In times like this, with the cruel Saun heat beating upon his shoulders like whips of a taskmaster, Paladin was often reminded of the time in the loving arms of his hated Legion. Did they still speak the dead mans name, he would wonder. Did the Century still sing the song written about his prowess. Did the dead mans former centurion still wonder about his health? Did they remember him? He remembered them. How could he forget. One hundred battle hardened men and woman, most of Raskithical or Human species, to the last they were driven, dedicated, and powerful. To the last they were loyal to the Legion first among all, deep love for their brothers in arms breeding an adoration that none could break. Or had he? Had Paladin broken the trust of the bitch-queen, or his Legion? Had Rayna?
She to had fled her duty, her service to greater ideals and severed her connections with a unit that once loved her, no doubt. And for what? Paladin had served out of duty. He had been Legion out of love. But what drove that fiery ice cold woman to her service? Money? Fame? Boredom? What had forced her to flee? Dishonor? Rebellion? Boredom? The man that died was the Legion, the physical embodiment of Imperial dreams and wretched Tyranny. But Paladin was not. And without that which so define him, in his own eyes and the eyes of others, what was he? What was she? A soldier? A betrayer? A mercenary obsessed with coin and bereft of morals or conviction?
'Your son. Your deposed prince errant. A vagrant and warrior without family, home, or land.'
~You are lonely.~
'I am alone. It is to me as wet is to water. It cannot be separated or contained, nor can it be shed. It is intrinsic.'
~It does not have to be.~
'Yes. Yes it does.'
With a half lidded gaze the vagrant warriors green eyes turned upon the woman that road an arms length beside him. He would have lied to say that he did not wish to touch her, a lie that he would be comfortable in telling. He wished to know what was that thing that possessed she. The 'I Am' that spoke of her in the truest of languages. To understand and know and be... not so alone.
Paladin removed his glove with care. His skin suddenly cool, small bumps rose under the sweaty confines of his jute clothes, leaving a shudder in his spine as it passed. He set his hand upon Baron's neck. The heat invaded, as it always did. Paladin recoiled, as he always did. 'Water is wet. Stone is hard. I am...'
“Why did you leave.” Paladin asked through his dusty throat. “Your military. Why did you leave it behind?” Paladin knew he should not have asked her.
"Paladin." "Norn." ~Pala~