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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#26 Old 19th Feb 2011 at 12:19 AM Last edited by beryllium : 6th Jul 2017 at 2:42 PM.
Default Chapter 20. Birger's Keep

Birger smiled to his younger brother. “I’m glad that you could accept my invitation with such short notice Karl. We have a lot to talk about considering the recent events.”

Karl turned his head up and shaded his eyes from the sun. ”Your new stone keep looks impressive Birger. I guess your guards can see very far from up there. But you know that no matter how we strengthen the defense of our homes, Magnus’ stone castle will still be much stronger.

“I know, we grew up there together, remember. But the strength in the defense of a keep or a castle is not only about stone walls and towers, it’s also about the bravery, loyalty and skill of the men. However I would like to replace my palisade with stone walls if I could.”

Karl looked skeptical. “Neither you or I will be able to build walls in stone as long as Magnus interferes with our tax collection. It’s just not right.”

“No, it’s not right but there’s nothing we can do about it right now.”

“I know that there is nothing that we can do .That’s why I’m so frustrated about this situation.”

”We have to be patient Karl. We’ll talk more about this matter but now I believe that it’s time to eat and drink in my hall.”

Eskil’s voice trembled with indignation. “I can’t believe that king Knut let father down. Princess Alde should have married you Erik.”

Erik smiled. His younger brother had always looked up to him and was the most loyal brother anyone could wish for.

“I think that she would have if it had been her choice but you can’t expect a king to turn another king down, can you? It’s a shame though, not only because of Alde’s connections but the one time I met her made be believe that I would have liked her.” Erik laughed. “Don’t worry Eskil, there are other women, and actually I’m in no hurry to get married. Now it’s time to eat and drink with our cousins.

There was plenty to eat and to drink and soon the atmosphere was relaxed. Erik told hilarious stories that made everyone laugh. Finally Karl put down his knife and cleared his throat. “Since Knut’s daughter Alde is now betrothed to Alexander King Knut and his sons are likely to support Alexander. I believe that it would be wise of us to not challenge Magnus. Our best option is to be loyal to the royal family.”

Birger nodded. “Yes, I agree. For now that will be wisest. But anything can happen. They are not married yet and Alexander may still die without an heir. Erik may still become king. I hope your family would support Erik if things were to change. We would not be alone. There are others who are not completely happy with our brother Magnus.”

Karl picked up his goblet and bowed his head towards his nephew Erik. “I would like to toast for Erik who would not interfere with his relatives’ rightful collection of taxes.”

Erik returned the bow and lifted his goblet. “Indeed I would not, but as long as Magnus or Alexander is the rightful king with strong support I will be their loyal servant.” A lot of things could probably be said about Erik but stupid was not one of them.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#27 Old 27th Feb 2011 at 9:58 PM Last edited by beryllium : 6th Jul 2017 at 2:48 PM.
Default Chapter 21. Aliendre and Moonlight

Roe could feel their scent long before she could hear them or see them. The wind was blowing against her, bringing the well known scent of Thorundur together with the scent of an unknown elf and an animal that she couldn’t recognize.

Roe dropped her jaw when she saw them. Thorundur looked as he always did, with a green tunic and a smile. But the Elven girl was sitting on the back of a snow white animal. Roe almost forgot her good manners but pulled herself together and greeted the two elves and the white animal.

“This is Aliendre, Princess of the Light elves,” Thorundur said.

Aliendre dismounted the animal. Thorundur did a gesture towards the white animal and said, “This is Aliendre’s horse.”

Roe had never heard of horses before. How could that be? And why did the horse carry Aliendre on its back. “Is she a prisoner?”

“No, she’s a …… servant,” Aliendre said, uncertain by the unexpected question.

“Servant” was a word Roe didn’t understand. Thorundur was looking down on the ground. Wrinkles had formed in the corners of his eyes and his shoulders were shaking slightly. He cleared his throat and looked up. “Aliendre meant that the horse is her friend,” he said.

Roe was doubtful. To her the horse looked like a prisoner. Why else would it accept to carry someone on its back? When she was a child a storyteller had told her that humans kept animals as prisoners but obviously elves also did so.

“Her name is Moonlight,” Aliendre said.

Roe put her hand on Moonlight’s neck. She could feel the warm breath from the horse’s nostrils when it turned its head toward her.

“I am pleased to meet someone from the Forest people. Thorundur has told me so much about you Roe.”

Roe turned her attention to the Elven princess. The appearance of the horse had almost made her forget Aliendre. Thorundur had told her that the Aliendre was very beautiful but to Roe Aliendre looked like all other elves. Although Aliendre had the same kind of blue eyes that Thorundur they lacked his liveliness.

When Roe’s parents, Wolf and Otter, saw the horse they were just as marveled about it as Roe had been. Aliendre was friendly and nice and gave compliments to Roe’s parents. Apparently they must have been charmed because Otter invited Aliendre into their home. Roe was almost certain that she could see a small wrinkle on Aliendre’s nose when she looked into their hut.

When it was time for the elves to leave Aliendre said, “Please come and visit us tomorrow Roe.”

Roe felt hesitant. She had visited Thorundur’s home before but not often. Although Thorundur’s brother and Liandra had always been polite and friendly, Roe had a feeling that they didn’t really like that Thorundur was together with her. “Thank you that’s very kind of you,” she answered finally.

Aliendre seemed delighted to see Roe and insisted that she would share lunch with them. The elves treated her like a respected guest. Roe did her best to behave like the elves but all the furniture and the cutlery confused her. Why did elves complicate everything so much? The looks Toraldor and Liandra exchanged when they thought that Roe didn’t see made her feel that they were amused by her.

After lunch Aliendre told a story for them. It was a story about Human and Elven kings and queens during the war against the Dark elves. Aliendre was a good storyteller and Roe couldn’t believe how fast the time had passed when she realized that it was getting dark and she had to return home.

Aliendre had brought a completely different world to Roe. Roe had been shocked to learn that elves had killed each other on purpose during the war. Her own people were hunters and killed for food but she had never heard of Forest people killing each other. When she was a child she had been horrified by the stories about the humans’ cruelty but the more she learned about elves the more they seemed to be like humans. Apparently Thorundur hadn’t told her very much about his own people. Despite the shocking details, or maybe because of them, the story had been enthralling and left a strange yearning feeling within Roe.

Aliendre showed up alone early next morning. “I hope you don’t mind me coming alone Roe, but I asked Thorundur to stay at home so that you and I could spend some time together.”

Roe was a little annoyed because she always looked forward to seeing Thorundur but she was also intrigued by Aliendre’s wish to spend time alone with her. The princess seemed to really enjoy Roe’s company and asked her about the life in the forest.

“Tell me more about humans,” Roe said. “Is it true that they have hair in their face?”

Aliendre closed her eyes and smiled. “I have only met one human myself. It was Crown prince Alexander. He was very young then so he only had very light stubble. I think it makes them look …. stronger.” Aliendre’s smile was sad now.

Roe remembered that Thorundur had told her about the human prince who according to Thorundur had flirted with Aliendre. Was it possible that the Aliendre had feelings for the human prince?

“Tell me more about the prince,” Roe said.

It was as if Aliendre had waited for that question for a very long time. She described every little detail about Alexander. “He always made me laugh with all his crazy jokes. But he was also very kind and considerate. He will become king one day because humans don’t live forever like elves do, and he thinks a lot about his future duties and how to become a good king.” There was no end to all positive details that Aliendre could tell about Alexander. From what Aliendre told it was difficult to believe that Alexander could belong to the same species that the storyteller had told so many scaring stories about at the Forest people meeting many years ago.

