Virelai the Unlucky

Elven Ranger (lv. 2).

One of the elves of Isfal, the central country of Talvir. Largely desert and savannah, these elves have adapted by tracking not by sound and footprints, but entirely through sight and smell. Each eye has three eyelids: the first acts as a sort of magnifier, enhancing the elf’s vision, the second is a clear film that protects during sandstorms, and the third, the appearance of a normal human eyelid. They are lone hunters, and gather in groups only in celebration, or tragedy. Virelai, as a result, cannot allow others to make decisions on his behalf, believing other races lack both the skill and wisdom needed to perform his tasks. His sense of elitism is rarely made apparent, as his character is patient, and passive, but he will strike mercilessly when his enemies show weakness; the mark of a hunter.

Elves live for a remarkably long time, so despite being 70 years of age, Virelai is still relatively young, and prone to rash responses, often adopting the lead even when he has no real knowledge of the consequences. To most he is cold, except to his own kind, whom he will at least respect, along with any who, like his kind, are deeply in tune with nature. In his trade, he is wise, and his thirst for knowledge is never sated, always squeezing every possible detail for clues to an advantage over his rivals.

Now what would a high elf of the central western lands be doing so far from his own kind, amongst this unworthy rabble? Well, the elf, so young and brash, was always at odds with the high priest of his tribe. His methods seemed unusual, and his care for the people seemed lacking. Even so, he was regarded as the greatest elf of their tribe. Some even declared that he was over a thousand years old. Every so many years, an elf would be summoned to his side. “Those with the greatest faith, and strongest hearts” he said, would be given the greatest honour of becoming a priest, so that they may use their wisdom to influence the tribe along the “true path”. A true path that seemed to involve a lot more offerings to the High priest, and rituals of the body and mind, than offerings to the Mother Gia, and rituals of praise and bounty. These “chosen” would be taken to the mountain for several months. When they returned… well, they were not themselves. Finally, his curiosity and suspicion could be contained no longer. Travelling only when the wind was against him, guided by the scent of his kin, he tracked them to a small cavern in the mountainside, and was appalled by what awaited him.

As he approached the cavern entrance, he was suddenly thrown back by an unseen force, as all around him, shades sprung from the ground. Immediately, he recognised the forbidden art. Blood magic, the magic of demons. But so many shades, there was no way of defeating them all. The forbidden art, his only way to survive…surely the mother would understand. Seeing no other option, he seized a piece of sharp rock, and swiftly ran the jagged edge across his hand, so that blood flowed heavily across his palm, and thrust the hand into the barrier. The barrier shattered, and the shades, with no magic to sustain them, vanished. There was no doubt now. Something dark was afoot, and if it involved the High Priest, then he must be exposed.

Further inside, his suspicions were confirmed. There stood the High Priest, over his chosen, knelt beside him. Runes in blood littered the floor around them. He had seen these runes, in story books as a child. They were used in blood rituals to summon demons into unwilling hosts. In return for the strongest bodies, the summoner may use the blood to extend their own life. For Virelai, this betrayal of the people could not be forgiven. To use blood magic in the name of the Mother was a sin of the most evil kind, and the High Priest, who had lived off the blood of others for so long, was elven no more. He must be slain, so the others might be freed. It was now or never, he had the advantage of surprise. Raising his quivering hand, he drew his bow, yet as his fingers brushed the soft wood, his anxiety fled. Just before he could loose his arrow, the High Priest turned towards him, and his eyes flashed a terrifying stare. Virelai fired, and the world seemed to slow. As the arrow pierced the heart of the High Priest, Virelai could not help but notice the eyes. They were not terrifying, there was no malice in them… no. They were elven eyes, pure and beautiful as the celestial goddess. Was he wrong? Was it a demon all along? Had he just murdered an innocent elf? With this terrible weight upon his mind, there came another dreadful realisation. He had prevented a great evil, but in doing so he had immersed himself in the forbidden art. How could he return to his tribe after committing an act of such great sin? He would not be welcomed. He too, was no longer elven.

Twenty years had passed since that haunting moment. The elf was now living in the Northern city of Isbyen in Tordenjord. He had made a business hunting game for the nobleman, and his talent for stealth and hunting was recognised by a powerful underworld figure. He offered a great sum of money for the assassination of a particularly troublesome politician, convincing the elf, who had little experience with humanity, that it would be beneficial to the people. Virelai accepted, and completed the assassination perfectly, but he was betrayed. In order to keep the reward for himself, his human partner had summoned the guard, who arrested Virelai on the spot. He was sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment, in the most brutal prison in all the land.

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