“Move!” The soldier prodded the greying man in the back with his buckler, shoving him toward the edge of the cliff. The two thousand foot drop known as Shadow Gorge lurked only a few feet away now.
“You’re making a big mistake.” The prisoner muttered as he took another step.
“What’s that? Killing a ra’sha like you has no consequence, mistake or not.” The soldier spat on the older man’s head and cracked the flat of his sword across the prisoner’s back, slightly lacerating his bared skin. The prisoner simply looked back, his light grey eyes—the color of polished steel—smiling. A sinister grin broke across his mouth as the soldier pushed him to the edge of the ravine. The young soldier grabbed the manacles behind the prisoner’s back and shoved him outward toward the edge so that his toes were hanging past the ledge.
“In the name of King Aexar the Great, this man is punished by trial of the Shadow for theft of the King’s property and murder of the King’s troops. He is hereby declared…” The man yelled out to the forty soldiers that had accompanied him. “… A shade.” And with that he kicked the man in the back and sent him tumbling off the cliff. Turning around, he saluted with his fireblade, holding it up in the air over him, signifying the end of the execution. The reddish orange gem in the middle of his sword glimmered in the sunlight casting a ray of red and orange light across the ground. He held the blade for a moment and then sheathed it and began to walk toward the organized lines of men under his command.
As he took his first step, a blast of wind knocked him forward and he nearly fell on his face. Startled, he quickly turned to see what it was as the sound of drawn weapons and startled gasps filled the air behind him. There on the edge of the cliff was the prisoner. His manacles were shattered and from his forearms and shins an eerie white glow shimmered from beneath the skin.
“HE’S A FUSLING!” The soldier yelled as his soldiers readied for combat. He readied his fireblade and tapped the red gem in the center, igniting his blade in an inferno of deadly flames. No one else in his squad had a gemblade, in fact for a lieutenant like himself, owning a gemblade was both rare and impressive. But one gemblade was not much when faced with a fusling. Moreover the lieutenant had never even heard of a quad fusling. It was unnerving, but the lieutenant could not fail here, he had one of the best trained squads with him. Together they had won countless skirmishes and battles against the Tyraks to the west earning them an honored place in the King’s guard.
“Squad A: left flank! Squad B and C: wedge formation from the right!” The lieutenant yelled to his men. The grey eyed prisoner jumped as the first squad attacked from the left. At the pinnacle of the twelve foot high jump, the prisoner spun around and kicked out with his left leg. As he did, the gem in his left leg glowed brightly and a focused blast of air took the form of a blade and hit one of the attacking soldiers in the shoulder, severing his arm from his torso. The soldier screamed and dropped his blade, clutching the spewing wound as he fell to the ground. As the prisoner landed he rolled into a handstand and spun around creating a deadly ring of wind blades that expanded outward. Three more men from squad A died, their spears unable to deflect the blades of air, but squad B and C had their shield men out in front, deflecting most of the attack.
The lieutenant rushed in from the side, tapping his fireblade even more. He stepped in and stabbed his sword toward the prisoner’s neck as the prisoner rolled back into a standing position. Flames leaped from the sword and rushed forward engulfing the grey eyed man as he stood up and crossed his arms in front of him.
A giant gust of wind blasted the inferno away as the man threw his arms outward. Moving like water, the man ducked under two sword swings and punched the lieutenant in the head, leaving him crumpled on the ground in a flash of lucid white light.
For ten more minutes the soldiers tried to kill the grey eyed fusling, dropping one by one, until only he remained. Severed arms, legs and heads littered the cliff as the man shook off some of the blood from his arms and chest. His only piece of clothing—his burlap loincloth—was now dark red with the blood of the King’s soldiers.
“Ra’sha my ass,” The man muttered, “But I don’t mind being a shade. It makes my job a hell of a lot easier.” For just a moment, a hint of anger could be seen in his eyes, but it passed quickly, leaving the serene, calm face of a middle aged man who has resigned himself to fate. The glow that lit his arms and legs faded as he stopped tapping his reservoir.
“Oh this will be nice.” The grey eyed man said as he picked up the lieutenants fireblade. “Haven’t had a quality weapon like this in years!” He perused the pockets of each dead squad taking what gold, food and items he could carry. Most of it was soaked in blood and much of the food was useless, but he was able to procure a large bag to carry his spoils and a few good pieces of clothing to wear.
It was a crisp autumn day and the grey eyed man took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh fall air. “Ah, today is going to be a great day! I just know it!” And with that he set off south away from the Shadow Gorge, toward the heart of the great city, Dar’Nakra. After all, he had a king to kill.