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 Fire/Wood, Saeran
Saeran
 Posted: Nov 4 2017, 08:54 AM
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97 years old
Waywatcher
Nil is Offline


A howl from the beast’s mouth ripped through the air, and Kiefer set the air ablaze. Saeran tried to decide what it was she initially felt at the sight. It seemed he was far less trained, and thus less important, than she originally thought. His shots were too low. She wanted to yell at him, mystified by the purpose, and then, little by little, she somehow realized: it was intentional. As human as he was, he stood below her acutely aware of the power behind his fire. Kiefer’s aim was to stop the creature before them - nothing more, at least not in that moment. Saeran looked at him with a renewed sense of wonder. A fleeting, cautious wonder, but wonder nonetheless. The wizard was a dangerous curiosity. She could see now why the humans had sent him after the children of Chaos.

She could see other things, too, but now was not the time.

One perfect shot, and the beast fell hard against the ground. She felt her weight shift and dropped down from the cover of the branches, landing softly back on the earth. The Beastman rolled several feet from her as bright wisps of fire continued to pierce the dark forest air. How much more of this before the others were alerted? Saeran lifted her bow. The creature twisted aimlessly, and when it rolled in her direction she met its unseeing gaze with determined eyes.

There was only one greater feeling than an arrow sailing from her bow, and that was one that found its target. The beast let out a piercing cry as its hands clawed at its face. In the light of Kiefer’s fire, she saw its mangled features accented by the narrow shaft of an Asrai arrow. Between the burns and the shots of both men and elf, even a creature as base as this one could not recoil so quickly from so much pain...but give it enough time, and it would find a way.

She turned toward the humans with a wild cry. ”Now!”
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Kiefer Holzmann
 Posted: Nov 7 2017, 11:54 AM
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19 years old
Apprentice Bright Wizard
Mr. Creazil is Offline


Fifteen seconds didn't sound like long on most days, but right now it seemed like an eternity. He could feel the fire building inside him, residue of his magic starting to get to dangerous levels. He couldn't keep this up much longer without risking a bigger blast that would threaten the forest, and likely turn their elven ally against them. It was a relief when the arrow struck the beastman in the face. It wasn't enough to stop the monster, not completely, but it bought them the time they needed.

The elf called out, and Kiefer signaled to his men. The pistoliers took aim and fired at the staggering, nearly immobile beastman. Five shots tore through its body, and it slumped to the ground. Kiefer breathed a sigh of relief. He focused, trying to clear his spirit of the dangerous winds that had been building up inside him.

Once he felt a bit safer, Kiefer rode over to where Saeran had emerged from hiding. "We don't have the numbers for much more, we're going to retreat. I'm going to talk to my superiors and see if they would work with your people on this. Can you talk to your commanders?" He was starting to feel more confident about this campaign. Finding beastmen in a forest was normally a fool's errand, but the Wood Elves knew the paths even better than those monsters did.
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Saeran
 Posted: Nov 9 2017, 07:22 AM
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97 years old
Waywatcher
Nil is Offline


And no sooner did it begin, it seemed, than it was over. Time seemed meaningless when trying to survive. Saeran waited a long moment, bright eyes searching the crumpled beast, before she rose to full height. Her heart was beating to the happy melody of the hunt, and she was almost sad to feel it fade back to the calmness of her mission at large before it thumped a few excited beats within her. A hunt with humans - what a strange wonder! What else did the Old World hold for her?

She looked up toward the branches that had sheltered her and the trees that looked so sad, twisted and mangled by the corrupt magic of the Beastmen, and placed a hand against the trunk beside her. “Thank you for your shelter today,” whispered the Wood Elf softly. “I am… I am sorry this has become you.”

On Kiefer’s approach she turned her attention back toward him, letting her hood slip down on her head to reveal the mess of her wild hair. She listened patiently to his request - and took a few moments more, studying him carefully, her curiosity dampened by the necessity of caution. Hard to imagine that one human could possess such power. Harder still to imagine what he was asking of her.

“You tell your lord where to go, and he listens?” Saeran looked briefly at his horse, a creature that had a rugged strength unbuilt for the place it was now and a tiredness she couldn’t quite place. “More important, you are not...” She searched for the words. “...fearful. I hear humans do not like Asrai. What do you think Asrai hear of humans?”
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Kiefer Holzmann
 Posted: Nov 12 2017, 11:56 AM
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19 years old
Apprentice Bright Wizard
Mr. Creazil is Offline


Kiefer watched the elf, curious. It seemed like she was doing some sort of religious thing involving the trees, a prayer maybe? He wondered what sort of prayers a wood elf would say in a twisted, tainted forest like this one. Around him his men had other things to worry about, busying themselves with reloading their braces of pistols, getting ready for a potential second wave. He desperately hoped one wasn't coming.

Kiefer hadn't expected the elf to take her hood down, but he took it as a sign of trust. She looked like how he imagined wood elves, delicate features but with a wilder, more unkempt look than he'd seen from the High Elf travelers and diplomats who sometimes went through Altdorf.

