Authors note:

This story is not related to a specific Fire Emblem game but rather inspired by the Fire Emblem universe. Hopefully none of these characters are from any of the other games but they may be inspired by and similar to other characters from previous games. Anyway, here it is! Don't fell shy to give me your two cents on the story and other ideas. Thanks!

-Fire Emblem, The Casting Shadow-

The road was quiet, undisturbed and lonely one early morning. No one had been on it for a day or so, and nobody blamed them. The road from Edge to Noy was notoriously known to be a harvesting ground for bandits. One particular group was lead by a ruthless bowman called Tun and is famous bow, Greybow. Needless to say travelers avoided traveling on the road unless no other opinion presented itself.

By late morning however the silence was broken by a lone traveler. He showed signs of his long journey. His long green over cloak was full of dirt, his brown hair hide some dried mud, and his dark brown eyes showed exhaustion of a long walk. Under the clock hid a suit of light metal armor with a short sword on one side of his belt and a book with a chain through the spine of it.

As he continued to walk a low grumble sound whispered in his ears. Startled, he opened his cloak, his hand on his sword looking in the forest for any signs of movement. After a minute he relaxed and heard the source of the sound. His stomach made a louder sound then before, now that the cloak was not diminishing the sound. Knowing the source of the sound the pain of hunger followed. He reached for some dried meat in his satchel, only to recover the last piece less then no bigger then a inch. He sighed and chewed at the tough meat, knowing it would only quiet his hunger for a little bit.

Down the read he caught sight of a tower of smoke followed by the smell of meat cooking. He took out the book and looked up a page that showed a map of the road between Noy and Edge. His fingered followed the road until it came across a little dot indicating an inn. "Bax's Place" the map said. The young man closed the book and smiled, "finally some warm food." As the smell got stronger the quicker his pace got until he saw the outline of a building in the tree line.

Bax's place was one of the rare taverns that survived the bandits in the Free West. One of the reasons was: Bax himself being a former legendary fighter helped scare off the lesser bandits who would try to grow in influence, and the skill he had obtained stayed with him through all these years, allowing him to best any man who thought he could beat him. And the smart bandits (sounds contradictory I know) knew well enough not to fight the hand that feeds them, especially ale and liquor. So he ran a profitable business.

Today's crowd was the usual, a few of Tun's gang and several other bandits from other groups. It was unclear whether or not Bax supported them just didn't care about what they did out the inn. Most of the bandits used the inn as a meeting place between leaders and fellow bandits. It was the one place of peace between the bandits where they could go and be safe. The one rule was, "no fighting," and everyone, including Tun, followed that rule.

Bax was standing behind the counter polishing a pitcher, occasionally glancing up at the few bandits that where there in the morning. Most where drunk or passed out. The ones from Tun's gang where all aware and sober, Tun often used the inn as a scouting post for well-stocked travelers and merchant caravans. When the traveler in the green cloak entered into the inn, all sober eyes were fixed on him. Bax raised a curious eyebrow to the young man—it was strange that a young man would wander alone in the dangerous land. The young man walked up to the counter, "Excuse me, may I have a room?" Bax stared at the young man trying to get a story from the young man's eyes, but all he could see was that he was tried. "15 worths, for a room." Tun's bandits watched the man carefully until the 30 copper coins exchanged hands. Then they went back to there drinks.

"Pick any of the rooms, you're my only guest, broth is served at lunch and dinner, want something special, make it yourself. I ain't no chef or maid," Bax grunted and added, "Watch out for the rats, them buggers bite hard, and there's lice in them beds."

"Beats the cold ground any day," replied the young man. Bax grinned and returned to finishing his pitcher. In his room the young man went to his bed and fell asleep instantly.

Later that day the young man came down from his room drawn to the smell of a pot of chicken broth. He saw Bax still standing being the counter now cleaning several ale mugs. Tun's men where still there some were different then the original men he first walked in. "How much for a bowl of that broth and a mug of ale?" "'Nother 10 worths" Tun"s men shifted in their seats and looked at the young man. When the young man paid 20 copper coins, they relaxed in their seats. He was given a bowl and he grabbed a bowl full of broth and returned to the counter and sat by Bax who had placed a full mug of ale on the counter. Sitting on a high stool, he looked around at the inn. He noticed the axes that hung on the wall, they where big, looked heavy and each wall had at least on them, "Sir, why do have axes on all of the walls?"

