Hi folks, it’s Kat!
As you may have noticed, I played truant and took a little weekend hiatus. 🙂 I’m excited to be back and can’t wait to UNLEASH THE BEAST!! All the posts boiling up inside me just want to spill out like lava. I limit myself to one-a-day, though, and if I think I’m pushing my arm, I force myself to wait. 😉
So, the Staldorian War. It taught me a lot of things, from the possibilities of plot to prophecies to destinies to made-up creatures (oh, WOW! Who’d ever think of THAT??). So I’m going to give it a place of honor and go into it more here than I usually would for the average story. Plus I have background to explain. 🙂
Okay, to establish three things before launching into the overview.
1) NO MAGIC! When I was younger, (13ish) I had this bizarre aversion to magic. I had “abilities” in my characters, e.g. being able to shoot a particular leaf off of a tree 500 yards away with an arrow, and drawing, sighting and releasing in the space of a breath. Oh, but you see, they were able to do this because elves (my elves) have a natural “ability”, a gift for archery. Any ten-year-old elf could do that shot blindfolded. With eyes, it’s easy, because they also have an “ability” to see things with vision eagles would envy. They have the “ability” to not need sleep at all, and this makes for convenient traveling and keeping watch… etc. But no magic involved. Obviously. 😉
2) My elves… no words. Okay, so they weren’t that bad, especially when compared to my first wood sprite/fairy/leprechaun incarnation, in which they were a few inches tall and loved to play pranks on the big lumbering humans, and that was what the stories were about – the different pranks they played and the competitive “elves” trying to outmatch pranks… But still… They were pretty bad. As my brother John said, they were little demigods. I maintain that my leads were goddesses, while the other elves (somehow arbitrarily “less” than the lead’s *fill-in the-blank* skill, ability, strength, knowledge, what have you) were the real demigods. No matter what, they were, like, don’t mess with Texas – big time. They lived a few hundred years looking twenty the whole way – enough to make you jealous, right? You have to hand it to my villains that they at least get some courage points for knowingly and deliberately standing against my leads. Well, either courage or stupidity points. 🙂
3) I have two kinds of elves, tribes, in a way. The Northern Elves and the Southern Elves. They each have their own respective territory (one north, one south, if you couldn’t’ve guessed 😉 ) , and their own, if similar, traditions. In short, the Northern Elves are dark-haired and dark-eyed and shorter (like, just under six feet is shorter), and the Southern Elves are golden-haired and anywhere in the range of blue/green/gray eyes. In this story, the Northern Elves are essentially gone, a people thought (if the word is not too heartless to use for people) extinct. But there’s an ancient prophecy that tells of the last of the Northern Elves working with a Southern Elf to defeat an evil villain who would arise. Typical, I know, but much of this was a first for me.
Anyway, so this story begins with four ordinary girls supposedly sisters, Ithryal (the lead, a Southern Elf, undercover name of Rya), Alethea (personal side-kick to Ithryal, Northern Elf in blood but believes she is human), Helga (human), and Anna (also human and blood sister to Helga). Their parents are dead, I specified how but of the details of that only the past remembers.
The three other girls don’t know that Ithryal is an elf until an impending tornado forces them to evacuate and she decides it high time to tell them. This is a classic scene in my early stories, and I got really practiced at the bomb-dropping scene. “Hey guys, guess what? I’m an elf! Just thought you might be interested…” I was extremely pompous in my writing style though, so for a direct quote from this the first of the “revealing the secret” scene “The time has come for your questions to be answered. Yes, I am a pure-blooded elf. My true name is not Rya, but Ithryal…” Gotta love the bombshell moments, especially when they’re as tacky as this. 🙂 So because of this impending tornado, they need to get out, so Ithryal, the oldest, says she’ll lead them to a place of safety. She guides them to the home of her childhood, Paladruyn (PAL-uh-drew-en), which she left awhile before to seek for her father who was said to be dead, and her sister who had been missing for a very long time. She confirmed her father’s death and, unwilling to return to the familiar faces and places of Paladruyn and the painful memories it would awaken, she had settled in with Helga and Anna’s parents. Aletha was adopted, and though Helga knew of her Elvish blood, she spoke of it to no one, for as with Ithryal, their parents had deemed it best to keep it secret until the children were older and could keep a secret themselves. But now that the time could reasonably be said to have come, still Helga kept her secret, begrudging the two girls their heritage, and Ithryal had not been told of Alethea’s birthright.
