"I can't go back to Bloodstone."
Reaver was standing across from Sparrow, and awkwardly ran a hand through his hair.
"Why is that?"
"Well it seems like even though the threat of Lucien has been neutralized, his stupid shards and guards never got the message. The town, and especially my mansion are crawling with them, waiting for me to show up. There's at least two of the weird ones he created...the control...cap...no...commander? AH, commandants. Normally I wouldn't worry about it, seeing that my skills with a firearm are unmatched, but it seems like I have developed an increased likelihood to sustain injuries. The longer the contract goes unfilled, it appears the more similar to a mortal I become. Seems to be the Shadow Court's way of making sure they have at least a chance against me." Reaver explained.
"Well...shit. I guess we have a town and mansion to reclaim." Sparrow smirked.
"Well, hero, from what I hear you've been out of practice since we last spoke...think you're ready for a new adventure?" Reaver taunted. The answer was quickly found when she sent a small fire ball at his ankle. Reaver flinched at the pain.
"I think I can manage on my own. We'll head to Bloodstone in the morning. For tonight, we'll gather supplies and plan our journey." Sparrow walked inside the caravan, Reaver following.
"Unfortunately, this caravan is not big enough to sleep both of us, however I own the one next to me and rent it out for a little gold. I just happen to have no tenant right now. It's no mansion, and you'll be sleeping on a mat, but its a roof over your head." Sparrow gestured out the window to the neighboring caravan.
"Well I guess I'll have to make do." Reaver replied.
"I have quite a bit of supplies here, in my trunk. Its not nearly enough to get us through an entire journey to Bloodstone, though." She said, as she pulled out various potions and other survival supplies. Pulling out a map, she spread it on the floor. Tracing it, she began making little marks. When she was done, she showed Reaver.
"Right now, we're in Bower Lake. The path to Bloodstone will take us through Brightwood, Westcliff, and Wraithmarsh. Garth actually sold me his tower, so we have a solid shelter in Brightwood. I do have quite a few things stashed in there so if we have to, we can stock ourselves up when we get there. It's also a good place to make camp, especially if rain sets in." Sparrow pointed to the places on the map. "Now, as it stands, if we were to go through the full journey on foot the walking alone would take probably about 3 days total. Add in stopping for supplies, and sleeping, it would be a week. The nice thing about the tower, though, is that it has a cullis gate directly to Wraithmarsh."
"Well isn't that handy."
Sparrow and Reaver continued planning their journey, and before they knew it, night fell. After finalizing the details of their plans, Reaver stood and excused himself to the neighboring cabin. Sparrow got herself ready for bed, and laid down to sleep.
Sparrow found herself awake a bit before the sunrise, and couldn't fall back asleep. Deciding to just get up, she started getting herself ready for the journey ahead. There really wasn't much to do, other than get dressed. Pulling on her old coat, it felt like part of her was coming back. A part she didn't realize was missing. She was born to be an adventurer. As she gathered the rest of her supplies, Sparrow walked outside and knocked on Reaver's caravan.
The grass was wet from the morning dew, and the woods were quiet. Slowly the sun rose, and they approached Brightwood road within an hour of walking.
"Funny, I used to have a statue commissioned on that plinth." Sparrow pointed to the bare concrete slab.
"Used to?" Reaver questioned.
"Well, when you gain followers, you also get adversaries. There was a group of people who hated me so much, that they were dedicated to taking down every statue that even resembled me. When this one got destroyed I had already had my hands full with my daughter and trying to take down Lucien, that I didn't really care about getting a new one made." She shrugged, "Besides, this one was kind of crooked, apparently I was the sculptor's first ever client. She had me contorted into some weird pose, that I'm not really sure what it meant."
Reaver laughed, "You let them erect a statue that bad?"
"Well what else was I supposed to do? The girl was just getting off her feet, and I didn't want to ruin her spirits. To be honest I was a little relieved when it got destroyed." Sparrow responded, shrugging.
As they continued on the path, Sparrow thought it was rather odd nothing tried to attack them on their journey. Usually this road was littered with bandits or highwaymen.
"Derek must be doing a better job than I thought, this was usually one of the roads I could always expect to get attacked on." Sparrow remarked, scanning the area.
"It is rather odd that nothing has tried to take one of us out yet. We're usually pretty good at attracting the nasties." Reaver agreed.
Another hour passed when they had reached Brightwood. Sparrow ran ahead slightly, watching for the tower.
"Here we are! We can set up here for now, and we can stockpile whatever we can carry." Sparrow announced.
As she walked inside, she inspected her belongings. Surprisingly, everything was left untouched since her last encounter here.
"How long has this place sat empty for?" Reaver asked, looking around.
Sparrow thought about it for a moment, wondering the same thing. Rosary was two when Sparrow bought the place, and she had only spent a few nights here.
"Four years...I think? That sounds about right, I used to hide out here on occasion, but once we really picked up on Lucien, I must have abandoned it..." She trailed off, lost in thought.
"Well, we don't know how long we're going to be here, so might as well tidy it up a bit, hm?" Reaver said, looking at the fine layer of dust covering the furnishings.
"What, pirate not using to roughing it all on his own?" Sparrow teased.
