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Eliwood stood in the middle of a large room, surrounded by a large circular podium. The walls were made of granite and the lengthy dais was made of strong wood. There were two dozen or more seats, all on the dais looking down on him. At these seats, were the blurry figures of the elven council. It was disrespectful to try to look upon them without permission, so he kept his head bowed and listened.

Above him there were a dozen or so elves examining him. He was kneeling before them nervously, waiting. Many of them were old, even for elves, and most were of noble blood. Others had gotten to the station for accomplishments. His superior, Lord Torrcainan was up there somewhere. His eyes strained upward even though he remained in his submissive position. He couldn't see any faces at all.

"We are having difficulties understanding your report," One of the voices declared. He heard murmurs of agreement within the counsel. The voice was booming, it made his ears ring and he felt insignificant at this moment. They were the wisest and most experienced elves in any direction for a thousand miles. He listened carefully.

"They are truthful though hard to believe. It is certain whatever we do the drow cannot be left alone or trusted. Not just yet at least," said a different voice, this one sounding older and more feminine. More agreements and nods from the figures.

Eliwood remained in his prone position. He wasn't sure what was going to happen. Were they going to make him hunt down the dark elf? Could he do it again? He shouldn't have untied the drow when he did. Why didnít he just drag the drow to the counsel like he should have? They had already scolded him for his actions; not very good for Lord Torrcainan's reputation. He was the apprentice mage, making him an icon for the entire house. His actions affected more than just him now, something that would take getting a little used to.

"It is a shame he got away. Had you not trusted the drow we would not be in this situation, thus you made it more complicated," said a different voice, this one sounding like a younger male.

After that, there was silence, as though they were communicating without speaking aloud. The ranger sighed quietly. Would Lord Torrcainan be angry with him? He sure hoped not.

"Agreed." said an entirely different voice.

"We have come to a decision," said the main elven voice. "You will accompany a cleric of Eilistraee and follow her orders. We will find out the truth about this dark elf. You will lead her to the target, and let the clergy of the Dark Maiden decide what to do with him. Is this understood?"

"Yes counselors. Shall I report back when it is done?" Eliwood asked. He gave up trying to see the blurry faces. There was some sort of enchantment placed around this chamber. There had to be. The identities of the elven counsel werenít meant to be known by every visitor he supposed.

"No, she will report back to us," said another voice.

"The priestess of Eilistraee has already been chosen and is being briefed as we speak by Lady Sable Ssussun Zíhin, the High Priestess of Eilistraee. You will treat her with the respect due. Lady Sable is very powerful and you are representing the counsel in this matter. Your task shall begin immediately upon her arrival. Do you require more time or anything that would delay the two of you?" asked another feminine voice.

"No, imp ready to complete this task," Eliwood complied.

"Then you are dismissed, may the Selendrian watch over you," said yet another different elven male.

Accepting the blessing, Eliwood stood up, bowed and exited the chamber.

* * * *

Eliwood lead the priestess through the thick green brush, back to the original scene. They moved south past ancient trees at a fast pace, and continued to do so in almost near silence. He supposed she wanted to see the cave where he and Averros first found the rogue. He cursed silently. He forgot. He had meant to check up on his friend. He would have to do it later. He knew the clergy of Tethrin would take care of his friend but he still felt a twinge of guilt for not seeing him yet.

"How much further?" came a voice from behind him.

He stopped and took a chance to look at her again. She was without a doubt the most beautiful elven maiden he had ever laid eyes on. The fact that she was a dark elf made her more interesting. She spoke the elven tongue so fluently that he would have guessed she was born on the surface. He flowing white hair went all the way down her backside, ending at her shapely bottom. She wore a dark cape and shining elven chain mail with leather straps and leggings.

She repeated her question again politely, making him blush. He needed to find a consort like her. She didnít seem all that impressed with him, but maybe a fellow priestess she knew perhaps? He toyed with the notion before answering her question.

"A few more miles to the north, then we move east for a little bit. If you would like, I could teleport us there. Iím not sure if itís wise though, this drow is very dangerous. Tangling steel with a respected Bladesinger and outrunning a ranger in his forest is no easy task." He let her think on the matter while his eyes strayed to her ample cleavage. He quickly pretended to be fiddling with his bow when she looked up at him and started talking.

"Well, I'm sure he is most likely looking for somewhere else to go, not waiting for us in the same location. Teleport us there in a second," Rowina said as they stopped. She sang a quick prayer to Eilistraee and motioned for him to cast his spell.

He nodded, unable to refute her logic. He was indeed a drow on the run. Returning to where he got caught wasnít a very smart move, he wouldnít do it again. Eliwood uttered a few arcane words and grasped her shoulder. In the blink of an eye they were gone.

* * * *

Revan Symzarin relaxed high in a tree, shaded by the healthy leaves of the canopy. He held a round piece of fruit in his hand. He had picked it not far from here. He wasn't sure how risky it was. He took his dagger and cut into the red skin. Inside was white and juicy. He sniffed it once and cautiously took a bite. It was delicious. He quickly gobbled it up and laughed at himself. Why was he so paranoid?

Back in the Underdark, eating something new was dangerous; most things were poisonous and deadly. On the surface world it seemed everything was somehow less harsh. Easier. Except that damning ball of fire in the sky. As if on cue, the clouds overhead stopped shading the sun making it brighter and he pulled his cowl higher covering his sensitive eyes.

