The Templar of Retribution
Taerij is a nomadic warrior on a quest for retribution. At one point, in the past, his house teetered on the brink of evil and committed an act of most terrible betrayal that dishonoured all of his brethren’s feats of valour, leaving an enduring stain on his house’s honour.
Such is the shame, that from that time on he has borne the mark of the ‘Unforgiven’ and must strive for absolution from the sins of ages-past. There is only one way that he can ever atone for his shame, restoring his family’s honour and trust within society. That is if all incarnations of evil upon this Earth are found and are slain. This is his only hope of salvation and has brought about his epithet of the ‘Templar of Retribution’.
Taerij, surrounded by the constant scuttering of animals and caressed by the gentle nightly breeze, cautiously rode along a narrow path through the twilight world of the forest. Under the dense foliage, the light of the moon was reduced to a teal haze, but following the tracks left by the one he was searching for was not difficult. It seemed that no attempt at all had been made to conceal them. What an arrogant foe this must be, who does not fear the rightful vengeance of the ‘Templar of Retribution’.
Only that morning had he travelled through a fishing village at the end of the forest. The poor folk who lived there pleaded with him in despair about how a terrible warrior had terrorised their village over the last few eves. They narrated details of the incubus, which was mounted upon a huge steed and wore great blood stained armour. Certainly, he thought, this malevolent being was more than worthy of his retribution.
In the dim light of sunrise, his path was enhanced as he approached his opponent, who was awaiting him. His helm lay on the muddy ground, revealing his long mane of black hair, which contrasted so intensely with his pale complexion and crimson armour.
“I am Taerij von Phlegethon, Templar of Retribution. Mount your steed and arm yourself, o worthy opponent. May the lord give me strength to quell your malevolence and reward me my salvation” sounded the virtuous challenge of the Templar. A moments silence passed before the malefactor replied. He snarled in a calm and confident voice “I, too, have a name”, revealing a pair of elongated canines, “Erebus”.
Taerij was filled with a deep rage as his mind became beleaguered with fury at the realisation of the evil that confronted him. “I advise you abandon your benevolence, brave knight, for you are no match for my martial omnipotence”. Taerij never paused to consider the unfathomable power this being bore. Instead, taking the initiative, he arrogantly charged towards his nemesis with supernatural fury.
He landed his lance into Erebus’s bust, with unequalled accuracy. Yet the blow, which would have killed any lesser opponent, failed to even throw him from his mount. Instead, he took to ground voluntarily and again reminded Taerij of his flawed decision to pursue this duel.
“You may be strong Erebus, but your resistance is futile, for I shall slay you as I have all before you. Nothing can stand up to my retribution!”. Taerij retaliated, and dismounted to engage Erebus once again. Upon approaching Erebus, he zealously swung his blade in a wide, deadly arc, but this time the vampire moved, with daemonic agility and parried with his own sickly weapon. For a second the eyes of the two warriors met, each saw their own anguish and fury within the others eyes. Erebus broke the trance, and thrust his claw into Taerij’s stomach, knocking him to the floor. “Now I shall crush your feeble tomb under my boot, brave fool!” Erebus pronounced, stepping onto Taerij and holding his sword up high, ready to strike. Fortunately, Taerij was not ready to yield to this abomination. He lifted his weapon and thrust it into the vampire’s side, impaling his chest. Erebus gave out an almighty roar as he came to the realisation that Taerij’s stealthy sword was constructed from silver and obsidian, the bane of all nightly creatures.
The vampire knew his fate was henceforth doomed, but he would not surrender his defeat so easily. Calling upon all the strength that remained within his dying body, he brought down his sword into Taerij’s helm with ease, and ended his tormented life. Moments later the vampire fell, they were both slain. Perhaps now, Taerij has found true salvation in death, which he failed to achieve in life. His ultimate sacrifice has broken the dishonour stained upon his house, and thus returned faith and honour to his brethren.