(Psst! Remember that multi-blog project I was talking about? It started on April 8th, and this is my part in it’s continuation. But, you really gotta start from the beginning!)
Corrigan cursed under his breath. It was his idea to try to escape through the caves, and he should have been the one leading these citizens. He muttered to himself about the foolishness of handing such a task over to the young Lieutenant. Lionhart. Corrigan snorted to himself as he swung a leg over his horse. The name implied much bravery and courage, but the kid's eyes showed his fears. Corrigan glanced over his shoulder as he grabbed the reins. The Scourge were getting closer. He needed to get to the front quickly and get these people through the caves.
“Get Rondrey to a safe place and get him some water,” he directed the messenger that had escorted Rondrey back to him. “And bandage that head wound already!” Corrigan growled as he dug his heels into his horse's sides.
With a loud whinny, the horse charged ahead. Corrigan did his best to manuever around the citizens as he and his horse covered the distance to the cave. He reached absently into his side saddle, but found no bottle. Cursing again, he slapped his leg. This was not the time, but he sure could use a drink.
Clicking his tongue against his teeth, he tugged gently on the reins. His horse slowed to a brisk trot. The citizens near the cave were huddled together several feet away from the entrance. However, there was no sign of Lionhart. Corrigan furrowed his brow, scanning the entrance for any sign of him.
“C-commander?” a feeble voice emitted from the crowd.
Corrigan tapped his horse, turning towards the citizens. The horse stamped the ground, seeming uneasy. “Yes? What is it?” He eyed the crowd, trying to identify the source of the voice.
A tall, lanky boy stood up slowly, his legs unsteady. “Where do we go?”
“We shall go through these caves to safety,” he said, unable to look the boy in the eye.
“But, sir, the other soldier is… It's not safe in there.” The boy crossed his arms, lowering his eyes to the ground.
“It will be,” he raised his shield as his horse reared up, “by the Light, I will make it so!” And with that, he and his horse slowly entered the cave.
The cave was dark, with an eerie illumination along the walls. It took a few minutes for Corrigan's eyes to adjust, but he could see relatively well. His horse snorted and became increasingly jittery. Corrigan tried to swallow the dread he felt.
What have I done? I have failed these people… Corrigan hopped down from his horse, choosing to lead her at a slow walk. The cave was quiet. Too quiet. A constant drip could be heard, splashing into a pool somewhere within the cave. The air was musty, but cool.
As Corrigan rounded a bend, the flash of armor caught his eye. He rushed over to the slumped body partially hidden within a nook of the cave wall. Corrigan recognized the symbols upon the chestplate even though he could not see the soldier's face.
“Lionhart,” he tapped the man's leg as he crouched next to him, “can you move? Where are you hurt? What did this?”
Lionhart's head lolled back against the cave wall. His helm was missing and his hair was soaked and matted with blood. His face was swollen and bruised. “I'm injured,” he rasped.
Corrigan noted the odd angle of Lionhart's leg and the dented armor. This did not look like the work of the Scourge. He placed his hands on Lionhart's broken leg, trying to determine if he could summon enough Holy Light to mend it.
“It's too late, Commander. Too late…” Lionhart's head fell, his chin against his chest.
“Lionhart, no, we can still make it. Lionhart,” he shook the young lieutenant's shoulder. “Lionhart!” His voice echoed throughout the cave.
Corrigan grimaced, trying to call forth enough Light to heal Lionhart's battered body. However, it had been so long since he'd called upon the Holy Light. Heck, it had been so long since he'd acted as a proper Paladin at all.
There was a shuffling sound behind him, which he assumed was his horse. “Shh, just settle,” he said over his shoulder.
Lionhart struggled to lift his head again, smacking his skull against the stone wall. His mouth gaped open, fear overtaking his expression.
“Lionhart, stay with me, dammit!” Corrigan growled.
Lionhart tried to lift his hand, pointing behind Corrigan.
Corrigan turned to see what the blasted kid was fixated on.
The hulking wooly legs of a magnataur filled his field of vision. He barely had time to lift his shield over his head before the massive feet came down upon him and all went black.
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