoulder. “Calm down, what is going on.”
“There were ageless at the docks, the south side of the city.” The younger dwarf seemed worried and picked his words carefully as he continued. “We couldn't hold them back Sir, they escaped by boat.”
A frown formed on Lance’s forehead and he nodded. “Was there a fight?”
“Yes…” His tone now switched from worries to saddened. “We lost a few recruits..”
Lance’s frown deepened, and he strode past the Jimmie heading towards the south side of Reldawin. He had expected there’d be those who would fight back, it was time to do what he was really here for. Lance wasn’t someone who enjoyed dragging people from their homes. Even if it was the right thing to do, he still preferred the battlefield. These ageless common folk would be no match for the Grand paladin order.
(after the battle)
Lance felt cold. The battle had been fierce, but eventually the wretched ageless had overwhelmed him and his men. They had attacked as if they were one mind, one singular attack on every single side of him at the same time. It would have been impossible for him to survive their onslaught. It was a good death. In the heat of battle ridding the world of the ageless scourge had been Lance’s preferred way to go. He felt no fear of sadness at his impending non-existence, soon the light would take his soul and the dwarf would finally in his life know peace.
Slowly Lance’s senses returned to him. He felt the wet and muddy sand below him, the cold sea winds blowing against him. He heard the gentle sounds of waves crashing onto the beach, and the movement of people around him. Was this the afterlife?
His eyes slowly opened and in one singular moment, the dwarf felt something he had never experienced before, a feeling that had never crept through his body. As Lance looked up he stared right into the empty eye sockets of that wretched monster he felt fear. Were the stories true? Was the owner of that charred skull really what he claimed to be, a god? Would this be his afterlife?
The fright faded ever so slightly as he looked around, he was still on the beach, he was still alive. But how could that be, he had felt himself die in the battle on the beach. A second wave of mind shattering terror crept over the dwarf as his eyes slowly lowered to view his hands, only to find himself staring at his thin bony fingers. He felt his armor hang loosely around the bare bones that now made up his body. He heard the damned creature in front of him talk, but no words reached him. Lance just sat there in disbelief of what had just transpired, he was, had been forced into becoming, ageless.
Still filled with an all consuming horror Lance was helped to his feet, he was pushed away and heard laughing. Something that was said, something about Gwenyth. Lance couldn’t think, he just ran, let his legs carry him without a single thought from his head. Now that he had finally been acquainted with fear it was on the verge of driving him mad.
Lance just ran and ran, hearing the cackling slowly fade away behind him, but he still ran. Ever so slowly he started to form thoughts again. His legs slowed down and eventually he stood still on the beach. He was Lance Willakers, he had died, he had been turned into a mindless undead creature. Suddenly a realisation hit the dwarven warrior, a sudden shock so powerful his legs fell out from underneath him. He was Lance Willakers, Lance… He was not a mindless monster, he was Lance Willakers. Ageless, they weren’t just monsters, there had to be some of them like him, turned against their will. Ones who would merely want to live their lives away from prosecution, away from bloodshed. Ones he had dragged from their homes, from their families and murdered in cold blood just because of their ageless nature. Lance drew his sword and stared at his own bare skull in the reflection. Could he live like this, with the knowledge that this very blade had ended the lives of innocents.
Lance pondered, then nodded, sheathing the blade again. He had to, he had to live to tell the others. The order didn’t know, Gwenyth didn’t know, he must tell them. Deep in his heart Lance knew they wouldn’t listen, they would think of him as a mindless drone attempting to deceive them. But Lance would take his chances, he had faced ageless hordes in Dundinborough, he had defended the order against wretched undead venomburners. He did not fear death, this would be his fight. He would convince the order, for his name was Willakers, Lance Willakers.