LEGENDS OF ETHYR
The Xenetia, home to the largest of trees in both height and width. A land
covered by overgrowth of wild flora spanning for miles and miles. At night the
sky is lost to the canopy of the forest, only a fraction of light from the Moon
and Stars pierce the thick wall of leaves and branches that hang over the
region. Darkness is emphasized, and as the night falls the forest comes alive
with the soft calls of nocturnal creatures.
An ominous atmosphere of silence steals through the lands as predators
rouse to the song of the night, the song of the night hunters.
But the still serenity of nature is broken as a figure stumbles through the
forest floor. A man of tatterred appearance and broken body makes is way,
faltering on the brink of exhaustion at every step and gasping for breath as if
his lungs were coiled by a tightening rope. He struggles on, with no definite
destination nor any purpose with each step, he simply forces his body to
continue to journey deeper and deeper within the darkness of the night.
At last his legs could take no more, and the man collapses into a small
stream. His body has reached it's limit, his muscles no longer respond ot the
beckoning of his mind. Withh all the strength left in his body, he pulles
himself to a sitting position leaning on the gargantuan roots of a Xenetian
He closes his eyes and begs for death to come, but instead a small sinister
voice echoes in his head.
"No," he gasps softly, "no more. No more." He repeaats to himself with each
gasp for air. But within his soul he can sense a malevolent being stirring, the
thing he so despises but cannot escape.
His arm begins to twitch, and his ears hear the beating of his own heart
like the steady beating of a drum. Growing and growing, the beat grows stronger
and louder as if building up to an explosive finale. Half dead half awake, his
mind seems to panic though his body remains slumped on the ground.
"No," he whispers to himself, "no more!" His voice growing desparate as his
mind begins to slip farther and farther away. However, he knows it is futile. He
knows that it is inevitable, the sinister part of his being will take over. It
is no longer a question of if, but a question of when.
He grabs his arm as thorbs and begins to deform, he gasps for air as pain
shoots up his arm and pirces his very fiber. Then a blood-curdling scream rips
thurogh the forest, a scream not so much of pain but of dread.
"Did you-" Lydan Bel spun around suddenly by instinct, "Did you hear
something?" He asked his Captain as he stared off into the distance. Beside him
his Captain stood up and looked off the same direction as well.
"Hmm," Captain Lozaiah Vanhelm murmured also sensing the same thing as his
Right-hand. "We'll have to worry about that later." He said at length, "We have
a lot of ground to cover tonight, let's move out."
With the command from his Captian, Lydan thought notihng else of it and
leaped after the rest of the unit as they made their way through the trees,
leaping and running from branch to branch with the agility and nimbleness that
fit the infamy of their unit so well.
Lozaiah is Captain to an elite unit of Hunters. These were the best of the
best of the best Xenetian Rangers, and with good reason. Rangers gaurded borders
of Xenetia, and protected the populace from the dangers of the Xenetian wild
itself. The Hunters did the same, but at the most treacherous time of night.
Commonly referred ot as Omnidark by the vast majority of Xenetians, it was a
phenomenon found only in Xenetia where light is seemingly completely eradicated
from the lands and the most vile of creatures prowl the night. Thus a Hunters
lifespan is largely expected to be significantly short, resulting in the
position becoming a condemnation rather than a commendation.
However, there exists a single unit of Hunter Rangers that have far
exceeded expectations. So long have they cheated the odds that urban legends
have been wrought of Phantoms that roam the Markwood Region.
Lozaiah held up a fist, and immediately his unit of twelve stopped. He
waved two fingerrs, singalling each to be alert: They were not alone. No sooner
had they gotten in position, when a creature dove from above landing right
beside Lydan. Without heistation, it immediately swung an appendage at
"Malkyrs!" Lydan yelled out, just barely dodging the attack as he leaped
backwards. Instinct took over as he drew his Bow with one hand and the other
drew an arrow, and with a single smooth flow of motion he fired an arrow at the
attacker before his feet landed on the adjacent tree. His arrow flew true,
hitting dead center between the eyes.
But it had barely even begun as more Malkyrs dropped from above and another
group sprung from below, climbing up the tree barks on all fours with astounding
speed. Malkyrs are creatures of pure malevolence. Humanoids that are able
to walk on bony digitigrade legs but prefer to crouch on all fours when in
combat. From behind their shoulders sprout two more limbs, but with a bone-flesh
blade extending from the elbow. Their faces are sunken and the where the eyes
would be are seeminly hollow. Malkyrs have not a single strand of hair on the
rotten skin that is stretched over clearly potruding bones. Their very
appearance induces ill feelings in one's stomach. It was believed that they were
once a gentle race of respectable intelligence but now cursed and wretched,
their only purpose is destruction and death. Very few may share sympathy to a
being so corrupted form it's original state, but to Hunter Rangers they are
simply an regularly opponent that matche their skill and ability with brutality
Lydan didn't stop to watch if his arrow was sufficient, he was confident it
was dead. Swiftly he made his way to his Captain at the forefront, slaying
another Malkyr as he went. Lydan's assistance was not neccessary for Lozaiah was
not Captain only for his leadership ability, but more so for his unmatched
prowess in battle. He wielded a one-of-a-kind Bowblade carved straight from the
bones of a Great Eagle. The curved limbs of the bow were edged to sharpness and
at each tip extended an icicle like point. No one could handle the weapon but
Lozaiah Vanhelm, he could fire arrows at distant targets and in the same swift
flow of movement slice or stab nearby opponents.
The battle lasted for only a fleeting moment, as the Hunters made quick of
their enemy. Fortunately, there was not many of them to cause much of a problem.
But with the death of these individuals, Lozaiah knew several more would come at
once. It would be best to have an advantage at that moment.
Lozaiah scanned his men, to make sure they were complete and intact. "We'll
take them here." He said, and with a wave of his hand they moved as one in
getting to positions for the battle that would come.