“Do you know that Thorundur actually behaved very badly towards Alexander when he visited us? Sometimes it made me a little angry but as you probably know it’s impossible to be angry with Thorundur for very long. He speaks very warmly about you Roe. He even calls you his sister. I think that Thorundur is very fun to be with. You’re lucky to have him as your brother.”

Aliendre’s blue eyes met Roe’s. “I was born in the shadow of my brother. He was killed by dark elves and his death was a great tragedy for all light elves. My parents will never forget the sorrow and therefore I will always walk in his shadow. I wish I would have met him because everyone speaks so warmly about him.”

Roe thought that although Aliendre’s large blue eyes were not as vibrant as Thorundur’s they expressed her feelings in a very touching way. Aliendre’s smile didn’t reach her eyes that were filled with sadness. How sad it must be to always walk in the shadow of someone who had been dead for centuries.

Roe was surprised when Aliendre spontaneously hugged her when they said goodbye. It seemed to surprise Aliendre too because she looked down and seemed slightly embarrassed by her own spontaneity. She lifted her head and looked at Roe with large blue eyes. “I’m so happy to have you as a friend Roe. I’ve never had a girl in my own age as a friend before.”

Roe was moved by the sincerity in Aliendre’s voice. Thorundur had described Aliendre as a magnificent Elven princess, but the princess that Roe had met today was just a lonely girl with sad eyes and a longing heart. “We’ll meet soon again,” Aliendre said and mounted the beautiful white horse. Soon Aliendre and her horse Moonlight were out of sight in the twilight.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#28 Old 15th Mar 2011 at 10:24 PM Last edited by beryllium : 6th Jul 2017 at 8:16 PM.
Default Chapter 22. Roe Listens to her Heart

Roe waited in vain for the elves to show up. It was not until the third day after Aliendre had visited her that she saw Thorundur again. His blond hair bounced around his head, the most beautiful sight that Roe could imagine. She resisted her impulse to throw herself around his neck. To Roe’s disappointment the horse, Moonlight, didn’t accompany the elves because Aliendre was walking by foot. The dress that she was wearing looked very unpractical in the forest. Roe couldn’t understand why anyone would want to wear clothes like that. It must be extremely difficult to run after a deer or climb a tree with all that cloth around the legs. Aliendre smiled warmly when she saw Roe. “I’m so happy to see you again Roe.” Roe realized, slightly surprised, that she was happy to see Aliendre again.

But this day didn’t turn out to be as good as Roe had hoped. Thorundur’s behavior was strange. All his attention was directed towards Aliendre. Sometimes he didn’t ever hear what Roe said because he was following Aliendre with his eyes.

When they crossed a small stream Thorundur hurried to help Aliendre by offering his hand as support. Roe felt deeply annoyed whenThorundur ignored her and let her cross the stream by her own without any help.

But then she had to laugh when she pictured herself in Aliendre’s stupid white dress crossing a stream with the support of Thorundur’s strong arm.

“You look happy today Roe,” Aliendre said. Roe didn’t answer. She had thought that Aliendre was her friend but now she wasn’t even sure that she liked Aliendre very much. How hard could it be to cross a stream anyway?

The day got worse and Thorundur’s behavior more ridiculous. He smiled stupidly as soon as Aliendre turned her eyes towards him and seemed to forget completely about Roe. Aliendre did her best to include Roe in the conversations, but Roe didn’t have a good time at all. The elves talked about common acquaintances and other things that made Roe feel excluded.

“Thorundur is so fun, don’t you think?” Aliendre said. “He’s such a good friend. I really like him. He knows so much about the forest.”

“He has learned about the forest from me. I’m Thorundur’s best friend.” Roe said. She had to use all her self control to hide the rage that filled her when Aliendre looked at her with eyes filled with compassion. Roe was relieved when the elves had to return home early this day.

Next day Roe's heart was filled with joy when Thorundur showed up alone. “Aliendre had other things to do today,” he said.

At last it would be only her and Thorundur, like it should be. “What do you want to do today Thorundur? We can take a swim in the lake.”

Thorundur’s eyes seemed absent and were looking somewhere far away. He didn’t answer Roe’s question. Then he turned his head towards her and started to talk. ”Don’t you think that she’s beautiful, Roe? Do you think that she likes me? Has she said anything about me?”

“She said that she was angry when you behaved badly towards the human prince,” Roe said. She knew that this was not what Thorundur wanted to hear. If she had been nice she would have told Thorundur that Aliendre thought that he was fun to be with, but she didn’t want to be nice.

Thorundur looked down and bit his lip. “I know I should make an effort to behave better. From now on I will really do my best to behave like a normal elf. Roe you’re my sister and best friend and I need to tell you something.” He looked up and swallowed before he continued. “I think that I have fallen in love with Aliendre but she’s a princess and I’m just a common elf. Do you think that it would be possible that she could love me?”

The ground opened under Roe and she was falling. This couldn't be true! “You’re so stupid Thorundur, she screamed. Aliendre is not right for you!”

“You’re my best friend! I thought that you of all people would understand and support me Roe.” Tears filled the corners of his eyes.

Roe couldn’t take more. She had to get away. “Leave me alone stupid elf!” she screamed and turned her back to Thorundur. She ran through the forest with branches hitting against her face without noticing it. Through the noise in her head she could hear Thorundur calling her name but she kept running. She ran faster and faster but no matter how hard that she tried she couldn’t run away from her feelings.

When she finally returned home exhausted late that night her parents were very worried. “Thorundur was here looking for you, he waited until he had to return home. What has happened?” Roe only shook her head.

“Thorundur wanted us to tell you that he will go away with Aliendre for two weeks to visit some other Light elves. He really wanted to see you before he left.”

Next morning Roe got up early and went out into the forest just in case that Thorundur would show up at her home to say goodbye. She didn’t want to see him when she knew that she had lost him. Roe sat down. How could it be possible to feel so miserable? She was sure that she would never be happy again.

Roe closed her hand around her necklace as she often did when she had to think. The Mother had told her to listen to her heart. Her heart was screaming loudly. She tightened the grip around the necklace and closed her eyes. Yes, maybe there was something that she could do. Roe ignored the small voice within her that tried to hold her back. The mother had also said that her heart could delude her but Roe had already decided what she had to do. When Roe had set her mind on something she wasn’t going to let anything stop her. Now that she knew what she had to do there was no time to lose.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#29 Old 27th Mar 2011 at 10:48 AM Last edited by beryllium : 8th Jul 2017 at 11:28 AM.
Default Chapter 23. Princess Alde

The breeze ruffled Alexander’s hair and he took a breath of the salt sea air. He loved the sound of the sea gulls and the sight of the horizon. Somehow it always made him feel so free, but today this feeling was only an illusion. Soon he would meet his future wife and his youth would be over. At least that was how he felt.

Princess Alde arrived together with her suite. Her father, King Knut would not come for the wedding but had sent generous gifts. Even more generous gifts had of course already been sent to King Knut.

Finally Alexander met the woman that he would share the rest of his life with, Princess Alde from Hrafninlandi. The rumor of her beauty was wide spread. Her back was straight and the aura of self confidence told Alexander that this was a woman who was used to command and to be obeyed.

Alexander bowed and greeted his bride to be.

“I am honored to meet you Prince Alexander.” Her language was not too different even if she pronounced the words differently from what he was used to. Alde’s smile was sweet but didn’t reach her eyes. This couldn’t be very easy for Alde either Alexander thought. She had been sent from her home to a foreign country to become his bride.

