Happy Saturday and welcome to the second chapter of Dark Soul. This is the seirlaization of a novel the Dog has been working on for…well it feels like forever. It is in no way a finished work so if you have thoughts or suggestions, don’t be shy, every bit of feed back helps.
If you want to read the previous chapter you can find it at this link
Dark Soul – Chapter One
Unlike other posts from the Dog, this is only being posted here at Docudharma.
There were three riders now, and they no longer looked like an example of opposites. Now it was more of a which-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-others puzzle. All of the men rode horses, they all were armed and armored to some extent, but that is where the likeness ended.
The Shadow rode his enormous warhorse, Orobasson. The horse looked like what it was; a descendent of the demon Orobas. The horse was hugely muscled, cords standing out against its coal black coat. Its head was long and had wickedly upturned eyes that flashed with a smoky red light. The teeth of this horse, when they could be seen, were not the usual flat teeth of a grass eater, but rather came to sharp points. It was easy to imagine that this animal not only ate flesh but enjoyed it as well. Long legs led down to platter-sized hoofs, which rose and fell with a surprising lack of noise.
The saddle that it wore matched the color, or lack thereof, of its coat. The saddle rose high in the front and the back, to help keep the rider on the horse while swinging a sword. Tooled into the leather were scenes of carnage. Battles of men fighting creatures of Darkness, dying ripped in two, or spitted on claws or tails. It would not take long for anyone looking on this to realize that the men where loosing. Long, heavy stirrups hung halfway down Orobasson’s side. On the right hand side, there hangs a broad sword.
The sheath of the sword is similar to the saddle, from which it hangs, but where the saddle has scenes of carnage worked into it; this scabbard has arcane symbols and sinuous lines of gold and silver. It is hard to see just what these symbols are, for if any time is spent looking at them, they seem to fade into the leather, as if hiding their true nature. If one where to continue to stare, he would find his vision growing dark and hear a fearful din, and begin to feel that something evil was stirring and looking back at them. The hilt of this sword had a long cross piece to protect the hands of its wielder. Sitting atop this cross piece were two carved griffins. The beasts had their wings extended high, their lion-jaws open with fangs showing, and forepaws raised and claws extended. Each of these projections pointed outward ready to catch an opponent’s blade or scratch or tear unprotected flesh. The handle of the sword was wrapped with dark leather made from the skin of some very large snake, the scales of this reptile easily seen. At the end of the handle, there was a huge faceted ruby. The facets caught any light that was near, but instead of heliographing the light back to the source, it seemed to send the light spiraling inward to the dark center of the gem.
The Shadow rode atop Orobasson his clothing augmented with a vest of scale mail. The small scales that made up the vest were almost works of art, each one a unique flame design black at the center with an edging of red. As he gently swayed in the saddle the light catching on the scales made the illusion that he was incased in flames. About his wrists, he wore brass vambrances worked in a pattern of a pentagram with jets of fire leaping upward from the points of the star.
In contrast, Brother Carlinus was less coordinated. His horse was a placid mare; content to follow the two stallions wherever they led. She was of medium height, more to help Brother Carlinus mount than for any other reason. Her coat was a lovely tan and her soulful eyes where two shades lighter. Carlinus claimed that they where jus the color of his departed mothers eyes and named the mare Elys after the woman. He too had added to his wardrobe and looked as martial as a short, fat man was ever likely to.
Carlinus wore a long sleeved chain-mail shirt that ended mid-thigh. The chain mail was of indifferent quality, with rings that where not all the same size or woven together correctly. It looked as if a previous owner may not have survived to make some of the more obvious repairs. In addition, the good brother had a small shield, made of blackened oak inlaid with circles of iron to add strength.
For weapons, Carlinus was equipped with a mace. This weapon had a long wooden handle attached at one end to a spiked metal ball. At the other end of the handle, there was a loop of leather to keep it on arm of its wielder. The two warriors in this little group had deemed it a fitting weapon for Brother Carlinus. The mace had several advantages, it was a weapon that did not take much skill to use, could be used with a shield and had a thong to keep Brother Carlinus from dropping it in the heat of battle. Completing this little ensemble was a conical metal helmet that did not quite fit. It perched on Carlinus’s head and while it would, perhaps, protect him from a blow; it most certainly kept him hot and uncomfortable.
