It started with the flowers. Made of jewels, they shone everywhere there was soil to grow. Every colour in the imagination, every size and shape. They began to fade, their very essence fading into nothing. They became rare, then eventually ceased to exist. Nobody noticed the flowers until they were gone. The humans kept picking them until the faded and eventually no more.
It was the same with the creatures. The trolls and the goblins and the ogres. The humans hunted them because they hunted the humans. What the humans didn’t notice was that the creatures were becoming fewer. Their attacks slowed and soon stopped as the last scraps of the species scrambled to save themselves. But humans are a bloodthirsty lot and vengeance ran in their hearts. They hunted the last scraps until there were no more to hunt. Even the peaceful creatures were not safe. While the humans didn’t hunt or abuse them, they faded all the same. Even my kind, the guardians of humanity. I saw it with my own eyes once. It was a flower, just a tiny starburst of sapphires, barely the size of my little fingernail. It just got fainter and fainter, until I could see the grass underneath. Then, it was gone. Nothing more than an imprint in my memory. Everything magical, even the leprechaun’s gold, faded a little at a time, until one day, I was all that was left.
And still I answer their calls.