Is there redemption for a coward?

Caelius was not sure how his path had led him here, to the Drizzlewood Coast. It had been years since he had been among his own people, preferring the solitude of the road and the near-anonymity of one-off mercenary jobs. Yet, something called him to the Coast, to offer his blade and his skill in the fight against the Dominion.

Perhaps it was Bangar.

The words he had spoken, the ones Caelius had heard in his travels, chilled him. Reminded him of the past he so desperately had tried to run from.

He takes his place observing the path toward a nearby encampment, scanning the treeline for movement. It was a simple mission; locate Dominion Scouts and dispatch them before they could relay information to their superiors.

‘It’s a job a cub could do,’ the Ash Legion Charr stares hard into the younger charr’s features, ‘Prove yourself worthy and you may even earn a place in a warband, Gladium.’

The flash of gray robes pulls his attention toward the present, jaw set as he observes. Two he could see, settling into bushes. One more inexperienced than the other, a branch cracks underneath their paw to a hissed scolding. Slowly, Caelius draws his greatsword, eyes on the target. Energy crackles through him, purple dancing across the blade. With a swipe, an arc of violet cuts through the underbrush, hitting one scout in the back and spawning a clone. Quickly, he flickers across to a secondary spot, pointing the blade toward the less experienced one. A beam of light shoots from the tip, hitting them square in the chest.

‘Focus, Caelius,’ The gruff voice of the centurion is calm behind the boy barely old enough to call himself a man. Caelius is all limb, gangly and tall and lacking in the muscle for a charr. The greatsword wobbles in his hand as he raises it. ‘Adjust your grip, cub, if you hold it like that you’ll end up dropping it before your hit even lands.’ He nods, shifts his hands and focuses on the training dummy in front of him. He raises the blade to strike and begins his charge, only to have an explosion of energy knock him backwards into his mentor. There is an eerie silence, save for the crackling and burning of the dummy before Marek laughs.

There was no term for him then, no Charr word that explained the gray-furred man’s role in his life. He knows now, reflecting on the memory, the term Father – though foreign to Charr – is what he always saw Marek as. 

Focus.

Caelius shakes his head and focuses on the matter at hand, just in time to put his sword between him and a lunging charr. A wild swipe connects with his cheek, splatting his own blood on his blade. With a roar he shoves with his full force, spinning in a way that produces another clone to put distance between him and the aggressor in order to hit him with another beam of energy.

Idiot. Focus on the fight, Caelius, not on the past, or you will die. 

Teeth bared, he makes short work of the two scouts, clones bursting like shattered glass to make the final blow. He barely has enough time to breathe when he feel the muzzle of a pistol against his head.

You always forget to watch your back Caelius, it will be the death of you.

The mesmer is still a moment, waiting for the click of the hammer. If he times it right, he may just have enough energy left to blink away.

You call yourself a charr? Then turn around and fight for once. 

Caelius spins around, raising his blade just in time to see the final scout fall, behind him standing a Sylvari. He stops dead in his place, sword still raised, and stares.

“You looked like you could use some help,”

Author Nukkal
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