By: Brian Katchmar
This story was originally submitted to Mythic!
Barathir was an Elf on the shores of Ulthuan. Unlike other Elves in his kingdom, he suffers from a life of eternal strife and agony. He is a Shadow Warrior, a High Elf devoted to protecting the shores of Ulthuan from the evil Druchii, sworn enemies of his kind.
A Druchii raid on his homeland captured Barathir's wife and son several years ago. To his better knowledge, he knew not to kid himself over the idea that they may still be alive. Dark Elves have not been known to be merciful as they capture slaves to be sacrificed to their God of murder.
His heart could never be put to rest because of his loss, and now dedicates himself to endlessly hunt down the Druchii that dare invade the shores of Ulthuan. As a Shadow Warrior, his bow never knew how to miss its target, and his swordsmanship skills were exceptional. The passion he put into his new trade since the loss of his son and wife was the only thing fueling his will to live.
Even during time of peace, Barathir knew no rest. As long as the kingdom of the Druchii remained, there would always be the threat from them. He would run into his fellows who also shared the same trade as him, to eternally guard the shores of his homeland from the enemy they hated. On one such incident, he found two Shadow Warriors by the names of Somano and Aiwa. What they saw was an alarming site that symbolized a new invasion of the Druchii.
A black ark glided stealthily in the foggy mist of the sea. The shoreline hugged the rocky mountains of the most northern part of the Island. This was truly an unexpected spot to land on the shores. Then again, when anyone dares invade the island of Ulthuan, they wish to remain unnoticed for as long as possible.
After a brief examination of the situation, Barathir agreed with his peers that the site of only one Ark could mean either a brief scouting raid or a mere trick to deter defenders away from a real invading force. Whichever was the case, they were taking no chances. With the skill only and Elf could posses, the three Shadow Warriors moved with speed and stealth to the projected landing spot of the Ark.
Just before the three Shadow Warriors could fully reach the rocky shores and take hiding spots, the Ark made a swift landing and a small band of Dark Elves began to leave the Ark and examine their surroundings.
"Fool, how could we carelessly stray from the main fleet like this?" said one of the lead Corsairs in the party.
The passage came just after one of the Shadow Warriors, Aiwa, could find a place close enough to hide from the sight of the Druchii. Within seconds the message would be relayed to Somano and Barathir. It was clear this was a ship from a much larger fleet to invade the island. The party of Dark Elves was just a small band of Corsairs and Dark Elf Warriors. They were lead by a captain who was far more decorated with more extravagant armor than the other Corsairs. Lost or not, this was the new target for the three Shadow Warriors.
As the small band of Dark Elves began to pour out of the Ark, the three Shadow Warriors took their ambush positions. Their new goal was clear: Eliminate this party of Dark Elves before they knew what was hitting them. Then report back to the Phoenix King before it was too late.
Within moments of their new self-assigned task, the arrows from their longbows began to fly. With pinpoint accuracy the arrows of the Shadow Warriors found their targets. The eye slots of the Dark Elf Warriors and between the eyes of the Corsairs were some of the few points where the arrows hit. All it took was one shot each, and one more Dark Elf was be down.
The party of the Dark Elves was in chaos and confusion. They were still regrouping from the Ark, and already coming under fire. It seemed as if several dozen High Elf Archers were attacking them when in reality, just three highly skilled warriors would bring them their doom.
Shortly after the attack began, it was over. Finished with great skill, and as quick as it was planned and executed. No survivors from the Dark Elf party would be left. The three warriors briefly scavenged the Ark to make sure their deed was complete. Only after they were sure did they head out to find their military superior to warn them of what they found today. Only their superior would ever know of the deed done today, as the work and life of a Shadow Warrior is a thankless one. However, this is the only life these High Elves ever would ever know.