Gallant Hero Callius ~ Josh Whelchel

The breath of the knight frosted in the air of the cell. Dark, cracked stone and rusted iron bars held back the night, but not the angry cries of the gathering mob. The knight shivered and sat on the straw covered cot, starting to remove their armor piece by bloody piece. Gauntlets dropped to the piss soaked floor revealed pale hands, fingernails gnawed to the quick. Greaves unveiled knobby knees and stringy calves. The helmet fell from shaking fingers, exposing a head with sweaty helmet hair as bad as all the rest.

It was what lay behind the breastplate that had the people so riled. And she knew it.

With a gasp of relief, Aemelynn let the piece of metal clatter to the floor. Not but three marks ago, she had been the hero of the armpit of a village. Of course her past could not rest in its grave though. It had followed her all the way from the Suncoast Cities.

Yelling in frustration, she ripped at the bindings under her tunic until they gave way, exposing her slight chest, hardly noticeable under the baggy clothing. Then she stood and began to pace near the high window.

The hoot of an owl that did not fly this far north pierced the air, and Aemelynn grinned despite her current state. Kara had not approved of her helping the villagers, she never did. But ever single time the world proved itself to be every bit as much the hellhole Aemelynn denied it to be, Kara would come and pick up the broken pieces.

It was only several more breaths before the hook clattered on the iron bars, and the knight secured it on the cot for her escape.