Was going to be a big multi-chapter adventure but I don't have the talent or patience to do that. So instead you get a few chapters. But that's better than nothing!

Sarai was young but she wasn't stupid.

She knew she was different from others in Xadia. While her interactions with other elves were limited the few she'd had were less than ideal. Many regarded her as some kind of plague or outcast and walked away quickly. Her differences were in the way they looked at her and in the way they spoke. It was in her difficulties with magic that no elf should struggle with. It was in her fear of combat and confrontation. But most of all, it was in her hands.

Elves, she knew, had four fingers.

Sarai had five.

Her father was human and her mother was an elf. It was why she was unusual. Elves and humans hated each other but her parents had fallen in love despite the bad blood. And Sarai's admiration for them was never-ending, just like their determination and spirit.

Rayla, a Moonshadow elf assassin who had once been asked to kill a king and a prince. Instead she'd found her future husband and they'd gone on a journey to end a war that should've never even started. Strong, beautiful, hilarious, and a great warrior, Rayla was what Sarai wished she could be. A fighter, somebody who wasn't afraid of battle or death. Furiously protective of what she cared about, which these days was her husband and her daughter. Sometimes Sarai even wondered how she was her mother's daughter, what with how different they were. But then she'd see her horns reflected back at her and the answer was there, among the locks of long dark hair she'd gotten from her father.

Callum, a human and former prince who had protected his younger brother from Rayla on that fateful raid. He had traveled with her to bring Zym back to the Dragon Queen and end that war. Compared to his wife, he was more scholarly and bookish with an honest face and an aptitude for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. And Sarai took after him in that regard, as well as with her extra fingers and the fact that Moonshadow magic wasn't exactly for her. He was kind and caring and she knew that both he and her mother loved her more than themselves. The only times she ever saw him get angry were when someone threatened her or Rayla.

Their family was small but had plenty of love to go around. On Rayla's side, her parents were gone—not dead but not with her—and there were no other relatives she knew of. Callum's father was unknown to him and he'd lost his mother and stepfather years before Sarai was born. He had a half-brother, but Sarai had never met the man before. Something had happened and they weren't able to enter the human kingdoms safely anymore. It had been the cause of several arguments when Sarai was younger, where Rayla insisted she could protect them and Callum wanted his daughter to live to adulthood. Eventually they'd settled on the border near the Storm Spire, where King Zym (Sarai refused to call him anything else) assured their safety from the elves but not the humans.

Now, however, things were very wrong.

Things were so wrong that Sarai didn't know how she'd ever help set them right.

Her parents had been captured by a team of rouge elves and a human—a human woman whose hair was almost completely white, save for a few locks of black on the righthand side. Callum and Rayla had been shocked and horrified to see her. Not the elves, but this odd-looking human woman who used dark magic. They hadn't gone easy, mind you. Rayla had fought while Callum tried to help her, but she yelled for him to take Sarai and run, to let her handle the battle while he saved their child. He'd obeyed, only for the human woman to catch up and hold them in place with her evil power.

"Callum. It's been years," the woman said breathily.

"It seems magic hasn't been kind to you, Claudia," he spat. She narrowed her eyes.

"Why are you angry?"

"You attacked my family and you didn't think I'd be angry?!"

Sarai bit her lip as she listened to her father. Hearing him speak with such venom and anger and scorn, a tone that her mother usually reserved for herself, was disconcerting to say the least. He was usually joking or giving her advice or even helping her with magic and drawing. Anger was a rare emotion and she was afraid of this woman who could draw it out of him.

"Please, it wasn't my idea. I wanted to just take you and draw your bloodthirsty lover out so we could take your child, too. The elves had other plans. Now, what to do…"

Out of the corner of her eye, Sarai saw her father's fingers moving in a familiar shape—a rune. He was trying to free them. She could already feel the binding spell weakening around her and before Claudia could finish her mutterings Sarai was free. Claudia had yet to notice but the binding was still tight around Callum. Worriedly, he looked to his daughter, who remained by him.

"Sarai, go find help. She's not as interested in you so you can slip away."

"But Papa—"

"Please. I can buy you some time but it's limited. Go now and run."

Running. It was the one physical activity she was good at. Sarai nodded and leapt to her feet. Before Claudia could even figure out what had happened, the halfling was gone and well out of her reach. She let out a growl and turned her attention to Callum, who glared at her defiantly… then she dragged him back to where his wife was lying on the ground, heavily bruised and injured but alive, surrounded by the elves who had brutally beaten her.

