The Rise of a Hero.. and the Fall from Grace
– the Jethal Silverwing story
Chapter 1: in the beginning…
Years ago, before the corruption and the opening of the Plane of Hate – Kithicor’s Forest was a rich haven for the Rangers of Antonica. There in the full thick forest, you could find merchants and trainers.. and Greenwood Fletching, a small family business supplying quality fletching supplies at reasonable prices.
Greenwood Fletching was run by Jaeson and Jessicara Greenwood, who where raising their twin boys.. Jarris and Jethal.
Jarris and Jethal were young and very adventurous, born with a ranger’s wanderlust – they loved to explore, and Jethal found a hobby of mapping their newly found lands.
Having been escorted home by the Guards of Highkeep.. and countless trips to the Sheriffs office in Rivervale, they decided it was time to be a bit more sneaky and stole an invisablity potion from a shop outside the Fools Gold.
Sneaking passed the Deputies, they crept into the Misty Thicket and watched for hours as the young Halflings began their training. Slowly, they made their way to the Great Wall and scaled a guard tower.. there, for the first time, they saw the goblins..
Sinister and Green, the Runnyeye Goblins looked menicing and fasinating to the boys and they felt compelled, as natural explorers, to investigate.. after witnessing a small battle between the Goblins and a few warriors.. Jethal and Jarris became more bold and wandered silently toward the camp.. unfotunately for them, they did not realise the potion had worn off.
“AARRRGGG!!! Skinny Creatures Invade!!” a shrill voice shouted from behind them as light sparkles of mana began to swirl around them. Jarris cried out and tried to run, but his feet sank into the ground.. a magical snare wrapped around Jethal’s ankles as he tried to make his escape.. and he tripped.
“No No !! help us !!” Jethal screamed as the Goblin advanced on them.
“No help for yu !! You DIE!” the large Goblin cried out as waves of mana streamed forth from his hands.. Jethal’s eyes felt heavy as his head swam in fatigue.. a red haze clouded his eyes.. and he heard voices in the distance…
“What was that?”
“Look, it’s Mooto!!”
“Karana’s Thunder!! the Greenwood boys!!”
Seemingly unphased by the approaching Deputies and adventuring Halflings.. the Goblin continued his assault.. as Jethal’s eyes closed, he saw a ball of fire consume Jarris, flames shot out, and began to burn the back of his shirt as jarris fell to the ground, screaming in terror and pain.
The Deputies swarmed in and attacked, but the goblin escaped into Runnyeye, as the mob tried desparately to extinguish the flames, and rushed the boys back to Rivervale for medical attention.
Three Days Later…
Jethal opens his eyes to find himself in a room at the Weary Foot Rest Inn.. by his side is Hendri Mrubble, of the Cleric’s Guild house, who is changing the dressing on his left shoulder.
“Awake now master Jethal?” she smiles sweetly, “Don’t ya move, son.. you’ve had quite a couple of days”
Hendi completes the bandaging and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her – he hears voices in the next room.. then moments later, his mother sobbing..
*sigh* way to go.. got mom crying now, father will have our hide for sure this time – he mutters to himself as he looks around the room – hmmm.. where’s jarris.. probably at home, or.. out.. playi.. oh Tunare no.. – Jethal felt a new emptiness in his soul for the first time in his life.. he could not feel his brother in his heart..
NOOOOO!!! Oh Tunare NOOOO!! Jethal’s cries echo’d through Rivervale.. Jessicara rushed in and held him as he he sobbed in hysterics.. Jarris was dead.
Chapter 2 – Vengence has a price
Jaeson paced back and forth in their house in the days that followed the death of his son.. anger and rage filled his heart and no wisdom or solice from friend or family could comfort him.
Without a word spoken, he packed one hundred arrows and his Trueshot bow and marched across Misty Thicket to the entrance of Runneye.
The next day his head was to be found on a pike just inside Runnyeye at the Beholder’s Maze entrance.. and a wave of goblin made their way through secret tunnels into Kithicor’s Forest and to the cabin of Greenwood Fletchings…
Still recovering in Rivervale, Jethal was brought sad news.. his father, slain while seeking vengence in Runnyeye.. and his mother, burned alive in their home as retaliation for the assault.
Jethal was now an orphan, and the soul surviving Greenwood
Chapter 3 – a gem in the rough.
Having no relatives alive, Jethal was taken in by the halflings of Rivervale.. primarily by Hendi Mrubble.. but he quickly grew into a lovable scamp that everyone called ‘son’.
