Her footing betrayed her; feet slipping against the visceral laden ground. After greeting stone slabs with her face, her sword hand crashes against something - something heinous. It felt like dipping one's fingers into a bowl of jelly, only this was the bowel of a woman whose entire chest was gashed to gaping. The Colovian released her sword, vomiting off to the side as she rolled over onto her rear to scoot away.
"Stendarr, have mercy," she breathes through a heaving chest, tilting her head back to look up at the jagged cavern ceiling. Vampires had been dragging poor farming souls here from the farmlands in West Weald. Rumors made it as far as the Colovian Highlands, and that's where they reached the ears of a young mercenary guild. At first, it wasn't Vampires. At first the rumors were that some outsiders came in and dragged them off. Yet, these are not outsiders at all. They are the *most* perverse creations of death, or life, to walk among the living - birthed from an act so diabolical and profane that they could never be anything more than monsters. No matter how one might romanticize them, they are evil.
"Get up, Juhaea," a voice whispers to the cowering woman. The mercenary trembled; lips quivering as the scent of blood pours through her nostrils. She's seen war before. She knows death, but not like this. There was always a purpose to battle, but here - to be a Mortal in this very instance felt like being nothing more than refuse. "GET UP, JUHAEA!" That voice, a tone that hovers between feminine and masculine, roars through the cave.
So, she does - the woman, young and new to this scene, scrambles onto her feet. "Get your sword, Juhaea." This time the whispering is undeniably female, but when she looked around, she sees no one. It probably didn't help that the moon barely dared to shine her fingers through the maw of the cavern, thus cursing it with complete darkness. First, she turns to flee from the exit - it was within her reach. All she had to do was run. "Juhaea, turn around. You cannot run. You will become who you were meant to be on this night."
"I'm scared," the Imperial confesses to the darkness.
"It's when you are no longer scared that you should worry, Juhaea."
"What am I supposed to do?" She inquires, but nothing speaks back to her. The voice, whomever's it had been, is all but gone. Juhaea's pale gaze peers into the abyss, of which cannot yet be measured or known, and bends down to grab her sword. From her arms down to her fingertips, a fire rolls until it crawls from her body to the sword to set it ablaze. Thus, there was light, and when she gazes back into the abyss, the darkness scatters.
Into the cave she goes, to be born this night, a hunter, protector, and with a new kind of courage.