"Rayla!" Callum gasped, desperately trying to reach her.

"She's not dead yet," snorted Claudia. "But she may be, soon."

"Touch her and you're dead!"

"Where was this fire when we were younger? Or is it just because your elven mistress is lying on the ground and your hell-spawn is off who-knows-where?"

"Sarai is—"

"And you even named her after your mother. Hmph. Well, we have somewhere to be, don't we?"

The last thing that registered in Callum's mind was a spell.

Then darkness.

It had started as a rumor in the street earlier that week.

An elf is in Katolis—a Moonshadow elf!

Those rumors were never something that Soren took seriously. People made mistakes like that all the time and it was kind of dumb when you thought about it too much. No, the rumors worried him when they switched to they're looking for help. Only one Moonshadow elf had connections in Katolis and it had been many years since he'd seen her. And the fact that she didn't go to the castle, knowing Ezran would gladly help her, worried him most of all. So he posted guards in the streets to find the elf and bring her to the palace.

But it wasn't Rayla deposited at his feet.

"Who are you?" he asked. She looked up at him with wide green eyes.

"Who are you?" she echoed, her voice denoting her youth. She couldn't have been older than six.

"I am Soren, the head of the Crown Guard."

"M-my name is Sarai. I was told to go get help."

"Help?" She nodded.

"I need to save Mama and Papa. S-some…" Her eyes rolled back into her head and she fell to the ground. He realized after kneeling beside her that she was starving and tired and nothing that an eight-year-old girl should be.

"Make sure she gets food and rest. We'll continue this when she's feeling better."

His orders were followed. And out of custom, he informed Ezran of their guest. The young king insisted upon seeing the girl, and as soon as he did he backed away in shock.

"Why is she here?"

"To get help for her parents or something." Ezran reached out and touched one of the girl's horns.

"Do you know her name?"


A shaky breath was inhaled by the king of Katolis.

"I… I think… I know who her parents are."


(Really, Soren had not gotten any sharper.)

"Rayla and… Callum. No doubt about it—everything about her is just like them."

"Huh. Weird. I didn't know they had a baby."

"We haven't talked to them since they were forced to cut contact eight years ago. I can't figure out why their daughter would be here unless something bad happened."

Sarai let out a groan as she came to and Ezran smiled.

"Hey, feeling better?" he asked.

"I… I don't know…"

"Your name is Sarai, right? I'm Ezran."

"You're Ezran?" Sarai's eyes widened.

"I'm guessing you've heard of me?"

"Papa talked about you a lot. So did Zym. You can talk to animals, right?"

"Yes, I can. How old are you, Sarai?"

"Five. Almost six."

"And your father's name wouldn't happen to be Callum, would it?"

"Yeah… and my mama is Rayla. Papa told me to come to Katolis to get help. He and Mama were taken away by bad elves and a mean lady named Claudia who wanted to hurt me and Mama."

"Well, then, you've found your help. We are family."

In truth, however, the news that Claudia had resurfaced troubled both king and guard. Soren was glad to hear his sister was alive but furious to learn she'd tried to harm a child…again. Ezran was bothered by the fact that Claudia had apparently overpowered both mage and warrior, though the fact that elves were helping her made sense. None of them wanted the uneasy peace that had settled over the human kingdoms and Xadia over the past decade and a half. It made sense that they'd go after the human-elf couple and their halfling child. But at the same time, they'd made the mistake of going after his family, the only family he had left other than his aunt Amaya. Sarai was his niece and he'd protect her.

"Soren, send word to Aunt Amaya and the Storm Spire. We're going after Claudia." His eyes turned to Sarai. "In the meantime, let's get you rested and fed. And some new clothes."

Sarai looked down. Her knee-length blue dress was tattered and filthy, its hue dulled by the muck and mud. Her eyebrows knit together and she smiled up at her uncle.

"Thank you, Uncle Ezran."

"What else is family for?"

Word had spread that she was in the castle over the past several days. Sarai noted the stares and whispers as she walked through the hall in the clothes that Ezran had said once belonged to her father. Her long hair had been braided to keep it out of her face for the time being, horns still up and standing proud and denoting her elven heritage alongside the blue markings she'd inherited from her mother. To so many she appeared the enemy, despite the years of tentative peace between the human kingdoms and Xadia her family had led. War had once been the way of life for both places, for both races, but now that was over.

