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|Subject: Alastor Taine, The Soul-Scarred Rebel Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:56 am|| |
Most hid behind rocks and trees, strategically placed and laying in wait. Several of the younger ones sat or laid in the trees with bows and arrows at the ready. They came from all walks of life; the one or two that were brave or foolish enough to leave their individual caravans and take part in this ragtag band of rebels. One man stood at the head of the pack, silently moving his hands in an effort to signal orders to the others. It was dark, and not even the moon dared show its face this night. No camp fires, no torches, not even the glow of phosphorescent stone was among them. They planned to strike in the dead of night. They had been hunted long enough. Now it was their turn to do the hunting. But even with their eyes having adjusted to the darkness, they could see nothing. These were not soldiers or warriors, half of them were barely old enough to be considered men. But their leader accepted any and all that would join; any that would be willing to give their lives for the greater good. It was this ambition that would prove to be their greatest folly. From out of the darkness a sharp whistling noise approached and passed over their heads. The noise ceased, only to be followed by the rustling of tree branches above and a hollow thud on the ground below. The commander turned to see that one of the young boys had been shot dead between the eyes with an arrow that could only have belonged to the Drow. In a moment of panic, someone towards the back yelled for everyone to fire. The commander tried to protest, but before the words could escape his mouth the entire company let loose their arrows. They were uncoordinated and unprepared, and while their arrows flew in a swarm towards the darkness, there was no indication that any of them made their mark. After all, there was nothing to be seen in the shadowy veil of the trees. Their attack was answered back by a volley of Drow arrows, flying with almost pin-point accuracy. In one fell swoop, practically half the company had been taken out.
To stay would mean complete annihilation. The commander called for a full retreat, quickly firing his own arrow into the darkness in the hopes that it might distract at least one Drow and allow for someone to escape. Those who could run did so. Some had been injured and were forced to either limp or crawl away. The commander tried to help one lad to his feet, but try as he might the boy could not stand. To his disbelief, he noticed that no other man had stopped to try and help the injured; to prevent them from being made victims of torture and slavery. Refusing to let such a fate befall this boy, the commander drew his dagger and sliced wide the boy’s throat, all the while begging his forgiveness. Better the boy’s soul pass on to the next world and his body be left here to be desecrated than for him to live out the remainder of his days treated like an animal…or worse. The commander dropped the freshly cut corpse and continued with the retreat, ducking behind trees for cover from the oncoming arrows and jumping over logs that very well may have been fallen comrades. It was impossible to tell. During his sprint, he realized something: he was at the head of the line when they were laying in wait. Now he would be at the rear; the closest to the Drow. As long as he could survive, no one else would die. As he ran, he turned for a moment to fire a wild shot behind him. He knew he most likely wouldn’t live, but at least he could try and slow down the Drow long enough to give his men a chance at escape. Suddenly, an arrow pierced through his leg, causing him to stumble and fall. He threw his bow to one side and drew his sword. He could hear footsteps approaching, although the number was smaller than expected. If he was going to go down, he would go down fighting. In an instant, he found himself flanked on either side by two Drow. He used his sword and dagger to wildly try and fend the two off as they laughed and taunted him, taking quick, small stabs at him with their swords. A multitude of shallow flesh wounds covered his body. Normally wounds like these would barely faze a man. But even the smallest of cuts will kill a man if dealt in great abundance. It was only a matter of time before he lost too much blood and they decided to overpower him. For now, they wanted to have their fun.
A minute or two passed by, seeming like an eternity to the commander. He roared at one of the Drow, and in a final effort used his dagger to push away the Drow’s weapon and sliced him along the cheek with his sword. The Drow grew angry and decided that the game was over. He raised his sword to strike at the commander, only to be interrupted by an arrow that ran clean through from one side of his neck to the other. The other Drow and the commander looked to see one of the human troops holding an empty bow in the direction of the fallen Drow. The commander took this opportunity and swung backward at the Drow behind him, catching him off guard and slicing his throat open. The returned comrade dashed over to his commander as he began to fall in exhaustion. He had lost a great amount of blood, and could barely stand on his own. The two moved as quickly as their bodies could carry them. Eventually they made their way back to where they had left the horses before they moved in on foot for the would-be ambush. Several steeds remained behind, unclaimed by their fallen owners. The archer helped his commander up onto the horse and secured the reigns tightly around the hand of the barely conscious commander. It would be up to the archer to get him to safety. He climbed onto the rear of the saddle and snapped the reigns for the horse to move. The last thing the commander remembered before finally blacking out was the sound of yelling in Undercommon coming closer, and the archer assuring him that everything would be ok.
When the commander finally awoke, he found himself lying on a makeshift bed inside of a large tent, the light of day shining through the split in the entryway. As he tried to sit up, he could feel that his body was covered in bandages and that his wounds had begun to heal. He must have been out for days for his body to have come this far. As he struggled to lift himself from the bed, an elderly man entered and told him to relax, insuring that he was safe. The old man identified himself simply as Tamen. He asked the commander his name and how he came to be in such a terrible condition, but received no response. Tamen reached down next to the bed and showed the commander the Drow arrow that was removed from his leg, and once again assured him that any enemy of the Drow would be welcome in this caravan. The commander refused to give his name or say anything about the attack. Tamen continued to care for him until he was able to move on his own. The commander asked about his comrade, the archer that helped save his life. Tamen informed the commander that when they found him, he was unconscious and alone on the horse. There was no sign of anyone else, human or Drow. The horse must have kept going on it own and was drawn to the campfires of the caravan. There was no way of knowing what fate fell upon the archer. The commander fell silent, resting back down on the bed. While Tamen still spoke to him, the conversation remained one-sided for the next few days. Eventually, the commander was able to get up and move on his own, his wounds having almost completely healed. Tamen extended an invitation to the commander to remain with caravan as long as he wished, although they both knew deep down that it wouldn’t be long before they parted ways. Tamen was struggling to secure part of his wagon when the commander reached over his shoulder and did it for him. Without any provocation and without even looking at the old man, the commander simply said, “Alastor…my name is Alastor”
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|Subject: Re: Alastor Taine, The Soul-Scarred Rebel Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:49 pm|| |
September 10, 2010 - December 23, 2010