The day was ... cold. Not that it was Winter or anything, the light was just... cold. One would never guess that Seilah was so deep in the warm and thick Darkroot. Deep enough for the sun to barely penetrate the forest floor around her. It was almost like being in a different world. On a vague wisp of thought, Seilah wandered off to her shrine. She got on one knee at it's foot, and closed her eyes. Slowly, she stretched her consciousness out towards the Wild Mother, Wildaven. After a few moments, she began a prayer that went, "O All Mother, please accept these offerings. Thank you for your protection, for the life you give me every day." Seilah tried to draw out more meaningful things to say, but she was at a loss. She was lonely. In her forest, high up in the tree tops with no company but the creatures she is contracted with, Seilah spent most of her time wallowing in her own self pity. Not today, though. Today she was be sure to take a step forward. "Wildaven, please show me my path. I am so lonely out here. I need your help, I need you to show me the way."
She waited, and waited. It seemed like hours had passed, before her the chains on her temper's ankle were cast aside.
"Why won't you answer me ? Have I done something wrong?" Seilah clenched her jaw, trying to control her anger and her tongue. After a few more moments of silence, Seilah opened her now misty eyes, and fled from her shrine. She passed her treehouse, the path, Heath, and the ruins of Hearthstead.
On she ran, yearning for something, anything. A friend, a place she could really call hers, perhaps. Finally, after a few days of travelling, she grew tired and fell asleep flat on the ground.
Seilah woke up, suddenly, to the bright sun shining painfully upon her. At first it was so bright she couldn't see anything, but as her eyes adjusted she was able to drink in her surroundings. She was in a massive meadow with grass greener than the biggest tree in the Darkroot Forest. She stood up, and walked deeper into the plain, brushing past birds and ocelots, and foreign plants.
Something was missing here, she thought, but vaguely. After a while, the sun became to much to bear and she sang a tree into existence for some shade. She slumped to the ground, her back against the magical tree. She looked around, and thought that maybe one tree in such a plain land was lonely, so she grew another. Then another, and another. It wasn't until the moon began to rise that she realized a grove was starting to take shape.
This is it, she thought. This is what I can do, I can make my own little forest! Maybe then Wildaven will like me.
She built upon these selfish thoughts and mortal desires until she fell asleep and dreamt of shallow greatness and fame.
She woke the next day and continued her work, calling tree after tree from the ground. Eventually, animals and monsters alike were drawn to the strange new path of life in the once desolate expanse of land. Without knowing it, she was forging her own path.
Even though her mind was still clouded by selfish desires for attention and false love from Wildaven.
It was the 5th day of her work on the grove. Well, perhaps grove isn't befitting of the once small path of trees. The "grove" was now more like a small forest, stretching from the mountain side to the sea. She worked on until night fell, and headed towards her makeshift bed for some sleep.
There was something off, though. It was quieter that normal. The air was thick with a feeling most similar to dread. Very slowly, fear crept up Seilah's spine and infected her brain, until she was damn near shaking. Just as she turned a corner, Seilah was met with a Vampire Queen. She stood at least a foot taller than Seilah. The Queen slashes at Seilah with her sword, and she tried to jump out of the way but was caught by the end of the blade on her left side. She cried out, and said, "Demon Wolf who made a deal with me, step out of your tree!"
A loud cracking and bending sound fills the air, and an unusually large wolf rose from the earth like the trees Seilah had been growing. He immediately jumped into action, knocking the Vampire Queen onto her back.
Maugrim poked at Seilah with a snide remark; "I see you're getting yourself into trouble again, Seilah." She weakly smiles, grateful for his help. "It's just a vampire, you can handle that right ?" she replied. Just then, the Queen opened her dry and cracked mouth to say, "Silence! You have grown a forest in land that is mine. You must pay. Undead! Help me wipe these pests out!"
Seilah clenched her jaw, and squints her eyes at the Vampire Queen, now surrounded by several Ghouls, and says, "Maugrim! You take on the queen, I'll see what I can do about these Ghouls." With that, Seilah whipped out her Demonbone Dagger. A wicked blade, short, but cruel in nature and easy to wield. The ghouls, now counting 4, slowly trudged towards Seilah. She slashed at them, expecting for her blade to slide right through their rotten flesh, but instead, the dagger got lodged in the forearm of one of the ghouls.
The demon wolf leapt forward, snarling and drooling for a taste of Vampire Queen. She easily dodged his attack, and slashed at his left flank. She grins, expecting the wolf to be cut in two, but instead it was stopped by his thick pelt. Her grin faded, and Maugrim used her shock to chomp her left hand off. She screamed, and batted him away with her right arm, causing the wolf to slam into a tree. He stood up, shakily, and noticed Seilah's blade get stuck in the arm of a ghoul. Maugrim knew what was coming next. Just as the ghouls bent down to devour Seilah, he jumped from his place at the tree, and barreled into all 4 ghouls. He ripped them limb from limb, drinking their decayed blood with relish. He cast his gaze down at Seilah, who was on the ground, a bit shell shocked. In that short moment, the Vampire Queen drove her blade through Maugrim's neck.
Seilah cried out, but it was too late. The earth swallowed up Maugrim to repair his injuries. The Vampire Queen wiped her blade off. "What happened to hand.. I thought Maugrim tore it off?" Seilah asked in dismay. She didn't know what to say. She was terrified, death was so close. "Oh that little creature? It was just a hand, silly girl. I can grow that back without issue. You should be focused on yourself. You're next."
Seilah backed away, until she was against a tree. The Vampire Queen grinned, drinking Seilah's fear like the blood of a god. "Delicious. The Blood of Nymphs is also so much thicker when they are filled with fear.
