The Farside of the World: Anaetyr
There had been a call to find the Helian Knight who had been in the darkness for many years. The intent was either to find him or find his body and return him to his people. Two Ourandour Indril and Lindir and the Nurmkynre, Rhistil, were tasked with the mission. While no Helian had requested it, they had heard many stories that had grown in wildness over the years and the tales of the Giant glowing human bringing devastation and death to the undead was one that they could not afford to let spread. The Anaetyne would find absolution and vengeance through their own hands not those of some short lived outsider who may already be dead.
They had been in Elathilen for almost three days, but it was hard to tell given the eternal twilight and darkness of the area, but they were well trained and this was not their first step into these lands, it was their experience that had seen them chosen for this after all.
“Do we know this human's name?” Indril questioned, they hadn’t really cared for the specifics but nonetheless if they were going to search for him they should know what to call out.
Rhistil fiddled through their pouch and pulled out a small scrap of folded paper. “Sir Valiant Voyce, the Mountain’s Despair.”
They all looked at eat other in a moment of silence that was pregnant with some seriousness and as if in some unseen hat drop they all began to laugh.
“They take their titles very seriously.” Lindir said, still wiping tears from their eyes. “I met one who was called Lord of the Far and Starry Shores. And that was only one of their titles.” The group roared in laughter again and their sudden sound had drawn the attention of something else and their laughter was silenced and they picked up their pace. They weren’t there to fight undead.
To think, he was so far away, in this moonless place he thought he would be safe. There was no safety here, but the dead he could deal with, he could fight them and run and fight and run. He was capable of doing it. He was not capable of fighting the man that pursued him. They had locked eyes across a ruined temple and the Knight knew right away and attacked. So far from home and encounters a Valiant. What are the odds? This had to be the gods doing, to stop him from fleeing.
“Rhistil, there!” Lindir said pointing through thick of trees and stands of white columns. They saw a broad man, although he was thin as if he was malnourished, but his appearance did not seem to match the speed with which he was moving.
Rhistil looked as well and squinted. “No it’s-”
“Another one.” Indril said pointing behind the thin human. This one was huge and clad in glowing armor.
They watched them for a moment, they had their target, but it seems there were two Helians now. The base of a column exploded and it toppled down and into another than fell like a pair of dominos. The dust that was kicked up obscured only a little but there was a second and then third explosion.
The trio didn’t wait and moved as one as they approached the two fighting Helians, although it seemed the thin one was at a severe disadvantage. They all drew their bows, and notched an arrow. They knew that the Valiants were defenders of good, and if he was fighting this thin man he must be on the wrong side of this knight.
Rhistil took the first shot, it sang through the air striking the thin man in the thigh causing him to fall and tumble. Indril and Lindir flanked around and Indril fired and it struck the thin human in the chest. Lindir waited, the knight had finally realized what was happening, his blade was raised and he hesitated to swing down, the killing blow was there. He turned his head quickly to where Lindir was crouched. The Elf was surprised that the knight had pinpointed his position so quickly.
“NO!” He yelled, but the arrow was already loose. It sailed through the air, quick and sharp. The knight let go of his sword and reached down, he was only a hair short of catching the shaft, the feathers just brushing his palm before his hand could close around it. The arrow struck the thin man in the head. The knight’s sword hit the ground, clanging off some ruined stonework below.
“Shane.” The voice was deep, and full of gravel. As he opened his eyes he was once again in the land with no color. The wolf he knew as the one lurking inside him loomed over him, its huge clawed hand pressing him firmly to the ground with just enough space to get shallow breaths.
“Shane.” Another voice, the one from before of the man who knew to be nothing but evil.
“So, here you are again, it seems a bit earlier than we expected you. Are you in battle?”
“Can’t you see?” Shane quipped.
“We are not Gods, we are just men like you. Who wanted more.” Heser said as he moved closer to the two, he sat down on nothing but air but he recliend as if it was perfectly firm. He crossed his legs and placed his hands on his knee. He fanned his hand a bit and the Wolf released him. Shane gasped for a moment and rolled over and he felt the pain in his thigh and then in his face.
“What has happened Shane to bring you here?”
“A Valiant...is attacking me. I am just trying to get away but he shot me.”
“Aren’t your precious Valiant supposed to be beacons of justice and good, saviors of humanity. Last I checked you were still human.” Heser smiled.
“You are wrong, I am turning into a monster I am turning into that thing.” He pointed to the wolf who stood tall and almost proud at being labeled a monster.
