A fanfiction by Lara Smy.
Hullo! Seeing as this is my first fanfiction on here, I'm not exactly sure if we have to state a number of chapters or describe the pairings that will take place but I will anyway. As for the number of chapters, I cannot say. T'will be long, that's for certain, like a small book. I take pride in the length and detail of my pieces, and the reaction of the readers. The pairings…will be discovered later on, no? It will be fully based around my Arisen, Oesidas, and his main pawn, Leythir, with first-person chapters from my OC, Theda, and memoirs from Julien, also. It will wholly involve all of the main storyline, unaltered, with a few of my own things thrown in of course. I also changed the spelling of Griffin, to Gryphon, and fairies, faeiries, and goblin, goblinkin etc. The chapters will also be named as such; Annex of the First, Annex of the Second, etc, such is the traditional Elvhanohn way. (Elvhanon are basically elves, with a few of my own Pagan/Celtic beliefs and ways of life thrown in. And a bit of dragon age language. © to Bioware ofc.)
Prologue; Fragments from the memoirs of Theda'Elvaeti
T'was not blind luck that saw me clinging, beaten by the harsh tongues of wind and blinded by its velocity, to the tail of a creature I knew naught of. I later discovered t'was a Gryphon, as I was berated and mocked for my late, brash decision to plunge deep my dagger into the flesh of its thinned tail. Perhaps it was the recent death of Doe, my wide-eyed, naïve little sister who understood naught of any Wyrm, or beast, and wasn't the one clinging to the side of the desiccated watch-tower, as the wails, screeches, and occasional sounds of ripping flesh of none other than a human, echoed around the walls below. No, t'was I, choking on silenced tears that ran lines of salt down her face, staining them for a few days on. Ignorance was my sisters greatest virtue, or so I once thought. T'was only the sweet draw of sleep, or sometimes unconsciousness, that quelled the ache in my heart and the pressure in the throat when she was taken from me. We Elvhanon were a reclusive, vagabond people, seen only as pawns with pointed ears to the humans of the world. Our kind held together with naught a thought of any that would shun us from the land. I lost my mother to Gransys, my father, now my sister. My father was murdered as an example to a group of bandits that we were not to be tolerated in this land, or any other. My mother, took no heed of her children and ran back to our bordering country. I cannot imagine she survived. Now Doe, beaten limp by a harpy with no regard for humanoid life. It left me, Theda'Elvaeti, the inexperienced girl from Tel'mehen with the inked face she'd bore since she was but a whelp, wheezing and tossing in her mothers arms. So no. T'was not blind luck that threw me on that path that I assumed lead t'wards my death. T'was choice. Fate. Destiny, hereafter, call it what you will. I wanted to die. But, I did not. I will ne'er not be thankful to the Maker for that small mercy.
Annex of the First
A gemshorn. That sound, t'was impossible for it to reach the ears without spurring the desire to rest a while, it emanated a calm aura such as it was, that it needed to words to accompany the tune. Julien barely needed to still his horse to listen, as the beast gave a soft, steady release of breath, and quelled its harsh canter, along with the clop of its hooves. All the man with the golden hair could see of the source, was the top of a watch tower, and a few stands of whited hair, buffeted to his field of vision by the mild wind. Soon, however, t'was blocked by his animal, craning its thick neck with a flick-forward of its ears, to better hear the tune. Absently, Julien found that something in the depths of his mind, pushed forth the memory of sighting an ox missing a horn naught but a few moons before. At first, this action was seen as an act of a goblin, perhaps, but upon closer inspection – as close one could get to an ox afore its agitation reached peak – t'was noted, the care the culprit took. They had taken a clean blade to the horn, precision slices as not to initiate disturbance, then wrapped the leaves of a nearby tree around the stump, tied off by what appeared to be reeds. Juliens curiosity had been sated but, at the same time, piqued to its boundaries. Who in the Makers name, be it human, pawn, or beast, would take such care over an animal used only for its meat and strength?
