Ashes of the Fall

-Written by Tharion
 To the ones who march in cadence 
 To the ones who hold the line 
 To the ones who fight the battles 
 Unknown to space and time. 
 To the ones who seek the darkness 
 To the ones who see it true 
 To the ones who tear the veil 
 And reveal the world anew. 
 To the ones who follow honor 
 To the ones who never ask why 
 To the ones who fight ever onward 
 Certain only that they'll die. 
 To the ones who stay ever silent 
 To the ones who'll never see 
 To the ones who're blind by passion 
 And bound to eternity. 
 To our enemies before us 
 May your lines break away and run 
 May you fall before our wicked blades 
 May you see our strength and as one.
 -Unity, Ancient traditional chant of the demon hunter caste 

Part I: FamilyEdit

Tharion took one last long glance at the building that was once the halls of the Netherbane. He watched as people from all races and all castes ran into and out of it, speaking to the auctioneers and trading their hard earned coin for goods.

He sighed heavily.

They have turned it into a market . . .

Perhaps it was better this way, however. His last time there he was visited by a ghost from his deep past, and the ensuing battle left a woman dead and both the building and his mind shattered. Yes, perhaps it was truly better. Too many memories there. Too much history that needed to be purged.

Perhaps everything needed to be purged. Everything.

The Greyseer turned and walked up the ornate stone ramp towards the Warrior's Terrace of Darnassus. His heavy mail boots landing loudly on the solid material, sending echoes piercing through the nearby trees. Tharion did not need to expand his spectral sight to notice a large crimson bird soaring over the buildings.

Blood, the dire condor from the Redridge Mountains that had saved Tharion's life so long ago, circled above, keeping watch where his master could not.

Tharion Greyseer, demon hunter of the kaldorei people, continued his walk deep into the Craftsmen's Terrace of the new city. He kept his head forward, allowing his eyeless gaze to casually caress the landscape around him as he passed. He sensed nothing out of the ordinary. No danger, no demons, not even the tainted sensation of the arcane could be detected.

"Greyzeer," came an unfamiliar voice from behind.

Tharion stopped and spun, his hand moving swiftly to the blade once known as Felborne and drawing it with practiced ease. He focused his gaze upon the speaker . . . and he froze.

The kaldorei was a little shorter than he, deep purple skin seemingly hardened by ages against the bare elements. He was swathed in greens, looking almost like a druid of the Order.

But this was no druid. beneath his long disheveled green hair Tharion could make out a tattered cloth wrapped around where his eyes should have been. A faint yellow glow seemed to burn through the thin article, marking a spectral sight similar to Tharion's own.

Another demon hunter.

"Who addresses me?" Tharion said simply, not lowering his blade. His recent experiences had taught him that trust was not something given easily, even to "family."

"I am but a zingle blade ov grazz, zvaying in the ztorm," the figure burst into a cold laughter as he spoke his riddle. His voice had a heavy accent to it, his words tinted with an unknown color.

"I will ask you again . . . Who addresses me?"

The newcomer's grin faded slightly, but did not disappear.

"I am Azhaan Thelriz Mordaveh, ov the clan Mordaveh. I am a hunter zuch az yourzelf." His grin widened as he spoke. "Zuch az the great Greyzeer . . ."

Tharion growled deeply.

"I take no titles, especially none from strangers . . ."

Azhaan's grin did not waver.

"No, you do not. Thiz I know. But Greyzeer, you muzt know that I am not a ztranger. At leazt . . . not to you. Or haz it truly been thiz long?"

Tharion tilted his head in curiosity, but did not break his stance. He did not speak, letting his expression ask the question for him.

"Greyzeer, or perhapz I zhould uze your given name: Tharion Draghei Mordaveh . . . my brother."

Part IIEdit

Azhaan's twin blades rang loudly through Darnassus as the sword once known as Felborne struck heavily towards his heart. The green clad hunter laughed aloud as his brother, Tharion Greyseer, Tharion Draghei Mordaveh, bounded back at the parry.

"Draghei, you 'ave not lozt your zkill," Azhaan smiled.

"Do not call me that. I left that name and life behind long ago!" Tharion widened his stance, preparing for another strike at the figure before him.

"You left it, yez, but it never left you!" Azhaan grinned from behind a disheveled tangle of green hair covering his face, a faint and mocking laughter escaping from his parched lips.

