Then they finally came upon what was behind the smoke. From a distance they rangers are the first to spot it!
“Over there… do you see it! Humans! They are burning the forest I told you! We must kill them all!” exclaimed Elodil
“Yep it’s the Humans alright” added Ivar.
“How are they setting trees a flame in Winter? With this dampness it should be very hard! Are they wizards?” A concerned Druid asks.
“Hmm… I don’t think so” comments the Witch “They seem to be applying some black sticky goo to the tree and only after that do they set it a flame”.
“Perhaps the black goo is the darkness, some demonic power?” asked Veg
“I don’t think so, I don’t see any type of rituals, or anything that reminds me of spells” replies the Witch.
“Look, over there, they get the black stuff from that barrel they have on the wagon, that the two oxen are connected to” Ivar ads.
“What? They make animals their slaves?” A horrorized druid asks
“These savages, these monsters, lets just kill them and make them pay for their crimes!” exclaims Elodil.
“They don’t look like foxes” asks Merriladrin “What are they Veg?”
“Never seen that Animal before, but it’s probably related to wolves or cooshee, more like a small cooshee, do you hear it? It barks like a cooshee” replies the druid
“Who cares what they are called let’s just kill their masters already” Elodil says having a hard time not charging off in the direction of the humans.
“Wait, let’s see if they are armed, if they are any we should take them out first” ads Merriladrin
“Some of them have strange looking bows, they hold it on the horizontal resting on some stick that appears to be attached at the middle of the bow and is also holding the string drawn” replies the Witch.
“I just noticed they have only burnt phostwood trees, they are ignoring the other trees” comments Veg. “I wonder why”
“We should capture a human and question him” says Ivar
While most of the elves nods in agreement, Elodil angerly adds
“I don’t see the point of that, we won’t be able to trust anything these fiendish humans say”
The elves soon make their attack plans, as arrows are let loose, the Witch casts sleeping spells upon a few humans, as the druid connects to the plane of fire and produces a flame that he can throw at them.
After the devastating surprise attack, the humans left standing reply firing their crossbows, wounding greatly the rangers. The elves are taken some what back at how easily the crossbows punctured their leather armour. Then the elves notice how long the humans take to reload the crossbows and think to themselves how elvish bows are much superior to these silly humans weapons
A human frees the pair of dogs by the wagon and tries to set them against the elves. But the druid very easily convinces the dogs that they should be friends, it was easy for Veg to convince the dogs to help them against the humans, as their human masters had been cruel to them.
As the largest of the humans had finished just reloading his crossbow and takes deadly aim on Elodil’s younger brother. The crossbowman suddenly stops, says not a word but has a very surprised expression, from something that just happened, but that expression lasts just a moment, he drops his crossbow, then he drops, revealing behind him Merriladrin, wiping her blades right before she jumps back in to the shadows of a near by bush.
“Some of the humans are fleeing” Says a wounded Ivar as he lets loose another arrow
“Don’t let them escape, if they can call for help and send reinforcements we will be in big trouble” replies Elodil as his arrows hits the back of a fleeing man, that then falls motionless to the ground.
Veg sees one human jumping on the wagon trying to use it as cover against the deadly arrows that fly by. The oxen with the commotion start to flee. The druid throws a flame toward the fleeing wagon, shortly after the wagon is all set a flame as some of the black goo had been spilled out, then a few moments latter it violently explodes! Making a a large hole, destroying trees, pieces of human, and oxen are spread through the forest.
The Witch hissing like a cat at the druid “I thought you were the protector of the forest, look at what you just did! Looks like it’s not just the ancient one that is going senile!”
The druid apparently ignores the Witch, but with a sorrow face looks at the unnecessary destruction he had just caused. “This is the vilest of sorcery!”
The elves take one of the humans the Witch had put to sleep with her magic as prisoner and slaughter the rest. The Witch takes out an elaborately ornate dagger. She giggles as a young child that has just received several presents “Oh these eyes might come in handy for some potions, can’t forget the liver, the vesicle, oh wonderful glands this one has, a few teeth.. .the tongue yes, yes” and starts harvests several organs from the humans she killed, placing them in jars.
The Starbow brothers start collecting ears and use them to make a necklace of their kills.
As the human wake’s up, the first thing he see is Elodil’s younger brother necklace of ears just a few centimetres from his nose. The younger of the Starbow’s that had remained mostly quiet till now- and despite having a couple of crossbow bolts in him, still musters the strength to violently punch the human as he questions him:
“Why are you burning the forest!?”
The human replies something that seems like gibberish to the elves.
“Didn’t you hear me? The more you stall the worst this will be!” The young elf hits the human again.
The frightened and very bruised man replies with more strange sounds.
“These stupid creatures don’t know how to talk! I told you guys it would be useless questioning these monsters, we should just kill it” exclaims Elodil
“Hmm perhaps they have their own language, does any one speak human?” asks the Witch
They all shrug.
“Lets take him with us to the gnomes, they speak human for sure! I heard they trade with the humans from the east side of the forest” says Merriladrin
“Yes, we shall” confirms Veg, but we need a place to camp, and attend to these nasty wounds, I have called upon the spirits all I can today, I have no more power to request their aid in healing you now, I need to rest, after that I’ll be able to call upon them again to heal you”
“I too have used all my magic for now” says the Witch “Tomorrow I’ll also be able to aid with magical healing”
A bloody Ivar ads “We need some place safe, we should camp in the trees, if we have to fight up close, neither I or the brothers will last long, and from a high we will have a better advantage with bows”
They all agree. And move back in to deeper woods and try to camp in the trees. Shortly after they are awaken by the dogs Veg had befriended, fighting bears. The bears quickly kill the dogs. They realise the bears were attracted by the smell of blood from their wounds. The druid though manages to convince the bears to leave peacefully, apparently the dogs will satisfy their hunger for now.
Not long after they are awaken again by the sounds of other dogs barking in the distance.
“More Runtshees?” asks Ivar
“And most likely more humans” says Elodil, “They are probably tracking us, we need to move, we are in no condition to fight”
They rapidly try to move, but soon realise their human prisoner is slowing them down immensely. As he trips and falls frequently and in no way can keep up with the elven pace.
“We need to get rid of the human quickly or they will be upon us” says Elodil as he lifts his long spear in direction of their prisoner.
“What, you never seen something die quick before?” she asks.
“It deserved to suffer more for the crimes it has done” mumbles Elodil, lowering his spear.
“Perhaps, but now he can’t suffer, I’ll try to keep that in mind in the future” she points her now clean and shiny blade in direction to the distant barking that gets closer “Maybe you want to discuss that with his friends”
“Let’s go by tree” says the Witch, “It will be much harder for them to track us”
“I agree… but before that help me behead the human” says Veg “We need to send a message to the humans”.
They place the human’s head on spike, to be easily found. Using the his blood they write in elvish “Begone or be DEAD”. They then take to the trees, and almost like monkeys jump one branch to another. It’s slower than running normally through the forest, but much harder for some dog to track the scent.
As they advance rapidly the noise of rushing water can be heard. “We can lose them for sure if there’s a river”.
They wade a bit in the river. It then dawns on them, it’s the Yol river. The other side is Nutherwood, territory of the humanoids and other evil creatures.
Without anyone saying a word they start moving North away from it. An hour later wounded and exhausted they finally make camp.