The Alistar Accords

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by LadyHarpy, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:DontVertAlignCellWithSp/> <w:DontBreakConstrainedForcedTables/> <w:DontVertAlignInTxbx/> <w:Word11KerningPairs/> <w:CachedColBalance/> </w:Compatibility> <w:BrowserLevel>MicrosoftInternetExplorer4</w:BrowserLevel> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="267"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0in; mso-para-margin-right:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} </style> <![endif]--> Deep in the Forest of Danbim, among the giant red woods and tiny willows, sits the kingdom of Elmensam. It is a simple place, seemingly grown right from the fertile ground it sat upon. The creatures that call this place home are the elves, a beautiful race known for its young beauty in old age. Every day the city was bustling with life, wives heading into market to shop for supplies while husbands headed off to hunt or work in the herb fields. Young girls would wander over to the training fields to watch the soldiers when their chores were done while little children would laugh and play on the dirt roads, skipping rope with their friends or playing a quick game of tag. Many claimed that Elmensam was built to be paradise for the weak and helpless, to give them a chance to survive and grow into strong people, and most would agree...

    Until the Orcs came...

    In the mountains that ran along the southern border of Danbim, a sinister group festered among rock and fire. Tall nasty beasts, twice the size of any human and four times as heavy, growled and grumbled angrily at the world. Sickly green skin covered their bodies while crocked crawls scrapped away at the stone above them. For the longest time no one even knew that they existed, the monsters having kept to themselves for the longest of times. However, that all changed one day during a rather hot summer. A group of elven hunters were out checking their traps in the southern half of the forest when they heard something strange. Curious, the elves headed toward the noise only to witness quite a site.

    There, ripping away at the forest that they called home was a heard of Orcs. They tore down tree after tree and tossed it into a giant cart of sorts. The elves, not knowing that to think of this, quickly returned to Elmensam to tell the king of their tale. The king sent out a group of soldiers to make peace with the creatures but the act was a complete failure. As soon as the elves stepped out from the cover of the bushes and trees they were attacked and killed, some even eaten. Only one escaped and returned to the king to tell him the news, soon dying of his wounds thereafter. Saddened and worried, the King turned to the Elders, looking for guidance in this time of trouble...


    In a dark room, lit only by a series of candles, a group of people sat quietly. A handsome elf in fighting garb sat before three elderly looking elves. In the middle of the room was a large table with a picture of Elmensam hand carved into the side. One of the older elves, a lanky tall fellow with a long white beard, set a large shallow bowl on the table before a short old woman with a hunch in her back. The last old Elf, looking to be in better shape than the other two, set a series of jars near the elderly woman. The young elf watched as the woman poured clean water into the shallow bowl along with a few other oils. With tiny boney hands she swirled the water around, mumbling in a strange tongue under her breath before she set it back down with a light thunk.

    The room was filled with complete silence as the old woman stared at the bowl intently, her old eyes squinting as if she was trying to read a badly written note.

    "What does it say?" The young elf asked softly, his voice deep and showing that he was far older than he truly looked.

    He was answered by silence as the old woman slowly looked up at him, her expression slightly grim. The other two elders stood on either side of her glancing at the bowl worriedly as the oils swirled together lazily.

    "These creatures..." She began, her voice high and shaky from age. "They are born from fire and stone...No arrow or sword of our design will even kill them. If left to their own devices...our forest will be completely consumed."

    The younger elf frowned deeply. "What is their purpose here?"

    "They seek control. Anything that is not useable will be burned in their pits of fire and anything that is will be turned into a slave for them to use...We are only the first step on their path for domination...If you wish for Elmensam to survive then you will need to band together with another kingdom, for our people are not built to fight such beasts."

    "And If I do not seek help?"

    "Then Elmensam will fall and Danbim will burn." Came the cold reply from the old woman.

    The young elf stood and turned on his heel toward the door of the room. His face was grim but his eyes burned with an anger no one would dare invoke. Before he cloud leave however the old woman called out to him.

    "Sonin!" She said, the elf stopping in his track but making no move to turn. "...Elmensam will not survive without the help of another, but be warned...When you seek to befriend watch for the color orange, they will be then answer but the price you will pay in return may be more than you can bare."


    As soon as the king knew of his duty a messenger was sent with great haste toward the nearest kingdom, Alistar. The soldier traveled for days on end, only stopping to rest when the horse could no longer keep pace. Through Danbim and the valley of Cermos he ride, decorated in the brown and green that showed who he was and where he was from. As the messenger made haste to the kingdom of the elementalists the elves held off the Orcs for as long as they could, sabotaging the tools and carts used to break down the precious forest. Many elves were losing their lives to the efforts they made and they could only hope that the messenger was not turned away when he arrived.
  2. Long ago, there was only Xe, the God of Eternality. Xe created all things: nobody knew how Xe came to be, and nobody dared question it. It was Xe who created the Humans, the Beasts, the Trees, the Elves, the Shapeshifters, the Faeries - all things that came to be, sprung forth of Xe's eternal heart. And there was peace at the Beginning, but only for a time - for soon, the Beasts learned that they must thrive off the blood of others, and the Elves learned that they must build their homes of the Trees, and so on, and the world became chaotic and dischordant. And the Humans were at a loss, for they did not have the might of the Beasts, or the cunning of the Elves, or the magic of the Faeries. And so five Humans appealed to Xe. "Xe," they asked, "We have no claws to tear flesh, no magic spells to cast, no roots to plant: why have you given us nothing?" And Xe looked down upon the poor Humans, who were without defense against their predators, and he took pity on them. "Humans, it is true, I have not been fair to you," he said. "I have put so much into this Earth, and while it appears that my other children have benefitted more from it than have you, you alone will have the ability to weild the inherent power of this Earth. One of you will be able to harness the power of fire; one, water; one, light; one, the air; and one, the Earth itself. All of your descendants will have these powers, as well." And so it was that he bestowed the power of the planet on these five humans, and so it was that the Elementalists were born. "But listen carefully to me, my children," said Xe to the Elementalists, "for the power you possess is greater than yourselves. Left unchecked, you could rule the world, thus destroying the precious balance I have created." And so Ze created a new species of being, out of the stone and fire of his mighty forge. "These beings are more powerful than any you have encountered, for they are born not of light, but of darkness. They are perhaps even more powerful than yourselves, you who possess the power of the planet. But fear not, for they will remain in isolation in the mountains beyond Danbim until 5 million years have passed. But when 5 million years have passed, they will come out of hiding, and it is then that we shall see who is truly more powerful." Thus the Orcs were created, and they were cast into the mountains to fend for themselves as the Elementalists built their kingdom, a thriving metropolis divided equally amongst the five elements, out of the center of which rose a large castle. The Elementalists developed a shaky peace betwixt one another, united in their common lineage, divided in their different abilities, ruled over by a benevolent monarchy. Time passed, and the Kingdom of Alistar grew, and the world became populated with all sorts of magnificent creatures. But as the Eternal Clock ticked and tocked, the Elementalists forgot about this important warning from Xe, until one day, when a fleet-footed messenger from Elmansam showed up at the front gate...

    * * *
    An old man sat upon the trunk of a fallen tree, his sandal-clad feet crossed beneath a long, white robe trimmed with blood-orange fabric. His hands were in his lap, clasped together tightly, each finger adorned with golden rings. His long neck led up to a wrinkled face, sprouting out of which was a long, thin white beared and a mustache that curled up at the wides of his face. His hair, equally white, was tied back in a long ponytail beneath a small, black hat. His face was crinkled in an intense sort of concentration as he watched a man much younger than himself, who was standing several meters away from him.

    This young man looked equally focused, his dark eyebrows furrowed, his dark hair falling down to just above his closed eyelids. One hand lay at his side, the other extending outward in front of him, towards a standing tree adjacent to the fallen one upon which the old man sat. Suddenly, his hand started shaking, his eyebrows furrowing even more deeply as his eyelids crinkled and his lips pursed. His entire body seemed to tense up, each muscle tightening until his whole body appeared to be shaking. But finally, all of this stopped, and the young man dropped his hand, turning away from the tree. "This is foolish," he said in a deep, dark voice that sounded almost a bit raspy. "I'll never get the hang of it." He crossed his arms in front of him dejectedly.

    The old man simply stood, walking skillfully down the trunk of the fallen tree until he arrived at the living one. He reached out a finger, which he ran up the length of the tree, then bringing it up to eye level. A smokey black substance now coated his finger, and he rubbed it between his thumb and forefinger. The bark was charred. "Nonsense, young prince," said the old man. "You're closer than ever before." He sat back down again in the same position as before, turning to face the prince, who had turned back towards the tree quizically. "Now, try again."

    * * *
    Two massive figures stood in front of a large gate. The bodies - much larger than the average Elementalist, who tended to be on the slimmer, lither side - were clad in large, metal pieces of armor, which were adorned with golden markings. Lavish helmets obscured most of their faces, but it was clear to any who passed that they were not friendly. They were two soldiers of the Alistarian Royal Guard, and now they stood guard of the Gates of Alistar, watching vigilantly to ensure that no trespassers breached the gates; more guards lined the kingdom walls which surrounded Alistar, and more still guarded the Grand Palace where the royal family resided. These guards held no weapons, for no material weapons were needed by the Elementalists, who could use the planet and its resources as weapons themselves.

    These two guards stood perfectly still in their watch, only their eyes moving at any flicker of movement in the immediate vicinity. It was a quiet day today: on many days, traders and diplomats would come to the gate, but they had official papers and thus did not need to explain themselves to the guards. As it were, Alistar sat nestled in a giant mountain, one in the Pucila range, and it was difficult enough for someone who had no business in Alistar to access the gates at all.