Being the only wood elf growing up in Rivervale did have some problems, of course.. as he grew taller than even the Sheriff himself.. some of the young halflings began to taunt him, as youngens tend to do with anyone different.
One of their favorite tricks was to learn the spell “Spirit of Wolf” and cast it on jethal as he ran by on errands.. sending him shooting off without warning, usually he fell into the pond, or tripped up over a passing rat.. until one day..
Jethal was running from the Tagglefoot druid farm to give a note to one of the deputies out guarding Misty Thicket when, like clockwork, one of the young druids just had to cast SoW on him.. and sent him flying into a woman.. a wood elf..
She raised an eyebrow as young Jethal bounced off her and fell to the ground.. dressed in Ivy Etched Armor she looked powerful and strong as she hoisted him to his feet.
“Just where are you going in such a hurry, boy?” she asked, dusting off her leggings.. “I’m so so sorry, lady.. it wont happen again!” jethal asked for forgiveness. She looked slightly annoyed and states..
“.. don’t call me lady”
She invites Jethal to eat with her, and he tells her his story.. the adventure, the goblin.. and death.. She listens intently then sends him back on his way, leaving jethal to his chores.
A few weeks later, Jethal returns to his room at the Inn where he finds a Bow, Quiver of Arrows and a note..
“Learn it.. Use it.. ~DW”
Jethal’s eyes grow wide as he inspects the bow.. so much like his fathers, except for an pair of wings, etched in silver, on the handle..
Jethal seeks apprentenship with Morin Shadowbane in Kithicor’s Forest and his training in the arts of the Ranger begin, and Morin learns quickly that this young wood elf is a natural..
But his leasons are cut short..
Chapter 4 – The Battle of Bloody Kithicor.. (read the in-game Lore: [[Bloody Kithicor]]
The quiet of Rivervale was broken suddenly as the TeirDal Army invaded the sleepy town in the middle of the night.. most of the Deputies were killed on sight.. the rest of the townsfolk where brought to the centre of town and held prisoner.
A TeirDal soldier burst into Jethal’s room and saw him running for his closet and his bow.. he grabbed Jethal by the shirt and lifted the lad, pinning him to the wall.
“My my my.. what have we here?” the Soldier smirked, “an added surprise.. it’ll be a pleasure to hand you over to the mistress, she’s been needing a new slave since she tore her last one, limb from limb..” he laughed loudly as he dragged Jethal from the room into the center of town and put him with the rest of the captives.. for good measure, he struck jethal with the hilt of his sword, knocking him unconcious..
The next day, Jethal woke (with one hell of a headache) in his room.. the town was in shambles, most of the deputies where dead.. but it was over as quickly as it begun.
To his dismay, he found that he could not venture into the forest of Kithicor for training anymore, and began to learn from anyone who would talk to him.
Over time, Jethal became quite good in his skills.. and the woodelf female came to him again.. this time with others..
She introduced herself as Darkwind, and her companions were Lambent and Perliquin.. they belonged to a family clan, named Silverwing.. and they have been watching his progress with great interest.
Chapter 5 – The Rise of a Hero
Jethal became a member of Clan Silverwing, and Darkwind continued his training as much she could.. and when she could teach him no longer, she brought Jethal to the Keep of the Knights of the Holy Storm, where he became a Squire under the house of Pathfinders.
He showed both enthusiasm and skill as he advanced in seasons and ability and rose quickly through the ranks. It was here where Jethal met Amorte and took him under his wing
then one day his commitment would be tested.
In an internal conflict of political and personal natures.. the Council of the Holy Storm exploded in argument.. and the command of Storm Keep crumbled in disaray.. many of the Elder Knights went off their separate ways, leaving the Holy Storm without leadership.. and with confusion and hurt feelings all around.
The call came out.. the Holy Storm needed a new council, and Cimmiric of Freeport, Jethal of Rivervale and Binuru of Freeport stepped forward to take the reins.. though the Keep had leadership.. they never truelly recovered from the loss of their Elders.
Time passed and Cimmiric found that it was time to relax and retire.. Sir Binuru had to be called away on urgent business for the Paladin Guild.. leaving Jethal as the new leader of the Holy Storm.. and he chose Phais of Felwithe as his 2nd in command.. and the Orger, Dunwut to complete the new council.
