The first memory I remember having is of Sharmin, my sister. It's odd, considering I was quite the momma's girl as a young child, but Sharmin is the first thing I remember seeing when I think back to those times. We were always together, and although she was the older one, I ended up sticking up for her more than she had to for me. Of course, the town boys constantly teased her over her spectacles, which made her eyes seem three times larger than normal. I only had to worry about one black-haired annoyance named Koyori.

My rivalry with Koyori began not long after we had both enrolled in Einhovant's School of Magic. We were friends the first couple of days, until I discovered she had a crush on the same boy I did. This fancy faded quickly, as all cases of young puppy love do, but then began the trend of her fancying every boy that I did.

Living on Talking Island, secluded away from the rest of the world left us with very little to develop crushes on, so I suppose I can't blame her. I do have good taste, after all. But it was just really, really annoying. Everywhere I went with the boy I liked (because usually I was the one he liked in return) she would be, watching us from behind a house or a crate.

I loved teasing my sister. I never meant any harm by it, of course, although she did end up telling me several times during our childhood that she hated me. This was all taken at face value of course, as I know Sharmin could never do anything without me there by her side. At first my parents and I thought she was to just live an average life, like them, doing average things. She was quite proficient in cooking, so she probably could've become a chef of some sort, maybe for a noble in a castle somewhere. This was what we expected, that is, until the year Leon DiValmont came to Talking Island.

Leon was quite handsome, I'll have to admit, but his personality always struck me as dry and angsty. There seemed to be much too much baggage dragging along behind him for my taste, but for some reason Sharmin fell for him like a rock down a cliff. He had blonde hair that trailed down his neck, one portion always falling over his left eye and obscuring it from view. How he manages to see to swing a sword properly with it blocking his eye, I'll never know, nor do I care. Maybe she saw something in him that other people didn't, who knows.

Around this time I began crushing on a boy named Ryonai who was in Leon's class. My class was combined with his for a test on battle healing, and I was assigned to him. At first I was pretty bitchy towards him; after all, he did spend most of his time teasing my sister. But the more I hung around him, the more I began to like him. His outgoing nature was interesting, although he was quite immature. He was only twelve, but already a well-seasoned flirter. Koyori was assigned to him another combined class day, and she was pleased to announce to our class, after the days studies were up, that she was going to marry him when she turned fourteen. I shouldn't have been surprised; of course she would like the same guy I chose.

I saw Ryonai's class come out to the beach near the town one day after my classes were finished at Einhovant's. I noticed Leon was among them, so when I went home to play that night, I just had to tease Sharmin about it. She was grounded at the time, as she had snuck away to the harbor the night Leon's ship had come in. We weren't supposed to leave town without one or both of our parents, as it was common knowledge that the Orcs or the Werewolves that wandered the forest outside the Village would kidnap children to eat. Sharmin snuck out after my teasing, and a misfired ice spell and well-aimed rock throw later, she became the unofficial mascot of Ryonai and Leon's class.

With the intention to tease, Ryonai had thrown a piece of coal at my sister. It hit her in the head at the same time as a misfired ice spell by bubble butt Koyori. Somehow the traumas cleared her vision, as well as gain the pity of Ryonai's teacher Cedric. Mom didn't even notice that her sight had been cleared until way later that night, she'd been so angry about how Sharmin's glasses had gotten broke in the process. Ryonai felt so guilty for throwing the rock for weeks afterwards, as he didn't know it was going to land on her head and hurt her. He would never admit that to anyone but me, though.

During one such mascot-like following of the class, Sharmin ended up somehow agroing a Werewolf Hunter. It tore through several students, including Ryonai who almost died from it. She was banned from going with the class then, and the town became angry at her and our family for how the attack had almost killed their children. I was mad at her for a bit too, for how badly hurt Ryonai had gotten at her expense, but after talking with him, it became apparent that she really had no fault in the attack. The Werewolf simply approached her, and she ran from it. I probably would've done the same thing. Anyone who got in the way was stupid and deserved to get the snot kicked out of them in the first place. Nevertheless, Sharmin was banned from going out to watch the class after that.

