Battle Report Contest Winner - Kendra Hexbow: Poison Arrow
Eugene, Oregon, United States
Kendra brushed her brown hair out of her eyes and dropped to one knee as she pulled her quiver off of her back and surveyed the battlefield. It never changed. The allies changed, the enemies changed, but the battle remained constant, like a dull throbbing pain. She checked the poison, more out of habit then anything else. It would still be fresh, it had been harvested from a Meguuma Spider only that morning, but it was better to be safe then sorry. As the battle raged all around her, Kendra began carefully applying poison to each of her arrows.
Kireek, her guild master charged past her, bringing his hammer down on the head of an enemy Monk.
“What the hell are you doing Kendra?” he said, “Hurry up!”
Kendra ignored him. Kireek was a good leader, and certainly meant well, but he lacked the subtlety required to handle poisons. It was a job that could not be rushed.
As she finished her preparations, Kendra heard a noise to her left. Two of the enemies has broken through her allies’ defensive line, and were rushing towards Kendra and the healers, swords and axes drawn.
As Kendra drew the first of her poisoned arrows, a streak of grey flashed before her eyes, and one of the attackers crumbled to the ground beneath the snarling body of Fang, her pet Snow Wolf. Kendra had raised Fang from a pup, after a long journey into the frozen mountains. Since that day, he had been her eternal companion and guardian, and accompanied her everywhere, especially into battle.
Kendra broke free from her memories as she heard a scream, and watched one of her guild mates fall to the ground under the axe of the second attacker. She couldn’t see his face, but she recognized his clothes as the guild uniform of a Monk.
Berating herself for her absentmindedness, Kendra drew back her bow, and let an arrow loose into the remaining Warrior’s shoulder, he staggered a bit from the blow, and winced in pain, but his movements did not abate, and his charge did not slow. Kendra threw her arm out, particles of purple light spiraling down her arm, and watched as a phantasm appeared in the air, spiraled before her opponent, and flew straight into his head without leaving a mark. Kendra recognized what was happening as the Warrior slowed down. Her conjured phantasm had attached itself to the poison from her arrow, and was tearing the man apart slowly from the inside. Kendra pounded him with spell after spell, all crippling and degenerative, making him feel wounds that weren’t even there, until the man collapsed on the ground, still barely breathing until he was silenced by another of Kendra’s arrows.
Kendra looked down at the Hexbow, her family’s heirloom and namesake. Its runes glowed green in the sunlight, and its string shimmered with an unearthly light. She trusted her bow, probably more than her companions, and thus far, it had served her well.
Kendra blinked herself out of her daze, and looked around cursing. Her friends had already run up ahead. Chasing after them, Kendra saw the first of her allies push the Guild Thief aside and charge into the enemy stronghold.
Drawing another of her poisoned arrows from her holster, Kendra fired onto the wall of the base, dropping one of their archers in the process, before following her companions inside. Mass pandemonium had broken out in the courtyard, as the enemies who had fled the first battle, as well as those enemies who had been resurrected, swarmed over her guild mates. Fang dove into the fray as Kendra laid down support fire, spreading poison and pestilence amongst her enemies.
It was then that one of the enemy Elementalists set their sights on Kendra. Distracted by the larger battle, Kendra didn’t even notice the spell caster until bits of burning cinders were raining down all around her. She tried to call for help, but the Monks were concentrating on keeping the Warriors alive. Choking from the ash and soot, Kendra dropped to her knees, and everything went black.
Kendra opened her eyes and stood up, shaking her head to clear her vision. The battle still raged, but looking around, she saw Date, one of her close friends, wink at her as she finished casting her resurrection spell and let out a maniacal laugh as she started raising the dead, turning the bodies of her fallen enemies into undead minions.
Kendra flashed her Necromancer friend a grin as she picked up her bow and ran off past the courtyard melee. She didn’t like the undead, but if they had to be around, she was glad that they were on her side.
Kendra halted as she heard a cheer erupt behind her and turned to see her companions had emerged victorious. The fallen were resurrected, and as a group, the guild charged towards their enemy guild master. As the hammers and spells began to rain down on the enemy leader, Kendra fired off the last of her poisoned arrows, and the rest of her debilitating spells, into the last obstacle to her victory.
As quickly as it had begun, it was over.
Kendra and her friends slowly walked themselves back to the guild house, her allies congratulating each other on a job well done, and reliving moments from their recent battle. Kendra walked along without a sound, scratching Fang behind his ears, and thinking to herself. Although the adrenaline still flowed through her, and the cries of battle still rang in her ears, one thought came through crystal clear.
Battle never changes. The allies change, and the enemies change, but the nature of battle itself was is a constant. No two victories are the same, however, each victory is sweeter then the last.