Montairyus is a fictional world that I created. Whereas most created worlds are of mountainous beauty, mine is more rural in appearance. It is inhabited by three races, that of humans, elves, and Gilliks, if Gilliks can be considered a race. Gilliks are the servants of Kartrus, a dark spirit intent on enslaving and conquering Montairyus. With the help of an enchanted sword that injects evil into people, and gives them almost irresistible temptations to obey the will of the sword, Kartrus has gathered thousands of Gilliks for the purpose of ruling the world. Those that resist him are the humans and elves.
I intend to fill this page with historical writings of Montairyus, edited in from time to time. However, the text will not include excerpts from my book series, The Saga of Montairyus (TSOM). TSOM contains writing more enjoyable to read, less for the sake of giving historical detail, and more for the sake of telling a story. It would be reasonable for me to add some excerpts from TSOM, but that will not be the focus.
Copyright. All rights reserved. Dominic Sceski “Dom’s Book Stuff” © 2014
The Creation of Montairyus
There was utter darkness and nothingness. There was no light. The world possessed no form nor any physical design. It was empty; inexistent.
Then the nothingness stirred as a great Being breathed. As if startled, the emptiness responded by shifting, the Being’s very presence enough to change nothingness. The darkness, alone and void of meaning, was suddenly penetrated; the nothingness felt it too. A huge surge of power emanated from this Being as He moved and where He passed a sort of Fountain of Wonder erupted. From the Fountain of Wonder sprang love; it imbued the darkness and nothingness. Astounded, the emptiness and blackness shook, trembling with awe, but also with indescribable joy. Darkness became light, accepting the new, divinely created form that would forever be a sign of hope and peace. Nothingness was filled with creation. And it was all because of the Fountain of Wonder that gushed love. The love flowed over darkness and emptiness, transforming them and suffusing them with wonder.
It was then that the nothingness and darkness—although no longer nothingness and darkness—realized that the Fountain of Wonder was only wonderful because it gushed love. The Fountain of Wonder wasn’t really the Fountain of Wonder; it was the Fountain of Love. Amazed, the emptiness and darkness also realized that the Being was the Fountain of Love, and by the Love that gushed forth, life was formed, life filling the darkness and emptiness. For only Love was powerful enough to create life.
And darkness was imbued with light, even as nothingness was imbued with a world. And the world was Montairyus. All that came to be in Montairyus was a result of the flowing Love that came from the Being, the Fountain. And in the earliest moments of its creation, Montairyus, and all of its inhabitants, was filled with amazement, for it was immersed in the wonderful knowledge, the wonderful truth that it was the offspring of Love.
The Slaughter of Drunu
It so came to happen that, as Kartrus began to rise in power, and the number of his minions began to steadily grow, the Lord of Evil decided that he would erect his seat of power in the east. A few days away from the mainland, there was a long, thin island, unnamed and inhabited by few humans. It would be easy for Kartrus to displace and eradicate any opposition that he might face. Nevertheless, the island was too small; it would not do for the Evil One to establish himself in an area that was not large enough for him to raise an army of slaves. What was more, further to the east there was the island of Drunu, inhabited by humans, the Drununs. Therefore, Kartrus would be liable to being surrounded by the humans, both from Drunu and the mainland, should they be able to bring themselves from the daze that he had thrown over them, which had involuntarily fallen over them since they had learned of his existence, and rightfully so.
Thus, Kartrus chose to uproot the humans that lived on the island of Drunu. With a band of two hundred Gilliks—as his minions were called by the humans—Kartrus settled on the eastern side of Drunu. Arming his warriors with clubs, and with Ashcerqu at his right hand, the Lord of Evil made his first attack on the human race, endeavoring to destroy all who stood in his path and enslave those whom he found worthy of his attention. The first village they plundered was entirely unprepared for the assault; the men were useless, unable to defend their wives or children, and none of Kartrus’s company were slain. Ashcerqu, as always, proved an invaluable tool. His power of traveling with and taking form wherever a shadow was present, only to spray from his hands death—which appeared as a blast of dead, human shaped souls—was a power the humans couldn’t contend with. And Kartrus himself stabbed and gained thirty more Gilliks to serve him.
Villages continued to fall as Kartrus swept through the island of Drunu, claiming more lives and souls as he went. His name became feared, and the humans quailed and fled at his approach. Soon, the peoples of the island were all fleeing as far west as they could, in advance of Kartrus’s arrival. And as Kartrus’s forces conquered more and more land, life itself began to vanish, such that the trees died, the grass disappeared, and the earth became that of useless soil, devoid of nutrients and the capability of producing life.
Now there was a town called Drunu, and the island was named after it. It was the first area to become inhabited by the humans, and they had spread out across the island after its making. Drunu was the most populated area and it was being filled with refugees fleeing Kartrus. A man that lived within the village, Theranion, was renowned for his attitude of justice and patience. He was not leader of the town, but he was the first to call for a solid martial defense against the oppressing Gilliks. He was married with children, and would not have his family suffer under Kartrus.
There was little chance of escape from the island, too, so a defense against Kartrus would be necessary. The first humans to ever land on Drunu had been two children from the mainland, a boy and a girl, that had built a raft to play on. They had been swept out into the Golden Sea, and were shipwrecked on the island between the mainland and what would become Drunu. Both of the children, uncertain as to where they were, or which direction was which, built a raft again in attempt to sail their way back to the mainland. Despite their intentions, they crossed the island in search of food, lost their way again, and built the raft on the opposite side, that which faces the east. So they sailed eastward, thinking they went westward, and successfully made it to what they thought was the mainland. To their distress and despair, however, the island was void of any of their race. Distraught, and capitulating to the idea that they would never return home, they settled in the land they had found. The boy, Drunu, named it after himself. After years had passed, the two children decided that they would be married, and though it was understandably unofficial, they did love each other. They had children, and their children were married and had children; and thus the island of Drunu began to be imbued with the human race.
However, none of Drunu’s descendants had ever attempted to return to the mainland, though it was known through the history and ancestry of Drunu that there were other humans, and that they came from a different, larger piece of land. It was a daunting idea, therefore, to try to cross the sea. None were willing to try the great waves that seemed to quake and crash loudly and in unrest as Kartrus approached. Nevertheless, the Drununs were beginning to disband out of bewilderment and despair.
As the men of the Drunu gathered at the center of the town to discuss what must be done, Theranion raised his voice above the crowds and the din ensuing, saying, “We cannot abandon our homes! We cannot allow this demon to surge further into Montairyus! What of our wives and our children? We must fight against this evil oppressing us!”
Although no one dared to agree with him—for fear of judgment from their fellow Drununs—Theranion’s proclamation caused silence to fall over the men. “We are all Sons of Drunu,” Theranion said in a softer voice, unintimidated by the number of eyes that were resting on him, “and we must stand as one against Kartrus.”
And the men agreed somberly.
Preparations began for fortifying the town. Because no evil had ever existed in the lands, at least such evil as Kartrus and his forces, there had been no wall around Drunu. Now, a wall ten feet high was constructed, and five feet thick, comprised entirely out of tree trunks piled atop each other. Weapons were made and collected, and all able bodied men were appointed the task of protecting the town. They numbered three hundred strong.
A grim demeanor descended on the people of Drunu. Few people smiled as they carried out daily procedures, waiting fearfully for the day when Kartrus would arrive. The only joy that Theranion found was with his wife and his children. Both he and his wife were in their third decade, and they had four children; two sons, one fourteen years of age and another ten years of age; and two girls, one six years of age and another four years of age. Every time Theranion saw his sons he smiled with pride, and every time he saw his two daughters his eyes were on the verge of becoming filled with tears, ready to spill out like rain in the spring. He was struck with joy at the sight of the two young girls, but at the same time immense sadness. The girls smiled with innocence, as if they didn’t know why their father was sad and they wished to cheer his distressed mood. They couldn’t comprehend the predicament the town was facing. And Theranion feared for their lives.
One day, one of the men of the village came to Theranion and asked him, “Sir, what if we built vessels for our women and children to escape?”
Theranion replied, “It is a decision you may make for your own family. And in any case, I am not the one that can make such decrees, deciding whether families should part with each other for the sake of the war.”
“It was Anird that sent me,” stated the man, referring to the leader of the town.
Theranion was surprised that Anird had come to him for counsel in regards to a decision. Theranion returned with the man to Anird at once. When they came to Anird, Anird confessed, “Theranion, you possess great confidence and are liked by the people. I am prepared to stand by many of your judgments and decisions.”
Theranion thought that it would be best for the women and children to depart from the town and head for the mainland, wherever it was. Once again, by the knowledge that came from the story of Drunu’s coming to the island, they also knew that there was an island in between Drunu and the mainland, so perhaps their families could reside there. Consequently, Theranion made the decree that the men should begin working on creating water-vessels to transport the women and children away.
Yet, something that none of the men had foreseen halted them ere they could begin their work. At hearing Theranion’s proclamation, the women, and many of the children, protested. “We will not leave you!” they cried.
“It is for the best,” Theranion returned, and many of the men murmured their agreement.
“What hope is there to make it away from Drunu?” the women and children asked, “And if we do, and you prevail in defeating Kartrus, how shall we know to return? And if you should die, what will stop the Enemy from pursuing and destroying us? For weak shall we be without our men!”
Theranion and Anird listened to their arguments. In their hearts, they too were reluctant to send out their women and children alone. The idea of sending a few men with them came to mind, but all of the men were needed in Drunu in order to stop the approach of Kartrus. While the crowd waited for an answer, Theranion looked out into the throng of villagers, and spying his wife, Sheirsha holding his four year old girl, Aliny, he saw his wife smile at him. And Theranion understood what his wife was saying; that she would not leave his side. It was heartening for Theranion to see that Sheirsha had hope, something that seemed to be running scarce in Drunu.
Thus it was decided that the women and children would remain. “May we stand as one against the Enemy,” declared Theranion.
And preparations for Kartrus’s approach began once again.
A week later, a scout returned to the village of Drunu and announced, “They are coming!”
Weapons in hand, such as clubs, staffs, and axes, the men hastened to the wall they had formed around the village. And the whole of Drunu stiffened as they watched the hills beyond the village, expecting the dark figures of Gilliks to begin coming swiftly towards them.
It was a cool day, with a bright sun overhead. A cluster of shadows fell on the ground behind the men consequently. Theranion stood behind the men, prepared to direct them in the battle that was about to ensue. His mind was in a frenzy, as he simultaneously thought about his family and the women and children clustered in their houses, overthrowing the army that approached in regards to numbers, and how to defeat Kartrus and Ashcerqu in regards to their mystical powers. Now that he compared the might of the men of the village and the might of the Enemy that approached, he felt despair.
