“Of course. Stay put, Rowina will know how to best treat the wound.”
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The only response Averros got was another sigh of pain as Darralon closed his eyes.
* * * *
Eliwood lurched backwards as the cutlass horizontally sliced across his armor, causing him to gasp in pain and drawing blood. Narl brought his blade back and grasped it with two hands and stabbed forward.
But the ranger mage was not out of the fight. His brilliant elven blade came from below and drew the orcs cutlass high. Eliwood drew magic into his hand and twirled right, casting his spell so fast he thought it would fizzle. The gods seemed to favor him this day as he spun away from the orc he placed his palm on the orcs side, discharging a burst of electricity.
Narl growled and jumped in shock and pain. He stumbled away and spun, keeping himself away from his foe. He bared his fangs in respect to this elf who would be a worthy kill.
Clarg ran at a dead sprint, coming to the battle between Narl and the deadly ranger. He knew he had no time, the two drow must have spotted him by now. The two combatants clashed steel again and the elf danced back.
Eliwood was completely taken by surprise when he was bowled over by a large muscular figure. Dazed and surely done for, he was even more shocked when the two orcs sprinted past him in a hasty retreat. The two drow approached him and it was Revan who offered him a hand. He gratefully accepted and they looked to the path the orcs were making through the forest. The dark elf looked to him and tilted his head slightly, silently asking.
Eliwood sighed and shook his head and turned around to see Rowina rushing to aid Averros who was motioning to Darralon. His heart stopped as he began to worry. Was the boy alright?
Revan sheathed his kukri and silently followed as they moved towards their fallen comrade. Rowina was singing gracefully while her hand rested upon the young Bladesingers shoulder. There was a lot of blood and Revan wasn’t sure how much of it was the younglings and how much of it was orc. He shrugged inwardly, it hardly mattered. The drow was somewhat impressed by the half breeds prowess but physical prowess is only half the battle. Revan smiled, remembering the lifelong lesson. Dazrin had taught him brutally. He still had never met anyone who could wield a staff in combat as well as he did, surprising a much younger Revan and costing him the duel.
Averros and Eliwood helped Darralon up who seemed to be quite disappointed in himself.
I would too if an orc had snuck up on me Revan mused quietly to himself.
“I could have beaten him,” Darralon shook his head as he retrieved his heavy elven blade. The action caused pain to shoot up his arm and he gasped.
Concern flashed through Rowina’s face as she watched. “Stand still,” she ordered and she called upon her goddess once again. Soothing warmth numbed his shoulder and Darralon sighed in relief.
Averros and Eliwood watched, quietly talking to themselves off to the side.
“They are running. If we need to track them down the path will almost certainly be clear. If a tenday passes I could still track them through this forest. I grew up here, remember?” Eliwood comforted his highly agitated friend.
Averros sighed and conceded the point. His friend was adept at tracking even by the standards of other elven rangers. He nodded and followed Eliwood back to where the other three were waiting.
All of them looked to Eliwood who sighed and took a deep breath. “We need to move. This battle will probably cause unwanted attention. I’m sure Rowina is low on healing magic and I’m short on spells and arrows. Let’s find a campsite far enough away from here and we can try using some divination magic to find our path again,” the ranger looked at his battered companions as he spoke, seeing no complaints. Rowina nodded and Darralon looked relieved. Revan simply shrugged and Averros motioned for the ranger to lead the way. Eliwood took another deep breath and obliged them.
A wispy cloud of dark gas silently watched with more than a passing interest.
* * * *
Thyrvaan moved silently though brush, seeming no more than a gentle rustle. Stepping lightly as only a elf could, he saw came across the scene of a gory battle. Orc corpses littered the forest floor, the smell of death was overwhelming and the blood spilt could smelled from miles away. He slowed and several others followed with equal grace, all his kin. This was their home, no other place did they feel more welcome than under the trees of the Bronzewood. Here, they could hunt anything, here they were the masters of stealth and guardians of the wood.
Ignoring the carnage, the elf squared his jaw, vengeance apparent in his cold eyes. His small band of kin waited idly by as he wildly moved to and fro, searching for a trail, his dark ponytail swinging behind him as he moved.
One spoke softly, a voice that sounded like a whisper of a wind. “This way, not more than a few days ahead of us. They have a skilled tracker with them and he covers their trail with advanced techniques. We have found the way.”
* * * *
He shut out all the noises around him. The world went dark, as dark as his own skin. His breathing slowed, calm. The drow sat cross legged in a small cave, feeling his energy come back. It was slow, a trickle of water filling his large goblet which was nearly empty. Revan’s eyes flickered, his serenity disturbed by a small tug. Insistent but faint, the connection was far away.
The drow’s eyes opened as an image started to form, one very familiar. A drow with scraggly white hair down to his shoulders wearing expensive blue silk robes appeared. His smile was cruel and his red eyes shined.
“Ah, there you are, the most valued and well liked Symzarin!,” the ghostly image chuckled.
No longer able to control his breathing, Revan’s heart pounded in his chest. “Dazrin,” he mumbled, cursing his luck.
The image curiously eyed him, “I see you have been overextending yourself again. Such a thing does strengthen your mind, should you recover properly. Otherwise it makes you weaker.”
Revan said nothing as the house mage continued to smile. “In your condition, your of minimal use to us. Do take care of yourself, the elders want you back within the tenday. Kelamarifaen sends his regards, he has been doing quite well. Some say he has become your equal. Some say he has surpassed your talents,” the image grinned confidently.
He couldn’t think of anything to respond with. As usual, he found himself speechless when he matched wits with the wizard psioncist, once his teacher. It was a feeling the quick witted drow did not miss.
The image began to fade, leaving only a whisper behind. The words were gentle but laced with a threat. “You will return to us soon…whether you want to…or not.”