Author's Comment: Don't expect this to be some great masterpiece... it's just some bit of fluff I thought I'd write up for my 14 model, 200 pt. warband and is not that much of a great writer's craft from me. In fact I wrote it during school. By the way... this is dreadfully long... lol and there are spelling mistakes all over I'm sure as I'm typing directly from paper to this site.
Thank You, enjoy.
Elsare of the Woods
The Northern woods had been raided countlessly during the last year. Elsare was the very elf that had led the rebellion against the creeping darkness seeking to purge his home in Athel Loren.
Into the forest walked a herd of beasts devoted to Chaos. They hadn't even begun to notice the twitching of the forest that moved in the shadow, avoiding watch. A great Centigor led his disgusting horde through the winding paths of the burnt trees and rotted earth that had been caused by the same beasts long ago, their feet stained our holy land.
The sound of their hooves clomping through the dry leaves was enough to wake the forest alone. Elsare's eyes narrowed and a smirk could be seen alogn with the tension in his face. With a quick snap, it was released with great strength.
A sudden "fwshhht" could be heard and following it the sound of air cracking as an arrow emerged from deep in the wood and beasts began to cry in shock as their leader fell to the ground lifeless, an arrow through his head.
They didn't even have time to catch a glimpse of their unknown foe as arrows began to fly from each side of the path, the guardians of the fey fired their bows in rapid succession, hitting their marks only to leave yet another after another body for the forest to claim as its own.
Two gors from the rear, that had fallen behind, caught up to their fallen brethren and they screamed for blood and vengance looking for a worthy challenge. Their screams didn't last long before an elven blade put a swift end to both the beasts.
"Another two for my belt." Murien, son of Elsare, said. Elsare emerged from his cover and his patrol piled into the path to check their enemies.
The forest had told Elsare of the beasts' coming, and even besides that they could be heard from a mile away, none-the-less Elsare checked the bodies.
"Your arrow, Eoswith, fell short of the neck." Elsare stated to Eoswith, Murien's comrade and dear friend, as he plunged his blade through the beast's heart, letting its blood spill on the ground floor.
"It matters not, my young friend, you faired well this day and your accuracy will improve within time. Keep a keen eye and always be prepared." He said again to Eoswith, trying to encourage him.
"Esla, Fwin!" Murien called for Elsare's sister and her cousin, " May I borrow your steed? I must ride henceforth to make sure our camp is safe." Asked Murien.
"Anything for my commander's son." Fwin stated with dearly obvious sarcasm, handing Murien the reigns. A quick kick onthe side and he galloped into the woods.
"Great!" Elsare yelled out to his band, "We head back to camp, my group will take the night shift for today. Don't forget to be alert, regardless. Keep your sleep light, and your knives close. We know not when the enemy may strike upon us again." Elsare finished. Nodding their heads they began the hike back to their encampment deep in the woods.
The night had come, and had been passing fairly easy, no savages attempted their brutal plans, no dwarfs attempted their hacking of our trees, no beasts attempted to corrupt.
Elsare stood, dwindling over the fire with his legs crossed. Beside him sat Farwiln, Elsare's cousin from the Eastern woods.
"This is a false night. There are plots thickening in the outside world, planning for an assault upon us. There is no 'peace' in Athel Loren, we long to defend our homes and the woodland and have sworn to fo so, therefore, our lives are bound to this very sacred forest, its glades, its animals. yet, even as we fight for peace, protection, and justice, there are always those who wish to do harm, to burn our forest to the very ground and to speak of it as if it had never existed, letting it pass into the depths of history written by the realms of men." Elsare said, looking into the light fire that was keeping him and his cousin warm this chilly autumn night.
"The trees..." Farwiln started, "they speak to you and I..."
"You," the voices came to their heads as if an apparition of sound, "speak of the forest in the form of a sacred bond. One which includes you as almost the sole guardians of the forest. If it were not for the Wood Elves, like you, who had come to our need in dire times... during the savage winters, and coming to lead the Wild Hunt during our warm months, we would not be here. Your homes would be of only leaves and twigs on the ground instead of the grand hovels and halls you live in. You have, time and time again, rallied for the causes of Justice and Protection of your homes and the woods like you said, and we have followed you into battle just the same agains the oncoming enemies which wish for only the Peril of Athel Loren. We were never meant for peace, and you should never expect any. The wars we fight together is for our homes and for our families."
A treeman emerged from the forest, he said his name was Aodasth. He too had fought many times and it was easy to recognize that he was battle-worn... his scars of axes and saw upon his bark.
Elsare hung his head in grief over his purpose in life, as did Farwiln. This time passed quickly as Elsare's head snapped quickly to attention to the woods.
"Something comes our way... something with evil intent. Wake the others." He ordered Farwiln.
Standing up, Elsare awaited the wakening of his followers. Counting quickly, there were eleven with himself. A worrying look didn't take its time coming about his face.
"Where are Murien and Eoswith? Where is Ardyn?" He shouted, only to hear from a distance away the sound of a body hitting the ground. They had walked off to fight the enemy themselves.
"Quickly! Fwin, I need your steed. Esla... follow me, we must save them before they get themselves killed." Elsare demanded as Fwin handed him the reigns.
Mounting the glamorous white steed, Elsare and Esla galloped into the night, Elsare's voice being heard to set the ambush up.
