Or, Michael Mock Tries To Decide On A Character Concept
Darvinin stepped into the clearing without any attempt at stealth, his weapon on his back and his eyes on the figure who moved through the sword-dance on the far side. Their cousin was here as well, strumming softly on her citole while she waited. To his right, another figure entered the clearing; seeing the three of them already there, he put his foot on a small stick and stepped down.
The sound of breaking wood split the night.
Sherralitha looked up from her instrument. "Darvinin," she acknowledged, then looked past him. "Werendril."
Darvinin offered her a bow, then turned and offered the same vow to Werendril. "Cousins." Darvinin was slim but muscular, dressed in pants and coat of dark gray with highlights of silver and red; his hair was white and his eyes were gray.
The figure at the far side of the clearing sheathed his blade and approached them. He was the largest and heaviest of them, but he moved with silent grace. His clothes were burgundy and crimson, and his blade was single-edged and two-handed, atypical for a True Elf.
"And what are we calling you today?" asked Darvinin.
"Call me Ruin," said the elf, and smiled. "How fare you, O my brother?"
"I am well. Sherralitha? Werendril?"
Werendril looked to Sherralitha, who answered: "Well enough." She rose from where she'd been leaning back against a tree, the gold of her vest matching the gold of her hair, a sharp contrast with the dark blue of her shirt and skirt. Sherra was graceful even by the standard of True Elves, captivating; Darvinin suspected that all three of them had had a crush on her at one time or another. Maybe they all still did.
"I also am well," said Werendril. "May Corellan watch over us. With the return of the true king, there is much to do." Werendril was solidly built, heavier through the shoulders than than Darvinin but not so solid as Ruin. His hair was silver and his eyes were a pale blue, and he wore an overtunic and divided skirts of scale mail armor, with the twin-bladed elvish double scimitar slung across his back.
"Is that why you asked us here?" Sherralitha turned a look of curiosity on Darvinin. "To discuss the coming negotiations?"
The four of them were not all of the new generation of True Elves, the ones born since the Great Extermination. Darvinin knew of at least a dozen others, scattered through the Duendewood, his cousins and kin. Many belonged to other clans; generations ago, they might have been rivals. No longer. Those few True Elves who belonged to the Rebirth had been raised as one family.
"It won't be a negotiation," said Ruin. "It'll be a war."
Sherralitha shot him a disapproving look. "You don't know that."
"He may be right," said Werendril. "I have heard the stories from the ones I've protected and healed. This human king will not accept the existence of a king among us. The human lords will not cede the lands they once pledged to us. No matter the history of the realm, no matter their reverence for Saint Margery, they cannot accept the idea of Elvish rule. Not even for ourselves."
"We'll have to kill them," said Ruin.
"We can't," answered Sherralitha, looking to Darvinin for support. "There are too many."
"Too many now," echoed Darvinin, "and not enough of us. Even if the centaurs come over to our side, I fear it will not be enough."
"But you won't flee the battle," said Ruin, looking directly into Darvinin's eyes.
He sighed. "No. I will not. I will take what I know, blades and spells alike, and bring them to the defense of our people."
"As will I," said Werendril. "I will do my duty to the gods and to our king. I will preserve as much as I can."
Darvinin smiled. "Your honor would not let you do otherwise."
Sherralitha nodded slowly, and Darvinin saw Werendril and Ruin both turn their attention to her. "I will have no part in the negotiations," she said. "My role is to learn our history, as much of it as I can, and to pass it along to anyone who shares our blood. But if the time comes when we must fight, I will be ready."
Darvinin turned his head to look at Ruin. "Little brother?"
"Little?" asked Ruin. "You were born, what, two breaths ahead of me? And I'm bigger than you, anyway."
"It's a strange path you've chosen," Darvinin said. He wasn't certain if he meant to sound critical or not; his brother had turned away from the disciplined fighting of the Elvish style, or the wizardry that his people were known for. Instead he'd become... something else. But however much he might be at odds with everything that Elvish culture valued, Darvinin knew that his brother was at least his equal in combat.
"I know," said Ruin, not sounding offended.
"Promise me that you won't do anything to spoil the negotiations," said Sherralitha. "If you're so certain they will fail, then at least wait until they do and we have no other choice."
"How many of our people will be hurt while we wait?" asked Ruin.
Sherra didn't answer.
"As you wish," he said. "I will wait. But if the humans behave like humans, well... once it begins, I will do as I feel I must." He turned to look at Werendril. "Fight with honor, holy warrior." He looked to Darvinin. "Fight with cunning, Duskblade." He looked back at Sherralitha. "Fight with skill, bard."
Darvinin nodded sharply. "And if it comes to it, little brother -- show the humans that elves, too, can rage."
So those are my choices. I don't think our DM will let me play the Duskblade -- we've been core-only, so far. The bard would run support until she could could kick over into the Shadow Dancer prestige class (we're running 3.5) but we've already got another player looking at some sort of rogue. The True Elf template is a homebrew, but it would lend itself well enough to a paladin (Werendril) only I'm not sure we need one. So unless I'm wrong about the duskblade, it's looking like the True Elf barbarian who currently calls himself Ruin. That't not an optimal combination, but it'll still be strong. And I do take a certain satisfaction in just, well, smashing things.