A Swordsman's Journey
This last season has left me shaken. The perils I sought were found, and now I find that my recounting in earlier pages is beyond insufficient. Words are simply too ethereal to describe the coalesced fear that Chaos embodies.
Despite the weight on my mind, I have been given a detachment of Swordmasters no less skilled than myself. My pride swells to know that I obtained this status by virtue of my prowess, not by the loss of my superiors. Two days ago was my first encounter while in command.
We had answered the call of smoke pillars rising from the Empire lands, and arrived to find a war host burning the grain fields. It appeared they had just begun. With preservation of our allies in mind, we descended the tiered slope and engaged them.
A skull wielding, feather-clad maniac was beneath my blade first. She dipped and wove with a haunting speed and appeared as a serpent beneath flickering light. Before I knew it, her body was twisted inside of my defenses and I was forced to withdraw. She invoked the ruinous powers seconds later, and in defense I spun my blade as I had learned to do so many centuries ago. Some vile concoction exploded forth at me but was whisked away by the force of my blade. I pressed, and turned my impenetrable defense into an attack, until the raving lunatic was cleaved into many sections from fingertip to the furthest point on her back. I was dismayed, albeit briefly, that my polished armor had gained a fine spray of black.
Next, I turned and met a behemoth. His armor was ornate beyond description and cognition; my keen eyes were incapable of seeing details beyond the howling faces and searing runes. His blade was much the same. I knew at that moment, should the sword bite my flesh that I would end. Even a scratch would allow the baleful enchantments to enter my body and destroy me. He was utterly lacking in finesse, but his strength was far beyond mine. Had I chosen to parry his first blow I would be rotting in twain on the scorched grain fields of our allies. I began my lethal dance, and found that only my most potent blows would pierce his armor. Even then, as his black blood poured he showed no pain.
It was by virtue of numbers that he was overcome. He was the last standing of the war host when I faced him.
He still haunts me. He took the life of my kin as we slashed at him, and would not die until he was brought to pieces. How can a foe be so insurmountable? How can such power exist within one being? I must go now, to storm the Raven Host's keep in Highpass. Something lurks there - something beyond the man who withstood me.
I fear that the depths of what I am about to plumb are as unimaginably horrific as they are limitless.
Journal Page, Author Unknown - Altdorf Museum Exhibit # 1163
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