The Third Miracle of Saint Bridget
The thunderous silence was broken by the shrieks of ecstasy as they pierced the tranquil moonless night. They were coming. The people of the Falda awoke to find themselves in a nightmare. The alarm sounded. The hearts and minds of the people raced as they collected their children. Suddenly the unholy shrieks went silent.
This was the sign that the hunt had begun. Now only an acrid smell of sulfur betrayed the Dark Ones' stealthy approach to Falda.
As the alarm clanged its desperate warning, Falda's only road became a path of fear as its people pushed and shoved to find safety. The howls of the town's dogs and the cries of the children excited the Dark Hunters. All of the people of Falda ran to take refuge in the holy chapel at the far end of the town. Except one.
One stood alone. She waited for them. She waited for the Dark to come upon her, praying. She was Bridget Aerial, a daughter of Azin.
The Dark Hunters entered the town as if they had already conquered it and taken its people as slaves for their evil feast or worse. Trees and plants withered at their approach. Their vanguard left behind it a wake of death and destruction.
The smell of burning buildings, of scorched wattle and daub, of old thatch and wood, rose and infiltrated the nostrils of those in the Chapel.
Behind her, the voices of hundreds praying as one were the only reply to the Dark Ones' act of firing the town.
She straightened. The chapel was to her back, her guardian dog was at her side and the Dark was coming towards her. Her blade began to glow as it was drawn from the scabbard. Its amber glow reminded her of her mother, who had given her the blessed blade.
She saw them. The inferno that had been the town now raged. It outlined their dark shape, growing ever larger behind their looming shapes. The stench of smoke, sulfur, and death replaced the expected smells of bread baking and market preparations.
Placing the visor of her helm down, she began the warrior's prayer.
"Lord forgive me for my transgressions against thee and my brothers and sisters
Forgive me for my transgressions against the land and the seas
Forgive my impure thoughts, my impure words and my impure actions
Forgive me for the words I failed to speak
Forgive me for the actions I failed to perform
I am not worthy of paradise; instead I beseech of thee one request. If it is your will and desire, allow me to live well in the next few moments."
The Dark Hunters' excitement grew as they sensed the lone human waiting for them. Their wild shrieks began once again. They were unable to control their delight at the thought that they would get to play with their meal first.
"I am Bridget of Falda, Daughter of Aerial and Protector of Falda! YOU SHALL NOT PASS! I command you to go back to whence you came from!" The blade's glow turned from amber to sapphire blue as she roared her defiance at the Dark Hunters.
This was the last thing the townsfolk heard clearly before the din of battle and fire drowned all else out. They huddled together praying, weeping, and rocking their children through the night.
As in all things, this nightmare ended when dawn broke over the Emerald Mountains. The Chapel with its smoke stained outer walls was the last remaining structure of the town. The priest opened the heavy doors to reveal a blackened landscape where Falda had once stood. Slowly, the townsfolk crept out to see what had happened.
In the center of the destruction, a lone figure remained on one knee holding a blade with an amber glow upon it.
The nightmare had passed for now.
At the bottom of the record listing the above events was a small note. It read:
I attest that this is a true record of events witnessed by my neighbors and me. It has been collected and sealed by:
Steven of Falda, Priest of the Church of the One True God in the Parish of Falda.
The document's seal was dated in TK 15.