"You okay, Sarai?" Ezran asked as she entered the dining room.

"It's weird, being around so many people."

"How so?"

"For as long as I can remember, it's just been me, Mama, and Papa in our little cottage by the Storm Spire. Zym babysits me a lot when they had to go do things because he likes me. Mama said it was because they did the same for him when he was a baby."

"I remember. I helped them take care of Zym when he was newly hatched." She sat down next to him. Opeli looked slightly unnerved at the breach of protocol but said nothing.

"I miss them…"

"Me, too. I haven't seen them since before you were born."

"Mama was fighting the bad elves, and Papa told me to run away and get help in Katolis while he faced Claudia. I'm fast."



"Well, then, we'll have to have a race once this is over. And you and your parents will have to come visit."

Sarai nodded in agreement and began to eat some of the food that had been set out. Ezran noted the way she ate was so much like Callum; no doubt his older brother had instilled manners into his daughter in case she ever came to Katolis. But the way she held the knife and the markings under her eyes—it was pure Rayla. His heart ached to know just what Claudia had done with his brother and sister-in-law. Sarai was the last thing he had left of them at the moment (save for a couple of portraits done before they were forced to leave). Already he was growing attached to her.

"When are we leaving?" she asked. "I wanna know so I can pack."


"You don't want me to go?"

"No, you're coming. It's just… we need to figure this out. I don't want you near the battlefield when you're so young, especially not if we're going against Claudia. She's a dark mage."

"I understand. That's why we live near the Storm Spire. Zym protects us better and Papa didn't want me to see how ugly fighting is."

That sounds like Callum.

"We're leaving tomorrow morning. You'll have to guide us to your home and we'll start looking from there."

Sarai nodded and went back to eating.


The young king sighed as Soren approached him in the throne room.

"Soren, we're doing this. It's Callum and Rayla."

"That's not my concern. My concern is you going along."


"If… if something happens to you, you have no heir. Who's going to rule the kingdom if you don't come back?"

"Oh, that's easy. Sarai will." Soren blinked. "Look, she's Callum's daughter. That means in terms of succession, she's after him."

"But Sarai is coming with us."

"And she'll be staying with someone at the Storm Spire. I'm not risking her life, but I'm willing to risk mine."

"…you're just like Harrow, you know. He was the same way." Ezran faced his old friend. "Viren offered him a way out, the night the assassins came. A snake that could put his soul in another body. But he refused, saying he'd rather die a king than a coward who let another die in his place."

"Then that's what I believe, too."

"I'll prepare to head out. Should I alert Amaya?" Ezran nodded.

"Send a message to her and Janai. They can meet us on the Xadian side of the border and guide us the rest of the way."

Soren nodded. Ezran eventually left the room and wandered until he passed his niece's room. He could hear her sniffling. Out of concern, he entered her room and found her curled up with one of Callum's old stuffed animals; no doubt Opeli had given it to her.

(She may have appeared reserved, but she had a soft spot for children.)


"Uncle Ezran?" She sat up and rubbed her eyes.

"You're upset, aren't you?"

"I… I just want Mama and Papa…" Ezran pulled her into a hug.

"It's going to be okay. We'll find them and we'll make sure they're safe."

"But elves are mean. They talk about me and Mama all the time. They say Mama is a traitor to Xadia and that I'm an… a-bomb…a-bomb-in-ation?"

"Abomination. And it's not a good word, especially if they're using it to talk about someone."

"What does it mean?"

"It means… unnatural. Bad. Like something never should have happened. You're not an abomination, Sarai. You're a little girl with two loving parents and a family who cares about you. There's nothing more natural or good than that."

She smiled up at him and that smile was pure Rayla, especially the way her eyes crinkled when she did it. He held her tighter for a moment, then sighed.

"Tomorrow, we're leaving for Xadia. And I promise you we will bring our family back together, no matter what."

Ezran stayed with her until she fell asleep, tucking the stuffed dragon under her arm before he left.

I promise, Sarai.



I'm surprised it took me this long to write one, but I did it! And I promise I'll update it.

I will say that I have an alternate version involving Ethari and Runaan, but that one proved more difficult to write and I had to scrap it. They'll be coming in later to help with the search.

So long and thanks for all the fish!