1. Denday Berries

The evening breeze blew gently this day as the sun Quintra slowly made her way towards the horizon. Soon it would be sunset and slowly the colors of the day started getting more and more blues in them. On the opposite side of Eonil Denday would soon rise to the horizon. The blue moon would be bright tonight as she would be full again.

A young adult high elf slipped out of the temple of Quintra and made her way to the forest. Her skin was pale, her platinum blonde hair tied into a side braid that loosely hang over her shoulder , her clothes were of light colors as was normal for a novice priestess of Quintra, the goddess of light. The slender yet elegant young woman crossed the fields before she looked behind her for a moment. No one was there so no one would notice her slipping away into the forest.

Darkness fell over Eonil as Neri’Va made her way deeper into the forest. She had a small basket with her and her eyes were fixed on the ground. The young elf had been warned to not go into the forest, especially not after dark. Yet here she was. Denday shone her soft blue light over the forest just enough that you could see where you were going.

Neri’Va knelt down at the base of a tree and looked at a small plant carrying white berries. Carefully she picked one of the berries and held it up to the blue moon. The berry started to faintly glow with a soft blue hue and the elf smiled. Denday berries, exactly what she was looking for. You could best pick them at night when Denday shone brightly, otherwise it would be hard to see if you picked the right ones.

There was a ruffle of leaves swiftly followed by a snapping sound of a twig. Neri’Va was startled by the sounds and looked behind her. There was no one there. She took a deep breath, it was probably just a small forest creature waking to the light of Denday.  Quickly Neri’Va picked some of the berries before she rose up again. These weren’t nearly enough, she needed to find more so she ventured deeper into the forest searching for more Denday berries.

‘Go back now!’ Someone suddenly scowled. It sounded like a deeper yet female voice: ‘You are not welcome here!’

  Neri’Va flinched and turned around. She scanned her surroundings but couldn’t see anyone. After taking a deep breath she spoke with a soft and gentle voice: ‘I mean no harm, I only need to pick some Denday berries.’

‘Denday berries are not for you, light worshipper! Go home to your light temple!’ The voice scowled again.

‘Please…’ Neri’Va said: ‘Someone has been poisoned, I can make anti-venom to help him, to heal him. I just need a few more berries.’

Neri’Va looked around but still couldn’t see anyone and so she carefully walked on until she found another bush of Denday berries and started picking them.

 In front of her a pair of eliminating dark blue eyes appeared as the threatening voice growled: ‘Go away! You shouldn’t be here!’

The young high elves flinched again and scurried backwards: ‘I… I’m going now.’

Another scowl could be heard as Neri’Va got up and looked around. She had no idea where she was, but she quickly started moving in the opposite direction of those glowing blue eyes. Her heart was raising, but at least she found what she came for. Now she just wanted to go home as fast as possible.

The bushes behind her ruffled and Neri’Va glanced in that direction. She could hear a low growling sound and make out small huffs of black smoke. Neri’Va her eyes went big and she quickly turned around and started running through the forest blindly.

The sound of running paws followed her and a type of beastly snarl followed close to her left side. Neri’Va suddenly found herself running to a small clearing. There was grass and some bushes of Denday Berries grew scattered along a steep mountain side. She couldn’t climb at all so it was a clear dead end for her.

The high elf turned around to see a creature entering the clearing. Once it might have been a wolf, but it’s body was long since twisted and deformed. It’s eyes glowing red, with the clear corruption of Ghor showing. Black smoke was coming from its fur. The creature lowered its head threateningly and stepped closer to Neri’Va, ready to pounce.

Not thinking of any better to do the scared high elf throw her basket with Denday Berries towards the corrupted wolf in the hopes of scaring it away or something. The creature kept its eyes focused on Neri’Va an seemed totally unimpressed by this action.

Behind the creature another person suddenly ran into the clearing. She scowled and rushed towards the creature with a raised sword in her hand. She moved so fast that it was hard for Neri’Va to make out if she was dressed in black or had dark skin.

