The forest was quiet—to the untrained ear. To those in tune with nature, however, it was a veritable symphony of sound. Birds called to each other. Wolves urinated on trees, marking their territory. Insects carried about their duties, finding, eating, and collecting food. And, nearby, a branch snapped under the hoof of a proud stag.
Fifteen feet above the forest floor was a man, kneeling on a branch. He was hard to see in the foliage—his skin was the same shade of green as the foliage, and his hair and eyes were a dark black. His armor was also colored in the tones of the forest.
He was decidedly not human.
He was killoren, a race of fey that was perhaps equally the most and least understandable of all fey. They were humanoid in shape, but they were tied to nature in ways that were inexplicable. They were guardians, protectors of nature. This one, however, was not a protector. Not anymore.
The stag drew nearer, unaware of the being above. The killoren's breathing was undetectable, timed perfectly to coincide with the breezes that passed through the woods. The stag took another step, and the killoren leaned forward, dropping blade first on to the hapless beast. The tip passed through fur, flesh, spine, slicing into and out of the creature's neck with almost no resistance.
The beast was heavy, but manageable. The fey lifted the animal over his shoulder and winced with pain, blood seeping through the bandages wrapped around his chest, under his tunic and armor. He began to walk through the woods, looking for a clearing. After about a half an hour, he found one—a large meadow, with a stream running through the opposite side. It fit his purposes quite well, other than the group of tribal tents he could see near the stream.
“Hells,” he rasped. He hadn't been particularly cautious, stepping out of the trees in broad daylight. He frowned as he saw three figures near the circle of tents take note of him, two of them pointing in his direction. A few more joined them, and eventually raised their hands in greeting.
The killoren sighed and began to trudge towards the tribe. He wanted to reach back and check that his sword was clear in it's sheath on his back, but he refrained—it would be blatantly obvious, and wouldn't send a particularly friendly message.
“Hail,” one of the men said as the killoren drew close. They were humans, and obviously a fairly primitive group of them. “I am Ezul. Do you come in peace?”
The killoren's eyes darted around the tribe, taking in each tent, each scrap of clothing worn by the members. They seemed to have no particular clan symbol, not that he could see. “I do,” he answered eventually, his voice raspy. “I am Forsaken.”
Ezul exchanged a glance with the man next to him. “Who was it that abandoned you, friend killoren?”
The killoren shook his head. “You misunderstand. My name is Forsaken.”
“My apologies, friend. I've never heard of one of your people using a word in the Common tongue as a name.”
Forsaken frowned. “It isn't common. I—” he was interrupted by a bolt of pain as he tried to shift the stag's weight on his shoulder. He grunted, falling to a knee, and the the stag slid off his shoulder, falling unceremoniously to the ground. The world tilted sideways crazily, and everything went black.
A/N--I know, this is pitifully short, especially considering how long it's been since I posted. Still, it's something, and hopefully it whets the appetite for more to come.