It was faster than the beating of the men’s hearts, faster than the quick breaths that came from their mouths, faster than the blink of their eyes; from one of the shadows of the men, a Gillik formed. His appearance was utterly horrible, like that of a heavily abused human, with golden eyes that gleamed, and skin that was black and filthy. Before anyone could utter an exclamation, the demon, Ashcerqu, raised his hand and shot a blast of death over the throng of men. The sound of howling wind echoed, and screaming voices came from the souls that erupted from the demon’s hand, which engulfed four men and killed them almost instantly. However, Theranion reacted faster than others; with his staff, he batted down Ashcerqu’s hand.
The demon growled and turned to him in response, but seeing that he was surrounded, Ashcerqu stepped into a shadow and vanished. At the same time, a man cried out, “Anird! They come!”
And over the hills three hundred Gilliks began to pour, traveling quickly towards the village. At the rear of the contingent of evil warriors stood a giant beast, over ten feet tall, with large muscles, and legs like those of a goat. In the monster’s hand was a giant stone club. And Theranion knew this was Kartrus. “Make ready!” Theranion shouted.
When the Gilliks clashed with the men at the wall, a vicious fight broke out. The Gilliks possessed stronger weapons, and their faces struck fear into the men’s hearts. But the fear urged the men to kill with greater intensity. Ashcerqu appeared again, and he killed another eleven men, his horrifying blasts of death causing Theranion to stiffen with dread. Yet raising his staff, he threw it, like one would a javelin, and he struck the demon on his chest. The staff rebounded off of Ashcerqu, but the Gillik coughed, spewing blood, and disappeared into a shadow.
After Ashcerqu’s disappearance, the men fought more bravely, and they managed to drive away the Gilliks. Kartrus had not fought in the battle, and Theranion feared the day he would, but for the time being, he was relieved that the brawl was over.
Thirty men had been killed, and forty Gilliks. There was much mourning in the village.
The second time the Gilliks attacked, Theranion and the men of the village were possessed of hysteria, frightened, for they knew what to expect, and they knew that they would be hard-pressed to subdue the Enemy. The Gilliks once again rushed the barricade at the front of the village, but when Ashcerqu didn’t appear, Theranion wondered if he was dead. Although he didn’t know from whence it came, an intuition that was born in Theranion. It distracted him in the heat of battle, so that he received cuts from the claws of a Gillik, and falling away from the fighting, he hastened to the rear of the town.
He arrived none too late to see Ashcerqu form out of the shadow cast by a house. The women and children had locked themselves into their houses for the battle, but the demon was dangerously close to them, and they would prove no match for the demon. Nevertheless, Theranion wasn’t sure what match he himself would present for the demon, and he berated himself for leaving without aid.
Ashcerqu had his back turned to Theranion, so the demon knew not of his presence. Theranion charged, aiming a blow at Ashcerqu’s head with his oaken staff. As the man approached, the demon heard his coming, and turning about, Ashcerqu endeavored to escape Theranion. The demon succeeded, but only in part. His elbow was struck by the man, and the demon hissed in pain, dancing backwards. Theranion struck at Ashcerqu again and again, in effort to disrupt any chance the demon might have to release death onto him.
Theranion backed Ashcerqu against the house from which the shadow had been cast that enabled the demon to be present. Sensing Theranion’s plan, the demon reformed in the shadow behind the man, and raising his hand, releasing a gust of death onto Theranion, even as the Drunun whirled about, slashing with his staff.
Theranion was struck with the blast of death, but it only paralyzed him temporarily, causing him shortness of breath and lack of vision for several moments. Meanwhile, his blow had struck Ashcerqu in the chin, and the demon was spitting blood, recovering from his wound at the same time. Yet a far worse blow had been dealt to Theranion, and Ashcerqu recuperated from his wound quicker, and readied to kill Theranion who was still struggling with the demon’s first blast of death, small though it was.
Then something Ashcerqu hadn’t expected happened. Theranion’s oldest son, Trunu, rushed around the side of the house, a sharpened stick in his hand, and he plunged the wood into the demon’s stomach. As Theranion came to, he saw what was happening, and crying out, he lunged after Ashcerqu who had begun raising his hand at his son, and he batted the demon’s hand down. Pulling away with a shriek Ashcerqu vanished, for he was still standing in the shadow.
Theranion was shocked at his son’s presence, and even as he berated Trunu, he embraced him, grateful for his bravery. At his father’s beckoning, Trunu returned into the house, his stick wet with the blood of a demon.
The third time the Gilliks attacked, Kartrus was with them, in their midst, beating the humans to death was ease. His huge mace swept through the men before they could reach him, and their javelins, made out of sharpened wood, couldn’t pierce the Lord of Evil deep enough to do him harm. Kartrus was over ten feet tall, with huge muscles, and a terrifying roar. Ashcerqu fought with Malice, Kartrus’s sword, and combined with his blasts of death, the demon claimed numerous lives. Theranion and the men braced themselves against Kartrus’s might, but so many were dying, the men began to fall back into the village.
The Drununs had developed a scheme in which, should the men ever fall into the center of the village, half of the women and children would hail rocks and sticks at the approaching Gilliks from their houses, while others would throw furniture into the street so as to create yet another barrier. This the women and children did, and numerous Gilliks were wounded, but unfortunately neither Kartrus nor Ashcerqu.
The battle was far from over. Kartrus approached the barricade, and with a sweep of his mace he demolished the center of it, charging after the men beyond. Many of the Drununs began to flee, but Ashcerqu formed in the shadows, and with the Sword of Kartrus he sprayed both fire and death upon the men, and they died almost instantly. Only Theranion and twenty other men were alive, and together they commenced fighting Kartrus and Ashcerqu.
Montairyus had never seen such a fight ensue. History could not tell what bravery and determination the men of Drunu possessed as they battled the Lord of Evil and his demon with merely staffs…for twelve hours. The other Gillik warriors were forced away by the villagers who threw whatever they could at them, and Kartrus was content to handle the remaining men himself and with Ashcerqu.
As night came upon Montairyus, they feared Ashcerqu more and more, for soon the whole of Drunu would be drenched in shadow, and he could transport himself wherever he wished. Kartrus seemed to grow more excited as the darkness fell. Theranion, detecting their disadvantage, called out, “Light!”
Several minutes passed as the men continued their special method of attack, dancing back and forth toward the Lord of Evil, retreating, and then striking him and quickly fleeing. Ashcerqu had killed three men since the fight had begun, but Kartrus only two; nevertheless, Theranion feared that the battle was lost.
But then his plea was answered; five torches dropped from a nearby window, and one man hastened to grab them. Ashcerqu killed him ere he could reach the torches, and then recommenced fighting the Drununs. Theranion, though fatigued, raced for the torches, dodging beneath Kartrus’s legs and gripped two of the flaming sticks. He turned to face the Lord of Evil, and he struck Kartrus’s face with the flames, causing him to wail, and he stabbed the beast in the stomach, endeavoring to maintain the burning contact for as long as possible. Kartrus retreated, and cried out, “Cursed be this town, and cursed be the souls of those I shall kill!”
And Kartrus and his forces fled.
Theranion and the fifteen remaining men were utterly exhausted. They did not find sleep easily, however, for both they and the women and children were lamenting the death of so many Drununs. Theranion’s wife came to him as he endeavored to sleep and asked him, “Theranion, what will happen?”
And despite how little hope he knew there was, Theranion smiled, and brushing Sheirsha’s cheek, he whispered, “We can still be victorious. Don’t lose hope.” And he held his wife as she cried, wishing that she could believe his words.
Kartrus did not return the next day, nor the next. The remaining men of the village waited, wary as ever, for the Lord of Evil’s return. The Drununs reluctantly and cautiously began to gather food and water, as their supplies were running low, and to their relief still the Gilliks didn’t show themselves. They thought optimistically that perhaps Kartrus had fled for good, but Theranion wouldn’t believe it. “It even if he has fled,” said Theranion to Anird, who was one of the remaining men, “we should hunt Kartrus and kill him. He cannot remain.”
Anird answered only, “Let us first make sure that he stays away from Drunu ere we hunt him.”
On the third day after the day Kartrus himself had attacked, he returned. Without secrecy and without fear, the Lord of Evil stomped into the town of Drunu, and in his shadow Ashcerqu formed. His minions rushed at the houses, endeavoring to overtake the women and children. Theranion and the men began to defend their homes, even as the women and children threw the last of their ammunition at the Gilliks, but their methods were too weak, just like their bodies. The men were too occupied with keeping the Gilliks away from the houses to fend off Kartrus and Ashcerqu, and with his mace the Lord of Evil killed ten of the remaining men. Only Theranion, Anird, and a man named Clovice remained. Theranion charged Kartrus, even as the Gilliks broke into the houses of women and children. Ashcerqu, seeing Theranion approaching his master, shot from his hand a blast of death, and it consumed Theranion.
As the man lay there dying, his wife and children gathered around him, crying out with pain and sadness, but also with fear, for the last of the men were dead. Drunu had been taken. And reaching up with his hand, Theranion brushed his four year-old daughters face, her beautiful, innocent face; and with tears gathering in his eyes and fear and pain washing over him, he announced, “I’m sorry.” Then he died.
No more needs to be said of the slaughter that followed. Because of Kartrus’s cruelty in the torturing of the women, children, and the remaining men, the Black Servant came to be. She was Anird’s wife, who saw him tortured to death, followed by her children, and Kartrus saw that she needn’t be stabbed with his sword. He allowed her to live, and whenever she saw anyone else’s happiness, her hate and envy was so great that she would find anyway to corrupt their happiness. Kartrus gave her the power to complete her desires, strange mystical powers, and though not entirely a servant of Kartrus, she still did his bidding by her hate and envy. Another she was proclaimed a demon by the humans, a demon that had been erected by the evil of Kartrus for the sake of his wicked desire to enslave all of Montairyus.
And the town was indeed cursed by Kartrus, as the Lord of Evil had wished upon it. Upon the site of the destroyed village, Kartrus had his Gilliks build a large, mighty fortress, the Black Castle, and beneath it were trapped the souls of the Drununs, never to be at rest, and never to see peace. The souls became sour, so that even though they were once happy, a desire for vengeance ensued among them, and whenever they could they broke free from the beneath the castle to wreak havoc on the Gilliks and on Kartrus. But they were still subject to him, and the great power that the Black Castle possessed, through the might of the Lord of Evil, kept them at bay. Kartrus had officially established himself in Montairyus.
