It has just come Winter in the year 1090.
My name is Nine Midebíiru ("Visewave" in the human tongue). I am an elf. An strange sight in these lands, perhaps. Though that was not always the case.
I have served the town of Vicuanig "Snarlcheeses" for over 100 years as bowyer, as hunter and when need be, as guard. I was here for the town's founding and I intend to be here the day I die. Visitors find me to be unusual, but the locals see me as something of a symbol - I have been here longer than most of them have lived, after all...
I was Born not far from here in 838, when this land belonged to Ave Anomi, the northern elven kingdom. Most of the elves moved south when the humans began to settle in their lands, not prepared for war in any sense, happy to go. Our races were not friendly in those days Though I consider myself of Ave Anomi, the time of our kind is coming to an end in these northern lands. The time of defined racial kingdoms is over, in my eyes. So I live with the humans in Omon Woge.
I would not flee like the others, the other races must see that elves are not cowards, nor do we see ourselves as above the humans and dwarves - at least, I don't - and we are not to be hated, or feared. So I stayed, to aid the humans any way I could with my prolonged lifespan. They pass on so soon it is a wonder what they can achieve...
My good friend Amic, one of the local farmers, is full of rumours. Almost 40 years ago now he told me of a museum in the town of Dinnerwandered. A town he had not too long before described as a "Desolate den of beggars and thieves", and I had wished them silent luck in not being thieved or begged from too much. It would seem that did them some good, but the museum alone was not enough to save the town from its inevitable decline that sadly not even the ancient cities are safe from. A collection of curiosities amidst some ruins, perhaps I would find the time to visit it some day. Perhaps contribute to it, too... I doubt elves are fairly represented in its halls.
Anyway, Amic today told me of a foul vampire terrorising the nearby hamlet of Opcobár, or "Evermoral", just beyond the hills at the end of his fields. Usually I would not bother with the affairs of another village, but this creature risked visiting our town in the dead of night, even Amic's own farmhouse. He said they'd described her as dark skinned and masculine, but with bright white hair down to her waist and incredibly narrow eyes. She certainly seemed recognisable, this shouldn't be any trouble at all.
Now, for somebody who has lived in The Wandering Hills for so long, I have not done very much wandering. I have walked to the top of Amic's hills and seen Evermoral from a distance, but never visited it myself - even when many of the villagers make the relatively short walk for the harvest fair.
The following morning I set out an within a few hours I was crossing the farms of Evermoral, bow slung over my shoulder, recieving funny looks from labourers in the fields.
The town was a small cluster of houses around a small market square and well, with a few outlying and nestled among the hills. I approached an outlying group of houses and knocked on the door of the one on the end. A well dressed man with an impressive mustache answered the door. He had quite obviously been crying, but acted as if nothing was wrong when I questioned him about it. He eyed me suspiciously, people here were already less accepting than those back home.
I asked him if he had seen anybody matching Amic's description of the vampire and he gave me a name, but only after realising he might be in danger; Thon Shibbikiros. Suddenly he was very open about his problems and looked increasingly worried. He said his wife worked for the mayor, a tax collector. He said she'd never run into any problems before, that it was a pleasant village and they hadn't even into run into a petty thief in over a decade... I remarked that that wasn't a very long time at all, he frowned.
I proceeded to make my way around the town, not spotting Thon anywhere. I did walk in on the site of a fight though, a crossbowman clad in armour slumped against one wall, a farmer against another, both badly mutilated. Maybe the taxwoman's husband simply hadn't been out much as of late? Apparent bystanders said it had happened quite some time ago, long before Thon had arrived in town and they doubted her involvement greatly.
Most other houses turned up nothing and I was beginning to lose hope. One more had a surprise for me, a dwarven merchant. He said his name was Id, he'd been travelling Omon Woge selling rock crafts for decades now, completely alone and never seeing another of his race. I felt an attachment to him, we were quite alike in truth. We had both forsaken our kingdoms to live with the humans, though I for pride and he for greed. we shared a drink before I continued my search.
The sun was beginning to go down when I glanced to my right and noticed the narrow pathway leading to a tiny cottage built almost into the hillside, beneath a tree. How pleasant. I decided to head there, it was on the way back home after all.
As I approached I noticed quite a bit of movement inside. Some muscular looking men were inside the open door looking worried, and at something further inside. I quickened my pace, curious.
A woman's body, broken on the ground as the guard and the farmer in the house before. She wore fur robes and a silver dagger was hooked into her belt. Was this the tax collector?
As I moved to step inside, a dark skinned woman came out from behind the doorframe to pass me and our eyes met, she had bright, white hair and seemed to be even more muscular than some of the workers inside... This was the vampire. She seemed surprised to see an elf, and narrowed her eyes, before looking away and going to lean on the wall outside. I paused and looked her over. She was dressed in a simple tunic, but with a heavy leather cloak, gloves and boots... And so much jewelery. Bone of some sort, a crown and rings, earrings which seemed to be made from dark hair. It was only with the teeth on the string around her neck that I realised that it seemed to be human...
She turned to me, noticing my staring, "What do you want?" she growled, with a deep voice.
I said nothing and I turned on the spot and walked away from the cottage, almost panicking before slowing and stopping halfway back to town. I turned again, pulling my bow from my back and an arrow from the quiver, drawing the string.
"I know what you are, Thon!" I called out as she stood up straight in surprise, eyes widening. I was shaking.
My arrow fell slightly short, but hard into her foot. That did not stop her, she's screaming in a rage, she's torn it off, leaving the arrow in the ground with a toe and chunk of boot. Within a second she was on top of me, terrifyingly quick. She threw her weight onto my chest and I heard a rib crack, before I'd felt it. With lightning speed she drew her knife and slashed apart my left arm.
On the ground, all I can do is reach for another arrow and jab it into her body, only barely piercing the skin. She brings her hand down hard, crushing my hand with the force of the blade and the ground. She raises her knife above me, I am helpless.
A heavy shape tackles her from behind. I pass out.
Some time later I awake in agony. A mob is chasing Thon back towards town. By some miracle I have survived. I blink. Later again, I wake up. Everything is sore.
I grab my bow and hook it over my shoulder, cradling my crushed hand. Barely able to stand I stumble around, the mob seems to have dispersed. I don't see the vampire
I stumble around some more, almost blind. A man runs by me, maybe the same who saved me. His hand is gone and he is screaming. My pain seems to feel like nothing now... I head the way he came.
Another villager is rolling on the ground clutching his foot. There is blood all over the ground. A dead peasant. Further into town. Another. The trial goes cold.
I head back towards the cottage, I hear fighting as I approach. The vampire looks exhausted - how long had I been out? A bloodied labourer is swinging at her with her own knife, but somehow every time Thon managed to dodge.
There are bodyparts everywhere. The one handed tanner is lying in the fetal position surrounded in vomit on the cottage path.
I wish I could use my bow. Instead I stumble in to help, reaching for my dagger with my good hand... But taking my hand from the wound is too painful. My left arm is in no better shape to help.
I watch. Thon starts to gain the upper hand again... I HAVE to help. It's why I'm here. I dive in behind the fiend and wrap my arm around her neck. She struggles but I maintain my hold, she's tough but I can hold on longer than she can breathe... Her arm comes up sharp and stabs my grasping arm with her knife. I pull back as a reflex and she's turned to me now, she knows I'm the threat. Or maybe it's that I'm an elf...
I try to turn to run but she trips me and my head hits a rock. She raises her weapon again, and this time nobody comes.