Evil raised it’s ugly head out of Neriak in the form of the Children of Darkness, led by Banish D’soul. and the Holy Storm was there to stop them.. Jethal led the KHS against the COD in two sucessful campains of war, before the children went into hiding once more.. peace settled over the lands.. and Jethal grew restless..
Chapter 6 – Strength, Vengence and the Fall from Grace
Jethal grew restless as peace settled across the lands.. the time had come to pass the sword of leadership, and move on to greater adventures.. and Kanjien took leadership of Storm Keep.
Jethal found himself in new surroundings, the Planes of Power called to him and the Plane of Justice found a new ranger clearing out the rats..
But, this new power and issolation from those he once loved became a deep tomb of loneliness and haunting dreams of the passed drew a dark patch in his spirit – a void in his soul had to be filled and an unfinished chapter had to be concluded..
Jethal sat in the Plane of Growth at Tunare’s Tree of Life meditating on these dark matters when the wind called him out of his trance and Prince Thureg approached..
The Price’s eyes where filled with worry and caring as he spoke..
“Lord Silverwing.. the Mooto has returned to Runnyeye” his eyes closed.
“As you may have guessed by now, Mooto is a goblin title.. like Captain or Sergeant.. you’ve killed many of goblins, only to find it was not the culprit behind your family demise.. i know..”
“He is back.. this Mooto you seek.. you must make a choice.. kill him to try to fulfill an act of vengence.. or let the past die and try to ease your spirit through meditation and prayer”
Jethal looks up at Thureg.. his eyes full of fire and pain.. “I have to do this, Prince.. for my family.. i have to..” jethal stands and gathers his equipment.
“For your family?” Thureg interupts, “or yourself?”
Jethal pauses for a moment.. then strides off, looking back he shouts “Pray for me, friend.. this ends tonight!”
The wind whispers to Thureg as he whispers ” I know, m’lady.. but the choice was his and his alone.. we can not help him”
Jethal marches into Runnyeye Citadel and quickly disapears from view as he scouers the tunnels looking for his prey..
Silent he stalks into a room with 2 Goblin warrior speaking to an aging officer.. “that’s him..” jethal thinks to himself.. and waits for the younger goblins to leave..
In the dark of the shadows, Jethal whispers.. “welcome home, old friend.. it’s been a long time”
WAZZAT?? – Mooto exclaims as his feet sinks into the floor
AARRGG!! Guards!! – he screams out as Jethal comes into view in the corner of the room
For my Father!! – Jethal shouts as an arrow pins one of the goblins hands to a table
For my Mother!! – an arrows nails mooto’s foot to the floor has he screams out in pain
Jethal strides forward and places his hand on Mooto’s chest
“… and for Jarris” jethal growls as his hand bursts into flames, igniting Mooto’s skin and clothing.. Jethal stands back and ignites fire after fire as the goblin is reduced to ashes.
A horde of Goblins burst into the room to find Jethal with swords drawn and ready for battle.. Hundreds of Goblins fall as jethal makes his way out of Runneye and to Misty Thicket where halfling guards stand waiting to drive the swarm of goblins back.
Jethal returns to the Plane of Growth.. his heart beating wildly, his vision squed and shaken.. he collapses to his knees and tries desparately to calm down, his armor is drenched in the blood of many goblins and his swords clenched hard in his hands..
Seeing Jethal in distress, a friendly bear wanders up and nudges him from behind..
Jethal reacts from instinct and rage, unable to control himself.. he sees his sword draw and come down toward the bear – almost as if he were dreaming..
“JETHAL SILVERWING!!” The voice of Tunare herself shakes the very ground as jethal’s blade strikes down the bear before he knows whats happening.
“You Dared to Touch one of my Sacred Bears, in the lands which I have blessed?! Your choice was Vengence, but as your father learned many years ago.. Vengence has a price.. You are hereby Banished from my realm and my sight!” the voice of Tunare faded off into the wind..
Prince Thureg waves his hand and Jethal fades from view as he is banished from the Plane of Growth back to the Faydark.. but his torment doesnt stop there.. for the Priests of Tunare, FeirDal and KoadaDal alike know of his crime and he finds himself unwelcomed in Greater Faydark and Felwithe..
Chapter 7 – Regaining Favor.. and the Fires Burn..
Through arbitration and ambassadors Jethal is sent to perform tasks and deeds to regain favor in the Faydark.. and after many weeks and countless deeds.. he is forgiven by the people and guildhouses.. but Tunare is not as forgiving.. and Jethal’s punishment stands by Tunare’s word.. he shall never stand in the forest of the Plane of Growth again as a welcomed follower.. but only as a percieved invader, open to attack.
