The stories preceeding the tale of Claudius and Derlo, set in the fantasy world of Naradun.
 
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 Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)

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Renate
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PostSubject: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:21 pm

The land of Rindor has not known much conflict since the tribal wars of its early history. Mighty cities have risen, relationships have flourished and alliances have been formed since the entire kingdom was united under one banner. However, peace seems a fragile thing nowadays, for reasons much unknown. The night gremlins of Thinya have retreated into their caverns, not letting any outsiders cross their borders, not even among their own kin. The northern orcish tribes have grown more distant towards their allies, often reacting with hostility towards intruders, and the arvel seem to have all but disappeared from the surface of the world. Monthly emissaries do go back and forth from the underground kingdom of the Hun'var as well as the frozen wastes of Northmarrow, but they rarely, if ever bring any sensible nor useful information back with them. Rumors would have it the emissaries are either bribed to keep silent about something... or brainwashed.

As if the diplomatic troubles weren't enough, rampaging monsters have proven to be an increasing problem within the kingdom. The primitive goblin tribes scattered throughout the land have become bolder, and bandits ravage the countrysides, raiding caravans carrying food and other supplies. Mercenaries are in high demand these days, as one hardly can feel safe outside of town limits at all anymore. The town of Valesburg in particular has been facing increasingly violent attacks from neighbouring Theshi, and daily, mercenaries and glory-seekers arrive at the town, some looking to earn some coin, some seeking to help others, other again in search of both. Our story begins in the town barracks, where the local captain of the guard, Terrence Greymoore is sitting behind his desk, his mouth forming a friendly smile from underneath his graying mustaches.

"I hear you wish to do work for the guard, ey? Well, what can you offer our backwater village? It'll require either a strong arm or wits and magic, lady." The woman in front of him was dressed in a dark brown leather coat, and smirked at him from underneath a large, pointy hat made of the same tough material while she rolled a straw from one corner of her mouth to the other.

"Or a pretty little mix of both, captain. Rest assured the town'll be much safer once I'm around." "Very well then, let me just get your name then, so that I may write you down as enlisted." The captain reached for his quill and looked at the darkly dressed stranger inquisitively. "Inette, captain." Greymoore arched an eyebrow, apparently expecting more. After being faced with silence he merely shrugged and noted down her name. "Very well Inette, you shall have your first assignment by tomorrow. Please return by noon."

"It shall be so," Inette replied, bowing lightly while adjusting her hat, then turned around and walked out of the office, the sound of leather boots making soft thuds against the wooden floor. "I'll be damned, they keep sending their strangest selection over here don't they..." The captain shook his head, staring down at the list of names before him.


Last edited by Renate on Sun May 11, 2008 8:33 am; edited 2 times in total
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Lainiel

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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:03 pm

Just outside the barracks, a short and strange looking Elf was sitting, observing the area. She was examining the people who passed by, the guards marching through the streets and a homeless guy who was begging for money. Then she turned her gaze to a group of trainees fighting each other with wooden swords. Soon they too were going to fight and perhaps die in the battle to defend the little town of Valesburg. She saw one of the trainees clutching his stomach after being poked by one of the wooden swords, screaming some swearwords out loud. Lainiel shook her head, that little puppy of a man was by far not ready for fighting.

She stretched her arms, relaxing herself as she slowly crawled against the wall she leaned again, positioning herself for a nap. She would be in need of some energy if she was going to fight the bandits. She wasn’t really a person who loved to fight but the people in this town seemed to need every single able man and woman to bolster their defenses. So she decided to help the town, for free. She was not a greedy bounty-hunter unlike most that came here to gain money out of another’s problem. Bounty-hunters were no better than the Theshi bandits, in her opinion. She yawned and stretched herself out further, lying down on the floor, careless about the passing Humans who looked at her strangely. They possibly wondered why she was lying down on the floor and if all Elves were like her.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:25 pm

People came, people left, and more than once did they cast a glance at the elven woman lying outstretched on the floor, sleeping peacefully whilst they did their best not to step on her. After a while, an elderly man stepped up to the outstretched one, raising an eyebrow curiously while stroking his mustache. He cleared his throat, putting a fist in front of his mouth as he seemed a bit unsure whether or not to wake her.

