Here it goes :
She shuddered and closed the coat closer to her. The chilly air of the Stensia swamps seeped through every crack she didn’t cover. By Avacyn, the humidity!
“We should set camp”, she shouted over the wind. “Sleep a bit and continue when it’s warmer. A fire would be perfect right now.”
“Would it?” calmly said the man a few paces ahead of her. “Do you know how close we are of the Falkenrath manor?”
“A few leagues at best”, she agreed. “Vampires don’t trouble me.”
“They don’t, now, do they?”
“Avacyn protects me!” she protested.
“You mean that bauble you bought at Thraben’s market?” he smirked. “Right. Avacyn’s power came back, but I’m sure it doesn’t flow through a bit of wood carved in her ‘effigy’.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
She had tried to sound assured, maybe even commanding. She failed. Her voice had trailed off. This man... He had no problem talking about Avacyn like it was some sort of animal released recently. He would blaspheme every now and then, apparently without really thinking about it. He was... Well, she didn’t know who he was. She had met him a few villages back, just before entering Stensia. He had offered to walk alongside her. She was a simple priest, with no experience in traveling. She had only recently begun to wander the countryside to protect the citizens, and even with the holy power of Avacyn watching over her, she had been mugged more than once by simple men who hadn’t have enough to eat in the last few weeks.
It was enough so that a lonely woman who encountered a handsome man with a long claymore at his side would let herself be protected by what looked like a valiant knight. Now, with the dim lighting of their torches reflecting on the pools of dirt in which they were traveling, his long, white hairs made him look more like a geist than a knight. After all, he was all clad in black.
“What’s your name anyway?” she asked.
“Sorin”, he simply answered.
“Let’s just say my family has no bearing on this journey and leave it at that, priestess.”
Right. Like he ever asked her name.
“We stop here for the night”, she decided firmly. “Continue on if you want, Avacyn will protect me.”
Why was he smirking like that?
“If Her Holiness insists, there’s a patch of dry grounds over there”, he bowed.
She hadn’t decided yet if the bows were genuine or if he was pulling her leg. Avacyn taught that one should always give the benefit of doubt. It was becoming incredibly difficult to have any doubt, though.
Still, he helped her plant their tent and drew some symbols here and there. She prayed to Avacyn for protection and a calm night. Then, they parted in their respective tents and went to sleep.
She awoke to the sensation of cold steel on her throat. A knife was firmly placed under her chin. Her muscles tensed immediately. The pale face of her journey companion was incher from her own, his long white hairs falling on each side of her head. He had that terrifying smirk over his face, like he was about to eat her.
Which, on Innistrad, wasn’t excluded from the possibilities.
She trembled softly, fear clogging up her senses. He slowly slid the edge of the knife across her throat and under the Holy Angel’s necklace. Then, with one swift movement, he cut it loose from her neck.
“I guess it wasn’t Darksteel”, he muttered with a mischievous grin.
He got up on his feet and looked at her from above.
“Next time you think such a bauble is worth two silvers, remember the value of something that would really protect you from harm”, he calmly said, sheathing his knife. “Nothing will stop vampires from going at your throat except a good blade or a ward you cast yourself.”
She should have said something, but she could find the nerve to protest before he was gone. Who was that man? Why was he traveling with her? And by Avacyn, how did he get through the wards she did cast around her tent?
“Rough night?” he asked.
She sighed. Even after what he did last night, he had yet to apologize for the fear he gave her. He was casually leaning against a bog tree while she paused a bit. No matter how far they walked, he always seemed to be full of energy. How did we do that? Maybe she needed some more exercise. Studying holy books doesn’t help your endurance, that’s for sure.
“You know, normal people would apologize right now”, she snapped.
“Doesn’t Avacyn teach the utmost control over your primal emotions such as fear or frustration?”
He was provoking her.
“You don’t have the slightest idea”, she simply answered.
“Do I? ‘And it shall be that forever, humans shall be freed of pain, fear and doubt. Revel in my Holy Name, as it shall be. Under my watchful gaze, none shall fear the dark, none shall fear the unknown, for I am Avacyn, and you are of my flock’”, he recited.
Who was he?
“That verse doesn’t mean that we should strive to control our fear, just that Avacyn is watching over us.”
“Does it?” he smirked. “Well, you know better than I. Can we go?”
The more she knew about that man, the more she knew she didn’t know. Or something like that.
“You never told me where you were going”, she noted when they were on their way.
“I’m going there”, he pointed before them. “Why ask?”
“Why don’t you ever give an intelligent answer?” she snapped again.
“Why don’t you ever ask an intelligent question?” he answered back. “You could have asked many things. Where I’m going is completely irrelevant to you. If I intend to kill you would be a start. How I know so much about Avacyn would also be interesting. How about my capacities? You priests never ask the important things and always expect people to answer everything.”
She didn’t like where the conversation was going.
“Do you intend to kill me?”
“How do you know so much about Avacyn?”
“Av and I go way back”, he casually threw over his shoulder.
“Stop blaspheming!” she shouted. “Stop that!”
“And stop shouting, foolish girl”, he snapped back.
His voice was suddenly deep and powerful. She stopped instantly, surprised. Not once in their journey had he used that voice. A dark voice ripped with power that she knew he had imbedded magic upon.
But as much as she didn’t want it to be true, he was right : shouting in the middle of Stensia wasn’t the brightest idea she ever had. They both listened to the rustling of the leaves and the sound of water being tossed aside as someone, something was coming towards them. She muttered the incantation for a protective ward and prepared for combat. If those Falkenrath wanted blood, she’d feed them their own.
Much to her relief, she saw a Wolfir come out of the bushes. Tall like one and a half men, his fur white as snow, he was coming to verify the source of those shouts. Sorin seemed displeased with the sudden appearance, but more mildly annoyed than anything else.
“Sir Wolfir”, he saluted with a quick bow of his head.
The creature stopped a few feet before him and glanced at him. They looked at each other for a moment. The beast sniffed the air without a glance for her.
Then suddenly, it happened. The beast threw a paw at Sorin’s head. It happened so fast it blurred. It looked like the paw had gone through Sorin’s head unimpeded, but when she looked again, she realized that the arm of the Wolfir was laying in an increasing pool of blood a few paces from them and that Sorin held his claymore in his hand.
It was simply impossible. Nobody moved that fast.
Under her eyes, the arm withered. The great beast looked at it with a surprised look. Sorin then calmly put a hand on its chest and threw a powerful rot spell. Before she could protest, she saw the bones under the fur, the heart beating and the lungs rotting. A macabre vision that would be imprinted in her mind for the rest of her life.
Though it may not be that long before the end came.
There was only a rotten corpse left where there once stood a mighty beast. Sorin sheathed his sword and gave her an amused glance. She knew who he was, now, and he knew it. She couldn’t believe it, but it was him. Sorin Markov, the heir of the great vampire family. One of the most powerful vampires of Innistrad. The pale face, the unnatural strength, the name... all fell in place.
“Let’s go, shall we?” he smirked. “After all, I have a rendezvous with my grandfather I wouldn’t miss for this world, and you’re invited.”
‘May Avacyn have mercy on your soul at the darkest hour, for you are of her flock. May her light reach you from the darkest reaches of hell to the highest spires of the heavens. When all is dire, look at her and pray, for she answers. Call upon her name and do not falter. When the cloud part and the Holy Angel descend upon you, then you shall be saved and bask in Her Holy Glory forever.’