Dalamud hung low in the sky, a red wound that bled crimson into the sky. Under its eerie light, the Eorzean Alliance was facing the Garlean Empire.
The Garleans and their conscripts charged. Behind them, magitek armors were advancing, sending deadly projectiles into our rank. We answered with spells and arrows. Those armors burns like everything else if the fire is hot enough. Especially if you hit them at the right place. The problem was the sheer number of them.
Our infantry line meet the Garlean. I could see Roland there. I could recognize him a mile away, just by the way he held his lance. It still wakes me up at night: the smell of blood, the red mud, the glowing mouth of a magitek armor. The explosion. Even from afar, it threw me on the ground. I could hear screams and sobs: Pain and Despair. I could smell the burned flesh of my friends. Face down in the red mud, I could taste the blood of fallens. The same scene was everywhere.
Our infantry line was buckling under the pressure of the Garlean’s monstrosities. People died everywhere. The Garleans were advancing. The linkshell was telling us to hold, Ul’dah was sending reinforcements.
Yet, this was war. The facts had no time to settle on the mind. I grabbed my broken staff, and used it to prop myself up. When I finally managed to stand, I looked around. He was alive. Spear in hand. With blood leaking from his ears, he looked the worse for wear, but he was alive!
Dead Garleans around him. Seven people out of eight were dead, but if survival was possible, he would be the one. He stood there, like a hero facing the enemies, holding the line by himself. He turned toward me. I couldn’t hear him but I knew his thoughts: “Run away!” I discarded my useless staff, and took out my spare rod.
I ran toward him, “As if I’d run away and leave you here,
whatever comes we’ll face it together!” I told myself. I almost made it. Another step, maybe two. I would have died with him. Instead the blast from one of those void-cursed armors, threw me in the air and flat on on my back. All I can hear is a buzz. I’m barely conscious. I manage to sit up, dazed, and I look around. My vision is blurry. I wipe blood from my face. A few yalms from me, I can see his broken spear. No sign of him. I sat there, wailing.
A piece of metal, a bit like the blade of a gigantic sword, falls half a malm away at most. Its sheer size caused a shockwave when it hit the ground. It sent me flying like a broken doll. Darkness. I thought I was dying. It was a relief.
I woke up. The Garleans were gone. Something in my hand… the shaft of his spear. I searched. Looked for his body. Again and again. Other survivors were around. I ignored them. I kept looking.I don’t know how long. Finally, help arrived. They forcefully took me away. Sent me to Bronze Lake. My injuries were not severe. I escaped a mere hours after arriving. Somehow, instinctively, I made my way to the Church of Saint Adama Landama. I’m not sure how long the journey took. I arrived in ragged cloth, the broken lance still in hand. I didn’t know why I was there. Yet, Father Iliud understood.
We buried Roland’s lance. On the grave, I put the words that guided his life: Kindness, Beauty, Truth.
Father Iliud took me in. I was not the only stray he picked up. There was this fellow named Marques. Neither him nor I were talkative both still dazed from the war. Neither of us willing to talk about it. I stayed a few weeks.
I felt the wind calling me. I wanted to wander, and I wanted solitude.
Kindness, Beauty, Truth.