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


2. Chapter 1


Chapter 1:

By Craig A. Price Jr.

                Alone in a chamber secluded from outside worries sat an elf at a desk. Her long golden hair hung past her shoulders and draped around her neck to fall at her chest. She wore leather armor of a brown hue as she searched through scrolls and books. Normally the isolation would eat at her mind, but this time it was too pre-occupied in thought. This alone time was exactly what she needed.

                Her name was Starlyn, and she was a high elf in the capital of Sudegam deep in the western forest of Calthoria. It wasn’t that long ago that her life was serene. That was before her mother got sick, and before her sister dove into the arts of forbidden black magic. It was said elves were powerful in the aspects of magic centauries ago, back when dragons flew the lands. However, when the elves destroyed all the savage beasts – magic seemed to fade. Some elves became selfish to cling to magic that they turned to the dark magic, but it was good for nothing but death and destruction, and so it became forbidden.

                She knew her sister loved mother, but what she did was extreme. To put faith in the dark magic’s to save a life is like asking a tiger to spare the life of a hare being attacked by a wolf. There was no logic behind it.

                That night still haunted her, even gave her nightmares sometimes. She didn’t tell anybody about it because she had no one to tell. There were a few other elves she considered her friends, but they weren’t close. Most didn’t believe her when she told them she thought her sister was still alive somewhere. They weren’t there to see the body vanish in mere minutes. Most believed she must have just burned in the large fire. There was nobody for her to talk to. It had always been her mother and sister that she would bring her concerns to. Now her mother was ill, and her sister missing and possibly mad. Starlyn never knew her father. He had died when she was a babe in some small skirmish or raid.

                Starlyn knew her sister was still alive and out there still. She just had no idea where, or where to look. Nobody believed her, but she could feel it somehow. It felt as if her sister was lost somewhere. She prayed to the goddess of the forest that she could reach her in time.

                There were some that felt sorry for her and so helped her look for clues of her sister. Unless something turned up she wasn’t prepared to trust them. It felt like she was all alone in the world sometimes.

                The king had all but laughed at her when she pleaded with him for help finding her sister. All that she asked for was a small force of elves, swords and bows. Elves were trained in weapons and masterful at all after centuries of training. A benefit of immortality was being able to study and master all the weapons. Starlyn could use a sword or bow with such skill that it began to bore her at practice sometimes. She used her war hammer now. The feel of the heavy weight was appealing as well as crushing things under its steel. Her sister forged it for her years ago, well before studying black magic. She felt a desire to keep it close to her so she could hold at least a part of her sister.

                The elves hadn’t been to war in ages, since the dragons. The king, Elsargast, preferred to keep the peace. Perhaps it was for that reason that he didn’t want a team of elves leaving the city bearing armor and weapons. There certainly wasn’t going to be any war, but it was better to be safe when concerning black magic.

                Clearing her head from thoughts she went back to the scrolls on her desk. Many were rolled in blue or red ribbons, but a few were tied in black. Black ribbon scrolls were rare, and forbidden to study. It was hard to come across them in the library as they were under lock and key, but she knew she would need them. They concerned the arts of black magic. Dangerous scrolls to be sure, but she needed to know what black magic could be capable of. She held no desire to practice it, only how to defend against it. Yet to do that it took knowledge of black magic, knowledge that was forbidden.

                It was a confusing series of riddles laced in black magic. Everything accomplished by it needed to be balanced. The balances were far from fair. She focused on the scrolls concerning saving life. Most seemed beyond conceivability. A handful of deaths were required to save the life of one. There were several variations of the spells, but none better than another – only different.

                A scream in the distance shattered her thoughts. Her feather quill dropped from her hand and the ink jar tipped over on the scroll she was working on. Jet black ink spilled everywhere – ruining several scrolls. She didn’t bother picking them up as she dashed out of her study.

                The wooden halls she ran down were bare until entering bedroom chambers. Quickly opening the door she saw her mother in a cold sweat under scarlet wool blankets. She rushed to her and pried the covers off to expose her satin white gown. Her entire body was covered in sweat. Starlyn wiped her mother’s forehead with a cool damp cloth. She dipped it in the bucket of cold water a few more times, ringing it with her hands before wiping more precipitation from her mother’s brow.