The three men had been riding west for five days and where now climbing into the foothills of the Black Tooth Mountains. Around them, the rolling hills sparsely forested with elms and walnut trees. Ahead of the riders the Black Tooth’s themselves could be seen looming in the warm afternoon.
The mountains where covered with a think forest, the leaves all showing dark green, blending to black in the distance. As the mountains went higher, the dark gray granite that was the bones of the mountains thrust it self above the trees, reaching higher in the sky until the very tops where covered with white snow, even in the heat of the late summer.
The riders stopped at the crest of a hill, and considered the view. The Shadow breathed deeply and looked over to Carlinus.
“It is well that you found me to help you, priest. These mountains have become more evil, since last I came this way,” he said.
“How, can you tell? “asked Carlinus looking more closely at the vista ahead.
“I can smell it,” replied the Shadow “Evil, Good they both have their own distinctive smell. The wind off of these mountains, it carries the smell of Evil. We will need to start standing watch when we camp. You would not want to be caught sleeping when the things that live in those mountains come calling.”
“Do you really think that we will have trouble?” asked Tyrone.
“Yes,” said the Shadow, “Three travelers away from the known passes, we will almost certainly be attacked. I know I would attack us, if the situation was reversed. Carlinus, let me see your map, I need to figure out how we go into the mountains form here.”
“Brother,” said Carlinus reaching into his saddlebag.
“What? “, asked the Shadow.
“Brother, my title is Brother Carlinus, not Carlinus, not Carli, but Brother Carlinus! I have earned this title and deserve the respect that goes with it! ” He said with a glare as he handed over the map. This was not the kind of statement that went over well with the Shadow.
“Oh,” he said in voice dripping with sarcasm, “well thank you for the use of your map, Most Holy and Humble Brother Carlinus of the Order of St Benson, Mapmaker. You know, I too have earned titles; perhaps you should start addressing me by them? Oh wait, I forgot, your knowledge of Latin is lacking, too sad.”
Tyrone rolled his eyes towards the sky. As if it had not been hard enough traveling with Carlinus, with his carping and pious notions, but the two of them together made him think of two wet cats placed in a small sack. Neither would give an inch, the Shadow picking at everything that Brother Carlinus would say, Carlinus constantly thanking or praising God just to annoy the Shadow. Tyrone was fed up.
“Enough!” he shouted, “If I have to listen to one more of these childish spats, I will kill you both and just sell that damn map!”
It was such a departure from Tyrone’s usual manner that it stunned the two combatants into silence. “We are about to go into a battle situation and you two had better decide if you want to live through it or not.” The Shadow began to protest, but Tyrone cut him off.” I know that you have been in battle, but I also know that it has been as a commander, not a footslogger. Small groups of men that fight together cannot bicker with each other all the time. It is a sure way to get all of us killed!”
He took a deep breath and looked at each man in turn. “I know that this is not what either of you would like, but if we are to succeed, you must agree to stop picking at each other. Well? Do you agree?”
The Shadow looked away and spat. His body was tense and the mussels in his jaw could be seen working.
“As much as it pains me to admit it, you are right Tyrone. For the sake of my own skin, if nothing else, I will stop taunting Brother Carlinus. At least until we find this lost city, or one of us dies.”
Tyrone gave him a reproving look, but he had what he wanted out of the Shadow and so turned his attention to Brother Carlinus.
“Well?” said Tyrone arching an eyebrow at the priest.
“I don’t see why I should make anything easier for this hell-spawn. He stands for everything that I am against,” said Carlinus petulantly.
“How’s this for a reason?” asked Tyrone, “If the two of you do not agree to put your differences aside for the duration of our trip through the mountains, I will be leaving you here. Is that a good enough reason, Brother?”
“Tyrone, you must do what you think best. If that is leaving this holy mission, then it will be on your soul” replied Carlinus and then rode down the hill to a stream.
“I wonder if I could knock his horse into the stream?” asked the Shadow, “He might fall off and kill himself. What do you think, Tyrone, it would not be actually attacking him, would it?”
“I think that Michael would make you suffer for it, even if you managed to kill Brother Carlinus. Hell, Shadow, the Archangel might even make you complete Carlinus’s mission. I’ll go talk to him. Stay here.” Tyrone said in a calming voice.
Tyrone rode down the slope to the spot where Carlinus waited.
“You might want to reconsider, Brother Carlinus,” said Tyrone as he rode up.
“Oh, so now you are siding with the forces of Darkness, Tyrone? I would have never thought that you would fall that far,” said Brother Carlinus, his voice full of scorn.
