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Nightblades

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They come creeping our of darkness, and to darkness they return.
In their wake they leave destruction; where they go, no one can learn
For they leave no trace in passing, as if all who watched were blind
Like a dream of evil sending,
Nightblades passing, nightblades rending,
Into darkness once more blending
Leaving only dead behind.


First a threat-and then a death comes in the darkness of the night
And a dozen would-be allies have begun to show their fright.
When the nightblades strike unhindered, and can take a life at will,
There's no safety in alliance
And much peril in defiance
It is best to show compliance
And the Karsite ranks to fill.


The chief envoy summons Vanyel, for one ally still seems brave
And the treaty may be salvages if Vanyel this life can save.
Herald Vanyel feigns refusal, senses one would play him fool;
Thinks of treachery in hiding,
Lets his instincts be his guiding.
His own counsel he is biding
He'll be no unwitting tool.


Garbed in black slips Herald Vanyel to their last lone ally's keep;
Over wall and into window, past all gates and guards to creep.
Past all gates and guards-no magic has them wrapped in deadly spell--
They are drugged, and they are dreaming.
Some foe strikes in friendly seeming--
See-a metal dart there gleaming!
Vanyel knew the symptoms well.


Now he hears another's footstep soft before him in the dark
And he haste to lay an ambush while the nightblade seeks his mark.
Now he waits beside the doorway of the ally's very room
And the nightblade, all unknowing,
With a single lamp-beam showing
To a confrontation going
Not to fill another tomb.


Out of shadows Vanyel rises and he bars the nightblade's way.
He has only that slim warning-Vanyel has him soon at bay.
When the guards have all awakened, then he bares the nightblade's face
And all minds but his are reeling
When he tears off but concealing--
And the envoy's face revealing--
Brings the traitor to disgrace.

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