Chapter 3: The Elven Realms
It had been nearly two weeks since we had left Hneth after finding Alleria there. We had passed over the Dwarf Mountains between the Daemon Villages Puea and Lien. Skirting the edge of the Sprite forest we made our way across the base of the Dwarf Mountains to the Bay City of Vasilica. Though I would never admit such a thing aloud, our travel had been much more enjoyable with Alleria in the group. Her stories every night seemed to put Leah at ease and definitely entertained Kirboda. Something had been bugging Leah lately. Ever since she got that sword she seemed to distance herself at night especially, and a few times I had caught her seemingly muttering to herself. I was slightly worried, but not too much, Leah was not one to let things get to her.
Rounding the last bend of trees I felt my heart sink at the sight that greeted me.
The lovely City now lying in ruins before my eyes. Where beautiful buildings and lush gardens once spread out across your sight now only skeletons remained of the houses, bare charred fields where once flowers had dominated.
Walking along the ash-strewn streets I could barely breathe. The magnificent bell tower that once highlighted the skyline of Vasilica was burned. Once many stories high, now only about three stories remained, the top stories collapsed into nearby buildings littering the streets with shattered brick. Leaving my companions breathless on the street I made my way through the rubble of the tower, up to the third story. The roof was mostly burned off and the bits that weren’t were blackened to the state of charcoal. Ash and mold growing over the brick walls suggested that the city had been in this state for many years.
The War…I closed my eyes against the tears I felt. The Assassin could have stopped this…
I took a deep breath looking out across the horizon of the ruined city. A smoky haze hovered close over the city, glowing in the dusky light like an ethereal fire still burning the magic the city once held.
Thinking back, I remembered the way the city used to look from the bell tower. Lights glittered over the city at all hours; it was like the city itself was alive with the glow of elven magic. Children played in the cobble streets along with dancing young lovers, spinning merrily to the tunes of the flute-bearing minstrels. The pubs alive at all hours with singing and merry conversation, smells from local bakeries mingling happily with that of the spiced beers brewed in town. And the chimes of the bell tower adding its harmonic sound, these elements are what made Vasilica.
I stopped mid thought remembering suddenly another reason I liked Vasilica. Rsh. That blasted elf that was always sleeping in the tower, watching the city when he should have been home with his fiancé.
I rubbed the back of my head. I hadn’t seen him for a while. But thinking about it I remembered a few years ago I had run up with him, some time during the war anyway. He had started drinking, which he used to never do.
Feeling like an idiot I realized why he had changed so much now…his home…the place he had cared about so much, had been destroyed right out from under him.
Turning back around I felt a lump form in my throat. The dark haired elf I had noticed in the pub in Hneth…was that Rsh? Forming the image carefully in my head I realized it was.
Unaware of what I was doing I began running, down the tower past my friends who were still standing on the street. I thought I heard Leah shout after me but I couldn’t be sure…I kept running yelling something back to them…I wasn’t sure what exactly but I think I mentioned Hneth and that I would catch up with them later.
I stopped right outside the city, beyond my companions view. This would be the easiest way for me to find out if that Elf really was Rsh or not.
I heard Kirboda behind me, his little pink body whistling as he cut through the air toward me. Finding a safe nook in the forest I bent over to pick up a handful of rich soil. Calling upon the Faery magic I had left untouched for so long, I lavished in the warm pulse that traveled down my arm toward the moist clump in my hand. Closing my eyes I whispered the Faery word of transformation to change the dirt into the weightless shimmer that was Faery magic.
I had named my first sword-the mahogany handled one- after the most powerful word in Fae magic’s. The word 'Endorea' meaning 'Transformation' in the old Faery tongue was used to call upon the famous Fae shimmer. Faery magic. The Fae shimmer could be used for any kind of magic if called by a skilled enough user, also depending on the substance used to make the shimmer.
Opening my hand to the substance-less pearlescence tossing it over my and Kirboda's heads.
The Dark haired elf still sat in the old pub in Hneth. Wine bottles in empty piles at his sides, he emptied yet another into his glass. Chugging it down he motioned the bar tender to bring him another. He was the only one left in the sparse lit pub so was easy to spot at the back corner table. I guessed that he liked the pub was the only reason he had stayed this long. Carefully keeping my cloak up around my face I made my way slowly past the weary bar tender. Closing in on him I noticed how blood-shot his eyes were as he leaned against his propped up arm.
He glanced up at me in an obvious buzz. "Oo’er you?" Guzzling more down of whatever it was he was drinking he glanced back up. "Ya look kinda famil'er..."
I pulled the hood back a little so he could see my face. "C’mon Rsh it hasn't been that long."
He squinted slightly as he looked at me. "C'leste?" He straitened and pushed his hair back. “I’zat you?"
