Lance is the oldest character I have, he has outlived even Narodimus... Even Juan and Vian are younger than Lance Greenleaf. So be nice to him... And shed a tear if you have to.
A bard's tale about evil.
The bard walked into a dusty inn, it was halfway empty, only a few sitting in the corner, planning and plotting, and a young group of travelers by the fireplace. But that did not stop the eager man from sitting down next to the fireplace, speaking as if his own mind, yet he go the attention of all the inn. "Lance. Poor Lance some might still whisper in the corners. Lance Greenleaf was born a treewalker, but quickly trained in the powers of a whisperer. He was known for his great powers in the arts of controling the nature, but that is not the tale for today, no, no one speaks no more of Lance's good, for his kindspirited nature and his helpful demanour. No, that is all forgotten because no matter how much good you do, one evil act will change that. Lance is now feared and reknown for few acts that has done more impact to the world than a lifetime of good. But enough of this, let me tell you a tale no one knows about Lance." The bard held a artistical break, then got himself a beer with a wave of his hand to the barkeeper. The adventurers, awakened with curiosity, eagerly nodded of him to go on, but everyone was now silent, because everyone knew the feared Greenleaf, and everyone enjoyed a good tale of horror. They will get disappointed.
"Aneria was her name, and it is of her I will tell a tale. She was beauty of a lass, indeed, her hair burning red, like the sunset, and her eyes green like the spring leaves. And Lance had loved her from the very moment he laid his eyes upon her. Oh yes, Aneria was a beautiful woman, adored by many men, but her kind nature allowed her not to marry, for she was too good a person and wanted only friendship. Oh yes, her kind heart would not allow her to ever love one man more than the other, so they were all but friends, admirers in the dark. Lance was young at the time, such a young lass, clumsy and shy, but when that summer day came, and he saw Aneria for the first time, his good heart was given away.
She was walking trough the fields, collecting wild berries from bushes that grew on the untendered land. Her body delicate wrapped in white cloth. Her red hair burning fiercely in the sun. Lance was sneaking about in the shape of a large, brown dog, he enjoyed this shape particularly, for it made him able to sneak around without anyone's notice much. He was but a stray dog in the eyes of most." The bard held a break, drinking from his glass of beer. "She spotted him, and though she feared the animal a bit, her good heart would not allow her this fear, and she called him forth, petting him and laughed. His heart was sold. Her laughter, pretty as the beautiful songbird.
She took him in, living in a small hut where she grew roses and sold to the noble as well as poor. She tendered for him for days, believing he was but an animal and nothing more, and Lance dared not to shatter her belief of him. She named him Stray and gave him a leather collar and food every evening.
He lived with her for half a month, at that time, most of the whisperer clans were looking for him, for they all needed his advice, his powers and his wisdom, even in youth Lance was the wisest and strongest of the whisperers, whom else are known for their great knowledge in everything."The bard smiled at the travelers, then nodded as the other group of people came close to hear his tale.
"But one day, when Aneria was walking trough her gardens, taking care of her flowers, a horse approached, white and shining, what a stallion it was. And upon it sat a man in green, hair as yellow as corn and eyes burning orange, a Seresta and his name was Vian D'unian. He was a whisperer, and asked the young girl for information, if she had seen his friend Lance Greenleaf. The girl could only answer that such a man had not passed, and she offered shelter for the young man. Lance was furious, but he stayed in his animal form, his love to Aneria growing too strong, and he would not defile her yet by showing his true self, for he knew it would make him seem but a liar and a charlatan.
So Vian dined with her that evening, and they laughed, while poor Stray was left forgotten in his corner, not delighted her attention, her heart or simply her distant touch. And that is when he had his plan, he snuck out the door, to transform into himself, there he could say he was searching for Vian, and he would surely be found, a welcome guest.
The dog snuck out the door, into he night, their laughs behind, but he could not hear any of their attention turn towards him." The bard sighed in despair, feeling sorry for poor Stray" Outside, he hid into the woods where he had transformed from human.
He walked back, happy that he could finally meet the girl, only to see thugs trying to rob the house. They must have snuck close by while he was gone."The bard jumped up on a chair now, waiving dramatically
"So the thugs dragged her out, laughing and laughing, holding Vian down as if he could do nothing. Greenleaf ran to the rescue of his love, waiving with a wooden stick while cursing at them and telling them to leave her alone, but he could feel fur grow out from his skin and he could but only hear barks come from his mouth, he had been too eager and the transformation was yet to be completed? he stood, half man half beast, of course, he scared off the thugs, but also his love, who screamed in horror at this creation before her.
And Vian, who recognized the beast form of his mentor and elder, he stood up, formed his hands together, green lights surrounded him"The bard formed his own hands together, twirling around himself as green lights appeared and illusions danced around him."Lance tried to force the rest of the transformations upon him, but something went wrong, he roared at Vian for he knew now what had happened, he had not been to eager. Roots surounded him and forced him down to the ground, he felt the pain of Vian's magic forcing itself upon his body, and then he saw the charlatan of a Seresta walk up to him and kneel down in front of him. Lance attempted to bite the man, but Vian was too quick, too surefooted. He whispered into his ear-" The bard leaned down towards one of the young men, whispering but loud enough for all in the room to hear if they listened close enough "I knew it was you, and I know you want her… and all you have, shall be mine… I forced your transformation to stop, for I am more powerful" The bard stood up again "And he dragged his sword!" And the bard drew his sword "But Aneria, kind hearted as she had always been, felt around Vian's waist, begging of him to let the animal go, show it the mercy, it had saved them. Vian smirked and nodded, lifting the roots from the body of Lance, but Lance, filling with Hate and anger jumped at Vian with teeth and claw. The Seresta was again too quick" The bard held a break, lowering his sword, his voice now sad.
"Aneria was dead in his arms only seconds later, and Vian jumped upon his already saddled stallion, yelling after Lance - I will destroy all that you love - and then rode off into the night, Lance, unable to do anything… just hugged his love close… And wept."
The bard dried off a tear, swong his green cloak and left trough the door and into the night, transforming into a large, brown dog named Stray.