For Purity


In the night, a rider came to Bergwood.

In what was truly the deadest hours of the dark, the clopping of hooves drew to a slow halt upon the stones of the great road which spanned across the whole of the Empire. Upon its back came the rider, wearing neither sigils nor colors. Only drab red lay underneath the beaten and battered armor of a sellsword, or fighter of some other repute. This landless, untitled rider came alone and seemingly from the heart of Hadriana. By the light of a torch they were seen only; speaking neither to the citizenry of the hamlet, nor those near to its point of interest as they came soon within the domain of Himmelschwart.

At the ingress to the chapel, a great axe was set aside. Upon its sharpened head, the rider placed their helm. Stepping into the scene of disarray and of heresy, the rider—a girl of no more then twenty with tresses of golden-blonde spilling across her shoulders, leaned to the corpse that was left in defiance to the Sentinels, and to the great Alder himself. A look of sorrow washed over the girl, and she fell to prayer soon thereby. When she rose, she spoke no words, but turned and left for her horse. Gone no more than a minute, she returned with a bucket and a rag in either hand, and soon she was at work.

No man or woman alone could restore the holy site to its prior state of cleanliness, but a girl did all which she was able. The rags and bucket took away what stain it could, and with a great laboring the carcass of the animal used to defile the church was removed; thrown to the side of the road, outside of the city and into the nearest ditch or dell. The hours passed long in this time, as the night faded and the sun took its place, the sweat on the brow of the girl merely gleamed as she worked tirelessly to rid this place of the foulness of its stench and sight. When she was finished, or as finished as a girl could be given such circumstances, any snuffed candles were relit, and a mild scent of incense was drawn to further unburden the holy grounds.

Now the sun was barely up, and the moon no longer seen in the dawn sky. The rider retook her helm and her axe, and left the chapel with no further a word.