The First Great Eighteen Tarseain and the First Elven War
(Note: an Eriliss is a male elf; an Elless is a female elf)
It so came to happen that during the earliest ages of Montairyus when Kartrus’s power had begun to rise that he turned his wrath from the humans to upon the elves. They, having been created and thrived for only three hundred years, had finally established a country. This, Kartrus had been waiting for them to do; in the beginning, he had hunted down the first elves in attempt to destroy and exterminate the rise of another race that would oppose him. But they had eluded him. Yet now, they had gathered into a nation of merely a thousand, far in the west in the northern forests. Quietly, the chattering mouths of the humans began to utter the location of the elves, and consequent of this knowledge reaching Kartrus’s ears, he devised and prepared an army whose only purpose was to obliterate the race of elves, now that they had gathered into one, not separated, but where the Lord of Evil could strike and successfully annihilate them. Insignificant resistance was given from the humans; elves, Kartrus thought would be no different. However, he was far from indifferent to the fact that Caeldius had placed the elves in Montairyus for the specific reason of giving aid to the humans in their resistance to the Lord of Evil. It would be foolhardy not to obliterate a race with such intentions before it could truly rise into a deadly force.
Thus from Gillik marched an army of three thousand, designed with the purpose to eradicate the elves. As they went, they pillaged and butchered the humans, even as they subdued many to becoming Kartrus’s servants when stabbed by his sword. The elves, although oblivious to Kartrus’s plan to annihilate them, knew that they should be wary of Gillik, so they sent out scouts and built outposts throughout the land. From these fortifications, they would spot Gillik forces and analyze their objectives. Then, with what knowledge they could gather, they would send riders back to their country with reports.
Upon discovering the raging and enormous force ravaging the lands, hastening towards the home of the elves as they went, the elves became afraid. They, as Kartrus had suspected, knew nothing of war. Caeldius had given them to the humans as a means to ascertain the beauty and goodness of love. War, it seemed, was absurd in relation to their mission upon Montairyus. Yet, the elves were aware that they needed to offer some resistance in order to sustain themselves. No assistance could be offered to the humans in the manner which they were supposed to give if their race was destroyed. Yet how could they defend such a brutal force of beasts?
In the forests of the elves, word exclaimed the possibility of the Gillik army headed for their country. The elves hadn’t the means to truly know if Kartrus had sent the force to exterminate them, but the likelihood was far from doubtful. It even seemed reasonable; terrible, yet reasonable. The elves, at this news and discerning this logic, became afraid. They hadn’t a military. They hadn’t lords to watch over their lands. Not even were they united under one leader. They were peaceful, humble, and loving people, with a community bearing unbreakable bonds. But they were disoriented and could not decide upon a course of action. They could flee or they could fight.
Amidst the uncertainty and disorder accumulating among the elves, a young and fair Eriliss called Therinis was visited by Caeldius himself. Therinis was a stouthearted, noble, and kind Eriliss. He had strong body, with powerful arms and legs, and a quick-witted mind that served him in daunting and perplexing situations. When the news of a Gillik army marching in the direction of the elves’ country reached Therinis’s ears, his only reaction was the desire to protect his family. In secrecy, he crafted for himself weapons of stone, like hammers and slings, and practiced with them surreptitiously in the dead of night.
One night while he practiced, a bright white light shone before him, and he staggered backwards, frightened. Yet a voice came from the light saying, “Therinis, do not be afraid. It is I, Caeldius, who has come to speak to you.”
At this, Therinis flung himself onto his hands and knees, bowing his head. “My Master,” he addressed the god.
“Rise, Therinis,” said the voice, “for I would speak to you of the fate of your country.
“The Gillik army that your scouts saw will strike your people. I have chosen you as my instrument to defend your people, for you have the will to resist the Evil One. In you, from the time of your conception, there was a flame of strength that merely needed to be ignited. Now, I ignite that flame within you. Lead your people against Kartrus, Therinis, and fight for those whom you love. Gather companions, establish an army, my army which you will govern, and defend your people so that you may in the future aid the humans in multiple ways.”
Caeldius’s words struck Therinis with a wave of awe, and he was humbled beyond expression. Yet prostrated himself before the god, accepting to do Caeldius’s will, and then the god departed. Therinis, determined to do as his god requested, did not return to his bed that night, but hurried to the workshop near his home where he had built his other weapons. There, he began designing more. Yet a voice sounded in his head, one so wonderful and mighty that he knew it was Caeldius’s, “Follow me, for I will show you what to construct your weapons out of.”
Therinis went where the god bid him and came across a type of metal which he extracted in the manner Caeldius explained. Then from the metal he forged swords, Caeldius instructing him with every stroke of the hammer. When the god was satisfied with Therinis’s work, which had been finished by dawn, Therinis presented the swords to his father and explained as profoundly as he could his encounter with Caeldius and the mission bestowed upon him. Therinis’s father was surprised, but he did not discard his son’s word nor refuse to believe him. He accepted Therinis’s words and thereafter aided his son in crafting the weapons that would be used to defend their country.
Now Therinis had many friends, Erilisses all near his age, and he inspired in them the same will he possessed to defend their country. With them, he became skilled with the blade, and he practiced with them every day. For hours they danced over the hilltops, under the trees and through the fields of their homeland, their blades singing and clashing through the air. They fought not in anger nor in a competitive manner, but with appropriate patience and nobleness. As their fellow elves watched Therinis and his companions practice they too were inspired to rouse themselves from their fear and trepidation to enlist themselves in the army Therinis desired to build. The Gillik army was approaching quickly and less than a year remained before they would attack. Already, the elves had mustered to build a fortress and were building fortifications within the Veil.
At an especially exasperating time, when the elves were progressing slowly in building fortifications and their swordsmanship was lacking zeal, Therinis became frustrated. He shouted at his fellow elves, rebuked them unkindly, and stormed away, shaking his head and muttering. Once again, fear had crept into his heart as the lack of improvement in the elves’ defenses would prove fatal. As he walked alone through the forests, Therinis heard Caeldius call within his mind, “Thernis! Therinis! Do not despair. Have you not forgotten that I have ignited the flame within you, or that I watch over you? But you, Therinis, I have chosen to watch my creations, and all of your people. Let it be known that you are Tarseains, for your land shall be named Tarseaia, which means “watch the flock”. Alas, the humans are my flock and you are my shepherds. Here, you must defend yourselves so that you might defend my flock. Now take heart and fight for me as I bid you!”
So Therinis released his anger and frustration. He spread word of the elves’ new name, and like a wildfire over a dry plain the name of Tarseaia passed among the elves and throughout the distant lands. Thus did they become the Tarseains, the shepherds to watch Caeldius’s flock.
When at last the Gilliks arrived, the pleasant trees, usually dancing with the wind, became still. The air was as quiet as a night leaking away the hours of day, growing stronger and stronger. The sky turned gray overhead and then, from the silence, the piercing cries of the Gilliks were heard. The Tarseains rallied to the Veil, now the Veil of Tarseaia, and saw with horror the number which Kartrus had sent to assail them. Yet, their hearts were set firm as Caeldius desired: they would resist Kartrus no matter how many of his beasts he sent. Like a black torrent moving with frightening speed, the Gilliks quickly began to ascend the Veil, their shrieks unearthly and deafening in the sudden quiet. The Tarseains hailed rocks on the beasts heads ere they came near, yet when the Gilliks did venture close to the elves, their swords flashed and they fell onto the Gilliks’ ranks.
Therinis was not present upon the mountains. Instead, he rode into the side of the Gilliks’ army, surrounded by seventeen of his comrades, those that had exuded special qualities and skilled unlike any others. Night and day they had trained together until they had possessed such fantastic skills with the sword and body overall that they had become known as the Great Eighteen Tarseains. They were as black as night, an even swifter torrent streaking across the plains shadowed by the Veil, and they met the Gilliks with a thunderous crash. The Gilliks, terrified at the enormous black horses the Great Eighteen Tarseains rode upon, began dispersing. Therinis and his comrades slew them with ease in the confusion. Yet Kartrus would not be denied yet. Whereas the Tarseains had acquired the power of the cavalry, Kartrus had bowmen. Although their accuracy was insignificant, when they fired in unison they unleashed a deadly rain of arrows that could not be evaded. By this method of attack the Tarseains suffered. Despite their lack of experience, however, the elves managed to suppress the Gilliks, and the day was won.
The Eighteen rode back to the fortress the elves had built outside of the forests—Stone Tarseaia they called it. Upon their arrival and the telling of the good news, the Tarseains rejoiced. Many had gathered at the fortress to witness the return of the military commanders, of which the Eighteen were, and to discuss a course for further action. As the Leaders of Tarseaia moved indoors within the castle, Therinis’s eye fell onto a beautiful Elless, and immediately his heart was captivated. Her face was so full of strength and determination and relief that those whom she loved were safe that Therinis knew that she was the perfect Elless for his life. As he looked upon her smiling face, he was embarrassed to find one of the Eighteen, Tycillisus, urging him to come. Therinis’s mind returned to the complications presented by the council gathered, yet he did not forget the face of the Elless whom he had seen.
After conferring with the council at Stone Tarseaia, Therinis rode forthwith with the Eighteen back to the Veil of Tarseaia. The Gilliks launched another attack shortly thereafter, and the bloodshed was innumerable for both sides. Blood dripped from nearly every rock along the pathways upon the Veil and the valley below was stained black with the bodies of Gilliks. Therinis fought hard with is fellow elves, but the mass of Gilliks never seemed to dwindle. He was ever at the forefront of the battle, slashing down the Gilliks, performing acrobatic actions that enabled him to remain alive. The rest of the Eighteen were nearly his equal, blocking the Gilliks as a single unit from their ascent upon the mountains.
Kartrus was enraged at the Tarseains succeeding opposition. Instead of having his beasts retreat to avoid further slaughter, he cursed their failing efforts vehemently, and they shrieked in pain ere they charged forward, bellowing madly. The battle turned afterward in the Gilliks’ favor, forcing the Tarseains into a retreat instead. The Gilliks slaughtered them as they fled and the number of Tarseains lost left the countryside moaning with sadness and terror.
Therinis and the Eighteen survived and together they returned to Stone Tarseaia to consult with the Council of Leaders, as the council became called, in accordance to the growing custom forming during the war. Therinis was coated in blood from head to toe, both with the Gilliks’ black blood and his own, or that of his comrades. He had fought for two days, as the battle had lasted for that long. As he strode up the stairs into the castle, he was so exhausted that his legs failed him and he stumbled upon the steps, falling upon his face. The Eighteen had already arrived at the top of the stairs, thinking him close behind, so they entered the castle without knowing of his absence. Therinis attempted to rise, but his arms had become too weak. Blood and sweat dripped into his eyes and he lay there for several moments.
