Ethuil - path of a pure archer
This is the journal of Ethuil, a simple archer.
One wild wolf is one too many. But this one is a relatively short story. Most of the elven outpost was out on an orc hunt, but sufficient enough defenses in case of a full attack.
There was a disturbance out in the woods near a small plot of berry bushes. I was sent out as a scout to identify the issue. Turned out to be a wild wolf having a go at one of our encampment's bunnies. The bunny staying out of reach with its fast speed was just getting angrier and angrier.
Well.. I grabbed the attention of the the wolf with a well placed arrow just in front of it, an arrow with a spark of lightning. Not enough to hurt it if I accidentally hit it, but certainly enough to get its attention. Quickly followed up with making a lot of noise and running off into the woods. Darting this way and that to keep ahead of the wolf, I started whistling and looking for something the wolf might want to eat, further into the forest than our domesticated bunnies.
Spotting a deer that had perked up and was looking to see if we were coming it's way. Drawing my bow on the run and placing a whistle-spot on the head of the deer I loosed a single arrow, dropping it. Keeping on the move from the wolf, I change direction and ran as fast as I could to the dead deer. Grabbing a thick branch and swinging myself up into the tree I was able to catch my breath and watch the wolf prowl around the tree before getting bored of me and feast on the fresh venison. I made a friend that day... Calming it with my whistling music enough to come down when it was full.
I should probably tell you about Orym. Orym is a right bloody rascal that likes to poke his nose into things that don't concern him... Aka a great friend that looks out for loyal friends. See what I did there?
Right so a bully that seemed to always turn up at the wrong, I mean, right time to get his digs in. Right clever and very observant, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Orym, and I did not get along very well... In fact it was very much a certainty that someone would demand we split up. You see... He was an ass that just blurted out the meanest of things about people. About how some particular color grime was on their boot showing that they traveled this morning through a particularly foul mud, and that a scuff on their wrist was the result of something or other equally miserable.
But, one day he offered help in the most bizarre way, by pointing out a particular unexpected pattern of orc movement. He said it so mater of factly that we didnt belive him at first, but allowed our scouting patrol to set up one wicked explosive ambush. Working together we could tolerate each other and devise increasingly complex and wonderful methods to obliterate orc patrols.
This entry is a few years on from my last. Now with the privilege to be joining in the group of scouts around the elven defensive outpost.
If you like the stories about orcs, stupid orcs falling down, this one's for you.
I guess this story begins with a mistake. We're scouts, elven scouts, learned, experienced scouts. 5 of us, I think it was. Laughing and carrying on talking about last night's revelry and the blundering of elven youth. Imagine 5 elves hunched down in the thicket of the woods like startled deer.
Those orcs shouldn't have been in this area of the woods, they tend to be scared of the thick underbrush that hides all manner of animal or elf. On training and instinct, our leader and his second in command immediately dart off in opposite directions to flank and investigate the source of the sound. The remaining 3 of us taking stock of which trees would be best for ambush and what we might want to use as bait.
Heh, a stifled laugh when one suggested the prey of an elf youth from last night. Briefly considered to be unexpected and effective, alas, unavailable at this moment.
Recently having stumbled upon a decent sized pit, we hastened to cover it with fig and branch. Leaving a glinting battleaxe half covered, but could only be seen from the direction of the orcs. It was crude, but it worked well enough. Our leader and second, returned with an orc raiding party hot on their heels. I'm not really sure how many, but enough to make the 5 of us scurry out of the area.
But first, orcs falling on stupid... Yeah the trap laid was enough to get two orcs tumbling over each other and down into the pit and a third anrgy and barking orders at them. My friend did the wildest barbarian swing from the tree planting both his feet on the back of the angry orc pushing him down into the pit on top of the other orcs. UNFORTUNATELY, said orc turned as he was getting kicked. The orc's stowed greataxe turning and the flat of it knocking my friend unconscious.
