Slaughter at the Oasis

This is a first-hand account by Qeimin Haruth of a battle involving Ramish of Jedna that he witnessed in 1148.

    Earlier today, I was walking the perimeter of the Jedna oasis in search of a quiet place to study the cranes who make their home there. The oasis is always beautiful, but its beauty can be enhanced so very much when witnessed in a relaxing environment. I now know that I cannot be the only person who thinks in this way, as I noticed a figure with a huge axe meditating calmly beneath the palm trees. Immediately, I recognized this person as the famous Ramish Manslayer, who is known in other regions of Eitador as the Ramish of Jedna!
    His long black hair and beard were well-groomed for someone who was supposedly so brutal, and it had a sharp contrast with his strong features. He had a long face with high cheekbones and a large brow ridge. He was also shirtless, exposing his tanned skin and rippling muscles to the elements. Particularly fascinating were their many battle scars, as each surely carried their own unique history across tens or hundreds of duels.
    Ramish Manslayer hails from the town, named after the oasis, on the other side of the water. They have not been spotted there in a number of years as they tends to attract a lot of unwanted attention. Some amount of fame follows them everywhere they go, but in their small hometown of Jedna it is taken to an extreme. They are perhaps the town’s greatest cultural export these days! Too many have heard their story from others and now want to hear it from the source, and too many people want to see if they really are as talented a warrior as people say they are. Coming to Jedna has caused them a lot of trouble in the past, but seeing them by the oasis made me believe that they must still miss their homeland deep down.
    I know that I should have kept walking until I found my own private spot, but I could not resist the temptation to continue observing the living legend that is Ramish. I walked away from the oasis and climbed up a cluster of dusty sandstone rocks. I climbed as carefully and quietly as I could. From this vantage point, I waited and watched for an embarrassingly long time! Ramish sat in perfect stillness as though they were entirely lost within their own head. I became similarly lost in my observation of them.
    Then, suddenly, a group of five people approached Ramish from behind! I counted what I believed were three women and two men. They looked like bandits, dressed in ragged robes that poorly concealed their chainmail and their weapons. Their faces were wrapped in black scarves that left only their eyes visible. I believed they were there for malicious purposes, and I considered calling out to Ramish to warn him, but he was well-aware of their presence and their intentions even as he sat motionlessly.
    As soon as the first of the men had but touched the hilt of his blade, Ramish grabbed his axe and spun around in one quick movement. He slashed through the legs of one of the men as he stood up, and then swung his axe down in an overhead motion into his enemy’s skull. Even from my vantage point, both the sight and sound of this execution were incredibly sickening! Still, I was not able to look away from the ensuing chaos.
    One of the more nimble-looking men ran at Ramish’s left side with a dagger as he kicked his first victim to pull his axe loose. Ramish caught his arm mid-stab and twisted it backward until the dagger fell to the floor. I am sure that I heard his bones cracking as he screamed! Another of the men came with a sword at Ramish’s right side, but his axe was free in time to force the man to jump back. He kicked the nimble-looking man in the groin and then finished him off with an axe to the neck.
    The remaining man along with two women armed with maces encircled him and took guarded stances. They stared at him carefully as they looked for a moment of weakness in Ramish, who continued to look perfectly calm. I was scared and tense, and I wasn’t even part of the fight, so I cannot imagine the terror that the bandits must have been feeling at that moment. Eventually, the three of them snapped and swung their weapons at the manslayer in a very roughly coordinated attack.
    Ramish was ready for them. They perfectly blocked each of the incoming blows with their axe as though it were the easiest thing in the world. It was done in such a forceful way that all three of the assailants were practically stunned into submission, their blades and bodies physically repelled by the parries.
    Ramish then hacked and slashed at them with such incredible speed that my eyes were not able to properly follow each swing. I think it was about ten swings in total, left, then right, then left, then right, bellowing out a blood-curdling scream as he went. He cut their stomachs open and sliced through their necks. I’m sure he was cutting into them long after they were finished! The bodies of the bandits collapsed onto the desert sand and lay motionless. They were surrounded by gory piles of flesh and pools of their own blood.
    The Manslayer stood and stared at the bodies as he caught his breath. And then, the most frightening thing of the day happened, Ramish turned and looked directly at me! Even though I was far away from the action and had been very careful not to gasp or cry, he had known that I was watching perhaps the entire time. I was so worried that he would think I was one of the bandits as he stared into my eyes.
    I believe they must have looked beyond the surface of my irises and into my very soul. They worked out that I meant no harm to them, and simply turned away from me after a few seconds to quietly wipe the blood off of their axe. After that, they sat back down to continue meditating. And yes! I know it sounds crazy that they were able to meditate so calmly after all of that excitement, but every word that I write is true! Despite the action, the bodies, and the blood, none of them could disrupt his inner calm.
    Anyway, I took off in the direction of town, embarrassed that he had spotted me and wanting to share what I had witnessed with my friends at Jedna’s Twin Palm Tavern. Not a single person there believed my incredible story until they went as a group to visit the spot later in the day. Ramish had already left by then, but he had dragged the bodies of his foes into a neat pile near the sandstone rocks I had watched the battle from. There was blood on the sand and chunks of gooey flesh on the tree trunks that made the scale of the brutality I had described undeniable. Ramish Manslayer truly is as deadly as people have claimed, and I doubt that I shall ever witness such skill with a weapon again!

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