Then the sound of footsteps approached him. He thought that it was the Eighteen, coming to his aid after noticing his absence. Someone lifted him off his chest and onto his knees and he felt a wet cloth dabbing around his eyes. When his vision returned as the blood and sweat was wiped away, he was surprised to find that the very Elless he had seen and longed for was before him. “Are you all right?” she said, supporting him with her arm around his back and dabbing at his face with a wet cloth. Her voice was surprisingly low for an Elless but not lacking the concern that her face displayed.
Therinis tried to speak, but he could not form words. The tall Elless, garbed in long black leggings, boots and a tight, long-sleeved bodice, wrapped an arm underneath him and with apparent effort hoisted him upwards. Then, she walked him up the stairs. Her touch, impervious to the gore splattered over Therinis, was so tender and warm, with a gentleness that superseded all signs of her concern. When they came to the top of the stairs the doors were flung open and the Eighteen hurried to aid Therinis from the Elless. Yet before Therinis allowed the Eighteen to lead him into the castle, he turned to the Elless and bowed low, “Thank you.”
She smiled and said softly, “Your welcome.”
Therinis and the Eighteen discussed the battle with the Council of Leaders and decided that resistance and opposition was the only action to take. They planned and consulted intently for many hours on how to subdue the Gilliks and prohibit their approach, and at last they were rewarded for their efforts. When next the Gilliks advanced, storming the Veil of Tarseaia and howling madly, for they feared the Tarseains and yet Kartrus still compelled them to attack, they fought hysterically with the Tarseains. The Veil soon had rivulets and streams of red and black blood coursing into the Vale and into the west. Then, a throng of Tarseains, aligned in orderly ranks, surged through the Gilliks’ lines and began forcing them from the Veil. When the Tarseains had succeeded in this, they quickly withdrew, for above them a host of dry logs and boughs drifted down towards the Gilliks, thrown by elves hidden amidst the rocks of the mountains. The wood, drenched in oil, accumulated at the base of the mountains and about the first rank of the Gillik army. For a moment, there was silence, and then Therinis, from a lofty terrace upon one of the mountains, looked down upon the amassed lumber and raised the first elven bow, nocked with an arrow whose tip was set aflame. He drew back the arrow, aimed, and released the string. The hand of Caeldius guided the arrow, and it whistled through the air, striking the heap of wood and igniting them with a bright golden flame.
A great barrier of fire separated the Gilliks from the Tarseains. As the Gilliks saw the fire and the gathered elves on the other side of the wall of flames, fear bristled within them and they cried out and fled. The Tarseains hailed rocks upon them, even as Therinis loosed the cluster of arrows he had made, and every single arrow found its mark. Every Gillik chieftain, every especially powerful, skilled, or dangerous Gillik, was felled when Therinis shot a quarrel at them. Kartrus roared with anger and rage, his bloodlust rising until it overflowed, and he was determined to destroy the Tarseains however he could. When he cast his eyes to the lone figure firing arrows upon his slaves, he knew at once that it was he who he must defeat, no matter what the cost.
The warriors of Tarseaia returned announcing their victory. The forests were filled with the clamor of excited cries and sighs of relief; Kartrus had been thwarted once again and subdued…for now. Erilisses rejoiced, Ellesses sang and danced, and children played and laughed happily. Yet, Therinis and the Eighteen did not join the festivities. As one, they rode to Stone Tarseaia and once again met with the Council of Leaders. Upon reaching the castle, Therinis once again saw the fair Elless who had helped him and who he thought was beautiful. He sought to approach her, but knew that such a thing could only be done after the council meeting. In the meeting, the Eighteen discussed with the Council of Leaders how their plan had worked and how the Gilliks were becoming afraid of their resistance. They thought for a wearisome hour of what new trick they could play on the Gilliks, but in the end they decided that a new form of approach was in order; bows were to be made for every elf warrior that could draw the bowstring. And thus, all about Tarseaia as the festivities ended, Erilisses and Ellesses alike labored on constructing bows and arrows for their warriors.
After the council meeting ended, Therinis inquired who the fair maiden was whom he fancied. He learned that it was Leader Erdavar’s daughter, an Eriliss who had come from Northern Tarseaia. Therinis confessed his fondness of his daughter and was granted consent to approach her and court her. Therinis did and they soon fell in love.
Kartrus, realizing that he too needed a different method of attack, didn’t remain idle while the Tarseains pondered after ways to defeat him. He, himself, entered Tarseaia, disguising himself as a hawk, and he spirited from the country a single family, entangling them with magical bonds and dragged them hither, out of the elven nation. They weren’t missed, for many families had departed north out of the country away from the war. Then, he took the parents of the family, and before their children’s eyes, slaughtered them. When the children witnessed the deaths of their parents, they cried out in dismay and wept uncontrollably, in utter fear and terror of Kartrus. One of them, an Eriliss of six, wailed so loudly in despair, that Kartrus took advantage of his defenselessness against evil. Drawing his Sword, Kartrus ran the blade down the young Eriliss’s throat. Instead of taking the child’s life, however, the power of the Sword worked its evil magic. The Eriliss fled into the surrounding forests beyond the Veil, even as the power of Kartrus coursed through him and he began to undertake a terrible transformation.
The call to arms once again rang throughout Tarseaia and the elves marched once again to the Veil to fend off the Gilliks. Only now, they were wearier than before. The battles that had ensued since the beginning of the war had left the country exhausted and scarred. The Tarseains wished for the war to be over, and each one sought this individually, and would see their wish granted in almost any way. Some would accept death in order for the war to be over. Yet still they fought for their families and for their freedom. The Great Eighteen Tarseains ardently endeavored to reinvigorate the Tarseains’ lost fervor to protect their home, but their words couldn’t affect them as they once did. Even the Eighteen were tired of battle and their attempts to encourage their warriors lacked the necessary enthusiasm.
The battle was suffused with raining blood, screams and cries of dying elves and Gilliks, and the dying effort of both sides. The Gilliks, although under Kartrus’s harsh rule, were still liable to becoming exhausted, and their limitations were becoming more profound, even as the Tarseains’ began losing their passionate desire to defend their family and country. Yet, even as the battle began ending and both sides were falling back, a terrible, shrill roar was heard from beyond the Veil. The mountains shook and Montairyus seemed to quake. Then, it shivered as a gust of wind buffeted it, hissing through the air like a great snake and clapping against the Veil like the crack of a whip. Therinis, from where he fought upon the mountain, cautiously fit an arrow to his bowstring. Suddenly, a cry of terror rose from the Tarseains, and they beheld a huge creature rising from the horizon. Its body was long and muscular, strongly built, with long arms and huge forelegs, two horns upon its head and small, gleaming yellow eyes. Upon the beast were two huge wings and it bellowed its challenge. Yet most terrible, from the giant maw of the creature came forth fire, and it burned any Tarseains that it laid its eyes on.
The Tarseains fled, even as Kartrus laughed as his monster, his new creation, a dragon, destroyed the elves. Yet Therinis approached the beast, growing dangerously close to the dragon, and he drew back his bow. The monster turned upon him, gathering fire within its gullet, but ere it could release the flames, Therinis fired his arrow, and it passed into the mouth of the dragon. A choking gurgle emanated from the dragon and it fled, even as elves and Gilliks alike fled the burning site of the battlefield.
When Therinis returned to Stone Tarseaia, he found consolation through Trella, his beloved. His love for her greatly increased, and though they had known each other only for a short time, he proposed to her. The war, taking a terrible toll upon the population of Tarseaia, and thus reducing the number of warriors of the nation, had started to look doubtfully upon the elves. The Gilliks’ bloodthirstiness was evidently relinquishing, but their numbers were too abundant for the Tarseains. Therinis and Trella hadn’t much time. They married and Tarseaia was permitted a brief respite from the hectic events of war.
Kartrus, detecting the Tarseains failing spirits and thus new founded frailty, organized his army once more and launched them with as much vigor as possible at the Veil of Tarseaia. Word reached the elves, but their reluctance was so apparent, and their hesitation dangerously great that they weren’t prepared for battle. Their hope had diminished—especially because of Karuth, the name they had given the dragon—with their odds adverse, far from pointing to victory. The Eighteen beheld the small assembly of warriors gathered within Stone Tarseaia, stunned at how few had answered the call to battle, but Therinis refused to admit defeat. He prayed to Caeldius for the wisdom to inspire the warriors. At last he spoke, “Tarseains, I know you tire. I know you wish for the war to be over. I know that little hope remains. I know you fear Karuth. But we must fight. Remember your children, your wives, your country. Remember your freedom. Fight for these! Will you not continue for them?”
The warriors only murmured in response.
Therinis shook his head in despair. He thought intently for a solution, anything that would raise the fallen spirits of the warriors, and without avail he searched. Yet then, his wife approached him, and she said, “Therinis, my love, ask if they will fight so long as I blow your horn, until I can no longer.”
Therinis, astonished at her proposal, considered it nonetheless. A horn had been given to him as a wedding gift, and it was loud, echoing across the land whenever it was blown. A great amount of effort it took to blow it, however, and after several times it rendered one’s throat sore and highly agitated. “Let me blow until I have no breath left,” pleaded Trella. “Please. I have done naught in this war, but let me do as I can in order that our warriors will continue.”
“You would do this?” whispered Therinis, full of love for the Elless. He wrapped her in his arms and kissed her. Then to the throng of warriors he announced, “Tarseains, I have a proposal. My wife has offered that she will blow yonder horn until she can no longer, until her throat has gone raw or until she is too winded to continue. Whilst she blows, however, we must fight. Do it until the horn sounds no longer, and then, if you will, you may disperse. You may depart from Tarseaia, if you should desire it. I cannot force you to fight, but if you can, if you will, do it while my wife, my wonderful, precious wife, blows for Tarseaia.” He waited for a response, but when they didn’t, he raised his sword over his head and cried, “Will you?”
And they murmured their assent, but it grew into a loud cry, and they praised Trella.
Thus did the elves of Tarseaia once more march from Stone Tarseaia across the peaceful Vale to the mountains where battle had already begun to ensue. And ringing forth behind them was the Horn of Therinis, sounded from the fair lips of Trella, who blew a single note, loud and strong, even as she suffered through the great effort. Therinis rode forth for her, and the Tarseain warriors continued with strengthened zeal in her honor, prepared to die until the sound of the horn ceased to reverberate throughout the land. Though few in number, they met the Gilliks with battle cries and forceful blows. They drove the Gilliks back. And amidst all the fighting, Karuth was yet to be seen. Had Therinis killed him?
