The flames razed the village, rendering it unrecognizable, consuming and destroying everything in its path. Charred and mangled corpses littered the blackened ground, blood pooling and roiling from the heat. Smoke plumed and swayed in the windy night. The red and orange fire gave the surrounding area a hellish glow.
This had been his home… and his life, and in an instant, it had been taken away from him by the demons of Invakir. He had just arrived home from a long journey traveling with a caravan of Dwarves who had needed his protection while traveling from Elqanur to their mountain home of Calvdyr Keep. The journey had been relatively quiet, with very few interruptions along the way, and the Dwarven friends he had made along the way had paid him handsomely for his assistance.
But here he was… standing before the desecrated, burning, obliterated ruins of his village with dozens of charred remains littering the ground, including those of his parents… and his little sister, Avina. Haleth knew it had been the work of the Demons of Invakir, as the scent of sulfur was intense, more potent than the scent of the burned flesh of their victims.
Haleth trudged away from the place he had called home for nearly Two Hundred years with a glare in his nearly black eyes. He traversed the world, stopping by the town after town on his fateful trek to Invakir, gathering supplies and a mount. A stallion, which cost him most of his savings but would save him time traveling to the land of the Demons.
A week passed, and the scent of sulfur had grown so that even his stallion couldn't stand the smell. It refused to move another inch into the wasteland, so Haleth gathered his things and trekked his way through the mountainous terrain. Smoking volcanoes and ashen rivers dotted the landscape, giving the land an ominous tone.
After two more days of traveling, Haleth had arrived at the epicenter of the Demon homeland, the tower only known as The Crimson Spire, a name given because no matter the time of day, it could be seen from miles away and always remained a dark, crimson red. As Haleth reached the entryway, his boots began to squish and squelch, causing him to realize the tower was lined with the bodies of all races except demonic, their blood giving the tower its crimson color.
The stench was horrendous. Rotting and burning flesh created an odor so foul when combined with the sulfuric atmosphere it nearly made Haleth vomit the previous day's meal. He steeled himself and made his way into the tower, immediately swarmed by dozens of demons that he began to slash with the sword a Tavernkeep had given him on his journey, but with each demon killed, dozens more arrived, and soon he was overwhelmed. He collapsed to the tower floor, feeling the demon's teeth sink into his flesh as they tore it from his bones.
His life essence began to fade away, and as his vision went black, he heard a voice ring in his mind. "Your pain has not gone unnoticed. Your losses have been witnessed. Your bravery and kindness have been true, and your heart is pure. I will use your soul to purge this land of the demonic filth, but you will be given a soul anew and transported to a land where you can build your bloodline from the soil. I, Aztraviel, Goddess of Purity, give you my word. Haleth Estelar, son of Firdan and Castille Estelar, you shall be my purifying light in this darkened land. Let go, and you shall awaken in this new land."
Haleth knew that voice to be true, as he had heard it only once before… as a child. He then relaxed, letting the demons tear into him as his body began to glow before exploding in a bright, blue light that decimated the demons and their homeland. He opened his eyes slowly and painfully as he felt the softness of grass and let the scent of the forest fill his nostrils. He was alive and unharmed, just as the Goddess had promised.
He slowly pushed himself off the grass, rocking back into a seated position as his head spun, letting out a low groan as his vision blurred and his head throbbed. The journey between realms had taken a toll on his soul, and it was manifesting the drain using his physical form.
After about an hour of sitting down and taking time to recover, Haleth made his way through the pine trees that lined the mountainside, deciding that it was an excellent place to set up a home. Using his inherited nature magic, he communed with the forest and soon had all the resources he needed to build a rudimentary home. Something to keep him warm and dry for the time being.
The forest is where he remains, making a little life for himself, only leaving it to do odd jobs for income and building materials.