Upon the clearing that was in the trees where a large band of Marauders marched through the grass, Ardyn could be seen on the edge of the forest, readying another arrow for her bow. As she fired one through the trees, killing a man in a single blow, she was suddenly freightened and fell to the grass and attempted to crawl away, a marauder but only a few feet away.
as she was on her back crawling away, his weapon raising, luck had pulled through as Elsare galloped quickly in front of the chaotic man, swiftly pulling his blade and removing his head. Esla ran past him to the other side of the clearing passing right through the Marauders' view as there anger rose and knew the elves would be upon them.
Esla had reached Eoswith and had him mount behind her as she took him away from harm. Elsare ran into the clearing and before him stood a chieftain and his men. Behind them was Murien... readying an arrow for the back of one's head.
Elsare's eyes widened in disagreement as before he could even say anything a dozen arrows flashed before him, passing right by and striking down the men before him. Out of the woods emergedthe five noble sons devoted to the defense of their forest and they stood before the marauders, tempting the challenge.
Elsare took this distraction to quickly gallop around and grab his impetuous son and bring him to the woods.
The five sons devoted to the Eternal Guard kindred drew their famed blades and they charged in with reckless resolve. Another hail of arrows fired overhead of them, taking down another row as Nol and Mindol, brothers of Loren, unleashed their weapons upon the foe. Impaling the men before them and then cutting asunder the next who would dare come before them.
Murien had joined the ranks of Winsth and Syl. Winsth was an elf found on a hunt for beasts. His wounds were bad and if it had not been for Elsare, he may have well as died. Winsth owed him his life and a bond was created between the two almost like family. Syl was Elsare's childhood friend. They grew up during the good and the bad times and had fought alongside each other in the darkest of times, defeating even the greatest of foes between each other.
Farwiln was firing his bow from beside Syl and turned to demand Murien to get Ardyn and Eoswith to join them in the fight.
Meanwhile at the front of the fight, Maryln fought with the desire to fulfill her promises to Athel Loren. Her swift mind and blade worked as one in a style that could never be judged by another. Her step to one side led her blade into the foe on the other as she would swing it around her bak and then over her head to swing across one of the foul men's body.
There were two more Eternal kindred members fighting and taking the brunt of the fight. Northell and Aomythe. They had foght alongside each other through every possible battle since birth. Edged on by his father, Aomythe regarded Northell as his rival as did Northell of Aomythe. They fought only to outo each other as they fought to protect the names of their honor. They would weave their blades like none other, their skill simply unstoppable.
Elsare and Esla charged forward once more, firing two arrows into the ranks of the men before drawing their spears. Upon riding into the massacre, Esla's spear rose and dove back into the piles of flesh beneath her, each strike a delicate and agile one but a strong one just the same.
Elsare drew his sword and pushed his blade through the head of one man attempting to pull him from his steed, then decapitated the next man who attempted to flee.
The enemy could not keep up with the might of the elves before them. Even Fwin had charged recklessly into battle, two blades of pure elven steel drawn. He dove in slashing to the side and using the other for an upward thrust to only jump and spin in the air, letting his blade come down, plunging through the head and neck of the next man. Kicking him off of his blade, he parried a blow from his side and another from his front as he disarmed one of them and finished him off, then swinging his blade to remove the head of the other.
The blood spilt on theground with bodies falling into their own puddles of it and then onto each other, it didn't last long after the glorious charge of Esla and Elsare before the enemy fled in hope of escaping the woods.
Murien drew one single arrow and let it loose, striking down one last Marauder in the back of the head. After piling the bodies and burning them, Elsare turned to Murien and knelt before him, placing his hand on his shoulder.
"It seems you have proven your skill in the heat of battle. It only takes the rush of the beating heart to push one's desire to kill upwards. That arrow was the most worthy one fired today, my son." He said to Murien, who had smiled at his father's praise.
Handing back the reigns of his steed he rode to Fwin, Elsare turned to the elves before him.
"Tomorrow we feast. Our patrol is done for this day. I am proud of all of you, we have defended Athel Loren with our best." he shouted to the ranks of elves before him, watching them clean their weapons of blood.
These were the 14 elves that would soon become the key figures of the Great Elsare of the Woods, defeater of Dwarfs, smiter of Chaos. The tales in the known future are held in the great halls of his many battles, leading Athel Loren's best to war and to victory. To him at this time, though, it was only the beginning. Yet, he did not even know that these 13 elves that followed him to battle would be the same that would follow him, in years to come, into the thick of the fray, into the darkest of times for Athel Loren.
The Forest of Athel Loren, though, to my readers, is more then just a forest-home to the Wood Elves of the Old World, and more then even that of the strange fey spirits that inhabit it. It is a wood of great deception and ancient memories, winding paths and grave danger. Time inside this very realm, which could seem like a year from the time of your entrance, could be a mere 5 minutes to the outside world, or even 1000 years.
None can tell what magic drives this place, little may ever know and even they are driven mad in the mere thoughts of comprehension of this forest, let alone if you've been kept within it for years.
The elves are accustomed and welcomed in the forest, they are its guardians as the forest is their's. Their very fate is tied strictly together as they fight to defend their homes, glades, trees, spirits, animals and more, from the hands of those which mean harm and of those who dwell in their sacred wood.
That is the story of Elsare of the Woods.