"Ehhrm, 'scuse me, but are you alright miss? I was informed that one of the elvenkind had fainted out here?" He nudged her carefully, kneeling down in case she needed assistance getting up.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:16 pm

Pleasant dreams made the Elf sleep well and she was not amused when something awoke her. Inside her mind, she cursed herself; she slept too deep and slipped her guard. Something or someone was trying to wake her up and it could just be someone plotting her death. Lainiel was never fully unprepared, however. First she opened one eye, seeing and examining the old man kneeling beside her. Then the elf opened a second eye. In an instant she rose up, trying to push the human away, making some sort of snarling noise. Just a second passed when Lainiel understood that she made a mistake and that the Human did not seem to have any bad intentions at all. Shyly she backed off, looking around for any possible directions where she could flee to, would the situation require her to.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 2:48 pm

A bit shocked at the sudden reaction, the elderly officer stumbled a foot or two backwards, nearly falling backwards, his chainmail rattling. "My word, edgy are we? Not strange in a place like this I s'pose. Pardon if I scared you ma'am, but you might want to find an inn if you're feeling sleepy."

Stroking his mustache, he eyed her over, his eyebrow still raised in an inquisitive manner. Surely strange folk, these elves.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:08 pm

For a moment, the Elven girl was deciding what to do, she wouldn’t mind some more sleep but she wasn’t in the mood for being woken up by an old Human again. When the man said she should find an inn, she sniffed, offended. She hated sleeping inside and did not understand how Humans could possibly like doing so. Lainiel generally preferred to stay out of human buildings at all, she always felt like she was choking if she was inside.
After a short minute of hesitation, Lainiel threw a blaming glance at the Human before walking off north, heading towards the exit of the town. If those silly Humans didn’t like her sleeping on the ground, then it was time for some hunting. Theshi-hunting, perhaps.
She patted the dagger hanging at her belt on her left side confidently, her lips curling in a grin. Yes, the Theshi deserved to be hunter like the worthless prey they are and she was not going to rest before she could sharpen her nails with Theshi bones.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:22 pm

Shaking his head at her somewhat surprising and startling behaviour, the captain shrugged and turned on his heels, walking back into his office. Dinnae seem like the most social of people. Then again all manner of strange folk wander by at these times, was certainly not the weirdest one around...

He thought back at the oddly dressed woman who approached his office earlier and his lips twitched before forming a slight smile. Odd or no, the results of the sudden rush of willing arms were undisputable. The Theshi attacks were becoming less frequent, and in time, perhaps Valesburg would know peace once again.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Fri Apr 11, 2008 3:42 pm

Tukol plucked the last bolt from the mangled corpse before him, fishing out a piece of cloth before carefully cleaning the metal surface of the bolt while irritably muttering to himself. "Bloody Theshi goo, sticks to'em like scumbags to these woods..." satisfied at last with the shape of the bolt, he carefully inserted it into his quiver before taking a brief overview over his handiwork. One of the red-skinned savages was lying on the ground with several shrapnels deeply dug into his body, another lay facefirst on the ground with four still bleeding stab wounds on its back. A third one, covered in bleeding holes from top to toe lay at his feet. "Three dead, not bad, not bad at all." He couldn't help but smile at the sheer stupidity of the Theshi. Following the pathing of the forest, they had walked right past the bushes he was waiting inside, and not understood a thing as he threw one of his shrapnel bombs at them. First when it went off, the sharp pieces of metal flying left and right, killing one of them did they realize they were under attack. His quillfire crossbow had made short work of the second one, and before the third one could fully understand what was going on he had leaped forth from his hiding place, kicked him straight in the stomach and stabbed him in the back until he toppled over.

He was about to leave when he suddenly seemed to remember something, unsheathing his dagger, he systematically approached each corpse, grabbed a fistful of hair and cut their scalps clean off. "Proof! They always need proof. These should earn me a piece of silver or two." He fished out a pouch from his coat and put the grizly trophies inside before pocketing the pouch once more. He put his hand above his eyes and stared up at the sky, barely visible through the canopy. He sneered as the sun nearly blinded his sensitive eyes, and he hastily looked down again. "Quite a time of travel back to town... might as well spend the night." He fastened his crossbow, then headed off into the woods. He knew better than to follow the roads, unlike his most recent victims...


Last edited by Revanekus on Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:55 am

It was growing dark as Lainiel went out. She was outside the village of Valesburg for several hours now, stalking some Theshi, unfortunately they walked in large groups of eight and nine. Not even the strongest of bears from the cold north could win from such a group of Theshi. Thus, Lainiel hid herself in the bushes, watching how one group of Theshi were making a campfire just a few feet away. She was waiting till one or two of the Theshi would separate themselves from the main group. That required some patience, because it took till the sun was down before one Theshi walked away from the camp, on his own. Apparently he was going to collect some wood for the campfire.
With her body low to the ground, Lainiel followed her target stealthily and very cat-like. All she had to do now was waiting for the perfect moment, charge and then kill her prey. It couldn’t be too difficult; she just needed a moment when the lonely Theshi was completely unprepared.

