Varris Ashroot

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From the Journal of Varris Ashroot:  

At times, the whispers can become maddening. Telling me these secrets to unimaginable power. Awake they whisper softly like leaves rustling in the wind but in my dreams they show me strange and hypnotic places. Had I known the price I would pay for this power perhaps I would have chosen differently.             Half-breed I was. Belonging to neither elf nor human kin but the best of both. The part of me that was human had come from my father. His past was a mystery; he had come to the Tangle Shade forest to escape something behind him. My mother was a priestess of Sehanine, an elven goddess. From what I am told, my father had arrived into Myrkadar, the elven settlement in the center of Tangle Shade forest half dead and muttering of dark spirits chasing him.             My mother tended to him, fixing his wounds and listening to his ramblings of the dark spirits in the forest. The elves of Myrkadar questioned my father but after time saw he was no threat. He remained in the settlement and came to marry my mother. I was born soon after.             The elves of the settlement treated me with curiosity and many times the elders would come to visit me and talk to me. After some years, their curiosity died down and they left me to my own ends.             I had grown curious of my mother's forest and ventured off on my own many times. Sometimes I could swear I had seen someone off in the distance watching me. Almost too far to make out, I had assumed it was my mother or father watching me.             There came a day when I dared to see just how far the forest expanded. So I ran in one direction, as far as I could until I grew weary. This part of the forest seemed dark, a light mist crept over the forest floor and I could barely see which direction I had come from. That was when I was attacked.             Their language was unknown to me. It sounded ugly and monstrous, but upon seeing them I had no doubts. They were orcs; every elf and non-elf in the settlement knew what an orc looked like. They tried to circle me, swinging wildly at me with their clubs.             One hit me in the side of the head and knocked me to the ground. Then something inside me whispered something and I felt my eyes warm. The orc that struck me grabbed his head and fell back screaming in pain.             The other Orc was confused and looked around cautiously when suddenly some black bolt of energy slammed into his chest. He staggered back, falling against a tree. Then my world went black and I woke up back in my bed, with a linen cloth wrapped around my head. A throbbing headache made every move I made feel like I was getting beat.             I could hear my parents outside our hut, speaking with the elders. I could barely hear what they were saying in elven, but that was when I first heard the word "warlock". After a while, my parents came back in and said nothing to me but continued to care for my wounds.             After that day, things were different. The elders watched me more often and the whispers began. Sometimes I would be doing chores or learning with the other children and I would see someone standing in the corner just staring at me but unrecognizable as if my eyes could not focus upon them.             I told my mother of this and she would just look at me with no answers. My father however, strangely understood and told me just to ignore it. He told me that I want nothing of what they offer. This went on for many years, these beings standing just out of sight of my vision but I could feel them watching me and whispering too low for me to understand. That is until the orcs returned. This time there were many of them. They must have had an encampment close to the forest. At least two-dozen orcs attacked the settlement. With torches, they began to burn the trees with huts built into them. They began to fire arrows into the canopies of the trees where most of the settlement slept. Many orcs rampaged through the huts that lay upon the base of the trees as well, with axes they cleaved into the sleeping and the sounds of weapons echoed up into our ears. My family lived in one of the many huts wrapped around the trunk of one of these massive trees. We could hear screams and my father grabbed a bow and ran out onto the rope bridge connecting our hut to the others across from us. He began firing arrows back down at the orc invaders. I jumped from my hammock just as my mother was coming to get me. She handed me a sickle, one she used to harvest the plants of the forest and told me to defend myself. I had no intention of leaving my mother's side. So I followed her out of our hut to see my father with two bundles of arrows near his feet, firing wildly down into the orcs. Several orcs had begun to ascend the man ramps and rope ladders we used to get up into the canopy. We could see the many elves and orcs fighting along the wooden walkways and rope bridges. My father handed my mother the bow he had been using and unsheathed a short sword he had at his belt and we followed him across the rope bridge towards the center walkway where several orcs and elves were battling. My father charged into an oncoming orc, the two fell down onto the wooden walkway that was ten feet in every direction. My father struggled but finally was able to drive his sword into the chest of the orc silencing him for good. Another orc charged onto the rope bridge towards my mother and I. She fired an arrow into him but he kept on charging towards us. It was then that time seem to stop as the orc drew closer, a massive battle axe raised above his head. I heard the whispers again, and I could feel that indistinct being standing next to me. I turned to look at them, but I couldn't see them, they always remained fuzzy. They raised their arm and pointed towards the orc and spoke in Primordial to me. I don't know what it said to me but I turned back to the orc and willed my curse upon him, I felt my blood boil and my anger sweep out on to him then raised my arm towards him palm out. My eyes once more grew warm and flashed. The orc staggered for a moment, screaming in pain and his hands going to his eyes. My mother fired again, the orc was disoriented and I lifted my arm again, as the being spoke to me in Primordial, I grit my teeth and released the fear and anger I had within me at this orc and a black crackling bolt dance from inside my veins to shoot out from my finger tips and palm to slam into the orc. He screamed again and fell over the rope bridge, his chest smoking from where the blast connected. My mother looked at me for a moment and said. "Keep doing that." Then she raised her bow and kept firing at orcs along the canopy. My father looked at me as my mother passed and nodded before he continued to press the orc invaders. The orcs began to flee as I sent more black bolts at them. My eyes flashed every so often as I blinded them to my presence. This terrified the orc invaders. They had not expected to encounter an enemy like me. The elves cheered as the orcs fled. I felt power flowing through me, and I saw the being across from me, just standing there. For a moment the whispering stopped and I was at peace. Then later that day, the elders had summoned my family to the main structure of Myrkadar. Where the elders met. They asked my parents if they had known I could manifest this power. My parents did not. Neither did I. The elders told them that they wanted to send me to winter haven. That something unusual was occurring there. They asked me if I would go. I looked to my parents for support and they both nodded their approval. So I agreed. The elders gave me some equipment, money and instructions on how to get to winter haven. So I said my goodbyes and I left the forest alone. Or so I thought, for as I traveled through the forest, I could see the being watching me. Every so often I would climb over a branch and in the distance would see the silent being merely watching me. I would call out to it but would only hear strange whispers. So I continue on my journey, perhaps I am insane. This silent being that no one sees with its whispers. Perhaps the answer lies in Winter haven.

Varris Ashroot

Kingdom of Riddel Moraj