Tharion screamed ferally and strode forward, swinging once-Felborne towards the other demon hunter's midsection. A loud metallic ringing revealed yet another parry by Azhaan's twin swords, twin swords that glowed a felfire green.

"Vhere are your bladez, Draghei? The bladez our father gave to you. Hiz bladez?" The amusement in Azhaan's voice was lost at the question.

"That is none of your concern!" Tharion struck again, repeatedly swinging once-Felborne in a series of two-handed strikes, sparks shattering off of the weapons of the hunters.

"You gave them avay, yez? You gave them to zomeone undezerving, didn't you?" Digust had crept its way into Azhaan's voice, which was slightly strained as he continued to parry Tharion's wild attacks.

Tharion pauses in his massive strikes, bounding backwards with more agility than a form his size should be able to manage. His spectral sight flared brightly as it locked onto Azhaan.

"She was deserving when I gave them to her . . . " With another feral scream Tharion raised once-Felborne over his head to deliver a crushing blow to the figure that stood before him.

A sharp pain cut Tharion's charge short as a trio of blades spun into his midsection, slicing into the leather harness he wore. Tharion fell to the ground, his forward momentum causing him to hit the surface harder than natural.

The Greyseer braced himself with his forearms and looked down at his abdomen, which was now bleeding quite heavily. A large laceration swiped its way across the middle of his torso, and the open wound poured crimson life's blood.

Widening his spectral sight again without actually looking up, Tharion sensed the approach of another. His gaze settled on an object that lay just a few feet to his side. Three sharpened blades protruded from a central disc-like shield, each weapon equally spaced.

A moonglaive.

The sound of heavy claws on stone marked the approach of a mounted huntress, a sentinel of Darnassus.

"Greyseer! What is the meaning of this?" asked the female kaldorei, quite harshly.

"Ravenoak," Tharion breathed heavily, "this is none of your concern. It is a matter of . . . family."

"Family?" Huntress Ravenoak laughed, a sweetly deceptive sound. "I only see you here now, Tharion Greyseer."

Tharion turned his face up to look at the huntress, who had stepped off her saber and was now crouched next to her thrown moonglaive. Azhaan was nowhere to be seen, but Tharion did happen to notice a couple of civilian kaldorei huddled, quite frightened, in a nearby building.

"He was here," Tharion managed to gasp as a wave of pain from the opening in his torso washed over him.

"Who?" The sentinel has retrieved her weapon and was now standing close to Tharion, looking down on him from almost directly above. "Who was here, Tharion? I only saw you begin to charge, screaming, mind you, towards that building of innocents!"

Tharion coughed and winced heavily. Searing pain burned through his body as his damaged abdomen contracted to force the air from his lungs.

"You have come close many times to wearing out your welcome in this city, Greyseer. We tolerate your kind only because . . ." the huntress paused a moment. "By Elune I know NOT why we tolerate your kind here! You stink of the fel, and you have nearly destroyed at LEAST one of our buildings!"

"What . . . do you wish of me?" Tharion was slowly beginning to lose consciousness as his blood drained away on the stone path.

"Wish of you? WISH of you? I WISH you would leave us in peace, demon hunter. I want none of your kind here." Ravenoak pressed a boot forcefully into Tharion's stomach, pulling some of the skin away from the long wound across his chest. Tharion screamed at the pain, and rolled away from her boot and onto his back.

"Your wound will be tended. And after you have regained consciousness you will speak to me about this 'who' you mentioned. Although how the blinded can trust a demon sight is beyond my understanding."

With a swift kick of frustration into Tharion's side, the huntress turned and mounted quickly onto her saber.

Tharion was unconscious by the time the priests arrived to heal the bleeding.

Part IIIEdit

"Who was he?" Her voice was loud and clear, her deep dulcet tone filling Tharion's hearing as she spoke. Beneath her words rang the sounds of her boots against a wooden floor, a steady rapping as the mail clapped against the polished and shaped innards of a great tree.

He could not see. There was only darkness. Darkness and sound.

Tharion took a deep breath, his chest wound still searing through his abdomen. The priests had closed the opening, but they had not eased the pain of the mending. The long scar burned as if it were still fresh.

"My . . . brother . . ." Tharion was able to gasp out between his pained breathing.

"Brother?" The Huntress's voice seemed to hold a measure of amusement. "You brought the felstink of your family to us now, have you?"

