War of Nytefall: Eulogy introduces a few new characters. One of them is Magrus the Purifier, who is trying to uncover the truth behind the imposter Clyde. I liked how his introduction went in the prologue. Enjoy.
Magrus turns his golden eyes on the younger man and stares until the lieutenant moves away. He stays where he is while the guards get closer to the ruins and split into pairs to search the area. Leaning on his staff, the Zarian tries to catch his labored breath, which forces him to drop his magic sight for a moment. Not wanting to scare people, he keeps his head down to make sure nobody can see the empty sockets marked with holy runes. Taking a sip of fae water from his flask, Magrus gathers his strength to revive the spell, which allows him to see the world. He examines the various colors streaming through the air and ground, each one denoting a type of magic. Moving further into the village, he pinpoints where bodies are by spotting black marks dotted with electric sparks. Coming to a very small patch, he whispers a prayer to Zaria and places his hand on the corpse to put the connected spirit at ease. The gentle act helps to reenergize him, so he puts his real mission aside in order to help all of the dead he can find among the wreckage. Even those whose remains are still hot from the real flames are put to rest, the burns on his wrinkled hands disappearing as he casts a healing spell.
Coming to the windmill, Magrus coats his body in a protective shell and carefully climbs to the top of the broken structure. Slowly turning in a circle, he scans the area to get a full sense of the remaining magic. He ignores the auras of the guards, who are sifting through the wreckage to find more bodies. Those who have been located have already been moved to the outskirts where they are being prepared for transport. Peering down the narrow road, he can see an oxen-driven cart is getting closer and sighs at how it will not be enough to collect all of the dead. Magrus considers warning the lieutenant, but he fears it will lead to a long conversation and waste more of his precious time. He turns to where the man is helping to prop up a wall, which has crushed a family of four. Shaking his head, the Zarian climbs down from his perch and uses his staff to help him navigate his way out of town. Nothing catches his interest, but he stops momentarily to send a few more lost souls to the afterlife.
“Let us see what really happened,” Magrus whispers as he reaches the woods.
Turning back to the village, the man plunges his staff into the earth and grips it tightly to prevent himself from falling over. His eyes develop a rainbow shimmer over the gold as he wavers on his feet. Fighting through the looming fatigue, the priest lets his magical vision change from what is in front of him to revealing phantoms of the past. Transparent buildings rise back into place and ghostly figures go about their lives even though he can still sense a little of what is truly there. Magrus scowls at the sight of a black-haired figure landing a few feet away, the puff of dirt revealing an illusion covering the small crater. Within seconds of appearing, the man rushes at the town and begins destroying everything in sight. Using only his fists and feet, he breaks houses and shatters people. The attacker’s speed is almost too much for the Zarian to follow, so he focuses on examining the phantasmal carnage for clues. He spots bite marks on several necks and sees the chickens were devoured in the blink of an eye. Torches and candles are knocked over to start the fires, which explode into an inferno connected to the illusionary plume of smoke. Magrus is not sure what caused the sudden blast since the attacker had been tearing the local blacksmith in half at the time. Deciding he has seen enough, the man freezes the vision before falling to his knees from the exertion. He is able to hold the image for another second before it disappears, but it still gives him a clear view of the rampaging figure.
“This cannot be shared,” Magrus says as he takes out a piece of paper. He mutters a spell to transfer the image of a black-haired man with a corn-shaped necklace from his brain to the parchment. “It would appear that Clyde of Nytefall is not as big a fan of peace as one would believe. Yet, I still see mysteries here. The fires grew without his influence and I see no reason why he would want this place discovered. I have many questions, Lady Zaria, so I cannot purify the Vampire King until I have answers. There has never been a man or monster who has escaped my thorough investigations. This one will be no different. I swear on my goddess’s crimson hair that Clyde and the Dawn Fangs will be judged. Then, if necessary, they will be punished.”