Alexander had a short time of freedom left. Banquets and celebrations would supersede each other for weeks before the actual wedding. But first Alde would have to rest a few days from the travel over the sea. Alexander had decided that it might be a good idea for him to show Alde around in the castle. Hi raised his hand to knock on her door when a scream of anger from the room made him jump and lower his hand. There was a sound as if something was thrown and broken against the wall. He could hear every word of Alde’s high-pitched voice through the thick stone walls. “You stupid cow, you’re worthless. Are there no serviceable maids in this country? Get out of my sight!”

The heavy door opened and a young girl with a tearful face ran out of Alde’s room. She looked away embarrassed when she saw Alexander and ran away in the corridor with bent head and her face hidden in her hands. Alexander recognized the girl as a gentle and diligent maid that was well liked by everybody as far as he knew. He knocked on Alde’s door.

Alde opened and her hard face melted into a sweet smile when she saw that it was he who had knocked.

“Are there any problems?”

“No it’s nothing, just a clumsy servant. I’m glad to see you though. What do you think of my dress? She turned around and gave Alexander a self confident smile.”

“The dress is very nice.”

She didn’t seem pleased by his reaction. “You look beautiful as always,” he added and smiled admiringly, hoping that this was the response that she expected from him.

“I look forward to our wedding, don’t you?” Alde said.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#30 Old 16th Apr 2011 at 11:04 AM Last edited by beryllium : 8th Jul 2017 at 11:32 AM.
Default Chapter 24. Roe makes a Visit

Roe decided that she had to travel lightly. Speed was important. She took a sling and wrapped under her clothes. A small flint knife would also be useful. She put the knife in a small pocket inside her loin cloth. That should be enough to get the food that she would need.

“I will accompany Thorundur and Aliendre on their travel,” she told Otter and Wolf. It felt as if the lie was burning under her skin.

Wolf and Otter looked doubtful. “I don’t think that this is a good idea at all Roe. It would be better if you stayed at home, or even better, visited Bear,” Wolf said.

“I will be home soon enough. Don’t worry. This is probably my last chance to travel with elves.” If she had been an Elven or a human girl her parents would probably just have told her that she wasn’t allowed to go. But that wasn’t how Forest people brought up their children, and in addition Roe was adult now. Children of the Forest people were allowed much freedom which usually was not a problem since they always were eager to do what their parents told them and to learn everything that their parents knew. But Roe was different. Her independence and curiosity was not typical of her people and her parents felt helpless.

Roe hoped that Orm and Ondina were still living in the mountains. It was several years ago since she the last time that she had seen them. Actually she hadn’t met them since Thorundur showed up again. Maybe they wouldn’t be happy at all to see her even if they stilled lived in the same place. But Roe had no choice. Ondina and Orm were probably her last hope.

She felt relieved when she saw the Dark elves’ home. They stilled lived in the same place. Orm shaded his eyes and looked surprised when he saw her approaching their home. Roe hoped that he would welcome her.

“Ondina, you will never guess who’s here!” Orm called and Ondina came out. “Roe we have missed you. What brings you here?”

After all the usual polite phrases Roe explained her situation to the Dark elves.

“The kind of magic that could help you is very powerful and requires great skill. Luckily Ondina has this skill. Are you sure that this is really what you want to do? I think you deserve much better than a Light elf.”

“I'm sure. I’ve never been more certain about anything in my entire life.”

Orm lifted an eyebrow and smiled as if he thought that it was cute when a very young mortal talked about its entire life. “We will help you Roe. Not only because I and Ondina like you but this would also be in our interest. We already have almost all ingredients that are needed. Stay with us until tomorrow when your potion will be finished. ”

The door opened and another Dark elf came out. When he saw Roe he seemed afraid and went back in, closing the door quickly behind him. Something about this elf was familiar. “Who is he?”

“We found him in the forest some years ago. He was in a very bad shape and wouldn’t have lasted much longer if we hadn’t found him. Clearly a spell had been cast on him and obviously it must have been Light elves that did this. He’s much better now but can still not remember his name or where he is from. I have not yet been able to break the spell although I have tried vere hard.

Next day Ondina finished the potion and handed a small flask to Roe.

Roe was ready to continue her travel.

“You will need to get the last ingredient yourself and that will be extremely dangerous. Are you really sure that this is what you want to do?”

“I am,” Roe answered without any hesitation.

“Are you sure that you will find your way and not get lost,” Orm asked.

Roe smiled and nodded. She had never heard of anyone of the Forest people getting lost. The travel would be long and dangerous but she would find the way.

“We have probably sent that sweet girl right into death,” Ondina said, her eyes following Roe leaving their home. “Although their lives are very short it makes me sad because I liked her.”

“Me to,” Orm said. “But if she succeeds it will be a very big success for all Dark elves after all the years that we have suffered. However, I must admit that it’s most unlikely that she will survive and I don't think that she would have wanted to do this if we had told her everything.”
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#31 Old 24th Apr 2011 at 12:52 AM Last edited by beryllium : 8th Jul 2017 at 6:47 PM.
Default Chapter 25. Roe's Travel

Roe was shocked to realize how close to her home the humans actually lived. She hadn’t been travelling, for much more than a week, although at high speed, before she could see the first humans’ settlements. She had never seen anything like it. Trees had been cut down so that there was very little forest left where the humans lived. Their houses were big like Elven houses but still very different.

The smell from the human settlements made her feel slightly sick. When she got closer she could see that it was true that animals were kept as prisoners. She also saw horses carrying humans on their back.

Roe discovered that humans seemed to live very close together as she approached the town. There were buildings everywhere. Suddenly an attack of laughter overwhelmed her. She had to bite her lip keep quiet. A male with his face full of hair passed under the tree that she was hiding in. It was hilarious and exactly as Thorundur had told her. Humans were really very funny looking.

Constantly aware of the extreme danger Roe enjoyed herself. This was the best adventure that she’d ever had.

It didn’t take her long to locate the castle that looked exactly like Ondina and Orm had described. It was a huge stone building almost resembling a small mountain. Inside the castle she would be likely to find the last ingredient but she would have to wait until darkness before she could go there. This would be the most dangerous part of the travel.

The castle was surrounded by water. A bridge over the water led to the main gate. Roe realized that the bridge would be a very dangerous route as Ondina and Orm had told her that the castle would be guarded and she could also smell the humans at the gate. She would have to swim over the water, which was not a very appealing thought because the water smelled really bad.

She tied back her hair with a leather strap and hesitantly she got into the water. The smell made her feel sick and she was very careful to not swallow any water as she swam to the other side.

She looked up at the walls of the castle and realized that it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to climb over the even wall. There had to be another way into the castle.

Suddenly her head exploded with pain and darkness overwhelmed her as she fell to the ground.

When Roe woke up again the smell of the humans filled her nose. Her head was aching really badly. It was with great difficulty she managed get on her knees. Her hand felt wet when she touched her head and she realized that she was bleeding. A stone on the ground that smelled of her blood made Roe realize that the humans must have thrown it at her from above. How could she have been so stupid to let this happen? The pain made her clinch her teeth when she lifted her head. With horror Roe realized that three humans where approaching her. She couldn’t see them very clearly because everything was blurry but it was no doubt that they were much too close. She rose on unsteady legs with pain thumping in her head. Her sight was starting to get clearer which at least must be a good sign. But it was too late. One of the humans was already close enough to take a grip on her arm. He made some sounds that didn’t make any sense.