    Suddenly, over the horizon appeared a beast that was not well-known in those parts; it looked like a horse of sorts, save for its long, beautiful antlers. As it came closer, it became apparent that somebody was riding said beast, and as it came closer still, it became apparent that it was an Elf. The two guards watched carefully, but still did not move until the Elf and his mount were very close to the gate, slowing down as it was obvious that these guards were here for a reason. The guards suddenly became animted, the guard on the left side of the gate lifting both hands to form a large fireball just in front of him, and the guard on the right lifting his hands to shoot a tall column of water up into the air. These feats - perhaps meant to scare off intruders, or perhaps meant to show off the incredible power of the Elementalists, lasted but a few seconds before they disappeared once more.

    "Who goes there?" said the guard to the left, a Fire Elementalist, as he took a step towards the Elf on his mount. The guard to the right, a Water Elementalist, also took an intimidating step forward, but said nothing.
  3. As the elf came upon the beautiful gates of Alistar, he slowed and stopped in front of the guards obidently and looked down upon them from the Giant Red Deer he sat on. He looked young and handsome, seeming to be no older than 18, but looks could certainly not determine the true age of elves and this elf held himself with the air of a trained veteran who had sem more than one battle. There was only one thing that took away from his face and that was the dark and heavy rings under his eyes that showed that he had less than a proper nights sleep for a very long time. With the clearing of his throat the elf spoke smoothly and slowly to the men before him, trying to stay and peaceful and polite as possible in is less that rested state.

    "I am Fertin Mclinn, I am a messenger from the kingdom of Elmensam. I have a message for your queen from my king, Sonin Kinghamortor. It is of the greatest importance that I deliever to her and her alone for it is about the well being of every living being in all of the kingdoms. I will not leave until my duty is done."

    The elf made no move to leave or turn away, the only other sound being that od the deer breathing tiredly from having run for days on end without rest. Now it was up to the guards to make a move and choose whether he could pass or not.

    Back in Elmensam, the king was sitting in the war room with his most important generals, everyone in clam but tense silence. He paced back and forth slowly as they waited for one more person to join them, an elf who's future was to lead the next generations of Elmensam to success and peace. Said Elf stepped into the room silent and looked upon them quietly as he bowed before walking over to the King.

    "Father..." He started to say but the king rose his hand to silence him quickly.

    "It was for the best Ches. You have seen what these things can do and we can not afford to lose any more men to their violent ways. It's sad enough that I've spent the whole day delievering bad news to the wives of dead soldiers, I can't bare to see this go on any longer." The king said simply before turning to his son and placing a hand on his shoulder. "I need your help Ches, I don't need you working against me during such trying times. I know how you feel about accepting outside help but the only other option is defeat."

    "Father I can fight them! They are strong but they are also stupid, the only know distruction and burning. There is not form of organized attack. We could take them out if we-"

    "Throw more men into their giant hands to be eaten and ripped in half?" One of the older man interrupted as he looked at the young prince. "Prince, times are no longer full of the peace that we need. The elders have said that help from Alistar, they even questioned the oils for information...we need them."

    The prince frowned and turned back to his father, his eyes wavering from him to the other man before he let out a small defeated sigh.

    "What must I do...To help Elmensam survive."
  4. The two guards stood in deafening silence as the messenger made his identity, origins, and purposes known. After hearing him in full, the two gigantic, armour-clad men turned towards each other, exchanging a knowing look completely lost to anyone who wasn't familiar with the ways of the guards. Suddenly, they turned away from the Elf, and for a moment it was not obvious what their intentions were until suddenly the gate began to open. The iron-cast door creaked and groaned as it opened, one of the soldiers helping it do so with a large, meaty hand, his bicep bulging as he pushed against the enormous gate. Soon, the gate was fully opened, and only then did the other guard - he who could control water - gestured discreetly for the messenger to follow them.

    Just inside the gate was a stable, and the two guards compelled the Elf to leave his mount in the care of the stablehand with long, dark hair and an eyepatch over one eye, who promised to feed him and let him rest until he was needed once more. The three then entered into a long, narrow passageway that was open to the air. It was not so narrow that the two large guards could not walk side-by-side, but the messenger had to follow behind. This passageway stretched an interminable distance, and though it was open to the air, a tall rock wall on either side of the corridor made it seem perhaps claustrophobic to anyone not used to navigating the entryway. Over the top of the rock wall on the right, there could be seen vines growing, spreading a few inches down the side facing the passageway the three now moved down; this was the territory of the Earth Elementalists, who lived in a forestlike setting perhaps not unlike Elmensam, with large trees providing space for treehouses, hills to climb, and dirth paths to walk. On the other side, wafts of smoke could be seen making their way into the sky; this was the territory of the Fire Elementalists, whose homes were always smoking, hot, and more industrial than the Earth territory on the other side. But other than the vines and smoke, none of it could be seen over the tall rock walls.

    After a sizeable distance, the entryway suddenly began to descend, and the two guards led the messenger down beneath the earth. The corridor opened up, and torches on either side of the passage provided the light they needed to move forward. The passageway would continue underground for the remainder of this short journey: above them now was the training ground, where young Xavier Rashida practiced his element, as did so many other Elementalists. The marketplace was beyond that, which was always bustling with shops, shopowners, and townspeople of all of the elements looking for the latest bargains. On both the training grounds and the marketplage, the elements mingled with one another, which was why they radiated from the center of the territory, where the Grand Palace stood, and where the small group was headed. The entryway went underground, then, so as not to disrupt the connection of the territories in a full circle.

    Soon enough, the three came to a large door, on either side of which were two large torches. The water elementalist banged twice on the door, and it opened to reveal a third guard, of small stature but wearing similar armor, just inside. "A messenger from Elmensam," said the water elementalist, "with a message for the queen." Such a statement might have seemed strange to the messenger, but Alistar was a matriarchy (so long as there was a female in the royal family to rule), so it was the queen who conducted the official business. The third guard gestured for the messenger to enter, and the two guards left him there to return to their posts.

    The guard led the messenger up a long set of stairs, passing by many other guards, as well as dignitaries, servants, and the like. Once up the stairs, then found themselves in a grand hallway, although they had entered into it from the side, the entrance being aboveground. The guard led the messenger down this hallway, past beautiful paintings, sculptures, and suits of armor, until they reached yet another door and two more guards. "A messenger from Elmensam with an important message for the queen," said the guard, and the two guards - air elementalists both - opened the doors to allow the messenger to enter the throne room.

    Inside, Queen Aligale sat upon her throne, a half-dozen handmaidens encircling her, and a line of guards standing around the perimeter of the room. Two of them were painting her long nails a deep shade of green, while three of them worked on braiding her hair and weaving thin vines into the design, placing little purple flowers every so often. The sixth was placing a larger flower of the same color onto the breast of a brown flowing dress. When the look was completed, Queen Aligale looked just like the anthropromorphism of a tree, with a long, brown trunk and a green top with purple flowers. She always put a great deal of thought into her looks, for each element had its own colors (which is why the kingdom as a whole did not have one specific color with which to identify itself) and it was important she give each of them some attention. This week was the Wyvern Festival, an important three-day festival in Earth Territory, and the Queen and King would be making an appearance there that evening. (It was all politics, of course, to make the magistrate happy.) Besides, she always loved a good party, and extravagance was her strongest suit.

    She looked up upon seeing the door open, and the guard announced the messenger in a loud, booming voice. "Fertin Mclinn of Elmensam, your Royal Highness," he said, before taking his leave. Queen Aligale stood up, the handmaidens falling back a few paces. The Queen floated down the steps - literally, as she was an Air Elementalist and could manipulate the air to carry her down - before landing gently just in front of the messenger; she always did enjoy showing off. "Welcome to Alistar, Fertin Mclinn," she said as she landed, standing just feet away from the young man, a small smile adorning her features. "To what do I owe the honor?"
  5. Leading his mount into the gates silently, the messenger dismounted and left the deer in the hands of the stable master to rest and feed. He followed the guards quietly, only sparing the smallest glance to the walls or sky. He was determined to deliever his message, knowing that if he did not then his home would be doomed to distruction. As the path dived into the ground the elf started to become the slightest bit curious about the kingdom he now walked in, for like many of the elves of Elmensam he had never stepped out of the forest of Danbim.

    His eyes glanced at the torches for a moment before looking upon the guards, their armor far more superior to the leather armor that he wore under his clothing of green, gold and brown. After walking up the massive stairs Fertin could not stop himself from staring at the grand hall before him. His eyes looked over the paintings and statues sparingly as he kept pace with the guards, silently wishing that his message wasn't so important so that he could admire the beautiful pieces of art. When they arrived at the throne room he walked up to the queen and bowed politely, pulling downthe hood on his head to show off his true features. His hair was a piercing black but is skin was the common sot pale color that only the elves could bare. His ears pointed sharply, only a little longer than a humans and his face was square and strong as was his body, showing he was built to fight. He stood up stright and started to shuffle through his cloak as the queen approached him.

    "Your Highness, I am afraid that I am the barer of bad news. The letter I carry will tell you everything." He said calmly as he pulled out a folded letter, a wax seal holding it closed.

    The letter read:

    Queen of Alistar,

    I, King Sonin of Elmensam, send you this letter under terrible circumstances. Creatures have appeared from the sounthern mountains and started tearing down the forest. We tried to approach these beasts peacefully but were only given violence and death in return, some of our men were even eaten by them like sheep. We have learned that they are called Orcs and have only the idea of control in him. According to our elders, they will stop and nothing for power and Elmensam is only their first target. My people are no match for these beasts, they out size and out weigh us greatly. It will only be a matter of time Elmensam and Danbim are completely destroyed. I ask you to help us in our time of need, your strength and power is what we need to balance out the playing field. I know that this is sudden and hard to believe but I can confidently say that if we do not work together now and stop these Orcs then there will be no hope for any other kingdom out there. I will gladly speak with you in person to discuss things out in more detail and pray that you make the right choice.

