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Series Two: Races of Lannithir

Erdai, Part One

The dawn twilight glittered off of the snow-covered pines as Selanne glided silently across the forest floor.  He was just out of sight of the wittershin foot patrol, which was lumbering along the wooded trail.  Thick clouds of vapor poured out of their mouths and noses into the still frigid air.  There were only two of the foul warriors, which he found odd as they normally moved in groups of three or more, a fact he had learned long ago.
     Selanne’s heavy hooded cloak provided enough cover amongst the thick evergreens to render him virtually invisible. He slowly raised his bow and quietly pulled the nocked arrow back to the base of his right cheekbone.  He would have to be fast at this close distance.  At the peak of his next inhale, the arrow flew towards its target, and Selanne had a second arrow loaded before the first found its mark.  The expression on the lead wittershin’s face was that of confusion as it saw the massive arterial spray.  The arrow had passed clean through its neck, and it collapsed dead onto the now crimson speckled snow.
     After witnessing the fall of its comrade, the second wittershin drew its sword and searched in bewilderment for the hidden threat.  Selanne let loose his second arrow a split second too early and caught his target in the shoulder as it was turning.  The wittershin roared out in fury and charged in Selanne’s direction.  A second and third arrow found their mark on the brute penetrating its steel breast plate.  Its hulking, lifeless mass fell forward and came to a sliding stop at Selanne’s feet.
     The ranger froze for a moment, taking in his surroundings, and was rewarded by the sound of a branch snapping directly behind him.
“Clever creatures,” he whispered to himself.
Selanne instantly rolled forward dropping his bow, as the third wittershin’s blade arced over his head and cleaved through a thin pine.  He came to his feet with his curved warblade drawn and turned to face his attacker.  At this close proximity he could see the warrior’s red eyes glaring menacingly at him and he swore he could smell the odor of rotted meat on its breath.  The wittershin’s lip curled up revealing a set of jagged yellow teeth that looked very capable of tearing through flesh.
     Selanne sneered back at the beast and rushed in before feinting to the right.  The powerful, but slow, warrior fell for the ruse and brought its large sword down through thin air.  Using the momentum of his maneuver, Selanne quickly spun his body to increase the power of his attack.  The sound of metal striking metal followed as the warblade cut through the armor, flesh, and bone of the wittershin’s left arm.  It howled in pain as it stared in shock at the bloody stump.  Selanne continued his dance of death, spinning again around the creature before piercing it between the shoulder blades.  The wittershin fell to its knees and crumpled to the ground in a bloody heap. Selanne stood over his conquered prey for a moment, basking in the victory.  Once his breathing and heart rate were controlled, the ranger recovered his bow and quickly disappeared into the forest.

Check back next week for the background and racial traits of the erdai!

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