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This is the story of Fayn, a blue-haired elf in a world where magic is harnessed through song, and a conspiracy within her species threatens to unravel the sacred truths of history.
ELFSONG (Part One)
Book One: Symphony (Ch.1)
Fayn knew she was late. She was always late, always running behind schedule, which was frowned upon greatly by her kinsmen, the elves. In a society that thrives on rules and conduct, Fayn was considered by many to be a rebel. She didn’t see herself as a rebel, just extremely lazy, and easily distracted by the wonders of her little world.
As an acolyte of the Wind Choir, it was Fayn's duty to harmonize the flow of the Song during ceremonial gatherings. One such gathering was to take place in the later hours of the eve, when the twin moons were at their greatest luminescence. Fayn was to take her place in the choir and harmonize her voice with the other acolytes in preparation of the ceremony. A ceremony that was about to start without her.
The forest trees rushed past her, greens and browns melding together to form new colors in her vision. Strands of her deep blue hair, caught in the winds embrace, flowed like water behind her, as her slender legs moved her along at a pace only an elf could maintain. Her petite form, unhindered by the silky white robes that covered her, bounded off tree limbs and through foliage as if she was made of the wind itself, graceful and beautiful as no other being alive. Her pointed ears picking up every minute sound, her small button nose taking in the faintest smell, and her silver eyes processing every sight, a sensory overload of splendor and majesty. But none of these things could change the fact that she was still very late.
Fayn could see the faeries, like a swarm of fireflies lighting up the forest clearing. The hum of the Song could be heard all around her now, the rhythmic notes building upon each other into a crescendo. The spirits of the forest began to materialize like phantoms dancing to the beat, phasing in and out among the trees.
Ahead of her, Fayn could now see her fellow choir acolytes chanting the magical music that is the Song. Within the circle of acolytes, was a great marble pillar, beautifully crafted and etched with runic symbols from days of old. Atop the pillar was a crystal orb held in midair by magical force.
Elder Brion stood with his arms raised towards the starry sky, and Fayn realized that he was already recounting the histories, which meant that there was no hope of slipping in unnoticed, the ceremony had already begun.
“…and so it came to pass that Altair, the first one, in his infinite wisdom and majesty, blessed the chosen people by ushering to the elves his voice, his song, the spiritual essence of his very soul. That which serves as our lifeblood, our center, and the magic that holds this world together. Upon this day, at this hour, we celebrate his divine gift and praise him with love and true sincerity from deep within our hearts.”
As he finished, Elder Brion cupped his hands and brought them cose to his chest. The crystal orb lowered into his hands from the pillar and an array of colors began to spin wildly within. “We also gather tonight,” continued Brion, “to appoint a new candidate for succession to Song Priestess, and to mourn the former Priestess Galdriel who passed into Altair’s loving embrace. Let the will of Altair guide us to the chosen.”
A bright light shot from the orb and circled the assemblage at dizzying speed. Fayn, as silently as she could manage, pushed herself into her place in the choir and brought her voice into rhythm with the other acolytes.
Just then the light came to a halt right in front of her and Fayn could swear that a pair of unearthly eyes were peering into her soul. She gasped and froze still as the light hovered before her, but as quickly as it had come the light was gone again, whipping back around only to stop before another. This time the light entered the acolyte and a chosen was found.
“Altair has decided!" Announced Elder Brion. "Mayra has been chosen as the successor. On the morrow her induction into the role of Song Priestess will begin. This concludes the ceremony, may the light of Altair shine bright upon us all.”
The crystal orb, known as Altair"s Heart dimmed and came to rest upon the marble pillar. The Song died out as the acolytes made their way back through the forest towards Elleron, their home. Fayn tried to pass unnoticed among the assemblage but the voice of the elder rang loud over all. “Fayn, I would have a word with you.”
Fayn gulped and slowly turned around and made her way back towards the pillar. Standing with the elder was Mayra, the new successor. “Fayn,” Brion began, “you are to accompany Mayra to the Wellspring and complete any and all tasks needed for her induction. Do not be late, you must be ready as the first rays of light ascend the peaks of the Tarsus mountains.”
