With the rise of the despised Empire of Iuz and its undead armies, the Elves of the Felrev Forest withdrew deeper into the ancient woods. Some of their leaders advocated for a watchful peace, where if left alone they would leave Iuz’s forces alone. Others advocated for a full muster to war, although kept to the confines of the Forest itself. A very few of the fair folk defied their standoffish tradition and helped seed a tide of rebellion against Iuz, by rescuing, sheltering, rallying and training all those who fled to the Forest, regardless of race, color, gender or creed. Oft shunned by elven leaders, this handful gradually built up into a real obstacle to Iuz’s conquests, troop movements and logistics around the Forest. The leader of this offshoot branch of the Eladrin elves sheltering in the Felrev was Frehrac, husband to Eliani, she who moved unseen through the most twisted paths in the Forest.
Frehrac was the scion of an elven house long in tenure and practiced in battle against the drakes of old. He bore the moon blade Vithuriel, a great-sword fashioned to cleave the necks of their draconic foes of the elder days and tempered in the steaming blood of the great wyrm Maleroch when she was felled in her ruined lair.
Iuz had long known portents of what unspeakable entity slumbered beneath the Tangles, a twisted realm of the Felrev Forest where darkness and madness rule and no worthy folk tread. His efforts to recruit there and wake the Sleeper drew Frehrac and a portion of the Resistance into the Tangles in a drive to thwart Iuz’s plans. None of that sortie into the brooding boughs returned.
Eliani approached the Wise of her people pleading them to send an expedition to the Tangles and recover news of her husband, or even his form for interment proper, but she was rebuffed. Those who rued the present war with Iuz and their losses in same gave her no succor and at length she walked away from the Elven strongholds and dwelled only with the Resistance in the south of the Felrev Forest.
She had long loved and endured her grim husband, in equal measure, and had never quailed from his burning defiance of the growing darkness on the land. Now though, living among a younger and gayer folk, her heart was lifted, and in time she came to embrace the heat and urgent spirit of the short-lived men round her, finally laying with one at times to share in that pulse of humanity. In time a son was born, but without an elven father both son and mother were relegated to the Resistance settlements for good. As her son Djokaeri grew she taught him all she knew of craft and strategy and fighting. She showed him as well her sure and stealthy ways, but he was a lumbering oaf in comparison to her. His forte was strength of both character and of arms and he grew in those areas over time. When the boy was sixteen Eliani despaired that his father, his inheritance and his legacy were ever lost in the Tangles. Leaving only a note and her blessing she departed in secrecy to unravel the fate of Frehrac’s raider force into the Tangles.
And she has not returned.
Djokaeri has spent the past two years plying a trade by day and serving the Resistance by night. He has trodden a thousand trails, portaging food, water and weaponry. He has stood watches motionless for hours and then raced through the wilds to deliver urgent messages. He learned of blades and mauls and throwing axes from his mentor, Xhact-Chen, a half-orc brewer turned warrior when his village was taken.
Three weeks ago, a routine portage to a forward watch post went awry when some blood-orc servants of Iuz ambushed the column and overran the Resistance forces before they could rally. The leader saw there was no hope of defense and gave the command to “Scatter!” before he went down. Djokaeri ran for all he was worth until he crashed headlong through some brush and fell headlong into a whitewater portion of a busy stream. Though he avoided death or capture, he lost his gear, his companions, his weaponry (save his dagger with his House rune and a miniscule ruby inset) and was left with only said dagger, the well-worn clothes on his back and a few coppers.