The music ceased with all the haste of a Saurian without its tail, and the whips of hair disappeared. In their place, two pale hands, pulling up, into view, a girl, no more than a few moons passed since her twenty-second year on this world by the looks of things. The eyes on her were ringed with hues that appeared to resemble the nature of all the countryside, blue, flecked with green. Dark eyebrows set over them, furrowing her brow. Next thing that leapt to his eye was the difference in her eyebrow color, to her hair, which, of course, was a dull white. It fell down her back in a series of curls, pulled into a hairstyle he knew not the name of. His people would call it a plait, but t'was crowned by a circlet of silver. But, what shocked him most, were her ears. Pointed as if sharpened with a knife, or made in their likeness at that, were prominent above all else. Along with the intricate, inked patterns on her face, drawn along her cheeks, eyes, chin, leading down her neck. Stained with dirt though she was, the girl held herself proud. An elvh. Never had he seen one.
"T'was you who stilled your horse naught mere seconds ago, then? A shem dressed in garb to mimic that of a prettied-up fool, who hopes to wield a sword and come across as a knight? Too many-a-time have a I come across one such as you. Ride on, seth'lin. I've no need of you." The figure disappeared, as quickly as she came. Barely had he time to comprehend, before his words escaped, with no heed of his mind.
"One who would take to living in places long untouched by any but bandits, must be a bandit, no? If so, perhaps this, 'fools-knight', should have his sword through your gullet, no matter the beauty of the tune you play."
"You carry a mace, fools-knight."
So this one had a tongue as sharp as the ears upon her head. It brought a silenced chuckle to his throat that he struggled to hold down. Truly, he should be naught other than offended at her ill-mannered tone. Alas, more inquisitions piled in his mind with each breath he drew.
"Yet you carry only a blade sharp enough to cleave a horn from an ox, and the heart to make tidy of your work. I cannot imagine you would fight back."
This obviously drew her ire to him, as she appeared once more, those eyes of her mere slits now. Before her sharp tongue could dance into a sentence sure to berate him with her wit, a cry pierced the air, and from there on-out everything was a blur of motion. A winged beast broke into the sky with the wail of passers by soon heard by all, as they scattered from whence it came. A Gryphon, an abomination by any other name, it's screech almost as detrimental to morale as its claws were to health. The sharp whinny of the panicked creature that bore Julien upon its back was heard in seconds, and it rose up, almost throwing him off had he not been expecting it. Leonidas had always been a skittish horse. But it was not his main concern right now, no. The girl with whited hair had disappeared from view, just as the beast flew straight for her perch.
Theda had always been rather intelligent. What she lacked in tact, she made up for in witty comments and sly glances that quelled any argument in a man, woman, or, with a usually kinder glance, a creature. Though not a Gryphon. No, she had naught a hope to simply stare at the beast 'till it scampered off to lick its wounded pride. So, in a moment of pure, three-parts heroic, two-parts foolish, she leapt up as the creatures claws grazed the edge of the wall. Hands dug into its underbelly at first, and it gave a sharp scream and its wings bellowed with effort to shake her, and it did. Partly. The girl slid, raking its flesh as she went, to its tail, where she held fast. The wind seemed to work in sync with the beast in several attempts to rid itself of the elvh that held it, the petty wingless creature that held only a rusted dagger in her hand. As they parted, further and further from the ground, the fool-knights cries became softed, blotted out by the rush of air that created a popping sensation in my ears. What was she doing? She knew not. Grounding the beast, was her only thought, twas only survival that ran circles in her mind now.
So she did what she did best. Theda found grip, steadied herself, and began to climb. The beast struggled in the air, keeping aloft through its panic (or ire) as she remained slowly, slowly making her way up. The girl was at its midsection, burying her dagger in each piece of flesh she could to muster the strength and hold she needed to stem the fall to her death. Still, the air screamed in her ears, her hair whipped back from her face, only blue, and cloud in sight now, throughout her entire span of vision, nothing but that. Occasionally her grip would stutter, she would stumble, legs throwing out from beneath her as she neared its neck. It was lowering now. She need only pierce its head, into its brain, it was her best attempt to slay the beast.