“I understand and will comply great elder." Fayn replied. "Lady Mayra, congratulations on your succession. I will be ready at the appointed time to accompany you to the spring.”
Mayra scoffed and rolled her eyes at Fayn. "Delightful." She said coldly.
With that Fayn was off, glad she had escaped without a scolding, heading back towards home as fast as her legs could carry her. Suddenly there was movement to Fayn’s side, visible only to her keen elven senses. The elves had a heightened sense of vision, but not complete visibility in the dark; it was better than any human’s, but not as clear as a dwarf’s.
Fayn had to rely on her near spiritual connection to nature and the flow of energy all around her to find her new visitor. Reacting instantly to her senses Fayn quickly changed her direction, altering her course through the forest. She leaped from the limbs of the trees to land effortlessly on the ground beneath her, without losing her stride.
Fayn continued to run for a short distance until she reached a clearing away from the trees. There she came to a halt and closed her eyes to better concentrate on her other senses. Elves can pinpoint the faintest sounds, tastes, and smells by focusing their minds on the flow of the Song that was ever present in all forms of nature.
The whistle in the wind was close and piercing now, right on top of her. Fayn’s body tensed for a moment, then by pure instinct she ducked down quickly, shot her slender legs out in an arc and managed to catch her pursuer off guard knocking the stranger to the ground.
“Hey, wait, Fayn it’s me Daryn!” The light of the twin moons shinning through the roof of the forest was visible enough to reveal a youthful blond elf male with striking hazel eyes wearing a green vest and shorts, leaning on the ground rubbing his sore back end.
Fayn laughed innocently and gave her trademark half smile; part mischievous, part childlike, and looked down at her friend. “Why of course it is Daryn, who else would be stupid enough to try and sneak up on an Acolyte of the Wind Choir?" Fayn began in a monotone like voice, "A single sound betrays you and…”
“…and the wind responds by whistling to your senses.” Interrupted Daryn, “I am quite versed in the lessons Fayn, I was only trying to have some fun, you didn’t have to assault me.”
Fayn laughed and rolled her eyes. “Well stealing your thunder was me having fun, don’t be such a whiner Daryn, it’s unbecoming of elven youth.” Fayn playfully said in a fake stern voice.
“Oh yes, this from the hardworking disciplined elf maiden who is prompt and focused at all times and would never miss an important choir gathering because she became distracted by a bright shinning object or the colors on a fluttering butterfly.” barked Daryn sarcastically.
“You wound me with your unflattering demeanor Daryn.” Fayn put her hands to her face and began to lightly sob. She turned slowly around and held herself.
“Fayn,” Daryn started as he drew close to her, placing his right hand on her shoulder to provide comfort. “I didn’t mean it like that. I was only trying to…” Before he could finish his heartfelt apology Fayn twisted around to his backside and ran her hands through the leather strap slung over his shoulder and removed the longbow from its sling. Daryn was caught off guard momentarily, “Hey what are you…”
Fayn stepped up close to Daryn, holding the longbow behind her back, and whispered into his ear, “I’m only teasing you silly Daryn, you are so cute when you’re flustered.” Fayn began to laugh once more and darted away a short distance to stand before Daryn, holding the longbow and running her hands across the polished wood, a smile on her face.
“Cute!” Daryn began, his face red and flushed, “Fayn, are you ever serious?” A look of concern ran across his face as he rubbed his temples with his fingers. “Late to gatherings, skipping out of your duties, at this rate you will never be a Song Priestess!”
Fayn sighed deeply and turned around to look up at the night sky. “Who says I want to become a priestess?”
Daryn was perplexed, “But Fayn, ever since you were old enough to walk you have been trained in the traditions and techniques of a priestess.”
“My mother pushed me into the Choir, I never had a choice in the matter.” Fayn reached out to grab a feather tipped arrow from the sleeve at Daryn"s side and knocked it into the longbow. “In fact.” She began as she pulled back the string, “I believe I was born for other things.” As she spoke she let loose the string sending the arrow straight and true through the air to strike a tree trunk some twenty yards distant.
