Despite the many battles won (and lost), and all her training and armor, Jaclyn felt nervous. She had encountered this foe many times before, and they both had felt the sting of death.
Polished and practiced, enchanted and elixired, she was still uneasy about the coming battle. What had he learned in her absence? What had she forgotten? Never underestimate how time and experience, passion and fervor, or droughts and blizzards can toughen an opponent, or weaken your own skills.
She rode along familiar roads and stopped one last time at the blacksmith to sharpen her sword. â€œIt can never be sharp enough for you, can it, Jaclyn?â€ said Argus. â€œIt doesn't seem soâ€ Jaclyn replied, with a friendly smile for her old friend. She had known Argus before she had ever heard of the Argent Dawn or the Argent Crusade, and now she was on the verge of becoming their Champion.
â€œI assume you are headed a bit southwest of here . . .â€ mused Argus. â€œYou know me too well, Argusâ€ she whispered. â€œIn that case, these just arrived from Nagrandâ€. She saw the familiar glint of adamantite as he handed her the stone. â€œYou are too kindâ€ she said, and honed the edges razor sharp.
â€œWell, I'm off then . . .â€ she said nervously. Argus knew better than to offer clichÃ©s such as â€œgood luckâ€, â€œgodspeedâ€ or even worse â€œbreak a legâ€, so he just gave her a wink and a nod. Still it seemed to bolster her a bit.
Creeping slowly on foot through the forest, dispatching rats and snakes with a quick flick of her hand, she moved towards her destination. Guided mostly by memory (and smell), she inched ever closer towards her nemesis.
A clump of thick tree trunks and shrubs obscured her vision momentarily, and as she rounded the last of the them, her heart skipped a beat as she looked up and found herself face to face with her rival.
Quickly she regained her composure. â€œHello, Hoggerâ€ she said sharply, unsheathing her sword.