Unbeknownst to the Tarseains, it was not so. For Kartrus learned of Trella’s scheme to preserve the hopes of the elves, and after the fair Elless did he dispatch the dragon. Far in the north, away from the raging battle, Karuth winged towards Stone Tarseaia where Trella blew the Horn of Therinis. The land murmured at his coming, the gruesome dragon, the dead soul of a once innocent Eriliss. Even as Therinis fought for his love, he was unaware of the great danger advancing upon her. The Gilliks fell before his sword, tumbling down the mountains on which they fought, and his hope grew, as did the hope of his fellow Tarseains, for it appeared as if Karuth was dead and still the Horn of Therinis blew.
A great gush of wind, nevertheless, alerted Trella of the dragon’s presence. She turned, quite frightened, to the northern wall of Stone Tarseaia, and there, alighted upon the rampart, sat the enormous beast. From its mouth poured a torrent of flames, but Trella rushed out of the way, even as the guards of the castle engaged the dragon. Yet they were no match for Karuth, who easily swatted them aside. He roared and leapt after the Elless, leasing fire at her and trying to smash her. But she eluded him, and even as she dodged and lunged away from his strikes, she continued to blow the Horn of Therinis, and the land continued to echo with the horn’s pure note. As Karuth chased her, the Elless came upon the sword of a fallen warrior, and she took up the blade. Rising on his forelegs, Karuth beheld the beautiful Elless, defiant against evil, and he laughed. In response, Trella hefted the horn to her mouth and blew another blast, and its loudness stunned the dragon. The Elless rushed forward as the beast was dazed and stabbed its foreleg, only to quickly turn and hasten away, for surely the dragon’s wrath would be great.
Still the Tarseains heard the Horn of Therinis, and Karuth was yet to be seen. They fought with determination, strength, and liveliness. They fought brutally and to the death. In their minds, the pictures of their families hovered, and they slew the beasts for them. The Gilliks died swiftly and dispersed as they forced them from the mountains. Yet, in Stone Tarseaia, Karuth had cornered the fair Elless Trella, the brave Elless, whose throat was racked with pain, and her head throbbing from the amount of intense blowing. She raised her sword, but Karuth struck her and she flew into the wall of Stone Tarseaia, and her body was broken. She lay there, helpless and alone, unable to blow the horn of her husband and give strength to the warriors of her nation. The dragon readied to breathe fire upon her, and he released the flames.
Yet they fell upon the shield of Nelden, Trella’s brother. He was younger than she, one of the guards of Stone Tarseaia, and he loved his sister. He stood between her and Karuth, and he rushed upon the dragon, fighting for his sister’s life. He severed one of the beast’s claws, sliced its arm, and deflected the terrible flames of the dragon. Karuth was surprised by the young Eriliss’s fury, and he was forced to defend himself. Nelden surged forward, and he stabbed the monster’s abdomen, and Karuth bellowed in pain. Meanwhile, the Tarseains were startled at the cessation of the Horn of Therinis’s fair note. They paused, but Therinis urged them on anyway, and they followed his orders, still heartened by their success, and delighted by how victory shone before them like dawn after a long, dark night.
Karuth, wounded sorely, fled from Nelden. Yet as he turned and started to fly away, his tail swept into Nelden, and cut into his bosom. The Eriliss fell, but managed to crawl to his sister, who he found was dead. He wept, but when his eyes fell upon the Horn of Therinis, he took up the horn, wishing to finish his sister’s deeds, and he put his lips to the instrument and blew. He blew his last breath, but he did so so forcefully that the note was higher than his sister’s, and it echoed especially, reverberating throughout the Veil, so loudly, that it lasted. And the Tarseains routed the Gilliks. They charged, even as Nelden died, but the Horn of Therinis still seemed to ring. Therinis broke through the final rank of Gilliks and hastened towards Kartrus, who stood at the back of his destroyed army. Therinis sought to kill the demon and rid him of the world, but Kartrus was so enraged, he would see the death of the elf. He ordered his archers fire upon Therinis, and they did.
But then, Therinis’s Tymarikus began to glow blue. The blood in his body began to shine blue through his skin; his chest, hands, and face all beaming with azure light. And complete understanding came upon the Eriliss. He understood how to move in order to do that which was impossible, but for the good of all. He was granted the Cloak of Skill, which Caeldius had enacted. In a way inexplicable, Therinis evaded every single arrow aimed for him, and slew every Gillik between himself and Kartrus. His movements were so amazing, perfect, and skillful, that the Tarseains marveled at their Leader. The way he fought was even wonderful, was even beautiful, for he fought for his wife and his family and his country, and he exuded that nothing would prevent him for protecting those he loved. The Tarseains were inspired by this, and they slew every single Gillik they laid their eyes on.
Therinis finally came upon Kartrus. He eluded several mystical strikes from the demon, cut Kartrus on his leg and his shoulder, but the Lord of Evil would not be defeated. He swept Therinis off his feet and beat him. His mace crushed Therinis’s head, but out of evil, he still pounded the elf’s body out of rage, with such impunity and maliciousness, the Tarseains were horrified and they rushed upon Kartrus. Kartrus smiled as he crushed Therinis’s body, thinking that the Tarseains desired to avenge their Leader, but it was a misconception. For the Tarseains, enlightened by Kartrus, were enraged at the demon, but they only sought his banishment from the world. They only wished to dispatch him so nothing so terrible could be done again. They hated his evil. They mourned Therinis’s death, but their hearts had been strengthened. The true test of Kartrus’s evil was passed by each of them. Even evil desires for revenge were lost from Kartrus. Not even had the Tarseains succumbed to that. Kartrus, seeing their goodness, became afraid and fled, vanishing into the air.
And the Tarseains mourned the loss of Therinis, Trella, and Nelden, the heroes of the First Elven War. But as to the war: it was over.
The Blue Elves and the Second Elven War
It so came to happen that when the ancient Tarseains were warring with the Gilliks, the Gilliks pressed forward past the Veil of Tarseaia, led by Ashcerqu, the first demon to fall beneath Kartrus’s power. The elves were fierce, even as the Gilliks were, but the Tarseains’ numbers dwindled as the evil force surged forth. The Sword of Kartrus was at work, claiming more lives to slavery under his oversight than ever, and the extinction of the Tarseains was nigh. The Great Eighteen Tarseains had been subdued and had fallen. The Tarseains sought for leaders, those that would first bring unity and then victory. Elves, without anything to satiate their pleasure which departed with the coming of Kartrus, greedily endeavored to obtain power over other Tarseains, but not for the sake of the war, but to have dominion over their race. The power of Kartrus was creeping into their hearts as their hope began to fail, allowing his might to subdue them as they ravaged for pleasure before their seemingly obvious and inevitable ends. Cruelty and treachery became numerous among the actions of the despairing Tarseains and even as they wept at the growing supremacy of the Lord of Evil, Kartrus’s power increased.
Although the Gilliks had amassed into unconquerable numbers, and darkness ever corroded the souls of the Tarseains, still the elves marched from their homes to defend their people. They went awaiting only an honorable, yet horrible death. Their will was broken and dispersing by the second. The Gilliks poured upon them like pitch to be set aflame, to burn so slowly and intensely, and the Tarseains fell, set afire by the armies of Kartrus. The Tarseains fought without hope, and thusly Kartrus fed off of their despair, and the elves’ swords were broken and their bows cleaved. Few remained alive.
Oristil, an aging elf and warrior, had survived eleven attacks from the Gilliks. The failing power of the elves, their diminishing strength in Caeldius, was truly the downfall of their country. And Oristil knew it was so. His hope shined bright, bright enough for his kinsmen to see and it came to pass that over all other elves, despite his lower lineage, he assumed power over the Tarseains, for in seeing him and his hope, they would let him lead. Hope seemed so distant, but Oristil knew that it was needed to weather the might of Kartrus and subdue it. The love that elves were meant to share was becoming overwhelmed. There needed to be resurgence of it in order to deflect the Lord of Evil’s supremacy. Oristil knew this, but he knew not how it would be possible.
Merely a week into his office of leadership, Oristil wandered through the dismayed forests of Tarseaia, deep in thought, urging his mind to find an answer to the failing hope of Tarseaia. The Tarseains still fought, but with lack of determination, they died in numbers so uncommon among elves the weeping amongst the forests never ceased. As he walked and pondered, a bright, dazzling light shone before him, and from it exited a woman, not an Elless, one of Oristil’s own. She was fairer than the most beautiful of elves. Her skin shone like the moon, her eyes were gentle, and so kind, and the tender smile on her face was so wonderful, tears formed in Oristil’s eyes. She wore a white tunic with a blue sash, and on her head was a blue veil. The elf was stunned by the woman’s sudden appearance, but because she was so striking, with beauty so perfect and true that no lustful thoughts could be imagined, even from the foulest soul, he didn’t depart. Then the woman spoke, her voice soft, gentle, and comforting such that Oristil listened without any consideration, “Oristil, Eriliss of Tarseaia, I know what pains you so greatly. I have seen that which troubles and burdens your race. Death comes to your people, those that were made to live forever, and it comes unceasingly. I know you hope. That is why I come to you. For you, above all others within your race have not given into the might of the Lord of Evil. I commend you for this, and bless you for this. From you, the hand of Kartrus will be uplifted from Tarseaia.”
The woman’s splendor was so great, and her words so unmistakably true, that Oristil made ready to do her homage. But the woman provoked him and said, “You shall not do homage to me, but the one that I do homage to. We both are followers of Caeldius.” Then the woman gave him instruction, saying, “Oristil, tomorrow, you must lead the Tarseains into battle against the Evil One. You must speak of hope to them. If there are those that will depart because of their despair, then let them do so; if your numbers dwindle, to not let that hinder you. March onwards to fight the Gilliks.”
Thereafter, the woman disappeared.
In accordance to the woman’s words, Oristil marched with a thousand elves to meet the hundreds of thousands of Gilliks. Many had despaired and had refused to follow Oristil into battle, but many saw Oristil’s hope and followed him. They met the Gilliks with such renewed strength that they killed tens of thousands. The battle was fierce, and the blood coated the ground so that puddles remained for days after. When the warriors returned, victorious, dealing a heavy blow to Kartrus, the Tarseains rejoiced, and smiled, and laughed, and dried their tears. Many elves had been killed in the battle, but the Gilliks had been driven back for the present.
