Monday, August 10, 2009

Written by Triss

Triss is letting me post this episode from one of her stories. She said to ask if you want to know what any of the elvish names mean (she's a little obsessed with languages right now). She also let me read a pretty creation story (for a parallel universe of some kind) that she wrote a couple of months ago, and I am hoping she will let me post that soon, or else will post it on her own blog.

Here is her elf-episode:

Backstory: Lilac and Liran are twin pixies who are with the quest to bring an enchanted stone back to its creators. They are not in the council with the rest of the Questers right now because they weren't interested (they're about 11 or 11.5 whereas the other questers are at least 14) and so they're playing with the elfchildren who live in Rayfall Valley, which is where the Questers have gotten to.


Lilac and Liran were having a splendid time. They had been invited into a special game some of the elfchildren were playing. Lynlas was wearing a long black cloak and a black hood over his face. “I’m Ossanta Darkwing, a dragon of Noran, and I’ve invaded Rayfall!” he explained to them. “You’ve got to give me to the count of ten, and I’ll run and hide somewhere. Then some of you will stay and be at the castle, or in the tree-city, and some of you will come and be the dragonhunters. You can choose which group you want to be in.”

Liran chose to be a dragonhunter, and was given a long wooden sword and a sturdy small shield. Lilac decided to stay in the tree-city, having mastered the swinging bridges and ropes, and to her surprise was given a smaller sword. “Ladies that stay at home might need to protect themselves or their homes,” said Alosse, another elfmaiden who had chosen to stay in the tree-city. “That’s why we need swords as much as the dragonhunters.”

Eralyr gathered them into a ring, and the children began counting, with their eyes closed so that Lynlas would have a fair chance. Lynlas was gone when all eyes opened again.

“I choose Lilac for my Lady,” cried Eralyr, who had taken a shine to the pixie-girl.

“What?” asked Lilac, surprised.

“I choose you for my Lady. That means if I kill the dragon, I’m doing it in your honor. Will you be my Lady? Please,” he added, politely. Lilac, blushing, nodded.

Liran shrugged, rather uninterested in this custom. “I choose Joyelin for my Lady,” he said. The pretty elfmaiden handed him a filmy scarf. He looked at Eralyr. “What’s the scarf for?”

“That’s her favor,” Eralyr explained. “It means she accepts you. You tie it to your helmet, or your sword-hilt.” Liran knotted the fabric to the hilt of his sword.

Lilac handed Eralyr her lavender hair-ribbon.

“That’s the best favor I have. I hope it’ll tie right,” she said, a little anxiously.

Eralyr gallantly tied the ribbon to the top of his small helmet. “It’s a splended favor, Lady Lilac,” he said. “Let’s go hunt a dragon!”

All the elf-boys rushed off, together with a few of the more warlike maidens. Most of the girls had chosen to remain in the tree-city. “How do we know where Lyn – where Ossanta Darkwing went?” Liran asked.

“We don’t,” answered Kayalan, the elfmaid running next to him. “But we wouldn’t know where a real dragon was if it came to Rayfall. Eralyr’s our captain, so we follow where he leads.”

Liran concentrated on following Eralyr. It took concentration, as the elf-boy darted through the trees with the speed of a deer. The pixie soon found himself near the back of the group. He couldn’t run as fast as an elf. Soon Eralyr halted.

“We need to split up,” he said. “Kayalan, you take some of them and scan the north end of the valley. I’ll take some and scan the south.”

Lilac spotted Arisar, a blond elf about her own age, sitting up in one of the great trees. “What are you doing, Arisar?” she called. The elfmaid beckoned her up to the branch.

“I’m the guard of the tree-city,” she explained. “I watch for if the dragon attacks us, or if the dragonhunters are returning. Do you want to help?”

Lilac nodded. Suddenly Arisar stiffened. “Look over there!” she said, her voice low and excited. Lilac looked, and saw a dark figure in the trees close to the little play-city underneath the trees. Nobody had seen him yet but the two guards.

“Is that Ossanta Darkwing?” Lilac breathed. The game had become almost real to her, in the company of the imaginative elves. Her home seemed truly under attack from a terrible black dragon. Arisar snatched up a small silver horn from her side and winded it as loudly as she could.

The call rang out over the valley, high and clear. Down beneath them in the tree-city, the girls looked up from their occupations and laid their hands on their weapons. Across the river, Eralyr spun about.

“That’s the horn of the tree-city!” he cried. “The dragon’s attacking!”

Arisar gave Lilac her hand and the two girls jumped down from the tree. Ossanta leapt from the branch where he had been crouching. He roared. The girls screamed.

Ossanta leapt over the line of pebbles which marked the boundary of the tree-city.

Arisar grabbed Lilac’s shoulder.

“Lilac, get all the girls together and lead them to safety!” she shouted. “Get them to the most protected place you can find and stay there! Wait for the dragonhunters!”

Lilac found herself, for the first time in her life, in a position of leadership.

She had no idea what to do.

“Retreat!” she cried, her voice shrill. “Follow me!”

The girls ran after Lilac, who ran to the safest place she could think of – the huge hollow tree that housed the armory. The elf-girls sat down on the floor, and Lilac pulled the heavy door shut.

“Good job,” said Joyelin, panting a little. “Have you ever played this game before?”

“Never,” Lilac replied.

Kayalan, being the closest, had led her force to the tree-city as soon as possible.

Arisar was battling Ossanta. Kayalan drew her sword. “Charge! Fight for Rayfall!” she cried, racing to the dragon. The elves, and Liran, followed her.

Liran was excited. This was better than the games at home. He drew his own sword and ran to the black shape, who spun around to face the oncoming warriors. The dragon roared. Liran stabbed at him with the wooden sword.

“Ow!” Lynlas poked his head out of the hood. “Be careful, you silly.”

“Sorry,” Liran apologized. “I got to thinking you were really a dragon.”

Lynlas dropped the hood back over his face. “I am a dragon!” he said, with a hiss. “And I am not alone!” He raised his cloak wide like wings.

On this cue, seven of the elf-boys leapt out of the trees. They all wore black cloaks too, but more close-fitting, as though they were the seven Shadowriders.

Liran recognized two of the boys before they ran to the fray, wielding black-painted swords. Eralyr’s force was still making it across the river, and Kayalan’s small army was about to be overwhelmed by the Shadows’ furious onslaught, when…

A bell rang out, somewhere across the valley. IarĂ«n, a redheaded elf, sat up from underneath one of the Shadowriders. “Lunchtime!” he cried. The battle was swiftly abandoned.

But the bell wasn’t only for lunch. It was also to summon the older elves back to the treecastle. More people, with news, had arrived.

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