Tharion gritted his teeth against the darkness. He knew where she stood, this Ravenoak. His hearing and other senses naturally sharpened when he took his own sight. But he could do nothing. By his count there were at least six others in the room with him, probably priests and priestesses. The ones who studied the shadow knew methods for suppressing a demon hunter's spectral vision, but it took more than one to maintain the effect.

Tharion took some minor comfort in the fact that it took six to suppress his own.

"Speak, Greyseer!"

Tharion's head jerked to the left as a mailed backhand struck him across the cheek. He growled deeply, but swallowed a bloody response that would have earned him another strike.

"I brought no one," he said simply. "He found me here, I did not seek him out."

"And if he 'found' you here, Tharion, then tell me where he was. Tell me why it was only you that I saw in the street?" The pacing sentinel stopped in her circuit around the room. Tharion suspected that she was observing his reaction.

". . . I know not . . ." was all he could muster in response.

"Useless!" Ravenoak released a heavy sigh, and Tharion could almost smell her breath in the air. "I have not the authority to banish you from our streets, Greyseer, but I DO have the authority to keep you under watch."

A quick series of steps told Tharion that Ravenoak was moving to a specific place in the room. A shuffle of papers and the light scratching of something sharp against a thick parchment told Tharion that the sentinel was filling out some written orders.

"You will be held here for a day. No one but yourself was harmed in the ordeal, and the innocents you threatened chose not to speak out against you . . . " Ravenoak seemed to be disappointed at this.

There was more scribbling, and Tharion could hear the shuffling of soft feet moving around him. The ones who suppressed his sight were leaving.

"You will be released the next you see me. And from now on, you will have a shadow huntress keep close watch while you are here." The amusement in Ravenoak's voice flooded back. "You will never see her, Greyseer. And if you choose to act up again . . . "

Tharion could feel the huntress walk over to him and lean in close. Her feral scent filled his nostrils, her breath grazing his face as she spoke her next words.

". . . I will make certain that you befall an end befitting your kind."

Tharion's spectral sight snapped back into focus in just enough time to watch a heavy door made of tangled roots slam shut in front of him.

And he was in darkness again.

Part IVEdit

Tharion sat alone. Tharion sat in darkness.

He was tied to a backless wooden chair, his wrists bound behind him with a heavy rope to the opposite legs of the stool on which he sat. His shoulders ached a bit from the hours of being stretched too far behind, but he put up with the pain.

He was still weak from the healing, the scarred wound still throbbing slightly across his chest.

Tharion Greyseer opened his spectral vision to encase the entire room, as he had done many times already. With his full concentration, the darkess lightened to a pale gray of everything around him. If a demon were near, its silhouette would glow brightly as if illuminated by a thousand candles.

The room was empty, just as it had been the past ten times he had done this excercise.

"You hate her, yez? Zhe doez not underztand, no?" Tharion was startled by the sudden sound, the heavily accented voice of Azhaan. "Zhe vill be . . . an obztacle, indeed."

Tharion kept silent, wondering if perhaps his mind was slipping slightly. There was darkness around him, and his spectral vision could only feel a deep emptiness within the containment room. He felt no one else within the hold with him.

"You believe you are . . . inzane, yez?" Azhaan's voice was highly amused. "You believe that my voice iz unnatural. That I am unnatural."

". . . yes . . ." Tharion said simply. He could not quite tell where the voice was coming from.

A heavy laughter burst out next to Tharion's left ear, and he winced at the volume of the noise.

"I azzure you, Draghei, I am natural." The laughter burst out again.

"Indeed," was Tharion's familiar reply.

A series of soft footsteps indicated that Azhaan was moving closer, possibly behind where the Greyseer was tied. A rough tug at Tharion's rope bindings confirmed it.

"What are you doing?" Tharion knew well what Azhaan was doing, but he still did not trust his brother.

"Yourz iz not to be bound by the mundane zuch az thiz, Draghei. Yourz iz to be bound by that vhich ve hunt.

A loud snapping noise penetrated Tharion's thoughts as the ropes split free. Tharion leaned forward and rubbed both of his shoulders, which throbbed with the after-pain of being pulled back for too long.

"Why have you freed me, Azhaan?" Tharion asked, still rubbing the pain out out of his upper arms. "You and I were never . . . close."

Azhaan laughed again.

"Yez, Draghei Greyzeer, ve did attempt to kill each other at timez, yez? But vorry not. I intend not to kill you here nor now."