Panic filled Roe when she couldn’t shake the man off her arm. She turned her head and slit the man’s cheek with one of her horns. A roar was heard before the grip on her arm loosened and she could see that blood was dribbling from a deep wound on the man’s cheek. But then her other arm was caught but another human. Roe turned around and dug her sharp teeth deep into the wrist of the man who hold her arm and the metallic taste of blood filled her mouth. The grip was released for a short moment but the humans just wouldn’t give up.

The fight was short. Roe was a hunter and not a fighter and three strong humans were too much for her to cope with. In addition her head ached and she felt dizzy. Her hands were tied so hard that her fingers felt numb. The humans pushed her roughly before them and soon Roe found herself to be on the inside of the castle walls.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#32 Old 2nd May 2011 at 8:32 PM Last edited by beryllium : 8th Jul 2017 at 6:50 PM.
Default Chapter 26. Disaster

The humans pushed Roe roughly down a stair and with horror she realized that they must be under the ground. A door was locked behind her and she found herself to be trapped in a small space. There were no windows and the dark stone walls seemed to get closer, squeezing Roe so that she couldn’t breathe. She had always been afraid of enclosed spaces where she couldn’t see the sky. “Don’t be silly Roe,” she said to herself. “You can’t panic know.” She took a deep breath and then another one. The terrible headache made it harder to concentrate but somehow she managed to control the panic. The small flint knife was still tucked in a small pocket on the inside of her loincloth. With great difficulty Roe managed to get it out and freed herself from the rope around her wrists. The concentration the task demanded helped to keep the panic under control.

Roe could still feel the taste of the guard’s blood in her mouth and it disgusted her deeply. Her parents had told her that the spirit of every creature that she ingested would become a part of her so that every creature in the forest would be joined. Roe really didn’t want to be joined with humans so she spat and did her best to get rid of every trace of the blood in her mouth but she had swallowed some of it. The thought of human blood in her stomach made her feel sick. In addition the foul smell of the water in the moat still clinged on her skin and hair. A wave of nausea overwhelmed Roe and she threw up in a corner. There wasn’t much in her stomach anyway but she hoped that she had got rid of every trace of human blood.

There was a pot of water in the dungeon and Roe rinsed her mouth before she took a deep gulp. It didn’t taste good. She realized that she was very likely to die in this castle and her parents would never know what had happened.

She was angry with herself. In her eager to travel fast she had neglected to eat and sleep properly and this had weakened her and made her senses less sharp. She had underestimated the humans and this would cost her life. A horrible thought hit Roe. What if the spirits of the ancestors and the forest wouldn’t be able to find her if she died so far away from her forest! No, surely her spirit would find the way home even after death. But the horrible thought wouldn’t completely leave Roe. This wasn’t a good place to die at.

The feeling of panic gave way for an overwhelming feeling of guilt. She hadn’t been a good daughter and would die because of her selfishness. When her parents got older they wouldn’t have anyone to take care of them. It was unbearable to think about Thorundur. He would never know how much she loved him. Would he miss her or would he soon forget her as he went on with his life with the other elves? The time that he had spent with her would probably soon just become a very short moment of his eternal life. How good it must be to have tears like the elves. She would really have liked to be able to let her sorrows leave her with fluid from the eyes but Forest people didn’t have tears.

The Mother had given Roe a necklace that would to give her courage when times were difficult and she had never experienced more difficult times than now. But she couldn’t get any comfort from the necklace, because the humans had taken it from her.
Lab Assistant
#33 Old 5th May 2011 at 8:15 AM
I just logged in to say,
I read this story from start to finish.
It's absolutely so beautifully done - the pictures and the writing.

I absolutely hate those dark elves
Only praying and wishing Thorundur helps Roe.
Can't imagine if her dreams come alive.. i hope they don't.

Keep the stories coming
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#34 Old 6th May 2011 at 2:39 PM
Thank you Myshia. Your feed-back is very encouraging

I'm sure that Thorundur would hurry to help Roe if he only knew that she is in trouble.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#35 Old 9th May 2011 at 7:24 PM Last edited by beryllium : 8th Jul 2017 at 6:56 PM.
Default Chapter 27. The Prisoner

The knock on the door made Alexander feel quite irritated and even angry. It had been a long day because he was in charge in the castle while his father was on a short travel to another part of the kingdom. There had been an endless line of people that Alexander had to receive and listen to. He had just finished today’s’ work and the thought of his soft bed was very appealing. When he saw the face of the guard, whose name he couldn’t remember, he suppressed the impulse to scold the man for disturbing. There seemed to be something very important on the guards mind.

The guard was upset and talked fast. “We have caught a very strange animal and locked it up in one of the dungeons. I saw a movement outside the wall and shot a stone with the sling and had a lucky hit that took it down. We caught it alive because we’ve never seen anything like it before and thought that you would like to decide what to do with it. The horns and the skin might be really valuable. Be careful though. It hurt Torfast with its horns and bit Styrbiorn very badly in the hand. Torfast is likely to be scarred for life. It has enormous fangs”

Alexander strapped his sword belt around the waist as he went out the door with the guard whose name he now remembered was Kvig. When he saw the two other guards that had been together with Kvig, Torfast and Styrbiorn, he could see that Kvig had not been exaggerating. The wounds looked bad indeed and there was no doubt that the young Torfast’s would get a large scar on his cheek.

“Don’t say anything about this to anyone,” Alexander said.” I want to see this creature myself and decide what to do about this before we stir up more people. Take care of your wounds and stay here until I come back.”

The sight that met Alexander in the dungeon was not what he had expected. Crouched on the floor was a creature that very much looked like a young woman except that he had never seen a woman with horns on the forehead. She had painted a delicate pattern on her skin. Soft brown hair fell over the face. Could this really be an animal?

The humanlike appearance disappeared when the creature looked up. The eyes were clearly not human at all and when it lifted the lips, showing its fangs and made a fearful hissing sound it looked even less human. Alexander backed. Although the fangs were not nearly as enormous as Kvig had given the impression of, they were deterrent enough. Maybe he should call the guards? But then the creature lowered its head and again it looked very much like a young and very sad woman. It had clothes, although very little, but he had never heard of any animals that used clothes.

“Aliendre talked about a people in the forest with horns on their foreheads,” he said silently to himself, trying to remember exactly what Aliendre had said.

“I’m Roe of the Forest people and the Elven princess Aliendre is my friend.”

Alexander jumped. The words had been spoken in perfect Elvish language although with a strange accent. The prisoner was standing in the dungeon making a perfect courteous Elven bow.

“You can speak!?” Alexander was astonished and realized that the creature found the question ridiculous when he could see a small wrinkle on the prisoner’s nose and a small movement in the corner of her mouth.

“I don’t think the Elven princess Aliendre would be very happy to hear that you have treated her best friend like this. If you free me I can bring a greeting from you to her.”

Alexander hesitated. Obviously he shouldn’t even consider releasing the prisoner but the creature that called herself Roe said that she knew Aliendre. He didn’t want Aliendre to find out that he had treated one of her friends badly.

“How do I know that you really know Princess Aliendre?”

“She told me that you, Prince Alexander, once picked flowers with a poisonous sap just to make her like you.”

Did the prisoner sound slightly amused or was it just imagination? Anyway the creature had guessed his name and it was obvious that she must know Aliendre. “You hurt my guards, how do I know that you won’t hurt me?”

“Why would I hurt you if you release me? Besides I can see that you have a sword and I’m unarmed.”

