It was an early summer morning in Hyrếa, as the sun crested the southern lands. Not a sound could be heard as the twilight gave way to day. So deafening was the silence that the world itself seemed to be aslumber. Upon the banks sat a lone ominous figure. The figure with his dark grey skin, in contrast to his snow-white hair, seemed too long to blend in with the darkness. His blood red eyes being the only distinctive physical characteristic that separated him from the rest of his race, the hated and violent dark elves. The eyes were not those of a truly living being but those of the undead, the forsaken, and the damned.
Upon his back hung the ancient blade of his people, the blade that he had long ago pilfered from the temple of chaos. The blade originally intended to destroy the world of men, had been taken to defend it over 1500 years ago. The figure was the defender of Hyrếa, sir Clauden’d Degala, personal adviser to the king and high protector of the kingdom. Both titles he had held since the first king of Hyrếa had awarded them to him over one and a half centuries ago.
Today was the day that every elf knew and feared, though Clauden’d was the first in centuries to live to see it. Today was his 2000th birthday, the age of which no other elf had been allowed to live for fear of the power they would receive. According to legend, on an elves 2000th birthday, he would be endowed with the power of necromancy.
The great elf was lost in thought as he stared absently into the brown sediment filled water of the river. The turmoil was that so great that he had been lost for hours in contemplation. Even through his great inner turmoil, he was able to sense the presence of the approaching figure still hidden in the shadows of the darkened woods.
“You may come out now serenity!” Clauden’d called in his deep and ancient tone
Serenity stepped out of the shadows and approached her mentor. Serenity had the light yellowish green skin usual for the wood elves of the east. Her hair was that of the purple columbines. Serenity despite her seemingly delicate physique was as fast as a cheetah and as strong as the trolls of the wild Estrens.
“Clauden’d, you’re expected at council today.” She announced sternly
Clauden’d turned his head to stare directly into serenity’s eyes. On his face was written the great sadness and turmoil that consumed his mind.
What is wrong Clauden’d? You look as if you’ve murdered a child." She said as she kneeled next to him, a look of concern obvious on her face.
“Do you know what today is, Serenity?”
“It’s the twenty third day of the tenth month, two thousand three hundred ninety-six.” She said annoyed, before realizing his meaning. “Oh goddess! Clauden’d, I’m so sorry!”
“Will you tell the council I am not able to be there and you are to fill in, in my place?”
“They will not like it, especially with Leigh proposing to erect a mighty northern wall.”
“You know, as well as I do, that there is no such luxury in time. The Zeni tribes move toward unification every day.”
“What am I to do if they motion for a vote?”
“Do as you think best. You will only need to remember that you carry my vote with you.”
“Very well. I will do as you wish.” She said with a deep breath “May the great goddess watch over you, my friend.”
“And with you as well.” Clauden’d said as he turned to stare once more into the flowing river before him.
As Serenity took the long trek back to the castle, she wondered how long her mentor would be stuck in this great struggle within himself. No elf in recorded history had ever had to deal with this great dilemma. She hoped he would be back to normal soon, though her common sense told her he would be a great while.
She could still remember the first time they had met, all those decades ago. She had been young by the standards of any race and very fearful. She had been sent with the rest of the children of her clan to run for the fortress of Chiron, as the Zeni raiders approached the watch positions of the north.
The village children ran southeast as fast as they could. The faster children in the lead giving no heed to the slower children behind them. Serenity was slower than the rest and fell far behind. Much of the run she could not remember but she could remember slipping down the great hill that lined the edge of the trail. She remembered falling faster and faster until finally everything went black.
She remembered waking up many hours later in the dark of night. As she crested the hill from which she had fallen, she examined the trail and was saddened to find that it had not been traveled for days though its last travelers were obviously great in number. It was walking along the trail that she had come upon the dark elf in the shrouds of night.
Serenity was shaken from her reveries by a shout from in front of her.
“We do not allow foreign animals to be sold in the city!” A guard yelled at what appeared to be the leader of the caravan that lined the road.
“They are healthy, strong and dependable!” the man yelled back
“It’s not a question of their health! It’s a question of the law!” the guard yelled back “You may keep and sell them outside the city walls but you may not bring them into the city.”
“This… This is an outrage! Never before, have I heard such rubbish! You cannot outlaw sale in a city!”
“If you have a problem…” The guard said before pausing “Serenity! What news do you bring? Will Senator Degala be comin’ to council today?”
“Sorry Suki. He is in no condition to come to council.”
“Not sick I 'ope?” Suki asked now worried
“Sick as only an elf would know.” Serenity said as she walked backwards over the drawbridge leading into the city
“Give 'em me best!”
“Will do!” Serenity yelled as she turned around and began her stroll own the bustling boulevard.
All along the boulevard were taverns, shops, and stalls that bustled with people. Among those within the bustling masses, there were buyers and sellers, along with the average pickpockets. They were all highly skilled but she had no reason to worry for anyone daring to steal from her would either need to be stupid or tremendously arrogant. In either case, those unfortunate souls would be regretting it for the rest of their lives, how short there would be left.