I laughed. "Depends, is that you behind those blood shot eyes?" Looking around I asked if we could go somewhere a little more private so we could talk. Grabbing his mug and flask he obliged, stumbling a bit as he stood and followed me to a local inn. (The same one where I had found Alleria the week before.)
I really didn't have much time to talk to him, when we got to the inn; he fell asleep as soon as he sat on the bed. Really I shouldn't have expected anything different, so I made my self comfortable on the opposing bed, settling down to sleep for the night. It would be easier to talk to him when he wasn't so drunk anyway.
The next morning I woke up to a cheerful voice. It was much too early to be that cheerful. “G’Mornin’ Celeste!”
My eyes came open slowly to see Rsh’s wide smile and bright-no longer blood shot- eyes. I recoiled not expecting something to be that close to my face. With a groan I sat up to look at him cheerfully positioned with his legs crossed at the foot of my bed.
That must have been some damn good booze for him to be this cheerful this morning.
I stretched looking once more at his wide smile.
I smirked at my own thoughts and smiled at him again. “Good Morning Rsh. Feeling perky this morning are we?” I rolled out of the bed and slipped my boots on. “Let’s get some breakfast, we never did get a chance to talk last night.”
He nodded and flipped off the end of the bed to grab his pack with a lively face.
We found a bakery nearby and brought some fresh rolls and managed to find a merchant who had honeyed jams all the way from the Centaurian isles. Settling down under a tall tree at the center of town we ate with well placed small talk. Looking him over once more I swallowed a mouthful of sweet jam. I needed to talk to him seriously. Taking a breath I found a place to start.
“Me and a couple of others decided to go back to the Elven Realms…”
He barely faltered, but did enough for me to notice a change in his face. “Really?”
I paused to watch his face. “…Yea, you remember hearing me talk about Leah I’m sure…and another girl I met here about a week ago…her names Alleria.”
“Leah, yea. I never met her but you mentioned her a few times.”
I nodded. “No you never met her. But we decided we had been away from our homes to long-” I paused intentionally, noticing a pain flash through his eyes. “We stopped by Vasilica…Rsh…what happened?”
He looked away from me taking a deep breath. “I…” He sighed glancing at me through the corner of his eye. “You remember that amulet that belonged to the town...and the Wizard that worked for Vasilica’s King at one time?”
I nodded. “He was banished years ago though wasn’t he? Before the War right?”
He tilted his head in confirmation.
“He’s back. And he took the amulet…Vasilica’s King was slain by him.”
Rsh’s fists began to shake in his obvious anger.
I placed my hand on his shoulder. “Come back with me to Laedun. We haven’t traveled together for a long time. This will give you a chance to tell me what you’ve been doing all these years.”
I was never one to lament over the past. I learned a long time ago that it wasn’t worth it. It would only cause you more grief. I knew the pain Rsh must have felt about the fate of Vasilica. The best thing would be for him to not think about it, distract his mind some how.
We left later that day, after filling our packs with wears from Hneth: herbs, spices, ale and cloth. On foot it would take an elf over a week to make it from Hneth to Fayel. With horses it would still take a full week. But with a little help from my magic we could be there in just a few moments. When we were well out of view of the cliff overlooking Hneth I called for Kirboda. The little sprite had decided to stay out of the city, not much liking humans. A pink streak appeared from over a hill in front of us and zipped back and forth circling the two of us. Happy humming filled our ears as the sprite looked at us bright eyed. Glancing again at Rsh the pink sprite squeaked and latched onto his head.
“Is you! Is you! Is you!” the sprite looked at him a moment then reattached to Rsh’s face. “Eeeeeee!”
Rsh stumbled back trying to remove the sprite. Feeling generous I called the sprite to my side, saving Rsh the trouble of trying to detach him.
“Leave Rsh alone Kirboda…” Glancing around me I looked for a safe place to call upon my magic. Pulling the other elf into the edge of the wood I bent down to pick up a handful of soil. Holding him firm by the neck of his shirt I rolled my eyes at the odd expression he gave me. Whispering the word of transformation I blew the shining dust in his face as well as covering myself and Kirboda.
Next Chapter--> Chapter 4: Fayel
Chapter 1: Celeste of Darksword
Chapter 2: Disturbances
Chapter 4: Fayel
Chapter 5: lovers
Chapter 6:Daggers and a Daughter
Chapter 7: Faerytales Requiem
Chapter 8: Far too long
Chapter 9: Shadow Born
Chapter 10: Nightmare
Chapter 11: a Child’s Faerytale
Chapter 12: The Price of Shadow
Chapter 13: Life and Death
Chapter 14: The Dark Fae
Chapter 15: Shining in the Night
Chapter 16: Day and Night
Chapter 17: Endorea
Chapter 18: Dandragen, city of stone
Chapter 19: Golem of the Light Seal
The Elven Assassin
LOOK!-->Ankou of the NightRealm
Translations--> Alliance Elvish
The Alliance of Elven Swords
The Alliance Stories Index