I approached the enrollment counter where a Fawn stood shuffling paperwork. Fawns are a deer-like man different from a satyr, because their upper body was deer like as well as their lower. He looked up at me his eyes widening in fear at my looming figure I’m an abnormally tall creature at least 7ft and slender in frame.

He was afraid because I looked like a Darklin. Two bone horns protrude from my hairline and sweep back in a slight crescent like curl. My long jet black hair comes to an end mid back I also have a petite goatee, and my hands and feet have claws. I have a long tail with a fluff of hair at the end like a lion. Instead of regular teeth my k9s are four fangs. I have two large bat like wings with talons on the ends of each point. Needless to say even though a few of these attribute are normal to a Dark Elf; in combination with the rest I end up sticking out like a sore thumb in any gathering. Most people think I’m Darklin or at least part.

“Sir?” The Fawn squeaked and set his paperwork down gasping slightly. “Um your name please and I will find your assignment list and teammates.”

“Chaos.”

He seemed happy to look down at his file box find the sheet proclaim to himself “Ah here it is,” and handed it to me.

He looked back at me hesitantly as if not wanting leave his tender moment with the paper. “So Chaos… um,” He stammered clearly having a hard time getting any words to come out. “It seems you don’t have a proper class that suits your abilities. We filed you under ‘Dark Mage’ as that seems wide enough a category to include…whatever your skills are I’m sorry that’s not my department,” He said with a sweeping motion of his hands.

“Your teammates should be gathering in Den Six along with a few other groups meeting in that room, it shouldn’t be too hard to find them I presume. Your team’s mission is to exterminate a rouge mage…a human mage no less breaking all laws,” He grumbled slightly at the outrage of it. Humans were a small group compared to most as their numbers needed to be kept in check or else they overran the rest of the population. Humans are outlawed from doing any destructive magic as it goes to their heads and they usually end up on a power trip. “He has been doing exactly the things that are what got his kind banned from almost every kind of magic. Destructive little buggers those lots.”

I grinned because he was a third of the size on an average human and seemed to warm up to me in his rant about humans.

“Anyways exterminate him and put an end to his workings your team has been briefed as you have. He resides in Dark Paw Forest which is fairly close to here. Good day um Sir.”

I strode down the plain halls that had a very oppressive feeling to them. It wasn’t supposed to feel like that, but this place was built for utility and had no luxury, no sentimental touch. There wasn’t even a potted plant or art piece in sight. The only thing that came close to that was the occasional set of armor from heroes past.

I arrived at Den Six which was more of a meeting room in this massive building which was a grand feat of architecture even if it was bland on the inside. There were several groups of people gathered in this room about fifteen people in total. It seems people were meeting with their teams. I glanced down at my list that had all my teammate’s names and the class they were slotted into. It also had a team name to make it easy to meet up with each other for the first time and probably help with the files.

My Teams name was Red Alpha the members on my team were Tarja the Priest, Fay the Mage, Drog the Warrior, Zrith the Specialist. I briefly wondered what his specialty was and what it entailed. Was he a weapon specialist? A specialist in stealth? Or maybe something else… I’d have to wait to find out, but maybe not for long.

I waded through the room going by various groups asking “Red Alpha?” and getting declined each time even thought I did get a lusty wink and kiss blown at me from a female Naga; which is a half snake woman. I made it to the third from the last group which had a short female Gnoll in a modest white gown that ended in a loincloth, a massive scaled fortress of a green Half-Dragon who was as wide as three men and pure muscle, and a short Dark elf man who was wearing boots with stiletto heels. How was that supposed to be practical?

“Red Alpha?” I asked.

“Yes!” The gnoll perked up sounding the embodiment of cheer.

“Who are you?” Sneered the elf.

“Chaos and yourself?”

“Zrith,” he hissed. His red eyes judged me seeming to take in every aspect of my being and disapprove of it. “What are you darklin?” His eyes narrowed as he said darklin.

The Gnoll seems to be distraught by the way the conversation was going and the Half-Dragon seemed impassive as if this matter wasn’t important. Honestly it probably wasn’t, but the poor Gnoll looked like she was going to burst into tears even though nothing much was going on. She seemed to be over emotional about everything thus far; at least she seemed cheery.

“Not that I’m aware of,” I decided to quickly change the subject. “So what are you a specialist in?”

He clenched and unclenched his fists seeming irritated at my ending of the conversation. “Pain, death, and torture.”

The Gnoll decided now was a good time to interject. “I’m Tarja the priest!” Her eyes were big and doe like filled with childlike wonder and glee. She had to be a younger one in her pack or the youngest of her litter at the very least. She had the air about her of someone who seemed shielded of bad things and monsters that go bump in the night. Almost like a porcelain doll set on a shelf to not be damaged and stay pretty and fair so no harm would touch her. She stroked her orange Mohawk and grinned like a kitten.

