Suggestions are in bold. You brought out the writing teacher in me. Please don't boot me from the forum!
As he stood silently in the great hall of his fathers, Felthar could not believe what had taken place in the space of a few short(nix the comma)
and terrifying weeks. The loss of his father, the murder of his family, and his encounter with, what else could he think, evil
One month earlier
, the Queen of Athel Loren had requested that Findecano Arhain, Felthar’s father, to CUT "to"
lead an incursion to the Forest of Arden in the lands of the Bretonni. (FRAGMENT The purpose being to cleanse the said forest of Cyanthir the Corruptor and his twisted minions COMBINE WITH PREVIOUS SENTENCE)
. Highborn Arhain reluctantly accepted, for although he knew his fate would be the same as the one that several other Highborns before him had met, a horrible mutation to one of Morghur’s followers, he would never
disobey a direct request from her majesty Queen Ariel (sounds like Brettoni-talk--got anything more elfy?)
. So, he and the kinbands under his jurisdiction left dejectedly, but immediately for the Forest of Arden.
The spellsingers spoke to the trees and concealed
the Asrai host from and Brettonians along their route. Traveling northwest, their encounters with peasants were non-existent, and the local populaces suspected almost nothing, except for the shortage of game wherever the elven host passed by. They were even forced to resist aiding a battling Brettonian army against the foul greenskins, but the Queen had given explicit instructions to remain concealed and make all haste to Arden.
The elven host finally reached the forest, and once within sight of its branches, they wept
as they silently marched towards the corrupted boughs. The outside (of what?)
looked absolutely natural, even beautiful, but the elves could easily see beneath the outer bark and into the hearts of the trees, whose spirits, although not nearly as complex as those in Athel Loren, were still real, and they (who? the elves or the trees? ambiguous wording)
were filled with corruption and agony.
The elves made their camp on the southern fringes of the forest, and sentries were pitched as the night came on, the sun casting its last crimson rays onto the trees before dipping below the horizon. No fires burned, for the summer air was warm, and the spites who had traveled with the elves came out and flitted about with a soft, glowing light. Sentinels took up their posts, and rotated every other hour until dawn.
Dawn brought silence. The forest was quiet, and an evil malice hung in the air. This was (weak construction: avoid PRONOUN + Be verb)
to be the norm as the Kinband of Arhain found marching through the forest. No birds, no insects, not even a light breeze gusted (light breezes never gust)
through the trees. The elves trudged on through the dreary forest as the waywatchers infiltrated into the undergrowth, and scouts forged ahead. An ever-growing weight seemed to perch itself on the shoulders of every elf as the sun passed from in front of the elves to behind the elves.
Soon, however, after a couple more days of marching and minor skirmishes, there was (again, weak...why not, "No sunlight penetrated the thick canopy"?)
no more sunlight to be had, as the canopy had grown too thick, and the only illumination was made by great shafts of light shining through gaps in the leaves, illuminated tiny dust motes hanging in the air above the ground. As the Asrai began to make camp, some of the scouts reported back to Findecano. They reported that they had found the first of what was sure to be many of several herdstones in a glade not one mile more into the forest. Findecano opted to give the troops another nights rest before toppling the beastmen monolith.
(Okay, I have problems with the last paragraph. First off, be exact: not a couple of days, but two days, or three, or whatever. Just something exact. Second, minor skirmishes?! That's interesting. You'll make your readers curious but without any payoff for them. I'd cut it. Next, you say, there's no sunlight because of the thick canopy, except for these big shafts of light. That's a contradiction. After this, why "some scouts"? Why not, "the scouts Laurel and Hardy" or whatever cool names you want to give them? After that, just say, "They had found..." instead of "They reported that they had found." We know they're reporting. What else would they be doing?)
This proved to be a costly mistake. (Avoid be verbs. Just use, "This proved a costly mistake.")
Striking out almost undetected from (too many outs) the undergrowth, an overwhelming force of twisted and screeching beastmen from Cyanthir ambushed the camp at midnight.
Spellsingers had no time to raise the spirits of the forest, and the army had little time to prepare. They were lucky to have even that, for the army was warned by chased waywatchers two minutes before the beastmen attacked.
The elves were massacared. The beastmen forces had ample time beforehand to surround and crush the kinband of Findecano Arhain while some Asrai were still rousing themselves from their beds. The wood elves fought bravely, but they were nonetheless
reduced to the handful of Eternal Guard protecting Highborn Findecano Arhain and his family.
The beastmen made a large circle around the elven family. Their unruly ranks stepped back, and they lowered their weapons. The beastmen then parted, and Cyanthir himself came into the circle, bearing a stench on the outside of uncleanliness, and a sight from the inside the elves knew to be pure evil.
Seeing their hated enemy, the eternal guard sprang forward, yelling their warcry. Cyanthir's feral expression turned even more savage, and with one sweep of his mutated
arm, he forced the sylvan warriors to back away.
The corrupter then pointed a single finger at Findecano(')
s warriors, who immediately fell to the ground screaming in agony, multicolored fire erupting from their eyes, hands, hearts and feet. They mutated into an elven likeness of the other creatures which surround the family of house Arhain, before rising up and joining
the ranks of their new kin. The corruptor then spoke, in a deep, changing, rasping voice.