2nd Patrol: The day was bright and the birds were singing in the Shire, and blossoms on the Yew trees could be smelt for miles. Inside a medium sized home with stone and elven wood walls was Te’kan, the young Paladin. Before him was a training dummy, and table with a silver/white book open on it. Te’kan wearily sat in the training room casting “ Vas Ort Flam” and then quickly followed by “Cor Por”. This was repeated many times, and then followed with a swing or two of his silver longsword. With a weary sigh, Te’kan sat down to read more in the Paladin guide, Libri of Sanctus Nuntius. Sanctus Magus decrees that righteous cleansing follow by the horizontal cut of your sword is the basic attack of a Paladin. Magus says that Evil can never triumph over Holy Magic, when it is wielded by the sure hand of a Paladin of light. Te’kan pondered this passage and again was thinking of his experience on patrol previously. It was at this point that Te’kan drifted to sleep and entered what appeared to be a very restless sleep. Te’kan stood on the steps of Luna looking across the horizon calmly and serenely enjoying the day. All of a sudden he saw what appeared to be a Murderer standing before him and what Te’kan couldn’t believe, a title of Lord. “Lord Hef, how art thou this evening?” challenged the young paladin aggressively but respectfully. “Just fine” drawled the Dark eyed Lord, but he seemed to be eying Te’kan with trepidation. A passerby whispered to Te’kan, “that is the Murderer Lord Hef, he killed his whole family to claim his title, and now is Leader of the evil that plagues Sosaria.” The young Paladin bristled with righteous anger at the audacity of a Murderer to walk the hallowed steps of Luna, Home of the paladins. With power of Youth and magic, Te’kan drew his sword and challenged Lord Hef at that point, and when Lord Hef stood with his fists bared almost sneering at Te’kan for daring to challenge him, Te’kan let loose with several mighty spells and swung a massive over hand blow to Lord Hef. Over as quick as it started Te’kan stood standing over the now bleeding Lord Hef, and as Te’kan raised his sword in victory, Lord Hef raised on one hand and smiled with a glint in his eye…. With a shake and an opening of his eyes, Te’kan awoke and realized that he had been dreaming. He also knew that this contact did take place but it was much different then he had dreamt. Te’kan had stood there in the face of a Lord of Murders, and didn’t do a thing due to his fear of failure reoccurring. That image of his failing to cure the poison was fresh in his mind. Te’kan sat there musing over what to do, and he decided that he needed to clear his mind, so he went to the Ankh of Devotion to cleanse his heart. After his deep supplication and feeling refreshed Te’kan went in search of an opportunity to prove himself because he had a feeling of inadequacy and just not healthy mentally. Across Sosaria Te’kan patrolled, looking in the Shire and ensuring that the sheep were safe. There had been reports of sheep disappearing, possibly a sheep rustler from Iantown. Te’kan encountered a lass by the name of Aeowyn who he asked if she had seen any evil roaming the land. Alas Aeowyn could not direct Te’kan to any evil for a chance to redeem himself, and then a thought occurred, The Land of Gilfane had been under siege by the forces of Evil for some time, and that was the scene of his latest failure. After a long journey Te’kan took a deep breath and entered the woods that bordered the Land of Gilfane. Walking among the grand houses of Gilfane, checking the doors and looking in the yards to ensure that everything was secure. After checking the houses, Te’kan decided to peruse the wares at the North Gilfane Market. As Te’kan was preparing to buy some finely crafted armour, he heard a noise and then an evil snorting sound. He turned and there asride an evil red eyed Nightmare was the Dread Lord Righty, Vampire Lord that had plagued the lands for eons. With a feeling of dread deep in the pit of his stomach, Te’kan made several short prayers upon his weapons that they may hold up and he stepped out to confront the vile being. “Stand and Prepare to die, you foul Undead beast!” screamed Te’kan. Lord Righty with almost a flippant air about him replied, “I see how it is” and hopped off his dark mount with a command for it to stay. Te’kan was frightened at first, fearing that he would have to face the evil beast in mortal combat along with the vampire lord, but that was not so. With a few quiet words, Lord Righty pulled his shield tight and muttered a few dark oaths which summoned a ball of flame in his hand. Was this true, wondered Te’kan, Lord Righty was going to face me Paladin vs. Vampire the ultimate fight to show what is greater, Evil or Good. With a nod showing that he was ready, Lord Righty got into a defensive crouch and began an unholy incantion. Now Te’kan understood chivalry had personal code of honor but it would be idiocy to allow this spell to go off so with a cry Te’kan began this titanic battle. The irony was, it was not the titanic battle of good versus evil that Te’kan was envisioning…because his first few strikes against Righty were good but it seemed as if his body would heal almost immediately. As the Vampire grew more confidant with this upstart Paladin, he advised him that his time here on this earth was coming to an end. With a string of spells that just the words caused blisters on Te’kans skin, a fireball, then a bolt of lightening striking him in the chest, Te’kan’s assault faltered. To one knee Te’kan fell, and with a cry he cast a few spells to heal himself, but not before Lord Righty had cast an evil spell that poisoned him with a wracking pain. Again Te’kan was thwarted with poison, would he never get away from this weakness. As the world started to fade, Te’kan had an image of a skull floating in front of him. The gray world of death was what Te’kan now endured and the only thought he had was, his power to thwart evil and to bring it to justice. This weakness was eating at Te’kan and again he heard the voice… “ Youss Can be the Most Powerful Mage in the Worldsss with my helpsss” whispered that sickly voice in the back of his mind. After the battle Lord Righty took what possessions that he thought were his due for defeating Te’kan and then resurrected him. Te’kan bowed in respect to Lord Righty for his skill in arms and also his twisted sense of honor by choosing to fight Te’kan on equal terms. Lord Righty gave Te’kan a bottle of a luminescent blue liquid stating “Mortal thou are weak, but if thou needest strength, drink this and for a time thou shalt smite thine enemies.” Te’kan thanked the odd Vampire for his generosity and left the area. Te’kan gathered his mount and started the long walk home as he tended his wounds. The whole way the voice that had spoken to him was reverberating in his mind. Te’kan could hear the sound of the birds that heralded his return to the Shire, but that could not lift the dark cloud that was over Te’kan, his soul was deeply troubled over his weakness and the inability of his faith in Lord British to overcome the power of the Vampire Lord. The moon was just rising and the sun setting as he returned home but As Te’kan approached the small house that he was staying at he saw a small dark colored satchel on the steps. With trepidation Te’kan approached the bag, and an almost electricity was in the air. Te’kan prodded it with his elven sword, but nothing happens. Te’kan slowly opened the flap and inside were four items. A small bone helmet that resembled the image that had been in his mind since the first patrol. The second item was magical robe that Te’kan just felt was the “color” of who ever spoke to him. The third item was a blank green book with the image of a Skull on the front, but he noticed that when the moonlight shined on the pages writing in an unfamiliar writing could be seen. The final object had some writing in it as well as a title “Magus Quod Mortis”. As his curiosity finally overcame his caution, Te’kan picked up the satchel and as he did, an almost snap of power could be felt inside of him, and it felt as if something powerful was now inside him trying to get out and strangely, Te’kan liked it……. To Be continued……….