The novice priestess of Quintra pressed herself against the mountain side as the creature and her savior battled in the clearing in front of her. The creature rammed itself into the other person and send her flying to the side, hitting the wall hard. Neri’Va flinched as she looked worried at her savior.

The wolflike creature then turned around faced the high elf again. Neri’Va cowered against the stone wall sinking down to make herself as small as she could. She prayed to Quintra to protect her, knowing full well she was no match for this creature of Ghor.

With its head low the red glowing eyes stared at the cowering elf. It low growling could be heard before it started running towards Neri’Va. As it took a jump to try and pounce the high elf it was suddenly hit by a rock.

‘Come on, you useless sack of smoke!’ The other person scowled: ‘Did you really think I was defeated so easily.’

The creature growled and pounced at its attacker instead of Neri’Va. As its teeth sank into the woman’s arm she ran her sword deep through the creatures gut. Both scowled in pain and agony as the woman threw the creature on the ground and slashed at it with her sword again and again. She slashed one more time to make sure it was really dead before she turned to the high elf cowering against the wall.

Neri’Va looked at her savior as she moved closer. Her skin was dark purple, her short and dark blue hair framed her face wildly. Her dark blue eyes were somewhat eliminating as they coldly eyed the pale high elf up and down.

Clearly she was a night dweller, a follower of Denday goddess of the dark. The goddess Denday herself was banished to the blue moon named after her a few years ago. For a while all followers of Denday were hunted down and killed. Those that remained had retreated to the darkness of the forest or lurked in caves. At least that was what Neri’Va was told. This was the first time she actually saw a night dweller.

The dark elf knelt down in front of Neri’Va who looked at her with big, scared eyes. Clearly this was the same person that scowled at her to go away. Did she follow her here? Why did she even come to her rescue? Neri’Va was told night dwellers were Denday zealots, that would kill her on first sight. Clearly they were wrong.

The night dweller slowly reached out her hand to Neri’Va as if she was offering to help her get up.

‘You cannot be here!’ She sternly said, yet her tone was less threatening then it was before: ‘Come, you need to get out of here. Are you hurt?’

Neri’Va just stared at the night dweller, her mouth half open but no sound coming out. Her eyes slowly wandered the body of the dark skinned elf. She was clearly muscular and strong. A warrior? Maybe a paladin?

‘Have you lost your ability to speak?’ She grumbled as she looked at Neri’Va, her hand still held out for the high elf to grab it.

‘I…’ Neri’Va stuttered when suddenly her eyes fell on the woman’s left arm. She was wounded there because the wolf had bitten her: ‘You’re hurt! Let me help you, I… am a healer.’

Neri’Va reached out with her hand to the night dweller’s wounded arm,  but before she could even do anything the woman grabbed her hand firmly and pulled it away.

‘Don’t touch me.’ The night dweller scowled: ‘I don’t need your help, light worshipper!’

The woman had a firm grip on her wrist, she held it tightly but not tight enough to hurt her. She rose up and pulled Neri’Va with her. Neri’Va wasn’t small for high elf, but this woman was even larger then she was. When Neri’Va was standing on her own the dark skinned elf let go of her wrist to pick up her sword.

For a moment the night dweller looked around before she picked up Neri’Va her basket and put the berries back in that had fallen out.

Neri’Va was just standing there hesitantly looking at the dark skinned elf. For a moment she thought she wouldn’t get her basket back but then the other woman pushed it into her hands.

‘Let’s go.’ She just said: ‘Move it!’

The night dweller gestured to the forest and Neri’Va started walking, following her instructions until she could see the edge of the forest.

‘Of you go!’ The dark skinned elf said as she gestured to the edge of the forest.

Neri’Va slowly walked on but turned around before she left the forest: ‘Thank you for saving me. If you hadn’t shown up… I would most certainly be dead.’

‘I couldn’t let that Ghor corrupted sack of bones life.’ The night dweller answered as she again gestured to the edge of the forest: ‘Now leave, go back to your little town.’

‘I am Neri’Va by the way.’ Neri’Va said but the dark skinned elf just shrugged her shoulders and turned around. A few moments later she had vanished into the forest.

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