Walking towards a group of little trees the Theshi mumbled angrily, “dem bossies always let Kraf do the hard word. Dem bossies too lazy to do filthy work themselves!”
With a glitter in his eyes the Theshi who was named Kraf stroked his woodcutting axe happily. He could use it to cut these trees, “But, why not use it for a… Better purpose?” said Kraf to himself and he grinned.

Lainiel was prowling closer towards the Theshi now; this seemed to be quite a good moment to attack it. Then a twig snapped noisily under het foot. She froze. Damned twig! It had betrayed her presence now.

Kraf turned around, immediately awakened out of his daydreaming by the snapping twig. Fortunately for Lainiel, she was able to hide herself well in the long grass.
“Just a cursed animal” Kraf ensured himself. His attention to his job had returned though, there was no time to linger; it was not too safe to be away from the others. Besides, they would be angry if he took too long. The Theshi hurried towards a little tree not so far away and began his attempts to clumsily chop it down.

This was the time to kill her prey. Lainiel sped forward and before the chopping Kraf realized the danger, Lainiel was behind him, one dagger against his back and the other one prepared to slice his throat.


((OOC: Just hoping I'm not posting anything in conflict with the lore here. If I do, blame Morgan (Revanekus) for creating his lore in conflict with my posts :O ))
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:42 am

The Theshi instantly froze, well aware of the fact he would be meeting an untimely end should he move. He bared his sharp teeth in a snarl, but waas too frightened to make any loud noise. His hands let go of the flimsy axe, and it hit the forest floor with a soft thud. Kraf's eyes darted from side to side. He dared not look behind himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:19 am

For a moment Lainiel hesitated, what made her have the right to kill another humanoid creature? Then she reminded herself of what the Theshi did to the poor villagers of Valesburg and how many innocent travelers they had killed. They were evil and nothing else. Each killed Theshi made the world a little bit more pleasant to live in for the civilized races. She smirked. Then she stabbed through the creature’s stomach with one dagger, slicing his neck with the other. Blood spew out of the creature’s neck.
For a moment, Lainiel stared at her dead prey glorified. Then she started to wonder what to do with it, she couldn’t just let its corpse lay there. She grinned; a good idea appeared in her mind. She’d drag the corpse back to the camp of Theshi; surely they would be warned by seeing one of their brethren dead, if not horrified. She would have to watch out though and make sure she wasn’t being seen. After looking around, checking if there were no other Theshi around who could ambush her suddenly, she started to drag Kraf towards the Theshi-camp.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:41 am

The remaining Theshi were apparently settling, as night steadily approached. They opened their rugged backpacks and unpacked their rations, with the exception of a grumbling theshi chosen to stand guard while the others ate. "Where Kraf!? He should be back by now!" A bulky theshi, slightly taller than the rest of them, looked around with a displeased stare. "Kraf stupid, boss! He probably hitting tree with wrong side of the axe!" The group roared with laughter, with the exception of the one apparently in charge. "Knu! Go find Kraf! Beat him up and bring back! Stay on guard, tallsies coulda killed'im!" A grumbling theshi got to his feet, nodding at his superior before unsheathing his sword, making his way out of the camp, heading in the direction the deceased Kraf went a few minutes ago.

"Stupied Kraf, prolly dead, prolly killed! Stupied Kraf never listen to us, he so dumb!" Knu angrily made his way through the forest floor, swearing and muttering quite loudly. Theshi aren't very well known for their discretion, and he made quite a lot of noise as he went, chopping down thin branches that got in his way and noisily treading through the occasional bush.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:05 pm

Lainiel was still dragging Kraf towards the Theshi camp, when her ears suddenly twitched. She heard something. Her senses were better than those of normal Elves, she had trained it well. Besides, Elves weren’t too bad hearing stuff in the first place. She could clearly hear a Theshi approaching not too far away; it didn’t have to make so much noise to be noticeable to her. She would have to come up with a plan. If the Theshi would see Karf’s killer, then he would surely attack. Lainiel already had a plan, however. The Theshi was the one going to die, not her.

Quickly she scanned the ground for a branch which was long enough for her plan. Fortunate for her there was one lying on the floor, begging to be used for Lainiel’s ingenious plan with unspoken words, although it was a tad too small to her liking. She picked up the branch and rammed it right through Fark’s head, in such a way that it would look like the Theshi’s head was impaled by an arrow from a distance. She then took her staff off her back, digging it into the Theshi’s skin with one side, putting the other into the ground.

