Nast Garav stood on a tall branch of an oak looking for signs of movement or any trace of the wolf he was tracking. Being a half elf let him see in the dark better than most creatures in the forest. The wolf he was tracking was exiled by the pack and preying on the clan’s livestock. He couldn’t let that continue. Without a sound, Nast landed on the forest floor.
He understood the wolf, that feeling of not belonging, it’s what he felt every day. While he was welcomed into the clan he knew that they liked to keep him at arm’s length except for his mother and sister. The wolf must have felt the same thing. The fingers of a bush branch had some wolf fur on it and Nast could barely see the wolf’s footprints on top of some rocks. The wolf didn’t want to be found, but Nast always found his prey… always.
It was just an hour before dawn when he came across the river. The wolf was curled up underneath a large rock formation trying to keep out the cold. It was old. Nast could see; it’s breathes were ragged and labored, its fur was dirtied and bloodied. The death he would give it would be a gift. The white wolf opened its eyes as he nocked the arrow. Its green eyes stared into his own. It was as if ages passed by as the two shared looks. It was unmistakable, there was a connection between hunter and prey.
The wolf lifted its head and exposed its neck. It knew. It knew that he was coming for it. It was as if Nast was death and the wolf tried it’s best to outrun him. This hunt was probably his longest to date and it was everything but over. Life was like the seasons, and this wolf had reached the winter of its life. Time slowed as Nast released his fingers and the bowstring sang as it urged the arrow forward.
With a sick thud the arrow pierced the wolf’s neck and penetrated the heart. The death was near instant. Nast released the breath he was holding as a sigh. He said a prayer to the forest for safe guidance to the next world for the wolf.
With the wolf in tow he made his way back home. As the sun broke the horizon he could see the smoke from the village but not the smoke he was used to. This smoke was black and thick. His heart dropped as he ran as hard as his legs could take him. He dropped the wolf on the outskirts of the village and drew his bow. All of the houses were burned and there were bodies littered everywhere. He could feel the rage rising right beneath the surface.
He heard a cough and pointed. It was one of the other rangers. He was disemboweled and he was barely holding in his insides.
“Duran!” Nast dropped his bow and slid to his side, “I can help, I can help.”
“I appreciate the offer, but I can hear the call of death.” Duran coughed some more.
“Was this the orcs?” Nast held back tears.
“Drow. They came in the night and killed most of the men and took all the women and children.” A part of his small intestine fell out.
“My mother, my sister?” He was desperate.
Duran shook his head, “Gone, too. I’m sorry. I couldn’t save anyone. Everyone else is dead, it’s just…. You.” Duran was gone.
Nast let out a wrathful cry as he stood up. He ran home and collected what things could be salvaged. He grabbed his wolf and began to track the Drow. Within a few hours he at their camp. They kept to the shade and was hidden between two rock outcroppings. Nast could see the camp below. He knew once they made it to the caves he would never find them again and his family will be gone forever.
There were five Drow below. He believed that he could take them. He nocked an arrow and had 4 arrows in his hand. He shot five arrows in quick succession at each of their hearts. The arrows burned before they reach their targets and one of the Drow, a woman stared at him. Short black hair and a scar across her face. That face, he would never forget. She held her hand out and magic missiles shot out at Nast. Before he could react he was knocked out of the tree and the ground rushed up to meet him. Before he hit the floor he was swallowed by darkness.
He could hear the Drow speaking but could only recognize it as undercommon. He could not see his body but he felt that he was bleeding from his torso. He applied pressure but he felt as if he was slipping.
“How about a little curse for our little warrior.” It was the last thing he heard before he passed out from the pain.
He dreamt of the white wolf. It was standing guard over him making sure that death would not snag him. He didn’t know how long he was out but it felt like days.
With a sharp inhale he woke. He was in a familiar bed. He was in his bed at home. His home was repaired but was empty.
“You’re awake. Even though I healed you I was unsure if you’d survive the night. But here we are three days later Half-human,” Nast recognized the Elvish but didn’t recognize the voice.
“My family, I must get to my family,” Nast tried to sit up but the Elf stopped him.
“There is nothing you can do for them now. Your mother and sister are gone. I’m sorry.”
Nast laid back down and covered his face with his arm and started to cry.
“You are still a child, one of two worlds, find a home, live your life, don’t follow the Drow.”
“I think she cursed me,” Nast said as he could feel the heaviness in his heart.
The Elf put his hand over Nast’s chest but retracted his hand quickly, “I’m sorry, I can’t fix you. But I know someone who might be able to. I met a strong human wizard who studies curses and could know something. His name is Raxis, last I saw he was in Ashhammer.”