What the truly unfortunate thing about that whole endeavor was; they blamed our entire family for it. Mom was denied groceries at the store, and the women of the village snubbed her and gossiped about everything she did outside of the house. Sharmin's schoolbooks would disappear when she'd go to class and then turn up later, the pages ripped out. The formerly harmless teasing she received from the boys turned violent, and even girls in my class went out of their way to try and make her life miserable. I put a stop to that, though. It didn't take me but a month to straighten my class out. Koyori seemed the most stubborn to cooperate, and she ended up with black eyes more than anyone else.

The final blow was when dad came home beaten up one evening. Some of the boys in Ryonai's class had decided to slack off because summer holiday was coming up, and blamed it on injuries received during the Werewolf attack when they got scolded at home. Their fathers believed them, and took it out on dad. The morning after he came home bruised, I woke up to find Sharmin not in bed. I figured she'd gone out for a walk, or was trying to get to school extra early so she could avoid the daily teasing, and went about my morning duties before I had to leave for class. You can imagine my surprise when I was walking to school I happened out to find Sharmin facing off against Leon on the beach. His entire class, including Cedric, watched in amusement. I was so scared for her then, I'd seen Leon fight, and I'd heard about it from Ryonai. As boring of a personality as he had, he knew his swordsmanship, and was good. I tried to stop them, since I thought Cedric was just encouraging more teasing and berating of our family, but he caught me by my shirt and wouldn't let me.

Sharmin wasn't very good, Cedric had supplied her with a sword that was way too big and heavy for her to use, but she was determined to show them up. Apparently, I heard from Ryonai later, that Cedric had made her some sort of bizarre deal that if she could beat Leon, he'd let her in his class. I can't believe she fell for something as blatantly stupid as that. She did manage to put a few scratches on him, but he gave her a pretty deep gash in her chest, which I healed of course. Even though she didn't pass the challenge given to her by Cedric, she managed to make some sort of impression on him, and he accepted her into his school right there on the spot.

Mother didn't want her to become a swordfighter, as she had been preparing Sharmin to become some semblance of a lady. Gone now was her formerly long hair and long blue dresses. From now on she'd wear short skirts or armored bikinis and have nothing but a short hairstyle. I'm more partial to longer hair myself, so I feel sorry for her. I suppose it makes waving those swords around easier when your hair is short though. I couldn't imagine it though, I'd feel naked. She'd come home every Darksday and holiday to visit, as Cedric required everyone live in his dorms for the 'full' school maturing experience. The muscles she was developing were so cool! They were like tiny versions of the ones Ryonai had himself. I thought maybe that now she had muscles, she'd kick butt on her own and I wouldn't have to stand up for her anymore, but alas, she was still the same cowardly Sharmin. She couldn't even do the basic skill test and kill an Elpy. When someone did kill one in front of her, I'm told she burst out crying like a baby. God Sharmin, grow up.

During her second year in school she was attacked in my school by some nutjob who decided to kill our Headmaster for a set of books that he could've purchased at any magic store. I'm not exactly sure why, as I've been injured worse just healing people out in the field, but the poke he gave to her stomach left her traumatized. She all but stopped her sword studies after that, as she'd break down into hysterics every time she tried to kill something that walked on two legs. There was a small Orc uprising down by the docks several months after she was attacked, and Einhovant's and Cedric's classes were combined to put a stop to it. I was doing a great job then too, my healing was quicker and more soothing than anything that lump Koyori could kick out. She kept trying to show me up by taking the people I called to heal. She ended up getting shot by an Orc later I'm told. Heh heh, serves her right.

Cedric decided to pair me with my sister, and after conversing with my teacher, it was made permanent. My studies were halted until she was able to advance herself. I found this extremely unfair, why should I have to suffer when it's her who has the hang-ups? I ditched her the first day we were stuck together to go hang out with Ryonai. Heck, if I don't have to be in school, then I'm going to be doing something I enjoy, not tagging along after my sister who was killing things that could no more hurt her than a toothless dog could eat a bone. Oh yeah, I think she killed a goblin finally that day too. I suppose that's progress, as it runs on two legs. She got lucky though, I was going to take the ugly bastard out myself.

