The Old Man of the Elder Trees: Part One

Aethereal Engines

Once upon a time, men could tread the Easrune Wood without fear. But those were days long past as Reed walked with stealthy poacher’s steps and an arrow in his bow. Midsummer moonlight filtering through the canopies of dark leaves above illumed the wood in patches of pale lunar glow. He was no stranger to night and shadow, but it was Reed’s keen ears and not his eyes that told him that whomever stalked behind his cloak was a fine hunter indeed.

But not his equal tonight.

Reed had caught faint traces of breath and padded footfalls drawing closer for an hour while he awaited the right moment to strike. Running a thumb along the fletching of his arrow, the gentle crunch of a leaf betrayed the stalker only paces behind him. He stopped, snapping the bowstring taunt as he spun around to place an arrow in their throat.


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