“It is not that at all, Brother,” said Tyrone calmly, “It is that you have all of the advantage here, and so, you can afford to be gracious”
“I do not have to listen to this,” replied Carlinus and prepared to ride off. Tyrone reached down and grabbed the reins of his horse.
“You need to hear this Carlinus. Yes, that man has been a sworn enemy of the Church all his life. If you had met him before he was possessed, he would have killed you, more than likely. That is not the case now. He is compelled to help you, against all of his desire. Make no mistake; he hates this mission, that very idea of helping you to convert the Celeptra is eating him up inside. Then, as if to rub salt in the wound of his pride, you have to lord it over him, remind him that your side of this conflict is forcing him to help you. I have to tell you that I find your lack of charity and compassion disturbing. I was always taught that the priests who were supposed to embody all of the teachings of the church, much more so than the rest of us.”
“Tyrone, don’t you understand? That man is very nearly a demon in the flesh! How can you be kind to him, let alone expect me to be? He is the enemy of our Lord, self-damned and proud of it. You might as well expect us to show mercy to Lucifer himself, if he were in need a helping hand!”
“There is a difference, you know. The Dark One was never a man. The Shadow, for all of his evil, all of his sins, was born a man with a soul that could be saved. Think what that would do for your reputation, to turn this evil, evil man to the light. Though there is little chance of that, if you keep baiting him all the time.”
Tyrone knew that the chance of this kind of personal glory would tempt the priest, but he could not be sure if it would be enough to bring Carlinus to some kind of truce with the Shadow. If it did not, he would have no choice but to actually leave the two men to their fate. A fate that he was sure would result in two corpses rotting in the woods, not to mention what it would mean in terms of his vow to his father. These outcomes might be dire, Tyrone had been in battle and traveled in dangerous country enough that he was not kidding about leaving the two of them, rather than have them keep going the way they had been. He waited tensely for Carlinus to think the possibility through.
“You think that I could reform this Shadow?” asked the priest
Tyrone knew that he had him now. He struggled mightily to keep a grin off of his face, but looked away and said “Father, you are the only one that has any chance of being able to do it.” After all no one else would be fool enough to try to save the soul of the Shadow.
“Then, I will try. By the Holy Virgin Mary, what a challenge!” said Carlinus rubbing his hands together in glee.
“Uh, Brother Carlinus, can I offer one piece of advice?” said Tyrone uneasily.
“What would that be, my son?” asked Carlinus
“Well, the Shadow, you know, he is not the kind of person to be suddenly converted, have an epiphany? You need to persuade him, with logic, not emotion”
“I can see how you would think that, Tyrone, but really you must leave the gathering of the flock to an experienced Shepard,” with that the small priest turned and rode back up the hill, to make some kind of truce with the Shadow.
What experience? Thought Tyrone, Since when do monastery librarians have experience in converting people? Ah, well, at least it will stop them fighting for a while.
Who knows? We might even be dead before they start again.
The group rode south away from the roads, away form the known passes and into a very dark wood. Some forests are friendly, with good spaces between the trees, green dappled light streaming through the canopy of leaves above, cute furry woodland creatures, and birds sailing between trees with tall straight trunks. This was not that kind of forest at all.
As soon as the party had crossed under the eves of the forest, the daylight was almost completely cut off. They rode forward into the deep twilight following a game path. It was unclear what kind of game had made this track, there where no deer droppings and the trees on either side of the path were scored with long deep claw marks, as thought something was regularly sharpening its claws, as it walked down the path.
The trees themselves were no more comforting. The trees were a mixture of pines and some type of walnuts with black cracked bark. The walnut trees all had immense trunks, but instead of being relatively straight, these were studded with round protrusions that in bulged from the trunk. These protrusions had an unhealthy look to them, and made the trunk of the tree look as though it was rotting as it grew. Dead branches stuck out from the trees at odd intervals, crossing the trail like skeletal hands reaching out to grab the travelers.
At the foot of some of the trees different types of mushrooms, some a violent yellow green with thin twisted stems and caps that sat an angle. Others, fat and cream colored with red brown spots on the wide curved caps. Even with his love of mushrooms, Brother Carlinus was not temped by these fungi.Above, the leaves of the trees showed their gray brown backs to the forest floor below.
