The elf almost gasped when the little human, Calea, had revealed the crest of her ear. Aliryia was not accustomed to a human talking about Elf kinship. And, of course, an elf’s ears were their most prized possession. Aliryia didn’t mind, however, and she was most gladdened that Calea did not react in the way she did. Some people would back away to the more ‘normal’ of the world when they saw that which truly made an elf, or they would discriminate because of her appearance.
That was what had happened when the warriors attacked her village: they saw the leaf-clad, pointed-eared folk and had sneered at them, spitting on their houses in the sky. Then, the villains had proceeded to take a knife to these strange beings, so to have the land themselves, slaughtering entire families without care, laughing as they ran for their lives, elf-archery no use against the modern swords and quick-arrows the barbarians set upon them…
“Aliryia…?” Alkrya’s voice brought the girl back to the present-time.
“I’m fine,” the elf said automatically. She added: “I was just lost in thought, sister.”
So, they went about satisfying their curiosity. From room to room they darted like dragonflies bathed in the golden light of the day. The girls were a train too, as they swept about the place almost in some creative single file, Erulastiel at the front, and Aliryia at the rear; this train even had links as some girls clasped at each other’s hands.
Every room revealed something new, especially as each girl looked at it with her own feverish perspective.
To Aliryia, the rooms went past in an ordinary blur: a living room, a dining room, a room filled with some abandoned cardboard boxes... And, although in every room something caught her attention, she did not feel as exhilarated as the other girls at every new find. She did, however, give a giggle and treat herself to a rummage through a box as the others around her did so with their own.
Aliryia’s was mostly empty, being filled with no more than four headscarves in an array of colours: a luscious deep red, a cold ice-blue, a green to match the lawn outside, and a black that was the exact shade of Eru’s wings.
A flicker of a thought passed through Aliryia’s mind for a second:
It’s as though someone has set this place up for us to find.
Indeed, other girls were pulling rabbits of essential things out the boxes that they had set upon. Alkrya and Jaquiline were in stitches over a battered hat with orange and green ostrich feathers stitched up the rim.
“A granny’s hat!” Aliryia heard them remark.
Calea had uncovered a box of pet food, along with some dried human food. Her thin face broke into a light smile as she fished them out.
“Come on, guys,” Eru called from the door, “let’s explore some more. I think this room’s had enough of us. Besides, we can always come back later.”
There were some groans at leaving the room of prizes, but the girls reluctantly joined their Black Leader continuing on the hunt. Aliryia gathered up the items of clothing in a bundle in her arms and hurried out after the group.
After pushing their way through a couple of grey, dilapidated corridors, the next room they entered was old, but not drear, and full of some subtle glamour reflecting off the mahogany furniture. The most prominent features of the room were the large grandfather clock, still ticking in the corner, a dining table for eight, and a wardrobe of mysterious proportions.
The girls set upon this room as enthusiastically- and as happily- as always. It looked very much like any other dining room, but for the fact that it gave off the air of something more. The girls wandered around, amazed at the neat spectacular-ness of the small room that no one would have thought to look in before. It had two doors either side as exits, and a small window that showed the crown of the porch and the way through the wood; that showed the company that the room was about situated under a couple of the front-facing bedrooms; the room was neither on the first or second floor, but seemed to be placed on a mezzanine between the two. It was a hidden room, Aliryia noticed, unnoticeable from any other place, not even outside.
As the girls began to explore the room’s nooks and crannies, Aliryia heard an excited shout from Eru. She had uncovered something!
Aliryia made her way to where Eru was crouching by a secret compartment at the bottom of the grand wardrobe, and to where the snake of girls had come to a sudden halt.
“What’s this?” she said, warily holding up the object she had found.
Aliyia stepped forward to get a better look at the item. A little dusty from being in the compartment, it was still clear that what was being held up had a sharp point to it, and a fancy, decorated hilt: it was a small dagger, the blade about the length of Erulastiel’s middle finger, including her pointed nail. Aliryia noticed that the hilt, gold-plated, had symbols on it. It was writing that mimicked what she thought she had seen in the book that Maine had held. Aliryia cast her eyes over the other girl, wondering if there was any shred of recognition in her eyes then.
Seeing none, she turned back to Erulastiel.
“Dark sister, do you know what this entire house contains? Perhaps it is time you told us how it came into your possession?”
Author note: I have done some illustrations of Aliryia. For traditional drawings:
For the Sims2 interpretation of Aliryia: