Slicing silently through the air, the arrow stayed true to its path through the underbrush and tall grasses. The tail fletching picks up small amount of morning dew from the grass as it clears the last of the brush and closes in on its target. The ears of the buck twitch slightly, not from any perceptible noise, but from a guttural instinct of danger. Eyes widened, the deer’s body twitches, and released a gasp of air, before hitting the forest floor. While slowly rising at the edge of the thicket, a figure in the shadows whispers reverently “Udanvgalvda adahisdi” meaning “A clean kill” in the tongue of his mother’s people. Slowly approaching the fallen beast, the figure walks into the light piercing the forest canopy. Drawing a curved dagger from his belt, he kneels next to the deer, gently but efficiently sliding the knife into the rib cage of the animal, extinguishing the last bit of life from the beast. Closing the eyes of his prey, Evaryn begins a small prayer “Walo Unali’i” “Thank you, friend” “Nihi adanedi sidanelvhi” “You give to my family” “Ayv vgalutsv nihi iyuqu uwagudisv” “As I will give to yours one day”.
He stands, unstringing his bow, and his memories take him back to his childhood and the many days he would spend in the woods, with his mother learning the hunt. She was of the druids to the west, one of their hunters, providing for the people of the tribe. Passing down more than the skill of the hunt, Evaryn learned rituals and customs and blessings of her people, forming a spiritual, some might say magical, connection with nature. Binding the legs of the beast, he carries it on his shoulders to his small campsite, and begins collecting the rest of his belongings. Relying on the land to provide his needs, he carries little more than an assortment of tools in his pack, the bulk of his gear being small shield emblazoned with a pair of wings, wreathed in flame, a falcata, and a small axe.
Hefting his pack and his slain prey onto his shoulders, he could hear his mother’s voice as if she were her with him. “You carry too much” she would admonish him “nature will provide what you need.” Unfortunately, experience taught him that run-ins with raiders, poachers, and unnatural creatures were not uncommon this close to the Divide. In those cases, having a sturdy shield, a sharp blade, and the training given to him by his father proved invaluable.
After walking for the better part of the morning, Evaryn finally sees the small grove of trees, molded into dwellings using the ancient human art of woodshaping. As he made his way through the underbrush, to the village several humans welcomed him home after a long hunt. Though he was half-elven, Evaryn never experienced distain from others in the village, despite his paternal linage. A human woman tending a small herb garden outside one of the treehomes smiles warmly at his approach. Lifting her head from her stooped position, she stands slowly, putting most of her weight on her good leg. "Oh little cub, Hurdak’s favor shines on you.”
His mother, Dianni examined the beast on Evaryn’s shoulders. Approving she says “A clean kill,” quietly, secretly she leaned in closer, “Your father would be proud of the man you’ve become.” He smiled, despite the missed emotions such a comment evoked him. Evaryn began to take the beast into his home to clean it, when the sound of a horn rang in the air to the east. Several shouts started to travel through town. “Raiders!” They all exclaimed. People began scurrying through town, leaving their daily activities behind, and quickly arming themselves. Men and women started carrying their weapons to the eastern edge of the village, through the thicket. Weapons for most of them consisted of bows and hunting implements, while some were more appropriately armed with combat gear. “Quickly! To the eastern meadows, rally the people!” Cried Evaryn’s mother. “I will gather the little ones and elderly, and take them into the deep roots.” Dropping the deer with a thud, Evaryn began sprinting eastwards, passing most of the others on the way.
Reaching the edge the eastern meadow, Evaryn found a large boulder to perch upon so he could survey the danger. From the east was a small patrol of elven slavers, looking for easy pickings just west of the Great Divide. Hearing the villagers approach behind him Evaryn signaled for them to remain low and hidden behind underbrush at the edge of the meadow. Muttering a few syllables of a hymn he remembered from childhood, felt magic begin to flow into his vocal chords, usually used by his father for leading musical services, Evaryn found immensely useful for shouting into the distance. Wanting the day not to be stained by bloodshed, he began to bellow, unnaturally loud. “Halt and come no further! You will find no easy prey here, slavers!” The patrol paused, surprised by the command. Evaryn waited, as did the rest of the villagers, to see the elven slavers’ response.
An answer came quickly, as a crossbow bolt, loosed by the leader, bounced off the rock near Evaryn’s feet. And the elves began their march onward. “Very well.” The half-elf shouted to the raiders. “You shall see the might of our people and our forest!” Now the elves were within firing range, Evaryn motioned for the people to begin a volley. All the towns people began loosing arrows, spears, and rocks, towards the elven caravan. The elves began returned the fire in kind, and began closing on the edge of town faster. Evaryn jumped down from the rock, landing in a kneeled position. Digging his fingers into the dirt, he began chanting a druidic prayer. Soon the grass beneath the feet of the elves began to grow into vines, attempting to entangle the raiders and slow their progress. Evaryn began peppering the raiders with arrows of his own, dropping more than a few elves.
As the elves continued to close, he dropped his bow, and took up his shield and falcata, a curved sword traditional to the elves that were approaching. Using the only physical reminders of his fateher, he began tapping his sword on his shield rhythmically, and chanting with the beat, an aura began to emanate from his sounds and cover the militia behind him, who began taking up melee arms in preparation for battle. Evaryn then lead the charge of the militia into the raiders, using the agility of the forest, and battle tactics of the people…