Years pass, and Jethal’s activity becomes somewhat fuzzy.. rumors spread.. seaons gained.. and he grows in skill and power..
Across Norrath, the Guild Houses were buzzing with the news that the Ranger’s Guildleader had returned to Kithicor to re-open for business.
Maesyn Trueshot of Kelethin and Hager Sureshot of Surefall Glades were heard speaking in the Weary Foot Rest Inn (rivervale) with Megosh Thistlethorn, the newest trainer from Rivervale..
Maesyn: “Surely he cannot conduct business with the land being cursed !! He’s Mad!!”
Megosh: “I’ve only set up shop recently.. what’s going on here?”
Hager: “Aye, little one, it’s that Kithicor fella.. yer boss, son.. he’s actually moved back into his old cabin. Brought that pet of his too.. Karana and Tunare help them both.. if Innoruuk got word of this..”
“I just spoke to the old man.. he’s really going to do it..” – the door opens and an elven ranger walks in..
Maesyn “Erikal !! all the way from the Castellum? Good to see you, moonwalker!”
Erikal: “old Kith says he’s had enough and he’s fighting back.. something about an old student coming to lead an army to defend against the dark bastard’s forces”
Megosh “We can’t let him do this! He’ll be killed for sure!”
:: Throughout Rivervale is heard.. a battle cry of a bear.. not just any bear.. the thunderous roar echo’s through the halls and snug hobbit holes, shaking the walls of of Fool’s Gold and is heard in the mines of High Hold Keep ::
Megosh: “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT??”
Morin Shadowbane bursts through the door of the Inn, his clothes torn, Tier’Dal blood streaks his face..
Morin “By Karana’s Thunder!! The Fool’s done it now!!”
Maesyn: “Morin, what’s happened??”
Morin: “Ioltis V’ghera was sent to investigate Kithicor’s movements for Neriak.. Thumper, the old man’s pet.. torn him limb from limb.. The Indigo Brotherhood is sure to hear of this.”
Hager stands and faces the window out into the quiet tranquility of the Rivervale Pond.. he lowers his head for a moment..
Hager: “.. it’s begun”
Commotion is heard inside the Fool’s Gold, the collective of Ranger Trainers runs to investigate.. Hendi Mrubble of the Cleric’s Guild is in tears..
Mayor Gubbin: “now now, Hendi.. out with it lass, what’s all this then?”
Hendi: “he’s gone in there.. o’some one stop him!!”
Sheriff Roglio: “Who’s gone where?”
Hendi stretches out her hands to reveal a pure silver arrow in her clutches, the fletchings are shaped as wings
Hendi: “He’s gone to join that mad Ranger’s fight against the Fallen!! please stop him!!”
The Rangers in attendance gaze at the arrow, then turn to each other..
Ranger Trainers: “… it’s Jethal”
Chapter 8 – The Legion takes Neriak – Jethal’s Curse
Time passes.. the Legion of Kithicor grows to 100 strong, and soon the wrath of Kithicor was unleashed upon Neriak. The whole of the underground city shakes as the Legion marches into the Foreign Quarter.. Guard after Guard falls as they make their way to the Commons.
No mercy is shown.. Guard, Commoner, Merchant alike feel the steel of swords – sting of arrows and waves of magic as the Legion break through to the third gate.
The Guilds empty, Masters of the Arts of Healing, Necromancy & Wizardry form ranks to defend their home.. but find that their one advantage is gone.. the one thing that has always saved them in the past.. this band.. this Legion.. does not fear them.
Neriak goes silent.
Jethal, bloodied and weary from battle, feels a pull toward the Necromancers Guildhouse.. something calls to him that he can not explain – the Legion in celebration doesnt notice their leader wander off into the halls of the dead.
Deep inside.. hidden in a secret chamber, he is drawn.. and there on a mantel, contained in a crystalline orb.. Nurgal’s Stone, the very key which called forth Innoruuk to Norrath and cursed Kithicor’s Forest.. glows a sickly orange-greenish hugh.
“It must be destroyed” Jethal whispers, “This is the cause of suffering and death and must be destroyed..”. The room begins to shake as Jethal’s hand attempts to grasp the orb – a flash of black light sparks forth and Jethal falls to the ground silently..
Back at the celebration – Seny raises a bottle of wine in toast of their victory and it is then that everyone notices that their leader is no where to be found.