    -Sonin Kinghamortor

    The Messenger stood there quietly as he waited for the queen to speak, his heart slightly racing as he watched the quen read the letter. He hoped that she would choose to help them, for as they stood there his bothers in arms comtinued to fight against the Orcs and destory their tools in hopes of delaying their progress through the forest.
  6. Queen Aligale eyed the messenger carefully as he shuffled through his cloak, a thin, dark eyebrow curving upwards with curiosity - and perhaps bemusement? - as she watched him. Her thin lips - painted a light shade of purple to match the small flowers dotting her braided hair - had been curved upwards into a smile, but then fell into a frown as the messenger admitted that he was the barer of bad news. Lifting a long, thin hand outward towards the Elf, she daintily accepted the letter into her hand - careful not to ruin the newly-painted nails as she did so - and turned it towards her to read. As she glanced over the words, her lips moved every-so-slightly, as though whispering the words aloud. Her dark eyes flickered over the transcription for a brief moment, eyebrows furrowing as she took in the gravity of the situation described in the letter. Before long, however, she was folding the letter neatly in half and looking back up at the messenger.

    "Your king has written to me of a grave situation, indeed," she said calmly, head turning just slightly as her eyes connected with his. "Unfortunately, I cannot give you an answer straight away. As you can imagine, we do not take such propositions lightly, even if Alistar has good trade relations with the Elves. Going to war is quite a harrowing endeavour, even if the cause is just, as it seems to me to be according to this message. I will consult with my advisors on the matter and will have an answer for you in the coming days. But understand this: an alliance with the great and powerful Alistar does not come without a cost: negotiations between our kingdoms will be necessary - that is, should we decide that it is in our interests to help you. As I say, I will consult with my advisors and the king. Until such time as we are ready to provide your king with an answer to his request, you may tell him that we are considering his proposal with great care and concern, and that the spirit of Alistar is with him." She nodded her head, signifying that she was finished speaking, before turning to go. "My guards will show you the way you came," she said, disappearing through a side door.

    Once the door had closed behind her, Queen Aligale found herself in a passageway that connected the throne room with private chambers. She gestured towards an aide, who came up beside her as she continued walking towards a stairwell that would take her down into the inner confines of the palace, where the Council of Elements met in a grand meeting room. "Summon the magistrates," she said as she walked. "And my military advisors, as well. And for Xe's sakes, figure out where my husband has gone off to." The aide nodded before peeling away from the queen to go attend to his duties, while Queen Aligale - now flanked by several handmaidens, who had joined her as she walked briskly down the corridor - made her way to the Council Room.

    Several minutes later, five small flames began to burn on the towers that rose on each corner of the pentagonal palace: one tower represented each of the five elements of the earth - fire, water, light, air, and the earth itself. This flame was a beacon seen by Statehouses of each Territory, within which resided the Magistrate of each territory. Whenever the flames rose, it was a sign that the Council of Elements would be meeting. Today, the council would have to decide whether Alistar would join Elmensam in the war against the Orcs. Queen Aligale sat in the Council Room as she waited for the Magistrates to arrive via tunnels that connected the Statehouses to the Grand Palace, her eyes looking over the letter many times over. This would be a difficult decision to make. After all, how could they not come to the aid of a kingdom that desperately needed their assistance? But on the other hand, how could they put their own men in harm's way when the Orcs had not yet attacked them? Altruism and self-interest would be put head-to-head at today's council meeting, and it was still unclear which would prevail.
  7. Fertin watched as the queens expression quickly changed, her eye darting over the letter neatly and quickly. Her response was to be expected in such a dangerous situation, such matter could not simply be decided on at the drop of a hat. The king had to speak with his men to see if sending a messenger would really do them any good. He nodded to the queen politely and silently, showing his respect and thanking her at the same time for seeing him at all. He was then lead back out by the same guards and through the same doors, this time being able to look at the lovely art more properly. It was as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, now he just had to make it back safely and report to the king.

    He smiled at the deer as he entered the stables to claim her, the beast looking refreshed and fed now. He pet her gently for a moment as the stable master kindly took charge and put on her saddle for him. He thanked the man kindly and hopped onto his mount swiftly before trotting toward the gate. As he waited for the gate to open his mind wandered to thoughts of home. Much damage had been done by the Orcs, it would take years for Danbim to be the same. Elmensam also lost many men just from going on the defensive and trying to slow the creatures down. Fertin knew that he would be joining the other men once he returned and said a silent prayer that he would at least be able to get some rest before he was sent to face the monster that plagued his home. He snapped back to reality as the gates stopped with a loud bang, signaling that the gate was completely open. He nodded to the guards, thanking them simply before sending his mount into an instant gallop, rushing back to him home where his king and fellow men awaited him.

    He glanced back for a moment, looking upon the fires that lit the towers around the castle. Though they were small they were bright and brought a smile to Fertin's face. They gave him a bit of confidence that everything would work out and these terrible times would soon be nothing more than another chapter in the history books. He turned back to his path once more, giving a loud shot and a sharp kick to the deer to urge her on faster, the man taking advantage of his uplifted mood to make as much of a dent in his journey as possible.
  8. Long, blonde hair fell in waves to the floor, the brilliant locks adorned with white ribbons that were woven expertly into the silk-like hair. This hair framed a pale, delicate face, eyes of yellow and lips of a light shade of pink being the prominent features thereof. The woman wore a white dress, simple and accessible in design, for today she had opted for function over form. A simple, circular white cap rested upon the top of her head, pinned down so that it would not move when she walked. With her pale skin, bright clothing and light hair, she appeared almost to be a ghost of some sort - yet she did not appear to be frightening, but rather quite ravishing. This was Eledy, Magistrate of the Light.

    Eledy stood in a large room, the floors of which were made of marble, the ceiling made of glass, with large pillars connecting said floor to said ceiling. The ceiling let in all of the light from above, the sun shining brightly down into the room and making everything - and everyone - in it seem almost to glow softly. Even on grey days and at night, this room - the Hall of Eternal Light, the main room in the Statehouse in the Territory of the Light - was always radiant. Very few knew just how this was: some believed it was a magic spell, while others believed the Light Elementalists had captured stars for their personal use. Whatever the reason, the Hall of Eternal Light had a very obvious reason behind its name. Lady Eledy now stood in this room, speaking with an aide, when a page suddenly ran in.

    "Lady Eledy," said the boy, "the beacon burns."

    The Magistrate, who had turned towards the page upon seeing him rush in, turned back towards her aide with a concerned expression. "A council meeting?" she asked, although the question's answer was already known. "Walk with me." She turned towards the door, summoning her aide to join her as she headed towards the underground passage that would take her to the Council Room.

    Several minutes later, Eledy was walking into the Council Room, finding herself to be the last of the magistrates to arrive. Looking around the room, she saw that the other magistrates - Lord Victor of the Flame, Lady Rosalyn of the Earth, Lord Sebastian of the Water, and Lord Aeola of the Air - were already seated around the circular table with King Titus and several military advisors; Queen Aligale stood in front of her chair, palms flat on the heavy oak table as she watched Lady Eledy join the others before she began speaking.

    "I have summoned you all hear today because we have received a message from Elmensam, the Kingdom of the Elves," she said, looking from one magistrate to the other. "It seems they are under attack from a group of murderous, cannibalistic creatures known as Orcs. They have requested our help in defending their city and their way of life." Though she did not voice the ultimate question, it was apparent without being spoken.

    "They can fend for themselves," said Lord Aeola, an old man with a curly white beard, as he crossed his arms tightly in front of his broad chest. "The Elves are only distant allies; we have no use for them and do not need to be getting entangled in their affairs." Lady Rosalyn nodded her head in agreement.

    Lord Victor spoke up. "You old windbag," he said, the slightest of smiles appearing across his dark features; the two magistrates had always been rivals, just as the wind can blow out the flame and the flame can make the air rise. "Have some compassion. If we unite with the Elves, we can defeat these unjust, immoral creatures and rid the world of them forever." He nodded his head for emphasis. "Surely we are stronger than they are, this war shouldn't last long at all."

    Lady Eledy began to speak, but Lord Sebastian cut her off. "The men and women of the water are peaceful people; we do not desire to do battle with any race, nor do we desire to put our lives on the line to do so," he said more quietly than the other two magistrates, but assertively nonetheless. "We cannot be the police officers of the world; let them figure things out for themselves."

    "I was going to say the exact opposite," said Lady Eledy, giving Lord Sebastian a stern look. "We are a privileged race, for we are the embodiment of this planet. As such, it is our duty - our moral imperative - to come to the aid of those who require our assistance. We did so during the 30 Year War when the pixies were falling to the Centaurs, and we must do so again."

    Queen Aligale looked at the four magistrates who had just spoken, realizing that there were two in favor of entering the war, and two opposed. "Lady Rosalyn," she said, turning to the magistrate of the Earth, "what say you?"

    Lady Rosalyn, a short and stout woman with red hair who wore a dark green dress, cleared her throat. "The Earth Elementalists are good friends with the Elves," she said in a high-pitched yet throaty voice. "We stand with them when they need us to, and we would expect the same of them. I strongly encourage you to do something to help them - even if it is just to supply economic aid."

    "Economic aid can only go so far," said one of the military advisors. "If we are to truly help them, we'll need to do so militarily."

    Queen Aligale nodded her head in agreement. "My gut instinct was to agree to help them," she said. "I see that a majority of the Council agrees with me. Does the king agree?" She asked, turning towards her husband, who was sitting beside her.

    King Titus was silent for a moment, stroking his fuzzy chin with one of his hands. It seemed that he was weighing the options internally, as opposed to voicing them allowed. "I worry that these Orcs may be more powerful than we think," he said aloud at length, turning just slightly towards Lord Victor, his fellow Fire Elementalist, as he said this. "If we are to help them, we must make it known that we expect compensation in return. Nevertheless, defer to the Queen and believe she is correct."