Alexander didn’t really agree that the prisoner was unarmed. He had seen the damage her teeth and horns had done on his guards. “You hurt my guards really badly.”

“They hurt me first. I didn’t want them to catch me. I think Aliendre likes you Prince Alexander. Do you want me to send her a greeting from you?”

“Listen, I will release you, but you have to promise that you won’t hurt me. All I want you to tell Aliendre is that I think about her every day.” As he spoke the words he knew that they were absolutely true. The memory of Aliendre had not faded at all. Alexander could hardly believe that he was really doing this. He opened the door and backed with his hand on the sword hilt when the prisoner went out.”

“They took my necklace. I want it back.”

“Don’t push it. You are free to go now but you will have to leave without your necklace. Don’t forget that you promised to give Aliendre my greeting.”

Roe took a step closer and Alexander couldn’t back any further because he was standing against the wall. With Roe so close he could see that the pattern on her skin was not painted at all. The red stones on her horns and forehead glistened in the torch light. She looked him steady in the eyes. He had never seen eyes like hers. They were shifting in all kinds of shades of yellow. He was drawn into her eyes and felt as if he was drowning in the depth of them. A humming sound from the creature made him realize that he had been starring into her eyes for too long and he looked aside.

“I won’t leave without my necklace. The Mother gave it to me.”

“This is absurd. I can call the guards and have you locked up again. I’m sure that your mother can give you a new necklace.”

Roe lifted her upper lip, showing the tips of the sharp fangs. “I need my necklace. It’s mine and they took it.”

Alexander sighed and nodded. “Alright I will get your necklace but this is really absurd. Wait here for me.” He went up the stairs. Probably he should bring the guards back with him but he decided against his better knowledge. Besides, how would he explain that the prisoner was no longer locked up?

He jumped and turned around when Roe whispered his name when he came back and was about to open the door that led to the dungeons. She hadn’t been waiting downstairs as he had told her but had gone out and hidden just outside the door. Obviously she was too clever to wait where she could have easily been caught again and he had been distracted enough to forget to lock the door. Alexander gave the necklace to Roe. He had been surprised when the reluctant Styrbiorn had handed over the necklace. It was heavy, made of solid gold. Nine large sapphires were attached to it. Although the handcraft looked somewhat primitive this was not what he had expected a creature like Roe to wear. He was also annoyed because the guards had really no right at all to keep a treasure like this to themselves and it had been obvious that they had not intended to let Alexander know about the necklace.

Roe looked much more relaxed and even happy when she fastened the necklace around her neck.”Please let me thank you like Forest people do.”

She spread her arms and embraced Alexander who held his breath. He felt relieved when she loosened her grip and he hadn’t been harmed. Her skin had felt much warmer than human skin.

Alexander realized that he had a big problem. He didn’t know how to get Roe out of the castle without anyone noticing her. Her strange appearance would certainly stir up people and he would never be able to give a satisfactory explanation to why he had released Roe from the dungeon. Finally after much hesitation he decided to show her out through the secret passage that had been built in case the royal family ever would have to escape from the castle. This was of course not a very optimal option. A secret passage is supposed to be secret and he certainly didn’t want the castle to be invaded by hordes of forest creatures. But the main gate was clearly out of the question and there were no other options.

When Alexander lit the torches in the damp corridor he could see that the walls were covered with spider web. It must have been a long time since anyone had been in this part of the castle. He found the hatch that he was looking for.

Roe tilted her head and smiled. The smile made the tips of her sharp fangs show, making the effect of the intended friendly expression somewhat dubious.” I will never forget your kindness Prince Alexander and I’m sure that Aliendre also will appreciate your kindness.”

Alexander was astonished when she bowed like a human to underline her politeness. He was certain that she couldn’t have taken after him because he hadn’t bowed for her. The realization that a wild creature from the forest had behaved more civilized and showed more politeness than him, a human prince, made him feel slightly embarrassed. He showed Roe the passage and the strange creature from the forest disappeared into the dark tunnel.

Alexander sighed. This had been a very strange experience and he would have to think of something to keep the three guards quiet. His father would no doubt find it very strange if he found out that Alexander had released such a remarkable prisoner. He couldn’t even explain his strange behavior to himself. When he had found out that Roe knew Aliendre he just couldn’t resist the opportunity to send a greeting to the Elven princess. He could have told Aliendre that he was about to get married but somehow he had chosen not to. Then Alexander hit his head and moaned. “Oh you’re so stupid Alexander!” He had forgotten to ask the prisoner the most important question of all! Why had she been outside the castle wall where she was caught?
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#36 Old 4th Jun 2011 at 11:13 PM Last edited by beryllium : 9th Jul 2017 at 12:17 AM.
Default Chapter 28. The Black Stallion

Roe’s pulse was starting to slow down to a more normal rate. The fresh night air was soothing and the sky was a very welcome sight. When the human prince had shown her the tunnel she had almost refused to go down but she had realized that she didn’t really have a choice. She had almost lost all her self control when the hatch was closed behind her. It had felt like an eternity before she reached the hatch that led to her freedom on the other side of the tunnel. But it was still dark outside and she wasn’t very far from the castle so it couldn’t have been that long after all. She was ashamed to admit that she had never felt more afraid than she had done in the dark tunnel. The moat was between her and the castle so the tunnel must actually have been under the water. It was a good thing she hadn’t known this while she was down there in the darkness. Roe promised herself that never again would she be enclosed in a space under the ground.

The headache was still bad but after a few breaths of the fresh air a feeling of joy was starting to fill Roe. She couldn’t believe her luck. After the hopelessness that she had felt in the dungeon just a short while ago everything had turned. It was lucky indeed that she had heard the prince say Aliendre’s name and it was also very lucky that the prince had come down to the dungeon alone. She smiled triumphantly to herself. It had been so easy to tell that the prince had been afraid of her. Although Roe knew that self control was important she gave way for the feeling of invincibility that filled her. After all she deserved to feel this good after this night’s experience. The last ingredient was in her pocket. Against all odds she had succeeded. The prince hadn’t noticed that she had taken a hair that had fallen on his shoulder when she embraced him. Now, that golden hair was attached to a piece of resin in her pocket. She laughed silently when she thought about the prince’s surprised expression when she had bowed just like Aliendre had shown her that human’s bowed. It was always good to be polite.

Dawn would come soon and she needed to find a safe place to sleep. The feeling of invincibility mixed with weariness made her bold enough to dare to hide in the soft straw in a barn not far away from the castle. She clinched her teeth. The head hurt so much that it was difficult to think. She hadn’t more than lied down in the hay before she fell into a deep sleep. It was afternoon when she woke up and it worried her that the distant sounds from the farm hadn’t wakened her sooner. She must have been really exhausted to sleep so deep. Her head was still hurting, but not as much as yesterday. Now the hunger was a more acute worry than her head but this was a problem that was very easy to solve.

Roe found more food in the barn than she could eat and was filled with new energy. Full and content she waited patiently in the barn for the darkness to fall. There was one thing about this expedition that worried Roe. She had accomplished the most difficult and dangerous part of the task but there was one weak point that she hadn’t given enough thought. The elves might come home before her and she was supposed to be travelling together with them. If they came to her home and asked for her she would have a very big problem. Darkness fell and Roe climbed down the ladder and went silently out of the barn.

A soft neigh caught Roe’s attention. She had already felt the smell of the horses without paying much attention to it but a new plan was beginning to take shape in her aching head. A horse could run faster than she could and they accepted to carry humans on their back. If she asked nicely maybe a horse would carry her. It was an exciting thought. Silently she approached the enclosure where the horses were grassing. A big black stallion came to greet her. He accepted that she put her hand on his cheek and nudged her friendly with his soft muzzle.