"I can try to convince him. He sent me out to scout and report back. If I report that we may have allies against the Beastmen, he might be willing to speak with your people." He hadn't gotten too much of a read on his commanding officers yet. He was still a low-ranking wizard, the lad didn't have too much contact with them. Still, he was comfortable telling her this. He was less comfortable telling her about what he'd heard of her people. Kiefer was from an old lumber family, he'd heard some less than flattering things about elves. "Well, we don't hear much about you, other than your people keeping to yourselves and protecting your forests." That was as diplomatic a way as he could think to put it.
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Saeran
 Posted: Nov 15 2017, 07:01 AM
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97 years old
Waywatcher
Nil is Offline


Saeran felt an eyebrow raise at such a blatant display of naivety; then she felt foolish that she had let herself think, however briefly, that it could be any different. Humans were such fleeting, undecided creatures. The Wood Elf hummed a thoughtful note and scanned the forest around them slowly.

Naivety - or arrogance? It was difficult to decide which of these made the wizard entertain ideas so high above his station - to make no mention of their absurdity. She was no lover of the Beastmen, but she would need far more than their mere existence to convince her lord it was worth bothering with a pack of humans. And that was if she ignored the weight of her current task. She had not stepped into this dark, uncolorful world to find pockets of Beastmen. She came for answers. Answers she was no closer to unraveling, and would not find if she stayed here.

She ran a finger over the arrows at her side thoughtfully. Then she looked sternly upon the humans, unsure of what she felt now when she looked at them. “Foolish,” Saeran told him flatly. “But, here is not the place for talk. You cannot stay. Beastmen eat Asrai out of spite… Eat humans because they like way it tastes.” She shook her head. “Better you follow - quickly, maybe, this time.” And she didn’t wait for his response to begin her departure from the dreadful place, with or without them.
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Kiefer Holzmann
 Posted: Nov 15 2017, 03:40 PM
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19 years old
Apprentice Bright Wizard
Mr. Creazil is Offline


Well, that wasn't the answer he was hoping for. Kiefer supposed he should have expected like that. Elves had a reputation for arrogance, regardless of their origins. High Elves in their literal ivory towers, Dark Elves treating humans as cattle. He'd hoped that the Wood Elves were more down to earth, but it seemed like they just had a different flavor of arrogance. It made sense, what was a human to a being that could live thousands of years?

The wizard just nodded, signalling for his men to follow. They tried to keep pace with her, riding through the trees. It was difficult, but they tried. He'd heard that Wood Elves rode stags instead of horses, did she not understand that their steeds had a harder time navigating the narrow paths and uneven roots than she did? There were times he worried they might stumble and lose a horse.

After some hard riding, they came to safer woods. Kiefer pulled his horse up, looking back down at the elf. "I'll pass word along to my superiors. We'll be bringing a larger force through here to deal with the Beastmen, though, and not all of my superiors have a great respect for nature. I can try to advise them, but without guidance they might just burn down sections of the forest to root the monsters out." He didn't like these sorts of implied threats, but he wanted the elf to know what was about to happen. The Empire wasn't made of graceful warriors of nature, it was a thing of steel and steam and gunpowder. There was going to be collateral damage.
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Saeran
 Posted: Nov 19 2017, 01:20 PM
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97 years old
Waywatcher
Nil is Offline


Thankful to be back in safer woods, Saeran couldn’t help but laugh at Kiefer’s audacious statement. She glanced up at him as she held her arms out to either side of her, drawing an arrow from the quiver at her hip as she did so and balancing it atop her fingers. “Threats - that is what humans do, yes? Works good for you with others like you.” The Asrai reached back to draw her hood lazily atop her head, pointing her arrow at him. Her tone was light, but the seriousness beneath it was like a sharpened blade. “But threaten a Waywatcher in the woods? You would like to see what happens?”

If he could see at all. Saeran felt confident she could disappear before the humans decided what to do with her, though she preferred not to waste her time on such pursuits. She waved her arrow and slipped it back into her quiver, offering Kiefer a shrug that showed she meant no true malice. It was hard to blame him for his attempt; humans knew nothing but struggle and lived such fleeting, troubled lives. How could they ever know any different?

“No. Not so easy,” she tried to explain. “I make an oath to the lord of my kinband. I return to my hall, say help humans or they burn the forest - you think he will feel compassion for you? You think we have not fought Beastmen longer than you have lived, and will not long after you are gone?”
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Kiefer Holzmann
 Posted: Nov 19 2017, 07:29 PM
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19 years old
Apprentice Bright Wizard
Mr. Creazil is Offline


Well, that had gone wrong. "That wasn't a threat!" He was getting frustrated. Was it the language barrier, or was that just that obtuse arrogance elves were famous for? "I'm offering you a better way, if your superiors will go along with it. I would rather keep the forest safe." He decided not to mention that she was threatening a pyromancer in the woods. While that was a valid point, it probably wouldn't help his cause any. He wanted to just use his magic, call the crown of flames to give himself some authority, but that could easily backfire.

"If you're unwilling to listen, then be on your way. But if you care about getting rid of the Beastmen, please see if you can send an envoy." He was in a hurry to be out of here. His men were on edge, pistols trained on the elf. She'd threatened to shoot their commanding officer, it was a miracle they hadn't just gunned her down when she pointed an arrow at her. Kiefer signaled to them to put their guns away. "And a word of advice in the future: Don't point your weapon at someone who's leading a group of pistoliers. Six bullets can do a lot more than one arrow, especially at this range." He was starting to lose his usual meek demeanor. This elf had worn through the last of his patience.

The wizard signaled for the men to move, starting to head back to camp. "Think about what I said. What I actually said this time, not a threat you imagined." He rode off, eager to be away from there. Next time he met an elf, he hoped they spoke the same language.
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