Ryonai and I talked all evening and flirted like you wouldn't believe. Sigh. He told me that he was out of class that day because Cedric and most of his class including Leon and some kid from Sharmin's class named Gatz were leaving the next day. This was extremely disappointing news, as Ryonai still hadn't chosen between Koyori or I, even though he spent more time with me than with her. I walked him back to the Training Hall for dinner, and he ended up pulling me beside the school for a kiss. Or two. Or three. In any case, it was fun, my very first kiss with the boy I liked. I couldn't have asked for a better set-up.

Sharmin just had to come back to the Training Hall while Ryonai was kissing me and interrupt us. She got all bonkers over the fact that he was older than me. Come on, who died and made her my mother? I even doubt mom would care, she liked Ryonai. She had this blonde kid (I think it was Gatz?) following after her as she yelled at me, obviously trying to confess his love to her, so I got a little bit evil and started teasing her about Leon. That got her off of my case like a ghost-repelling charm. Sadly, it seemed to upset the guy behind her too. She told me to go away and not come back for awhile. This was fine with me, as I had no reason to go back to Cedric's once Ryonai was gone. Not like I wanted to visit her.

We started talking again about a week after the boat left with Ryonai on it. Koyori had gone too, which was very aggravating as I knew she was going to put some moves on him. Oh well, I got to kiss him first at least. Sharmin began training again, still at her agonizingly slow pace. The new headmaster at her school kept trying to get me to convince her to return to being a common villager. I ignored him though, what say does he have over what Sharmin does or doesn't do? She eventually advanced to where she could kill some bats and goblins. Orcs and Werewolves gave her problems a bit still and there was no way she could face off against a skeleton. For some reason her brain connected it to living humans and it set off her anxiety attacks.

Two years after the boat left, the Orc, Werewolf, Skeleton and Rat tribes on the island came together to siege the Village in hopes of claiming it. Sharmin became a different person in that battle, the first thing that seemed to be on her mind was to get me to safety. I was scared; I had never seen that many beasts before. They were killing off people right and left, the guards in town weren't enough to hold them off. Sharmin's trauma held off as she cut through them. She managed to kill everything from the Werewolves to the Skeletons without a second thought.

She brought me to the church, and left me there. I tired to get her to stay with me until the siege was over, but she insisted that she had to go see about our parents. I couldn't argue with this, even though I wanted her to stay with me and protect me like she had been doing as we ran through the village. Things get fuzzy after that, the entire experience was traumatic for me, and I've tried to forget much of it. I just know that a boatload of visitors who luckily happened to be fighters arrived and put a stop to the siege. I was brought out of the church and forced to help heal, as there were many injured and not enough healers. Koyori had returned with the boatload, but the situation was too grim for either of us to compete against one another.

I met an Elven Elder that day named Glarawen. She was a very kind and gentle person, and had a smile on her face despite the carnage and sadness around us. The smile wasn't cocky though, it was comforting. She helped me through a lot of the injuries I had to heal. I was worried about Sharmin, as I hadn't heard from her since she'd shoved me into the church, but if she wasn't among the dead who the villagers were gathering up, then she was fine. Sometime during the chaos of trying to heal people, I heard Sharmin scream from near our house. Of course, I ran there to see what had happened, my heart leaping into my throat. I found her screaming hysterically into the ground, Gatz and Glarawen trying to cease her crying. Gatz was holding her tightly; he looked as if he were going to cry himself. Glarawen just sat there, probably unsure as to what to do, and rubbed Sharmin's arm. It dawned on me then, as I looked at our ruined house, as to why Sharmin was upset. I don't remember anything after that, as I had fainted from shock.

I woke up a full day later in Sir Collin Windawood's house. I was in a daze, nothing felt real. Sir Collin's maid tended to me, which I'm grateful for now, as I don't think I would've been able to even walk by myself that day. Sharmin's belongings and mine were in crates stacked around the room, and I peered into one of them to find most of our stuff broken beyond repair.

