The proceeding work is relevant to the Dungeons and Dragons roleplaying game, set in a smiliar environment and setting. For more background, it would be beneficial to read the short ‘prologue’ to this I posted on the Realm of the Dragons forum. The thread is entitled ‘Alara Diamondrain-Demon Huntress.’
"R-r-run!" a voice broke out into the forest. "He is coming!" The young male human staggered around the tall, towering trees, filled with lush green leaves. Several ripe, colorful fruits of all sizes, shapes, and types, hung from the highest branches, dripping with moisture from the spring rain. The ground was relatively damp, also from the showers of the April month. The sun was creeping ever so slowly down towards the meeting point of sky and earth, casting a wave of yellow, orange, and pink across the sky above. The young man, hobbling with a great sprain in his leg, finally entered the village. The village set deep withing the heart of the Azurestream forest. The village of peace and harmony, where humans, elves, and half-elves could co-exist with no tension or hatred with each other. The village of beauty and serenity, where the animals ran freely through, and trees sprouted in the walkways. The village of nature lovers, and friends of the forestfolk. The village of Etherwood. This small town was graced by the light of Corellon Larethian and Pelor, protectors and guiders of elves and humans, respectively. The town had survived attack after attack of evil human bandits and tribes of bloodthirsty orcs, with the help of their woodland companions. Now, however, Etherwood was being attacked by a force that no man, elf, half elf, centaur, nymph, dryad, or unircorn could withstand. "What is it, child?" an elderly half-elf said to the young human who had just broke into the town, yelling about some unkown fear and breaking the golden silence. "What has brought sharpness to your breath?" "It is terrible, Sir, terrible...an evil beast with horrible presence is leaving a wake of flames in his wake. He is killing the fey and the animals, and destroying the trees! He seeks the Everstone!" the man said, and afterwards, began to breathe heavily. Murmurs of fear and surprise ran through everyone in earshot of the yells. For the Everstone was the source of the long life of the humans. It was gifted to them by Corellon, so that the two races could share lifespans. After a troubled look, the old man spoke again. "Tell me, child, what was the creature's appearance?" he asked. The young man caught his breath again. "He was tall in height, lean in muscle, and is skin a bright red. Large bat wings on his back stretched wide. He had a grotesque face... with a horrid gaze of evil and cruelty, and he was breathed in flame! I got a very good look at him, for I hid in a tree. He saw me and I slipped, I injured my leg," he explained. "Fear not!" the elderly man said as he turned to gathering townspeople. "I am confident that with the aid of our woodland companions we can drive this intruder away from here! Someone, call Syran, tell him to bring his tribe here with the speed of the wind!" Someone on the far end of the crowd ran off into the forest. "Come, child, you shall recieve aid for your wounds," said the man, kindly. A few people helped him to the small temple, where the high cleric dwelled. "Syran comes!" voices yelled as the sound of a tread of horse hooves hit the moist ground. The crowd split as a group of beings came forth. Their lower bodies were that of sienna colored horses, with a tail whisping out the back. Their torsos were that of a elf, with lean, muscular physiques. The leader had long, ebony colored hair which fell low on the neck. Bushy eyebrows swept above dark brown colored eyes. A long bow made from oak hung to one side of him, and a quiver of arrows made out of deerskin. A sword hung to the other side. The elderly man who talked to the town earlier walked up to Syran. They began to converse in the sylvan language. "I heard there was some sort of creature attacking the forest, my friend," the man said. He looked at the expressions of the many centaurs. "We have seen him. A devil, by the looks of him. We have asked our master of lores, and he believes him to be a pit fiend, the strongest of all devils. My tribe stands no chance against the fiend. We are fleeing the forest, and I suggest you do as well. It is only a matter of time before he reaches the town." "What of Kehra? has she attempted anything?" "Not even the unearthly beauty of a nymph has any affect on this demonic beast. We are leaving now, time is of the essence. Order of the Oak, we go!" With those final words, the tribe of centaurs began to gallop off into the distance, and disappearing in the trees. "You heard Syran, collect your belongings, gather the children! We must leave our town, everyone, we must go!" The words sent terror and chaos through the hearts of the people. They began to rush around frantically, grabbing animals and small children and any belongings they could carry, and started to hop on horses and throw everyone into wagons and carts. The high priest was escorted out by the clergymen, and aided into a large wagon. The townsfolk were not the only ones running. Dryads fled quickly, for they needed to find new oak trees to bond themselves with. Nymphs, unicorns, and satyrs also came through the town. "Go! We must run! Go on!" the words emerged from the mouths of countless people and fey. Smoke from burning trees and shrubs began to show itself above the trees, and even some sparks of the bright red fire were visible. "Run, he is close!" a passing dryad yelled, her auburn hair trailing behind her as she ran. "You must escape we must-" and then she fell, dead. The oak tree, which she was mystically bonded with, was destroyed, bringing her life to an untimely end. The townsfolk were moving out of their village, and the eldery man went into the shring of Corellon and Pelor, and took from it, the ever stone. It was an ovular, deep green gem, surrounded by leaves made of gold. He carefully wrapped it in