“I’m Drog,” The massive Half-Dragon growled; although I assume it was just the way he spoke and didn’t have anything to do with emotions. He could barley cross his massively muscular arms across his equally muscular chest I swear his muscles had muscles. On his back rested an enormous axe that no normal being could have wielded as it would tire them out. I was so impressed at the strength he must have to lug that thing around all the time and use it in battle.

A human woman with the most massive chest I have ever seen sauntered up to us jiggling all the way. “Red Alpha?” She cooed. She wore a red robe and wide brimmed wizard’s hat.

We all just stared at her blankly for a minute since the only person not here was the mage and humans were forbidden from being mages. Tarja spoke first “Yes? Um I mean yes we are, but you are human and the last person in the party is a mage.”

The woman with hair the color of fire smiled and then laughed melodically. “Oh don’t worry about that I’m not what I seem,” She said dramatically placing her hand on her busty chest which lessened the serious affect I think she was going for as her chest just enveloped her hand threatening to swallow it whole.

Zrith seemed skeptical of this new comer, Drog was stoic which seems to be his usually emotion, and Tarja seems to have quickly forgotten her fear and was no best friends with Fay. I myself was a little weary that she appears human but would not tell us what she actually was. If she had been human it might have been her we were hunting not this other mage.

We exited the round room walked through the few straight corridors connecting the round buildings. The walls were mostly bare aside from a few windows to let light in and torches among the wall. There were also a few exhibits of Heroes past that displayed their armor or weapons with small scripts near by telling their tale. There were a few rectangular stone benches for people to sit on if they so desire; not the most comfortable things in the world.

We exited the corridor into the main dome of the entire facility. It was the largest as almost all others branched off from it like a spider web; if you could imagine a spider web made out of round domes connected by halls instead of webs.

“Anyone know the way to Paw Forest?” Fay asked amongst our group as we approached the exit.

Tarja beamed, “Oh I do! It’s quite near where I’m from. Well slightly… they border along each other anyway.” I wondered if she always talked in exclamations. It was nice having someone so happy, but it seemed like she got excitable about everything.

We exited the building descending the stairs with a bouncy Gnoll leading the way. It seemed like she would explode if she were any more excited. We followed the dirt path away from The Hall. The surrounding area was green and lush, but with the air of meticulous tending and planning much like you would see in a well kept park. As we ventured forth it was approximately mid day and the sun was high in a clear blue sky. We walked on the dirt path away from The Hall in silence for a while.

The area became less tended and more natural with lush bushes that were not sculpted and trees that were overgrown. The sounds of wildlife became more prevalent as Tarja led us off the path and onto what seemed like a deer trail. Aside from the sign that pointed in the trails direction saying “Paw Forest” you wouldn’t have known it was anything other than an animal trail. Since there was a sign I’m sure we could have found this if we just walked away from The Hall but I don’t think anyone in our group except Tarja had paid any attention to the overgrown path before we knew we needed to come here.

Grass encroached on the path threatening to dissolve it; trees cropped up more often and closer together starting to block out some of the sunlight. It got to the point where we were walking single file threw the woods.

“Aren’t you the priest?” Zrith said.

“Uh yes,” Tarja squeaked and looked slightly ashamed; it seemed she could guess where this conversation was going.

“You should be in the MIDDLE of the pack and stay away from the front.” Zrith snapped.

Tarja whined and fell into line in the middle of us letting Zrith take the place she had occupied at the front. Zrith was closely followed by Drog. Fay muscled her way up to the front in a very unladylike manner so she could stand as close as she could get to Zrith.

“You could have been nicer about that she was the only one who knew where Paw Forest was,” Fay growled. Her eyes burned imaginary holes in Zrith’s back. It seemed she had a temper or at least got passionate about her feeling quickly.

“Niceness isn’t my thing,” Zrith dismissed the accusation with the wave of his hand.

Fay huffed and then fell back in line behind Tarja with me bringing up the rear. We continued walking and the sun moved across the sky; the forest darkened even more. Zrith stopped bent down and inspected the ground; then continued to lead us off the path.

We were fairly deep into the forest and usually animals were it’s only inhabitants hence the name Paw Forest. A skilled tracker should be able to find this mage even if he was doing a decent job hiding his tracks. We continued this way for a while with Zrith leading us further and further off path and deeper into the forest; stopping occasionally to check the tracks he was following. A brown rabbit flew across the path running from something apparently scarier than us as it didn’t even give us a glance. I smiled at its beauty even if it might get eaten shortly by whatever had it so spooked.

Eventually he stopped us, “There is a clearing ahead so be on guard.” Zrith unsheathed his two swords that he carried on his back and stealthily walked out into the clearing even though if someone was looking they’d clearly be able to see him.

Drog followed suit and unclasped his enormous battle-axe from his back gripping it with both his hands. Tarja pulled her mace out and carried it slack at her side lazily, but her eyes were sharp. Fay and I just walked behind not needing to ready anything but our minds. Somehow I felt I was forgetting something important though I guess it was nothing if I couldn’t remember it.

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