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The Sword Codex

--by Jordis

I. The Oath[]

Blades of Argus, kneel and swear fealty to the Order of the Hand. By this Oath, you are henceforth bound to the duties and orders you are given. Your swords shall defend the helpless, liberate the weak, preserve the peace, and delegate justice. Failure to uphold this, your sworn Oath, will result in death upon your own blade. Serve with pride; serve with honor; serve forever.
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Father would have been proud; over the years he had seen two sons and one other daughter grow to become fine paladins and warriors. As Jordis rose to her feet, resheathing her two-handed greatsword at her back, she looked around at the faces of her battalion. They had grown together, trained together, defended one another, but from here on out, they were on their own. As they were dismissed, Jordis kept away from the rabble-rousing as her battle-mates went to celebrate their Oathing; she was in no mood to celebrate. Her hand drifted up over her right shoulder, fingers lightly brushing the leather-wrapped handle of the sword slung there.

So fine a blade deserves a name... The Night Elf she'd met on the ship from Auberdine had told her that. He had seemed so calm and confident, almost at peace with himself. Jordis sometimes wished she could have that kind of reservation, but always within her burned the deep-set desire to prove her worth. She had come from a long line of great warriors and faithful paladins; names from her family were smattered throughout history in great battles for the Draenei people. She had yet to make such a name for herself; how could she name her sword when neither of them had done anything to warrant having one?

As always, when troubled or restless with thought, Jordis' hooves carried her to the practice salle; the wood of its floor warm and welcoming beneath her. For a moment, she debated getting out of her ceremonial armor, but thought better of it. The ornate, heavily decorated armor was a bit heavier than her field gear, she would benefit from practicing beneath the extra weight. She walked to the center of the salle, unsheathing her greatsword as she went. Its bladesong filled the air as it came free of its bonds, sending a small thrill down Jordis' spine. This is what she lived for, the test of blade and sweat, the glory of combat, the honor of victory.

With an almost liquid grace she fell into her normal fighting stance; feet a bit wider than shoulder width, left hoof a bit forward, right hoof a bit back. The greatsword gripped in both hands, blade pointing straight into the air, her body always facing forward. Her face became a mask of concentration as her eyes saw invisible enemies.

Your sword shall defend the helpless... In her mind, she could hear the wailing cries of draenei villagers as the might of the Burning Legion overran them. Monstrous felguards thundered through dusty dirt roads as Felhounds routed the villagers before them.

Her legs tensed beneath her before launching her up and forward. Her sword whistled through the air as she brought it down in a brutal two-handed downstroke. Her imaginary enemy fell back, slashed from neck to navel by her vicious stroke. She spun, releasing the greatsword from her left hand, keeping it in her right, braced against her forearm. The sword spun with her in a deadly arc, cleaving through three careless felhounds that lunged toward her.

She rose to her full height at the end of her spin, taking the greatsword once more into both hands before lowering it parallel to the floor and thrusting forward. A terrorfiend wailed its anguish as her blade pierced through its belly and out its back, ichorous fluids dripping from the pristine blade.

Clap. Clap. Clap. The brief applause brought her back to reality; she shook her head as the sounds echoed and died against the walls of the salle. She half-turned toward the entrance, releasing the blade to hold it only in her right, the point resting lightly against the wooden floor. Her frost-blue eyes looked at the Night Elf from the ship as her lips compressed into a thin line of consternation. What was he doing here?

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