warning this has spelling mistakes and all
The forest shrine was shaded by the tall trees that enclosed the small clearing.
The sound of feet rushing throught the dry mast, breaking throught the forest peace. The birds falling silent, shivering in the branches with fear. Rabbits scattered, running for their burrows. A sparrow fell from a branch, its heart stopped in its fright.
The larger forest animals, the deer, the forest cat,and the wolves, melting back intot he forests deepest sanctuary's.
harsh breathing came loud to the listening forest. The steps comming faster yet faultering over the uneven ground. But it was the sound of shod hooves that attracted the attention of the forest gardian.More than the refugee's fear.
He stood silently as the girl stumbled through the entrance stones to the shrine. Her shirt was torn and her dress ripped down the middle. Her legs bare and bruised from falls on the forest paths.
The gardian moved deeper into the shadows. He would not interfear unless blood was spilt. After all these mortals did not threaten the forest. But blood, just one drop of blood, would threaten the sanctity of the shrine.
The girl gasped in horror as she looked up at the steps of the shrine. Desperately she looked for a way to led Her pursuer away from this sacred place. But the horse was too close now and she whispered an apology before turning to face the barbarian raider as he pulled his mount to a skidding halt just inside the glade. the horse was frothing from the mouth and there were old as well as new welts on it's flanks. The gardian frowned at this display of cruelty to the animal.
The girl raised her hand, she couldn't have been more than fourteen, her brown hair tangled with twigs and leaves. Her brown eyes wide and frightened. "Stop, please sir, if you are to kill me, do it outside of this place."
He sneered from benieth the blood and soot smeared helm. His dirty beared seemed to have never been groomed in it's life. " I will kill you where i wish wench." He snarled as he stepped from the saddle and down to the grass. His voice battle hoarse and shaking with the blood lust.
"Sir, please I beg of you, but let me step out of the glade first." she pleaded taking a step backwards and to one side as he took one step forward. He drew his dagger and then his sword as he advanced.
Her eyes widened as she saw the bridal and saddle slide from the horses flanks, seemingly unaided. the horse shied and made a dash for the forest, the man didn't even notice. He was still stalking her, with a lust for her blood that rivaled a vampires in the heat of hunger.
"come girl, meet your death with an ounce of honor." he growled; his voice gaining a pinch of insult. Resettling one one of the standing stones that surrounded the glade,the gardian froze and kept himself hidded within a cloak of power. He watched as the girl inched around slowly. Trying desperately to guild the man away fromt he shrine and out of the glade.
"Brave girl if she manages this." A womans voice whispered into the gardians ear. The gardian almost jumped, it gave him such a start.
" I will honor her soul, Godess, for the attempt. She did not mean to stray into this part of the forest."
The godess sat on the shrines steps. Her hair black and shining as it tumbled in waves over her bronzed shoulders.
She was, of course invisible to all but the gardian.
"I might speak for her soul in the chamber of the judged. She would make a wonderful nymph." The godess said as the girl managed to edge around a good foot. The man snarled and rushed her, missing as she dashed aside.
the godess gave a joyful cry and clapped her hands togeather."Oh good move dear." The girl was still running as the man swiveled and countered her move. He dropped his sword and grabbed for her hair. He missed, and she was nearly to the entrance stones. He growled and hanged his grip on his dagger. with a quick flick of his hand he let the dagger fly. She was in mid leap over the boundry when it embedded it's self in her shoulder. But she had managed it. For the force of the fall tumbled her the rest of the way out of the glade.
the godess gave an "Bravo child." then rose as the man went back for his sword and began to stalk back towards the girl, anticipating the feel of the sword as it slid into her soft innocent body.
the godess stepped to the girls side. "Take care of him Darian, this one comes with me." She said as she lifted the girls unconcious form before her. Darian smiled grimly and threw off his cloak stepping forward as the mand stood stairing in confusion. staring at the place where the girl had lain.
The godess carried the wounded girl throught her forests. Traveling miles in moments till she stood before her temples doors. They opened beore her and the high preistess held out herarms to relieve the godess of her burden.