    Queen Aligale nodded: this was the answer she had been hoping for, for while her decision overruled his, it was preferred that they form a consensus. "So it is agreed, Alistar will unite with Elmensam," she said. "I will have a messenger sent to the Forest of Danbim to summon the Elfin royalty to Alistar to write up a contract. In the meantime, let us consult with my military advisors to determine exactly how we much help we can offer. We shall come to an agreement on what we are willing to offer, and upon the Elves' arrival, we will go to the bargaining table with that in mind."
  9. Fertin raced back to Elmensam, arriving a few days later into the lovely forest of Danbim. As he approached the gates of his lovely kingdom he waved to his friends and fellow guards who were standing in the towers on either side of the entrance. He rode his mount further into the city, the sun slipping through the thick leaves above. Unlike Alistar, Elmensam was not as organized and built up. It was built from the wood of the forest, reenforced by stone and straw to keep it warm and standing. Some of the buildings were even built from ancient trees that were far to large to try and remove, becoming homes to some while they continued to grow. After trotting for a bit Fertin arrived that the largest building in Elmensam, a giant tree that stood in the center of the city and towered over much of the forest. It was carved out to be of use but the tree refused to stop living and was covered in leaves and vines, showing that it was full of life.

    Off to the side was a fenced off area, practice dummies dotting the area as elven soldiers practiced their sword fighting and archery. Further in the back was a small circled off area meant for duels and at the moment one was currently taking place. King Sonin was standing tall and powerful with sword in hand, a smirk on his face as he took on his opponent. The one he was facing was his son, Prince Ches. He was a complete look-alike of his father, the only difference being that he was much shorter than him. His expression was serious as he sized up his father before he darted at the older man to make an attack. The sound of metal clashing filled the air as the two met again and again in the middle, neither being able to get the better of the other.

    Fertin came to a stop near the area and got down from his mount silently, getting a few quiet greetings from other men who were watching the father and son battle each other fiercely. Sonin caught the sight of Fertin and gave him a knowing nod before he swiftly dodged his son's strike and knocked the weapon from Ches' grip while knocking him down at the same time. The prince gave a grunt as he hit the ground roughly and looked up at his father, the expression slightly startled but knowing that he was defeated.

    "You've improved, but you still need more work. Practice your footing more." Sonin said smoothly as he put his sword away and leaned down, holding out his hand to his son quietly.

    "I'd improve faster if you didn't go easy on me, Father..." Ches said simply as he gave a small smile and took Sonin's hand.

    Sonin just chuckled and rubbed his son's head as he headed over to Fertin to receive the news, the young elf following after him in order to let other soldiers take the arena if they wishes too. The king approached with a smile, the only thing stopping them from hugging in greeting being the fact that there was a fence between them.

    "Fertin, You have returned in one piece I see...Did they have anything to say?" He said softly, wanting to keep things private just encase there was any bad news. Ches looked to Fertin as well, listening intently to the man as he spoke.

    "The queen said she would talk to her magistrates, I saw the tower light with fire as I left. She seemed to take the message seriously but it is all up to what the council chooses now...Hopefully she will realized that this can not just simply be ignored until it becomes their problem. She also said they would send a messenger with their decision." Fertin replied quickly.

    The king frowned slightly, knowing that he couldn't do much if the council decided against it. He gave a small sigh and looked to Fertin with a tired smile, patting the man on the shoulder gently.

    "Thank you, I know I put much on your shoulders with that message...Go home and enjoy the evening with your family, I need you back on guard duty in the morning."

    Fertin just smiled back and gave a quiet thanks to Sonin as he turned to leave, nodding to Ches and he walked over with his mount toward the stables that stood nearby. Ches nodded back before looking at his father quietly for a moment, knowing that the news would have his father up all night with worry.

    "Don't worry father, Alistar will make the right choice...And if not then I will not rest until every Orc lays dead on the ground." He said, his expression serious and comforting. The king smiled a little more and laughed slightly.

    "You won't be taking down many Orcs when you fight like that...Care to practice a little longer before you mother drags us in to help her in the library?" He said. Ches just smiled and turned toward the open arena once more.

    "Certainly, and I'll beat you this time as well Old man." He said cheekily as he grabbed his fallen sword and slipped into his fighting stance once more. The king smirked and pulled out his blade as he walked into the ring.

    "I'm going to make you regret saying that Ches..."
  10. Two figures stood in front of a tree which rose up out of the shirt grass, its branches twisting and curling up towards the sky. The tree burned, long flames dancing upon the branches as the bark slowly charred, the occasional twig falling to the ground as it was burned off the tree. It was beautiful, in a way, the tall tree slowly succumbing to the power of the flames, the once proud foliage falling to the fire that now destroyed it. All was silent, save for the crackling of this fire that the two men - one quite old, one much younger - now watched in amicable silence.

    The younger man smiled, his dark hair flickering slightly in the breeze. His arms were crossed in front of his broad chest proudly, for it was he who had started this fire. After practicing all afternoon, he had finally managed to force the tree to spontaneously combust. His mentor, Farios, smiled as well, not with his lips, but with his eyes, which glimmered with pride at his apprentice's accomplishment.

    "Xavier, my boy," he said - nobody other than Farios was allowed to address to Alistarian prince in such a manner - "you grow stronger each day. I do believe someday you will be the mightiest fire elementalist who ever lived."

    The prince, who was naturally a rather egocentric sort of fellow, enjoyed hearing these words. "I'm sure I will be," he said. "Nobody my age could do this. I must be some sort of prodigy," he added, perhaps facetiously. He turned towards Farios now, nodding his head slightly to him. "I owe it all to you, old man." This rare display of modesty was something that did not go unnoticed by the 'old man' - who would playfully resent the nickname - but as he turned back towards the palace, he saw that there were more pressing matters to attend to.

    "This tree does not burn alone," he said enigmatically, as he gestured with one ancient hand towards the palace.

    Prince Xavier followed his gaze to the beacons, which were now burning upon their towers; he could see that the one facing him - that directed towards the fire territory - was not the only one burning. "A meeting of the Council of Elements?" He asked, although it was not presumably a question. "I wonder what's going on, and more importantly, why I was not informed."

    With that, the two set off towards the palace.

    The pair entered through the main doors, the guards bowing to the prince respectfully as he walked past them. Walking through the large wooden doors, they found themselves in the grand hallway the messenger had walked down earlier that day upon his arrival at Alistar, the hallway which was filled with beautiful paintings, fine statues, and proud marble columns. A maroon-colored carpet ran down the length of the hallway, connecting the front doors to the throne room. Xavier and Farios walked quickly down this carpet, arriving soon thereafter at the doors to the throne room. Stepping inside, they arrived just as Queen Aligale was entering through the side door she had taken to get to the Council Room.

    "Mother," Xavier greeted her, "I saw the beacons. What is going on?"

    Queen Aligale frowned slightly; she had wanted to keep this a secret for as long as possible from her son. Even though he was next in line for the throne once the queen stepped down - for Aligale had no daughters - he was often brash, arrogant, and overly self-motivated, and the queen did not want her son trying to take over decision-making authority before it was his time. She also feared that he would disagree wholeheartedly with her decision, and it was always embarrassing when her outspoken son crossed the line in front of the magistrates (or anyone, for that matter).

    "The Elven kingdom of Elmensam is under seige by the Orcs," she stated matter-of-factly as she sat down upon her throne so that her handmaidens could finish preparing her for the Wyvern Festival that evening: she had decided to consult her military advisors in the morning so that she would have time to think things over beforehand. "We have decided that there is a certain possibility," she continued, trying to pick her words carefully, for even she was not exactly certain what the outcome of her initial decision would be, "that we will enter into war with them."

    Xavier blinked, dumbfounded. "With the Elves or the Orcs?" He asked, obviously without any knowledge of the situation of which his mother was speaking.

    "With the Elves, against the Orcs."

    The Alistarian prince reacted just as the queen had thought he might. "Enter into war with the Elves? What on earth for? What do they mean to us, what good could they possibly do us?" He began, stepping towards his mother. "This has nothing to do with us, why would you ever decide to help them with anything? Mother I can't agree with this decision."

    "It is not your place to agree or disagree," said the queen simply, her eyes shut as handmaidens combed her hair.

    Xavier growled quietly. "You are much too compassionate," he said.

    "And you, much too cold-hearted."

    His arms crossed in front of his chest once more, for he was still very much opposed to this idea but could do nothing about it. "And what are we getting in return for our lives lost, our money spent, and our resources depleted?" He asked coldly at length.

    Queen Aligale opened her eyes now, one of her eyebrows quirking upwards. "That will be decided in negotiations to occur at a future date," she replied. "Don't take this too hard, darling, but you won't be participating in those negotiations."

    Xavier's eyes widened. "I won't?!" He asked. "Whyever not?"

    Aligale smiled: she always found it so cute when her hard-headed son's expectations weren't fulfilled. "Because it is simply not your decision to make, and beyond that I'm sure you would just embarrass me," she said, not wanting to sound too harsh but knowing fully well that this was the truth. "You always disagree with me in these sorts of situations - don't give me that look, because you know it to be true - and you have your father's temper. You both wear your hearts on your sleeves far too openly and become angered far too easily. I don't need the Elves seeing all of that, when we're the ones who are supposed to be in the position of power."

    She stood, floating down to her son's level, and placing a hand delicately on one of his shoulders. "You're more powerful when your hand isn't tipped," she said, meeting his orange eyes with her dark dark purple ones. "Remember that, always." With that, she turned towards the door and began to walk away. "I will tell you what," she said, turning back towards her son. "Your father and I are attending the Wyvern Festival in Earth Territory this evening," she said. "Join us. If you are on your best behavior and act like just the perfect gentleman, then I will let you sit in on the negotiations."

    Xavier considered this proposal. He certainly wanted to be there for the negotiations, but he hated festivals, parties, balls, and all of those things his mother just seemed to love - he was certain he was adopted sometimes - and he knew it would be a terrible evening, at least from his perspective. He turned towards Farios, who had witnessed the preceding conversation but who was used to such exchanges - who gave a very discreet nod of his head.

    Xavier sighed, his head tilting downward somewhat. "Yes, mother," he said simply.

