TANNIN VS. HOLTON
Tannin turned his head from the morbid
scene displayed in front of him. His whole life had changed in these past
few seconds since he had entered his home. In front of him lay his dead wife
and daughter, brutally murdered and raped. A puddle of gore layered the floor
on which he stood. The elf closed his eyes as he wept softly, there was nothing
It had been that very morning that
Tannin had last seen his beautiful daughter and wife, alive. He had left for
the day to go hunting. Kissing his wife and daughter good-bye, he had set
off, telling them he would return within a few short hours. The attack must
have came sometime during the afternoon, but why? What sick men were capable
of such a vile act of insanity?
Tannin felt his legs become weak as
he turned his head to let his guts out. It was possible that had he arrived
home on time, he would have been able to prevent this from happening. Tannin
wept more as the pyre burned a bright red-orange. He held on tightly to the
blonde lock of hair he had cut from his wife's head before he cremated her,
his daughter and his unborn child. What kind of twisted menace had destroyed
Tannin's second fatherhood and everything
else he had spend his life aching. The elf
clutched the lock of hair tightly as he brought it up to his tear streaked
face. He could still smell the lilly's his wife decorated her hair with.
He unsheathed his knife from his
boot as the fire continued to burn. Raising the knife, he wrapped his left
hand tightly about the blade. In a fluid motion, he pulled the blade away
with his right hand. Dark blood flowed from the open wound in his left palm.
The elf crouched down, put his bloodied fist to his forehead and spoke for
the first time in hours. "I swear, I will kill the man who did this..." He
had gathered everything he needed. His longbow, twenty arrows, a long and
short sword, two daggers and his dark green cloak he wore while hunting.
Tannin moved over to the house, searching
the ground for something. After combing the area, he found what he was looking
for. Dropping into a crouch, the elf studied the tracks. There appeared to
be more than one person, but they had traveled in single file to hide their
numbers. Jumping up, the elf darted off into the bushes after the tracks.
It was dark and Tannin had been traveling for much of the day, in hot pursuit
of his wife's killers. He pierced the thick blanket of night with his infravision,
greatly increasing the pace he traveled through the forest.
Tannin was certain the men he pursued
were not dwarves, the tracks were not the right size. Halflings were out of
the question. The only other possibilities were elves, which he highly doubted,
or humans. If it was humans like he suspected, he would be reaching them very
soon, for they could not travel in the dark. Just then, the elf smelled the
smoke from a camp fire, he was not far now. Within moments, the elf could
see the light from the fire. He dropped into a low crouch, so as not to be
seen. There were four of them, two sleeping by the fire and two on patrol...
all humans. This would be easier than he thought. The guards weren't paying
much attention to what was going on, and there was tall grass surrounding
the area, so he could move about without being seen.
The first patrolman was moving a little
closer to Tannin's position. The elf un-slung his longbow and notched an arrow.
He brought his sites up to the humans head, taking careful aim. Making a quiet
bird call, the elf prepared to unleash the arrow. The guard heard a bird call
out, but knowing that such birds were not usually in the habit of calling
out at night, he turned his head to the source of the noise. An arrow struck
him right in the eye, tearing through his cranium and piercing through the
back of his skull before stopping.
Before the man could fall, Tannin
was beside him, cushioning the body to prevent it from falling too heavily.
He gently lowered his victim to the ground. Crouching as low as he could,
yet still moving swiftly, the elf darted among the grass, making his way to
the other perimeter guard He was almost there when he stepped on a twig and
snapped it. The guard spun around and saw a figure crouching in the grass.
Quickly scanning the area, he didn't see his partner anywhere. Realizing this
was not an ally, the man fumbled for his sword. Tannin quickly unsheathed
his dagger from his boot and hurled it at his panicking opponent. The man
managed to get a bit of a scream off before the dagger buried itself into
his neck, right up to the hilt of the blade.
Again, Tannin was next to him easing
his fall so he would not make anymore noise that he already did. Blood bubbled
at the man's mouth as he struggled to make noise, his voicebox now completely
destroyed. Tannin pulled his dagger from the guards neck, wiped it clean and
sheathed it into his boot. Blood flowed freely and quickly from the open neck
wound. The man tried to stanch the flow of blood with his hands, but his life
was quickly fading.
Looking up, Tannin noticed the commotion
had disturbed one of the sleeping men. He was up and had his sword ready.
He kicked the other sleeping man in the ribs to rouse him. Tannin quickly
brought his bow around and notched another arrow. Wasting no time, he fired
as soon as he was ready. The arrow sped forth and sunk deep into the man's
chest. He fell to the ground with a loud thud. The waking man quickly realized
the danger, and fumbled for a nearby shield. He managed to get it up in front
of him before the hailstorm of arrows came.
Arrow after arrow thudded into the
shield. The man began to think there might be two or three attackers. One
of the arrows went deep into the shield and came through the other side, stabbing
into his arm. He flung the shield up in pain. Lucky for him, that was Tannin's
last arrow. With the last arrow fired, Tannin ditched his longbow and empty
quiver. Standing, he drew his long sword with his right hand, and his short
sword with his left. He saw the human getting ready to make a pitiful defense,
picking up two heavy maces. The elf continued moving forward, walking at a
fast pace towards the man.
When he got decently close, he stopped.
"What is your name human?" he asked. "Holton, the last man you'll ever see,
elf." Sneered the human. "I will see to it, Holton, that you and your men
are forever recognized in your death as murderers and rapists." Holton looked
at Tannin, puzzled at first. Then he smiled, "I'll send you to meet them,
elf." With that, they ran at each other. Holton swung to take Tannin's head
off, but Tannin ducked and slashed his sword across Holtons leg. The man screamed,
but still continued.
Tannin's blade flashed red in the
firelight as he brought it in for another attack. Holton swung at Tannin at
the same time, forcing the elf to give up his attack and move back. The elf
feigned an attack with his long sword, then stabbed upward with his short.
The small blade spliced open the tender skin on Holton's arm, forcing him
to drop a mace. Tannin continued with the momentum of his previous attack,
he twirled around and let his long sword run the length of Holton's belly,
spilling the intestines.
With his empty hand, Holton tried
to hold his guts inside at his own belly. At the same time, he hopelessly
swung his mace at the agile elf, who dodged every attack with ease. Tannin
moved in for small attacks, making a cut here, a slice there. His blade flashed
again as he cut the tendons on the back of the humans knee, forcing him to
The elf moved around to the back of
Holton, dropping his short sword. He took a moment to breath, then raised
his blade into the air. "May your soul burn forever within the endless passages
of the Abyss!" An arc of blood hit the rocks surrounding the fire, sizzling
from the heat.
By: Calvin Cockell