The warrior gripped the hilt of his sword with bloody fingers as he staggered up the hillside. Behind him, bodies lay strewn across the earthen floor, the parched soil eagerly soaking up the rich, red blood that seeped from their bodies.
He moved slowly, each foot a leaden weight at the end of legs that trembled with every step. His own life blood dripped from wounds across his body, weakening him with every beat of his heart yet he refused to stop, to join his comrades as they lay in their final resting place.
He raised his eyes towards the vast tree on the crest of the hill and the golden figure that stood in its shadow. Was he dying? Yes, probably. Was she an angel come to take him through to the afterlife? Who knew, although he believed that he was more likely to end up in hell's fire than heaven's gentle glow. All he knew was that the figure drew him, urging him on before he succumbed to death's command.
The sword's tip dragged across the floor as he reached the summit and he paused before the glowing figure. The darkness gathering at the edges of his vision made the figure too bright to make out features but he had an impression of gentleness, of warmth and caring before he stumbled to his knees. He opened his mouth to speak but no words slipped through his barren lips.
As he succumbed to the darkness, he had a sensation of warmth reaching out to him, embracing him in its protective glow. A voice, soft and warm like the setting summer sun, spoke in his ear. "Welcome, brave warrior."