Solomon’s figure was like that of a ghost as he walked through the cold night. The hills of the plains cast large shadows that were enough to excite the imagination of any traveler. Solomon, however, kept his cool. His cross caught the moonlight and amplified it, serving as a sort of torch.
He would have made camp, but as a Hero, he was on a mission, one that he absolutely had to see through to the end, no matter how vague it was.
The Hero was silent throughout his search. The information the Knight had given him was not much to go on, but he had made due with less before. He relished the thought of purging the lands of Demonic influence, the very thought putting a grim smirk on his face. He had traveled the road for hours, but he was not tired, his determination keeping him as wide awake as a strong cup of coffee would.
“What do you mean it was just one man that killed them?!”, the bandit leader growled, his voice echoing through out Broken Knee Cave. He was a grizzled man sporting a large scar across his left cheek and a shiny bald head, his pale blue eyes full of avarice. He held one of his subordinates by his shirt, his studded leather armor slightly pressing into the other man’s flesh.
“He was like a Demon!”, the other man pleaded, sweat pouring down his face as he desperately tried to explain. “The look in his eyes! It was enough to make your blood freeze!”
“Useless!”, the bandit leader cursed, tossing the man to the ground.
The five other bandits all watched nervously as their leader kicked the dejected man in the ribs. Their leader then turned to them, the other one whimpering on the ground.
“So does anyone else think that one man can kill you all?!”, the leader demanded. The rest of the bandits all shook their heads in fear. “Good”, the leader said. Now let’s get out there and make some coin!”.
The sun was only just beginning to rise as Solomon eyed the wreck of a wagon further down the road. He sprinted over towards the sight as fast as he could, soon beholding the horror of a dying man holding onto a dead young lady. The woman’s abdomen had been pierced, her blood soaking the man who was bleeding form the head profusely, his skull fractured in several places.
“What happened?”, Solomon asked, kneeling down and seeing what he could do to attend to the man.
“Th-they came out of nowhere. T-t-t-took-k my goods…. money…. and my niece’s life…”, the man stammered, trying not to choke on his own blood as he coughed it up. Solomom reasoned that far more damage had been done to the man than what he could possibly treat in such conditions. The man was pained to breathe, meaning he must have had several broken ribs. The Hero knew some basic healing, but had nothing that could reverse damage such as this.
“Be still”, Solomon commanded softly. He grasped his Order Cross in his left hand and placed his right one on the man’s forehead. He began a soft prayer, a faint golden light emanating from the cross and his hand. The man continued to breathe raggedly, but his bleeding had stopped.
“Tha-thank you”, the man breathed.
“I’m afraid I won’t be able to do much more for now. If you can tell me where the villains who did this ran off to, I shall give them the Chief God’s punishment”, Solomon said. The man pointed to the west side of the road before limply dropping his arm, his strength still failing him.
“Please…. don’t let them hurt… anyone else”, the man begged.
“Heaven as my witness, they will suffer for what they’ve done”, Solomon said, standing up. “I will come back for you, I promise”, he said, before sprinting off into the grass.
Waylon clutched his ribs as he limped through the grassy plains. He didn’t know what he could do at this point, he just wanted to get away. He was burned, battered, bruised, and now an outcast. He figured the rest of the crew would kill him when they returned, so he decided to flee. He had not gone more than a hundred meters before he heard the group coming back, loudly announcing their presence through sick cries of victory. He ducked behind a rock, doing his best to keep silent as they passed, a few already inebriating themselves on stolen wine.
Waylon sighed in relief when he figured he was out of their sight. But his relief soon turned to fear, as a firm hand soon forced itself over his mouth, Solomon’s imposing figure looming over him.
“From the look of things, you have not sinned this day. But you are far from innocent”, he said in a hushed voice. “So perhaps this is your chance for redemption. Where have those bandits gone?”
Waylon tried not to panic as he did his best to comply. He darted his eyes in the direction they had went and pointed with his left arm, his whimpering smothered by Solomon’s hand. Solomon nodded and pushed Waylon to the ground, the white-cloaked Hero quickly moving away form him. Waylon sobbed audibly as he scrambled to get away, fear coursing though every fiber of his being as he once again saw what appeared to be the eyes of death he had escaped last night.
“Ah that grot must’ve decided to run off after he pissed himself”, the bandit leader grumbled when he saw the open thatch door. “Well we’ll kill him later. I just hope he didn’t piss himself. Just got used to the smell in there”
“Sure boss, whatever you say”, another bandit said.
“At least it looks like you whores’ melts aren’t completely useless after all”, the bandit leader said as he entered the tunnel. “Either that or the Gods are looking down on us”
“Indeed they are”, Solomon declared as he marched up to them. Half of the bandits were already inside the tunnel when he approached, the last man being caught off guard when Solomon brandished his longsword. Solomon dashed forward and stabbed the first man in the belly, his armor offering no resistance at all. The rest of the bandits stammered as they dropped their plunder and reached for their weapons.
“Men of sin shall not find sanctuary, as the Gods see all. Never shall they know peace as we, the agents of Their will, draw breath. You who would turn away from the light and embrace darkness….”, Solomon spoke with such intensity it paralyzed the bandits who looked upon him, his eyes boring into them as he held out his left hand, flamed eminating from his palm. ‘BY FIRE BE PURGED!”
A blast of fire filled the tunnel, the bandits becoming engulfed in seconds, incinerating their flesh and their plunder. Their leader looked on in horror as the flames stopped just short of him. His men screamed in agony as they flailed about. Solomon moved through their forms, striking the ones still clinging to life with his sword, cutting away their burned flesh.
The bandit leader clawed desperately at the stone entrance to his lair in a vain attempt to escape. His eyes wide in fear, he turned to see Solomon’s hand grasp onto his face.
“None shall escape the wrath of the Gods”, Solomon declared. The bandit leader’s screams were stifled as Solomon’s fiery grip snuffed out his wretched life.