The pine trees where no better, clustering together and covering the ground with their discarded needles, turned rust red and killing all of the other vegetation in big circles around the groups of trees. At least there was some clear sky around these trees but the walnut trees extended branches as close as they could to the tops of the pines.
“Well, this is what you are paying me for Brother Carlinus,” said the Shadow as they rode along. “There is no doubt, this forest is full of evil, hell, and it almost smells like home.” He turned to the other two and flashed a smile that had no warmth and very little humor in it.
“What can we expect?” asked Tyrone, wanting to get a feel for what he might be fighting against.
“I couldn’t tell you, I’ve never been here before. But I’ll let you know what my nose tells me, there is powerful evil here, and it has been here long enough to affect the forest. One other thing, traveling partners, we will need to mount a guard at night for as long as we are in the mountains.”
“Ah well,” said Brother Carlinus, “No rest for the wicked.” The Shadows head snapped around at that and there was a strange light in his eyes.
“Would that be a joke, Brother?”
“I will leave each of you to decide just which of us it applies to, if any. Of course those with a guilty conscience will think any comment applies to them” The corners of the little priest’s mouth were bouncing up and down as he tried to repress a laugh. It was a sight that no one could look at and keep a straight face. First the Shadow and then Tyrone began to snort, and then laugh. This laughter set off Carlinus and soon they all were laughing long and loud. True it was not a very funny joke, but the dark mood of the forest amplified any potential humor that the statement had. As the laughter died away the mood that had lifted for a moment darkened again.
“We need to move on,” said Tyrone with a sigh
“Aye,” replied the Shadow “we will need to look for a good place to camp tonight,”
They rode on until it seemed that the twilight was getting even deeper. As the last of the light was giving out, they came to a small hill that had been cleared of trees by the falling of an enormous oak. In crashing to the ground this hundred foot giant had smashed the lesser trees out of the way leaving the hilltop not only clear of the frightening trees, but also open to the night sky. Brother Carlinus promptly declared that it was a gift from God and slid from the saddle. Tyrone felt about the same as the priest but looking at the Shadow, he was not so sure.
“Shadow? Don’t you like this hill for a camp site?” He asked
“I don’t know,” he replied sniffing the air, “I’m not sure that we want to camp where we are so exposed….”.
“Come now, Shadow! Surely you don’t want to camp under those damn trees?” said Tyrone with a shudder.
“I guess your right,” muttered the Shadow, riding up the hill. “At least there is plenty of wood around for a fire. How ’bout it priest? You gather fire wood, Tyrone cooks, and I will see to our mounts, does that sound fair?” It was a good offer, since Orobasson would not allow Carlinus to touch him and anytime the priest came near the huge stallion the horse would try to take a bite out of him.
“I think that would be a fair division of labor, Sir Shadow, indeed I do,” replied Brother Carlinus. With all three of them working they quickly had their camp established and sat in companionable eating.
“So tell me, Shadow, did you always want to be a human-demon?” asked Carlinus. Tyrone knew what was coming, but still thought it was better to let it play out then go back to the two of them fighting all day.
“How could it be any different?” asked the Shadow “I am after all, the final generation of this project. I have wanted to command the armies of the Light Bringer since before I could walk.”
“Why do you always say ‘Day Bringer’ when you talk of Satan?” asked Tyrone desperate to deflect the direction of the conversation.
“Why does Brother Carlinus not refer to his God as Yahweh? Respect, pure and simple”
“But why Day Bringer or Light Bringer?” persisted Tyrone
“Ah, well, not everyone knows that the Latin word Lucifer means ‘Light Bearer’. When Yahweh said ‘Let there be light’, did you think that he was talking to himself? No, he was asking the only creature to equal him to bring the light to world. The very first dawn, courtesy of our Lord Lucifer”
Needless to say this little speech had Brother Carlinus nearly apoplectic with rage.
“Blasphemy! Blasphemy most foul!” he shouted nearly foaming at the mouth “As if our Lord God would need the help of some foul fiend in bringing the dawn!”
“Ah,” said the Shadow with a cruel smile spreading over his face “but the Light Bringer was not a fiend, then, now was he? Your own version of the bible says that ‘Lucifer was the most beautiful, and powerful of all the angels, second only to Yahweh himself’, does it not? I am not completely sure about that last part, but history is written by the winners, after all.”
“Do not forget that your precious Lucifer did loose, and was thrown form Heaven at the will of the Lord” spat back Brother Carlinus, “And will loose anytime that he and his minions come up against the Lord of Lords!”
