The apsara, or nymph, knelt at the water’s edge. This was her home, a clean pool fed by the great river, which eventually flowed out of the wooded wetlands and beyond to the floodplains and seas. The pool was but a few feet deep, like a wide natural bathtub, part of a large collection of pools in the hilly landscape. The forest and its creatures loosely surrounded the apsara’s abode like the walls of an open house, branches as the roof chattering with birds and monkeys.
It turned its head towards them, and they met a gaze like the colorless face of a barn owl, sharp beak and terrible eyes black as night staring back at them.
Another branch crashes loudly through the canopy to the earth, a wake of birds already fleeing startled. The runner makes no pretense of stealth, which Asoka has given up on as well. The half-elf, running at top speed, fires another arrow up into the trees, and again misses his quarry. That damn protection from arrows spell! He curses in his head, not wasting the breath as he maintains pursuit. The other half-elf, running, jumps from branch to branch, satchel swinging from his body as he darts overhead.
Asoka is the skill-based hero in my fantasy stories, like a rogue, monk, or ranger.
The plan was simple: sneak aboard Captain Kem’s airship where she is keeping the philosopher’s stone, steal it from the cargo hold, blast a way out of the ship’s hull with alchemist’s bombs, and parachute back safely to the ground. Naturally, things never go according to plan.
Darkness receded. Lodge opened his eyes. A bugbear must have hit him. Lurking in the shadows, even as the raid howled and frenzied all around him, the bugbears still preyed on fear through surprise attacks. Why it didn't finish him while he was down, he couldn't say, but he was glad to be alive.
I also make artwork, and here are two samples. Made in Serif Draw Plus, a free vector graphics program.