Dionus has begun to stir up breezes for us whenever the heat becomes unbearable. He says it tires him if he does it too frequently, which I find strange, but I cannot stress just how great a relief it is.
Bartola Dionus is famous, probably the only member of my little troop who you would have heard of outside our conversations. Walkers, as you know, are a lethal breed of expressionist. The magic of the wind is no easy task to master. Hundreds of men become Alchemical Healers, thousands become Kinesthenics. Only a few ever become true Walkers in any generation.
The term “Walker” has become widely used for any who can manipulate the air around them. It is the colloquial term now for any member of the expression, regardless of how masterful they are. But a true Walker, one who has earned his feather and kept it, is a rarity.
Dionus is just such a rarity. The fact that he has put his skills to use with such lucrative proficiency makes him all the more intriguing. I met him near Elandir some five years ago. He was sent to assassinate a Shahn in the Northern Range at an annual council meeting along with all of his bannermen.
That meant he was to kill one barbarian king and eight or nine of his warlords. Surrounded by their personal bodyguards, and a small army besides.
What makes a Walker unique is that this is a task he will undertake on his own.
What makes Dionus unique is that he would choose to attack them all at the same time.
The rumors that spread and the legend that grew was that Dionus floated into the enemy camp and slaughtered the lot. The way it was often told, he killed the Shahn and each bannerman in turn. Then he waited for the horde and fought them all day until each and every one was dead.
I don’t want to disparage my friend Dionus, nor claim that he is anything less than his legend. But there is not a man alive, Master or no, who can fight thousands on his own.
I was in the region, and knew this Shahn. In fact it was he who had called upon the Tetrarch for help, claiming a Daedric sect had taken root in the mountains and was harassing his people. I took a contingent of my brothers and hunted them down.
On our way back out of the mountains we altered our course to meet the Shahn and his bannermen. We wanted supplies for our journey south. No sooner had we arrived than did Dionus descend.
Thankfully we were at the edge of the camp. The barbarians in the mountains don’t trust men on horseback, I suppose they’ve been ridden down enough, so we were in the midst of negotiating our passage through their ranks when there was a clap like thunder and the clouds were ripped in two.
They swirled as Dionus tore through them. He came to a sudden stop just above the ground, claps and snaps erupting everywhere as the winds exploded around him. Everyone beneath him was thrown back save the Shahn, before whom Dionus touched down with a dramatic sense of elegance. He only needed to take one step to drive a dagger into the Shahn’s heart.
The bannermen he dispensed with slashes of air and the bursting of their lungs. It was over before the assembled bodyguards knew it had happened. And then Dionus leapt into the sky and was gone.
Looking for someone to blame, the barbarians immediately turned on us. Thankfully we still had our horses, otherwise we may not have escaped so easily.
That was the first time I saw Dionus in action, but it would not be the last. Nor would it be the most impressive. And now, on this journey together, I look forward to studying his art more intently as time allows, for I have never had the chance to see it so closely.