Bax looked hard at him, "Most folks call me Bax, as should you boy. N' I have on the walls because I need both hands to run this inn, carrying n' axe 'round would make my job 'lot harder. Better to have close at 'and n' ready." Bax pointed to the closes ax, "Look at 'em, each one weighs 2 or more stones," (stone= 14Ibs), "and not many can swing one easy. I've been around axes all my life, 'n a 2 stone axe is nothing to me." The young man, his question answered, feasted on his meal in peace, Bax returned kept to his mug wiping and the inn's other guests returned to their business.

The door opened and everyone's eyes turned to the new guest amongst them. The stranger wore a long dark cloak that covered any distinguishing features of their face. The stranger pointed to the broth, Bax looked with understanding, "10 worths." The stranger handed Bax a silver coin and he then gave the stranger a bowl for soup. The cloaked being filled the bowl and sat at a table near the corner.

One of the bandits whispered something to the other two and got up and left. After the stranger had finished the broth, the stranger placed the bowl on the counter and left the inn. The two remaining Tun's gave a quick glance at each other and followed the stranger. The young man looked at Bax, puzzled. "'You've heard of the sayin' "Copper cheap, silver fair, and gold rich"? Well boy, you paid in copper, that stranger paid in silver." Then it made sense to the young man. "Just doesn't seem fair."

"Three or more against one man, poor guy."

"Son you need to get out more, that was no guy, n' I was talking about the bandits. That is if they do not get their leader involved."

"And if they do?"

Bax looked up, "Then it's anyone's guess."

The young man looked at the door, finished his ale and went up to his room. Leaving Bax all alone on the first floor. A few minutes later the young man came down with all his gear. Bax looked at him, "Don't tell me that you're gonin' after 'em."

He grinned, "Just watching. Besides I want to show those bandits I'm not cheap." He said placing a gold coin on the counter, "As much dry beef and water that that coin pays for and a vulnerary or two if you have any." Bax got the items and handed them to the young man then watched briskly leave the inn after them. He laugh quietly, Interesting boy, he thought. The only regret was that he did not ask for his name.

The young man had being jogging for a haft hour trying to catch up to them. He was about to give up and return to the way of his destination, until he heard a loud yell. It was a man's, the fight had begun. He ran until coming to a clearing and took a vantage point behind a tree..

The cloaked figure had did most of the bandits in, the original three were on the ground, bleeding or dead, and another fifteen standing around the figure, all carrying axes, (all about half the size and weight of Bax's). Then one of the bandits them rushed at the figure and swung his ax at the figure, An in the next second the figure was gone, and reappeared behind them and knock the bandit into the ground with a quick and powerful kick. The other fourteen bandits now hesitated to attack the figure, not wanting to end up like their fellow bandits.

The young man agreed with Bax's prediction, it was unfair, to the bandits.

Whoosh. The sound had came from the tree line. The figure let out a winch of pain and stumbled, an arrow through what most likely was their leg. The figure tried to stand back up but the surrounding him rushed and seized the cloaked figure. Then a large man caring a bow with ten more men behind him came trough the tree line. Tun himself had gotten involved. Things were getting interesting. As he and the new men approached the figure, the figure struggled to break free but the arrow in his leg and the bandits holding him down making it impossible to escape.

Tun approached the figure to examine the prey that he just caught. "Lookee was we have here. 'Nother traveler that needs to be relieved of their purse." He looked at the four men on the ground, "You were a fighter, I'll give ya that, but full what one little arrow can do to the best fighter." Tun nodded at one of the men who ran up and pulled the purse off of the prisoner's cloak belt and threw it to the closest one to Tun. He poured the coins and summed the total, "About 100 worths boss."

"That's it?" He glared at the figure. "Take off his cloak, see if he's got anything else." The figure struggled again but to no avail. Then the hood was removed.

Bax was half right, it was a girl, but not human. Her wolf-ears stuck out of here head like a one lone tree on the plains. She looked young, but no older then 20 years old. Even Tun was surprised. She had short dark hair and bright yellow eyes. "None more money on her boss." Said one of the men after searching her. "Tie her up and take her with us." But the wolf-girl was quicker, the bandits loosened their grip and she was and to slip through her cloak and pulled two knives and slit the two bandits throats that were holding her. Before the others could react and Tun strung his bow she took off into to words. "Find her and kill her!" Tun shouted, pointed at her. "This ain't worth my time," Tun said walking back into the woods.

