He had come from nowhere.
Opening with a relentless attack and no exchange of words, he was absolutely ruthless with no call to reason.
Thankfully, her Great Sword was able to hold him back as she slashed at him clumsily, heaving the massive chunk of metal around. He jumped back and forth, recoiling in and out like a snake, each clang of his sword causing a tremor in her heart.
Lady Elincia Carvale swung her sword around in circles, twisting and turning with his flow, her heavy white armor shining beams of light as she danced around in the sun.
Each strike from him was like a hammer to her bones, her elbows burning after each successive clash.
A waft of blue light surrounded the Drow’s hooded face, and two tiny tendrils shot through the blackness and into his forehead. Her trusty bard, Bartholomew, of course, standing at a safe distance to assist her.
She smiled as she watched his head loll from side to side in a daze, this was her chance. Dashing forward, she quickly side stepped as his blade drunkenly swung at her, slashing a hole for a cape as she stepped across the high grass, his footwork clunky, the steps uneven and sudden. She saw a glimmer through the hood as it flapped around in the light.
Pure black cat-like eyes, slits for nostrils, barely visible atop the dark gray leathery skin. Some warped and damaged Drow it seemed, one that had apparently lost his nose. Ah yes, she could see the scars now.
Screaming, he aimed a dramatic swing at her forehead and missed as she ducked under the slash with ease, pushing forward and slamming the broadside of her blade to his head, sending him tumbling to the ground.
Before he could make another move, she stepped on his sword bearing wrist with an armored foot and poked the tip of her sword to his Adam’s Apple.
“Who are you?” Elincia asked through heaving breaths. The Drow merely smiled.
Only quiet wind. Bartholomew’s robes fluttering to his tiny chest.
At some point, their journey must have brought them to a cliff. Twin cliffs really, protecting a chasm that ran through the valley, leading to their next destination.
Past the tiny hair coming out of his misshapen head, she could see a tiny steam many miles below. A little blue among the green.
“Come on. Out with it,” Elincia spat, her eyes fiery. “You must have come a long way to find me — how long have you been following us?”
The Drow cackled and lunged forward, digging his free hand’s palm into the blade, clenching onto it, crimson pouring from the bony thing. Elincia jumped backwards at the sudden flash of gray, and shuddered as she watched him bend the broken hand over his flat face, tongue flayed out as the dark red poured onto him.
He hissed as he jumped to his feet, his remaining hand shoving the iron boot off of it, and lashed at Elincia’s chest, the fingers curling a massive dent into the breast plate. She looked into his black eyes and saw nothing more than hatred.
The Drow stepped backwards, tugging Elincia forward with an ungodly strength. She managed to slap the sword to his knee as she moved forward against her will, and he screamed, collapsing into her as they tumbled off the cliff, that stream down becoming much larger by the moment.
The gentle wind that quietly blew her cape as they trekked across the land was now crushing her lungs as she tumbled through the air.
His withered hand slid into hers, his tendons stringy and feeble.
There wasn’t really that much time to think about all of this though, these are more the details that would come up on the fly when telling the tale later to the children over at the next village.
After one second of falling, a green light flashed before her eyes. Elincia smiled and kicked her feet downwards, landing hard on a powerful gust that passed by under them. It felt like walking on a thin sheet of ice, desperate and cumbersome, with a trust that you only give to your greatest enemies.
The gust ramped upward and when she felt that clenching in her ankles, she leaped into the air. Bartholomew’s work again.
She soared through the air and reached the other side of the chasm. Rocks slid between her fingers, scraping against the armor, punching her fingers, as she slid down until a firm hold was established.
Elincia dangled off the cliff by one hand, the Drow hanging off of her other hand. They both screamed; her from his entire weight balancing in one hand and him from his limp hand tearing apart in her grip.
He roared and slapped his other gnarled hand to her wrist, clenching tightly, eventually letting ago with the other hand, guarding the stump against his chest.
“If so you so much as move,” Elincia said through clenched teeth, “My bard will kill you. Do you understand?”
He looked up at her with a smile. Distorting his ever clear smile, hanging place above the wavering mix of colors waiting for them down below. She gulped.
High up above, Bartholomew looked down seriously, arrow docked in his bow, training his aim on his heart.
“Now, you tell me,” Elincia gasped, taking a moment to collect herself. “Tell me who you are.”
Silence again from the Drow. Elincia sucked her lip inward, trying to think clearly.
“Then,” Elincia began firmly. “Tell me why you want me dead.”
Elincia stared into his black eyes. Waiting for something. A crinkle at the eyebrows, a crease of the nose, a shifting of the pupils, anything. Anything that could tell her why.
Yet despite how intently Elincia gazed into the Drow, it was Bartholomew who spotted his first movie and it was Bartholomew who lodged an arrow into the Drow’s chest.
The Drow screamed and wailed as his body writhed against the rocks beside him, his death grip on Elincia even harsher. She watched helplessly as the fight drained out of him.
Took the arrow and snapped it. Shoving the broken half into his mouth, smearing his lips in blood.
And with that tremendous strength he just possessed, he launched upward, crashing into her chest, his eyes level to hers.
“Because you love,” he said, relishing the words that slipped between his fangs.
Unable to look, Elincia’s feet retracted to her hips and kicked upward, slamming into his chest.
And then gray became added to the mishmash blur of color below, and Elincia’s eyes took a sudden interest in the sun above.
She couldn’t even hear the impact from how high up they were.
Both hands finally free, Elincia held on tightly and bent her head inward, jagged rocks brushing the back of her head.
“Lady Carvale!” Bartholomew cried out with a stony disposition. “Are you alright?”
Taking a second to find her Highness’ reservation, Elincia shouted clearly through quivering lips, “Meet me at the bottom, I’m sure there’s a way. I want to search the body.”
A gust of wind flared through the twin canyons, drowning out Bartholomew’s likely responses and she carefully began the downward climb.