Friendly Fire
The smell of Jeckle's charred flesh hangs heavy in the winter air. His corpse, still smoldering, lies in the slushy snow but thirty feet from Elasha, its blackened hands still raised up before it to ward of the fiery blast that the elf has unleashed but moments before. She stands there in silence, gazing upon the scene.

The night is cold, but Elasha, naked except for a scanty breech-cloth beneath her bearskin cloak and boots, does not feel the chill. Though her tattooed arms have risen in goose-flesh, she is more chilled by the gazes of her companions who look upon her with varying degrees of stunned surprise. Her face, however, remains impassive, porcelain white and frozen as the landscape.

She does not feel guilty for what she has done, and in fact, she would do it again. The party had been worn down by the fighting just hours before, when that undead horror had come out of the woods at night to beset them in their camp. Elasha feels fairly certain that the thing was a Nosritrel, what the humans would call a vampyre. She has never encountered one before, but she has heard the legends whispered in hushed tones and read the accounts in dusty scrolls. Though it appeared clad in child's form, she knew it for the monstrous evil it was. And when she had looked into its eyes, those black, endless eyes, and felt their pull upon her, she had known that all possible force must be brought to bear upon that fell thing to destroy immediately it before it could wreak havoc upon them.

Poor Jeckle had not been able to resist its pull, as the rest of them had, and wandered into the path of the fire magic she unleashed upon it. Unlucky for him. She can still hear his screams in her ears and see the look of terror in his eyes before they poached like eggs in his burning face as flesh melted from bone. Regrettable to be sure, but an unavoidable loss given the circumstances.

She feels the others watching her, though they say nothing. What do they feel for her? Reprobation or understanding? She is curious, but chooses not to discuss the matter right now. Right now, more important matters press upon them. The Nosritrel is not destroyed, merely forced to surrender corporeality for the moment. It still lurks in the woods somewhere and may yet return another night. They still have many leagues journey through the wild to Wulfric's Keep, and she fears they will see it again.

The snow begins to fall. Elasha draws her cloak tightly about herself, covering her near-nakedness from the night. Oswin has begun to murmur some words of funerary prayer over Jeckle's charred remains. The elf listens for a moment and returns to the tent where sleep awaits.
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2 Comments

Oh yes, I like it a lot. Elasha has always been a rich, coherent character, and this makes her even more so. I love her ruthless logic, and her sensitivity to the other party members' reactions brings will create an interesting vibe among the group. My favorite image was of his eyes poaching like eggs in his face. Very Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Note to Self: Never be more than the radius of a fireball from Elasha.