“Maybe, Carlinus, it just maybe that you are right, but I don’t think so.”
“See even you have doubts, Shadow. Why not change sides and be with the winners. There would be no doubt then, would there?
“Yes, and that would be the exact reason not to join you. When you are on the side of the Light Bringer, there is doubt, it is just one of those conditions that you live with, but on your side, well, doubt is not allowed, is punished even. So thank you, but no thank you priest.”
“You talk big, Shadow, but I know that in your heart you would love to abandon this life and live in the light.” This caused the Shadow to laugh out loud.
“You have faith, Brother, I will give you that. The problem is that you constantly underestimate the level of my evil.” The Shadow reached down and drew his sword from its eldritch sheath. The blade of the sword was a smoky black, only becoming bright metal at the razor sharp edges, the small dips of the watered steel catching the light like a serrated knife. Both Tyrone and Carlinus shuddered as if with cold as the sword came free from it sheath and the evil of it washed over the small clearing.
“This is the Sorrow of Hailbottom, perhaps the most deadly blade in the world today. I know that you can feel its evil caressing your skin; this blade is very nearly alive in its own right. It took three generations to make, and in its consecration ten thousand where sacrificed to it. My grandsire, my father and I slew day after day, week after week until all of the people of Hailbottom where dead, dead by this sword. My grandsire taking the old, the weak; my damnable father taking the adults; and I taking the children. By my own hand, every living child died. Anyone from infant to child aged ten I found and slew. I did this when I was seven summers old. This blade has been mine, to bear, proudly, since the last child died that winter.
So you can see where a little confession and a dunk in the baptismal font would not be in any way enough to wash the taint I have accepted, from my soul. Hell, priest! I think it would kill me be anointed and immersed in holy water! Hey, that might not be a bad idea…No, no Michael would not let you, he would not give up his prize pet so easily. Still it is a nice thought, eh, Carlinus?” Both Carlinus and Tyrone where aghast at what the Shadow had so casually told them.
After all the time of traveling with the Shadow they had gotten used to his manner, and if his horse was sinister, and his opinions contrary to theirs, well he was no more than an uncomfortable travailing companion. But this story, to hear him talk of killing thousands of children, when he was just a child himself! It was easy to see how this man might have become a human demon, and easier still to be glad that he was now restrained by an archangel from indulging in the evil that so obviously was his first inclination.
The Shadow seeing that he had upset his traveling companions smiled and said, “Well, now that you have had your bed time story, kiddies, it is time to get some sleep. I’ll take the second watch, if no one minds” and took his blanket and rolled up next to the fire to sleep.
After a few minutes he could be heard to snore very softly. The other two men looked at each other for a while.
“Go ahead, Father,” said Tyrone, “get your rest. I doubt that I could sleep at this point anyway.” Brother Carlinus just nodded and went to wrap himself in his blanket. He made very sure to lie down on the far side of the fire from the Shadow. Tyrone sat facing away from the fire and scanning the woods with his eyes. It was lucky for all of them that nothing came along on his watch, for while his eyes scanned around the camp, he was looking at something inside him.
The moon had risen and its half-full light supplemented the glowing embers of the fire, as Tyrone shook the Shadow to wake him. The Shadow opened his eyes to slits and then sat up and scratched the top of his head.
“Isn’t it a little early, Ty?” he asked
“Well, I wanted to talk to you, with out Carli overhearing, if possible.”
“So, what is on your mind, my friend?” asked the Shadow in a quite voice.
“The story you told, about your sword and how it was consecrated, it has really upset me”
“What do you know now that you did not before?” asked the Shadow, “That I have killed many, many people? That I am evil to the core of my being? These are all things that you knew when you brought the little priest to see me. It is just more real to you now, it that it?”
“Yes, damn it!” swore Tyrone, “I knew some of the story about The Sorrow, but not the whole thing. But that is not what upsets me. It is that you don’t seem to have any remorse, any regret that you did these things, that … that you are not a better man!” Tyrone glared across the fire as the Shadow started to laugh a low chuckle.
“I am sorry,” said the Shadow holding up his palms, “I should not laugh at you, Ty; it is just that I did not expect to hear that argument from you. But you are laboring under a false assumption, that I would in any way want to be a ‘good’ man. I have no interest in the good life that the church would have me live.”
“Forget the church, Shadow. What about basic goodness? You don’t think that it is bad to slaughter children, just to make a sword more powerful?”