Daryn just shook his head and sighed. “I see you haven’t lost any amount of skill with the bow.” He took a step closer and continued, “Just remember Fayn, the elders look unkindly on the use of weapons. The doctrine passed down from the first ones states…”
“The elders ideals and stifling traditions are outdated Daryn.” Fayn handed the bow back to her friend. “There have been warrior women in our own history, and I hear that within the ranks of the dark elves…”
“Fayn,” interrupted Daryn, “you should not speak of such things where your words can be heard, we must never mention or reference that period of elven history.”
“Oh for Altair’s sake Daryn, you are impossible!” Shot back Fayn, “as if ancient stories and rumors would bring calamity down upon us all!” Fayn was quiet for a moment then once again smiled playfully. “But since I do so hate to see you stricken with discomfort, I will put a stop to my rebellious tongue.” With that she sauntered off through the foliage back towards home. “I really must go Daryn, I have to be ready for the morning and my ever so enjoyable choir duties. Try not to worry so much about me,” Fayn turned and winked at Daryn, “how much trouble could I possibly get into?”
Watching her disappear into the night Daryn had to ask himself, “is it even possible for that girl to stay out of trouble?”
The elves home of Elleron was situated in the vast Vindros forest. To the North lied the snow capped Tarsus mountains and to the south the desert plains of Lartanas. Bordered by both fire and ice the elves have remained largely isolated from the outside world, and most prefered it that way.
Elleron, for the most part, was a city in the trees, groups of huts placed on outstretched tree limbs and centers of commerce connected by vine bridges from the forest floor. Marble structures from an age long forgotten litter the area around the town center, some in use like the Temple of the Song, others still a mystery to this day.
Society in general is ruled by the Elf-Song, which according to legend is the consciousness of Altair, the first one. Said to have been born from the Wellspring, Altair was heralded as a god. Altair used his power to create Vindros and the entire elven race. It is said that he banished the dark elves to the nether realms and then sacrificed himself to pass along the Song to his chosen people.
This energy flows through every part of nature, and in turn every single elf, and can be harnessed not unlike magic through music. Elves can feel out this energy and by singing, humming, and whistling, can communicate and transfer it into the physical plane to perform miraculous feats. Different musical notes, pitches, or lyrical strings have various effects and can tap into the very elements that elves are spiritually connected to by birth.
Fayn was at the young age of one-hundred and forty, which to humans would be a fourteen year old teenager. Elves have a much longer lifespan then humans. Whereas a human may live around eighty years an elf can live for centuries.
For most of her young life Fayn was a free spirit, darting to and fro, letting the wind take her in its grasp and push her along its course. But after living for a century, Fayn was placed, as all youth of that age are, within the Temple of the Song to train to become a Song Priestess. Each role in society was pre determined by gender and birth, but Fayn wanted more.
A Song Priestess was the most valued member of elven society, but Fayn always felt pulled by an unseen force to strive for something greater. She could harness the Song as well as any elf, could tap into the flow to use base elemental spells, but Song magic in its pure form? That could take centuries of study, and Fayn couldn’t keep focused for an hour much less a hundred years!
So many wonders were left to discover in the world and the idea of being cooped up in a temple surrounded by walls was a constant nightmare for her. Fayn found herself drawn to weapons and artifacts of the lost age as well as items from lands outside of Vindros. Such things were outlawed by the elders, the only exception being snall knives and bows for scouts.
Fayn’s mother Liana was a temple Instructor, whose duty it was to run the everyday teachings of the various choir groups, like the wind choir that Fayn attended. Her father passed years ago in an accident on an expedition to the Tarsus mountains. Ever since, Fayn had been an acolyte at the temple, the Song a constant part of her life.
Her only escape was to return to the comfort of her personal dwelling and run off into dreamland where she could be free from the troubles of reality. This night was no different, having been late to a priestess ceremony and having it thrown into her face by her best friend of all things just made her irritable, which also made her tired.