Zanderz calls out “Here! I picked up his trail!”, all rush to the entrance of the Necromancers Guildhouse.. “he’s in there?” Lueinu feels flush.. the light smell of burning hair reaches their noses and Sorrowbringers eyes go wide “JETUL!!” the ogre cries out as he smashes through the marbled doors.
Zanerz & Foebringer follow the tracks and lead the search party deep inside the halls, when Tiwaz feels a dark presence closeby.. a dark mist and the sound of creaking wood fill the room and a seal at the crest of the next door catches Tiwaz’s eye in disbelief and horror..
“STOP!!” Tiwaz shouts, “Everyone back out to the main hall” Tiwaz turns as he summons a black coffin.. Lueinu whispers to him “what is it, Ti?”.. the necromancer turns and looks Lueinu in the eye.. “this is not a place for you.. leave with the others.. I have work to do..” with that, he turns to the coffin and begins to chat an incantation..
Seny, tears streaking her cheeks, hugs Lueinu. “oh Tunare, Lue.. is he dead?” Lueinu returns her hug and looks alittle puzzled over the whole matter.. “I’m not sure, hon.. if it where just that, I dont think Ti would be acting like this.. I fear it’s much worse”
The Legion take a step back as the skeletal servant of Tiwaz walks down the stairs, carrying a dark coffin on his shoulders and sets it down at Lueinu’s feet.
Sorrowbringer tears the lid off the casket, revealing Jethal’s corpse.. his eyes seem to glow from under this darkened lids. Seny faints, her limp form caught by Siriln.. Scarlet burries her face in Lorcan’s chest as a tear runs down his face.
Lueinu examines the fallen remains in bewilderment, “What the hell is this? He’s been dead for but a few minutes now.. but he looks..”.. “Lue, Res him!!” Annalla cries out from the crowd.
Lueinu closes her eyes and begins to chant her spell of resurrection as Jethal’s eyes suddenly pop open, glowing as in fire burns within.. She screams and falls backward in surprise.
“Lue, you did it !!” Scarlet cries out with joy as Jethal sits up in the coffin, she rushes over and hugs him tightly. He returns her hug and stands.
Jethal looks back at the guild house then to the large ogre in the middle of the crowd.. “Sorrowbringer.. Bring that house down.. reduce it to rubble..” Sorrow, looking happy to see jethal standing, gives a quick salute and lowers the faceshield of his helm, “YARRR!!!” he cries out as he tears the building down with this armored hands.
Jethal inspects the remains of the building and nods.. “Now, every caster, fire up and melt it to a solid mass of rock.. No One Enters this Building EVER Again!!”
Wizards, Druids, Rangers all open fire with wave after wave of heat & fire.. melting the rock to a solid mass embedded to the foundation of Neriak.
Tiwaz whispers to Lueinu “you didnt ressurect him.. did you..” she turns and slowly shakes her head, “what the hell just happened?” she asks.
Jethal approaches, “That was the chamber where they kept Nurgal’s Stone, the key which summoned Innoruuk during the great war.
Tiwaz looks up “The seal above the door symbolized the hand of Innoruuk, I actually felt his presence in there, Jethal.. ”
Jethal lowers his head “yes.. he struck me down and tried to destroy me completely” Lueinu looks up “Jeth, I didnt ressurect you.. how did..”
Jethal turns back to the destruction of the Guildhouse and says coldly, “Tunare doesnt want me”
Chapter 9 – Rest in Peace
In the misty hours of early morning, a darkened figure lays his head down for a few hours of rest.. as his eyes close, he finds himself, strangely, at the foot of the Tree of Life..
“This cannot be.. how am I here?” thoughts race through his mind, knowing the consiquences for entering the Plane of Growth, even so long after his banishment. Quickly, he tries to call forth the mystical energies of his living Breastplate, once the property of Tunare’s Avatar, Tolan.. but nothing happens.
“Calm now, Dark child of Growth.. she would not summon you here only to harm you.” Prince Thirneg’s voice came through the rustling of leaves as he rounded the corner in to view.
The Ranger bowed his head in admiration, but never let down his guard, as the Satyr approached.. “Then why have I been summoned after these many years? Only to torment me with the awe and magisty of the wood once more, before casting me down again?”
Thirneg stood before the Ranger and shook his head.. “You know, young Elf.. most who have been cast from Tunare’s graces usually are consumed by Innoruuk’s Hate very quickly, but you.. given the circumstances.. took this test.. and though you joined with Kithicor, whom you know by now was cast out himself some time ago, continued to do Tunare’s will.. even if some of your methods were questionable..”