He wasn't sure what to do now. This forest was massive. He was pretty sure he was lost. It all looked the same; trees and flowers everywhere. The buzz of life was constant. Occasionally he would see small critters run by, those dam things were fast. He sighed to himself. He needed to find another place to hide from the blinding light of day but it was hopeless. This place was too big, and he could barely see five feet in front of him now. He decided to slip into reverie and get some rest until it became dark. Then he would be able to find a new home. The last few nights he had been unsuccessful in finding anything at all. He sighed again as he closed his eyes and relaxed to the sound of some animal chirping in the distance.

* * * *

In a jump Rowina and Eliwood appeared back in the cave. Nothing attacked them as they moved deeper into the cave. Rowina examined the floor. There was clearly a struggle and there was dried blood in a few spots. There was definitely no one here. Her thoughts moved back to a few nights ago. The full moon and the mysterious drow. It was almost like a dream. She had thought he was going to be redeemed and join her clergy, but she had awaked by herself. She unintentionally blushed. She couldn't even remember his name. If he had even been real. If it had been some sort dream or vision it had been very powerful. She had accepted this quest eagerly, trying to get her mind off of it. She was sure Eilistraee had a plan.

Eliwood looked for more clues. It looked like his companion was deep in thought. He shrugged and tried to think of a way to track him. He had run out of the cave and teleported somewhere, hopefully still within the forest. Of course he had to be, there was nowhere else he could go. Revan told him this forest was the first place he had come upon after wandering the surface world his first night away from the Underdark. He was still here, somewhere.

Rowina snapped out of her thoughts and watched the ranger move around the cave. She was impressed with him. He walked with the grace of a hunter. She was told he was a qualified ranger and mage; an arcane archer even. The sword on his belt told her he was dangerous in melee combat as well. What couldn't he do?

"I havenít found anything we didn't already know. He teleported out of the cave, so thereís no real trail to follow from here. Any suggestions priestess?"

Rowina thought for a moment and casted a few spells while Eliwood watched, his interest piqued. She sang a divination and was about to tell him no, when the spell pulled at her. It was very faint, but it was there. It was like a slow heartbeat, or the furthest ripples in a pond.

"Wait, I think I found something. It's faint, but there is something. Letís go," she said as she hurried out of the cave. She winced, momentarily stunned by the brightness. It would soon be night; the sun was beginning its descent. Her spell would only last so long but it told her the drow they were looking for was stationary. Another soul to be redeemed and brought into the dance of Eilistraee. She whispered a prayer to her maiden and hoped Eliwood could keep up.


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The following comments are for "Twilight Shadows 5"
by HavocTheDemon

I gather that this submission isn't the beginning of the story, rather it's a goodly way into it - that's fine if you have taken the time to flesh out your characters before this point. For example, you don't describe what Eliwood looks like (hair length/color, eye color, skin color etc) Again, if you have already described him to your readers before the submitted post here, that's fine.
Also, early on you describe Eliwood as "standing on one knee." That's quite a feat. I've never seen anyone do that before.
You seem to have a very strong grasp on what your story. You seem to know who your hero is, what the mission of the story is going to be, and that is half the battle right there. So, I give you solid props for that. I think you just need to slow down a touch, take the time to describe Eliwood's feeling toward the elves in the beginning of the post. Let us know if he's in awe, scared, what. Describe the elves in better detail. Let the reader in. Describe the forest Eliwood is walking through with the princess. Plus didnt is didn't. You make this common mistake a lot in your post. For me, it was a bit distracting. If you have spellcheck, use it. If you don't, look for a program that has it. It helps writers more than words can say.
One last thing, make sure you capitalize names and titles. For example high priestess should be High Priestess because it's her official title.
All and all it was a good read. I'd very much like to read more, maybe start at the beginning and read through. You have good word usage, which is a strong positive in your favor. Nothing wrong here that can't be fine-tuned. Good job. Overall, I was impressed. Keep up the good work.

( Posted by: SCLang [Member] On: November 9, 2009 )

Yes, your right about it being a good way into the story. I do miss the ' alot but its just me, spell checking will almost always be more pain than pleasure, it will red flag alot of words that I use such as names places etc. I never put the effort into typing the ' because it has never been a big deal to me and your the first person to bring it up.

Thanks for the feedback, you caught some errors I didnt. This is just a first write through for this piece, the others ones had been edited and what not. One day I will eventually add all of the ' to my didnts and wasnts. But not today friend! Haha! Be sure to check out the other posts, and I will flesh it out a little more after a little while. Thanks again for the feedback!

( Posted by: HavocTheDemon [Member] On: November 9, 2009 )

Caught a couple of typos but nothing major. You said that eliwood was standing on one kneee then later described him as being in the prone. Also, in the cave, eliwood is with the priestess while she is trying to divine a trail but you called him Revan. Small things like that, but so far this is a hell of a rough draft. I'm hooked, can't wait to see what happens next.


( Posted by: HeRoCoMpLeX [Member] On: November 13, 2009 )

Yea, I hate being my own editor. Sorry for all the small errors, I always try to fix them but then it takes awhile for it to be up again. Well, thanks for giving it a look. Again, sorry for all of the errors. Nothing a few edits wont correct :)

( Posted by: HavocTheDemon [Member] On: November 13, 2009 )

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