A Damaris Satinsun StoryEdit

Duskwood was aptly named. Scarce sunlight reached through the large, ancient boughs to touch the ground gold. The age-old trees stood like sentinels, each emerging from the darkness to glower at her, before letting her pass by. The air was foul and stagnant; the taint of war and sickness clung to the dark trunks.

Damaris shivered, putting her hand down to caress Arithe’s ears in reassurance. Little Bastet huddled like a shadow on her shoulder, claws fastened into Damaris’s leather armour, trying in vain to hide behind her horse-tail.

Her blue-tinted skin glowed moonlight-pale in the gloom. Old, rotting leaves muffled her careful footsteps; Arithe trod soundlessly beside her. The forest was eerily silent: no birds called, no branches shook. It set the fine hairs on the back of the elf’s neck to prickling.

For the first time since leaving the brown, undulating landscape of Westfall, Damaris wished for the scorching sun, for the hard dirt road, for the scratchy, dry grass. At least there had been noises: the scrabble of little paws, skittering stones, carrion bird calls, human voices. She hadn’t felt like something large and vicious was about to leap at her from the dark.

Bastet mewled softly into her ear.

She clutched her bow tighter. She didn’t like Duskwood at all.

Finally, the first building of Darkshire came into view. An old barn stood alongside a plot of land long given over to weeds and wild animals. Damaris pushed on the rotting door, wincing as its hinges screeched, and stepped inside. Arithe was a warm, steady presence behind her. Immediately she spotted a pile of bones from an unnamed creature lying in a corner. “Abandoned,” she whispered. She backed out quickly, bumping into her feline companion. “Let’s go on.”

Soon they reached the village of Darkshire proper. The residents were subdued, speaking in hushed voices or not at all, scurrying from place to place as if chased. Groups quickly took their conversation inside. Damaris didn’t blame them.

Withdrawing a scrap of smudged parchment from a belt-pouch, Damaris squinted to read the wobbly, rushed Common penned on it. She moved closer to a torch on the side of a building, and in its sputtering, meager light she read, Watcher Backus, Darkshire, Duskwood, usually found patrolling north road. Damaris oriented herself, and walked on the northward path out of Darkshire. She didn’t walk long before she found a stocky man with a lantern and a bare sword marching toward her.

“Watcher Backus?” she inquired softly. The man grunted his assent, pausing in front of her. He appraised her silently, then Arithe, with keen, dark eyes.

“Aye. Who wants me?” he said. Damaris sighed, already anticipating the end of this particular quest. She wanted to be rid of Duskwood.

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