Redflare Duskwraith

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Redflare Duskwraith

Post  Redflare on Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:02 pm

A thin mist creeps along the water’s edge, casting an eerie aura about the shores near Duskhaven. Suddenly, from the mist, a small fleet of ships drift into the bay, and casually coast towards landside. The ships slowly make landfall, and shadows are seen climbing down the aft side of the deck, sneaking their way into the nearby forest. As the last figure climbs down the deck of the center ship, a small glow is seen from inside the cabin’s quarters of the ship, highlighting the outline of a small child, not even a few years old, peering through the window.
The child seemed like an ordinary human, but with one small difference. His ears, though hard to tell, ended at a slight point at their tops, and he had more slender features than that of a normal Human child. His bright red hair was spiked, though curving slightly backwards, due to the length. Small sapphire orbs peered out into the forest, watching as the crew slipped into Gilneas without much more than a whisper. A faint glow came from the child’s eyes as he sighed, and turned to blow the candle out beside his bedroll. As he curled up underneath his covers, trying to fight off the chilly Northern winds, he wished his father the best of luck before slowly drifting to sleep.


* * *


A faint howl in the distance rouses the child from his sleep. He slowly sits up, wiping his eyes, and gazes out the nearby window of the ship, watching the sunlight creep along the landscape, greeting everything it touched with a warm glow as the early morning hours drew to a close. Climbing from his bed, the child checks for any hint in the return of the crew, only to ruefully learn that he was still alone. Usually his father, or his father’s friend Callows came back to take him into the towns. That is, after they were raided, or settled in.
The stillness of the ship makes him uneasy, so he makes his way to the deck of the ship, and gazes about the coast in hopes of finding any sign of his father or mister Callows. The mist from last night still lingered about, though only slightly, hindering his vision. He almost gave up, and began to head back down into the below decks, before the howl sounded, this time, closer than before. His curiosity gets the better of him, climbing down a rope left by last night’s raid, and heads into the forest.
The mist seems to dissipate as he heads deeper into the forest, though the heavy foliage causes him to lose his way. He wanders aimlessly, tears streaming down his face, wishing his daddy was there for him. As he begins to lose hope, he trips over a stubborn root, and falls face first into a pile of mud. “Daddy...Daddy where are you?” He cries out as he pulls himself to his feet, and wipes a handful of mud from his face. The howl sounded even closer, forcing him to clamp a hand over his mouth, and stare wide eyed between the trees, fearful of what might appear.
As he slowly backs into the forest, pushing himself deeper and deeper into the foliage, a warm, blue light comes from behind, catching his eye. He spins around, and rushes towards the light, hoping for some sign of reprieve from the eerie forest. Eventually, he breaks into a small clearing, and stumbles into a large tree, with strange elven ruins embedded within the bark. He gazes up at the tree, transfixed at the strange, yet soothing glow coming from within.
He trails a finger along the base of the trunk, admiring the pleasant feeling the tree gave to the surrounding area, yet stops dead in his tracks as he hears a howl come from behind the tree. A massive wolf stalks around the perimeter of the tree, its yellow eyes locked on the small child, and licks his chops. Before the child can react, the wolf lunged at him, baring its fangs. The massive wolf sinks his teeth into his shoulder, and everything goes dark.

* * *

Red wakes up, drenched in sweat, and glances about the dark cabin. He falls back on his bedroll, sighing with relief. It was only a dream…Yet it seemed so real. Suddenly, he felt a strange warmth within the dark, damp ship, and a strange auburn glow came from outside, along with the too familiar stench of wood burning. His curiosity drove him to gaze out the window, and what awaited him outside left him frozen with fear. Along the bank were a small band of Gilnean soldiers, each with a torch in their hands. They had set the ships aflame, and had the crew knelt before them, arms shackled behind their backs. They were being forced to watch as their only means of escape were destroyed before their eyes! Did they not know he was still inside?!
Panicking, Red searched for an escape through the quickly growing flames, choking and coughing as the smoke singed his lungs as they strained for fresh air. He felt about the cabin, covering his eyes from the allured smoke, and found an open window. He didn’t think twice before plunging into the freezing cold ocean, and made such a loud splash that the force knocked the wind from his lungs. The shock from the force of the impact was so strong that his vision blurred momentarily, only to clear as his lungs strained to conserve their last remaining gulps of air. As he surfaced, he noticed the soldiers drawing ever closer, so he took off into the woods, hoping to escape.
Time seemed to fly by as Red stumbled through the woods, eagerly trying to evade the oncoming pursuers. The voices seemed to come from every direction the further he went, and he almost gave up, if it weren’t for the fallen log that had appeared before him as he rounded a corner. He climbed over the log, and crouched down low, hoping to hide from the soldiers as they ran past, barking orders and blindly charging into the night. As the torchlight faded into the distance, Red was finally able to catch his breath, and heave a sigh of relief.
As he slowly relaxed, the scene at the beach stung at the back of his mind, causing him to blink back tears. His father always told him it was a sign of being a big boy once he learned to hold back his emotions, but as everything fell into place, he couldn’t help but curl up against the fallen log and cry. His crying seemed to wake up the forest, for the sounds of fleeing birds and small mammals were vaguely heard through his choked sobs. Suddenly, a low growl drowned out his crying, forcing him to gaze up into the eyes of what would soon make the soldiers fading into the distance seem almost pleasant, compared to the menacing being that towered over him.
The creature resembled a wolf, but stood on its hind legs like a human. It bright yellow eyes seemed to peer into his soul, and he stood frozen in fear, unable to move. The Worgen let out an eerie howl, breaking him out of his trance, and he took off further into the forest, blinding fleeing the sight that bore down on him from behind. A warm blue glow came from his right, and he took a quick detour, seeking any sort of refuge from the hungry beast. The forest suddenly broke into a clearing, exposing the same tree from his dream, laden with elven ruins, as if it had grown into the old stone.
Red ducked under the massive roots of the tree, trapping himself inside a small niche in the tree. He turned around just as the Worgen’s massive jaws clamped down on his left hand, which still remained outside the small natural prison. He cried out and gripped his bloodied hand, jaw slack from the severe pain that ebbed through the teeth marks that sunk deep into the back of his hand. The creature took a change to claw at the child as he was stunned from the bite, and struck a fatal blow to his face, digging a long gash down his left eye. The pain radiated from Red’s palm to his face, and he backed further into the hollow knoll, trying to flee the Worgen as best he could.
Eventually the beast gave up on his meal, and retreated back into the forest, leaving Red beaten, scarred and bloody. The pain became overwhelming to the small boy, causing him to retch, and shiver uncontrollably. As his vision slowly faded, he brought his bloodied hand to his face, noticing a small patch of dark hair growing at a rapid pace down his wrist, and along his arm. He cried out for help, only to have a small whimper escape his lips as the inky blackness welcomed him.


* * *


A small rabbit bounded across the forest floor of Duskhaven, stretching its legs as the morning sun waned across the horizon. Suddenly, a dark form pounced upon the unsuspecting prey, and tossed the limp carcass into the air, catching it in its jowls. After a quick, vigorous shake, the Worgen barked with glee as it consumed its meal, and glanced into the sun, exposing a long, jagged scar along its left eye.



Redflare
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