She reached its crown, dug her heels into its shoulder, and gripped the handle of her blade tightly, surely, with two hands. Raising it above her head, her heart thundered with every second that passed. The dagger seemed to bring itself down of its own accord, as she feared she could not do it. And the wail that sounded, near shattered its hearing. It thrashed, and she almost fell, but naught before getting another stab. Her dagger plunged through its flesh, but struggled to pierce its thick skull. Again, and again, until before she knew it they were falling. It was light being weightless. There was no fight, like when she was climbing the beast in flight, instead she separated from the creature in what seemed to be a motion that slowed the world around her. The rush of wind still played in her mind, but her body felt light, peaceful. Not like the Gryphon that fell with a thundering crash beneath her, screaming and thrashing still as guards poured o'er it. Now, the only thing that awaited Theda was the Brine. And she accepted it.
Julien watched the girl fall. He had been thrown to the ground by the impact of the Gryphon, and his hand went to the mace that rested by his side, shield ready to block any lightening that forked in his direction from the creature that barely clung to life, blood pooling atop its head and spilling over its sides. Ser Maximillian watched too. The blonde-haired man saw him wave a group of his men t'ward where he thought she would land, and he and others made haste for it. T'was too late. The girl fell to the depths of the water almost immediately enveloped by the fog beast that lurked in all waters of Gransys. Julien skidded to a halt, scouring for any sight of the girl with the beautiful music. But there was none.
Fragments from the memoirs of Theda'Elvaeti
"Search for her! She felled the beast –"
"My men, felled the beast, ser Julien. By our swords did it fall, twas naught to do with your fantasy fluteplayer. Ser Maximillian was at the scene of the battle, ne'er through this escapade has he stated he saw any girl."
The water clogged my lungs, made it hard to breathe but – breathe I did. Though it stuck in my throat and brought forth a soft, rasping sound. Their conversation continued.
"Ser, I will repeat my question. Did you, or did you not, see a mystery girl fall from the sky?"
Another voice, though I'm sure not the one the question was directed at. A cocky one. Thick accent, quite deep, rumbling. "Are you just frightened that the glory will be taken from you again, ser guard? I did arrive mere days ago with a hydra head in tow. Perhaps, tis you trying to vouch for the Dukes favour?"
My entire body ached, their conversation faded in and out, I heard the word Arisen. I thought I was dead, but the liquid that near smothered my form and lapped through my hair reminded me I wasn't. But I was, in a lot of pain. Gritting my teeth, I finally opened my eyes, seeing that I vaguely realized where I was. Ashore, below a cliff, where the arguing men still stood.
"Fool—" I started, but could not continue. Twas enough to silence them however, I could practically imagine at them looking at eachother in bewilderment.
"Fools—knight." I near wheezed, and the sound of hasted footsteps followed soonafter. The world was fading in and out, I vaguely remember being hoisted from the water, having it flushed from my lungs, being jolted about, muffled voices. Then it all went dark.
When I awoke, I was in a place not too familiar. From the cell doors, and the musty smell, along with a few bones scattered here and there I figured I must be in a dungeon. But for what cause? Bandages covered almost my entire form, underneath some rags that had been thrown on. I squirmed in my own skin at the thought that someone had to actually undress me to heal me up, then consoled myself by figuring it some kindly old woman with a crooked nose and a back to boot. Twas a better thought than a leery, wisened man with naught a woman in his bed for centuries back.
Naught minutes later did a man appear, stated that I was awake (tis something I assume he spoke to himself, as evidently, I knew I was not in slumber) and unlocked the door. I assumed I had been set there, in the dungeon, as they had naught else to put me, so I stood to follow him to wherever I would be directed to next, the thought that I had stilled a Gryphon not quite setting in the depths of my realization yet. I was wholly shocked when he simply threw me to the floor again, gripping the nape of my neck and hauling me out of the pitiable hole I recently sat in with most force. "Clever trick you done, knife ears, holding on to the Gryphon long enough to fool any that y'did in fact slay the thing."
