The Dance With Death
by Max Dirks
In this epic solo, Light tells the story of young Lilith Kaethar's adventures in the Red Forest. After a nearly fatal encounter with the local wildlife, the high elf is taken into the care of a handsome stranger named Damon Illhart. His quick wit and flirtatious nature are not enough to gain Lilith's trust, but she agrees to escort him in return for his saving her life. During their travels, Damon admits that he is a treasure hunter, and currently searching for an enchanted dagger. This weapon, called the Dagger of Last Rites, has the ability to kill any foe, and trap its soul within the blade. Lilith agrees to translate clues to the dagger's whereabouts, but after doing so, she abandons Damon; her desire to claim the dagger for her own, and use it to save her sister, takes precedence over all else. But as she watches her plan quickly fall apart, Lilith realizes that the cursed animals are not the only thing to fear in Lindequalmë.
The Dance with Death opens on a high elf locked in combat with an enormous wolf. The elf, named Lilith Kaethar, circles the beast, readying her dagger to fight. She observes the wolf's fearless gaze, blood-stained teeth, and massive, barbed claws. It is intent on killing her, and she recognizes how slim her chance of survival truly is.

The story shift suddenly to two days prior. Lilith wakes from a nightmare that has plagued her for many months; one in which a woman named Amra is dragged into the fiery pits of Hell. Shaken from her dream, and still weak from a previous encounter with a bear-like creature, it takes all of her strength to continue through the Red Forest. Unfortunately for the young elf, she is soon attacked by yet another of Lindequalmë's twisted beasts. A long, dangerous battle ensues, during which Lilith realizes that this is the same monster that wounded her only the day before. By climbing a nearby tree, and peppering the beast with a volley of arrows, Lilith manages to escape once more.

Exhausted from the skirmish, the woman slips into a restless slumber. This time, her dreams are more pleasant. She sees a young girl, revealed to be the aforementioned Amra, splashing about in a pond. It is a picture of paradise, with a shining sun, lush, green grass, and the little one's laughter on the warm air. But soon, the dream warps into the familiar nightmare. The ground shakes, the grass burns, and the water runs crimson with blood. As Lilith tries to rescue her small charge, Amra accuses her of being a failure. Even amidst the high elf's pleas for forgiveness, Amra reminds Lilith that she is a disgrace, and that her blood will spilled for all eternity.

This time, when Lilith wakes from her nightmare, she finds herself in a cave. Her wounds have been tended to. The man who treated her while she was unconscious, a human named Damon Illhart, proves himself to be quite the charmer. He first begs to know her name, so that he can thank her with more than just her beautiful face. Once she divulges it, he thanks her for dealing with the bear. They briefly discuss their reasons for being in the Red Forest, though Lilith refuses to let her guard down. When he finally asks her to escort him to a fork in the road, as he would feel safer with her, she accepts for two reasons only. First, she feels it necessary to pay him back for saving her life. Second, he assures her that he will help her escape the cursed woods.

The following morning, the pair continues to discuss their personal lives. Damon confesses that he is a treasure hunter, and that he is searching for the Dagger of Last Rites. This powerful weapon, he explains, has the ability to kill any foe, and trap its soul within the blade. He plans to sell the blade to the highest bidder, but Lilith immediately sees it as a way to rescue her sister. As such, when she notices his collection of clues, she quickly volunteers to translate for him. Once Damon falls asleep, however, the elf betrays Damon by stealing the book and taking off into the night.

Day breaks once more. Though Lilith has put some distance between herself and the treasure hunter, Damon manages to find her. An enchanted blade pierces her thigh, nearly paralyzing her with a series of electric pulses. As he roughly drags her closer, she insists that she only stole from him in order to save Amra, her sister. He does not believe her, choosing instead to declare her a simple thief. Caressing his blade across her neck, he asks if he should kill her now, or leave her for the beasts.

In a sudden display brute force, Lilith manages to bury the cradle of her bow into Damon's nose, shattering the bone, and prompting him to release her. Now with an advantage over the human, she nocks an arrow and threatens to shoot him if he moves. Damon, however, sneers at her threat. He insists that she is a black widow, a seemingly innocent being who wants nothing more than to take advantage of others. Her sister being taken, he claims, is a direct result of the damage she does to those around her. Fueled by his words, the elf ends the human's life in a stunning use of her arcane magic.

Directly after, Lilith begins to question her actions, and whether or not she truly is a black widow. But the story's timeline has now caught up, and Lilith finds herself facing off against the monster from the story's opening scene. Though she does succeed in defeating the beast, she nearly loses her own life in the process. Physically and emotionally drained, Lilith's battered body lies motionless on the floor of the Red Forest. As the rain begins to fall upon her, she finds herself singing a final song, one that her sister dearly loved, before closing her eyes to await Death's arrival.
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