                Her mother’s blank hazel eyes stared up at her without any recognition. Starlyn’s heart sank at the look her mother gave her. She brushed her mother’s black hair from around her eyes to behind her ears. It was black, the same as her sister Arria’s. Starlyn got the rare gene when she received blond hair, as both of her parents had darker hair colors. Her mother told her that was why she named her after the stars, for the starry night she was born on and her hair that resembled the luminescence of the stars.

                She didn’t understand how her mother was so ill. It was the first time that an elf had ever taken illness. Sickness did not take elves because they were immortal. Only poison or sword could take the life of an elf. There were no colds, fevers, or any of the like for an elf. That was only a weakness of humans, or so Starlyn was told. Starlyn had never actually met a human, she often wondered at their similarities and differences. Both her and her sister monitored her food and drink soon after she took ill – in case she was being poisoned for some reason. Though, it seemed inconceivable that any would wish her harm. She was the kindest elf with such compassion beyond any other, as most elves were self-centered in many ways.

                Even the elven healers and herbalists took a look at her, but they were as bewildered as both Starlyn and Arria. At first the illness was only weakness and tiredness, but it developed fast within a few months until she was at bed rest. They wondered if she came in contact with anything new, but it had been months since she had been out and about further than the walls of Sudegam. She told them she didn’t go far past Sudegam, though Starlyn wasn’t sure because she was gone for a few months, however it was something she did once a year for the past decade. There wasn’t anything new in her routine.

                Starlyn struggled to find a cure, but it almost felt as if one could not be found. She thought of it as a dire need to find a cure, because if a weakness of elves could be found, then other races could exploit it. Although that was not a concern of the others because the elves were presently at peace. It wasn’t so much peace as it was races oblivious to each other. They knew of humans, but never visited any – nor received visits from any. In fact it was forbidden for the elves to have human contact of any kind. Many elves thought that the sickness was a weakness and so instead of wanting to help they saw it better fit to let her die to rid the race of a weakness. Those same elves looked at Starlyn with distaste, especially since the incident with Arria.

                “Daughter, is that you?” Her mother whispered.

                “Yes mother it is I.”

                “Arria? I have missed you, where have you been?”

                “No… not Arria, this is Starlyn.”

                “My baby, Starlyn, you’re here with me? You are too kind, where is your sister? Where is my Arria?”

                She loved her mother, but those words stung her heart. It always felt as if her mother showed more attention to her older sister than her. Starlyn was the baby, yes, but Arria was like her mother in every way. Starlyn’s appearance didn’t resemble either as much. She must have gotten more of an appearance from her father, except the blond hair, than her sister whom nearly passed for their mother’s twin. Both had an ageless appearance, without wrinkles, a horror tale often told about what happens to humans as they age after only a few decades. The biggest difference between mother and daughter were that Arria’s eyes were brown rather than hazel, and there appeared to be more knowledge in her mother’s eyes and face.

                “Arria is gone for a time mother… she is searching for a cure for you. She loves you dearly mother. When she finds something, she will return.” Starlyn said, heart racing. Elves weren’t able to tell lies, nor would Starlyn want to, but if she would try – an unbearable pain would cross her throat and body. However, there were ways to tell the truth without describing everything that every elf developed well. “She will return.”

                “Good. I miss her. She should be here with me.”

                “It’s okay, I am here mother. If I find where she went I will retrieve her for you.”

                “I know you will child. Bless you.” Her mother said as she shivered.

                A knock at the door rattled the small room. It startled Starlyn at first, but she remembered she allowed visitors if they brought news of any sort. “Enter.”

                A young elf, less than a century old approached her shakily with something clenched in his fist. He looked from her to her mother but didn’t say a word. Long brown hair hung behind his tall pointed ears and down his back, shining on his brown leather armor.

                “What have you found?” Starlyn asked.

                He showed her a familiar blackened steel arrowhead that appeared broken off its wood. His palm was sweaty, showing that he rushed straight over with it because elves didn’t sweat for long. She grabbed it and held it in her hand to study.

                “Mother, I must go, I will return soon.”

                “Yes dear, find your sister will you? I wish to speak to her.”

                “Yes mother, I will try.”

                She left her mother in the room and grabbed her chain and plate mail and her hammer before dashing out the door.


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