Monday, February 12, 2007

Scrolls of the Gatekeeper (Part V) The Warriors

Paladin: The Faithful Guardian

Paladin’s face and body, bronzed by the sun, confirms his battles are mostly fought in the realms of man. His scars are many and deep are his memories of them.

Pernicious, the Whisperer, and Paladin, the Faithful Guardian, were friends once, when both served the King in the highest of the heavens. Both witnessed the creation of all the worlds and fought side by side against the principalities of darkness.

Yet, the conflict between absolute good and the desire to serve and please oneself was constant in Pernicious. He was jealous of Paladin, which was most puzzling to the faithful Guardian.

Pernicious, once known as Talmud, was the keeper of all their laws and defender of all the sacred writings. Armed with wisdom and knowledge, Talmud led mankind on their paths of life—always a nudge in the right direction, delicately and quietly, and thus kept them from straying. Moreover, his skill with the sword was indeed a reason for envy.
Nonetheless, Paladin showed no resentment towards Talmud, which bothered the latter to no end.

It seemed to Talmud that Paladin was highly favored over him by Raynor, the Prince of Warriors. Of course, he had no proof of this. Their gifts and talents were used accordingly. Nevertheless, it was what, or rather who, Paladin was chosen to guard that Pernicious desired—the Canaanite named Tamarrah.

“Paladin cannot guard her as well as I can,” Talmud argued with Raynor. The mighty Warrior disagreed.

It was then that Talmud sought out his friend and challenged him for the right to guard and protect the beautiful Tamarrah. Paladin, who could not understand such a challenge, turned his back on Talmud and walked away. Anger immediately stirred deep within Talmud’s heart.

The faithful Guardian was caught off guard, one day, as Talmud’s attack came from behind. Blow upon shattering blow Talmud inflicted on Paladin who crumbled to his knees. Yet, before he collapsed fully to the ground another kick to the face send Paladin flying between the Heavens to the mountains of man. Talmud was out of breath as Paladin labored to find his strength.

Talmud was merciless. He wrenched Paladin by his long blonde hair and dragged him to the top of Mount Ardis. There he took his sword and with all his power pierced it through Paladin’s left shoulder pinning him to the ground. Talmud showed no remorse when his friend’s agonizing screams of pain echoed through dark and mist.

“Where is thy skill and thy might?” he sneered. “With what strength will you protect Tamarrah?” He yanked his sword out of Paladin’s bleeding flesh, causing more anguish, and then ran the blade down the Guardian’s face. “That will scar,” Talmud said with wicked sarcasm.
The Faithful Beasts Weep Around the Body of the Dead Prince

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There, on Mount Ardis, Talmud left Paladin to suffer. Raynor came to his side and carried him into the soothing waters of the Effervescence River. After a time Paladin’s wounds healed, but the scars remained.

It was on that mountain that Paladin first heard Talmud’s heavenly voice change to a heinous whisper and the last he ever beheld Talmud in his uncorrupted form.

To be continued . . .

It is of no concern (well it might actually be of some concern) to the Gatekeeper if one has missed any chapters of this harrowing tale. Though, indeed, the scrolls have been preserved inside Canaan's castle walls, it might do one good to read them once more before the Warriors come home.

Scrolls of the Gatekeeper I: It's A Hellish Tale
Scrolls of the Gatekeeper II: An Unholy Union
Scrolls of the Gatekeeper III: Uriel

And might I mention that here, inside the brick and mortar of our towers we do manage to stay clean. Of course, the maidens are busy making our own soap from the finest oils and Goat Milk (yes, Goat Milk) with olive oil. It will do well to scrape the dirt of those battle-worn hands and other parts you manage to spoil. See here now, if one does not like the goat milk, the maidens will add Orange Basil or Jasmin and Myrrh, or perhaps you wouldn't mind a little bit of licorice soap. Whatever your fancy, let us know as your purchase will keep the castle from falling into the hands of the greedy tax collector. Remember, cleanliness is next to Godliness. It's what I hear in any case.

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