The story of Firiun, Protection Paladin of the Alliance
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“Excuse me.” The voice was pitched politely low, which made it easy enough to ignore.
“Excuse me,” the voice repeated, followed with a not as easily ignored nudge of a boot against her hip. Firiun made a noise somewhere between groan and growl, and cracked open one eye. She immediately regretted it, the flash of bright and cheery sunshine a direct assault on her vision, head pounding in protest at the movement, slight as it was.
The pleasant smell of old books and incense flooded her nostrils as the person above her came into focus. He looked…concerned. Why was he concerned? The cool sensation of concrete beneath her finally registered – ah yes. This was a hallway. It seemed like a very comfortable option the evening before, when she’d sat down just for a moment – just to rest her eyes long enough to keep the room from spinning.
Northshire Vineyard was well known for its excellent wine. Northshire Abbey, on the other hand, was known for being a perfectly respectable home of clerics. An excess of one had evidently led to temporary residence in the other. Whoops.
“Are you all right?” He had kind eyes, she observed, but they were currently fixed on her with stern regard. This was no good. This was no good at all – the last thing she wanted was a trip to Stormwind’s Stockades for one teensy tiny little night of frivolity.
Mustering her strength, she flashed what she hoped was a suitably charming smile. “My apologies, I must have dozed off – is it always so warm in here?” There we go girl, diversion, make sure there’s an appropriate amount of chagrin in your voice, that’s the ticket—
His eyes narrowed, but he extended his hand anyway. “You’re going to be late for class,” he pointed out, helping her to her feet. “—but then again, so am I. Come along.”
Firiun paused, wondering briefly if she could simply run pell-mell out of the building and make a quick escape. While an ingenious plan, the hangover currently thudding its relentless assault on her temples suggested otherwise. So she shrugged, and she followed the man down the hall. Nothing wrong with playing the role of suitably obedient student for the day, was there?
It was the first of many days in which she wondered exactly what she’d done, although the answer was blatantly obvious. Stumbled her way right into the paladin order, that’s what she’d done. One class led to another, and another, and then combat lessons, until one day she found herself at the induction ceremony with her “classmates,” thoroughly bemused at the idea of it all.
But the Light sprang to her fingers at a moment’s notice, the Light soothed her when she’d had a particularly rough day of training, and the Light, oddly enough, deemed it necessary to keep her exactly where she was. So she made the oath the others made, and the words rang true enough…even if her mind was still occasionally bewildered by circumstance.
Six years later…
“I thought you said this place had treasure!” Firiun shouted, lifting her shield just in time to deflect half a dozen extremely irritated murlocs and send them bouncing into a chasm. She briefly said a quiet, internal prayer for whatever creatures happened to be living at the bottom of it. Might’ve been a good idea if it hadn’t immediately earned the ire of the rest of the murloc horde – the outraged screams were more than enough to send all five of them running pell-mell down the nearest tunnel.
Panting and huffing, the mage actually had the temerity to pass her, adjusting his goggles as he ran. “—perhaps the treasure is the friends we’ve made along the way!” he shouted over his shoulder.
“I’m going to murder him,” the rogue declared. Given the sheer amount of rotten fish already soaking into her leathers, Firiun couldn’t exactly blame the woman. Another group of angrily gibbering murlocs came hurtling through the air – Firiun winced as they slammed into her shield. That one hurt.
A cool breeze and a green glow surrounded her, soothing her wounds. “I’ll root him for you,” the night elf offered, rushing ahead of Firiun to get out of harm’s way. “And Strider can chew his toes,” the druid’s brother added, his pet screeching with delight at the possibility. The rogue grinned, not breaking stride for a second, and spared a mischievous glance in Firiun’s direction.
Firiun would’ve cast her eyes at the sky, except, you know, for the whole underground thing. “Fine, fine, but after we find our way out of here!”
As it turned out, they all lived – mage included, although he got a thorough dressing-down once they escaped. It wasn’t the life Firiun had expected, but the Light, for some reason, deemed Pandora necessary. The guild was as motley a group of personalities as they came, but they took care of each other. And although there were days where she wondered exactly what she’d done, she couldn’t exactly say she regretted the decision at all.
Once more, she found herself back at the little abbey, staring at the spot where it all began – no longer hungover, and with a veritable mountain of new abilities at her disposal. She had a talent for the Light, he said, that first day in a classroom she had no business being in. She’d spent the last several years proving his hunch right.
“Well then, if it isn’t Sister Firiun – returned to the scene of the crime, have you?” His voice was as calm as ever, but there was a hint of mirthful humor hidden within it. Firiun glanced over her shoulder and there he was – older now, perhaps, a little more grey about the temples, but still possessed with kind eyes and pleasant demeanor. “They told me you’d arrived; I was hoping you’d stop in. Fill me with tales of your travels, as I’m currently anchored here. Come along.” Without waiting for her answer, he continued on down the hall.
Firiun paused. “You know,” she remarked, stopping Brother Samuel in his steps, “…I wasn’t really a student.”
“Of course I knew, you were sleeping in a hallway and your breath reeked of enough liquor to make me lightheaded,” he chuckled. “But the Light works in mysterious ways, doesn’t it? Aren’t we lucky that it guided you here. Yes, lucky indeed – now come along,” Samuel repeated, resuming his trek down the hall, “—the Vineyard sent over a particularly good batch of wine, and I suspect you wouldn’t object to sharing a bottle.”
And Firiun followed, obediently enough, and with far more purpose than when she’d first arrived. The Light, it seemed, had a perverse sense of humor.
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