Hands scrabbling to grip onto his, in an attempt to claw them off me, he merely continued. "Duke wants t'see you. Lost a few men because of that stunt you pulled. Gryphon done landed on some of our finest. 'pparently, you see, t'was fleeing when you decided to try and steal a mere moment of glory." Not that I was listening. No, I was trying to lift my legs up so they didn't bash against the stairs – which, caused an unrelenting pain to coarse through my already throbbing limbs. "Julien argued that you must have at least helped, but the man ne'er was one to care about many but himself or the men at his tower. I wouldn't hold out much hope he'll be helping you. Ah – here we are." Opening a large door with a series of creaks, he swung me back, then released me forward, sending me rolling along a carpeted area. Forehead touching something soft, I scarce wanted to move. I knew not where I was, nor why I was being treated as such, but sure as, my head raised in the end, and I stared along a little further before catching sight of a small group of men. The first, a jester, who ran up to me and started chittering a voice that made me wish I had killed him, and not the Gryphon. Head pounding, blocking out all sound in the end, my muzzy gaze found Julien. Jaw tight, head held high, arms crossed over the shiny exterior of his armor. Then, by his side, another man. Tall, taller than most of the other men, dark hair stuck up on his head, and he wore simply leather armor, with a rather large hammer strapped to his back. The man had black eyes, with skin that could only belong to one who spent many hours by the water, soaking up the sun to brown ones skin. A fisher. From Cassardis. The Arisen. And by his side, his faithful pawn. Oesidas the Arisen, and Leythir. Of course. Oesidas' voice was the one I heard earlier. I'd heard he was one with a sharp tongue such as hers. I must have stared for a long time.
"The duke asked you a question, elvh."
I refused to remain crouched on the floor like some sort of lesser being. Hands splayed on the floor, I brought my knees up below me. Slowly, painfully. But I straightened up, wobbling ever so slightly.
"Evidently I did not hear. Not surprising, seeing as I just saved half your city from a Gryphon. Did that really warrant a kick? Or does your brutish, unintelligent nature call for violence where words cannot be comprehended?"
The knights jaw set, and I heard a low chuckling, afore the knights hand raised for another blow. I had myself readied for it, but a blade was unsheathed, and pointed at the knights throat. Almost falling backwards, I saw the culprit. T'was Leythir, the Arisens pawn, light brown curls spilling from a circlet atop his head and fierce, blue eyes fixed on his target. T'was Oesidas' voice that sounded however.
"You have done quite enough harm, ser."
A booming voice, loud enough to shatter the guile of a cockatrice, near thundered throughout the entire capital.
"Enough! I will not have weapons drawn in my Audience room. Newly Arisen—" Oesidas shot the man a glance, an uninterested one at that. "Control your pawn or I will no longer allow it inside the boundaries of my castle."
I watched him place a hand on the forearm of his pawn, and Leythir immediately sheathed it, retreating to the side of his master with his unnerving gaze never leaving his previous victim.
"I will repeat myself, again. Elvh, what you did killed some good knights. Be it your own idea of victory, or glory, t'was foolish. What do you have to say, for yourself?"
Silence. I could practically feel all eyes, boring into my soul. T'was the sudden urge to shudder, that instead made me stand up straight. I could not stop myself from letting my gaze linger on Julien for a while longer. The man had been staring into some corner, afore he evidently became aware of my glare, as they flickered to my direction but could not quite meet my gaze. Betrayal set deep, which surprised me. I assumed this man dishonourable the first I laid eyes on him.
"I did it for my own reasons. All that matters is that I felled the beast. I quelled its attack afore it even had chance to do damage. Four or five men are expendable, such is the way of the world. I will not stand here and be berated by a false king on a small throne, with naught but a ring of gold upon his head to serve as a badge of honour."
Again, the room fell quiet. Oesidas' gaze was on me. Scrutinizing me. Then the Dukes voice, filled with ire, sounded.
"There is naught for it. I was going to say you would spend many a moon in the dungeon to think over your actions, but now I—"
Oesidas raised a hand to staunch his words, reached me in three, long steps, put up hand upon my shoulder and finished the words with a sentence of his own.
"Now, she must accompany me on my journeys."