Author's Name: Aidan Russell
Stage of Completion: Mostly polished and looking to query
Preferred Feedback Style: Straight to the point
Cats or Dogs: Dogs
Tea or Coffee: Coffee
Elven warrior Reslo guards the only road through the elves’ enchanted forest home for an outsider king. When a venerable tree suddenly dies, Reslo must leave his family behind to protect the road and his peoples’ homeland from the intruders trying to bleed its magic and bring desolation to the forest. Two novice, bungling knights from another kingdom are sent to Reslo’s aid. They must discover the truth behind a champion’s disappearance in the forest while Reslo must keep the two wise-cracking, holy-warriors alive despite their antics. Should they fail, war will consume the North, the forest will die, and a dormant evil will rise, determined to regain dominion over the Land of Nod once more.
For a forest said to be haunted, it was still unusual to see so many dead men. The dead men, however, concerned Reslo less than did the dead tree.
A few leaves rustled as the elf dropped from the forest understory to the dirt road below. The animals paid him no mind and continued about their business of gathering food, making nests, and eating each other.
He swept the leaf-covered cloak behind his dominant arm in case he found himself suddenly in need of the long-sword on his opposite hip. Reslo had inherited the blade, as well as guardianship of Old Column Road, from his father, gone twenty years and far too young for one of their race.
His father had been the first guardian of the road, the kingdom of Galeberth’s only route through the woodland realm of Miradep. Following the war between kingdom and forest, the Leaf Elves had granted the Galeberthians the privilege to travel and to charge tolls for use of the road. The elven king had appointed one of their own to guard the merchants making their journey through the enchanted woodland. Reslo could not, however, protect any who strayed from the worn dirt path. To do so was to incur the wrath of the Leaf Elves, fanatical in the defense of their forest home. With all the bodies strewn about the road, Reslo doubted his abilities to protect the travelers even when they did stick to the road.
Flies had already made spawning pools in the open wounds of corpses. Seven bodies littered the road, bright armor catching the sunlight through smears of blood and dirt.