Thank you for downloading this ebook. You are welcome to share it with your friends. This book may be reproduced, copied and distributed for non-commercial purposes, provided the book remains in its complete original form. If you enjoyed this book, please return to your favorite ebook retailer to discover other works by this author. Thank you for your support.
Table of Contents
Arvél’s Hunt: Part 1
A slight rustle of leaves in some nearby brush alerted Arvél to the presence of a nearby creature, attempting to hide. The elven sentry drew forth his sword and axe as he dropped from his perch without a sound. The Elf’s keen silver eyes were not at all hindered in the darkness, and yet the creature blended perfectly into the night, evading detection.
Arvél approached the brush, and his warrior’s instinct, born from years of practice, warned caution. A terrible thought entered his mind- Had the chaotic drow finally made their move? Was the village under attack? The sentry shut the fear out of his mind. Worry would only cause hesitation and death.
A dark blur rushed out from behind the brush, passing only inches from the elf’s blades. Quicker than thought, the sword shot forward. Arvél was rewarded for his swiftness with a canine yelp.
The sentry took off in full pursuit of his quarry, copper hair flowing behind him in the moonlight. With surprising speed, the dark form outpaced the nimble elf, though it was obviously injured. Arvél sheathed his weapons and drew his longbow, nocking an arrow, all in one fluid motion. He continued to follow the dark form, waiting for that perfect moment where it would be restricted to a single pathway. Arvél saw his opportunity, halted, and let fly.
Another yelp. Now the form showed a significant staggering limp, and Arvél’s suspicions were confirmed by the recognizable movements it made. In pursuit again, the sentry reached once more into his quiver and found the arrow he needed, one longer than the others. With a heavy heart, he nocked that silver-tipped arrow and quickened his steps.
The village was close now, and Arvél still had not caught up with his quarry. The dark form had slipped out of sight.
A howl pierced through the night, and true fear gripped Arvél’s heart.
Arvél’s Hunt: Part 2
Arvél raced toward the direction of the howl as fast as his legs could take him. Another howl ripped through the night as the elven sentry came upon his village elder’s house, a structure sung into existence from a thicket of trees.
The werewolf, facing away from Arvél, stood in front of the building upon two legs, a monstrous seven-foot solid mass of muscle and sinew covered in dark fur. An arrow stuck out from the back of his left leg. It spoke with a gravely voice.
“Face me, Elder Lireth. You know who I am and why I have come.”
Arvél slipped into the shadows and drew back his silver arrow. He would strike only when given the perfect opportunity.
Several other sylvan elves approached the werewolf in the same manner as Arvél, sticking to the shadows with bows drawn. Some were sentries, others mere civilians meaning to protect their elder. Arvél waved them down. If there was a way to end this peacefully, he wanted to see it through. Letting Elder Lireth speak to the lycanthrope first would be the natural step toward that goal.
The elder exited his home after a few moments clad in the traditional armor of his rank, a mithril breastplate, but wearing no visible weapons. When he spoke, it was with the authority and vigor of a young man, though he was well over five-hundred years of age.
“And now, Yorâl, you have proven my decision to be wise. Can you not feel the darkness spreading over your heart?” Elder Lireth stood only steps away from Yorâl, but did not cower in fear.
“Wrong,” the werewolf growled. “It is not darkness but revenge that drives me. Righteous revenge for the exile of your friend. I had done nothing except protect this village from the onslaught of cursed beasts.”
“Have you already forgotten your daughter?”
Yorâl recoiled from the memory, clawing his face and howling in agony. “No more words, Lireth. You tore me from my home. I shall tear you from the material plane with my teeth!”
Yorâl lunged forward thirty feet with a single bound. Lireth responded with the speed of an elf, but had underestimated the lycanthrope’s range. A claw caught the elder’s arm before he was able to retreat to his house’s restricted space, too small for the monstrous attacker.
Seven elven arrows pierced the werewolf’s back with steel tips. Yorâl seemed not to notice, but continued to attempt to claw his way into the elder’s house.
“Yorâl,” Arvél called out from behind the brush.
Yorâl’s ears perked up at the sound of the sentry’s voice. He turned around.
Arvél let fly his silver arrow. It pierced the beast’s leg, the one not already sporting Arvél’s other arrow.
With another howl, Yorâl charged toward Arvél as fast as his wounded legs could take him. Arvél was prepared. He drew forth his sword and hand-axe, sword in his right hand and axe in the other. He said loud enough for all to hear, “This fight is mine!” and met the lycanthrope halfway in the open field.
With incredible speed, the werewolf struck first, his claw coming inches away from tearing open Arvél’s throat.
The elf dodged backward, rolling and coming up again to a battle stance. He immediately struck forward with his sword to halt the advance of the beast. Yorâl sidestepped right to dodge the stab, but was off balance and could not dodge the axe. It dug into his right side.
Arvél was repaid in kind. Yorâl struck with his left claw in an uppercut that collided with the sentry’s jaw and sent him sprawling back. The werewolf let out a howl of victory, thinking the battle over.
Still the other elves stayed their hands.
Yorâl stood over Arvél’s facedown body, triumphant. He said, “What a fitting end for a betrayer such as yourself, Arvél.” The werewolf struck with his claws, meaning to end the elf’s life, but found that the elf’s body had vanished too quick for his beady eyes.
Arvél rolled backward, between the monstrous beast’s legs, and stood behind him, weapons in hand. Without hesitation, Arvél struck the lycanthrope’s spine through with his sword and his left side with the hand-axe.
The sound leaving Yorâl’s maw was that of an animal dying. With his last breaths, Yorâl spoke gritted teeth. “A sword in the back…” He coughed, and blood spewed onto the ground. “How very fitting, old friend…” And so Yorâl died.
Arvél fell to his knees. Blood dripped from his neck and chin, and tears fell from his silver eyes.
About the Author
Josh Thor is currently studying toward his BFA in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. His work mostly focuses on the fantasy/adventure genre, and he is currently working on his first full novel.
Connect with me
Subscribe to my blog:
Favorite me at Shakespir:
Arvél, a sylvan elf ranger, is a sentry for his village and must protect his home when a mysterious enemy appears during his watch. The author of this story, Josh Thor, originally wrote this tale as an origin story for a character he played in the tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons. It was then developed into a story meant for enjoyment in short-story format.