She opened the gate, took a firm grip in his mane and swung herself swiftly on the back of the horse.

The horse stepped nervously and tossed his head but he didn’t try to get rid of her. Actually he seemed to be filled with anticipation. Roe leaned forward and the horse started to trot. She found that it was not difficult at all to communicate to the horse the direction she wanted him to take. He was sensitive to every movement of her body.

Soon Roe was flying over the ground on the back of the black stallion. This experience alone was worth everything that she had been through. She would never know the uproar the disappearance of the human knight’s best stallion would cause next morning.
Test Subject
#37 Old 5th Jun 2011 at 6:15 AM
Oh, finally, the update I've been waiting so long for! Thank you, I really like your story . I wonder what will happen next.
Lab Assistant
#38 Old 29th Jun 2011 at 12:45 AM
Update! D: I have to know what happens to Roe - does she end up with her friend?
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#39 Old 29th Jun 2011 at 7:55 PM Last edited by beryllium : 9th Jul 2017 at 12:21 AM.
Default Chapter 29. Afternoon tea
Thank you for your comments Kyrie12 and LovethMia, I appreciate them. It's more fun to write when there are comments . I'm sorry for the delay in updating, I have been a little distracted lately but here finally is chapter 29.

Thanks to the horse the travel home went much faster than what Roe would have accomplished by foot. Sooner than she could have hoped she got to the place where she had hid the bottle that the Dark elves had given her. With her bare hands she started to dig and felt relieved when she touched the smooth and hard surface of the bottle. The horse was grassing next to her. He had always kept close to her on their travel together. Reluctantly she realized that it would not be a very good idea to bring the horse to her home. She could not always take responsibility for the horse and her parents would probably see him as a food reserve. But it was hard to say goodbye. The horse followed her wherever she went. Silently she sneaked away when he was concentrating on finding the juiciest grass and felt like a betrayer when he neighed and waited in vain for her reply. Roe felt confident that the horse would do fine, he seemed to be an intelligent and capable creature but she was his friend and now she had to disappear and leave him alone.

The smell from the cooking fire spread a homelike feeling long before Roe could see her family’s hut. When she could see Otter and Wolf preparing a meal together a sting in her heart made her realize how much she had missed her parents.

“Look! Roe is back,” her father shouted overwhelmed with joy and Otter looked up and ran to greet her daughter. When Roe finally could relax in her mother’s arms she realized just how exhausted and hungry she really was. She had been injured and had been very close to death. Suddenly the feeling of invisibility was completely gone and she felt like a small child again. She would have liked to tell her parents all about her difficulties during the last two weeks and to be comforted by her mother as she had been so often when she was a child. But of course that was not possible. She could not share her experience with anyone.

“How was your trip together with the elves?” Wolf asked.
Roe swallowed. One lie just built upon the other and all she wanted now was to rest and be close to her parents.

“It was good, an adventure, but I’m so glad to be back home,” she said. Obviously the elves hadn’t been here already which at least was a relief. She quickly changed subject and started to ask about everything that her parent had been doing while she was gone to not have to make up lies about the travel with the elves.

“I will miss you so much when you leave us to move to Bear’s family,” Otter said, her voice almost breaking. “It was almost unbearable to be without you during this time but I better get used. I can’t believe how fast you have grown.”

“What do you mean? I’m going to take care of you even after I’ve been joined with Bear. Surely you will move with me?”

Wolf shook his head. “No you cannot take care of four old parents, we will manage. And besides, moving to another couples hunting grounds is never done, how could you even think of such a strange thing? Of course we will visit you as often as possible, at least once a year. We will be very happy just to know that you’re doing well.”

Roe felt as if a trap was slowly closing around her. The feeling was almost similar to what she had experienced in the dark tunnel when she escaped from the castle but this time she wasn’t sure there would be a hatch that led to her freedom on the other side of the tunnel. She hoped with all her heart that the solution to all her troubles was within the little bottle that the Dark elves had given her and that it wasn’t too late. The thought of Thorundur travelling together with Aliendre worried her more than she liked to admit.

The next few days Roe slept like she had never slept before and when she didn’t sleep she waited. She waited for Thorundur to come back but the days passed and he didn’t come. Maybe he wasn’t her friend anymore? Or maybe he had forgotten her and was only thinking about Aliendre.

Finally, after six days the elves showed up and Roe felt exhilarated when she saw them. Thankfully her parents had gone for a long hunting trip. Roe had stayed home, partly because she hoped that the elves would show up, and partly because she still needed to rest from her adventures and head injury. She studied Thorundur and Aliendre closely as they approached. There didn’t seem to be any difference in the relation between them. Thorundur and Aliendre walked at the same distance from each other as usual and they didn’t look at each other more often than usual. On the other hand Thorundur didn’t smile at her as he usually did. When they had last seen each other she had yelled and ran away from him so she couldn’t really blame him for not being happy to see her. Aliendre on the other hand looked happy to see her.

”Roe I’m so happy to see you,” Aliendre said with a bright smile and stretched her arms towards Roe.

Aliendre’s friendliness made Roe feel guilty.

“Hi, Roe,” Thorundur said with just a hint of a smile and without meeting her eyes.

"I’m so happy to see you too, both of you, “Roe said and smiled brightly. “I’ve been on a long hunting trip on my own and returned just a little less than a week ago. Please tell me everything about your travel”. She talked heartily and smiled but it was all a charade. It was not possible to feel happy if she and Thorundur weren’t friends. How she wished that she could tell Thorundur everything about her adventure in the human realm. He was always such a good listener and no one would understand her like he did. But of course she couldn’t share the biggest adventure she had ever experienced with him. He looked a little more relaxed and happier though after they had greeted each other.

“Please let me give you some food and make you some tea,” she said.

Roe hoped that the spirits and The Mother where not watching when lifted the bottle to pour the potion in the mug that she would give to Aliendre. Somehow she had a feeling that they might not approve of what she planned to do. She had sent the elves to get some herbs on the other side of the hut so that they wouldn’t see what she was doing but she knew that she could not hide from the spirits. Aliendre had showed her nothing but friendship and acceptance. Secretly pouring magical potions in your mug was not something a friend was expected to do. She lowered her hand again. There was still a choice; she didn’t have to do this. But on the other hand, the potion would only help Aliendre to follow her heart Roe tried to convince herself. Probably she was just doing Aliendre a favor. After all was it not The Mother herself who had told Roe that she should follow her heart and the Dark elves had said that this could help her to get what she wanted. She put some extra herbs in the tea in case the potion would have a strong taste.

“It smells very good,” Aliendre said and looked appreciatively at Roe.

“Taste it, it tastes even better than it smells,” Roe said trying to not stare intensely on Aliendre.

“Oops, I spilled my tea,” Thorundur said. “I’m terribly sorry Roe.”

“No problem I can get you more,” she replied quickly, trying hard to hide her irritation.

“You can have some of mine, I have plenty,” Aliendre offered.

“No,” Roe cried sharply as Aliendre lifted her mug to pour some of her tea in Thorundur’s mug.

The elves looked up at her surprised by the sharpness of her voice.

“It means bad luck to pour tea from someone’s mug,” Roe said quickly. “I will get you some new tea Thorundur.

Aliendre seemed to accept Roe’s explanation and lowered her mug again but Thorundur looked skeptical. They had eaten many meals together and he had never heard this before.