pale blue silk and took it out of the temple. And that is when He emerged. Eight feet tall, with blood red scales and leathery, strong wings. His muscles bulged, but his physique was cut and lean. His face was longer than it was tall, like a crocodile's. His eyes were piercing, and seemed to be composed of flame themselves. A long tail emerged from the pit fiends backside, swishing violently behind him. And finally, his wicked, curved, black claws which sprouted from his fingers. They themselves held cold death. When he finally reached the town, he saw the many people running. He also saw an old half elf running out of a small building with a bundle wrapped in linen. "No one flees from the great Bagalrahsh!" he yelled in the infernal tongue. To the townsfolk, it was just an all mighty roar. But to those who spoke the demonic language, it was the last words they would ever understand. With a leap and a flap of his wings to stay in flight, Bagalrahsh held out one of his burly arms, and a serpent like rope of flame circled around his arm and accumulated in a sphere in between his claws. He then released it as a sphere of flames, which crashed into the back of the old man, who was brought quick death by the searing blast. With a yell of pain, cut short by death, the man hit the earth. Bagalrahsh cackled with insane pleasure. He flew high above the down and became surrounded with a wall of fire. He quickly raised his arms, conjuring pillars of flame up through the earth form the bowels of hell, burning and turning to ash all in which they touched. Screams of all the people rose high into the growing night, many fell short as they were burned alive. Bagalrahsh then was distracted by three glowing green lights in front of him. He looked at it with question in his expression, and watched as they began to take the forms of three elf like creatures. They had long, vine like hair, and gold-tan skin. Their eyes twinked with a deep sparkling bronze, and their hands were that of owl talons. Deep brown wings stretched out behind them, and golden scale male draped down from their shoulders. They each quickly drew long, shining swords, which illuminated the darknening sky around them. Shouts of relief and praise came from below, voices screaming 'the defenders of nature have come!' erupted. The three beings in the air pointed their swords at Bagalrahsh. Each sword had a gem encrusted in the golden, clawed hilt. One, a ruby, another, a sapphire, and the last, a topaz. "Stop, fiend!" the center one spoke in the vile infernal tongue. Bagalrahsh laughed. "And the children of nature themselves come for the slaughter! Your bodies will be crushed! he then sent out jets of flame. The three fey phased around the blasts and dove at Bagalrahsh, slashign with their silver swords. Bagalrahsh easily batted the blows away with his onyx-colored claws, and drove his claws through the fey holding the red gemmed sword. He let out a shriek of pain and instantly burst into flame. His body crinkled into a black mess and he fell as a grinding ash to the ground below. The fey with the blue gemmed sword held his weapon up, and it was graced with a bright blue light. He flung it forward, and a spike of glacial force erupted from it, only to melt at the wall of flame Bagalrahsh created to defend himself. The remaining fey attempted to strike with a crashing bolt of lightning, which the devil blasted away with another shot of fire. He flew high up into the air, and dove down at the blue-sword fey. His hands became breathed in fire, and he dove donwards, with a look of pure malice on his face. The fey held his sword out, accumulating blue dust like light from all around him, which gathered into the sword. It began to shine in a bright azure color. "Die, fey!" Bagalrahsh yelled. The fey slashed horizontally, leaving a blue streak in the air, which tore forward as a crescent shaped blade ice. It struck Bagalrahsh in the torso. He yelled as he was hit, and his anger forced the flames in his hands to grow larger. He was just about to let them loose, when a bolt of lightning crashed into his back. He roared loudly, and spun around in circles as he flew up into the air. He stopped abruptly, held his arms out, and engulfed the two remaining fey in streams of bright red fire. He then held both arms up, and flames began to surge up around him, and into a great orb above him. With a final push, the sphere flew down and crashed into a group of townsfolk. Their horror was short lived. As they were incinerated, the looks of horrow on their faces were the last to burn, leaving a sea of anguished terror consumed in flames. Bagalrahsh landed, and picked up the bundle wrapped in silk and unwrapped it. He held the gem and laughed again. "Yes, it is quite beautiful! Now I can begin my ritual, and once mroe gain my arch devil powers...and become the king of Hell!" He laughed at the vileness of his own plan, and took off into the sky. One fey, who was in hiding with her unicorn, came forth, riding as fast as she could. It was Kehra, the nymph, upon her silver, horned steed. As she rode, a voice halted her. "Kehra....please...wait..." the woman's voice said, barely audiable. Kehra stopped and strode over to her. "Please...take mu daughter...raise her...she does not deserve to die...like this..." She pushed forward a young half-elf wrapped in linen, who was asleep." "Do not worry, she will live on as the survivor of Etherwood," Kehra whispered. "Rest in peace, friend, rest in peace." And with that, the elven woman, bloody and burned, fell to her death, and Kehra took the baby in her arms. "Let us ride," she whispered. Bagalrahsh stopped in mid flight as his keen ears picked up the gallop of hooves. he turned in surprise and looked down to see a nymph on a unicorn carrying a baby. He laughed, and let them escape. What would a nymph, a unicorn, and an infant do? run and hide. It was no matter. Bagalrahsh acquired what he seeked and he continued his flight. Little did Bagalrahsh know, this would be the most grave error he could have ever made.