What do you mean by “Blade”…

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Wyll's Gate

Our group wasn’t the only one to stumble across the druid grove. A group of human adventurers, with a squad of goblins hot on their tails, arrived just as we walked up the trail from the crash site.

Shadowheart, Gale, Astarion, and I watched as the group demanded entrance and safety, and were rebuffed. Then the goblins were on them – and they had brought worgs. Damn. Those humans were about to be sliced to pieces… and it looked like the druids couldn’t or wouldn’t help them.

“Let’s go,” I said, unclipping my staff from my back, and the others shook themselves loose and ranged out.

Just before we hit engagement range, a lone figure jumped down from the grove walls. “Provoke the Blade; suffer its sting!” he yelled, and threw an eldritch blast at a worg. It tumbled backwards.

“Hmm. Theatrical and pretty,” Astarion muttered. “I rather like this show.”

“Show-off, you mean,” Shadowheart grumbled. “Come on, let’s help out before he takes them all down himself. We could do with earning some druid goodwill.” She ran towards the goblins and blasted one that was about to hit the Blade in the back.

The rest of the squad were pretty easy to mop up, with the Blade – I assumed that was a title, not just a reference to his… sword? Surely if anything, it was a reference to the rapier. Ahem. 

“I’m Wyll,” he said, clapping me on the shoulder. “You four turned up in the nick of time! Aradin and his men were no match for those goblin bastards.”

“Looked as though you had everything rather in hand,” Gale observed. “I feel as though we merely assisted, rather than turning the tide. Though a stout wall between Aradin and the squad might have made more difference still.”

“Zevlor had his reasons,” the Blade said, shaking his head. “Come inside. Let’s make some introductions.”

I wasn’t a fan of the loud theatrics and odd name, but he seemed nice enough. So I smiled at him and started to walk away, when my vision darkened and my knees buckled. 

I was… somewhere else. Somewhere with dark skies, but filled with fire. A literal hellscape. I ran through a blood-soaked plain, chasing a fiery figure with a single curved horn. Her skin was bright red and ran with flames. She was my quarry. She needed to die. She was a threat to everything I held dear.

Wyll held his head.

“By all the hounds of the hells,” he swore. “I know you. I saw you. The nautiloid.”

I nodded. “We both have illithid parasites, it would seem.”

“Hmm. Then it appears we might have a common purpose. Unless you’ve sprouted tentacles you’re uncommonly adept at hiding?”

“Not yet,” I said, smiling wryly.

“About all we can hope for in these dark days. Very well. Let me finish up my work here – then, if you’ll have me…”

“The Blade of Frontiers?” Gale asked. “We’d have to be mad to decline your joining us.”Oh. That Blade. “I’ve heard of you,” I said. “Gale’s right. You’d be very welcome in our camp. Please – join us at your leisure.”

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