Seilah racked her brain. There had to be a way out, there had to be a way out. She weakly looked at the forest around her, close to accepting death. At least the forest would be her final view.
A light went off in her head.
"That's it! The forest! As long as I'm in forest, I can summon her!" Seilah said with newfound vigor. The Vampire Queen laughed, "Go on little conjurer. I can tell how drained you were after summoning that pathetic little wolf creature. There's nothing that I can't devour."
Seilah held out her hand, and a l burst of green light pushes the Vampire Queen back, and eventually off her feet. As the light dies down, it's source is revealed.
Endori, a small Wood Wisp only about 10 inches tall, had appeared. She says in a dark tone, "Seilah, what is this? Do you seriously expect me to fight a Vampire Queen? I'm attending a feast." Seilah ignores the snide comment, and says, "Please, Endori. I need your help."
The Vampire Queen regained her senses, and got to her feet. "Stop this foolish bickering! Get out of my way, pixie, or I'll kill you too, " she said with tangible malice. Endori turned away from Seilah, and gave the Queen an evil eye. "What did you just call me?"
The Vampire ignores her, and charged forwards, her blade shining in the fractured moonlight like white fire. Endori held out her hands, and barrier of green forest energy appears. The Vampire Queen ran into it, face first. Endori willed the wall away, and blasted the Queen with a blinding beam of blue and green light before she can regain her bearings. The energy blast burned through her chest armor, and blasted some of the skin on her face off. Endori flutters a little higher into the sky, and said in a commanding tone, "I don't much like that I'm contracted with a silly little Nymph girl who begs Wildaven for things she can find herself, but we are bound together. You have harmed her, and now I will exterminate you." The Vampire Queen picked herself up, wheezing, and screamed, "ENOUGH! Undead, rise!" A plethora of undead crawled from the earth, and moved towards Seilah.
Endori held her hands together again, and light began slowly collecting around the Wood Wisp like a bubble. The undead inched closes and closer to Seilah, who was limping away as fast as she could.
A flash of forest energy poured out of Endori like a river, engulfing the entire battle scene. It tore the undead apart, and bore down upon the Vampire Queen like a hammer of justice. When the light began to fade, the vine covered bodies of the now dead undead appeared. They littered the ground around Seilah. Endori was about to leave, but she was caught off guard by an incredibly injured Vampire Queen, who was still standing. She cackled, and said, "I'm not done yet, Pixie." Endori tried to react, but the Queen slashed her with her sword. Endori cried out, and vanished in flash of light similar to the one she appeared in.
"Endori!" Seilah cried out, but it was too late. The Vampire Queen took a step toward Seilah, but her knees started to buckle, much to the surprise of both Seilah and the Queen.
"What's happened to me.. ?" she said, before coming to a realization. "The stupid pixie.. her spell seems to be affecting me. Maybe it'll go away if I kill that silly girl who summoned it.." The Vampire Queen crawled towards Seilah with the idea in her head. Seilah, too weak to fight back, squirms under the Queen as she held her down to feast. "No! No I don't want to die!" Seilah cried out in desperation. The Vampire Queen grinned, and put her mouth on Seilah's neck. Just before she sunk her fangs in, she noticed a peculiar burning sensation on her back.
"What .. ?"
The sun was rising, in fact, it had been rising for a while. The surrounding trees and shape of the land had hidden it from Seilah and the Queen, not to mention the fight that was occupying their attention. The Queen pulled her face away from the now unconscious Seilah and tried to flee, but it was too late. The light of the sun swallowed her body and engulfed her body in flames. She fell to the ground screaming in agony, before dying a hateful death.
(Sidenote: Before it broke, the "Wood Wisp" spell was a summoning ability for Wildaven mages that allowed them to summon a protective Wisp from the forest. The spell is currently mechanically broken, but it used to shoot balls of energy at things and deal damage along with hunger slowness and poison, hence why the Vampire Queen wasn't affected as bad from the initial attack, but more so from the following effects. I'm assuming that because the spell exists mechanically, and because I have it, I can use it in RP. It still does the particle effect just not the damage or potion effect)
Seilah woke up, a full day later. She jolted into a sitting position, and noticed the charred body of the Vampire Queen. "Wh- what? What happened? I'm alive?" She remarked in awe, out loud. Still in shock, she stood up and wandered off to the edge of her forest. Deciding to ignore her recent brush with death, she started growing trees again. Her mind wandered off to what Endori had said the night before.
Seilah thought, "Endori is right. What am I doing? I've been making this whole forest in the selfish hopes that Wildaven will notice me and give me my path. Give me more power... but none of those things matter. What matters is my happiness, and my life. My life is my choice. My happiness is my choice. My path is my choice."
Seilah, deciding to turn a new leaf, constructed a large temple and grew an unusually large Willow Tree in it's center.
She laid out offerings, and for the first time in weeks, she prayed to Wildaven.
"Wildaven. It's been a long time. I've been such a selfish little wretch. I was obsessed with getting you to pay attention to me. I expected you to give me things in return for my faith and my offerings. I wanted power. I was filled with foolish mortal desire, and I'm sorry. I begged you to show me my path, but that was never your job. My path is mine to decide.
So I've decided.
I'm going to travel around Templehelm, constructing entire forests in your name, each one with it's own shrine. It's own name. That is my path. The Path of Life. It doesn't matter if you never see them. It doesn't matter if you don't like them. It doesn't matter if you don't like me.
I like them. The work makes me happy, and I like me.
I am truly humbled. "
The Path of Life Begins