"Then what is it you intend, Azhaan?" Tharion's voice was raising slightly, his anger at the situation finally taking hold. "Why release my bindings if we are sealed here?"

"Ve are not zealed, Draghei. Not at all."

Tharion turned and finally saw his brother, standing from where he guessed he had been standing by the voice alone. The other demon hunter walked over to a deep, oddly shaped corner and seemed to reach his arm into it. After a few moments, Azhaan smiled and pulled at a large branch that made up part of the room's walls.

With a faint creaking sigh, the branch was pulled aside, revealing a twisting passage filled with dirt, soil, and even a plethora of insects and other such things.

"Ve are in a tree, Draghei. Treez do not alvayz grow in vays az to make thingz . . . zecure." The smile on Azhaan's face was very much like the one that Tharion had worn during similar successes.

"I will stay, Azhaan. Escape now would be . . .dishonorable."

"Alvayz vith the honor, yez?" Tharion's brother did not seem startled at this, but instead he nodded and took one step into the passage before stopping to speak again.

"All is not vhat it zeemz, Draghei. Thiz I believe you to know. I am not here to fight you, no. I am here to help you regain that vhich you once lozt."

Tharion nodded his head at the statement as Azhaan vanished into the passage. The huge tree limb seemed to sigh once more as it moved back into place.

Tharion spun around as the heavy wooden entrance door creaked open rather quickly behind him. A very angry looking huntress steped inside the cell, noticing her captive standing, unbound and free, in the dark room.

A distinct click marked the detaching of her moonglaive from her belt.

Ravenoak was displeased.

Part VEdit

A figure, dark and silent, stalked through the trees that lined the kaldorei city of Darnassus. She watched intently as the demon hunter known as Tharion Greyseer limped his way down the paths.

The huntress has taken her toll. The thought made the woman laugh, a near soundless, breathy hiss passing through dark colored lips.

As the Greyseer turned and limped his way down a side street, the woman pushed her way off her high perch and bounded to the next tree. She repeated this a few times, until the hunter was once again in sight.

"You watch him as well, sister Eventide?" came a voice from above her.

"I do, Bladesong. He is my charge," responded the shadow sentinel. "Ravenoak has asked it of me."

"Few should be considered so lucky," an amused laughter washed down from the branch above. "I watch him for . . . enjoyment."

"Enjoyme--?" a rustling of the tree and the slow descent of leaves marked the retreat of sister Bladesong before Lura Eventide could look up in question.

He is just a male, she thought with disgust. And a tainted one at that! Lura shook her head at the other sentinel's comments and bounded once more through the trees, keeping distant watch on Tharion Greyseer.

She never noticed the one who watched her.

The voice was faint and distant, almost not there at all. Tharion was torn between listening intently and ignoring it outright, having lived too long with internal voices that did not know when to quiet themselves.

Zhe followz you, Greyzeer, thiz one doez, it was Azhaan's voice that seemed to hover within his mind again. Zhe iz the vone that Ravenoak azzigned to you.

YOU THINK I DO NOT KNOW THIS! Tharion mentally screamed in response, but received no answer. The voice did not seem to hear.

I can . . . Take care uv her, if you vish, my brother. I can make certain that you can valk unoppozed here.

Tharion stopped, knowing what his brother intended. He spoke silently, sub-vocalizing his words, as he does when speaking into the whisperstone. He hoped that his brother could hear.

"You will do nothing . . . I need not anymore trouble here that I already have."

Again there was silence, but of a different sort. After a few seconds of standing in the middle of Darnassus, Tharion finally heard.

Az you vish.

Tharion sighed heavily and resumed his walk towards the portal to Rut'theran. Ravenoak had taken her pleasure in his punishment for breaking his bindings, and his leg was sore from the subsequent confrontation. He needed no more encounters with her this eve.

Eventide watched the Greyseer pass through the portal beneath the great tree that lead down to the fishing village. She sighed heavily as his form vanished from her sight, knowing that her task had been completed.

"He can be . . . enjoyable to watch, you know," came a familiar voice from behind her.

"Sister Bladesong, I did not realize you had returned." Lura Eventide turned around and looked up at the taller kaldorei woman.

Amaya Bladesong smiled. "Then perhaps you sould pay more attention, young sister." The older shadow sentinel stroked a slender hand through the younger one's hair before patting her gently on the cheek. "Keep those eyes and ears of yours open, and you will have an advantage over the world."

Lura turned her head away from the touch, feelings a little discomforted by both the words and the action.