At Paladruyn, Ithryal tells the council that she confirmed her father Lord Kerith’s death. The council requests postponement of the formalization of her Ladyship until this Enemy has been dealt with. (I never named my villains; I thought it seemed too personal for an arch-bad-guy to have a name… <- no longer true. I name everyone now.) Ithryal readily agrees, for she has had growing suspicion of such an Enemy arising, and she knows the prophecy and guesses its meaning.
To surmise, she confronts Alethea and asks her if she knows anything of her past, and if she has learned anything from Helga. Alethea tells her of Helga’s unhelpfulness, and Ithryal essentially tells her, because of course she’s figured out on her own, that she is the last Northern Elf from the prophecy.
Now Ithryal has this (completely unmagical, of course) pool, that when she looks into it she can see and converse with the Enemy (revolutionary!). Doing this she can learn much of what he means to do, because the poor clumsy fool just can’t keep it from her when he in his folly confronts her. I actually said that she was “never fooled by fools, for foolish is the one who tries to fool her”. Little goddess. 🙂
Anyway, so she looks in this pool and figures out he has some sudden hope, a favorable turn of events, and has learned more than is good for him of the elves’ plans. Struck by sudden suspicion, Ithryal hunts for Helga, and finds her trying to leave Paladruyn (upon entering the border guards had insisted that the humans must get permission from the council before departing, to which they had agreed). Helga escapes, taking Anna with her by force, and Ithryal sets out to stop them before further harm can be done. When she catches up she finds traces of the Enemy’s soldiers taking Helga away. Anna had apparently put up a struggle and been left for dead. Ithryal uses her (completely unmagical) wonder-elf-juice, stuff that could practically grow your hair to miles and make you run cross-country without breathing hard and skip sleep and meals in the bargain, and since it’s capable of that, it’s no surprise it can revive those near death. She then leaves Anna in the care of a farmer and pursues Helga, but already knows she is too late, losing too much time on Anna’s count to hope to catch her up.
Her path takes her close to the Duroth wood, home to the Durothaem (think ranger-type freelance fighters). The Durothaem are old friends of the elves, and Ithryal gets the bright idea of getting their help in defeating the Enemy. Stopping by, she speaks with the Captain. The Durothaem, always eager for a good fight, readily agree to help, and she just-so-happens to meet up with her long-lost sister here who has been tagging along with the Durothaem. So they march back to Paladruyn, picking up a ready-for-action Anna on the way. They stop only long enough to join with the pseudo-army (elves are no warriors generally) that Alethea has organized and set out for Staldor, the Enemy’s kingdom.
The twenty good guy soldiers and thirty bad guy soldiers (<- exaggeration… but close 😉 ) line up and join battle. Ithryal sees Helga behind the enemy soldiers huddled in the bushes, but before she can make her way over there, a shadow falls across the battlefield. In practically my sole moment of creativity, a creature like a winged seahorse descends, and a figure clad in black (of courrrssssse…) is visible on its back. To make it short, Ithryal shoots the creature out of the sky, and as the Enemy rushes at her, sword drawn, she shoots him too. Taadaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well, I do wrap it up. For example, Helga returns to Paladruyn with the elves, and confirms everything Ithryal has, of course, already guessed. She had discovered the pool by accident and the Enemy had mastered her mind and will (yes, the villains are actually allowed to have sorcery, which is close but different from magic – but that’s another post 😀 ). She had told him all she knew and then, as her ordered her, was going to seek him. But he had not told her to take Anna, which, when Helga did, totally mangled his plans. Now he was dead, she was free of his mastery and her old self again.
So that’s about the whole of it – my first “worthwhile” story. And I’m sure you’re wondering why you’d ever want to read anything of mine. But trust me, I learned so much from this story, and then from the subsequent ones, building up as I learned, and I at least think that none of mine (while quite possibly not awesome 🙂 ) are as bad as this. 😉
Now, you only got this story in half its glory or less. You missed my old writing style/voice. All my “and so saying”s, and “forthwith”s, and “thereby”s , and “goes not amiss”s, and all my pompous descriptions and narrative. Like, I have in writing a description of this elf character that was this “it was his eyes that betrayed his age, for therein glowed a depth immeasurable, the glimpse of many seasons passed and many things experienced, both good and ill”. Sooooooo pompous and stodgy and… no words. And I’m like, oh my gosh, did I really write like that???? That’s… horrifying! 😉
I’m sure I bored you with that little recap, but it was kind of fun, digging up old stuff from the four corners of the earth. I laughed pretty hard, actually, so if you did too, don’t feel guilty. I should have written this as a comedy; it might actually be successful that way. 🙂
See you later, pen in hand!