One bad elf archer
In the country of Sumisand, there are a few forests that have managed to evade being turned to lumber. One such forest, known by its inhabitants as Dreamwander, was once home to many creatures, one of the most secretive being the elf clan known as the Emeraldine. They were, even by elf standards, an incredibly small settlement, consisting of almost solely the family Emeraldine. Here and there were a few other elves who had found their way to them because the patron of the family, Theron, was known the world over to be one of the greatest archers to ever live. For a long time he had been a mercenary for any who would pay his price. It is said that he only failed one mission, and that was because more than one dragon got involved.
His son was named Lucan, the third child he had with his wife Ceyla. The settlement, deep in the forest, was very hard to find and even harder to enter. The Emeraldine family were taught and studied mastery of the bow from the second one could be held in their hands. Theron and Ceyla were unbelievable; many believed their children Bella, Freywin and Lucan could one day be even better. The family and their makeshift home lived in relative peace for sixteen years. As they say however, your mistakes are bound to catch up with you.
A powerful renegade known as Drekthon was the last person to ever employ Theron. It was for him that the mission had gone awry, and Drekthon was a man who did not believe in failure. Even losing his arm in the chaos that ensued after the dragons arrived did nothing to stop what became his singular focus. That focus was simple: to kill Theron Emeraldine.
Dreamwander was attacked in the dark of night. Even though Theron was always prepared, it meant nothing. Drekthon came in with an army of more human renegades, and they razed much of the forest. A battle between the bandit lord and the elf patron ensued, and each was injured grievously. Drekthon managed to escape, and the Emeraldine were left to count their losses. All of the non-family members were killed in the initial rush, and in the night that followed, the patron of the family, as well as his oldest children, were also lost. All that remained were Ceyla and her now seventeen year old son, Lucan. Angry, confused, and unable to comprehend what had happened, Lucan left his mother with any wealth they had and went into the world. Already thought to be almost as good with a bow as his father, Lucan went to find Drekthor and make sense of the world.
What came to pass then was ten years of what could best be called wanderlust. Lucan lived off the land, and wandered all over. He spent very little time in any one place, and tried to mainly avoid people. All the while he continued to hone his skill with the bow. With each day he got better. In solitude he stayed, until at the age of twenty-five he finally allowed himself to step into civilization for the first time. He was no longer in Sumisand at all, and in his travels had found his way to Redvasser. It was here that he came upon the town known as Leaven, not large by any means but not small either. Lucan made his way into town, and found work as a hunter. The people were amiable, something he did not expect, and for a short time there was relative calm.
A few months later, a large procession of bandits came into town. One spoke, telling the town that they had come to collect their tithe. However, they offered an alternative; if someone in the village could best their leader in a contest of archery, then they would not only give the village a reprieve, but perhaps something special to the person brave (and skilled) enough to defeat their leader. However, if the leader should win, then the competitor would be killed and the tithe collected. Before anyone could even speak, Lucan stepped forward. The terms were agreed.
The bandits brought forth a large carriage that swiftly opened. Out stepped a man, larger than life. Lucan felt as if he had seen the man before. He came forward. It was agreed that they would try to shoot an arrow into the hand of the statue of a female warrior that had protected the town years before. Lucan agreed. When he saw the bandit leader take his shot, his feeling of familiarity was recognized. It was none other than Drekthon, older and perhaps a little weaker, but still him. He took a shot and the arrow lodged itself perfectly into her hand. He smiled. Lucan felt the pressure.
Lucan stepped forward and took aim. Anger flowed through him. For the past ten years he had dreamed of this moment, of finally being able to confront the man who had taken everything from him. He was unsure of what to do, but looking up, he knew. A smile crept across his face. It was perfect. He set himself back and took aim. He closed his eyes, and let the arrow fly. A palpable gasp could be heard from the villagers and the bandits. He opened his eyes. The shot was perfect. The arrow was lodged deep in Drekthon’s throat.
For a moment the bandits were awed and silent. Then rage consumed them, and they turned on the village. Lucan knew that he needed to make sure the innocents were not hurt. He was willing to risk his own life, but not those of innocents. He let the arrows fly. Many bandits fell, and very few were even hurt. Confused but not upset by the strange turn of events, he continued to take care of what bandits he could. He was savage, but he had lost any compassion for those who had chosen a dishonest life. As the last of the bandits ran, one of the yelled out, “The Master will look forward to having your bones!”
Lucan stood in the town. The only casualties had been bandits, for that he was very grateful. The town’s mayor came up to him and thanked him for getting the grasp of Drekthon from them. While they themselves had nothing of value, they urged him to check the bandit lord’s body. On his person he found a wondrous item, and one that explained why he had been so effective during his raid on Dreamwander; an Endless Quiver. Lucan smiled, and took it for himself. Thanking the village, he turned to leave. They wished him well. He knew that it was time to train more. He knew that while he dispensed justice, his entanglement with these bandits was far from over.
The next day, he awoke and began to make his way towards the south. A man appeared in front of him. Lucan at first readied his bow, but knew the man was not there for ill. He identified himself as Captain Cyril Vanier. He had heard of the massacre at Dreamwander, and had been a friend of Theron. He knew how good Lucan was with a bow; he even now had firsthand knowledge because he had been in Leaven during the bandit raid. He explained that it was by his hand that no villagers were hurt. Lucan felt he owed the man greatly. Most of all, he sensed in the man the chance to change the world. A chance to help many, not just a small village or a few lone people. Chance was what The Captain offered. Lucan could not resist. It was on that day that Lucan went from training himself to being trained by Vanier. He would use his bow to make the change he could, and he would fight hard.