Living on a Prayer

Fatigue burning through his muscles, Boltyn fell to one knee to recover his strength. Chest heaving and sweat torrenting down his brow, he surveyed the scorched wastes that had once been lush farmlands. Friends, mentors, students, colleagues, and even people he had only met hours ago. All slain in the neverending feud with the Demonastery.

As the sun began to fall over the horizon, the sound of thunderous hooves from another ghastly battalion reached his ears. Their own reinforcements would not arrive until dawn, and he didn't know if he could survive the night alone.

He caught sight of the glassy eyes of a fallen comrade - Galaphor was his name. A brave soldier, who had thrown his mind, body, and soul into the conflict every time the forces of Shadow attempted to breach Solana's walls. How long until Boltyn was to join his fellow warrior in the dirt?

As he knelt, head heavy in his hands, his necklace dangled in just the right position to catch the last glowing rays of the setting sun. A beam of golden light refracted through the amulet, casting a warm haze upon a discarded banneret. Boltyn glanced at the scarlet fabric, emblazoned with gold insignia, and felt hope flare to life within his soul.

He wasn't alone. He was never alone.

Boltyn plucked the banneret from the cracked earth, and rose to his feet, Raydn resting sturdily in the other hand. He plunged the shaft of the banneret into the ground, and the deep red folds danced to life in the evening breeze.

Let them come.