I took a walk through town alone later, after the maid had force-fed me some soup. People were carrying lumber everywhere, repairing the damage done by the siege. Many houses were boarded up, their occupants never to return. A woman, one I knew to live outside of town near the Elven Ruins, sat amidst a large group of crying children, some my age, some older and younger. I found myself, a few moments later, staring at what used to be our home. I hadn't even realized I was walking there. The reality of what happened hit me in full then, I think, when I saw the charred pile of lumber that used to be our home. Sharmin sat in the grass outside of it, Gatz sitting close to her, watching as men shoveled the ash into wagons to haul it away. A small tree, its roots wrapped in burlap, was propped against a bucket of water nearby.

My legs began to move before I came to fully realize it, and I ran to the wreckage. I think I was whimpering "No" then, but I can't be certain. It was all very fuzzy; I wonder if I had gone crazy then. I began digging through the soot and tinder, not sure what I was looking for. Unfortunately, the first thing I found, was a blackened human skull, its jaw partially unhinged. I threw it down and began screaming hysterically, much like Sharmin had done before. Someone dragged me away from the house and knelt to the ground, hugging me protectively and petting my hair. You'll never guess who it was either- my life-long nemesis Koyori. I suppose we were friends for that moment, until I calmed down enough to be turned over to my sister, who held me and cried.

The tree was planted once the wreckage was moved. All of the soot and remains were piled in the hole with the tree, turning the plant into a kind of memorial and grave. The church was opposed to a grave being in town, thinking it would lure in evil spirits, but they were ignored and the tree planted anyway. Sharmin and I were orphans now, and not old enough or able to live on our own, so we moved in with Marseille, who was taking in all of the orphaned children from town. Her farmhouse was large, and she lived alone. Sharmin was the oldest of the group, so she and Gatz made themselves useful by keeping the Orcs, Werewolves and Spiders from coming onto the property.

I tried to go on with life normally, but I found myself going through all of the motions half-heartedly. I tried to date, as many boys were interested in me, but I couldn't bring myself to enjoy their company and usually brought them to the Waterfall to break it off after a few days to a week. This was probably really bitchy of me in recollection, as the Waterfall is a popular spot where couples go to make out. I think I totally ruined that place for half of the male youth of Talking Island Village.

Life went on like this for a few months, until one day when Koyori came from town to accompany Sharmin and Gatz on their rounds. Koyori was showing an unhealthy interest in Gatz, and it disturbed me, as she was going after someone attached to my sister, not anyone I liked this time. I don't think either of them saw it either. God Swordies are so dense. She was yelling at Gatz, a common ritual for her whenever they'd return from scouting, and I just couldn't take her screeching anymore. I went out to tell her to shut up, and somehow her idiotic retorts melted away all of my grief. Who would have thought Koyori could've actually done something useful in her lifetime. We ended up getting in an argument, and Sharmin and Gatz slipped away while we were in the middle of it. Good for Sharmin, I hope she finally stops being so dense and actually sees how much the guy really likes her. He was putting his own training on hold to stay here on Nowhere Island to be with her, but for some reason she couldn't see it. Maybe some of Leon's cluelessness rubbed off on her or something.

Anyway, I was feeling better after putting Koyori and her giant bosoms down, so I decided to start dating a boy who'd confessed his feelings to me several days before, that night. His name was Lev, and he lived in the Orphan's home with Sharmin and me. He was scheduled to leave for the mainland to live with some relatives in Heine who had just learned of his parents' deaths. This was good, as most of the boys whom I'd dated in the house prior thought that, because we lived together, meant they could get hot and serious. I don't play that way. I have to be the sweet age of 16 with the boy of my dreams before I'd ever think of getting serious like that. And the boy of my dreams is absolutely perfect in every way except for his shy streak, which compliments my boldness perfectly. He will confess his love to me by the ocean, while I stand knee-deep by the reef hunting brightly colored shells, the wind blowing through my hair. He will present to me a crystal lily hairpin which I will place behind my ear, and then he will wrap his arms around my waist and gently lift my chin up to kiss me lovingly under the bright light of a full moon. I will not settle for anything less than this, and if anyone tries to force me into differently, there will be hell to pay.

