Firefly

Above the realms of men, dance the Light Elves of Alfheim. Wise, immortal and captivating... These creatures are blessed by the Aesir and have harnessed the power of flight. But when war strikes down upon them with fire and doom; nothing can be saved except from the anger for those whom had committed such despicable acts. Text and illustrations copyright © A_Books_Magic_Moment 2014 The right of A_Books_Magic_Moment to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored as a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author.

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1. Alva

Alfheim, 706 A.D

Rushing and intense, the wind stung at Alva's eyes. She didn't mind. The feeling was familiar and welcoming. Clouds of sunset pink and pale blue, breaking apart to show the sun's rays and the azure skies had formed in the atmosphere. The female Elf rushed past and through them. Below her, birds were flying home for their offspring. They flapped their wings as she did hers. Such a glorious feeling. If only it could have lasted for longer...

A-hooooooooooo, it came from the north.

A-hooooooooo, the horn sounded again. Alva sighed and closed her smokey wings.

Water trickled down like rivers over her body, as Alva emerged from a cloud, directing herself north. Halls of grey and fields of green opened out, stretching to and beyond the horizons. A castle; which appeared to be woven of oaks, sentinels, beeches and ashes, was rooted to the ground firmly. Air wooshed around Alva as she forced more energy into the strokes of her glittering wings.

More of the Elves came down from high altitude as Alva approached the castle. Their wings were every colour, from dark gold to shimmering purple. Every colour and more. It was a breathtaking sight - and one that had not happened for more than five-hundred years.

Carven floors, with varying hues of brown, greeted Alva as she landed lightly. The woven together trees reached up and created bridges to smaller, similar structures. There were many floors and windows through which lights of captured moonlight glowed as the sun sunk beneath the world. Patterns and gems were inset into the floor; making the Castle Courtyard a unique place. Alva took a step further into the outside room. So many faces - which she never knew or could not recall - turned to the Light Elf who had just landed. Like an ocean as a surfer rides over it, the crowd parted to let her pass.

Eerika was already wearing ceremonial white. A thin strip of black was tied at her waist. Blonde hair spilled over her shoulders, past her waist - almost to the floor. A silver circlet, with a drop that hovered between the female's eyebrows, enclosed around her head. It only showed her high nobility. The white ceremonial dress which Alva's lady wore had lace on the cuffs and collar. They rested well against the Elf's pale and flawless skin.

Alva hopped up onto the carved stump. The roots carved with all sorts of symbols and runes. They traced along and up the bark that remained at the back of the stump as the heart wood ended. "Alva," Eerika curtly greeted her Captain.

"I'm sorry, I had not meant-" Alva had started despite knowing it was of no use with her Lady. The Lord of Alfheim would soon be back. Alva might have to answer to him. Now she could only think of being booted out of the position she had worked so hard for. Eerika cut the soldier off.

"I do not care for what you had thought. I only wish you to be here before the required time." Eerika turned her blue eyes to the smaller, dark-haired Elf. Those eyes had been so welcoming when Alva had passed the test to be a soldier of the Lord's guard. "They are coming soon and you shall explain to my lord husband."

"Yes, my lady," Alva turned her head back to the crowd. She surveyed and analysed - any of them could be a spy. Nonetheless; Alva had to claim that none of them were. Guards in white surrounded the outer skirts of the courtyard. They stood attentively, shields of plated white gold and engraved ancient languages, were held with earnest before their bodies. Some of the men had two swords, others, war hammers or battle axes. Many had daggers down their boots and hidden beneath their cloaks of sewn stars.

The Portal opened. Its energy was captivating. A light, twisting and turning, becoming bigger until ten males at a time could fit through. And they did. Ten that was, no more had made it. The Lord was at the front. His son was carrying him. Lady Eerika did not scream at the sight of her fatigued son or wounded husband. She calmly, yet hurriedly, ran over and helped her son carry the Lord of Alfheim.

His silver brow was bowed. Blood stained one side of his heavenly armour, something that should never have happened. Alva knew that this was not a good sight. She must control the situation. "Guardsmen!" They closed in on the stump, "section off this area from the public. Keep all nobility in the courtyard until the remaining soldiers are taken to the Health Ward. Is that understood?" They hit their shields against the wooden ground, the sound ringing in the twilight air.

Alva moved to help the Lady and her son carry their fallen Lord. "I can carry him, Captain. Thank you very much." Eerika retorted to the female Elf's movement to take The Lord from him. Alva furrowed her brow.

"I apologise, my lady. You cannot carry your husband. My lady, you must deal with the commons and other nobles. This sight is not in anyway good." Eerika looked towards the worried crowd of Elves beyond the Guardsmen. Annoyed and ashamed for being selfish and wrong, she gritted her teeth at the obvious defeat. "My son shall carry him, then. You will not touch my husband."

"If that is what my lady wishes, I shall not carry my lord. However; your son is fatigued from battle. He will not last much longer. Let me have some Guardsmen take them." Alva dearly hoped Eerika was listening. Being use to japes was one thing, but when someone were to die because of the fear of a person - that was plain foolishness in Alva's eyes.

"Of course, Captain. Have your Guardsmen take my son and husband up to the Healing Ward. Under no circumstances will you touch them. Nonetheless; you will stay with them every step of the way. Understood?"

"Of course; my lady," Alva bowed slightly to show her parting. Three Guardsmen came over, two for The Lord and one for his son. The female Elf followed, turning her back on Lady Eerika.

Alva caught up with the males. They were ascending a flight of spiral stairs, which led to the West Wing of the castle. The Lord had his arms around the shoulders of the Guardsmen. They half-carried, half-dragged him up the stairs. The Lord's son, on the other hand, was going steadily by himself as they ascended further up the woven tree. Apart from the few dents in his armour, the little lordling looked barely harmed.

Only now did Alva wonder, what had happened for her lord to be so gravely injured and his son not?

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