Our grandfather had only toured the city with his eyes from the high towers of the White Knight’s castle. He knew of its predominant landmarks, with the Rising Sun Inn just across the moat to the north, and to the east the Mining Guild, where the dwarves worked below ground, mining the precious coal needed to fuel the furnaces. Mary Ann and I had only visited Falador once, passed through really, as our parents made the journey to the Monastery of Saradomin to be blessed. It was there, our grandfather told us, Kara-meir was blessed as a child, and there where a terrible slaughter had come when Lord Sulla of the Kinshra had attacked the monastery as a test of power of the multi-cannons for the upcoming siege…
“Now then, Hadwin, have you the money required for these things?”
“Be on your way now.” The matron frowned when she noticed the slight hesitance in Hadwin’s step. “Is there something wrong, lad?”
“I… I’ve never been outside the castle before.”
“Never been outside the castle? Surely you’ve seen the city?”
“Only from the towers.”
“Well then.” Before the matron could speak again, a man stepped into the ward. “Ah, Sir Theodore, I did not expect to see you here.”
Theodore nodded. “My back has been bothering me again, more often than before.”
The matron shook her head. “I told you after the siege that you needed a lot more rest to recover, but you and Sir Amik are stubborn mules!” Hadwin had to stifle a giggle. He had never heard anyone speak to any of the knights in that manner. The matron continued her small tirade to Theodore, then sighed. “I was just about send Hadwin here to retrieve some of the herbs for the salve you need. Unfortunately, it seems he hasn’t been outside the castle since you’ve brought him in.”
“Perhaps I can accompany him,” Theodore suggested. He knew if he didn’t get out of the ward now, the matron may have some ideas about locking him in until the salve was prepared.
“If it does not pull you from your duties and if your back can handle it,” was the matron’s reply. As she turned to manage some of the remaining supplies, Theodore quickly ushered Hadwin out of the ward and to the courtyard.
Hadwin stood quietly as Theodore gave the list of herbs to the apothecary, then began to walk around the small shop. There were glass jars filled with a variety of roots, cabinets with boxes of herbs, and in small sacks a variety of powders. As he turned to go back to Theodore’s side, he bumped into a girl that had just stepped into the store.
“Watch your step, knight!” the girl hissed, glaring at his tunic with the four-pointed star of Saradomin.
“P-pardon me,” Hadwin stammered, quickly going around the girl and back to Theodore’s side. Theodore glanced over his shoulder after hearing the commotion, and saw that it was a girl a few years older than Hadwin, accompanied by a robed figure.
“Forgive my companion, good citizens. It is his first time here.”
The robed figure nodded, then patiently stood waiting for the apothecary to return to the counter. The girl continued to glare at the knight and the boy until the robed figure nudged the girl. Reluctantly she looked away. The apothecary soon returned, handing Theodore a wrapped package and a few herblore supplies. Hadwin paid the apothecary, bowing in thanks for hurrying out of the store, with Theodore close behind.
“Is there something wrong, Hadwin?” Theodore asked, noticing how nervous the boy had become.
“She just kept staring at us, Sir Theodore, like she was angry with us. Did I offend her so much?”
Theodore shook his head as they made their way to the general store. “No, I don’t believe so. She might be just annoyed with the fact she had to go into a foul-smelling store.”
Hadwin nodded, then continued to make mental note of where each individual shop was. But the girl’s seemingly vengeful look haunted the back of his mind.
“You need to be more careful, Ella. We are not welcome people in this city after all,” the robed figure reminded the girl as they passed into the hills north of Falador hours later. “If they suspect that we have been sending people in and out of the city, things will become much harder for us to survive.”
“The little brat deserved it. Pathetic thing, trying to be a knight.”
“Hush now, girl. You are not old enough to become a warrior either.”
“Mage,” the girl corrected. “And you do well to remember what happened to my parents.”
“Indeed, I do, and do not blame you for your hatred for the White Knights. Even so, we must proceed with caution. Vengeance is not meant to be planned and brought down upon them in a day.”
“They beheaded my father, took my mother away and ravaged her before killing her, locked me in a chest. If it wasn’t for you, I’d be dead too, Richard.”
Richard nodded, pulling back the hood of his cloak. Ella looked up at him, cringing slightly at the various scars that crisscrossed his face. It wasn’t uncommon for some of the Kinshra to have scars. It was said that the former Lord Sulla had the worst of them, half of his face completely disfigured. Still, it was quite frightful.
Will I bear scars like that one day? Ella thought. The knights often told her she had her mother’s face. But her mother was not scarred, for the Kinshra did not like having her in the front lines often. It made her mother sound soft. But she wasn’t soft. She stood up against the White Knights until the very end.
No, I will get scars like that one day. And I will wear them proudly as I slay the damned White Knights that come in my way!