Gatz came storming back as Lev and I laid on the picnic table outside of the house, watching the stars appear, and disappeared into the house. Damn, Sharmin must've blown it, the idiot, I remember thinking. She came over the hill quickly about ten minutes later, and dashed into the house herself without a word, Leon and two elves following in her stead. Well, that answered why she failed with Gatz, Leon showed up. And of course, he's dense as always, as Sharmin obviously had gotten upset with something dealing with him, and he couldn't see it. What goes through his head, anyway? Or any of their heads for that matter? Sharmin likes Leon, has liked him for YEARS, and he can't seem to see it. I can't even imagine what he thinks her forlorn looks and how she follows him everywhere means. Gatz likes Sharmin, but she's too dense and wrapped up in her feelings for Leon to see it, even though it's also so freaking blatantly obvious. And then we have the third triangle member now of Koyori, who really wants Gatz for herself, but he's too wrapped up in getting Sharmin's attention that he doesn't see it. Maybe they need to take advice from that Dark Elf Vuylay that came with Leon this time and just throw themselves at the people they like. It might solve something.

Sharmin didn't come down for dinner that night, and Gatz stayed long enough to get a bowl of stew and then disappear outdoors again. He's always seemed to have this deep-seated dislike of Leon. I can imagine it has to do with Sir Collin, as he was rather fond of Leon and compared Gatz' performance to his. Anyway, that Vuylay seemed to step in and decide to show off to all of the boys, gaining EVERYONE'S attention, even Lev's. What is it with boys and large breasts anyway? Don't they know that large breasts can be hazardous to their health? I can imagine someone can suffocate between something as big as some of them get.

Sharmin came down eventually, looking like she just woke up. I decided then to try and distract myself from taking a pin to pop Vuylay's breasts to pull Lev's attention from them and try to fix her up with Leon. Heck, if she failed with Gatz, might as well get her in a situation where she could finally admit her feelings to Leon. This didn't happen as planned, however, as Sharmin is as stubborn as Leon is clueless. I tried to give them something to talk about, but instead it became story time for the entire house. Leon told us of all the places he'd seen and people he'd fought up until then. Big deal, it was all pretty average. Most of his tales included protecting people. I figure he'll be a Paladin then someday. It'd be just like him to put himself in a pillar-like position for the rest of his life. Koyori and Sharmin slipped away sometime during Leon's story, and eventually I abandoned ship as Leon and Narlafayn's story-telling abilities were rather sub par and uninteresting. I took Lev out back to break up with him on the spot, as I didn't like how he was watching Vuylay. Broke the poor boys heart, but that's what you get. I don't share with melon breasted bimbos, and my perfect man will know that.

As Lev went running back into the house to cry, I heard people talking around the front and decided to go investigate. Lo and behold, there stood Sharmin and Gatz. Sharmin seemed to be upset about something, and Gatz appeared to be packing. Great, he was upset over Leon's presence I'll bet, and was leaving. He kissed Sharmin goodbye, a common act done by boys who want to give the girls a chance to stop them. Sharmin, however, did not, and like an idiot, let him leave.

Life went on as usual, of course, although Sharmin seemed a little out of it for a few days. I noticed Koyori was missing about a week after Gatz had left, and could only surmise she was trying to gain his attention now that he was away from Sharmin. I hope for his sake that he sees through that, but it's probably doubtful, he is male after all.

Leon and the elves seemed to be staying around for an extended visit, and made up for Gatz' absence by taking over the scouting and extermination duties. I attempted to get Sharmin and Leon into awkward positions more than once, but the only one affected by any of them was my backwards sister. What does it take to get through to Leon, a chisel and hammer? She went out hunting with him and Vuylay one hot afternoon a week or so later. They were gone for a long time, so I spent the afternoon getting to know Narlafayn. It was rather unproductive, as Narlafayn didn't seem to know anything about Elfin Lore, but a whole load about weapons and armor. What kind of elf is she anyway? She certainly looks mystical and wise, but when she opens her mouth it's a different story. I've never seen an elf like her before either, she acts more human than anything. She claims humans raised her, so who knows.

Sharmin and Vuylay returned that evening without Leon. Sharmin told me that he had disappeared after looking at the wanted posters in town, so maybe he went out to kill the Orc Pirate Uthanka or something. Sometime during the night he returned, I saw him walk into the house as I sat near the shed making out with my newest boyfriend, Meka. He came out later with a sleepy Narlafayn following behind him, his travel pack slung over his shoulder and hurried towards the harbor. Poor Sharmin, she didn't get a chance to say goodbye to him.

