I roll my shoulders in the dark room. Not one candle is lit, and the fireplace remains empty of light. It also seems to be dry with no wood in it to burn. My guess is they haven’t used this room much in the past. In the center of the room is a table for eight. No chairs to seat myself on for the time being, except for a lone one, sitting off to the side of the room. I walk steadily over to it and grab the back of it, dragging the chair over to the fireplace and planting myself firmly onto it, taking a load off the pressure coming to accumulate on my shoulders.
Thoughts of the boy rush over my mind. His name was Azel, a strong Elvin name. He didn’t show many resemblances to the Elvish race, aside from his hair and eyes...and height. He had no other visuals to suggest he’s of Elvish heritage. The main proof would come from the ears. Everyone knows the elves’ ears are pointed, some long and some short. Take me for example, I know I’m an elf. I have the long ears and fair skin, the same as Azel’s. My hair may be dark for my parents are of two types of elves. Light and dark, or better known as the Quenya and Ilythiiri. The problem of being of two races usually grants you a one-way trip to being an outcast. I was that elf...told to hate anyone who got too close and protect myself from those who were my friends. I would never know who to trust. Father taught me that. I’ve seen this throughout the lands; people starving, suffering, being bullied. All because of who they are. Half-breeds are what they call us. In the lands of old, the elves would banish us. Some areas still follow this law.
I shake my head from the nasty thoughts. Memories like that are meant to stay buried.
The man with one eye told me to wait here while he got Chief, as they seem to call him. I don’t mind waiting, but the leader of my camp will be wondering where I am soon. She may not like the thought of me be away. If I could get to Slaen, my bird, I could send her a message, but with this storm rising, the message would arrive too late. The storm could also be a considerable reason as to why I won’t be returning.
I tap my foot on the floorboards, concentrating on the pitter-patter of the rain. Dark clouds cover the sky in little, puffy grey pillows, all melting together. With the storm rolling in from the south, some lighting would be good. I stand up from my chair and proceed over to a desk. Upon the desk everything is cluttered. One small lantern sits against the wall, also on the desk. I open the lantern’s cage door and check to see how large the candle is. Lucky enough, it’s large enough to last for a few hours.
“Maskan,” I whisper to the candle.
The wick lights almost instantly, filling the room with luminessence. I trace my fingers over the many papers resting on the desk, reading off the names one by one. Taxes. Laws. Names of village folk. Everything to do with the village laid right here and I’m reading it. I pick up the paper speaking of every person here. The village is named Cylombria, a strong name meaning fortress. I skim the names until I come to Azel. Listed along with four other names, it spoke of how he became someone like me, only it’s in small increments. Anga was another. It states near the bottom his father was murdered, the killer unknown. His mother went shortly after the father...only three years later. Ryce, his younger brother, went missing, as well as his younger sister.
Furrowing my brow together, I scan the rest of the document to come across something I never thought I would see in this lifetime. A black stone or egg. The folk here described it to be cold as stone, but hollow when banged on. The stone was set in the Council Room, where only the Chief and three of his most trusted followers were allowed in. A stone, or egg most likely, would mean this town is harboring a dragon’s egg...and one that could mean danger if hatched. Black dragon eggs are the rarest of any type of dragon, if a black egg is even possible. Legend has it that only one black egg had ever been born. Some even say the egg is awaiting the right owner.
I place the papers back onto the desk. There’s no use in snooping around. I can’t just let myself get wrapped up in something that could be bring destruction, right? I did promise Master Meryian if anything came up like this I was to report back to him immediately. My search must end here. If I can get the--
“Ahem.” A clearing of the throat spins me around to face the man with one eye and an older looking man with slight limp in his walk. I blush at my inner train of thought and bow to the elder.
“You must be their leader. It’s my pleasure to meet your acquaintance.”
The old man just nods and brushes the other man out of the room. “So sorry ‘bout that, my dear. Now, why would one so young be venturing out so far at this time of year. You should know very well of the creatures lingering out there.”
“Yes, sir. The cold seems to wake them up, but I have what I need to get by. The man you had leave...he took the weapons I brought with me. They are my protection.”
“I see.” He nods again and walks towards me, sitting down on the chair where I had previously sat. “Legpaw can be a bit grandmotherly. He hates not being able to stop the supposed threats around here…”
“Why do you think I am anything unlike these threats?”
His warm smile catches my wandering eyes. “Your name is Lissie, right? Feel free to call me Chief. Everyone does. Now then, why are you here?”
“My caravan is traveling west of here to the kingdom of Gogen vel Vaen. I was asked to see if any villages would allow me to visit so I could possibly trade, or even buy necessities needed to make it through the journey.”
“Very well. You can have all the access you need to the shops here in Cylombria. Why don’t we have a rundown on your caravan. Are anymore of your people coming here? Any many are in your caravan? Will you be moving here to rest while you can, so you can aid for your sick and injured?”
I sigh and place the lantern on the ground. “Surely the cold is getting to you...maybe I should light a fire for you to stay warm…?”
He shakes his head. “No need.” Placing a hand on mine, he looks up at me with a sheepish smile. “My village welcomes you and your people. You need only answer the questions.”
The glow of the lantern makes his face decrepit and solemn. Strands of thick, oily grey hair hang in his eyes. Watery blue eyes look at me with a confound hospitality. His grip on my hand only tightens when he pulls me forward and whispers in my ear, “Take heed, young child. Things are only going to get worse this winter.”
With that, he drops my hand and his head falls down, facing his lap, his hand dangling there like a wet noodle.
I grab his shoulders and begin to shake him. “Sir? Sir, are you alright?”
Lightning crashes outside sending flashes of white light across the room. Thunder roars overhead. I cover my mouth as the rain continues to pound harder on the wooden roof. I hold my hand out in front of me, laying them gingerly onto his torso.
“O'goth! O’goth! O’goth!” I cry, my hands glowing a pale blue color.
The large door swings open behind me, blowing an autumn wind into the room and casting the lantern’s light away. I crack my neck to the right and continue to chant the same thing, worry crossing on my brow. Ignoring the clamor behind me, I release the grip Chief, his body just sitting in the chair like a stack of books; still and unmoving. I refuse to move.
A hand grabs me, jerking me back onto the wooden floorboards. I shake my head from the confusion. The man with one eye aims a long sword at my throat. My weapons are gone and with the sword at my throat, it means I won’t have a chance to utter a spell.
“What happened to Chief?”
“I don’t know...he just...he told me things are going to get--”
“Quiet! What happened? He’s not respondin’ to anythin’…” he spits in my face.
Angling my neck to stare into his one brown eye, I feel the blade move away from the my throat and remove the cloth covering my mouth and cheeks. The translucent cloth falls to my lap.
“Hey, Legpaw! He’s dead! The wretched brat killed him!” one of the men holler to him.
The man with one eye looks at the other man. “Colin, go get Beak and Fet. I think they’ll wanna teach this girl a lesson!”
Before I could blink, Legpaw flips his blade around and rams the hilt into the side of my head, not taking his eyes off me as he does it. The dark room begins to grow fuzzy, my tunnel of vision fading away until I completely blackout.