The Chronicles of Starlyn

For generations it has been known that elves are immortal except for death by battle or poison. Something strange happens and Starlyn's mother becomes sick with an illness that seems to only be getting worse with each passing day. Starlyn loves her mother and wishes to find any way to help her, yet it seems nothing can be done except to sit and watch. It breaks her spirit but she spends every moment she can with her mother, as she fights frantically for an unknown cure. She went to the elven healers and herbalists but even they cannot find a way. Meanwhile Starlyn's sister Arria takes more drastic measures to try and help their mother, even diving into the restricted books of the elven library about dark magic. The dark magic is dangerous and forbidden for elves to use because it is said that even the willpower of an elf cannot prevail with the touch of a dark taint. Arria is not concerned of her own welfare and dives into heavy studies with the books. Strange things begin to happen, a

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13. Chapter 12

Chapter 12:

Arria sat and watched in the shadows of twilight. She was perched up high in the branches of a tree. Below her were at least a hundred elves with an even ratio of both women and men. They were celebrating the coming of the winter solstice and the land’s first snow.

None of the elves were wearing plate armor, but only thick leather to protect against the chilling weather. She wasn’t affected by the cold as she once was, and so she was covered in her plate mail. There was a quiver at her back that she prepared to use. The celebration looked fun and she almost wished she could celebrate with them. She would settle for a celebration with their own food and wine after killing them all.

She didn’t recognize any of the elves on the ground, in fact they appeared different. Instead of their ears being thin, tall, and pointed; they were wider at the bottom before coming to a point and at least half the size. Most elves in Sudegam had lighter hair colors of blondes with only a few with darker colors, but these all had dark hair. She didn’t even notice one blond throughout. They wore colors of green, brown, and silver which was a big difference than reds, blues, and gold.

These weren’t high elves like the ones in Sudegam. She hadn’t thought of herself as a high elf before because for a long time they had nobody to compare to. It came to her finally, the faded memory of a history lesson. These were wood elves. For many generations they were thought to be lost to the high elves. There had been some form of argument between the two races and the wood elves walked off. Without the wood elves the war against the dragons would have never been won, or so the tale claimed. It was said beyond anything else the wood elves were master sharp shooters. With a bow in their hands there was nothing they couldn’t bull’s-eye.

She knew the high elves would crave to know of the existence of them. A smile broadened her cheeks. It would be so much fun to slaughter them all and leave piles of carcasses for the high elves to find. They would learn of their existence and yet still never be able to know where they hid.

Hopping from tree to tree was a challenge, but a trait she learned to master without a sound. When she reached the dragons they seemed anxious. Their force outmatched the wood elves three to one. Besides the wood elves were distracted by celebration and wouldn’t see them coming. It would be a massacre and she would enjoy each moment of it.

“Missstresss…. Can wee tasstee blood noow?”

“It is time.” She grinned.

She discussed her plan with them, telling them to hold off until she made the first strike. They would hold back hidden in the forest while she walked in alone. There she would speak with the elves for a moment before unsheathing her dagger and thrusting it through an elven heart. She wanted to taste their blood.

The forest seemed alive with noise for the celebration. Leaves from the trees seemed in perfect rhythm with the wind. Animals and insects sang in perfect chorus with each other. Tingles shivered down Arria’s spine as she observed. There were stories about how the wood elves could bring the forest itself to life. She never believed them, until now.

Animals that were singing and dancing seemed to cower away from her as Arria walked into the wood elf camp. A few of the elves seemed to take notice of her and stopped what they were doing.

“Where do you come from?” An elf wearing green robes with hair as black as the night sky asked.

The elf’s expression changed when Arria approached. A thick coat of snow covered the ground where she was leaving footprints. Her hair was the same bright white as the snow on the ground.

“What are you?” She asked.

Arria was inches from her now. “Your worst nightmare.”

She unsheathed her dagger and thrust it upwards into the elf above the abdomen and into a lung. Breath caught in the elf’s throat and she gagged. Blood began to ooze out of her mouth. Arria pulled her towards herself and pressed her lips against the elf’s. Her power seemed to amplify as she drank the elf’s blood. It was enticing and exotic that she nearly missed the elf that came towards her with a short sword.

Arria ducked under the slash, barely escaping with her head. A large chunk of her hair slowly drifted to the ground with the consistency of a feather. She unsheathed her flamberge and rolled across the ground. Appearing all around her were the dragons, protecting her, and fighting elves. The elves judgment seemed clouded by celebration and weren’t defending to the best of their ability.

She smiled as she fought, constantly tasting elf blood that sputtered all around her. It was a massacre with only a few dozen dragons falling. She noticed one elf doing exceedingly well at the edge of an oak tree. Six dead dragons lay at her feet and another was being struck down by her. The elf held two short swords, one in each hand. They were double-bladed with a hollow center only connected at the top and bottom. It made them each appear like two separate thin blades on each hit.

