In most fantasy, the Humans, Elves, Dwarfs etc. live in a peaceful alliance, each with roughly equal power, technology and so forth. If the Elves and Dwarfs are so ancient, why have humans caught up? This explores the idea of Humans being savages compared to the ancient races.

The hall suddenly plunged into silence, as the rangers brought the shambling...thing into that hallowed place. Thin yet incredibly strong chains held it, stoping the creature escaping, making it's already clumsy gait almost unbearbly so. "This, my friends, is why we are here today" The leader of the newcomers said, his almond eyes staring out of a thin,narrow face framed with light blonde hair, elegant pointed ears pushing out of this mass. "Many of you will of heard of these...beasts, and, let me assure you, they are no-more than that!" Hushed whispers spread around the hall, men and women alike leaning forwards to glimpse this captive of theirs. "Some may claim they are raised above the beasts, like us or our dwarven kin. Their use of tools, their speach are all signs of a higher intelligence they claim. These "tools" are nothing but crude weapons, the best of which are rough spears of stone and bone. To my ears, their language is a serios of brutish grunts and bellows, indisinguishable from the souds of an animal, for that is what they are!" People were begin to raise their voices now, some in agreement, others in dissent. "And now!" Shouted the ranger "We shall have a demonstration!" The hall went from clamouring to dead silent "This...being shall fight one of our warriors, and you can judge what kind of thing it is. On command, one of the rangers walked away from the groups, drawing a short sword. Another ranger passed the animal the spear they had caught it with. Fear, confusion and mostly anger were obvious on the things rough face, twisting it's expression into an even more bestial visage. The ranger's leader shouted a command word, and the chains snapped free, the remaining rangers pushing the beast forwards. The Elven ranger chosen to fight settled into a stance, his sword's tip tracing patterns in the air. Even the base intelligence of this animal could understand what was being asked of it, to fight and die to prove itself and it's kin.

All around jeering demon-faces laughed and mocked him. They had jumped him in the woods, and now he was to fight them? This was pure madness, he knew he couldn't win this fight. He breathed deeply, feeling the air pass over his rough beard. He sent a silent prayer to The Dog for strength, then lept forwards with his spear. By the time the point reached where the demon should have been, the creature was to his left. In a desperate move, he swung the spear to the left, trying to strike the evil being. The being sliced the head from his spear, leaving him with a fighting sticking. He jabbed forwards instinctivly, hoping to strike a glancing blow. To his surprise, they being was struck on the forward, causing it to tumble backwards. With all the speed he could muster, he attempted to stab down with the stick, hoping to crush the seemingly frail demon. The stick forced itself into the demon's eye socket with a sickening crunch, continuing down into the beasts skull, killing it instantly. Blood and pulped brain bubbled up around the ruined socket, and the hall fell silent once more. The demon faces, thin, lengthened parodies of his own, stared at him. Most with disbelief, some with outrage and a couple seemed to show...respect. These demons were fickle creatures. Before those who had brought him here could attack him again, he picked up the demons weapon. It was like a long spear head, perfectly suited to being held. A fine weapon indeed. He ran towards his captors, screaming a war-cry, knowing he had little time on this realm left. The first demon he came to was still staring, and he slashed and it's stomach vicously, tearing a huge rent in it, from which entrails and blood spilled forth, but he did not see this, he carried on running. Finally, one of his captors moved, drawing a bow. It notched it's arrow, released. The barbed, cruel head thunked into his leg, and he screamed again, in rage and frustration. With that simple act, the spell was broken, and more arrows rained down on him.

After they were sure, some rangers went down to examine it's corpse, whilst the men and women of the hall left for home, muttering darkly to themselves. The leader of the ranger group could not be saved, despite the healer-priests' efforts. Truly, a black day for the settlement of Tourl.

The End

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