Roe hold her breath as Aliendre lifted the mug to her lips and sipped. “It tastes very good Roe.” She took another sip and another. Nothing particular seemed to happen but maybe it would take some time for the effect to start working.

The elves chatted with her, telling her about their trip and Thorundur seemed to become less and less tense and more and more like he used to be towards her. It became time for them to part and they said goodbye. Still there was nothing unusual with Aliendre as far as Roe could tell. What if nothing would happen? Then all the dangers she had gone through would have been for nothing. But even if the potion had the effect it was supposed to have, how could she be sure that she would get what she wanted. The Dark elves had not wanted to give her a potion to give to Thorundur. It was not in their interest to do so and the potion was very complicated and demanding to make they had explained. Although the Dark elves were her friends Roe would never have dared to do anything against their will. Their magical powers scared her. All she could do now was to wait and see if something would happen.
Lab Assistant
#40 Old 29th Jun 2011 at 11:55 PM
I'm sad that Roe gave up the horse and doubly sad that she er.... poisoned? Aliendre. Poor Roe... she's so naive. ._. Great update! Glad to see you back!
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#41 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 8:02 AM
I feel a little bad about abandoning the horse myself. Therefore he will probably be back in the story at some time. Roe is only used to wild animals and probably just believed that she did the horse a favour by giving him his freedom. I agree she's naive.
Lab Assistant
#42 Old 2nd Jul 2011 at 3:52 PM
Ah I see! I should have remembered that about her.... now I can understand how she could do it, she isn't completely human -- she wouldn't have become attached as any human girl might. xD Can't wait to see what happens next! I'm bouncing up and down in my seat!
Field Researcher
#43 Old 3rd Jul 2011 at 11:47 PM
I've been reading this story greedily from the very first episode. I love it very much, even though it appears things are going to get bad soon. But then, it was already said at the very beginning. Love can be a very dangerous thing. I'm not going to elaborate on my guess as to the drink, except that poison would not have required Alexander.

Glad to hear there are good plans for the horse.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#44 Old 5th Jul 2011 at 7:07 PM Last edited by beryllium : 9th Jul 2017 at 4:30 PM.
Default Chapter 30. Alexander's Vision
You are right Garambola. The potion is not exactly poison as poison would not have required the last ingredient

The sunlight that already trickled through the window warming the floor told Alexander that this would become a very hot day. It was only late spring but it felt like high summer. He turned around in his bed and tried to fall asleep to delay the beginning of this day but it was pointless.

Instead he lingered in bed and started to think about the strange prisoner that he had released almost two weeks ago. Sometimes he didn’t know if it had been real but every time he saw the healing wound on the guard Torfast's cheek he couldn’t deny that it really had happened. How could he have acted so strange and released a creature that didn’t look like anything that he had seen before, and without even questioning her? As often when he thought about this, he came to the conclusion that the Forest creature must have put a spell on him. There couldn’t really be any other reason for his irrational behavior he decided. The guards had been threatened and bribed to not talk with anyone about that night. Besides who would believe them anyway?

Finally he rose from his bed. There was no point in trying to avoid the inevitable. He would have to play the part that was expected of him today. There were going to be festivities for everyone because of his soon to be wedding. First there would be markets and jesters, and tonight there would be tournaments on the jousting field.

“There is still time for you to change your mind about participating in the tournaments,” his father said when they sat at the table together for a quick breakfast.

“You wanted to set me up against knights I have defeated easily before. Everyone knows their skills are much below mine, it would be pointless.”

“Is your pride more important than to give the people a show that would strengthen their support to our family?”

“I have done everything you asked of me, even agreed to marry a princess you chose but please don’t expect me to go up against knights who have been told that they must let me win.”

“We will not talk more about it then. Don’t you agree that Princess Alde is very beautiful?”

Alexander shrugged. “I can’t deny the truth in that. It will be a warm day at the market today I believe.” Then he looked worried. “Do you feel well father?” he said.

The king did indeed look very pale and there was a tension around his cheeks.

“I’m fine but I think I will need to get some rest before the tournaments. If you show yourself at the market there’s no need for me to go there to. I’ll see you tonight then.”

Alexander strolled around at the market, chatting with friends and receiving the people’s reverence. It was a beautiful day perhaps just a little bit too warm to be perfect. He enjoyed himself for the moment. Alde had taken her chambermaid with her to the market stalls.

“How can a woman smile and frown at the same time?” Alexander thought when Alde approached him.

It just doesn’t seem possible to find nice silk anywhere in this town,” she said displeased.

“There are some merchants here that have silk I believe,” he said.

“But not the quality I would like,” she replied. I need to have some new dresses made.”

Alexander couldn’t understand why this woman needed more dresses. He couldn’t recall having seen her in the same dress twice yet. Not that he paid that much attention to dresses of course, so he could be mistaken there.

“Talking about clothes, the thralls and serfs in your country must be very well dressed,” Alde said looking around at the market.

“Most of the people you that see in this part of the country are actually not thralls or serfs but free farmers. My father believes that it’s better to let people own their land and pay reasonable taxes. He believes that they will produce better if they own their farms.” he answered.

“How odd!” There was a wrinkle of disapproval between her brows. “Maybe that’s something that we can change when you‘re king and I’m your queen.” Her sweet smile gave him shivers.

Before Alexander could think of a reply dizziness overwhelmed him. Everything became blurry and he felt like he might faint. He leaned against a column for support and hoped that no one would notice his weakness. What could be wrong with him? He closed his eyes and opened them again.

A face was forming in the blurriness before his eyes. It was Aliendre. She was even more beautiful than he could remember and she smiled at him. She seemed to be in a in a forest and her lips formed his name.

“Are you well Alexander?” Aliendre’s face disappeared and he was looking into Alde’s sharp green eyes. She looked concerned.

“I’m fine.” It was a lie though. He was not fine at all. Although he realized what he had seen must have been his imagination caused by the pressure that he felt lately he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that Aliendre was in some kind of trouble.

It was strange. First the oddest looking creature that he’d ever seen showed up in his castle and claimed that she knew Aliendre. And now he had a strong vision of Aliendre. He had tried so hard to convince himself that his infatuation with Aliendre had just been a youthful and naïve love that he would grow out of but he hadn’t succeed very well at all. How could it be possible for him to go through with the wedding with Alde when his heart was filled with another woman? He had to go through with it. There was really no other choice at this point or else King Knut and his sons would become their enemies. Besides, Aliendre was an elf and he was human. Elves and humans couldn’t marry and were not supposed to fall in love with each other. A life together with Aliendre had always been out of the questions so he really needed to stop thinking about her.

“I look forward to the tournaments tonight. Everyone will see the beautiful princess that will become their queen,” he said, doing his best to play the part that was expected of him. He seemed to have convinced Alde at least. She looked very pleased to hear his words.
Field Researcher
#45 Old 5th Jul 2011 at 9:16 PM
I am disliking the princess more and more, which I suspect is how things are supposed to be. What a spoiled, little, conceited brat. Probably not untypical of princesses.

Yet, I have to admire her for being so candid. She could as well have hidden all her opinions until after the wedding. Maybe that means she is stupid. Or maybe it just means she isn't totally macchiavellian.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#46 Old 12th Jul 2011 at 11:01 PM Last edited by beryllium : 9th Jul 2017 at 4:31 PM.
Default Chapter 31. The Letter

The weak flickering light from the candles fell on Aliendre’s desk. She had returned home yesterday. Almost everyone but she was asleep. It was late night or very early morning and still very quiet. Not even the birds were awake to fill the air outside with their singing. Only the guards would be up now. Aliendre carefully folded the letter that she had been writing and let it lie on her desk. She went to the other side of the room where a beautifully ornamented box was standing on a small table. She opened the box and pulled out a chain with a pendant. Swiftly she got dressed and picked up a pack that was lying on her bed. After turning out the light she went silently out from her chamber.