“No, I think that it is the height of evil, that’s why I did it. Look I am fighting a war, and in this war my side is the under-dog, the odds are stacked against us, so there are times that we do things to improve our chances that we might not do in other circumstances. You are a warrior; you know this to be true. There are things that you have done to fight your enemy that you would only do because it will help you win.”
“I have never killed children!” said Tyrone hotly
“Really?” drawled the Shadow, “Maybe not directly, but you most certainly have killed children indirectly. Have you ever burned a village, to keep its goods from the enemy? What did those that survived use for shelter or food that winter? Don’t you think that some of those children in that village died? Who’s fault it that? What about a more direct cause? You have fought battles, I am sure, where the locals fought for there lords, well is it possible that the men you mowed down to win were fathers, and now there is no one to provide for the children left behind? I will bet that not all of them lived either. So, it maybe true that you have not plunged a sword into a child, but your hands are by no means clean of innocent blood. But none of that is the point.
There was this Greek, who was being put to death for corrupting the youth of his city. They would have let him live, if he admitted that what he said was not true. Rather than live that way he died asking those that put him to death ‘What is truth?’ A good question that you should ask yourself, from time to time.
I will tell you what the truth is to me, and if that does not help you understand, then I don’t know if I can help you. I choose the side of so called evil, because of what the ‘good’ side does to those that it supposedly protects. That good, it robs them of choice. It tells them that this world does not matter and all that does matter is the next life and wracking up points in some cosmic tally book! It makes them look away from the things that might be done or had in this life for some half-understood promise of a better existence after death. It keeps them forever in thrall of the church, and the landlords and never allows for them to make things better on their own.
As bad as that is, it is not the worst. This ‘God’ has made the rules of the game so against the nature of man that he must both bribe and threaten man to obey them. In no way does he appeal to the minds of men, to their ability to reason, but rather to the most basic of our emotions, fear and pleasure. With that stick and carrot he drives the believers like sheep! One of the most honest things the church does is to call priests ‘Shepherds’!
Well, my friend, I do not intend to be driven, or bribed or in any way robbed of my choices. And, so, that leads me to oppose this Yahweh, with everything that I have in me, and having decided to oppose one side, I am left with joining the other. Does that make sense to you?”
Tyrone was silent for a moment, trying to absorb this new information. “So if you had another choice, one that would still let you fight the church, you would take it?
“Of course, I would. Look, I know what happens after death, better than most. From the minute you die, you are in the control of forces that are huge, and impersonal, and do not really care about you anymore. At that point, after all, you are off the board, unable to affect the outcome of the game that these powers are playing. I would dearly love to have both sides leave us alone and see what we could achieve, but that is not an option, now, so I fight the one that I deem to be the most damaging, and that is Yahweh and his church. But that hardly matters anymore; I’m locked in a more personal struggle, with my keeper Mike, now. I guess that is what you get for making yourself big enough to affect the outcome of the game, eh? At least I am tying up a major player all the time.”
Tyrone shook his head, as if to clear it. “I still don’t understand you, Shadow. You say you want to be left alone, but you dedicate your entire life, spend it steeped in evil, death, and hate. Why not just stay out of either side?”
At this the Shadow, leaned back and smiled. “Well, you can never really escape your family, now can you? How would I ever be able to tell my blood thirsty grandsire, and my craven father, that I did not want to go into the family business? Besides, I had a chance to be the very best there ever was at being evil. Could you turn down a chance for that kind of distinction? When you where a child? I could not, that much was sure.”
“I have to ask, how do I know where I stand with you?”
“Tyrone, you are my friend, don’t you know where you stand with me?”
“I thought that I did, really, I did, but now? I can’t help it that you have rubbed my nose in what you are, and I don’t think that I can look at you the same way again.”
“That is, at least, an honest answer; so I will give you one. I do have honor, and my word is at least as good as that of a man of Yahweh. I give you my word that I will stand by you through this misguided adventure. Once it is over, if you can not bear my company, well, I will cross that bridge when I have to. Does that ease your mind?”
“Enough, for now, at least. I just have this feeling that I might have to go against you some day, and I would hate that.”
“Yes, you would. Because I doubt that you would survive it, Ty,” the Shadow said in a serious voice. “Time for you to sleep, my friend, I have the watch,” Tyrone turned away to gather his blanket and go to sleep. He did not see the look of isolation and loneliness that covered the Shadows face.