“A time of change is coming.. the world will be shaken to the very foundations.. and we offer you the chance now to serve Mother Tunare once more..”
The Ranger’s ears perked up
“.. but there is a price” Thirneg cocked his eyebrow and awaited a responce
“At what cost then, would I be given this gift? The priests of Kelethin and Felwithe knew of nothing which could cleanse my soul of the curse brought down upon me.” he shifted in his boots alittle uneasy.
The sky above them lit brightly and Tunare’s voice rung like a silver bell from within the great Tree of Life.. “Jethal Silverwing, the price for forgiveness is high indeed.. you must leave behind you everyone you know and love.. friends, family, allies.. you will be stripped of your abilities and start life anew.. in time, your power shall return to you.. and so you now must choose.. Serve the Light, or Remain enshrowed in Darkness and face the times to come from the shadows..
His head was swimming.. leave everything and everyone behind.. was she kidding? oh, but the chance to be in the light once more.. what has he dreamed of for all these many years.. to be in the service of Mother Tunare once more.. what he Must do was clear.. but the price would be heartbreaking..
“May I? .. say good bye to my friends, first?”
“.. no” Thirneg shook his head
Tears rolled down his face.. both in happiness and the pain of a new loss.. to lose his friends and family.. but he knew what had to be done.
“I am ready..”
Tunare appears before Jethal as he bursts into tears, he falls sobbing at her feet.. “Please Mother, forgive me.. I have wronged you..”
Tunare raises him to his feet and lightly kisses him on the cheek.. and for Jethal Silverwing.. all fades to black as Prince Thirneg catches his limp form.
“Do you think it fair?, that he not be allowed to say goodbye, and have them know that he’ll be alright?”
“Perhaps not, but in time.. should they ask the right questions.. the truth shall be known..”
“M’lady.. the council has decided, then?”
“Yes, Thirneg.. (she sighs) Quellious, Erollisi and I fear that many will die and suffer needlessly.. but this is the will of the council… ”
The following morning, travelors find a newly born Faydwerian Arbor outside of Qeynos, in the area which would be come known as the Elddar Grove.. embeded into the mighty trunk, a silver arrow.. it’s fletchings shaped as wings.. engraved on the shaft.. “Jethal Silverwing – Rest in Peace”
500 years later…
Quickened footsteps break the silence across a moon-lit field. She knows her prey, and knows where to find him. On the path up ahead she spies her target – her breath slows, her eyes shift and an arrow rips through the night and a shadow falls to the ground. “Just another dirty Gnoll” she whispers. But that particular Gnoll chose his fate poorly, attempting to attack a sleeping Ranger in the mist of the Archer’s woods, outside of Qeynos. This night, the kill wasn’t thrilling, but it wasn’t just this night. Frustration and agrivation have been building within ElquinJena for centuries – Five Hundred, twenty-two years, to be precise.
Since the night her love disapeared without a trace.
Dreams used to guide her, inspire her, give her hope.. but that was long ago. It had been a long time since any thought of hope gave her the strength to go on. She caught the boat to the Qeynos Docks and sat there, staring at the moon light shining off the waves. She closed her eyes and spoke to Mother Tunare, although there had been no answer for half a millenium. “Where is he?”. That was all it came down to.. Once, her prayers could fill volumes in the Library of Qeynos – but now it came down to three words. Her faith was slipping away and she knew it. Once more, her prayer was answered with silence.
In the annals of Time, Xefissa Lawngnome would go down in history as one hell of an enchanter. Her exploits and adventures against Dragon, Giant, Mortal and God were legendary – but that was many years ago. In the last few hundred years, she had perfected an anti-aging enchantment to keep her alive for there was “far too much to see and do – and far to many people to mess with, to succome to death” as she would say. She would also say that she had one last trick up her gnomish sleeves.
Xefissa slept late this day, enthralled in a dream – one that she had once a year for as long as her mind could remember. She dreamed of a friend. She dreamed of a shadow rising in the east. She dreamed of death. But this time, the dream was different.. for this time she dreamed of fire, of eyes burning through the darkness. She dreamed that she heard three words… “Where is he?”. In her sleep, she uttered a single word. Arbos. She wakes with a jump.
Xeffisa goes about her morning routine, then sits to write a letter – seals it in an envelope, nails it to the door and skips down the road.