Lainiel took a few steps backwards and smiled confidently at her trap; from a distance it looked like Fark was standing up and like he had an arrow through his head. That would hopefully draw the incoming Theshi’s attention.
After she ensured herself that the trap was well-set, Lainiel ran away for a few yards and hid herself in the long grass, awaiting the second Theshi.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:24 pm

Just as he thought he had founda good spot to spend the night, he was interrupted by noise in the distance. "More of the ilk?" He narrowed his eyes, seeing as clear as any other would at day thanks to his nightvision. He scratched his cheek as he witnessed a quite bizarre act a distance to his right. An elven woman seemed to be desecrating the corpse of a theshi bandit, impaling him on a stick and putting him up in the woods. "Never did understand'em..." Tukol decided to stay hidden, crouching in the bushes, blending in quite nicely with his dark skin and clothes. Only his narrow, gleaming eyes were visible in the night, but he doubted anyone would notice.

After a while, another theshi noisily made its appearance, grumbling and muttering while chopping away at the local flora. Tukol calmly waited in the bush as the smelly creature stopped dead in its tracks at the sight of its companion before rushing towards it, angrily yelling at it. "Dumb sod, doesn't even realize he's dead?" Tukol murmured while he slowly, carefully unstrapped his crossbow, and started loading it with bolts, all the while watching the scene taking place before him.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:28 pm

"Karf! Karf! Stupid Karf! Get back to camp! Where wood! Karf!" Knu angrily shouted at the standing corpse as he made his way towards him, sword held high in a menacing manner. He was too busy shouting angrily to notice the grotesque nature of the impaled being before him though, until he reached it. "...Karf?" The creature scratched its head, staring at the impaled corpse before him, then looked around while clutching his flimsy sword with both hands. He opened his mouth to call for help.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 12:57 pm

Lainiel silently congrulated herself for setting up a successful trap. When the Theshi was standing in front of his dead comrade, confused and unprepared, Lainiel jumped upwards, charging the Theshi while screaming some kind of battle-cry. Well, it was more or less some savage roar. She plunged on the ugly creature, using both daggers to stab through the creature’s chest and head the same time.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:39 pm

Knu let out a shriek of pain and surprise as he was impaled by sharp metal. He hit the ground with a heavy thud, his sword landing beside him. Blood dotted the grass, and after he fell, a nearly unearthly silence followed. Then, voices could be heard in the distance. They knew. Angry shouting, the sound of several pairs of feet making their way throughout the woods. The theshi were on the move, and they were approaching fast.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 1:55 pm

"Bloody fool..." Tukal swore as he dug through one of the inner pockets of his coat, fishing out a small round object. It was about the size of a fist, and coal black. A fuse was sticking out of it. He crept a little closer, hid behind a nearby tree trunk, and switched off the safety trigger of his crossbow. "Crude tactic, executed by a crude mind. Praise yourself lucky I was near, lass..." he calmly sat there, awaiting the nearing theshi, his eyes scanning the surrounding terrain, taking in as much detail as he was able to.

He waited until the first of the creatures came within his line of sight, a bit to his right. He calmly let him pass, then let a second one pass. As a third one came by though, he ignited the fuse of the bomb in his palm, then hurled it in front of the charging creature. It looked downwards in mild puzzlement, then there was a loud pang as the bomb exploded right before it, sharp pieces of metal flying in all directions and hitting him straight on. The theshi fell to the ground and clutched its face while screaming hysterically, and panicked shrieks and angry shouting was heard from all sides. Tukal grinned to himself as he raised his crossbow to level with his eyes, calmly awaiting a runner-by.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 2:45 pm

"Gather at me! GATHER! AT! ME!" The big theshi shouted loudly as his kinsmen were running all over the place in a panic. Angry shouts were heard left and right, and the large red leader looked around himself with infuriated eyes. He gritted his teeth as he saw another of his kinsmen bursting through some nearby bushes, several crossbow bolts in his back as he clumsily fell forward, hitting the ground facefirst, blood gushing from his wounds.

Eventually, the primitive creatures managed to gather round, only five of them still standing. They clutched their blades, looking left and right. They heard nothing but eerie silence as they looked blindly into the night.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:16 pm

In the chaos caused by the explosions, Lainiel had managed to find cover in nearby bushes. From the bushes, she saw the five surviving Theshi gathering up. They stared into the cold darkness, where she stood just a minute ago. She knew that the bushes weren’t going to keep her save much longer; the Teshi would come into action soon. She smiled and stroked the leaves of the bush. What used to be a two feet tall bush with un-harmful leaves was now changing into a small, thorny bush. Lainiel rose to her feet, revealing herself as her former hiding place slowly changed under her druidic magic into a low wall of thorns, surrounding her protectively.