Fayn removed the choir robes from her body leaving only the undergarments, and collapsed on her bed, made from fresh fallen autumn leaves. Lying there staring through the gaps in the vine roof at the night sky, Fayn thought back to the ceremony. She found it peculiar that the light of Altair’s Heart seemed to take an interest in her.
The light usually chose a candidate immediately, never before has Altair’s will been indecisive. Not that she wanted to have been chosen for the ritual, but it did pique her curiosity. Then there was the passing of Galdriel, Fayn’s former teacher and a woman in her four-hundreds, far too early in her life-cycle to have passed from old age. Something about it all was off, tugging at her sub-conscience and unlike usual did not immediately slip from her mind.
So focused was she that Fayn drifted into sleep without realizing it. As the dreamscape overtook her, Fayn found herself in a vast meadow filled with flowers of every type and color. No hills or trees could be seen, not one thing visible on the horizon aside from the meadow. Fayn found that she was completely naked, her water blue hair a sharp contrast to her pale skin. The scent of the flowers and the pollen in the air engulfed her senses, intoxicating her to the point that a single step forward caused her to stumble and fall to her knees.
At her feet, Fayn noticed an object glinting in the strange light of the meadow. Upon inspecting the artifact, Fayn discovered to her surprise that is was a silver medallion that had been split in half. The piece in her hand displayed the image of Altair’s Heart with symbols of the four elements. Her visible half was of wind and water. Fayn stood up once more holding the medallion piece in wonder, when she noticed that she was no longer alone.
Before her stood a male elf as naked as she was, but opposite in every way. Where her skin was pale, the strangers was of a dark hue, and his hair, short and crimson, the color of fire. Fayn’s eyes were wide in disbelief, never before had she seen such a being. She opened her mouth to speak but her tongue was frozen in awe.
The man before her opened his eyes, the color of amber, to look directly at her, penetrating her to her core. In his left hand was a medallion piece like her own, only his piece held the images of fire and earth. Fayn was mystified by this man, could this really be a dark elf from the days of lore? If so, he defied all the teachings of the elders, for he was beautiful, not monstrous as she was led to believe.
Fayn could not speak, nor could she move, frozen as she was. She seemed to be caught within the amber of his eyes. Feelings of fear, dread, longing, and desire overwhelmed her, a clash of indescribable emotions pulsating within her heart. Then all at once a sensation of understanding came over her, and even though it made no sense Fayn spoke the words with conviction, “Brother. You are my brother!”
“Yes, my dear sister.” Came the reply, a gravel like voice that spoke directly into her mind, for the man before her did not speak aloud, nor did his lips move. “You know me but have never before laid eyes upon my visage, and yet deep down your soul cries out ‘Brother’ and you understand.”
“You are a dark elf are you not? How is it that you are my brother? Why am I here? What is this medallion?” Fayn stammered out, nearly delirious.
“I am that which others have termed ‘dark elf’ but you may call me Eliyas, and we are one. There are many questions and many more answers. For now just know that this is not merely a dream, I and my people do exist. The Elders have kept much from you, everything you think you know has just been a taste of the truth. The path begins with Galdriel, you will find the first of many answers with her.”
As he spoke the meadow faded away and Fayn felt as if she was falling, hurtling through an endless nothingness, the only light that remained was the color of amber. “Farewell, my sister.”
“Brother, wait.” Fayn yelled out as she sat up in her bed now fully awake. Fayn breathed slow and deep and regained her composure. What a strange dream she thought, for it had seemed so real, as if she had really been standing in that meadow. That’s when she felt something resting against her arm. Looking down next to her Fayn was shocked to see the silver medallion lying on the bed.
Before her mind could process the impossibility, Fayn realized that warm sunlight was gliding across her skin, and all at once she knew for certain that she was going to be late...again!
To Be Continued......
|Elfsong Part 20||Elfsong Part 21|
|Baptism of Fire Part 3||Elfsong Part 16|
|Elfsong Part 10||Syrus: Hunter & Prey|