To Wield the Sword of Kas
LeShana felt unsettled. She had felt this way since earlier in the evening, after the party had found a small cave within the Well of Dragons overflowing with treasure. One man’s trash was another man’s treasure…only it wasn’t trash and it wouldn’t be his treasure.
She sighed. A fitful meditation hadn’t helped her mood, nor had a sparse meal. LeShana left the dining area, searching purposefully around the castle until she found her quarry alone in a small stone room. He sat in front of a crackling fire.
“Grond,” she said.
He kept silent, his one good eye remaining listlessly fixed on the flames.
“Grond,” she repeated and walked up to the fire. There was no way to ignore the 6 foot 6 elf standing in front of him.
“What is it?” he asked, gruffly. “I came here to be alone. I do not wish to be disturbed.”
“We need to talk.”
“I don’t want to hear it.”
“You don’t even know….”
“Of course I know. I could feel it back in there. Your disapproval…”
He knew her too well. She couldn’t pretend he wasn’t right. “I wouldn’t call it disapproval. More like…concern…”
“I am concerned about…” LeShana paused, not sure how to phrase it. “…the effects…of such a sword.”
“I know the effects as well as you do. Do you fear I am not up to the task?”
She looked Grond in the eye. “It is a valid question, one I would ask anyone who wished to wield the Sword of Kas.”
“I don’t wish to wield it, I do wield it. It’s too late now.” Grond pulled out the shining ebony blade and turned his attention to it.
Merely being in the vicinity of the sword gave LeShana a slightly sick feeling. She wondered what it must be doing to Grond. “It’s not too late. You’ve only just attuned. It hasn’t yet had time…”
He turned his gaze back to the fire, the flames giving his leather eye patch a dull sheen. “I’m used to being surrounded by evil, or has it been so long you have forgotten?”
“I certainly haven’t forgotten. We have battled side by side, defeated many dark creatures. I know you have fought evil your entire life, fought against the evil nature of your upbringing, and have succeeded. I have every faith in the goodness of your soul.”
“But it is not enough to be good,” she repeated. “This sword is not only evil, it is also sentient and known to drive its wielder to madness or worse. I have every faith in the goodness of your soul, the soul of my most loyal and true friend. But I fear you will not be that person much longer.”
“I don’t need to be that person much longer. This sword will serve my purpose and I am prepared to take the risk.”
“But it is no longer only your risk, is it?”
The tone of her voice made him look up. “What do you mean?”
“Cassyt and your daughter. You have a family now. They need you.”
“Yes….that is true,” he said softly. “They do need me.”
“You must think of them.”
“I am thinking of them.” Grond scowled darkly at LeShana. “I am always thinking of them. Never doubt that.”
“Then think of what they would want. Cassyt…”
“Would want to be avenged.”
“Avenged?” Confusion was evident on LeShana’s face. “For what? Is she not at home with your daughter as you said?”
“Oh yes, she is at home,” Grond said harshly. “Her eternal home. Both of them are.”
“Dead. Murdered.” Grond spat out the detestable words and wrapped both hands around the sword’s hilt. His hands gripped tighter and tighter, until LeShana feared his knuckles would break through the skin. “At our wedding reception. Cassyt and our unborn child.”
LeShana did not know what to say. There were no words to convey her misery and despair, so she did not offer any. With wet eyes, she stood up and placed a hand on Grond’s shoulder, her head bowed in respect.
“I will destroy the dragon cult. Every last one of them.” Grond slammed his sword into the stone wall and howled. It was a terrible cry of pain and anger.
“You will not do it alone, my friend,” LeShana vowed. “Your grief is my grief.”
Grond did not respond, but simply re-sheathed the Sword of Kas. As he did so, a strange sensation rippled through his body. He was overcome by a wave of dark energy. It flowed through his mind, yet his body shivered.
“Grond? Is everything alright?”
He forced a tight smile. “No, but everything is as it is meant to be. I wish to be alone now.”
LeShana nodded sadly and said, “Good night. May you find peace in the coming battle.”