The young man waited until Tun and a few of his men walk back into the tree line then took off in the direction of the girl and seventeen bandits. He knew if he wanted to get involved he needed to move now.

The girl was limping through the woods. She was regretting running at full speed into the forest, now her leg was cramping up and her pace slowing down. Her leg was burning and the arrow in it nearly blinded her with pain with every step. She looked behind her, she had gained a lot of distance between herself and the bandits, but she could see a trail of blood coming from her leg. If the bandits were far behind, it would not take long for them to find her by the blood trail.

She leaned by a large oak and readied her knives. If she was going to fight, a tree to her back would be a big help. She could hear the bandits coming in front of her. Eighteen of them. One was different from the other, his scent was different, he moved ahead of the group, not with the other seventeen. He would catch up to him sooner then the other. She prepared to fight the first one, the one ahead of the pack.

He approached her slowly, with is green cloak open with is sword, sheathed, in is right hand and a vulnerary in the other. She looked at him confused. He continued to walk towards her, slowly. As he got closer he saw the desperation grow in her eyes mixed with confusion. "Look," he said "I know you don't know me, but I'm here to help." Her look did not change. "I'm not asking you to trust me. Just let me help you. Now you can accept my help and I can heal that leg," raising the vulnerary, "or take your chances with that leg and no help against seventeen bandits. Your choice." She held her defensive stance for a beat, then reluctantly lowered it to let him approach.

The young man when to work. He saw the wound clearly for the first time. The arrow had missed the bone and the head was sticking out on the other side of her leg. He handed her his sword still sheathed, "bite on this." She took the blade and placed it between her teeth. "This will hurt," he took the head of the arrow and broke it off. She grunted in pain, "this will hurt more," he said before pulling the rest of the arrow out. She would have screamed if the sword had not been in her mouth. The young man opened the vulnerary and placed drops of the liquid on both sides of the wound, instantly the wound began to close. The wound itself would need more time to recover but she would not lose any more blood. "You are going to need to not use that leg as much. I may have closed the wound but the muscles still need time to heal."

"I am called Quint, and you?" She removed the sword and tossed it back to him. She gave him a silent stare, and he dropped the conversation. He drew his blade, she readied her knives, the battle was about to begin.

The seventeen figures brushed trough the trees and surrounded Quint and the wolf girl. They looked surprised to see a second party was now involved. "Kill the girl," the leader, (probably because he had the biggest ax), "and the whelp if he helps her!" The girl charged at the closest bandit to her at full speed, disregarding Quint's advice. He himself charged the other direction taking on the closest bandit to him. The bandit raised his ax to strike but only to be pierced by a sword when the ax was behind his back.

With Quint in the fight now the match was rather unfair. Even with the girl injured, both he and the girl were quicker and had training with their weapons, while the bandits only knew how to swing an ax at a tree. All but their leader were easy fights. When it came down to the leader, the girl was the closest to strike.

She lunged at him with a ferocious speed, until her wounded leg cramped up and she fell on the ground, grabbing her leg in pain. The last bandit saw his chance, he yelled, "Got you now, bitch!" he raised his ax up to strike her. She raised he knives to protect and shielded her face. She heard a deadly scream and expected the worst, but it ever came. She looked up and saw the bandit with a sword through his chest. He fell on his knees and hit the ground, dead, to relive Quint behind him, his blood sword in his hand. Sheathing the blade he walked to her, "I warned you not to over work your leg," he said picking her up. She struggled, not wanting to be picked up, "if I wanted to kill you don't you think I would have done it already? I'm taking you back to the inn where you can recover better, ok?"

She pushed him aside, "I don't need your help," and tried to stand, only to fall down. "That remains to be seen," she shot an angry look at him. "Just let me take you back to the inn, then you can go about your business."

She glared at him, like a proud lion, showing no signs of weakness. After several more attempts to stand, she looked at him, and extended her hand for help, reluctantly. He bend down and had her hop on his back. He supported her weight by his sword under her body, holding her body on his back.

The girl said quietly. "I am called Shadow."

"Quint, I believe we've met," he said sarcastically. She grunted as he picked her up and began to head in the direction of Bax's inn.

Ending Notes

Wow, the chapter was longer then it needed to be. Five pages…yikes. I hope I didn't scare anyone away. Please, share me your opinions. Keep enjoying fiction!