A few facepalms later, and the sounds of a much larger orc party running our way... I was given the task of carrying our unconscious friend, while the 3 orcs in the pit were slaughtered with arrows.
I recall we only had one option. To climb up the cliff face a short way away. With my friend over my shoulder we clamored over to the hidden nook under the cliff face and began to climb.
We made it out and left a little grease on the cliff in our wake to prevent the angry horde from following.
And as a last point... An angry horde of orcs is very good motivation for climbing up an extremely sharp cliffside with a friend over your shoulder. Otherwise, no idea where I got that strength from.
Steve gave me an idea recently that I enjoyed mimicking in my own way.
He said plainly and maybe a bit forcefully that he "is a simple man of nature." now, I don't believe him for a moment, but it got me thinking. I used the phase I'm a simple archer, and now enjoy using that as my introduction when meeting people. For anyone that knows me and my archery, knows that what I do is not simple. In fact it is quite enhanced.
I do regularly whistle a battle tune to inspire, but it has a bit of magic to it. The arcane magic in my whistle is something I noticed early in my childhood. But what most don't realize is what I see when I whistle. I see something illuminated from an invisible ball of light exactly where I focus my mind. Though through careful observation, I've come to learn that only I see the illumination. Others surely would have noticed it in some circumstances like a nearly pitch black alley.
I use a tune to mask my constant whistling, where I am actually adjusting the illumination to pinpoint my next archery target or to simply observe a non-hostile target.
Most just see me enhancing my arrows with a little magic and hear my whistling. Both magical in nature but only just a piece of what I enjoy to do. I'm happy to know that others enjoy my arcane support and to also have a secret gift to myself, particularly because it is so helpful in my archery.
Have you every been exhausted? Truly and completely exhausted? The kind of exhaustion where rest, meditation, and food is not enough? Where your body has exerted far more energy than one might have thought possible?
I am thinking back on my elven homestead village. The small outpost near... Strategically near an orc fortress. The village was little more than an outpost designed to be extremely well defended and could hold out siege for a month or more without support. I don't write that as hyperbole, but because it happened. I was there. I was exhausted.
At some point, I was no longer just a squire repairing equipment, but given a bow... A really nice bow by an elder and told to use it. Make him proud, and then return it when the fighting was done.
True, I was strong like an ox and easily a dozen times more nimble, but a strong bow that was new to me and so many orcs to shoot, equipment to repair, walls to rebuild, food trays to carry, water jugs to recover. Yeah. I looked a mess. But we lived with very minimal losses.
This journal entry is something I was postponing, hesitant to write. I know that some consider one's past can be a great weakness to be exploited by anyone seriously manipulative. Perhaps I can expand on it later.
Let's see... Where to begin. I guess with my "first" real job. I was a squire, well kinda, not for any one knight or guard, but instead I was given... No, given is the wrong word. I was offered hard work that could lead to other options and certainly a reputation. "good or bad" the choice was mine to make.
I cleaned armor, polished benches, carried thousands of pounds of equipment from guards barracks in and out of the blacksmith or tannery. With guidance I eventually learned to spot problems on my own, among the armors and equipment. I worked with the smiths and leatherworkers how best to tag places that needed their attention.
I basically was an errand boy that quickly gained strength and a friendship with many of the guards and craftsman in the elven village of my homestead. I was not perfect, I made mistakes, but a few quick lessons in tardiness or shoddy work were... Recognized and cleared up.
But as I have mentioned before being able to conjure a little bit of light, when and where I wanted became instrumental in identifying armor weaknesses both in friend and foe. As it was not my responsibility to defend the village yet, I would just observe from a hidden spot. Following any battle or bandit attack, I would use my observations to lead to quick repairs or personal insight into fighting styles to study. A true archer must be able to anticipate movement well in order to hit at a distance and this has proven to help immensely later in life because I could focus closely on one style at a time.