I thought maybe they'd return to retrieve Vuylay, but no such luck. Not that I blame them for leaving her behind. I would've done the same thing a long time ago. She replaced Koyori's aggravating presence tenfold, as she teased not only my sister, but me as well. I hate Dark Elves, I really do. And if any of them ever ask why I hate them, I'll point to Vuylay. She was obnoxious, loud, always thrusting her breasts at anything male, and, for the moment, stronger in healing magic than I was.

The days were calm, and pretty boring. Summer was in full swing, and not even the monsters that Sharmin had to scout for previously would come out now. I had nothing left to study, as I had long since completed my courses to become a Cleric, I just needed to make my way to Gludin to be ordained. This would be done whenever Sharmin got over her three years old trauma to take me out there. I'd given up urging her through her training and just let things be. Might as well just take things in stride. A bunch of new families had moved in with boys around my age, so I had plenty to keep me busy. Vuylay seemed to enjoy taking their attention away from me at the most inopportune moments. Right when I'd get my first kiss from my newest boyfriend, she'd decide to strut outside in nothing but the strappy undergarments that Dark Elves wore beneath their clothes to do some stretches. Those left little to the imagination, let me tell you, and the bend-over stretches she did with her ass facing us weren't pleasant to behold. I thought life was going to go on like this forever, and contemplated running away, until the day Sharmin started to hear 'voices'. I guess the 'voices' were telling her to leave then, because in that very instant she decided to leave the Island. About damn time too, wow. I thought I'd never hear her say "Let's go."

The boat ride was several days long, and on it Vuylay and I had to team up to save Sharmin from the town drunk who decided to tag along. Montavious was a washed up knight who, due to his own insecurities, could never get any farther in life. He spent most of his time sitting outside of the Blacksmith's shop, a bottle of Dwarven Mead in one hand. Sometime after the siege he'd set his sights on Sharmin, and would attempt to inappropriately grab her or make passes at her, usually when painfully drunk. Usually the grabbing was located on the arms or face, or even around her waist, and the passes harmless pick-up lines, but this time he got aggressive. He pushed my sister against the cabin door and attempted to grope her breasts through her armor. Sharmin defended herself marvelously, and kicked him where it counts. Vuylay stepped in then and tried to strangle him, which I wish she 'd done. (I'd never thought a Dark Elf could lift an overweight human high into the air by his throat.) Vuylay and I took turns after that to stay by Sharmin's side, just in case he decided to get funny while she slept.

During the trip I met a Dark Elf named Valimos, who was heading to the mainland to become a Palus Knight. His family had just moved to Talking Island to investigate the Elven Ruins for some sort of old magic. I didn't really pay attention to his rambling though, his voice annoyed me. He kept approaching me to chatter on about inane things the rest of the trip, too. I resisted the urge to push him overboard several times, as he'd start insulting me the moment I tried to ignore him.

We arrived in Gludin in the middle of the afternoon, and spent the rest of the day sleeping in the Inn. After that, Sharmin, Vuylay and I parted ways to study our next professions. The Bishop in the church ordained me as a Cleric, Vuylay became an Oracle and Sharmin finally became a Knight. That left her to become either a Paladin or a Dark Avenger later, when the time came. I figured she was more likely to become a Paladin, as Dark Avengers tend to like killing a bit more than Sharmin could stomach.

We stayed in Gludin, helping the townsfolk by exterminating bears and pushing back Lizardmen by the Windmills or taking month-long trips into the Abandoned Camp. We always traveled with hunting parties to try and drive out the Ol Malhum. Sharmin seemed content to stay in Gludin, but Vuylay and I wanted to leave after two months. There weren't as many boys my age, or that fit Vuylay's tastes, so we were left with nothing to do after coming back from hunting. What there was an abundance of, however, were spongy old men and Dwarves.

