* * *The night was hell and all Kirthanas wanted to do was go home. He had not yet shot any game, for all the animals seemed to be hiding. Frustrated he stumbled and finally found something for his family to eat. A deer wandered aimless toward the south moving at an accelerated pace. The elf is a hunter by trade, and as good with his sword as his bow. Elves are a gentler race then men, their skin is slightly paler and their frame is thinner. Elves adore nature and all that is living following strictly the laws of their goddess, Venquin, of the green moon. As the purest of Venquin’s children elves protect nature and the animals of the forest. Conflicted Kirthanas lifted up his bow and pulled back the on the bow string. Lining up the arrow he justified the killing as to feed his family and fired as his lips whispered a prayer to Venquin. The arrow whistled through the air and tore through his prey plugging it into a tree behind it. The blood flowed down the tree in one single stream forming a small puddle on the ground. The deer died instantly causing it no suffering, for only this Kirthanas was thankful.
The elf walked into the back door of the house and into the kitchen. He was drenched from the rain and dripping with a little bit of blood from the game he had over his shoulder. “Your late son.” scolded his mother, “Your father is getting sicker by the day and everyone is hungry.”
“I couldn’t find anything; the game is growing very scarce.”
“Well go to your room, change your clothes and then help your brothers clean dinner.” Kirthanas rolled the game off his shoulder and onto the table for his brothers to take out back. He then walked to his room and changed into dry clean clothes. His slender yet toned body stood tall for an elf. Kirthanas was tired and irritated from the rain and the pressure that his stalking skill places on him. His two brothers and his sister were already helping his mother so he went to see his father. His father lay in his bed, diseased and deathly ill. He awoke to the sound of his son’s footsteps and greeted him with a smile from ear to ear. Unfortunately a shaking cough followed that shriveled up his once illuminated face. Kirthanas helped his father out of bed and then to the dinner table. The game that he hunted was just being set on the table, an hour late but nobody really cared. Kirthanas was forced to take on a more responsible role now that his father had fallen ill. At a young age of seventeen it was more then he could handle. He had to hunt and gather almost all of his family’s food. On top of that he had to find work to bring in some gold for the extra pleasures that the family was accustom to.
He had finally found a job with the lord of his realm. The human lord employed Kirt, as humans called him, to watch over and protect his son. However, Lord Remnit’s son is quite capable of handling himself. He was trained in the complex art of Minfo, god of the wind and the yellow moon, by a komonos. Komonos were a lot like elves, considered their cousins by ignorant humans. Komonos shared some physical similarities such as slender frames and almond eyes but many similarities were much deeper. Both races believed themselves to be pure children of their god and worship them with great reverence. Both races believed in collectivism opposed to the humans focus on individualism. Honor and social status means everything to them even almost more then life itself. However, Minfo’s children are more warlike then the harmonious elves. Komonos had developed an art of fighting with a conviction unparalleled by any other race. As children of the wind komonos moved faster than some races could even see, their natural speed matched only by elves. Fuesung, a great komonos Wind Knight, trained Gantan Remnit the wise arts of Minfo passed through his ancestry. Lord Remnit thought the way of Minfo would give Gantan much needed discipline that he lacked. When the Lord campaigned in the East he had met Fuesung, they fought together to extinguish a growing threat. The art that the komonos race protected for so long had been stolen. A new power rose in the East as the birth of the Shadow Art was revealed to Wantilan. Much like the komonos Wind Knights the Shadow Knights used the art of Minfo but they added deception and dishonor. Shadow Knights struck at night and in small numbers. They are silent and swift knowing no mercy and no remorse. Wind Knights had forever lived strictly by Minfo’s code. The fight was all that mattered to them, the challenge of another’s blade. Shadow Knights kill without warning; kill the innocent in their sleep. The Shadow Knights pledge to Imfel and the dark side of the yellow moon. Their growth was a continuing threat; Lord Remnit pledged his forces in the East for eight long years. With the alliance with Wind Knights humans and komonos fought side by side to finally defeat the Shadow Knights at their temple, a battle that raged for over a year. However, the Shadow Art was not defeated; the Shadow Knights live on as the alliance has. Fuesung’s teachings gave Gantan a killer instinct and a special talent with the komonos famous weapon, the katana. The katana was a long slim sword, metal folded over many times to achieve great strength despite its slender build like the komonos themselves. Gantan’s use of the katana was greater than that of most pure blooded komonos. He is one of few humans to master their skills and pray to Minfo’s name.
Gantan and Kirthanas were longtime friends despite the prejudices that humans and elves share. Only in Remnit’s realm elves and other races are created as complete equals. Elves live in almost every realm across Wantilan. They do not obey the laws of the human lords nor are they expected to. Lords of the realm are lords of humans and imaginary lines; not nature or of elves. Kirt and Gantan met in the forest as young children and have been friends ever since. Kirt gladly accepted the job as it was: an unwritten gift to the elven family that didn’t invade the honor of the elves to take a gift from a human. Although traditional prejudices have faded, sadly, they will always remain. Still Gantan and Kirt treated each other as more than equals they had become brothers. Kirt knows he is much more responsible then Gantan and would protect him with his life. Of course Gantan would do the same; together they became a deadly force combining skill, wisdom, strength, and bravery. The only down side to the job is Kirthanas had to leave his family, a choice that had to be made for them to survive. They couldn’t live day to day by the hunt, game was becoming dangerously scarce. Remnit promised Kirt that if he became Gantan’s companion and looked after him he would give Kirt’s family fresh food everyday, give special care to his ill father, and supply them with whatever they wished. Gantan meant everything to Remnit. Letting him go will be tough and Kirthanas served as a security blanket. Lord Remnit would give anything for his son’s safety. Kirt’s only condition was that no matter what happened to him, his family would always be taken care of. A wish gladly granted by Remnit and so tomorrow Kirthanas leaves for Remnit’s Castle.
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