Elquinjena wakes on the docks, her eyes heavy and her head swimming. Another night had passed, without an answer, without the embrace of her love – and this was one night too many. She forces herself to her feet and stormed off the docks, making a bee line for her home – to the vault.
Xefissa made her way passed the Castle of Antonia Bayle, passed the Temple of Life and entered the Eldaar Glade, to the delight of Raegen of the Tunarian Alliance, she always enjoys a good discussion, or debate, whichever came her way first and she’d had some nice long chats with Xefissa on ocassion. “Good Morning, Xefissa! Come back for more?” Raegen smiled. Xefissa smiled “No hon, I’m sorry.. no time for debate today”. Xefissa stod at the base of Arbos, the great Tree, brought from Kelethin as a sapling. She waved her hand and an illusion faded away, revealing a silver arrow lodged in the trunk”. “Hon, what are you doing?” Raegan said with concern..
Xefissa smiled and looked back saying “… One last trick”
On the Docks, Elquinjena returned, in her grasp – an arrow. This silver arrow given to her by her love on the night they met. Through war and peace time, through night and day.. even though using it could have saved lives, she kept it hidden and safe – until this morning, when the pain and dispare of being without him could hurt no more – she nocked the arrow on the string, aimed out to the vast ocean and drew back.. and held..
In the Elddar Glade, Xefissa started to speak and weave a spell of ancient magics, old magic that could not be summoned up now by the most powerful of priests – Arbos shakes
A trickle of blood coats the string of Elquinjena’s bow as she holds the string.. suddenly, a boost of strength and she draws the bow with unpresidented ability.. she hears the bowstalve begin to splinter.. she cannot let go.
The priests and Merchants abandonn Arbos and circle around Xefissa as her chant echoes all around them and binds them where they stand, unable to stop her, though she is unable to stop herself.
Elquinjena’s tears flow as the string cuts into her fingers and when she can take no more.. the arrow flies – and screams across the ocean.. beyond shipping routes, beyond the horizon and disapears into the mist surrounding the Phantom Sea.
Grey streaks appears in Xefissa’s hair as her deed begins to take it’s toll, she struggles to focus. A tear rolls down her cheek as the Arrows fletchings begins to glow and sparkle.
Elquinjena’s arrow peirces the darkness of a secluded island in the middle of the Phantom Sea and starts it’s decent toward an ancient ruin of a cabin, outside, a tattered, faded banner hangs limp – a tree in three tiers, ringed in gold, shrouded in fire.
Silence comes over the Glade as Xefissa falls to the ground. Her body limp and seemingly lifeless. Suddenly freed from the spell, the crowd rushes forward. Raegen puts Xefissa’s head in her lap. “She’s trying to say something”
Elquinjena falls to her knees, dazed and shocked she slumps to the ground.. passers by rush to her aid and call for healers to attend her. “She’s trying to say something!”
Separate souls, miles apart, in unison whisper..
Xeffisa: “The Left Hand of Tunare.. Rises”
Elquinjena: “The Demon of Kithicor.. Rises”
In an island in the middle of the Phantom sea, a silver arrow screams through the sky and strikes an ancient marker, a tribute to long ago, when a Legion of Rangers avenged a great war. Before the shattering, before the rending – this island was the Dark Forest of Kithicor. The Arrow Shatters upon impact..
In the Elddar Glade unnoticed for Five Hundred Years, an illusion lifts and reveals a silver arrow, Xefissa fulfills her final task in this world as the arrow is released and falls to the ground, striking a stone. The Arrow Shatters upon impact..
The map of Norrath changed during the great Rending and Shattering. The melting of Velious forged upon the lands, a new ocean.. a vast expanse between the Enchanted Lands – once called Misty Thicket, and the Commonlands. Consumed by Mist and strange spirits, Sea-going Captains stay clear, for the mysterious void which lays between, they say, harbors death.. and no ship which has entered.. had ever returned from The Phantom Sea. In fact, Nothing has dared to enter this damned realm in remembered history – until today, the improbable and most impossible flight of a single arrow.. ended in its own destruction.
The arrow’s flight was unseen by bird or fish. This flight went unnoticed by captains surveying the stars to guide their ships. The destruction of the arrow was unforeseen by the most gifted soothsayer. In fact, no one living knew where it landed. But ironically, the lands where it fell.. were in fact, not living.
