Crystal Shield: Gaiya’s Guard
So you wish to know about this shield friend? Please, pull up a stool and let me tell you of the successes that friendship can bring and of the perils that await those that stand alone in this land we call home.
Many years back, the Brotherhood to which I belong made our homes within the Delaris Mountains. A Peace loving Brotherhood as is the case for many of our brethren.
The Delaris Mountains were our sanctuary, our monastery, and the quiet of the mountains suited us well. But there were many dangers that could befall those in the mountains who do not know how to navigate them, or indeed how to defend against the many creatures, horrors or even name givers who prey on such weaknesses within these peaks.
Many years before I had awakened, the brotherhood had recognised that while we may seem tough and strong, that we are not without our own weaknesses and so we allied ourselves with the mighty Rockhorn Troll moot, our neighbours and friends.
“Rock Brothers” they called us, and the Brotherhood thought of them in much the same way. We acted as their spiritual guides, offering sage advice to the Trolls, while they helped in a more practical way by guarding the territory and warning us of incoming dangers. It was a truly symbiotic relationship, one built on trust and friendship.
Now let me tell you of the Bloodlore moot. These Trolls were savage to say the least, a force to be reckoned with, full and anger and a lust for battle. They made their home on the border of the Rockhorn’s Territory in the Twilight Peaks. Living in such close proximity to so many moots caused more than its fair share of friction for all in the Twilight Peaks, but none quite like the Bloodlores… In fact the Bloodlores thrived on the conflict so much that there was quite bit of internal squabbling as well. Some say that this is the only reason that the Bloodlores haven’t claimed the Twilight Peaks in their entirety.
I recall it was a summer morning during my early years, before I had begun initiation into the warrior discipline, the mist was making it’s way through the valley below and there was a stillness in the air, not unusual for the Delaris.
I was making my way over the flats, a plateau atop the mountains just outside our homes, where many of our two peoples spent time to meditate and reflect, when I came across a blood trail. Concerned for our friends, I followed the trail of blood.
Before long, only a minute or so from the flats, was where I found him. A Sky Raider by the name of Gahrul, propped against a large rock with blood dripping from an open wound in his chest. Standing over him, his daughter Gaiya, holding a spear bloodied from butt to point.
“I took it out” she said, “but father won’t move”
Gahrul coughed up a mouth-full of blood as he beckoned me closer. We had spoken several times before this moment, more so in recent months since his daughter had begun her training, but in this moment I embraced him as an old friend.
“Bloodlores… It’s a raid”
With the last of his strength he pulled his daughter close and held her tight, then turned to me gesturing to his sword and shield.
“Take these, save our brothers………..”
He took his last breath in that moment.
A moment passed as the silence fell once again over the mountains. Still kneeling I stretched out a hand and pulled the stone faced Gaiya to her feet, a single tear rolled down her cheek, beneath it, a rage burned as fierce and fiery as the Death’s Sea itself!
“I see in your eyes” I said softly, “You want to fight… Maybe you even need to fight, but there is little wisdom in throwing away another life today”
She bowed her head, breathing heavy under the weight of her sorrow. “We will fight together, but first I need you to summon my brothers. Now is the time to show our enemies that the Troll’s and the Obsidiman’s strength lies not only in their arm, but also in their friends.”
More lives were lost that day, but I am happy to say that twice more were lost on the side of the Bloodlore raiders. Troll and Obsidiman fought side by side to repel their enemies who fought alone and for greed. We embraced and celebrated this victory as one brotherhood, and so it has been ever since.
Gaiya became a proud Sky Raider, much like her father, and we became the closest of friends. We trained together for many years and fought off more than one raid together, and I am, I believe, a fiercer warrior for it. And Gaiya, a little more level headed I would like to think. I had hoped that she would accompany me on my journey, however I have no doubt that we shall meet again.
On the day I left to begin building my legend, Gaiya came to see me off. She brought with her, her father’s Crystal shield, and as she handed it to me she told me “Always carry it with you, may it bring glory and honour to both our people. And when someone asks of this shield. Tell them our story, tell them of our might and of our bond. May this little part of me stand with you in every battle, for there is no place I would rather be, and no side I would rather fight by.”
And so I named it Gaiya’s Guard. In honour of my friend and as a reminder that I will never walk alone, and neither shall anyone I call friend.
Shield Image: Dark Ice Shield by Kramol’nik’s Steam DOTA Item