Oristil did not smile, however. He did not laugh. Instead of drying his eyes of tears, they were filled with them. For his son had been killed at the battle. The grief for him was terrible, and he and his wife’s lament yielded tears for hours within the next day. Kartrus was glad that, even amidst defeat of his armies, he had wrought the true defeat of his opponent. The Tarseains, although still glad of how the Gilliks had fallen back, saw how their leader wept and struggled. They thought that he was becoming unfit to lead them, his mind poisoned by his sorrow. It was not so however, and remained as only a rumor. Oristil continued to rule the Tarseains without flaw, but his heart wailed at the loss of his son, and thusly the Tarseains thought he would fail them, and when he did, it would lead to their annihilation and destruction under the Evil One.
Another night, while Oristil wept, the glorious woman visited him again, clad in her white tunic, with a blue sash and veil, still so gorgeous and wonderful that Oristil’s tears became that of awe and amazement. She spoke to him again in her lovely voice, but while her tongue was so sweet, her words dismayed Oristil. “Oristil,” she said, “on the morrow you must once again strike at Kartrus.”
She was to continue, but Oristil interrupted her, embodied in grief, “I cannot. I have not the will to march against Kartrus. I have no desire even for revenge yet. My heart is sad, and I cannot think to fight once more. Thousands of my fellow Erilisses and Ellesses have died before me, and no longer will I fight. I cannot.”
“Oristil,” she said, gently, “I know of your grief. I share your grief. I cannot bear it any longer to see your people killed. Even unto me there is pain. But you must keep on fighting. You still remain the only one who can drive out Kartrus. Without you, your race will fall into despair, and the flame that you have ignited within them will die. Do not lose hope.” The woman patiently waited for Oristil to reply, but he didn’t speak. At last she spoke again, inquiring softly, “Oristil, why will you not fight?”
“My son has been killed,” answered Oristil, tears of sadness once again in his eyes, “and I have no strength. I have lost my will to fight. What worth is there, fighting for those that have fallen already to Kartrus within their hearts? I will fight for my wife, but our son his dead, and our daughters have despaired. I do not see how I can fight, for should I what is the cause? Even now, my wife has fallen into despair. I fight for those that care not for whether I live or die, or whether they die, for they think it inevitable.”
“But do you not still care for them?” inquired the woman.
“Then do what you must to save them.”
Oristil listened to her words and saw their truth. He observed their honorable values. Thus, he rose from where he lamented on the ground, and said, “I will fight for them.”
The woman smiled, making Oristil smile as well, and she said, “Your descendants will be blessed, Oristil. Should you fight, your name shall become Eruldus, Warrior of the Lady in Blue, and you will be happy. But you must fight in my name, for Caeldius will bring you victory through me, and through me, the victory will be attained by you. So go, and make ready, and strike for me against Kartrus.”
And so Oristil did the Lady in Blue’s deeds. He came to the Tarseains and spoke of victory once more. His words were so fluent, so confident, and so powerful that at his tongue they rose, and donned in their armor. The Tarseains made ready for battle, and in the morn they marched to the Gilliks who had surrounded the forests. When Oristil shouted “Eruldus!” the Gilliks became afraid, and Oristil slaughtered them with every stroke. The power of the Lady in Blue was present in the name, and the Tarseains saw this, and they too took up the cry, and struck at the Gilliks with all their might. Their numbers were terribly little in comparison to the enemy, but their hope had grown, replenished by the Lady in Blue, and the power of Kartrus wavered. At the battle, Oristil struck down Ashcerqu, the shadow demon, and as their leader fell, the Gilliks wailed and retreated. Kartrus’s anger and malice threatened the Tarseains once more–the Gilliks compelled to fight back by Kartrus’s hold over them–but Oristil cried out “Eruldus!” and the Gilliks were liberated from the grasp of Kartrus, and the power of the Sword of Kartrus undone. Thousands of Gilliks were once again made elves and as the elves returned to their safe and now peaceful forests they blessed the Lady in Blue—whom they called Eruless—and then blessed Caeldius. The night of the won battle, and the end to the Second Elven War, they rejoiced. The Lady in Blue visited once more, and dubbed Oristil Eruldus in the sight of all the Tarseains, her splendor so great that many cried out to Caeldius in wonder. Then, the Lady in Blue also blessed Eruldus, giving him the power to heal others, and she touched his heart, and his Tymarikus began to shine and turned from the color black to that of blue. And then, touching the palms of his hands, they underside of his hands turned blue like his Tymarikus. “With these, you shall give the touch of healing to others,” she said. She blessed him further by enabling him and his wife to bear another son, so that they might have descendants.
And so it came to pass that Eruldus’s descendants became many, and he was happy, as the Lady in Blue had promised him. Eruldus’s descendants were all blessed with blue Tymarikuses, and they became known as the Blue Elves, or Ty Erulades “The Blue Hands”, also gifted with the power to heal others. They were also considered the best warriors of the elves, for they fought with the cry of Eruldus upon their lips, and the Lady in Blue was with them. A debate was held among the elves as to who exactly the Eruless, the Lady in Blue, was. It was eventually decided that she was Elia, the mother of the elven race, sent by Caeldius to save her people.
The War of the Elves
(Note: an Eriliss is a male elf; an Elless is a female elf)
It so came to happen that many years after the Second Elven War had been won, the elves of Tarseaia thrived. Their population grew, along with their strength and relationship with the humans. Such were the elves as Caeldius intended them to be—guardians of the world, preachers of peace, and bringers of vast love, love which kept even Kartrus at bay. In the northern countries of Rarena and Rarock, the elves mingled with the humans, and empowered them with their vibrant love, strength, and hope in times of hardship. The humans minded not the presence of the elves, as they were the sole keepers of peace in society, who produced happiness and encouraged kindness, and were cornerstones of an unbreakable foundation of civilization. The elves knew that they themselves did Caeldius’s will, and were content doing what they were created to do. Kartrus still continued to strike at Rarock, but the combined might of the humans and elves, with hope and desire never relinquished, the Lord of Evil failed outright to do the interminable damage he used to wrought. The love which brewed in humanity’s heart held fast against the Lord of Evil, sustained by the Tarseain elves.
Kartrus was cunning, though. He devised a method of striking the free peoples of Montairyus in a seemingly roundabout way. He did not strike them with his armies, nor did he unleash some horrible beast of his malicious creation. Instead, he meddled with the mind of a beautiful Elless named Braesis, which meant literally “the fairest”. And Braesis was indeed one of the most beautiful Elless of all who Caeldius had created. Kartrus slowly injected the idea of selfishness into Braesis’s mind, along with her five sisters, who were nearly of equal beauty. Braesis did not know that Kartrus fiddled and subdued her mind, slowly, with utter quietness. Yet finally, the power of the Lord of Evil overcame her, and she became angry with her husband, claiming that she deserved more love than what he gave, and desired more love than what he could give. Through Braesis, Kartrus sparked such selfishness and arrogance into her sisters, who were tempted to act as Braesis did. Never was Braesis satisfied by the acts of her husband, and the same went for her sisters who now behaved as she did, as if Braesis was the buck of a deer herd, and they were her subordinate does, not questioning the acts of their leader but following blindly.
Kartrus’s work did not go without success, for he elicited the most shameful and unbecoming act in all of Elven history yet: the divorce of Braesis and her five sisters to their husbands. Along with the six sisters, Kartrus was able to have Braesis induce four other Ellesses into the way of selfishness that she was undertaking, and the quartet also divorced their husbands. Thereafter, when the husbands of the ten Ellesses discovered their treachery, they accused them of their abomination, for they were now a mockery of what Caeldius had created the elves to be. The husbands of the ten were wise, however, and kept secret—save to the authorities—the actions of their wives, lest the ten Ellesses deeds obscure and confuse the humans’ understanding of marriage and love, which the elves were to be wardens of. However, before a sentence, or any form of punishment or justice could be inflicted upon Braesis and her followers, they secretly fled from Tarseaia.
Braesis and her followers, stubborn and selfish, with a relentless desire for love and attraction from male partners, hungered for those that would meet their needs. They sought for such persons that would want them unreservedly and unceasingly, and supply the affection that they yearned for, although they had no intention to return it. Kartrus’s hold on them was vast now—but they were too conceited to detect this—and began to further their rebellion against the nature of elfity and the reason which Caeldius had created them for. Braesis and her nine Ellesses knew that among humans, their beauty was virtually beyond compare. They knew that men could be lustful and fall into such traps and spells under the beauty of an Elless. Braesis was an Elless of raven hair and white, radiating skin, with eyes dark and blue like a moonlit night, tempting and devious. With utter guile, Braesis and her followers stripped their clothes so that they were garbed in the most immodest attire they could create and surreptitiously invaded three towns, and over the course of three days, they seduced nearly a hundred men to do their behest out of want for them, but immoral and lustful want. When other Ellesses saw how men rallied to Braesis and the nine Ellesses with her, they desired to have Erilisses or men doing their every bidding. Many joined Braesis, but as a result of Braesis and her Ellesses seduction of men, the humans became distrustful of the elves living in their towns or cities, and within a year—Braesis and her followers repeating their lustful actions—thousands of elves were banished back to Tarseaia, having to leave their human husbands or wives behind with great sadness.
Meanwhile, the Tarseains in their homeland watched with horror what merely ten Ellesses had wrought because of their beauty and selfishness. They mustered a small force, along with the Great Eighteen Tarseains, to apprehend the revolting Ellesses and especially Braesis, who governed her tribe of seductive elves. Men and Erilisses joined Braesis, endeavoring with hope to obtain her or her Ellesses’ love in return, which was wonderful, but terrible and evil at heart. At first, when the Eighteen and their other elite forces failed to apprehend Braesis, the Erilisses and men of her tribe struck back, but the Eighteen and the other Tarseains were reluctant to counterstrike, for they pitied those who had fallen under Braesis’s spell. Upon the knowledge that the Tarseains hunted for her, Braesis fled throughout Montairyus, seducing others to her as she did so, and gathered about her guards loyal to her beauty and deceptive affection. They settled at the corner of Montairyus as far as possible from Tarseaia as possible; the south-most section of the eastern coastline. There, they found fields and fields of wisterias, decorating the ground with a vast sea of purple. Since they settled there, and the ground was covered wisterias, they became the Wisterians, and named the place Wisteria.
