“We should set off at once!” Kaylin insisted, turning on her heel and proceeding to march in the general direction Lex had suggested they travel to reach Leeria.
Like a feral cat, an alluringly beautiful woman, dressed in tight-fitting leather armor, trimmed in green, a woodland cloak draped about her shoulders, crept through the underbrush of the sparse forestlands. Though youthful to all appearances, her olive skin unblemished and long, brown locks untouched by even a single grey or white strand, the curving point of her long ears and depths of her chestnut eyes bespoke an age far elder than her visage suggested. Beyond this, her light, measured steps and comfort with which she handled the deftly crafted longbow in her elegant hands, suggested a veritable lifetime of perfected craft. As it currently stood, said perfected craft was focused entirely on a young buck standing at the center of a small clearing littered with wildflowers before her.
Dusk was falling swiftly when a lone rider wound their way down a twisting backwoods road towards a long, squat Inn with worn log walls and a thatched roof. A low palisade surrounded the structure, the gate of which was open and welcoming, as was the small trail of smoke rising from the building’s chimney. A faded sign at the palisade’s gate identified the place as the Weeping Willow Inn, aptly named as the namesake trees lined the roadside leading to its entrance, as well as about the palisade’s exterior. The soft gurgling of a nearby brook, as well as the multitude of chirping insects, lent the locale a sleepy facade and was a pleasing image to the weary traveller.
Leeria awoke the following morning just before the dawn, still groggy from sleep, as well as the amount of alcohol she had imbibed the night prior. She lay for a time amidst the hay, curled in on herself as she had but her woodland cloak covering her nakedness, the medallion of her guild clutched in her hand.
Lex’s assurance that the Glade of the Forest Mother’s Daughters being “not far” proved relative to the speed at which she could travel upon her agile mount. For Leeria, forced to traverse the uneven and overgrown terrain on foot upon a gradually rising slope, it proved a far more arduous task, even for a Ranger of her skill. Upon multiple occasions the Fey and her steed were forced to alite upon a branch or jutting stone to allow their earth-bound charge to catch up, Diglo becoming more and more agitated as her slowness deprived him longer and longer of his promised reward upon their journey's conclusion.
On unsteady feet, Leeria pressed onward, winding ever deeper into the labyrinth of twisted boughs and knotted trunks. Never had she as a Ranger felt more out of step with the natural world. It was as though the forest around her had become detached from what was natural, what was real, transforming more and more into a world of its own the deeper she delved. Her world.
“Come to me, sweet child. Come. Drink of my font, nourish yourself at my stream.”
With a merry jaunt, the elven ranger, known to most only as Dew, entered the townstead of Tallow just as the sun-kissed the western horizon, sending fountains of citrus and strawberry across the sky. Clothed from head to toe in tight fitted, emerald attire one would customarily associate with her ilk, she made a drastic contrast to the townsfolk who yet trundled down the town’s main, and only, avenue, clothed as they were in drab shades of grey, brown, or burgundy. Despite this distinction, she was met with naught but hearty greetings at her passing, marking the familiarity with which the town held her, and she them, for she returned each hail with an equally exuberant one of her own.
Wet foliage slapping at her face, the young, half-elvan ranger dives through the underbrush near the western eaves of the Wood of Sharp Teeth. She is in her element, lithe and quick. She knows the terrain and how to maneuver in it. She does not get caught on stray branches, or tripped by fallen debris. Her woodland cloak whips behind her, shadowing her every move as if it has a mind of its own. Her tight leather armor hugs her closely, accentuating every dip and curve of her well formed fisique. Her name is Lystra Silverdragon and this is the start of her tale.
The rain came pelting down in angry sheets as the hooded figure approached what could only be described complete carnage. Several wagons sat positioned haphazardly along a small stretch of the east-west running road known as the Tradeway, their beasts of burden collapsed in the mud, their bodies pierced with arrows. The wagons themselves had fared little better but it was the caravaneers who had taken the brunt of the assault.