    Queen Aligale smiled sweetly. "Oh, good, I look forward to this evening, then," she said, turning back around and heading out. "Oh, and do change into something more presentable; you look like a pauper," she threw over her shoulder as she exited the throneroom. Farios gave a soft chuckle, to which Xavier replied with a growl.

    * * *
    A small figure ducked cautiously behind a tree, a long cape flowing behind it, a hood obscuring its features. Peering around the large trunk, the girl looked from side to side before moving quickly to the next tree. This was the messenger Queen Aligale had ordered to Elmensam to deliver the message that Alistar would negotiate with the Elves. She was a young air elementalist, and as such had been able to float rather quickly to Danbim. Air elementalists could not fly, but they could manipulate the air in such a way as to allow them to hover and float a foot or two off the ground, thus allowing them to travel much quicker than on foot or by mount. Still, though, the journey had taken over a day to complete - but she was now in the forest, and was now ducking from tree to tree in order to avoid capture by any Orcs. The heavy battling, though - unbeknownst to her - was actually occurring on the other side of the forest, on the Southern border of Danbim facing the mountains. Dahlia had approached from the Northwest.

    After travelling in from the edge of the forest, Dahlia eventually found the gates leading into Elmensam. She approached the guards sitting up in their towers, making sure to take off her hood so that the guards would not be suspicious. She walked right up to the gate, unafraid for she knew the guards were expecting a messenger, even if they did not know exactly what said messenger would look like. And surely she did not resemble and Orc!

    "My name is Dahlia Hardwin," she announced to the guards at the gate, looking up at them. "I come from Alistar. I bear a message from the Queen."
  11. Days passed and Elmensam continued to fight and survive as they waited for the news from Alistar that would determine their failure or success. The elves slipped into the closest thing they could get to their old routine and went on with their lives as before, the only difference being the closing in threat from the south no resting on their minds. Guards were now constantly patrolling the city, always prepared to run out and face the Orc if they must.

    Currently, the two guards that were watching the gate were looking upon a small girl, both seeming a little surprised by the messengers sudden appearance. The surprised expressions did not last long though as they quickly and quietly slipped into the towers for a moment before the gates started to creek open on their own, allowing the messenger to step inside. She was quickly met by the pair of guards and directed toward the center of the city. The guards lead her through the town and toward the giant tree which stood above the training field. Unlike the halls that Fertin traveled, the path to the king was open and allowed Dahlia to see the citizens and the soldiers of Elmensam as well as their simple way of life. Women worked and watched the children, some of the younger women wearing simple uniforms to signal their status as fighters. The men and soldiers talked and laughed a bit before going their separate ways to return to their training and work.

    The trio finally arrived at the tree and the messenger was lead up a carved out root, a set of stairs leading up the tree. They spiraled around the trunk on the outside and were covered in growing vines that showed that they were just as living as the tree they were hammered into. There were no glamorous painting or statues along the way to the throne room, just the simple a beautiful nature of Danbim and the birds that fluttered by on their way to their nests. Eventually they stopped at the door that was carved out of the bark and started to head down a small hall, only big enough for two people to walk side by side so the messenger fell behind the guards. The only thing that stood out in the hall was the fast that there was no fire lighting the way. A blue and glowing mushroom was dotted on the wall every few yards, giving off plenty of light for one to see where they were going.

    The hall began to widen out and soon the mushrooms were replaced by bright glowing candles. A dark green carpet now covered the floor and more elves started to appear as the trio entered the center of the tree. Servants scurried by quietly and went about their business without much of a second thought toward the messenger. Dahlia was finally lead to a pair of doors, pictures of animals and plants carved into it cleanly. Another set of guards stood waiting in front of them and watched as they messenger and gate guards approached.

    "This is Dahlia Hardwin, a messenger from Alistar with word from the Queen." The soldier said coolly to the other men before him.

    The second pair of guards grew surprised expressions but were quick to turn and push open the door to allow the messenger inside. One motioned for her to move in and spoke calmly.

    "Step inside, the guards with announce you as you enter."

    From the door, one could easily see that one of the walls was completely gone and only replaced by a widow of sorts, allowing for a lovely view of the forest and city below. At the opposite end of the door was the King sitting upon his throne, two other elves standing beside him as they quietly spoke amongst themselves. He was dressed in much simpler garb than the queen, a bright tunic and riding pants and boots with some leather belts as the only accessory. One of the guards holding open the door clears his throat and spoke loudly, allowing the king to hear him.

    "Dahlia Hardwin of Alistar, My King."

    Sonin looked up from the paper, as did the other elves, and he stood up from his throne and walked toward the girl calmly. He stopped just in front of her and smiled kindly, her look having the slightest him of relief in it.

    "Welcome to Elmensam, Miss Hardwin. Your arrival has brought me much relief at this moment...What is your queen's reply?" He asked simply, knowing that this was the turning point for his kingdom and his people.
  12. Dahlia looked up curiously as the guards disappeared into the towers, and for a moment she began to worry if perhaps she was not expected, or perhaps she had even arrived at the wrong kingdom! No sooner had she began to worry, though, than the gates began to open, allowing her inside. Dahlia followed silently as the two guards led her into the kingdom, and while she would have preferred to float than to walk after her long journey, she did not want to startle the guards, as perhaps they were not familiar with the ways of the Elementalists.

    As they made their way through the kingdom, Dahila could not help but find it to be quite a beautiful place. It was pleasant, serene, even despite the ongoing war effort just south of the city. The Elven people looked kind, friendly, yet strong and proud of their culture. Dahlia's opinion was not the one that mattered here, but personally she found herself liking Elmensam even having just arrived there. Her black eyes scanned the area, taking in the gorgeous scenery, her pale nose inhaling the fresh scents of the forest as she followed closely behind the guards.

    She saw, after following them for not too long, that they were headed towards an extremely large tree in the center of the forest: she imagined that this was where the royal family of Elmensam made their home. It seemed to be bursting with life, as large vines curved up the trunk of the humongous tree, and elves popped in and out, presumably on official business. She followed the guards up a long set of stairs that snaked around the tree, until eventually they entered into it, glowing mushrooms - which Dahlia could not help but be impressed by the sight of - lighting their way until ultimately the hallway opened up into a large room. This, she soon discovered as her dark eyes fell upon the king sitting upon his grand chair, was the throne room.

    She stepped into this large, naturally-lit room as she was told, standing obediently as she was formally announced. As she listened to her name, she dug into her cape and pulled out a message that had been written in haste by the queen after the Council of Elements had been adjourned. She watched as the king approached her, her eyes looking him over carefully: she was sure the queen would ask for a full run-down of her journey once she had returned. He was handsome, she decided, although certainly too old for her. She bowed courteously, a few strands of purple hair falling in front of her face as she did so, which she combed back behind her ears with long, pale fingers upon straightening out again.

    "Your Royal Highness," she said, now that she was looking up at him once more. "I thank you for your warm welcome. You have quite a beautiful kingdom." This was true, but of course it was just good diplomacy to bring it up. She extended her hand which was holding the message towards the king. "I hope that I can bring you good news today." She already knew the contents of the message, and she assumed that he would like what he read, but the girl could never be sure.

    King Sonin of Elmensam,

    On behalf of the people of Alistar, our hearts break at the misfortune currently befalling the good people of Elmensam. Your message was received by myself, and I met with my advisors to discuss the possibility of aiding your people in the defense of their kingdom. After consulting with my magistrates, I have decided that the people of Alistar stand ready to defend Elmensam from ruthless onslaught. However, our assistance does not come without great cost on our part, and we therefore believe it is necessary to meet prior to our entry into this war, in order to discuss terms of agreement. We hope that you, the queen, and anyone else who may be of necessity in such a discussion will join us here in the beautiful kingdom of Alistar to make arrangements for the mighty Alistarian Army to come to the defense of Elmensam. Should you choose to accept our gracious offer, my messenger is happy to escort you to Alistar so that we may meet in person. Should you reject our proposal, kindly inform my messenger of your decision so that she may return home and inform us of your decision. Either way, the people of Alistar are with you in spirit during your time of great need.

    With heavy heart and strong spirit,
    Queen of Alistar
  13. Sonin took the letter calmly, prepared for anything at this point, and began to read. His eyes scanned the page swiftly, reading the message with a plain expression. A smile slowly started to grow on his face as he read of Alistar's willingness to join and the rest of the letter was finished with a content expression. He folded the letter quickly and smiled at Dahlia before turning to one of the men who had been standing with him near the throne, that man being Fertin. As he approached the king looked back to the messenger before him and spoke.

    "You have brought me very great news and I will gladly see your queen to make the arrangements. She said in her letter that you would escort us to Alistar but I am not exactly prepared to hop on a mount and make the journey. Until then I would like to off you a place to rest and restock if you need to do so. One of my guards will gladly show you to a room and feel free to ask for anything you might need. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go pack and make some arrangements before we depart." He said smoothly before passing the girl and heading out the door, Fertin right behind him.

    As the guards took care of the messenger and lead her away the king made great haste through the opened halls, weaving through his servants with great ease. He did not turn to face Fertin but his words did not go unheard.

    "Find my son, tell him to pack his things for a trip to Alistar and to meet with me in the writing room. I will fetch my wife from our living quarters and see you two there. Be as quick as you can, I want to make as much of a dent in our journey as we can before nightfall the evening." She said before turning down a hallway on his own, Fertin heading in the opposite direction to gather Ches.

    Speaking of the young prince, he was currently sitting with his little sister in his room, sharpening his arrows as the tiny elf read upon a pillow on the floor. The young princess looked up at her brother every few minutes before looking back down at her book, seeming to grow impatient as time passed. Eventually, after not being able to hold in her displeasure she heaved a loud sigh.

    "Ches~ When will you be done? I want to play outside!" She whined as she closed her book and stood up, walking over to the older Elf and sitting next to him on the bed.

    "I just finished, now calm yourself. That is not how a princess should act." He chuckled as he put away the last arrow and packed up his tools neatly. After setting his arrows to the side me smiled upon his little sister and swiftly picked her up with one arm, causing the small child to squeal in glee.