The Wisterians flourished for a time, building cities in the giant pine trees that encompassed the meadows of wisterias. They also had families, which became saner over time and were healthy, with the parents remaining together for a goodly amount of time. Nevertheless, as was becoming the habit of the Wisterians, when an elf became bored of his or her spouse, he would seek pleasure with the bond to another elf. The Wisterians did not teach to their children what Caeldius made the elves to be, and became lukewarm towards the message that they were to preach to the world. Humans that the Wisterians had seduced soon died out from their realm, leaving only elves, for while still wrongfully sexually intermixing, the humans did not obtain the long life of the elves because they avoided the binding vows of elven marriage. The Tarseains knew little of what the Wisterians did, and only gained knowledge from the Great Eighteen Tarseains who attempted to spy on them when they returned from aiding the Rarocks.
What the Tarseains did learn still troubled them greatly, discovering that the Wisterians still were lustful and a mockery of the nature of elves. The leaders of Tarseaia gathered together in order to find a method to bring to heel the Wisterians and subdue their spreading evil influence over Montairyus. The Tarseains did not wish to strike down the Wisterians, but neither could they let them flourish while still practicing their vindictive customs. Many times they came to the Wisterians seeking to remind them and convince them of their horrible disposition in regards to what Caeldius had created elves to be. However, stubborn and arrogant, they refused to listen, and sent away the messengers and preachers harboring their insults. Unwilling to both admit defeat and see it necessary to use force to attain the compliance of the Wisterians, the Tarseains continued to send their messengers to admonish the elves of Wisteria.
The Tarseains originally attempted to kindly and peacefully explain to the Wisterians their mistakes, thinking the Wisterians perhaps blind and unaware of the consequences of their actions. But the Wisterians were far from ignorant of the results of their misdeeds, and snubbed any acknowledgement of their unbecoming feats. This made the Tarseains angry at their pride, and therefore their messengers brought harsher words of admonishment. Yet nothing could be done about the haughtiness of the Wisterians. The mercy of Tarseaia ceased when Braesis herself attempted to seduce the Tarseain messengers in aggravation of the Tarseains’ persistence. She had seduced five of the ten, but the other five were Blue Elves, and they resisted. At the sight and knowledge that Braesis had tried once again to misuse the beauty Caeldius had blessed her with, the remaining messengers fled Wisteria. Braesis and her warriors followed in pursuit, knowing that should word of her deed reach the authorities of Tarseaia, Wisteria would suffer grave consequences.
The Wisterians overtook the messengers and surrounded them. The five Tarseains were encompassed by a group of thirty Wisterians, most of which were Ellesses, while the rest were grim Erilisses subordinate only to achieve the pleasure that came from the Ellesses. Braesis drew back her arm and hurled her spear through the body of one messenger, and her sisters followed her lead. When merely three of the messengers remained, one of them, an Eriliss named Tynona called upon the Eruless, and his hands glowed with the power of the Eruless. The spears of the Wisterians missed, and a blue light was cast about the three Tarseains. The Lady in Blue spirited the messengers away, for they had resisted the temptation of Braesis and had trusted in her. Braesis, in fear of what would come upon the messengers’ returning to Tarseaia, prepared Wisteria for war.
The Tarseains, while shocked at the sudden return of their messengers, were even more alarmed at the drastic defiance of the Wisterians. The cessation of the Wisterians increasing influence could only be decided by the outcome of either a war that obliterated the Wisterians, or an abrupt understanding from the Wisterians, acknowledging and repenting of their misdeeds. To Tarseaia’s misfortune, the Wisterians would not relent, so the War of the Elves had truly begun.
The Tarseains were, as all elves naturally were, lovers of peace. They were fierce in war, but only because they sought its end. The Wisterians protested that a war was not necessary, and that the Tarseains could accept the differences of Wisterian culture. But the Tarseains thought it impermissible for the Wisterians to thrive without punishment for their offenses on the world. They had obscured the image of love. They had destroyed the reputation of the elves. They had ruined and soiled the status of what elves were made to be, for what they existed in Montairyus for. Could the Tarseains let the Wisterians stand and carry on with their heinous actions? No, they would not allow it. While they sought for peace again and again from the Wisterians, the Wisterians remained resolute from the Tarseains’ good will. Tarseaia threatened Wisteria with the host of their entire army, but even still the Braesis desired death for her people if she could not live in veneration, without unending romantic pleasures showered upon her. The Tarseains were faced with a choice, a question of wisdom which fell to Eruldus, who even in his old age still governed the Tarseains in the direst of issues and situations. The decision to be made was whether or not to remove the scar upon the world, or to find a way to somehow heal it.
“Time will mend this wound Braesis has inflicted upon Montairyus,” said Eruldus.
The authorities questioned him further, “Yet if the wound has grown too large for Time to mend it, then the wound will bleed, and no bandage will be strong enough to contain the blood.”
Eruldus wanted peace. He desired no bloodshed to take place over the matter. He zealously replied, “Caeldius will protect his people and the Eruless may yet once again be utilized to perfectly shape the events of our world.”
“But what course of action are we to take?” the leaders asked.
Eruldus saw it necessary to—while not obliterating the Wisterians—ensure that their influence not spread and that they be contained in their land. Thus, he sent spies to Wisteria to fervently watch the actions of the new nation and be ready to contact their homeland if any hostile action formulated. The spies were ardent in their work, but were hard pressed not to be put under suspicion by the eyes of Braesis’s most loyal servants who watched intently for any intruders or rebels. Braesis was queen of Wisteria without a king, for those men or Eriliss suscepted by her were subordinate to her will. She had ten sons and six daughters—none of which had the same father—, not including those she had abandoned to her husband in Tarseaia, and she did not abort those she gave birth to, as she raised them as her servants. Indeed they too were subordinate to her, while her sons subordinate to her daughters, and remained as their servants. Braesis loved her daughters more than her sons, and she inspired them to use the beauty to seduce others. Her sons she cared little for, and were merely her servants, while their fathers she forgot and dispatched from her presence.
Without knowledge of it, Braesis bore her most recent child with an Eriliss who was a Blue Elf, who had been lustfully subdued by Braesis’s attraction. Thus, when she held her new babe, an Eriliss, she noted with dismay the blue hands of the baby. Although she was unwilling to kill the infant, while still knowing that the power of the Eruless would be able to work against her through her son in later years, she ordered the death of the father and declared it to be a secret that one of her child was an Eruldus. Thereafter, she sent her servants throughout Wisteria, killing all Blue Elves that would tell her son of his ability, so that he might not be influenced to work the good and pure magic of the Eruless, and she still might have yet another servant.
The Tarseain spies throughout Wisteria were mostly Blue Elves. Thirty of them were killed without the Wisterians knowing of their origin. Only one Blue Elf managed to escape alive, hiding from the servants of Braesis, whose name was Dranolan, cousin of Tynona. The severe measures that Braesis had gone perturbed him, and while few spies remained in Wisteria now, he sought to arrange the downfall of Braesis. She was, he discerned, as the queen of the Wisterians, the true enemy of Tarseaia, and her persuasion was really the cause of the sins of her followers. Dranolan became one of the servants of Braesis, her sisters, and daughters themselves, who ordered him about like a dog who could not afford to disobey his master for fear of harsh retribution. He was weaponless and alone, unable to discover a way to kill or thwart the queen, for her guards were plenty and she had numerous slaves that she ordered to test for poison among her food and drink. Dranolan also desired to keep his life, if possible, in the event that he would strike Braesis down. He needed aid, but none could he find.
Then, fifteen years later, Dranolan met the Blue Elf Braesis had given birth to. His name was Fordress, meaning “at her feet”, a low and petty name. Fordress was ridiculed by his half-brothers, but he was strong and stouthearted, and refused to let them control him. Dranolan became friends with Fordress, though he was centuries older, and they spent much time together when they could. Dranolan had a special liking for Fordress, and though he could not discern or express the whole extent as to why, he admired Fordress’s resoluteness to subordination. On a day when Dranolan and Fordress had been ordered to clean the queen’s stables, they became filthy from the horses’ droppings, and after finishing they went to a nearby river where they could bathe. When Fordress removed the gloves he wore, Dranolan was astonished to see that he was an Erulade. Keeping his demeanor composed, he inquired to Fordress what the markings were, endeavoring to ascertain if Fordress himself knew.
“I have had these strange blue hands since birth,” answered Fordress. “The queen has told me they are that they foretell of a disease or blood-infection I will experience in the future.”
“She has wronged you,” said Dranolan. “For these markings, I bear them too, and many others. They are not what she has told you. Rather, her Majesty’s false-tongue has whispered a lie into your heart. Many bear these imprints of the Eruless, and you are a Blue Elf.”
Then Dranolan instructed Fordress about the true nature of elves, why they were created, and the personal duty of a Blue Elf. Fordress, opposed to nearly all that Braesis did out of anger and rebellion towards her maltreatment of him, believed Dranolan that the queen had lied to him. He also trusted Dranolan, as he was of the few comrades Fordress had. Therefore, he listened and consented to what Dranolan taught him, and saw that Dranolan spoke the truth. He recognized the malevolence of the Wisterians and desired to eradicate their evil. He saw how true happiness was attained by pure love and how the Wisterians distorted the nature of elves.
Braesis sought to expand her country over the east. Kartrus’s firm grasp was unyielding, and he toyed with her mind to obtain a diversion that could be used to gain leverage in the war. The Tarseains, once they discovered Braesis’s hostile initiative, mustered a resistance force. When they finally reached Wisteria, Braesis’s forces had already subdued a number of Rarock towns. Despite their unsoiled efforts to avoid a battle, fighting ensued between the Tarseains and Wisterians. The Tarseains had thousands more, but the Wisterians were fierce. Nevertheless, the Eruldus would not be defeated, and they liberated hundreds of humans from the Wisterians, and drove Braesis back into the giant trees that served as her fortress. Distressed by her defeat, Braesis’s only yearning subsequently was to satisfy her need for pleasure to spite the depression of her being trounced. Thus, a week after returning to Wisteria, she made beautiful her body and face, immersed herself in the finest perfume she could fashion, and sent for a fair Eriliss in order to make love to him. Meanwhile, Dranolan learned of her scheme, to seduce yet another heart in order to comfort herself, and he descried at last the work of Kartrus over Braesis. He was enraged that so many had fallen under Braesis’s plague and that she refused to acknowledge the evil of her actions and that she had permitted, without question, Kartrus to ensnare her.
To himself, Dranolan called Fordress, and together they planned an ambush on the queen. They still wished not to kill her, for they were wise and humble, and knew that they could not sentence her, despite all of her crime, to death. However, they were aware that proper assistance was needed to apprehend the queen, should they want to prevail, and Dranolan called five other spies of Tarseaia present in Wisteria to him. Hidden within the palace of Braesis, Dranolan disclosed to Fordress that he was a Tarseain, but that he still had spoken the truth, and that he fought for the good of Montairyus. And Fordress, blessed by the Eruless at that moment with wisdom, accepted Dranolan’s words with loyalty. Then, the seven began discussing on how to best stage an ambush on the queen, hopefully before yet another would be seduced by her alluring appearance.