Reaver rolled his eyes in response. Sparrow laughed at him, before picking up a broom. Silently, the two began putting the tower together. It didn't take long to clear the dust, and move the broken furniture out of the way. Sparrow noticed the setting sun, and figured it was a good time to stop and rest. Grabbing a few logs from the rack, she placed them in the fireplace and used her will to start a fire.
"Are you hungry? I don't think we've eaten since this morning." Sparrow said, looking through the food supplies. When Reaver didn't answer, Sparrow looked up to find him staring out the window, "Reaver, whats going on?"
"We've got trouble headed our way." He answered, motioning for her to come look. Sparrow took a look out the window, to see a spire shard approaching the tower.
"You've got to be kidding me." Sparrow groaned
"I'm afraid not."
"Alright, we're doing this. Come on." Sparrow dashed up the stairs of the tower, heading towards the cullis gate. As she moved she charged a lightening attack.
"What exactly is our plan here?" Reaver asked, gun drawn.
"Do you remember on the beach, how Garth and I destroyed the great shard?"
"By shooting lightening at it?"
"By using sustained, highly charged spells. This one is only a small one, but I've got to focus in order to destroy it quickly." She explained, "You need to keep whatever guards that come out of that thing away from me. You also need to stay away from my attacks, though. I don't know how much of a shockwave they'll cause, and yould get really hurt."
Sparrow turned to look at Reaver, "I'm trusting you, Reaver."
"I got it!" He said, ready for the attack to begin.
The shard approached the balcony, and Sparrow aimed her spell, waiting for the shard's weak spot to show. As guards began pouring out, Reaver distracted and shot them. Sparrow launched an attack at the shard, and it shuttered, but didn't break.
This is going to be harder than I thought.
Sparrow shot spell after spell at the shard, chipping away small parts of it. Reaver was doing an excellent job at keeping the enemies off her. As she looked over to him, she saw one of the commandants knock his gun over the balcony, disarming the hero of skill.
"I don't need a gun to win!" Reaver taunted, punching a spire guard and rolling out of the way. Getting up, he drew his sword, "Did you think this was decorative?"
He charged the commandant, shoving the humanoid creature over the edge of the tower. Looking over at Sparrow, he realized a guard was about to rush her, but she was too focused on destroying the shard.
"Sparrow! Behind you!" He yelled, and she broke out of her trance to turn around. In record timing, she drew her own pistol and shot the guard. Turning towards Reaver, Sparrow tossed the gun to him.
"Here! Keep them OFF me!" She screamed, going back to her task at hand.
"I'm doing my best, but its a little difficult when someone knocks your gun out of your hand!" He responded, "Oh! That was unfair!"
A guard had snuck behind Reaver and hit the back of his head with the hilt of a sword. Annoyed that he was knocked down, Reaver fired the gun. The target fell quickly. Looking over, he realized there was another wave of guards coming. He got to his feet, and realized that he was winded. The sacrifice would need to be filled soon, if he expected to have a chance in combat.
Before the next wave of guards hit, Sparrow looked to Reaver, and noticed he looked...tired? She realized that as he was quickly becoming mortal, his body wasn't able to keep fighting as well as it usually does. She wasn't sure he could take on the guards rushing them.
Alright, Sparrow, time to end this.
Letting the emotions inside build, she poured everything into this final spell. If the damn shard survived this next attack, they would be in big trouble. As she powered it up, she could feel the lines of will glowing hot across her body.
"AHHHHHH" The hero screamed as she threw the lightening at the shard, causing it to explode. Panting, she unsheathed her sword. Running to Reaver's side, she helped him finish the last of the guards. When they were done, Sparrow looked Reaver, and barely caught him as he stumbled.
"Maybe you should sit down, Reaver." Sparrow said, steadying him, "That fight took a lot out of you."
"I'll be alright. I'm more concerned with where my gun went." He responded, pushing her away only to grip onto the railing.
"I'll find the gun, you sit." She commanded, forcing him to take her help. She lead him down the stairs, and once settled, she dashed off for the dragonstomper.
Sparrow returned the gun, and sat in the chair opposite Reaver. Both of them stared into the fire, taking in the fight.
"Reaver, we need to talk." Sparrow said, keeping her eyes on the flames. "I'm just as anxious as you are, to end this contract and reclaim Bloodstone, but you can't take another fight like that."
She looked over to him, but he avoided her eyes. Reaver stared into his lap, looking defeated.
"Look, I know you want to end your contract with the shadow court...but Reaver...you're going to need your strength." Sparrow sighed. Reaver looked at her in shock
"Sparrow...you don't want to..."
"Reaver, you need to fill the contract one more time. It will push back the plan for Bloodstone, but I can't risk you getting hurt." Sparrow explained, "In the marshes, there are a lot of bandits that would die otherwise. We can knock one out, bring them to the shadow court, and it'll be fine."
Reaver considered her plan for a moment. On one hand, he would be going back to something he never wanted to do again. On the other, he agreed with her, that he couldn't handle another intense fight.
"Alright, we'll do it." Reaver said, quietly.
Silence fell again. This time, Reaver was the first to speak.
"You know, watching you in that fight, it was nice to see the Hero return."