    "CHES! Put me down!" She giggled as he started toward the door. Before they could exit though Fertin knocked loudly and called inside.

    "Prince Ches, I have urgent news. May I enter?"

    The siblings paused and looked to each other, both knowing that something big just happened. Ches set his sister upon his bed and opened the door to look upon Fertin. The older man was about to speak before Ches cleared his throat and stopped him.

    "What news do you have that my sister and I must hear." He said, hinting to Fertin to choose his words wisely.

    "...Your father wants to...train with you Ches, He just was able to step out of work for the moment." An annoyed groan floated from behind Ches as his little sister fell back onto the bed, obviously disliking this supposed turn of events.

    "But Ches was suppose to play with me~" she groaned for a moment before she sat up and glared at Fertin, the look in her eyes showing that she would get back for this injustice upon her playtime. She hopped from the bed and walked out slowly, looking up at Fertin and huffing a bit before stomping away. "Fine! I don't need Ches to play! I'll go play with the children in the street!" She shouted as she stomped out like any child her age would.

    Fertin looked to the prince with a slightly worried expression, Ches only smiling at the older man as he stepped back and allowed him to enter. Without hesitating he was in the princes' room, speaking quickly and informatively as he looked out of the window that provided the light for them to see.

    "A messenger from Alistar arrived a few moments ago with a message from the Queen. It seems Alistar is willing to help...but certainly not for free. Your father will be heading to Alistar this evening if possible and he wants you to join him."

    Ches was slightly surprised by the sudden news but hid it well as he walked over to a dresser and started to stuffle around for a moment before pulling out a traveling bag for him to pack. The men stood in silence for a moment before Ches looked up at the older elf.

    "What of my mother and sister?" He questioned.

    "I am not completely sure, your father did not say. I have a feeling that they will be staying behind for safety sake, as well as to keep the people from thinking that the royal family was abandoning them. Your father will be waiting for us in the waiting room, he probably plans to give your mother more information and then head out with you as soon as everything is settled. He is probably pack as he speaks with your mother at this very moment." Fertin replied before facing the prince.

    Ches was looking at his con completely packed bag, enough clothing for a few days as well as ceremonial robes to make a proper impression on Alistar were packed neatly away. Next to that was his sword and his bow and arrows, the young prince putting the holsters on as he looked up at Fertin. After grabbing a small medical kit and shoving it on top he grabbed his bag and nodded to the older man, both quickly exiting and making their way to the writing room to meet with the king and queen for further instruction.
  14. Dahlia's eyes widened somewhat as the king suddenly became quite animated: she knew the message would please him, but she had no idea just how quickly things would start happening. If this was how excited the king became upon hearing of Alistar's willingness to help them defeat the Orcs, then apparently their straits were more dire than she had initially believed. She watched the king make plans with another elf briefly before she found herself being escorted out of the throne room, with the instruction to make herself comfortable and feel free to ask for anything she needed.

    Well, Dahlia Hardwin was never one to pass up such an offer.

    "Truth be told, I would love to see more of your kingdom if there is time," she said to one of the guards who was gently pulling her away; "perhaps a brief tour might be nice." Any other messenger might perhaps feel strange or awkward asking for such a thing, but while Dahlia did not want to impose, she was aware of the fact that she might not get the chance to come to Elmensam again for quite a while, and now was as good a time as any to ask. The worst they could say was no, wasn't it? And by the sound of it, she had a little time to kill until the king - and whoever would be joining him - would be ready to leave. Truth be told, her ideal preference would have been to leave right away, and she did believe that they would be commencing their journey later that day, but since she had been given the opportunity, why not enjoy the forest kingdom while she had the chance?

    * * *
    Night had fallen, and Prince Xavier found himself in his private quarters, readying himself for that evening's festivities. Queen Aligale always had several handmaidens to help her get dressed and looking ravishing, but Xavier felt no need for such assistance: the way he saw it, he was a dashing young fellow without all the help - although the real reason was that he just didn't like the idea of anyone other than himself making a fuss over him. After all, who knew what made him look good better than he did?

    The young man stood in his bedroom, pacing back and forth over the maroon rug - not his favorite color, but that was what it was and he hadn't felt inclined to change it - as he finished putting on his tunic. It was mostly black, fringed in a dark orange color that matched his eyes (it had been specifically crafted to do so). Black pants clothed his lower half, and a pair of black boots finished the look. Most people could not pull off so much black, but Xavier had dark hair and tanned skin, and it just looked good on him. He certainly resembled his father moreso than his mother in that way. With one quick look in the mirror, he decided he looked absolutely perfect, and was on his way out the door.

    From his bedroom, it was just a short walk down a set of stairs and a hallway or two to the throne room, where he found his mother and father already ready to go. His mother looked incredible - no surprise, given how much time and effort she and a legion of handmaidens had put into her appearance - and his father looked quite handsome as well. While this was all well and good, Xavier cared far less about his parents' looks and far more about what lay before them for that evening. They would be appearing at the third and final day of the Wyvern Festival in Earth Territory, and while Xavier admittedly did not know much about the Wyvern Festival, he knew it was a festival, and he hated festivals. All of those happy people, hustling and bustling about and pushing and shoving through the crowds, trying to get you to buy things, to dance to their silly music, to eat and drink far more than was necessary - he loathed it all, and in fact he hated balls, parties, and other celebrations for the same reasons. It was all needless extravagance.

    His father was not terribly crazy about such things, either, but the older man was far more astute when it came to politics and diplomacy, and so he appreciated the necessity for making an appearance tonight. After all, the peace between the elements was shaky, as it had been for centuries, and it was important that they pay homage to all of them equally. So they would attend the Wyvern Festival in Earth Territory, the Festival of Light in Light Territory, the annual Rain Dance in Water Territory, and so on. And Xavier would loathe it all.

    His mother, on the other hand, revelled in such things.

    "Xavier, darling, you look wonderful," she said, beaming from ear to ear as she pulled her son into a light hug, careful not to wrinkle her dress. "My two beautiful boys," she said, of her son and of her husband, who both simply stood there as she fawned over them: his mother, Xavier noted, always got so weird when it came to parties. "Now, it's a nice evening; let's walk."

    And so they did, the royal family making its way out of the throne room, down the grand hallway, and out of the palace, escorted by several guards. It only made sense to walk, really, as the five elemental territories radiated out from the palace in all directions, thus the walk was quite short. The marketplace, which lay just beyond the palace walls, was illuminated that evening, and gentle music could be heard by the small group, which grew louder as they approached. Quite soon, the family was in the middle of the crowd, being greeted by the townspeople as the guards did their best to keep royalty and commoners separate. It was a hard job, guarding the Queen of Alistar, as she loved to mingle with anyone and cared not for security concerns.

    The family made its way past the marketplace, over the training grounds - which were temporarily lined with stalls selling all sorts of food, drink, and various kinds of trinkets - and finally into Earth Territory. All five territories had a distinctive feel, and Earth territory looked just as one would expect it to: it was covered in grass, with some areas quite bare like the plains, others thick with trees, flat in some places and hilly in others, much like the land itself. Houses were on various levels: there were many treehouses nestled into the large trees, but there were also small cottages on the ground, and even homes that were carved into the hills. Queen Aligale did believe it was one of the most beautiful of the five territories, although she could never say such a thing aloud.

    "Lady Rosalyn, so good to see you," said the queen as she shook the hand of the Earth Magistrate, who bowed in deference. "I absolutely love that dress; green is such a good color on you!"

    The two women spoke for a bit before moving past one another, promising to speak more later that evening. The royal family continued to walk through earth territory, enjoying the street performances, eating some of the local foods, and mingling with the commoners. All in all, it was really quite pleasant.

    Xavier followed close behind his parents, nodding a greeting to anyone who greeted him first but otherwise remaining quiet. As far as he was concerned, the object of the game was to get out of there as quickly as possible and without inciting a civil war. Shouldn't prove to be too difficult, he suspected.

    All of a sudden, the young man felt his pant let being pulled on, and he looked down to see a young girl with brown hair, dressed in green - as so many were that evening - looking up at him expectantly.

    "Oh, umm, hello," he said, somewhat uncomfortably: he wasn't a fan of small children, as one might expect.

    "You're the prince!" She said, her eyes twinkling in admiration.

    Xavier blinked. "Well, yes, yes I am." Could this converation end now?

    "COME PLAY WITH ME!" And without another word exchanged between the two, the young girl was dragging a helpless Xavier away from his parents, as a guard attempted to follow behind.

    This was going to be a long evening.
  15. The guards looked upon the messenger for a moment before looking at each other. They really couldn't say no to her since the king had said she could ask for anything she needed but they had posts to return to, they wouldn't have time to go on a tour. Unknowingly, the answer to their problems was about to appear.

    "You want to see the town?" Came the voice of the ever curious princess as she stared up at the older woman. Ann had been passing by when she had head the woman's request and after losing her brother to her father's wish to train she was now very lonely and bored. "I could show you around if you like!" She said happily as the idea of something to do make her smile.

    The guards that were with them were stunned at the princess' sudden appearance and tried to think of something quick to send the princess on her way before something happened to the unobservant girl. Before they had time to respond though the princess had grabbed the woman's hand and was pulling her along toward the exit.

    "Come on! I'll show you around!" She giggled excitedly, leaving the guards torn between their current posts and keeping the tiny princess out of trouble...

    "I refuse to let you leave without me Sonin! I have just as much of a voice in the negotiations in Alistar as you do!" Came the loud voice of Queen Ukimi, her tone quickly scaring away most curious ears since she was quiet frightening when upset, which was a very rare site. Sonin was trying his best not to give into his wife but he was quickly faltering under her logical reasoning and the fact that she was pouting just the right way to make him feel guilty, a dirty trick indeed.

    "Ukimi, please...I need you to stay here and watch the kingdom, along with Ann. I don't want the people to think we are all trying to run away or something! They need to know that we will always be there to protect them and would never abandon them."

