All things begin at the beginning -- a leaf does not fall from the tree before it sprouts from the branch, the snow does not rest on the ground before it falls from the heavens, and the twilight moon does not shine in the sky before the dawn of the day.
All things begin at the beginning...

It is a young land, rough, unfettered, new. Many races co-exist in this land, but some do not. It is a land for the hearty where hard work is rewarded by a simplistic life. Such was the desire of many, but there were some who yearned for more.

A rustle of branches -- the young human child believes she is alone. She continues to forage the bush for the edible berries while trying to keep the village fires in sight. Another rustle, too late she turns to see the sickly gleam of a yellowed maw in the moonlight. She hears her own heartbeat for the last time, replaced by rough guttural laughter...

A rustle of branches -- the only precursor to the whistling of a glade shaft passing the traveler’s ear before the arrow thunks into a nearby tree. "The next will not miss; stand and step away," came the instruction from the nearby trees. The cloaked figure stood, but remained still in silent anticipation. The straining of a bowstring cut the silence in alarming fashion, "I said step away. I will not ask again!"

The reply came in a gravely tone, "I heard you the first time, though not as clearly as when you were ‘sneaking’ up on me. There is no need to repeat yourself nor spend anymore of your arrows. Hail -- you from the Glade?"

"How my arrows are spent is my own affair. As to why you believe I should answer your questions I cannot fathom. If you do not step away from the slain child you’ll not see the sunset of another day. I am of the Glade, Roenick by name, the protector of its inhabitants and avenger of its slain innocents. I say for the last time, step away."

"Does the Glade now choose its champions so blindly? Nay, nay brave ranger, forgive my slight -- I am neither your enemy nor the slayer of this child. Come closer and you will see the claw and fang marks that caused this misfortune."

The Ranger stepped from the shadows of the trees moving nimbly to the body and kneeling to inspect the wounds. "It appears the Sleshers are no longer content with ravaging the wilds. They have grown a more sinister agenda -- I feared this would soon become an issue. Forgive my earlier assumption; as I stated I am Roenick of the Glade. You are called?"

The cloaked figure removed his hood in a flourish to reveal a stern visage. "I am known as Desidio in many parts, newly come to Surefall Glade. Where will we find these foul ones so the child might be avenged?"

"You get ahead of yourself friend. We mustn’t rush into such a venture,"
came the reply, "The sleshers, while savage and simple, are numerous and well outfitted. We must gather a group lest we suffer the same fate."

The stranger looked to the north, a knowing gleam in his eyes. "A group you say? Follow me." The cloaked figure bounded away effortlessly through the wooded area. The Ranger followed in the graceful manner that marked his profession. After a short journey they came upon a small camp where a Barbarian woman was sitting before a fire.

She called out in greeting to the cloaked figure, "Hail, Des, it appears you’ve found more than a coney for our supper but someone to share it with also. He’s puny, so he can stay."

"Bah, woman, must everything be a joke to you? We bear grim tidings."

The Barbarian started at the comment, "Speak your tale Des, and be quick about it."

"I came upon a slain child near yon village to the south, and was met there by this fellow Ranger, Roenick by name. He’s made it clear there are some Sleshers that are not yet dead; I mean to make them so."

"You mean to die trying," scoffed the ranger. "One Barbarian lady does not complete the force we will need to avenge the child. Let us return to the Glade and arrange a proper force."

"I ask for neither your company nor your advice on this venture -- as the innocent’s spirit does not rest, neither shall I. Accompany me or not; I will find these beasts and see them dead by nightfall,"
remarked Desidio. "As for the woman she is twice the warrior you will ever be so doubt her not."

"Woman am I now? I will accompany Desidio, though it may be folly. I am Auriwen of the North, well met Roenick. Though he is mostly hot air and headstrong Des speaks true; we can accomplish this task we three."

"FOUR," came a shout that seemed to come from the trees themselves. An awkward moment passed before a figure appeared. "We four will do this deed. I wondered where you had ventured, Roe, you are ever one to find misfortune. I am Sapperlight, a Druid of the Glade and fellow of the Ranger who stands before you."


"Well now we are a group possibly worthy of this task. Very well Desidio and Auriwen, let’s make to the east to find the camp of foul ones," declared Roenick. "I know a shortcut."

Desidio gripped hands with the Ranger, "We will join then and find these Fallen."

"Fallen? What are these Fallen of which you speak?"

"We call these beasts the Fallen. The gods all have a plan for us, do they not? These beasts and their ilk are Fallen from their god’s graces and their intended purposes; as they have done so shall they be named. Let us hunt -- lead on, friend Roenick"

Auriwen smirked in the back. "A Druid, a Shaman and two Rangers, this should be interesting."

Roenick gaped in surprise, "He’s a Ranger?"

Sapperlight pounded Roenick on the back laughing, "Didn’t you know, all you rangers have the same smell!"

As the sun set on that day the child was avenged as were many others. With every cause they undertook, they became a greater thorn in the side of evil in all its forms and champions to those of righteous standing. As tales of their exploits grew, so did their legend. They enlisted others to join their fight, and those select few came from all the lands of good races. They came to fight for those who could not and to avenge those who were not able. Across Tunaria, they came to be known as the Hunters of the Fallen.

All things begin at the beginning -- a leaf does not fall from the tree before it sprouts from the branch, the snow does not rest on the ground before it falls from the heavens, the twilight moon does not shine in sky before the dawn of the day, and legends are not made before the story is told.  All things begin at the beginning -- this is theirs...

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