Arria smiled and held her flamberge tight. She stalked forward in a slow pace so she could study the elf’s style. It was cautious with steady strikes that didn’t drift too far from her body. She was careful, even with an advantage she kept her strikes balanced and paced.

The woman had deep ebony hair cut a few inches above her shoulders. She was the only elf Arria had seen with such short hair. After a while of watching she could see why. Her attacks were nearly flawless with countless lifetimes of training. The shortened hair made it easier for her to maneuver around. Arria watched in ecstasy as the elf took on three dragons and effectively killed all three with one combination only milliseconds apart.

When Arria stepped towards the woman all the dragons seemed to back away. They knew her skill surpassed theirs and so they were going to let her have the powerful elf. The elf stood covered in the black blood of the dragons. She appeared out of breath and panting as she stared at Arria.

Arria smiled as she walked forward, “You are very brave and powerful, but that will not save you.”

“Why? Why do you come here to kill us? What have we done?”

“I come seeking death. The sweet ecstasy of death, and I will have it. Now it is your time.”

The elf raised her short swords and waited in a defensive position turned to her side. Arria had to admit that the elf was smart. She had at least hoped to provoke the elf a little, but she stood there serene. Arria smiled as she thought about the ways she could kill her. There was no doubt for her that she would win. Besides even if she lost she was already dead, how worse could it be?

Arria lunged forward with flamberge in hand only to be deflected by a simple double sword slash. She went in again with a slash to the left followed by one to the right. Both were blocked with equal skill. Arria paused and waited for an attack, but none came. The elf was even smarter than Arria imagined. She wouldn’t use offensive strikes on Arria. She continued using slashes and strikes against the elf, but each one was slapped away with ease.

“Fight me!” Arria screamed in rage.

The elf didn’t respond but held her position. Arria’s strikes became more vicious and therefore sloppy. Opportunity was seized by the elf that put a slash on each bare hand of Arria’s. Both of her hands felt number and she stepped back. Purple blood oozed out of each wound.

Arria’s armor felt like it was weighing her down and so she unfastened it on her back. It slipped to the ground in an echoing clutter. All she now wore was her thin ebony leather black diamond jeweled undergarments. They barely covered her body, but protected her from blows because of the strength of the diamonds.

She knew she should feel cold standing in the midst of snow with such scarce clothing, and yet she did not. Instead she felt warm and stronger with less weight on her. She smiled as she stepped forward and she could see what resembled fear in the elf’s eyes.

The two began a frantic duel with Arria still primarily on offense. Her hair barely looked white anymore with all the elven blood soaked into it. Instead it appeared as scarlet as a robin. Streaks of the blood fell down her body making red stains all over her. She nicked the elf a few times drawing blood, but more times than not it was Arria’s blood that was spilled.

After nearly losing her balance Arria was finally able to twist her flamberge in such a way that she knocked one of the short swords from the elf’s hands. She pressed her attack strong in able to not give the elf a chance to snatch her fallen weapon. Her skill was still impressive with only the short swords but now the battle was in Arria’s favor.

The elf did something that Arria did not expect. She drove her short sword up Arria’s blade until the two hilts collided and knocked both weapons from their hands. Arria cursed as her flamberge tumbled to the ground, but before she had time to react the elf pressed a closed fist to her jaw.

Arria flinched in pain and fell backwards. Before she knew what was happening the elf was on top of her throwing fists. She was only able to block a few before getting hit in the face a few more times. Arria rolled out of the brawl and stood up into a defensive position. When the elf charged at her she twirled her foot into a roundhouse kick that knocked the elf to the ground. They continued to fight bare handed with back and forth strikes for a long while.

When they passed by Arria’s armor that lay on the ground, she dove for it, reaching her dagger in its sash. The elf was right behind her and so when Arria turned around her dagger penetrated the elf’s abdomen and she cried out in horror. Arria looked into her beautiful blue eyes reminding her so much of her sister’s. She seemed to lose conscious as she collapsed to the ground.

Arria’s victory was short lived as the sound of dying dragons was all about her followed by a fierce scream of terror. Something hit her in her back with a sharp pain and she fell onto the ground. Dragons all around her died from arrowshot and the shock the arrow gave to her in her back stunned her. She lay there silent, watching through blurred eyes as an elf dove to clutch at the one she had just struck down. Tears fell down rapidly in the brunette’s eyes as she clutched the near lifeless body of her friend. Arria crawled to her feet and lunged at the woman but tripped on her way over. She felt the hilt of her flamberge collide with the woman’s skull as a tingling pain traveled through her back until she lost consciousness.

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