Heser laughed heartily and put his hand to his face to stifle it. “You and this fine specimen are one in the same. You aren’t turning into anything you are merely releasing what you already are.” Heser uncrossed his legs and leaned forward.
“The sooner you realize that you are now outside their grace, the sooner you accept what you are. The better.”
“The god’s-” Shane stammered.
“-Greatest weapon is attempting to slay you.” Heser interrupted. “Do you think they act without the blessing of the six?”
“Shane thought hard.”
“Fools!” Sir Voyce screamed through the grill of his helmet. He turned around to look down at Shane who was already shifting. He held out his hand and a huge blast erupted from his palm, it tore up the ground and toppled a column. The dust that had just settled was kicked up again.
Indril and Lindir were the closest and shielded their eyes from the buffet of wind and dust.
The roar of the wind after the blast faded and was replaced by a deep Howl.
Voyce flew backwards slamming into the tree Rhistil was shooting from behind. The huge knight splintered the back out of the tree from the force but didn’t tople it.
Indril quickly snapped their attention to Rhistil. “Rhistil! Are you alright?” A roaring howl from the kicked up dust and smoke answered their plee for their friend’s safety
Voyce got hit feet and looked down. Rhistil was also getting to their feet. Voyce rached to his side and pulled out a short sword, the blade glowed a bright white like it had been in a very hot forge. He screamed something in Helian and his armor flared to life, tiny inscriptions in the metal lit up as if there was light beneath them. The script spiraled around every piece of armor he wore.
He charged ahead, he screamed again and his voice parted the cloud of smoke and dust forcing it away like a big gust. The line of sight was clear now, and a huge mottled wolfman stood there. Well larger than the already huge Helian. Indril and Lindir wasted no time and a volley of arrows was loosed. They sank deeply into the wolf but it didn’t even seem to register that it was hurt.
Voyce made contact with the creature slashing and punching when he was close enough. The creature returned the blows. The two were fearsome matches of strength and endurance. But the blows landed by arrow and blade were lasting, bleeding profusely.
“It seems you are not a match for your pursuer.” Hesser gestured to shanes body, and then to the wolf standing there. Both displayed the wounds, holes and gashes from arrows, slashes from blades. He was drenched in red that stood out more in the black and white landscape.
“You can die there, knowing you were put in your grave by the gods. Or you can hold my hand and I can show you the way.”
Shane stared at Heser and then the wolf.
“Die!” Voyce screamed as she lept and slashed downward. The wolf reached up and caught the Knight by the arm, its huge clawed hand easily swallowing up the elbow and forearm of the knight.
“No you.” The wolf grumbled through barred teeth. His wounds began to close, even those caused by the white hot sword of the Valiant.
Voyce, behind his helmet was wide eyed. Such a thing should not happen. They could not speak. They could not heal. This was beyond what a werewolf should do.
The wolf bit down hard on Voyce’s shoulder, its huge maw easily fitting it all in. He bit down as hard as he could and blood flowed from the rent armor. He tossed the knight to the side, the man ragdolled as she skipped across the ground.
“Rhistil had an arrows notched and it was sent out and made contact with the wolfs eye. The creature roared in pain and pulled the arrow out, a piece of it’s eye coming with it. In the bloody gaping wound a pink energy pulsed and the eye began to stitch itself together again.
“What is this thing.” Rhistil said.
Indril sprinted to them. “We should retreat, we do not have the means to fight this and it is not our responsibility.”
Lindir trotted up next to the other and sent another arrow flying. “We will report his death. It is all we were sent to do.”
The wolf’s eye had healed and he stared at the three elves. “Die” It mouthed, a pink rune appeared above it;s head a symbol that none of the three knew but the display of magic was enough.
The wolf took one step and was intercepted by a huge section of column that was throw from where Voyce had been thrown. It hit the creature in the head and sent it staggered to the ground. Another huge section was whipped through the air and hit it in the side. The crunch of broken bone was heard even where the elves were.
“Run!” Voyce said. As he ran towards them. Sections of his armor was were bent into his body, blood poured from his helmet but the magic in the metal was still there. They could not believe with such injuries he was still fighting.
The three did not wait and turned to run. Voyce was behind them, keeping pace but not by much.
The wolf howled and screamed behind them. It pursued for some time, but eventually they spilled out into the light. They ran still for more time until Voyce collapsed. His armor’s magic was gone and he trembled with each breath.
“We need to get him to the city to a healer.” Indril said as they knelt next to him. They passed a hand over his back, a minor feat of magic. “He is well beyond my ability.”
Rhistil pointed not far off, banners whipped and there was a small cloud from horses. Perhaps they were safe.