“Oscar placed his iron shod boot on the Hands’s head, pressing the man/woman’s face against the cold stone floor of Priscilla’s sactum.
“You have failed wyrm” he announced, his voice thick with loathing. With a swift kick Oscar pushed the toe of his boots into the fallen mans stomach, which doubled him up coughing blood, then with a final push, Oscar sent the Hand over the edge.
From behind him a scream tore at the air. Part beastial roar, like that of an ancient dragon come again, part human, a lamentation of grief for a lost son, as Priscilla saw he favoured child slip into the abyss.
Oscar spared a second to glance behind him at the assembled Dragon Slayers, their bronze plates and leonine helms glinted in the dim half light, they hefted spears, long hafts that would find purchase in the ground so that the massive tips could piece dragon scales.
They stood several meters behind him, some clutching at their ears, some had thrust the spear into the ground so as not to be brought low by the dirge, other stood at the ready unaffected and ready to do Oscars bidding.
“Come my slayers, into the queen’s lair” he commanded and raised his own spear high over his head. The dragon slayers roared and charged after him into the open monastic ruin.
I meant to stay back of course, the fighting had been fierce and I was more often than not a liability on the field, though I had taken one of the abominations for my own with the blade Isaac had given me. He stood not five feet from me, his plate armour splendid, embossed ensign of the golden sun emblazoned on his chest. While I had seen knights fell their enemies by the dozen; I did not feel so proud of my kill, only a slight sadness when I had seen that the engorged body of the slain was a young woman.
“Stay close to me Farel” Isaac told me, wrenching my mind back into the present “This will be
I nodded and followed him, the 13 of us stood in the entrance to Priscilla’s lair, a round arena with a light covering of snow. The temperature here seemed colder than the rest of the world and I shivered despite Isaac’s warmth, though to my eyes no snow seemed to be able to fall into this enclose wing of the Painted Fortress. Here I knelt and scooped a handful of snow. It was freezing, not necessarily unpleasantly so but the crystals of ice seemed different here.
Sheer black pillars rose around the edge with branching ledges between them. The overall feel was one of an arena yet there was no blood, no broken weapons or armour, no monuments to the dead. No stolen treasures or living comforts. It was completely empty apart from her.
The painted queen stood well over twelve feet tall, she had the appearance of a human, smooth white skin like velvet and a hair of the purest white cascaded down her shoulders. Though despite his she was not human and to any many this was plain. She was far too beautiful for human eyes, and radiated a bright glow that caused me to look away in awe. Draconic eyebrows, a thin curvature of scales, rested above reptilian amber eyes which scanned the room as the knights approached, her body was covered in a gown of fine winter furs, if in fact they were a gown at all. And most predominant was a long furred tail that protruded from the base of her spine which curled around by her legs. She was most regal in appearance if I do say, and her face belied a calmness and careful understanding like none I have ever seen. Though when Oscar approached it twisted into a fierce mask of hatred.
She simply stood there, made no move to cut Oscar down ,scythe in her hands, waiting.
Oscar walked forward pointing his spear at her. “Today your corruption is removed from this world. Your hand is dead and your exiles being put to the flame. Now you while join them” His voice was sonourous, and echoes of the wall, condemming.
The she spoke, softly at first but her voice grew stronger with each word. “Your knights has’t defiled this place of peace, we wished for aught but to be removed from the world. Why have thou brought war? We suffered enough in the world beyond and for that thou woulds’t condemn my children to die by sword and fire? Where has’t the honor of knights since departed to?”
He word were gentle, and belied a weight of sadness beyond what any of the knights could imagine. Some wept where they stood, others fell to their knees, and others, even Oscar, himself, felt ashamed.
However his duty compelled him to act, no guilt would stand in front of his duties to the people of Astora.
“You may be peaceful now but you have condemned yourselves with past crimes. You shelter murderers, and ffiends the like which my people have long suffered under. Your halls breed countless demons, mosters, and miscreants which may yet pose a danger for those outside the Veil. For the gods of anor londo and lost sentinels you will pay the ultimate price.”