"take her as an acolite Liela; she fought valiantly to preserve the sanctity of a shrine today." Diana said as the girl was wisked inside by the lower preistesses.
"Yes godess." Liela said bowing low.
"Teach her to hunt, and defend herself, i have some plans for her, she must be educated." the godess said before she turned and disapeared back into the forest.
Liela turned and almost ran to the infermatory to see the girls condition. She watched the healers work and looked down at the girl. Then turned to the bloddy dagger that lay on a platter by one side of the girls cot.
If the girl lived, she would have a new life ahead of her, a hard life, for those whom the gods favored rearly had it easy. she sighed and went back to her daily duties.
Darian stepped out of the shaddows. Resuming his imortal form as gardian of the forest. The man stood there stairing uncomprehendingly at the glades entrance. He had just watched his prey levitate off the ground and blink out of sight.
"Well, you are mine and the godess claims the girl. How apropriate." Darian Snarled, displaying his full form tot he man. Who immediately wet himself and began to babble. Darian stood before him, well over six foot in hight. His skin corded with bark and glowed a dull sickening green. His blood visible between the bits of wood that grew from his skin.From his head sprouted a small set of antlers, nestled in a long flowing mane of feathers. At the end of each finger was a set of claws better suited for a forest cat than a man. His teeth the fangs of a wolf. His eyes Black, deep and endless with a promise of a horrible death. In appearance he looke more demon than gardian. but then he was there to look pritty.
Darian took a step forward and with a quick twist of power bound the mans vocal cords shut.
The man stumbled backwards, dropping his sword and placing one hand to his throat, his breath weazing in and out of the small gap Darian had left him for breathing. "you were warned manling. the girl warned you, tried to move you from this place. you even ignored to dolum's that gard this place. Now you will pay for your arrogance." Darian took a step forward and the man dicovered that he couldn't seem to make his legs move. He looked down at his feet and willed them to move, pleaded silently for them to move, screamed in his own head. But he was firmly planted tot he forest floor.
Darian was suddenly standing before him, quietly assessing him pondering the form of the mans punishment. He looked up and a small smile played over his lips. He raised one hand, twisting it towards himself. Gathering the power to himself. Then taking them both to the edge of the forest.
The village was not far away and the bandets had plased gards around the feilds. The man gained an odd look of hope on his face. Darians smiled again as he patted the mans shoulder. "Not to worry, they'll see you soon enough. Do tell them to stay out of the forest, it belongs to the godess." Darian said, drawing his claws down first one thigh and then across the mans chest. Tears rand down his captives face as darian moved back into the forests shadows.
Maybe he's letting me go. game the unbidden thought be fore the man made an attempt to move. He struggled to lift his leg and discovered that he still couldn't move. Relief turned to horror as he looked down and discovered plant tendrals moveing almost lovingly up his leg. They paused at his bleeding wounds and with a sigh and something that sounded suspiciously like a purr the doug into the bloody flesh. moving up under the skin and begining to encase him in a shell of living bark.
He Almost felt relieved when the power holding his vocal cords shut disapeared and he was able to let out a shriek of pain. It brought the first of the gards running, they sent back for the leader of their band and they all watched in horror as the plant tendrals began to move over the outside of his skiin as well as under it. One man went off to me sick, while the others watched in fascination. Then the Plant discovered the wound on the mans chest and lovingly began to wind it's way inside his down his belly and up his arms. His screams never dying, as the pland began to devour the tissue and muscles of his body. He dreaded when the thing found it's way to his brain. and he began to wish it would find his heart and stopp the pain.
After an hour he looked like a man swallowed hole by a mighty oak. only his head was free of the intwining foliage. All attempts to free him had resulted in either another man being insnared by the tendrals and eaten alive, or more pain for himself. Arrows would not kill him and fire just bounced off of his new bark. Magic sustained him and alowed him to continue screaming well beyond the time when any mortal would have fainted, or even died from it. His screams of pain lasted a very long time.