The Long Shadows of Brightstone
Any Given Night
The wind whipped and howled around a small clearing in the woods. The campfire’s last remaining embers gave off the faintest amount of flickering light. Their path paralleled a heavily trafficked trade route, staying at least a few hundred feet from it. It always seemed to be a much quieter trip when they weren’t stumbling over frightened peasants and commoners that flooded the highways.
Sylvanoran stood near the clearing’s edge facing the center of camp. He kept his back to the frigid northern winds and to the dark forest. He was in total darkness, with the exception of the reflections of the campfire and moonlight off of his chrome mask. His eye, crimson and unblinking, was all that could be seen behind the mask. This eye kept a constant watch over his companions.
A pine cone, suddenly, was disturbed from the tree above him and fell onto his shoulder, bounced, and landed on the forest floor. Sylvanoran didn’t react in the slightest way. Trome Titæn must have shifted in his sleep. Trome Titæn, standing well over six feet in height and weighing around three hundred pounds had a knack for sleeping in trees. He even made it look comfortable. He slept soundly, but never very deep. At the drop of a hat, Sylvanoraan knew that Trome Titæn could unleash a volley of arrows that could fell a stone giant.
Trome Titæn was almost a celebrity in these lands. His supernatural archery skills are more than well known. His father was a woodsman and his mother was an avatar of nature itself, giving him a very “earthy” look. His feet and hands were enormous, and his chest was the size of bear’s, yet he was incredibly nimble and very graceful.
A pain shot down Sylvanoran’s arm and it made him wince and clench his fist. The pain left as fast as it came. This has been happening more frequent lately. He stared into the dying fire, the coals flickered from a dark red to a bright orange as the gusts of wind continued to assault the camp.
The only sound from the camp that rivaled the powerful winds were the reverberating snores from Crog Bonecrusher. Crog layed flat on his back, arms sprawled out taking up as much space as possible. He slept hard and fought hard.
Crog Bonecrusher, a thundering hulk of a man, was terribly ferocious in combat. He was covered in spikey plates of armor, and was armed with some of the largest and scariest weapons that most men could never even imagine.
At the opposite end of the clearing knelt Isidro. A blue skinned, white haired, messenger of death. He was kneeling down, his back towards the forest, and facing towards Sylvanoran. Although he was resting, he remained fully geared. Each hand rested upon the hilts of his weapons, ready to strike at a moments notice.
Isidro the assassin. He was like clockwork, a never ending device of murder. Constantly searching for the perfect strike. Always cloaked in the shadows. Even when one would be at rest, surrounded by friends and allies, Isidro can’t help but to size up everyone in the room, pinpointing his strikes and planning each person’s death.
The closest one to the fire was Garianna. She was sitting up cross legged; her heavily embroidered cloak was wrapped tightly around her, sheltering her from the wind. Although unconscious, she was not asleep. Every night she would enter a deep trance. A means to balance herself and to calm the rippling powers inside. An ancient and arcane blood flowed through her veins. An awesome power she still does not fully understand or have control of. Her ancestors, Demons and Sun Elves, gave her very interesting features. As she sat there, she appeared to be a stunningly beautiful High Elf. But her companions knew her true form; Red skin and jet black hair. Powerful demonic wings and a long, thin, and muscled tail. Even in this frightening form she holds an aura of absolute beauty. Garianna hid her true form most of the time, only to avoid having to waste precious magic on pitch-fork-carrying-commoners.
She shuddered against the cold. Sylvanoran considered rekindling the campfire. But instead… He stood. Watching and waiting. An unmoving, unblinking, unresting sentinel of the dark.