    "Sonin you fool you people already know you will never leave them! If they thought other wise we would have already been having an angry mob at our door! They trust you far to much to so quickly think such horrid things of you.." She snapped back, her bright green eyes boring into his pale blue ones.

    It seemed that the couple would be stuck at a stand still until a third point of view was brought in to discuss the situation with them. At that moment, a packed and ready Ches entered along with Fertin. Sonin was glad to see his son, knowing that the prince would choose his side over his mother and would use his charm to convince the woman to stay in Elmensam. He walked over to Ches and Fertin before smiling at his son and turning him around quickly.

    "We are going now-"

    "No you are not Sonin! Sit down this instant!" Ukimi snapped as she stood up and grabbed her son, pulling him away from his father. It seemed that it would be a battle over Ches' opinion now, Fertin could only watch as the poor prince was stuck in the middle of his parents argument over the women staying behind.

    "Ann and I are coming along Sonin! I have as much a say in these things as queen!"

    "I need you to stay here and watch over the people Ukimi, this is not the time to be selfish with your desire to come along! Ches, you agree with me right?" Sonin asked quickly turning to his son. Ukimi did the same, waiting for Ches' reply. The young elf was struck silent for a moment as he looked between his parents. Both had good reasons for their side of the argument but Ches knew that he would have to chose logic in this situation...

    "I agree with mother. It would be better is she came along-" He started to say, his mother smiling and his father grumbling with dislike at the idea. "However, I'm not sure Ann should be apart of this...I mean, we can't leave her alone but I'm not sure she's old enough to sit through the negotiations and I'll have to be in them so I can't watch her for you two." He said calmly, trying to bring down his parents down from the worry driven argument.

    "We'll bring along someone to watch Ann then..." The queen said before looking upon Fertin with a smile. "And who better than the trusty Fertin. He has already been to Alistar once and he will keep my dear daughter nice and safe."

    Fertin was a little surprised to be chosen by the queen to watch the princess, most of his life was spent being a simple guard so to have such a duty given to him was flattering, though he couldn't help being a little worried about having to control the ball of energy that was the princess, if Ches had trouble controlling her at time he couldn't imagine what it would be like for him.

    "I would he honored, your highness..." He said simply.

    Ukimi smiled more and turned to her husband with a knowing grin.

    "There, now Ann and I can come along and we won't have to worry to much about our daughter since she'll be under Fertin's protection. Now pardon me, I have to go pack for Ann and myself. Ches, go find your little sister and meet us near the gates. Sonin, go do your job and get things prepared for our departure..." She said as she made her way out of the writing room and off on her way. Sonin could only look to his son in defeat before smiling at him, Ches smiling in return.

    "You need her there father, she is the brains to your brawn. Without her you'll have to say in what they might ask of you...Besides, mother has always had a way with words, maybe she'll be able to smooth talk the Queen into making the payment small or simple." He said before he started to head out the room as well, looking to Fertin with sympathy. "Fertin, You should head home and pack quickly...And tell your wife that we'll make sure to send her a great gift for borrowing her husband so much." Fertin just smiled and nodded his head at the prince.

    "Of course, I'll stay with your father and help him finish things, you should hurry and start the search for your sister, If she is like I think she is then she'll be hiding in the last place you'd expect her too."

    With a short laugh and a pat on the shoulder, Ches was out the door and looking for his dear little sister, leaving his father and Fertin to finish the rest of the preparations for the journey.
  16. Dahlia noticed the surprised expression on the guards' faces, but this didn't really faze her: after all, she knew her request was a bit unorthodox, but that wasn't going to stop her from making it. She wanted to see the kingdom, figured she had a little time to kill, so why not?

    The voice that responded to her request, however, was not a masculine voice she would expect from one of the guards, but rather a small, petite, feminine one. Her eyes widened just slightly, and she turned around to see a young girl heading in their direction. Not knowing what to say - who was this girl, and why was she wandering around the palace? Was she the child of one of the guards, of an aide, of the King? - she simply babbled for a moment before the girl took her by the hand and began pulling her away.

    Well, this wasn't exactly the tour guide she had been expecting, but she had asked for a tour, so she supposed she was now going to get one, at any rate.

    Several moments later, Dahlia found herself walking hand in hand with the little girl down a dirt path which wound its way around several homes: this was clearly a more residential area, she supposed, but it was still very foresty and there were plenty of elves milling about. The messenger had learned of her guide's name, and of her royal status, and although she hadn't asked, she was sure to give the same information in return. Ann had turned out to be quite the splendid little tour guide, telling her about the different tree/buildings they were passing and whatnot. However, part of her wondered if she would ever be found once it was time for their journey back to Alistar to begin. After all, while getting the chance to see Elmensam up close and personal was a nice opportunity, there were much more important matters to be attended to.

    And little did Dahlia Hardwin know that, later that evening back at Alistar, the royal prince would find himself in a very similar situation.

    Prince Xavier struggled to keep up with the young girl who was racing through the streets - if one could call them that, as Earth Territory was only slightly more developed than Elmensam towards the outer rim - in no particular direction whatsoever. Given how short she was, and how fast she was moving - not to mention how many people were out and about - it was difficult to keep up. Finally, he stopped moving altogether, and the girl found herself being yanked back, as Xavier was much stronger than she was.

    "We're here!" the girl announced, looking about expectantly.

    Xavier did the same. "Here where?" He asked incredulously: this looked like any other part of Earth Territory, of course nicely decorated for the festival. There were stalls open which were selling trinkets and foodstuffs, and there was lovely, cheerful music playing. And people, there were a lot of people.

    "Here here," the girl replied stubbornly. Suddenly, her ears perked up, as though she had just noticed the music. "Dance with me!" She urged, as she began jumping and swaying to the music.

    Xavier, who was normally so stalwart, blushed a deep shade of red. "Really, I'd rather not," he replied honestly, looking around: of course, plenty of people were looking at them, as it wasn't every day one saw a member of the royal family walking about, and with a strange child, no less.

    The girl grabbed his hand, shaking it around as though that would somehow increase his desire to dance. "Isn't this fun?"

    "Fun's not exactly the word I'd use..."

    The night went on in much this manner, with Xavier trying to entertain this little girl without having to embarrass himself, until finally her mother found her, thanked the prince kindly with a deep curtsy, and took the girl off to bed. Finally relieved of that duty, Xavier wandered around, greeting commoners whenever they greeted him first, until he found his parents again, who were eating something that smelled, well, earthy.

    King Titus took a bite, chewing it over thoughtfully: it was good, but he preferred the smoky flavors of his own cuisine, naturally. "How's your night been, son?"

    "Shut up."
  17. Ches walked briskly as he made his way throughout Elmensam, looking for his dear little sister so that they could get on the road quickly. He looked in all the places she would usually be, the field near the school, the market street, even the herbal fields where she usually hid when she was in trouble. Soon he just started to roam the whole city, making sure to check every nook and cranny he passed. Ches paused for a moment and started to ask people if they had seen his sister, most pointing him in the direction of the residential housing and claimed that she was pulling along a human woman with her. He could only assume that the human was in fact the messenger from Alistar, making his search a little more convient. After darting off in that direction quietly it did not take long for him to stumble upon his little sister, standing in front of one of the herbal trees with the woman, talking animatedly. As he approached he could hear her speaking, her voice full of excitement.

    "This is one of the Healing trees! They are scattered all over the city and Danbim! The people that lived in the forest before the elves planted these trees to keep future creatures safe, or at least that is what my mom says. Anyway they are the tree that we use to help cure things that are caused with bad magic, but we never cut them down because they are very very hard to grow and it takes hundreds of years for on to mature into this size.." She said, continuing on about it like the perfect little tour guide. She was far smarter than most children her age but it was to be expected when she was taught by Queen Ukimi, the smartest person in the whole of Elmensam. Even Ches could not compare to his little sister, not that he minded, it gave him a reason to relax if he went to his sister for book help.

    "I don't mean to interrupt the tour Ann but I've been looking for you everywhere." Ches said calmly, getting the attention of his little sister quite easily. She smiled happily and trotted over to him before hopping up into his arms and hugging him. Before he could get in another word she quickly began speaking.

    "Ches! Ches! I was giving this lady a tour and she said that I was really smart about knowing all this stuff. I also showed her the Healing trees and told her why we make buildings out of the giant ever greens of the forest and-"

    "Ann, calm down and breath a little." He said, the little girls cheeks going red as she tried to tell her story in one breath. Ches then turned to the woman and smiled at her politely, bowing an much as he could afford to while holding his sister. "Thank you for being with my sister, I has to speak with my father and could not be with her as I promised...I hope she didn't tire you to much." He said as Ann looked up at him confused.

    "I though daddy wanted to train with you." She said softly.

    "Dad changed his mind, you know how he has been lately..."Ches said, rolling his eyes playfully while his sister giggled, the two sharing a joke that only they would know.

    "Anyway, I an certain that my father will be looking for you now as well miss, we are nearly prepared to leave for Alistar." He said as he looked back at the woman, Ann gasping and frowning at Ches cutely.

    "You're going on a trip!?"

    "You're coming too Ann, and so is mother...It's a family affair of sorts." He said to her again, smoothly being able to go from the messenger to his sister without ignoring either.
  18. The journey back to Alistar was a harrowing one. Once Dahlia and the Elven prince and princess were reunited with the King, Queen and an assistant of some kind (she would later learn his name was Fertin) at the front gates, they began their long journey Northwest, through the thick forests of Danbim until they reached the Great Plains. They did not run into any of the giant orcs while making their way through the forest, for they were attacking Elmensam from the South. Nevertheless, the first stage of the trip - to the edge of the forest - was a difficult one, for their mounts had to navigate over large tree roots and around trunks, and Dahlia found that she had to slow her flight so as to keep in line with the mounts, which were slowed down by the many obstacles in their paths. Once they reached the Plains, the trip was much easier, if fairly long, and they had to rest once in the Great Plains (which was actually somewhat nice under the stars), and then again when they arrived at the River of Olsonia - a rather large body of water that fed into Lake Olsos, where the amphibias Olsonians lived - and then a final time when they reached the Hills of Pucila, into which the Kingdom of Alistar had been carved. At length, the four-day trip was over, and Dahlia could not have been more happy. The Elven royal family was perfectly pleasant, but Dahlia did not like travelling in groups, as she preferred to float at a greater speed and rest much less frequently. But the journey was over, and that was what mattered.

