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Under OrdersBlack fabric ruffled quietly as its wearer glided forward smoothly, eyes set on her destination. Her winged helmet was a second defence against the pouring rain, the whirling skulls overhead being the first. A vanguard of lesser sorceresses, mere witches in fact, flanked her on all sides, but the undead elf didn't need the protection. As she watched the tiny village in front of her grow from a speck on the leafy horizon to a life-size town, she called her umbrella down piece by piece until she was left being slowly drenched by the falling droplets. Clutching one of the skulls in one hand, the woman stopped on the outskirts of the little settlement.
"Spread out," she ordered coolly, "Wreck as much havoc as possible. Destroy the town." With a round of gleetul cackling, the witches darted past the dark figure and began to smash great holes in whatever they could reach. With a more dignified purpose, the she elf floated easily over the growing rubble toward where she could sense a certain
The Missing Weapon -7-"Sorry? You'll have to speak up. My old ears don't work as well as they used to," In truth, the old grandmaster's hearing was the best in the village. The stranger's accent was simply hard to decifer, and the elder didn't want to offend him.
"Where is my bow?" Clearly enunciating his words, the darker-skinned elf could be easily understood. However, his query dumbfounded the she-elf that had originally discovered him.
"You're worried about your... bow? Are you aware that I saved your life?" She crossed her arms indignantly.
"Where is it?" The urgency in his voice was evident, and he rubbed his eyes discontentedly.
"Why is your weapon so important, young flame slinger? You are in a very peaceful little town. There will be no threats to you inside the walls." The oldest bieng in the room tried to reason. The stranger just frowned, swinging his legs over the edge of the straw mattress and standing carefully. His fingers trailed on the woven grass until he reached its
A Flame Slinger -6-"So this is the famous flame slinger I've been hearing so much about, the one who's been leaving a trail of ash across the entire Falling Forest? I must say I didn't imagine I'd see him in our sick ward." An elderly elf strode into the small room with only his voice to herald his presence. The much younger female that had been waiting for him rose from her seated position on the floor and bowed respectfully.
"Grandmaster. It is good to see you out of the gardens for once," she said quietly to her old teacher and good friend. "Though, I've never known you to be one to use slang." She added, curious as to her mentor's choice in words.
"Ahh, my apologies. I was just speaking to the two guards you sent back before you. You know how they are," he replied, shrugging. "Would it be better if I were to call our guest a pyromancer?" He looked directly at the sleeping form behind his student. The seemingly unconcious stranger was lying on a soft, grass-filled mattress, but because of t
Heat Stroke -5-Finding the trail she had been following to be at its end, the patrol leader found herself in a small clearing. Fresh water flowed in a clear cascade from between two rocks, and a section of grass near it was flattened like someone had stopped to drink. Scanning the edges of the lapse in trees carefully, she searched for any sign of the path continuing. None of the usual hints were present, at least from what the elf could see. No trodden-down grass, no cloth snagged on the branches that trailed their fingers between the tree trunks. No... nothing. Aside from the flattened turf, there was no leavings of any wildlife in the area.
Pricking her ears curiously, the elf strained to listen to the sounds of the forests. Frogs croaked grouchily and bees hummed away at the flowers. Leaves rustled quietly in their arcane tongue, but what got her attention was the tiny, weak sound she couldn't imagine the source of. Searching for the direction of the noise, the female took several steps to get ac
Remains -4-The late-evening patrol walked casually, but not unwarily, down a hacked-out alley in the thick foliage. At first glance, it looked to be the work of a machete, but upon further inspection a trained eye could see that the slashed bushes had been carved by the curved blade of a Blade Witch. And several of them, too. Careful not to make any noise, the four elves on patrol followed the tunnel of leaves until they came upon a clearing. Barely recognizable in the center were three slumped-over bodies, charred to a crisp as well as the plant life in thier immediate vicinity. Three thin wooden shafts protruded from their scalps, and the circular blades clutched by each identified them as the creators of the path the patrol had followed.
The head of the patrol, seemingly unfazed by the corpses, strode right up to them confidently. With great ease she yanked one of the hardened wood pieces out of a disintegrating body, and studied it carefully. Although the feather fletching had by and large be
A Fallen Traveller -3-A lonely figure slipped soundlessly into the jungle-esque atmosphere of the underbrush, pricking its large ears to listen for a particular sound. Turning silintly in the dense foliage, the elf strained to listen for what he desperately needed over the clicking, screeching, and calling of the diverse inhabitants of this layer of the forest. With a satisfied sigh, the archer crept cautiously toward the quiet burbling his keen ears had picked out over all the other sounds.
Within a few minutes, he had found his destination. A clear spring bubbled up from between two moss-riddled stones. Kneeling beside the water source, the pyromancer drank relieved handfulls of water, careful not to drip any of the liquid on the bow laid in the dead leaves beside him or on the carefully-prepared explosive arrow ready to fire beside it.
When he was satisfied, the elf gathered his belongings and stood, ready to depart. He managed a few steps, but thirst wasn't the only need plaguing the pyro. He stumbled,
Treetops -2-The shadow of an elf flitted soundlessly over the highest leaves of gargantuant trees. Its owner alit on the lightest of branches like a songbird, pausing for only miliseconds before leaping to its next perch. It was just as quiet as its dark companion, for complete silence was not only a necessity, the scorching heat of the sun beat any stray words out if the lithe traveler.
Here, at the very top layer of the upper canopy, there were few other living creatures. A few small reptiles snatched at the ever-present butterflies, but otherwise the nearly flat surface was a leafy wasteland. The nearly unbearable summer heat, unhindered by branches, drove the few mammals down the jungle gym of branches for cooler climates.
The lone journeyer was not impervious to the weather. Yes, traveling up here was safe from other intelligent beings, but it posed its own dangers. With thirst becoming a very prominent need to the blindfolded elf, the population of the treetop was reduced once again to insec
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