The sun rose upon Norrath as it does every morning… but this day a parting of the clouds burned away the tiniest path in the mist surrounding a small island, which had been forgotten for decades. Glistening in this one, thin, tiny beam of sunlight was – the shattered remains of a silver arrow, which shined brightly through the, otherwise, darkness of the decaying forest. There, near the shore, the glistening silver shards sank into the murky soil and faded from sight.
Ripples danced upon the shore as a disturbance under the surface clouded and muddied the waters, reflecting the lonely beam of a forgotten sun to surrounding trees in a brilliant display of gold, yellows and reds. Suddenly, the vibrations became violent and the refracted light danced eerily upon the surroundings, brightly shimmering and flickering, now resembling flames. A hand burst forth from the mud, and a pale arm thrust forward and clutched the foul earth of this dead and forgotten land, and with all the strength he could muster, a form dragged himself from the ground, into the sea. The lone sunbeam burned itself out, causing the mist to glow a deep auburn orange before fading once more into darkness. A crackle of thunder rolls in the distance.
A Rude Awakening
Days turned to weeks.. and Elquinjena strode along the shores of the Enchanted lands, her bow tightly grasped in her hands.. arrows flying.. goblins falling in her wake, at the request of one of the local’s, in return he promised some reward.. she didn’t care.. she was making arrows fly and goblins fall.. and that was good enough for her.
As she turned, a motion in the water.. seen just from the corner of her eye, sent ripples out to sea. “what now..” she growled under breath. Seemed that just as she finished that though, they were on her.. 2 goblins.. strong and foul smelling.. they clutched and clawed, but a flash of silver came from her scabbards and the fight was on.
From the water, a hand grasped at the murk and mud of the shoreline and a pale figure began to drag itself out of the deep. Almost unnoticed by Elquinjena as her dance with her attackers grew more intense.. the figure struggles to it’s feet as Elquinjena stuns the goblins, turns and fires an arrow at the shoreline.. the figure stumbles and she gives her attention back to the goblin. “damned zombies!” she grunts “What’s next?”
One of the goblins cries out and falls limp to the ground. Elquinjena smiles wickedly, now toying with her assailant parrying.. repost.. doing what she does best.. as her confidence grows, she becomes blind to her surroundings and as the goblin falls.. a foot step.. behind her.. “Dammit!! the Zombie!!” she cries out in her mind.. spins her sword.. turns and THRUSTS!!
“GODDESS!!” Elquin’s Scream breaks the, relative, silence of the Enchanted Lands
Elquinjena fell back on the wet sand of the beach, with a thud. Her eyes wide with disbelief and horror as the pale figure, now with sword embedded through his abdomen, gazed upon her with pale gray eyes through his wet, silver hair which hung limp as seaweed from his head. “J.. J.. Jethal??” she couldn’t believe the possibility of uttering that name again with any degree of hope as she gazed up at his naked, pale – and now, bleeding – form.
He grasp hold of the sword and with a grunt, pulls it from his core.. looking lost and confused, he examines the blood coated blade in wonderment. “What sort of dream.. is this now..?” He squints hard, trying to focus in the brightness of the day.
Elquinjena looks in astonishment as the wound closes and heals before her eyes. Her mind races as hope and doubt clash within her thoughts she tries to speak but is dumbstruck in bewilderment.. after five-hundred years.. is it really him? Were her prayers answered? Was this some torment set upon her by an angry Goddess?
“My.. my Lord??” She reaches out to touch him, perhaps this is a dream as he said, one touch.. just one touch.. is it him?.. Her outstretched hand touches his arm – His gaze snaps down to meet hers as an inner fire ignites with them both.. images.. thoughts.. memories.. hopes.. dreams.. despair.. nightmares.. all flood between them. Her Shroud of Flame seems to sparkle and smolder from within as a swell of power unleashes and burns into his cheeks and lights his eyes..
Both collapse to the ground in a heap as the surge cuts as suddenly as it began. He knows her dispair and longing, the heartbreak of five hundred years of searching, her defiance of Tunare’s will.. She has seen the loneliness, emptiness of his solitude, what was supposed to be a sleep for ages, turned into a five hundred year nightmare.. conscious during the shattering, feeling the forest burn around him.. is soul merged with the spirit of the forest.. now dead.. and now, called away.
Chapter 666: Rise the Demon of Kithicor’s Forest
I am Nature in Flesh.
I am Love and Vengeance.
I am Whisper in the Wind and the Roar of Thunder.
I am Nurturing Rains and Flame that Burns.
I am Demon. Hell rides with me.