"Yes, you are correct. I will be more diligent," Eventide bowed lightly and turned her attention back to the open view of the kaldorei city. "I must . . . I must return to Ravenoak to report."

"Yes, child. You do." Bladesong turned slightly and bounded quickly into the forest, vanishing from sight.

An odd chill wandered its way down Lura's spine, and she shuddered.

Part VIEdit

Tharion awoke with a start, his loosely cut sleeping robes soaked with a mixture of sweat and seaspray. He placed his hands to the bridge of his nose, touching the worn and tattered cloth that covered the sockets where his eyes used to be.

He would never be free from the spectral vision, not even during his dreams. There was no way for him to "close" his eyes, so the he saw everything, whether fully conscious or in the the darkest recesses of sleep.

It had taken him some getting used to when he first went through the ritual, but that was long ago. It just 'was' nowadays. Something about his life that he merely accepted. Like so much else in the world.

"You dreamed of then again, yez, Draghei?" Azhaan sat on a crate in the center of the hold. Tharion had been aware of his presence, eternally staring at him from behind his disheveled green hair. From behind his own blindfold.

"Indeed," Tharion could only give his usual affirmation.

"You levt uz, Draghei." Azhaan's voice was even, his accent layering itself over his words, coloring the sound that he had adopted from their mother. "You levt uz to die againzt zhe felguard."

Tharion grumbled and rolled himself out of the swinging hammock, landing a little unsteadily on the wooden deck of the ship that transported them across the sea.

"You and father both extracted your prices from me for my cowardice . . ."

"Our 'prizez' you say," Azhaan did not move to watch Tharion walk towards the opening to the deck, which was constantly assaulted by the saltwater of a rough transit. "Our 'prize' was one zhat you choze vor yourzelf, Draghei--"

"DO NOT CALL ME THAT!" Tharion spun swiftly, rounding on his brother. Both of his hands were clenched tightly in to fists, but he did not strike. He stood for a few moments, breathing in and out slowly, letting his rage subside. "Do not call me that . . . I go by that name no longer."

Azhaan never flinched, instead maintaining his place on the crate, staring towards where Tharion had been sleeping mere moments before.

"Az you vish, brother."

Tharion turned his way back towards the door and stepped out onto the swaying deck. They were approaching the maelstrom now, he could feel the change in the waters. The horizon was dark and foreboding, another sign that they were close to the eternal storm.

"You muzt rebuild, brother," Azhaan had apparently stepped out on the deck as well. "You ztill zeek to regain vhat vas lozt to you. You ztill zeek to regain vhat you cannot have."

Tharion did not respond, watching instead the approaching darkness that encased the swirling mass of the maelstrom.

"Rebuild, brother. You valk avay vhile that Ravenoak puzhez you. You allow zhem to vatch you like a dog. Rebuild and zhow them vhat a Mordaveh is capable of doing . . ."

"I am no longer a Mordaveh, Azhaan."

"Yez, you are. You call yourzelf 'Greyzeer,' but inzide you vill alvays be Tharion Draghei Mordaveh. Zhow them vhat thiz meanz."

Tharion sighed heavily, leaning against the railing. He watched the waters churn past as the wooden ship cut through the waves towards the eastern continent.

So much had fallen recently, so much that had been gained was lost in such a short time. Was it his right to rebuild? To try to regain that which which was no longer his?

Tharion turned around slowly, but Azhaan was no longer standing there. Sighing once more, he stepped back into the hold and climbed back into the hammock.

He made another attempt at sleep.

It was another dream. Tharion could recognize that much. He was back in the halls of the old Netherbane, looking out over the lake that ran through the shining surface of Darnassus.

A woman approached, and he knew her sound and her scent well. She walked with a softness of a creature no longer of this world, of a being long lost to the material realm.

"Elaia," he spoke her name softly, knowing the person that now wore the mantle of the "Shai'i."

"Tharion," her voice had changed slightly, deepening in tone. The usual playfulness that infused her words had been gone for many ages. Since she had returned to the world all her words were laden with the sinister intent of her new duties.

"You have come to kill me." Tharion's words did not ask a question, but instead made a statement.

"As you did to me, many many years ago."

"You were lost to us, Elaia. Lost to me, lost to Eraelan ... lost to the Path."

"I was nothing but I was made to be, Greyseer. This you know as well as I."

"Indeed," was Tharion's only response.

