Chapter 1: The Ambush

They came from below.

The small caravan of traders stood no chance as the horde of darkspawn burst from the ground, eager for the blood of innocents. The guards of the caravan fought nobly, but overall they suffered terribly. Fifteen minutes after the first strike, only one warrior fought on. A travelling mercenary, hired to guard the treasures of the caravan. His name was Aedan Caron, and he was amongst the bravest of the warriors for hire.

Aedan fought valiantly, his sword shining as it cleaved its way through genlock after genlock. He swiped madly, hacking through many foes. He stood atop a small mound of bodies, using the high ground as a defensive point. A shield was slung on his other arm, which he used to block blows from the savage darkspawn. A brutal Hurlock ran towards him, and he raised his shield to block. The hurlock’s sword embedded itself deeply in the wooden shield, making the shield useless. He pushed the hurlock back, before slashing the straps of his shield, to remove it swiftly. Aedan grabbed one hurlock by the throat, stabbed it through the gut, then pushed it into its comrades. He caught the sweeping blow of another hurlock, grasping its arm. He then hacked it off, and as the hurlock dropped its blade, caught it in his grip. He then leapt downwards, swiping with both blades, cleaving his way through the horde.

Despite Aedan’s efforts, he couldn’t hold off the swarm of darkspawn. His arms ached from swinging the blades, and his chest ached from where a genlock had struck him with a hammer. A cut from a hurlock’s blade dripped blood from his upper leg. Gore from darkspawn covered him, and he was thoroughly exhausted from the battle and the ride alongside the caravan. He also felt incredibly strange, and weakened somewhat. He realised what had happened immediately; the darkspawn blood had got into him. He was tainted! He staggered and stumbled, still swinging his blades limply. The poisonous blood seemed to be affecting his sight too, for he could see other figures, shining in silver-and-blue plate armour, cleaving their way through the darkspawn. As he fell to the ground, one of the figures ran over to him. He could tell it was a human, with a large moustache and the emblem of a griffon on his armour. The man was shouting about a “taint” and how he needed to “prepare the ritual”.

Aedan’s vision went black, and he passed out.

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