I saw Narlafayn pass through one night and stop in the Grocery store for supplies. She looked weary and ill, her skin paler than I'd ever seen it before. I tried to say hello to her, but she seemed to look right through me and continue on her way. She left to the north, walking slowly as if her supply bag were the heaviest weight she'd ever carried. An Orc whom talked to her briefly before she left told his Dark Elf companion that Narlafayn had been attacked in the Cruma Marshlands by a cruel group of bandits, and lost many things that were important to her. The bandits nearly killed her, but she managed to save herself somehow. Poor girl, I hope she gets better soon.

Vuylay and I finally got Sharmin to leave Gludin half a year after we'd arrived, as Vuylay had received a letter through the Dark Elf Guild that her surrogate mother had fallen ill. She wanted us to accompany her back to her village, a trip that was going to last three months. I wasn't too keen on going right in the heart of Dark Elf land, but anything to finally get out of Gludin. But God, a place full of people like Vuylay. I shudder to imagine it. I learned along the way that Vuylay's birth mother had abandoned her when she was just a girl, and she'd not seen her since. What a scumbag, even for a Dark Elf. How can someone just up and abandon their own child like that? Oh well, I suppose she was better off, as she seems to think highly of her adoptive mother.

I made a habit of asking if we were at our destination yet always at noon after a weeks worth of travel. At first this was simply out of boredom, but then it became an amusement, as Sharmin and Vuylay would have a different reaction every day. Then it evolved into being my way of stopping them for lunch, as they'd travel right through the afternoon and until it got dark before stopping to eat. This fun was put to a stop one day when Vuylay decided to threaten me. I think she'd actually do it too, what she threatened. She's that twisted.

After a month of travel, we finally arrived at the crossroads of the Fellmere Harvest grounds and the Orc Barracks. I suppose normal people would've made it there in quicker time, but seeing as how Vuylay wears heels wherever she goes, our travel was slowed down. I wish we could just leave her, but she's the only one who can get us through the Dark Forest without getting lost or killed. We set up camp in an abandoned house nestled against a hill not half a mile from the road for the night. It was then that Vuylay decided to tell us of our close proximity to the Ruins of Agony, and how ghosts liked to come wandering out as far as this house sometimes. If there's anything I hate more than spiders, it's ghosts. Finding this out now only further served to increase my dislike of Dark Elves named Vuylay.

Sometime during the night I know I woke up, and began talking with someone, but I can't remember it too well. It was like my body was awake, but my mind wasn't, or maybe someone was controlling me, I don't know. I do know that I finally came to, standing outside, in the middle of a dense fog. A black haired woman stood in front of me for a moment, smiling darkly before stepping backwards and disappearing into the mist. I remember staring dumbly at where she had been for a moment, my heart thudding, wondering if I'd seen a ghost or not, as I had to be near the Ruins of Agony.

The snap of someone stepping on a twig caught my attention then, and I turned around quickly, my heart still pounding. From the dense fog came a slender figure, carrying a long mages staff. The closer they approached, I was able to make out silvery hair that seemed to have a pink tint in the dim lighting, and long elf ears. They were wearing a teal blouse and short skirt, obviously a magic user of some sort. I backed away from them a few steps, as I didn't trust anyone on the mainland. She stopped her advance upon me and my ears caught low spoken words, a spell I recognized to be an ice spell. Having studied magic, I was more resistant to the effects of attack spells than most, and I broke through the ice that encased my legs easily. The elf ran after me, as I ran blindly through the fog. The elf paused behind me again, and I could hear the air around her being collected as she chanted a wind spell this time. The spell hit me directly in the center of my back, knocking the air from my lungs and plastering me flat on my face.

As I lay on the dried grass, struggling for breath, the Elf approached me and grabbed my by my wrist. She dragged me along the ground for a short distance before depositing me on the hard dirt of the road. I looked up wearily to find a bald man with missing teeth grinning down at me. He exchanged words with the elf, who commanded him coldly to take me someplace far away. The man loaded me into a cage on the back of his wagon roughly, then snapped his reins to make the Grendels tied to the cart move. Grendels were found in Elmore, and were largely regarded as fearsome creatures. These were sad shadows of what they had once been.

And so my tale ends there, in a cage with about fifteen or so other girls, most of which older than myself, being taken to who knows where.