Tharion felt Elaia approach. He felt her hands touch the exposed skin of his back and run slowly across him. He cringed.

"Surely before you die we could ... play ... as we did before, yes?" He voice left no question as to what was running through her mind.

"I am not yours. I have never been yours, Elaia," Tharion's clenched jaw tightened as he spoke. "Touch me not, or I will be forced to remove your hands."

Elaia frowned somewhat and removed her hand. "You have changed, Tharion."

Tharion seemed to bark a harsh laugh. "Indeed, and you are the one who has stayed the same, yes?"

Elaia snarled her response. "That is not what I meant. You used to be ... easier."

"As did you ..."

"Perhaps I still am," Elaia's expression changed once more, rather quickly, back to playfulness. She leaned up to Tharion, bringing her lips to his ear. "Perhaps you would like to find out."

"STAND OFF ME, WOMAN!" Tharion spun around and pushed Elaia away. She took a few stumbling steps backwards as her expression darkened and her eyes lit with the color of felfire.

"As you wish it, Greyseer." Elaia's words seemed to echo from nowhere as she faded from view and two dreadlords materialized next to where she was once standing.

"If this is how it must end, then let it be ended, woman." Tharion brought Felborne up, holding the massive blade at ready as he sunk into his combat stance.

Tharion grew weary of the dreams. The events that shattered the Netherbane and nearly destroyed the guildhall repeated themselves in his sleep frequently. He was tired of seeing Elaia’s face, tired of delivering the blow that severed her tortured soul from her corporeal form. He was tired of being haunted by that fall.

He braced himself against the inside of the ship as he felt the ropes pull taught. They had finally docked in Auberdine, the smothering silence of the sleepy village seeming to swallow the quiet murmers of the kaldorei seafarers as they finished the docking of the vessel. The lazy lapping of the waves against the pier was the only audible intrusion to the still air.

Tharion stood and strode out onto the deck. He noticed the docking plank already set and proceeded onto the dark wooden pier that lead back to the porthouse. Azhaan was waiting for him, and fell into stride alongside Tharion as he strode towards the heart of the town.

"She iz dead, Draghei. Ov her you do not have to vorry."

"I do not 'worry,’ Azhaan," Tharion retorted rather calmly. "But it was my failure that lead to the situation. My failure than endangered those who were close to me."

"If zhat is vhat you zee, then ve are all failurez, yez?"

Tharion did not respond, but instead kept walking.

"How did you fail, Draghei?" Azhaan continued to stroll alongside his brother, his own blindfolded face still largely covered by a tangled mass of green hair. "You killed her, yez? You did az you were azked to do."

"She fell by my blade, yes. Twice."

"To me, Draghei, that iz zuccess."

"I should have killed Eraelan afterwards."

Tharion stopped for a moment, a thought glinting from the recesses of his conscious.

Not there...he was not there.

"How do you know what I was asked--" Tharion turned to address his brother, but stopped with a growl when he realized he was once again alone. "You need to stop doing this, Azhaan. You are beginning to make me question..." Tharion whispered into the wind.

The shadow sentinel bounded from one massive branch to the other, pushing herself harder than she had before. The creature in front of her scurried along the trees, seemingly to vanish and reappear a few more feet ahead of her with each passing moment. She could not keep the pace up for long.

Blasted fel creature! The thought ran through her mind as she made another lengthy leap to the tree that the impish thing had just departed. She landed skillfully and immediately kept her senses open to track where the creature had gone. The forests of Teldrassil responded to her with silence, almost mocking her hunt in the way that only corrupted earth could do.

A flash of green felfire ahead caught her attention, and she reacted. Her triple bladed moonglaive flew from her hand and spun through the air towards the imp. The chittering laughter that usually came from the fel rodent was replaced by a chattering scream of surprise as the blade struck the very branch that it was perched on. A loud crack marked the severing of the limb from its trunk, and both the imp and her moonglaive fell into the darkness of the forest floor below.

Cursing silently to herself, the shadow sentinel bounded after both, taking the shorter, easier jumps between branches swiftly as she approached the ground. She landed with barely a rustle of leaves and crouched low, scanning the darkness with her silvery eyes. There was nothing to be seen.

Where did you fall off to? The sentinel thought to herself, certain she had landed near her blade and the imp, but not seeing any evidence of either. A rustling behind her indicated that she was not alone, and she turned to look upon source of the sound...

...only to be met with a mace to the skull.