A Burnished Throne
Halfling Rogue, hunting down Defilers ...and eating them for Dinner!!
I stand a mighty 3 foot 8 – which is quite tall for one of my kind, and a female Halfling at that!! I grew up in the Forest Ridge, sheltered in the close-knit community of my tribe. Even before my height let me stand out among the crowd, my urge to investigate and know anything about everything made my family blush with embarrassment.
Quite the rebel among my peers, no one wanted to accompany me on my pioneering crusades through the forest jungle for fear of attracting attention in any way. I never gave such notions much thought, convinced my actions would benefit all. My adventures taught me many things – starting with how to survive. Moving without a sound and striking without being seen, I blend in to the environment and creep up on game. I am agile, sleek and fast.
Though I was a bit of a bother to the elders, they had to integrate me somehow, and so it was decided that my natural tendencies should be given free reign. “Who knows?”, they said, my investigations might eventually lead to useful results. I became somewhat of a forest whisperer – enticing from it its secrets and getting to know more about everything, just as I had ventured as a child.
I thought I was ready to meet with any challenge – until one fateful day…
As so often I was out “scouting the range”. I was tracking down an Erdlu – hoping to find the well, where it had hidden its eggs. Something was wrong – I had seen a couple of animals nervously flee past me. I heard a strange mumble – and crept closer to the edge of a clearing. Here I saw a mysterious figure. Surrounded by eerie light and muttering a language I did not understand, I felt very uncomfortable. He was clearly looking for something. The ground beneath him was dusty, the plant-life withered and grey. As he went on mumbling, the dead patch beneath his feet grew larger. Horrified, I realised he was a defiler and he was sucking the green breath out of the lungs of the forest. There was no time, I had to stop him killing my lush jungle home. Without thinking I charged at him – furious with anger. The last thing I know is that he glanced at me, raised an eyebrow as if curiously amused and lifted his hand in my direction… I woke up – I know not how long after – in the middle of a huge area of decaying forest. Barren earth, murdered plants, ghost trees. I was alone, the man was gone.
This changed everything. My heart ached from what I had witnessed. Lying in this violated patch of forest I was so angry I promised to personally draw and quarter and eat every defiler that should pass my way again. I had to prevent defilers from destroying forest life and therefore had to stop them at the root. I could not allow them to come inside the forest boundaries and do more damage – I would have to leave my fellow-Halflings and track down the defilers of Athas.
My elders commanded me to stay. The whole tribe vehemently tried to dissuade me – in disbelief of my wandering plans. They were right – I did not know what I was getting into. I had never gone beyond the forest ridge; never seen the harsh world of this viciously arid land; never experienced the brutal reality of desert creatures thirsty with thoughts of survival. Yet how could I ignore this threat? I was adamant to go out there and take on the defilers of Athas, lest this desert reality was to become our reality after the last patch of green has been defiled!
I had thought myself a very advanced Halfling, but when I left the forest ridge for Tyr I painfully learnt that I was quite naive of the world beyond the treetops of home.
[still to be continued…]