The peacefulness of the early morning was broken by a sharp horrifying scream that echoed in the Light Elves palace. The scream came from Princess Aliendre’s chamber. King Eraldor hurried and found his wife with a horrified expression holding a paper tight in her hand. Trembling and with eyes filled with tears she handed him the paper. “Not again, not another child,” she said.

Although carefully printed, the thrifty formulations made it obvious that the letter had been written in haste.


“Is it the human prince?” Eraldor asked.

“She has never expressed any such feelings for him,” Eliene said. “But who knows what she might have hidden from us. What else could it be that would make her change irreversibly?”

“Isn’t he going to marry a foreign princess?” Eraldor asked.

“Maybe Aliendre doesn’t know. What else could it be? Do you remember at the celebration of Alexander’s first birthday? I could feel that there was a disaster in his destiny, a disaster that would cause grief in the Elven realm.”


“If Prince Alexander had anything to do with this he will regret the day he was born.” Eraldor’s eyes were narrow and there was no doubt that he meant what he said. Then his face softened. “But somehow I find it difficult to believe. He has a good heart and although he had a crush on Aliendre when he was here I doubt that it was more to it than that. Aliendre seemed to like his company but I find it hard to believe that an elven princess as mighty as her would fall seriously in love with a human.

Eliene looked absent minded with her thoughts far away. “What good is it to see the future when there never is anything I can do to change it?”

“I may not be to late yet. If the Prince is involved I will know soon enough. I will start looking for Aliendre too, but with her powers I doubt that I will be able to find her. If I didn’t know better I might have believed that the Dark elves could be involved. But there is no possibility that they could reach us here, and even Aliendre on her own, outside this palace, would be quite a match also for the most powerful of them.”

Eraldor went to his study accompanied by his wife. He pulled a cloth from a crystal ball. As he put his palms on the crystal ball it started to flicker and soon there was a forest in it.

“Most likely she has shielded herself. I cannot focus on her; the crystal ball just shows me random irrelevant scenes and I can feel it bouncing against the resistance of her shield whenever I try to focus. But if the prince is involved maybe I can see something in the human realm.”

Eraldor concentrated again and a picture of a room filled the crystal ball. There was a bed in the room and on the pillow was Prince Alexander’s blond head. He was still sleeping deeply but started to move around and yawned while they were watching him.

“Maybe he isn’t involved at all but I will keep having an eye on him,” Eraldor said. “After all, Aliendre has always been very dutiful, I find it difficult to believe that she would let her feelings determine her actions in such a way, even if she would have had such feelings. We must send out riders that will search everywhere for our daughter. But I doubt that they will be able to find her if she doesn’t want to be found. Maybe Toraldor and Liandra know something. Aliendre might have said something when she visited them that can give us a clue. We must send a herald to them to”

Eliene’s white skin was even paler that usual and her large eyes filled with tears but the usual gentle expression was completely gone. “It is unbearable if we are going to lose another child,” she said. “We must do everything that is within our powers to find her. And if the human prince has anything to do with this, not even his gods will be able to protect him.”
Lab Assistant
#47 Old 13th Jul 2011 at 12:51 AM
=O More, please! You totally left it...hanging....from the cliff.... ;_;

xD Great update!! Mind-numbingly, insanely, crazy and tortuously(!) suspenseful update, but a great one nevertheless! =D
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#48 Old 16th Jul 2011 at 4:59 PM
Thank you LovethMia. The next update will be very soon (today).
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#49 Old 16th Jul 2011 at 5:14 PM Last edited by beryllium : 11th Jul 2017 at 10:42 AM.
Default Chapter 32. Morning Excercise

Alexander yawned and stretched and was suddenly aware that he was not alone. Someone was in his rooming watching him sleep. At once he was awake. Alarmed he watched around while he tried to figure out how to reach his sword as quickly as possible but he could not see anyone at all. It must have been a dream or imagination. His mind had played tricks with him lately. With his heart still beating quickly he leaned back against his pillow to calm down.

Should he worry that maybe he was turning mad? No, surely it was just the pressure that he had felt lately. Maybe the lack of sleep could also be a contributing factor. He had found it very difficult to fall asleep lately. Now he would definitely not be able to sleep again. He felt slightly irritated because he had been dreaming about Aliendre and would have liked to dream a little longer. It was still early and the castle was wakening up. Servants would be lighting fires, preparing the meals for today and all the other tasks he knew very little about.

As he put his feet on the wooden floor he decided that it would be a good time for outdoor exercise, still not too warm to work hard. Alexander pulled his chainmail over his head and grabbed his sword.

Except for the guards that were on duty he could only see one person in the courtyard, a young girl. When he realized that she had a wooden sword in her hand he almost dropped his jaw, such impudence! A servant had no business being in the exercise area with a wooden sword in her hand? He took a deep breath as he prepared to harshly reprimand her. Then he realized that she only had put the sword up from the ground where it must have fallen. She grabbed her broom again and moved it with regular strokes while looking down at the ground so that he could barely see her face but he had already recognized her as the young maid that had been sent out from Alde’s room. Obviously she was on outdoor duty now.

He started to warm up with some routine exercises with the sword. After a while he noted that he could not hear the sound of the sweeping anymore and looked up.

The girl was closer now and when he looked at her she looked down quickly and started to sweep with very determined strokes. Alexander smiled for himself; the girl had obviously been watching him. He started his exercise again, now showing of a little, and soon enough the sound of the sweeping stopped.

This time he waited a while before he looked up and had the satisfaction to see the girls cheeks turn red as she dropped the broom when he caught her eyes. Quickly she picked up the broom and started to sweep again. Although she had been caught it didn’t seem to stop her from watching again because he could hear the sound of the sweeping disappear after a while and he knew that she still was there. This time he didn’t look up. She could watch if she wanted, he didn’t mind to have an audience.

Alexander went into the great hall pleasantly weary. The exercise had done him good and now he longed for a heavy breakfast. Craftsmen were busy as the King had decided that the hall needed wooden panels before the wedding.

“Hi, there you rose early today little Prince”, he heard from the shadows.

“Hi, when did you arrive, Erik?”

“I came late yesterday night. You had already gone to bed. The rest of my family is staying in town. Looks like you have been up exercising already.”

“Yeah, there’s nothing better to wake you up.”

“Wonder what good all this exercise will do you. There seem to be little chance to die an honorable death in the battle field nowadays.”

“That’s true and I hope it will remain so,” Alexander replied. “Hand me some beer will you please.”

“So, when will you introduce me to your beautiful bride?”

“You can probably meet her very soon today.”

“I look forward to meeting Princess Alde. You’re a lucky prince Alexander. A rich wife with influence and beauty, what else can a man wish for? Erik patted Alexander hard on the back. Alexander had just raised his goblet to have a sip of beer and as Erik patted him on the back bear spilled all over his face.

“Nothing, I suppose,” Alexander replied with a strained smile while he wiped beer from his face with his arm.
Field Researcher
#50 Old 18th Jul 2011 at 1:49 PM
Things are really getting heated. The girl with the sword sounds like a promising character. Hopefully she'll appear more. Excellent updates, thank you.
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