Lainiel snarled at the Theshi, taunting them to fight. She readied herself in an offensive stance, clenching both daggers in her fists. Perhaps she was going to die here; against five Theshi. She preferred to die worthy as a hunter, than to be killed while on the run as pitful prey. She growled once more at the five Theshi, as if she wanted to say, “Come then, fight me, if you dare.”
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sat Apr 12, 2008 3:23 pm

They didn't need further encouragement, and with a collective roar of anger, the band charged the lone elf, raising their blades with murderous eyes as their sharp teeth gleamed in the night. They didn't notice the thorny wall surrounding her before the first among them tripped over the thorns, shrieking in pain as he landed facefirst into the bush. The rest of them angrily hacked at the little wall, quickly destroying enough of the thorns for the first of them to leap at Lainiel, his blade whistling through as he brought it down in a downward arc.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sun Apr 13, 2008 5:32 am

Casting more druidic spells, the thorns strangled themselves around the feet of several Theshi, while Lainiel sliced her blade towards the first Theshi, avoiding his first attack. With her second, smaller dagger she began randomly stabbing any other Theshi coming too close.

The first Theshi’s head was being stabbed by Lainiel’s longest dagger.
The second Theshi felt a dagger impaling his eye and later, his chest.
The third Theshi was caught in thorns strangling up around his leg, just like the fourth Theshi. The fourth Theshi was being smart, however, cutting the thorns off him.
The fifth Theshi, who was apparently the leader of the band, was not caught in any thorn or hold off by any weapon. Kicking the thorns aside, he held his huge, two handed, spiked club up high, ready to strike Lainiel with the deadly weapon.

The situation looked pretty hopeless for Lainiel but she was planning to at least take three more Theshi with her into death. After taking a half-a-second long break, she continued to hack around with her daggers wildly.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sun Apr 13, 2008 8:49 am

The chieftan roared in triumph as he spotted an opening in Lainiel's defense, about to crush her head with his club. Madness danced in his eyes as his hands clenched his weapon tightly... then went limp, releasing the wooden shaft as the club harmlessly hit the ground with a thud. Blood gushed from the mouth of the theshi chieftan as he stared down at the pointy end of a long, sharp dagger sticking out from his chest. He gurgled once, then fell forward, landing at Lainiel's feet.

As the red brute fell, Lainiel could see two brightly glowing yellow eyes, illuminating a grinning, grey face. He was quick to act however, as more of them were still alive. Spinning around, he was barely able to dodge an incoming strike from a blunt axe, rolling over to the side before charging the red-skinned creature head on.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:48 pm

Lainiel nodded at the Night Gremlin as a sign of appreciation, before continuing to slaughter the remaining Theshi. Without hesitation, she stabbed one of the Theshi right through his heart. Then she started hewing at another, while doing her best to avoid her target’s retaliating blows. This partially failed, her opponent managing to slice a little cut into the Elf’s arm. Lainiel yelped out of pain, returning the favour by punching the red-skinned savage right on his face with her bare fist, before finishing the creature off. The Theshi died with eight stab-wounds.

Now there were three Theshi remaining, all eager to revenge their fallen brethren. Angered by the loss of the kinsmen and facing death, these Theshi were totally fearless, doing whatever was in their power to escape a journey to the afterworld.
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PostSubject: Re: Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)   Sun Apr 13, 2008 2:09 pm

Relieved that the elf seemed to understand he attempted to aid her, Tulok furiously dodged the crude axe whose wielder seemed to have made it his goal in life to end him. He leaped back, and collided against a tree, only barely managing to duck as the axeblade struck the tree where his head was only half a second ago with a thud. His eyes darted up to find that the angry creature had managed to get the axe stuck, and with a wide grin he got to his feet, slicing at the theshi.

The red-skinned savage managed to ward off several of his attacks, but his arms eventually suffered heavy injury from his sharp blades, and in a matter of seconds, Tulok had buried his daggers down to their hilts within his chest. Tulok breathed heavily, relieved that the other two appeared to focus on the elf. Gritting his teeth, he attempted to yank his daggers loose from the fallen theshi, so that he might aid the elf, lest she be overwhelmed.
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Humble Beginnings (In the year 2987 AA)
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