Tyranny opened his eyes to a bright and beautiful forest, the sun beamed through the gaps in the trees and illuminated the overgrown shrubbery.
The wildlife chirped and scurried about. Tyranny heard more animals around than any other forest he had traveled in his years. There seemed to be a very light rain, almost like a mist that seemed to warm as well as hydrate the area.
Tyranny stood up and looked around, he seemed to be missing his weapons, his armor, gold, gear, boots and even his clothes. He had no memory of how he had got here or the recent events that had unfolded. He looked around for clues as to how he got here, nothing. Not even a foot print, paw print, no wagon trail, displaced leaf, or even a snapped twig.
A small bush bearing beautiful full fruit bloomed suddenly nearby. As he reached his hand out to pick one it seemed eager to leave the stem and fall into his hand with barely any effort. One bite of the remarkable glowing fruit and he felt as if he had never been hungry, thirsty, or in pain at all. His doubts and fears seemed to melt away and were replaced with a feeling of happiness and love.
In the distance he heard voices, powerful, firm, yet gentle. A council of Elves from the sound of it. He began to creep towards the location still holding the strange new food, the ground felt soft and he left even lighter than he normally did he seemed to be able to move freely without making a sound or leaving any prints behind.
He peered into a clearing and saw a group of perfect Elves standing in a circle, these Elves also seemed to not be armored, or any way of defending themselves and most noticeable also did not have clothes. Instead of feeling embarrassed he felt proud, like this was more natural than covering his body and weighing it down with unnecessary objects and armor. A feeling of invincibility radiated from the clearing, Tyranny had never felt safer than he did here.
As he approached the council turned to welcome him.
“Kaerol ol Aer, shi eisi si Valael. Shi cali sharaer olaes si thysaer thys eil aeraesoria, aelaesia si, sher, os val car kyrn shor os shaerol, sor shi shai tylyr si jhori os si jhal eil vaeraesi si aes. O eisi thi sai jholi eistyl saeri thysaer eil tysti eil tysti eil kai eir o vaeri”
(“Greetings young Elf, we are the Pantheon. We have watched over the forests for an eternity, every tree, bush, or plant has grown with our blessing, tis we who control the life of the land and preserve the earth. You are free to live amongst these forests and come and go as you please.”)
As Tyranny nodded in approval, he turned to explore the new forest. The new forest seemed to fill him with new energy, new power, he burst into a full run and seemed to move as a phantom zipping through the ridiculously overgrown areas. He seemed to know the way and darted like a bolt of lightning never disturbing the forest wildlife. Something seemed to be darting through the forest as well, he stopped to glance at it as he and the other entity came to an impossible halt. It was an image of Aelvannah, she stood before him in the full white gown she cloaked herself in.
“Tia Jhyli, Ai shar shylaesol shael o shyr taji air caesi, Aibi toraer o aelaes.”
(“My Love, I was wondering when you would make it here, I’ve missed you ever so much”.)
Tyranny gazed longingly at his greatest desire. He did not seem to remember Adran and how he had defeated Tyranny and how he had failed to win Aelvannah, he did not even seem to know Llathriel existed in this new forest. Tyranny felt he never wanted to leave her side again, and almost instantly she took off again like a bolt of lightning. He felt a tug, like she was beckoning him to follow. Like a bolt of lightning Tyranny obeyed darting through the forest after her when suddenly he felt he couldn’t stop, he came to a lake with a waterfall and a Maelstrom in the center that churned and seemed to be drawing him to it. Aelvannah bolted into it and Tyranny soon followed.
Pain shot through Tyranny as if he had actually been hit by lightning, fear, doubt, personality flaws, and anger seemed to hit him like a sack of rocks to the face. The darkness of the world washed over him and burned worse than any pain he had ever endured it was unbearable. The sting of losing Aelvannah to Adran, the failure, the loss of his first and forever love bound for eternity. He felt warm blood pumping through his chest that felt like spider venom, his muscles ached and his eyes barely able to open under the stress his nervous system had endured. His vision was now blurry, black and white and doubled.
As the color seemed to come back, his double vision phased back to normal and he could barely make out the image of an attractive female human? elf? Long blond hair hid under a dark cloak…. Nixie?.. A stout, powerful, yet compassionate female dwarf….. Falkrunn? Their fearless, fair and cool-headed Paladin: Arneth stood in the distance smiling at the fact he had returned. Their cleric Casual Friday was in the room, clearly un-phased and unsurprised by the event clutching a turkey leg and a stein of Ale that was so strong Tyranny could smell it across the room even in his damaged and sickly state.
Nixie hugged Tyranny so violently it hurt, she smacked him playfully, “Don’t you even think of leaving, oh and I get a night in your suite for saving you”. Handing Tyranny his possessions back.
Tyranny still dazed and realizing what had happened responded. “I’ll buy you a whole week of your own suite if you like”. Smiling even with the strain on his face muscles.
Falkrunn gave him a pat on the back. “It’s good to have you back…. (and very softly voiced), but your still tree hugger”. Tyranny noticed and still beamed. Hugging Falkrunn he responded. “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.
Tyranny than stopped and realized what could only be the explanation for what had happened. He had been Executed by Paldomir and his life extinguished, the “forbidden” magic had to have been used to bring him back. No one could have survived the empowered double handed lightning blast he had been hit with. Would Llathriel know, she knew everything that happened in the forests, the trees kept no secrets from her. Even with his ability to speak to the trees he could not convince them to hide the truth from the Elven Princess. He had failed, he had been defeated again…. she would find out.. what would happen? Exile, Llathriel’s wanderlust magic to be lost forever, Execution? He did not know, no one who disobeyed her rule was seen again. Tyranny felt the unforgiving cold sting of failure creep over him and contemplated his options, maybe he was stuck with these new strangely loyal companions.
Than he looked around, there were no trees here, no animals, no other Elves, not even a plant…… She didn’t have to find out. A dark smile crept across the Elven Ranger’s face.