The Nether Scrolls
A haughty defender of nature surviving in the wilds
The branches of the great elms creak as a sudden gust of wind cascades down the mountain slopes and through the forest valley. My people call it osiceca tate (oh-shee-chay-chah-dah-day), “Stormwind”. It is the wind before the storm. A portent. The turbulent storms bring destruction, but also wisdom for those who listen. They define my people. It is understood that storms come and go, but we must persist. I learned the Old Ways of the Moonmaiden through the many stories of my people. I learned the heartbeat and rhythm of life in the world around us. Life is everywhere and it’s energy flows through, in, and around us. If we respect it, it will give life…and take it..
When I was old enough to understand that I was different, it didn’t matter anymore. These were my people. I was their son, brother, and friend. We are the Ly-tel-quessir or the Lythari born of the moon, an ancient race. I am wal iyaci (wahl ee-yah-chee) or “adopted”. My first memory is the warmth of my mother’s breath swaddled in the folds of her form. Gazing up she stared back at me, deep dark pools reflecting the moonlight. I knew that I was safe with her. The rhythm of her breath was the rhythm of life. I was affectionately called cola hi (choh-lah hee) or “without hair” by my packmates. They were stronger, faster, but my mother taught me to use my connection with nature.
My people live deep in the Wood of Sharp Teeth or as we call it, “Glimmerwood”. It is our duty to keep our feral brothers and sisters at bay. What is a blessing for my people is a curse for them. Ravaged and stricken we call them wosiliyagle (woh-shee-lee-yah-glay) or “the cursed”. I look with pity on their affliction, but it is my peoples task to keep them at bay. We protect the forest at all costs and ensure safety for travelers along the Uldoon Trail to the south.
Again a gust of wind shakes the treetops. Mikael…Sasha…Elrune…gone. Lifeless. Ravaged and broken, their throats torn out. I grew up in this elven ruin. My people let the land reclaim it and it is considered sacred, holy. The stones of the temples, now overgrown by vine and root, are a reminder of the passage of time. If we were ever overrun by the wosiliyagle we were to retreat here. This is the third group I have found each slaughtered in a similar way. Ambushed.
“You must leave.” A deep, guttural, beastly voice shatters the quiet. Turning I see him. Dane. The alpha male. Standing nearly seven feet tall, his wolf-mane bristling; the white of his coat in stark contrast to his brethren. Each exhale spills forth in the cool night air. It has taken many years, but he has learned to control his curse. This quickly earned him respect. There was even a time when my people helped him. Such promise. “Dane…why?” I ask as betrayal washes over me. Gripping my staff with my right hand, my left clutches my sword at my side. “Leave…and never return,” he growls. “This…” he pauses, “is my only concession. The forest is now ours.” Looking over his shoulder he turns and meets my gaze, ”Go. Your people are no more.” Slowly drawing my scimitar, it’s black obsidian blade glistening in the moonlight, I step forward, “Selune, will not be pleased, Dane. What you have done will not go unpunished.”
“Raiden!” Turning I see the silhouette of a large wolf…it is my mother, Laerta. “Son, leave, you must warn Greenest.” In confusion, I step toward her. “Go!” she screams. The sheer force of her will staggers me. In a flash her form shifts. With Dane’s deafening roar ringing in my ears, I take flight high above the forest…the soft glow of Greenest lights up the distant horizon.