    Upon arriving at the front gate, Dahlia and the Elves found themselves face-to-face with two guards Fertin might have remembered - the water and fire elementalists who guarded the entrance into Alistar. Dahlia announced her return with the royal family of Elmensam, and they were immediately granted entrance. After leaving their mounts once again with the one-eyed stablehand, they moved through the open-air, high-walled corridor into the heart of Alistar. However, instead of following this corridor as it moved underground, below the training grounds and into the lower levels of the palace, they instead continued on ground level, arriving shortly at what looked like a great plain. It was grassy, but with plenty of trees and fenced-in areas. These were the training grounds, where countless elementalists honed their crafts. At these same grounds, Prince Xavier Rashida had mastered just days before his ability to generate fire on other objects - a skill most weren't able to harness fully until later in life. It had been Dahlia's decision for them to approach the palace at ground level, for the underground corridor was narrow, rather dark and dreary, and altogether unbefitting a royal family. When the pixies had visited them a few years ago seeking assistance in a war of their own, they, too, had been led through the training grounds.

    At the edge of the training grounds, which the group had now traversed, was the marketplace, whih encircled the palace. Here, there were many shops, restaurants, pubs, and stalls where one could buy conceivably anything they could ever possibly want. There were trinkets, weapons, food and drink of all kinds, and many element-specific items scattered about the many storefronts. Dahlia always liked visiting the markplace to see what interesting and rare things she could find, but there was no time to browse today. At the inner rim of the marketplace was the entrance into the palace, a large marble staircase leading up to a set of tall double oak doors. Dahlia led the family up these stairs, where they were greeted by royal guards. They made their way into the grand hallway beyond the doors, with its maroon carpetting and marble statues - the same grand hallway Fertin entered through the side when he had been here not too long beforehand. After a short journey down this hallway, they were at last at the throne room.

    "The royal family of Elmensam," said Dahlia to the guard standing at this set of double doors. The guard nodded, before opening the door and repeating the statement, much louder, into the throne room. Dahlia led the family inside, where Queen Aligale was sitting on her throne, flanked by several handmaidens.

    The Queen rose immediately, floating down to where the family now stood. "I am Aligale, Queen of Alistar," she said, sweeping her hands out in a grandiose gesture. "I welcome you to my beautiful kingdom. And I hope that you had a safe and speedy trip?" She looked from one to the other, and this was when Dahlia decided to make her exit, as she was no longer needed. Queen Aligale decided at this point to put her expert diplomacy on display. "You must be King Sonin," she said to the older man, extending a hand to shake graciously. "I was simply devasasted to hear of the misfortune of your kingdom." She turned to the woman standing beside him. "Queen Ukimi," She said - she had had her assistants research the kingdom of Elmensam and its royal family so that she could show off her knowledge - "I had heard of your beauty, but I see now that it had been understated. And what a dashing young man of a son you have," she said, turning towards Ches, and then finally towards Ann. "And who is this pretty young thing," she said, bending down slightly. "You must be the princess." She stood up straight again. "Come, I shall show you to our guest quarters. I am sure that you all would like an opportunity to freshen up before we get down to business. I will have my chefs prepare you a meal, as well."

    Yes, she was good.
  19. The trip to Alistar had thankfully gone easily for the Royal family, Fertin and the messenger. They had gotten through the forest without any trouble and the plains had been a straight shot to Alistar. Everyone pushed their mounts as hard as they could to shorten the length of their trip, Ann being the only exception as she slept away most of the trip in her brother's lap. Once the four day trip was over everyone was a little relieved, not that they had a problem with the messenger but the sooner the arrangements were made the sooner they could save their kingdom. When they arrived at the gates, the family couldn't help but be impressed, even Ches who was usually uninterested in the architecture of a place was looking over it with a surprised expression. Their lovely mounts were handed over and unpacked, each family member carrying their own bag except the princess once again who was just holding onto a small stuffed animal that looked to be a mix of a bird and a bear. Ches carried his sister's bag as Ann held onto their mother's hand tightly, seeming to be the most excited of them all as she seemed to want to touch everything.

    Without hesitating at all, the royal family and Fertin followed the messenger across the training field and past the market, all intent with getting on with their intended purpose as well as to finally rest and relax for a bit. After making their way up the stairs and though the halls a sense of peace seemed to come over them, as if they could finally relax and not have to worry about the Orcs or the destruction of their precious home. Ann looked over the statues and art quietly as did Ches, Ann being far more vocal about her impressed feelings than her elder brother. The young prince at quite a bit on his mind in fact. Though his father and mother had faith in Alistar his was...lacking to say the least. He knew nothing of the kingdom save for the fact that its people could control the elements of the very earth. Though his kingdom did have connections with the Earth part of the kingdom he did not know much of it's other parts. He also did not feel comfortable pulling near strangers into their own personal battles. However, they were desperate and even he had to admit that they would not survive at the rate their soldiers were dieing off.

    As they arrived at the throne room everyone seemed to sober up and become strangely serious, even Ann became call an quite as she clung to their mother. With the announcement of their arrival the family entered, Fertin walking in behind them simply. The family did not really notice the exit of the messenger that had lead the way, it was hard not to ignore that woman when the queen was more than enough of a distraction on her own. Sonin smiled politely and accepted the queen's hand kindly, shaking it and bowing a bit before he spoke.

    "As safe as ever and thank you for your worry, I hope that we make work out an agreement that will allow everyone to be happy and save my kingdom as well." He said politely before the queen turned to his wife who was smiling kindly at the compliment.

    The others could do little more than smile as the queen quickly worked her magic and offered to lead the way to their own rooms. None of them minded however as they were all tired from the ride and also needed some rest before they could even think of talking out the agreements.

    "I must say you have a lovely kingdom here Queen Aligale, it is a shame that we are not here on better terms for I would certainly love to explore it" Umiki said politely to the queen as they followed her to their rooms.
  20. Queen Aligale listened politely as members of Elmensam's royal family responded to her greetings and complimented her kingdom. "I do thank you, Queen Ukimi," she said as she turned towards the hallway to show her guests to their chambers. "Yes, we have a beautiful palace, but I'm afraid you have yet to see it in its full beauty. Perhaps, Xe willing, there will be time in the near future." She said all of this with a smile; she did love diplomacy and mingling with other royalty, and she found that she did not get to do either nearly enough - but she supposed the next few days would change that.

    The Queen, flanked by a pair of handmaidens and a guard, led the group into a side hallway branching out from the throne room. It was a large, well-lit hallway, though not nearly so grandiose as the grand hallway connecting the throne room to the front entrance. The walls were of stone, and the occasional marble statue dotted what was otherwise a relatively bare hallway. A very short walk later - during which the Queen exchanged pleasantries with the others - they arrived at a set of five doors, each one branching off of what was otherwise a dead end. They had passed several doors on their way here, and these were the finest guest rooms that the palace had to offer.

    "Here is where you will be staying for the duration of your visit," said the Queen, preferring to do the talking over any of her assistants, who were always so boring when it came to these things. "You will note, if you will, that there are five doors, just as there are five elements on this earth - and so too are there five sects of elementalism represented in this kingdom. Each room has the best that our people have to offer. I humbly encourage you to open each door and see for yourselves, for no words can truly articulate the splendor of our noble kingdom, as it is encaptured in these rooms. I entreat you to rest up, for there is much discussion to be done. I will have my chefs bring you a meal shortly; my assistants will come and fetch you in a few hours when we are ready to begin our negotiations." She turned towards the King. "And not to worry, I will see to it that the young ones are kept... occupied." Whether she was referring to one or two children, of course, was not plainly spoken. "Until then, I bid you adieu." And with that, she was moving rapidly down the hall, onto other matters.

    Queen Aligale had not been exaggerating, for the rooms were quite exquisite. The first room was that of Fire; it was a dark room, stone walls surrounded by eternally-burning torches. Most of the furniture was dark hues and earthtones, but the throw pillows were bright shades of red and orange. In the center of the room, a small pool of water - a hot spring - was steaming, just waiting for somebody to relax in its warm confines.

    The second room was that of Light; it was much brighter than the Fire room, and had large windows letting in plenty of natural lighting. The furniture was bright as well, but the main attraction of the room was the ceiling, which looked just like the summer sky, with floating clouds drifting by and all; at night, the ceiling turned beautiful shades of red and purple with the sunset, and then showed the night sky so that one might sleep under the stars.

    The third room - the room in the center of this cul-de-sac - was that of Air; it too was bright, and the bed was quite large with extraordinarily comfortable bedding, as though one was sleeping on a cloud itself. Vases of flowers swayed gently in a magical sort of breeze, and large windows were adorned with light purple curtains. The floor was matted with so fine a carpet that one could swear they were walking on air.

    The fourt room was that of Water. The floor was covered in a fine, warm sand, as though one were staying at a seaside resort. The furniture was all encrusted with seashells, and in fact the bed looked like a giant, opened clam, with pearl-shaped throw pillows. On the far side of the room was a small pool that rippled, small reeds popping out of the sand.

    The fifth and final room was that of Earth. The carpet was shag rugging and felt just like the grass. The furniture was wooden, as was the bed, which in fact looked like it was carved in one piece out of a tree. The bedding was green, as was the canopy, which made it appear as though one was sleeping in a very comfortable treehouse.

    All of the rooms were quite beautiful, and true to the splendor of the elements they represented. Queen Aligale had decided that she would let her guests "ooh" and "awe" at the various rooms before deciding where they would like to stay. And once the Elves had been positively convinced that Alistar was wonderful, then she would make her compensatory demands.