Ere the seven could finish devising their scheme, one of Braesis’s sisters overheard them plotting against the queen, and she fled to Braesis and told her of the rebels. Against the Tarseains, she pitted her finest warriors, but against Fordress, she sent Elovene. Elovene was a fair Elless that Fordress loved and longed for. She was of Braesis’s court, and though Fordress was forced to serve her, he did so out of love, for she was the only Elless that was compassionate to him. They had become friends, while Fordress was still subordinate to her will, but she was ever merciful and kind towards him. He longed for her more than any other Elless, and while Elovene desired him too and would rather not subdue him, the queen would not be denied, and she was sent to seduce Fordress. To Elovene, Braesis ordered, “Seduce, and if that should fail, kill.” And she gave Elovene a dagger. Fearing that she should die or endure torture if she refused, Elovene consented to the queen’s will.
As Dranolan, Fordress, and the five Tarseains set out towards the throne room in which the queen waited for the Eriliss she would seduce, Braesis’s guards and skilled warriors commenced their attack. However, Dranolan saw their approach, and he hid along with the other Tarseains and managed to elude the warriors. Because Fordress was the queen’s son, he was able to pass the guards, additionally since Braesis planned him to meet Elovene ere he reached the throne room. Alone, Fordress hurried throughout the castle, night falling on Wisteria, and Dranolan and the Tarseains followed at a slow pace, filled with hindrances and necessary detours. Fordress had stowed a sword away in his tunic, lest he need to fight, but he would rather not, for he had never killed nor seriously wounded another and was innocent at heart.
In one of the corridors, high above the ground in the pine trees, Elovene moved from the shadows into the bright moonlight cast upon the hall. Fordress ceased his approach upon the throne room, and looked upon Elovene with love, as she came to him, beautiful and smiling. “Fordress,” she said to him, “I have been foolish in prolonging our love. We love each other, and we have known it, and I see no reason as to why we should wait longer.” She grabbed Fordress’s hands, who was shocked by her words, but tempted by them, eager to love Elovene as he had long wanted to. “Do you love me?” she whispered, leaning towards him.
Overcome with love, he answered, “I do, and I would do anything to win your love. But—” he called to mind the wisdom Dranolan had spoken to him, “—but we are yet young.” He knew it was a petty excuse, but he continued, “And I cannot be delayed, for I have a matter to attend to.”
“I care not,” answered Elovene, “Come, love me as you would want to.” Then Elovene kissed Fordress thrice on the lips, and a fourth which she held, and Fordress shuddered with affection and desire. Even as Elovene began her seduction, Dranolan and the spies were discovered, and were assailed by the Wisterians. They fought, but were hard pressed to survive. The Eruless aided Dranolan, but her power was forestalled as Fordress yielded to Elovene’s temptation.
Yet Fordress did not permit Elovene to continue further. In remembrance of Dranolan’s teachings, he forced himself away from Elovene. Elovene’s words “I care not” finally reached Fordress’s ears, for they hadn’t because she had begun kissing him, distracting him by the warmth of her affection. “You care not?” said Fordress sternly, “If you do not care, than how can you truly care about me? If you will not sacrifice for the good of our love, then does love even exist between us?”
He began to move past her, but she clutched his arm. “Fordress, do you not see how I love you? Did you not feel my lips against yours, and the love that existed between us in that moment?”
Anger stirred in Fordress’s heart. “You would define love by a kiss?”
Elovene looked astonished at his rebuttal, but also confused.
Fordress, disgusted that Elovene had become a victim of the Wisterian lifestyle, declared, “You do not even know what love is!” And then he continued towards the throne room.
Elovene suddenly remembered her purpose, being to either seduce or kill Fordress. His chastity enraged her, and in her distress, she thought only of what would happen to her if Braesis discovered that she had neither seduced nor killed him. Therefore, she cried out and drew the dagger that the queen had given her, and attempted to strike down Fordress. Fordress drew his sword—much to Elovene’s surprise—and saw the evil that encompassed her, and struck at Elovene as if he destroyed the evil assailing her. He knew not how to use a blade, so he wrought crude injuries upon Elovene, leaving blood surging from crooked gashes upon her breast. Thereafter, as Elovene silently suffered her wounds, he hastened to the throne room, fearing that his belated arrival would be unable to suppress the seduction of yet another Eriliss to Braesis’s beauty. The guards outside the throne room skirmished with him, but Fordress, trusting in the Eruless, raised his hands, and called upon her name, praying that she would save him. Around the Eriliss, a blue flash of light erupted, and the guards were stricken blind.
Although in awe of the feat of the Eruless¸ Fordress delayed no further and entered the throne room, whereupon he looked upon a disgraceful sight. Braesis, naked, beautiful, and lustful, sat on her throne, comfortably with her fair legs hanging over the arm of her royal seat, with the Eriliss she planned to subdue kneeling before her. His eyes were fixed heavily upon her, and the lust that brewed in his heart was of no small amount. Rising from her throne, Braesis began to seduce the Eriliss with amorous gestures, actions and attractive body language that were inexcusably wrong yet enticing. At the sight of the deceptive evil before him, rage filled Fordress, and he roared, “Braesis: halt!”
Stunned by his presence, Braesis called upon her guards. They surrounded Fordress, but he resisted once more by the power of the Eruless. All in the room were struck unconscious, save Fordress and Braesis, Braesis having shielded herself with the body of the Eriliss. She fled, while Fordress followed quickly. Braesis locked herself in her chambers, but Fordress broke down the door by using the power of the Eruless, and he stood before his mother and queen. She stood facing him, naked, beautiful, with a body that would consume any Eriliss or man, and yet so shameful and disgraceful, it could only be seen if one looked past her fairness. She pleaded with Fordress, “My son, do not kill me!”
“I will not,” said Fordress, “but you will suffer justice, for the crime you have allowed the Lord of Evil to work through you is too great to pass without punishment.”
Yet Braesis could not bear to think of her life without the pleasures of everlasting affection from Eriliss or men. She drew her blade from the mantle behind her and fell upon Fordress, fighting for her freedom. She had grown indifferent to the study of the blade however, and had fought for many years only with the beauty of her body, and her son matched her well, for they were both ignorant with blade. Yet Fordress fought for the peoples of Montairyus, for the will of Caeldius, and he knew the Eruless watched him with compassion, ready to bring aid. Placing his fingers upon the imprint of the Eruless he was granted speed, which he used to lunge forward and stab Braesis through her abdomen. The queen was stunned as her perfect body was scarred, and the blood running down her bare legs made her convulse with anger. Then, Fordress struck her sword from her hand, but because she would not accept her apprehension without unleashing her wrath upon her son, she jumped at him with outstretched hands to throttle him. But Fordress eluded her, and—desperate to save himself—struck her head from her torso with three strokes upon the nape of her neck, and when her head fell to the floor it was the head of a Gillik.
Fordress, while astounded at the result of the skirmish—though understanding that it was justified—was prudent and ascertained that little time remained for him to save Dranolan. As he hastened to find his comrade, he raised the head of Braesis to all who witnessed him, and cried, “Behold your queen!” And though it was inconceivable for the horrible head of a Gillik to be the lovely head of Braesis, a strange sense of understanding was given to the Wisterians by Caeldius, and they believed Fordress. As Fordress bounded down the corridors towards the courtyard uplifted in the trees where Dranolan and the remaining Tarseains struggled for survival, he came across Elovene, blood covering her fair body, as she died, with none to help her. When he saw her, he was moved with pity, but was nonetheless distrustful towards her after her attempt to seduce and kill him.
Elovene, distraught by her actions, had berated herself unceasingly for what she had done. When Fordress came hurrying down the hall, only to stop and gaze upon her, she wept and said, “Fordress, please! I am sorry for what I did!” She begged for his forgiveness and explained how she had been ordered to seduce or kill him.
At mention of Braesis, “Here is your queen,” declared Fordress, thrusting the head of Braesis forward. Elovene looked with fear and yet realization.
Still the Elless sought to continue her apology, “But you are my love, and are innocent, undeserving of death, and I have wronged you. Please—” she shuddered as another surge of pain came upon her.
Fordress saw and pitied her. She was helpless and alone, precious truly, and lost, willing to be found. He knelt by her as she gasped for breath, crying for forgiveness and because of her pain, and his love for her returned. “Please,” she breathed, beginning once more to try to gain his forgiveness.
Fordress, overwhelmed at the happenings of the day, held her in his arms and affirmed, “Elovene, I forgive you.” Then he placed his hands upon the Elless and healed her. She was made whole once again, and they resolved to forestall their love until later years when it was more appropriate, so as to accommodate the image of love that elves were meant to exude. Then they set out together to aid Dranolan with their escape. The presence of two Blue Elves overcame the Wisterians, and the Tarseain spies escaped with the two Wisterians.
They fled Wisteria even as word of the queen’s death spread like fire upon a withering forest. To the Tarseaia’s forces stationed close by—not yet departed since the battle—they exclaimed the death of the queen, Kartrus’s presence in Wisteria consequent of the Wisterians’ sinfulness, and that the time to strike was now. The generals and Great Eighteen Tarseains heard their counsel and consented, mustering their army and striking Wisteria before dawn had even broke the horizon. The Wisterians, with no leader, were easily defeated, and little resistance ensued as the Tarseains assailed the forests.
Because Braesis had been the true source of evil amongst the Wisterians, the Tarseains did not punish all who had followed her. Instead, they admonished the Wisterians, reminded them of their duty to the world, and then left hundreds of wise Tarseains to intermix with the Wisterians. The Wisterians, although still arrogant, slowly adapted to the presence of their enemies, and were once again taught to truly love, with purity and steadfast affection. Hostilities lingered quietly, seeking to avenge the death and cessation of the Wisterian lifestyle. But as to the war: it was over.
Aftermath of the War of the Elves
Fordress and Elovene married twenty years after the end of the War of the Elves. They were still considerably young for marriage, but it was obvious that they desired no one else other than each other and would remain in steadfast love. The lustful misdeeds of the Wisterians ruined the relationships of elves and humans, and even after the situation was resolved to a certain extent by the pure Tarseains intermixing with the Wisterians, and the Tarseains apologized to the humans thereafter, the humans still did not wish to live with elves. Nothing that the elves could say or do would give reason to the humans to regain their trust for the elves. The tyranny which Braesis had beset upon true love was not forgotten by the humans.