Anyone with even the smallest amount of knowledge could tell the difference between an elvan market and a human one. In Ea the movements of the elves around the stalls looked as if it had been coreographed to perfection. No one bumped into each other, no stall was ever over-crowded and everyone moved with extreme grace. The voices that shouted out offers and merchandise didn't sound like the common folk voices of human stall owners. Instead they sounded like upper class scholars and businessmen. The stalls were obscure ones, selling rare and expensive gems, gadgets and magical items. Most of the things to be found on the Market were not every day items, and nothing came without a heavy price tag.
Evanesco walked through the Market just as the stalls were being taken down for the night. A few final trades were being done and stall owners were counting their earnings for the day as the sky dulled above them. Evanesco walked over to one of the several magical weapon stalls and picked up a few of the items. This was his favourite time to browse, as he disliked the amount of people that milled around the stalls in daylight.
'I saw you in the moutains again today,' said someone behind Evanesco. He spun round and saw Andromeda, a wise mature elf that had guarded Evanesco when he was young. She had youthful beauty in her face, her cheeks rosy from the cool air. Evanesco looked at her eyes; hypnotic, experienced. They were a shocking blue, contrasting her auburn hair. In them he saw her happiness, her sadness. But more than that, he saw caution. Andromeda emitted a warning. 'Do not attack me. It will be the death of you.'
'Why were you in the mountains?' asked Evanesco.
'Hunting,' said Andromeda, looking Evanesco up and down, 'You smell of human.'
'I met a half human whilst in the mountains,' said Evanesco, 'He wants to live here.'
Andromeda raised an eyebrow, 'Odd. Well I suppose it might do some of the racist locals here some good to get some varied blood. We never see anything but elves around here. Some of the younger elves have started to think that other races don't even exist.'
'I'm not surprised,' answered Evanesco, 'However although education of other races is important, I am proud that Abraxas is almost entirely consisted of elves.'
Andromeda smiled, 'One day that's going to change and you'll feel a yearning for adventure beyond these parts.'
'I thought that was an adolescent ambition,' Evanesco folded his arms.
'That sort of attitude isn't associated with age,' said Andromeda, 'Now I think you should probably leave if you want to get home before dark.'
Evanesco nodded, 'Lyra told me yesterday that there is word of the Urza down south. Apparently they have been invading small elvan settlements.'
'What you heard is true. But the elves are strong. It is not the Urza we should be worried about,'
Andromeda looked upwards into the sky, 'It isn't the physical dangers that scare us the most, Evanesco.'
Evanesco parted with Andromeda and moved swiftly through the streets that were quickly becoming deserted as night fell. He reached his home - A large building of grandeur that glistened in the sunlight brighter than any other building. Evanesco's parents had been very wealthy, so a great fortune had been given to him. He placed his hand on the door and inside there was an audible metal click. He stepped inside. The door was enchanted, only opening to the touch of Evanesco's parents and him. Evanesco's mother said that a family wizard had enchanted it, but Evanesco knew otherwise. His mother had a secret love of witchcraft, something his father never approved of. He did not believe it was talentless, only against nature. He believed things should be done with the hands, not with the mind - for the mind is for thinking, and the hands are for doing.
He stepped inside, shutting the great wooden door behind him. In front of him was a massive marble staircase which dominated the whole of the front room. His father had crafted the steps by hand - when they had arrived the steps had been flimsy wood that cracked under foot. Evanesco remembered being wary every time he ascended those stairs, waiting to tumble through the wood. When he was young he was scared of them. Not for fear of falling, but because they made strange noises. When you're young your imagination is limitless. And although that can be a beautiful, creative thing, it is also this creativity that manifests the monster under your bed, or the thing in your closet.
A magical fire burned in the corner of the room, surrounded by brightly coloured armchairs. Evanesco's mother created the ever burning fire. In the summer it made the room extremely hot, but he never would put it out as it was one of the only things that reminded him of his parents. It was a simple spell, something a sorceror's apprentice would laugh at. However in loss it is often, if not always, the simple things that we remember most.
Evanesco climbed up the broad staircase and leaned on the banister, surveying the vast room below him. He watched the sun set over the city in the large glass windows in the house, plunging his home into almost darkness - the only light source was the blue glow of the fire. This was when the loneliness seeped through his thick exterior. This house was too big for one man. Evanesco never dreamed he would sell it, it held too many precious memories for that, but he hoped it would be filled by his own family one day.
Sometimes Evanesco drifted off into sleep standing up, watching the light fade. He felt himself falling into slumber now. Evanesco was never one to stay up late - he was a morning person.
His eyes were closing when suddenly there was a loud noise, and he jerked them open, spinning round quickly. He placed a hand on his bow and walked towards where the noise was coming from; his parents bedroom. The room had been left untouched since their departure, as Evanesco wanted to preserve the memory of their room always. The wallpaper, the clothes, the pictures and the smell... He missed the warm smell of his parents the most. It reminded him of when they embraced, every night before bed his mother would come in and hug him tight, reassuring him that none of the monsters of the night would get to him. Evanesco believed every word his parents said. They were the only people that could make him feel truly reassured.
There was another bang, this time from behind Evanesco. He realised that he was either imagining things, or there was something very fast in his house. He drew his bow and walked forwards swiftly. His breath was short. If this was what he thought it was, he was going to die. Or...
Evanesco had to close his eyes then to stop the images in his head. Then he advanced, moving cautiously. His bow was shaking from his nerves. Sweat dripped from his face and his hands were clammy making him unfocused and clumsy. But why did it matter anyway? He had no chance against this thing. He should be running away as fast as possible. It was like he wanted to die...
'Is anyone there?' called out Evanesco. There was no point trying to be stealthy, the thing would be able to smell him. It would be able to hear his escalating heart, filled with the purest elf blood...
The sweet, sweet smell of blood.
Evanesco heard the smallest of sounds and the movement of something quickly through the air. He fired an arrow, but before it had left his bow he was on the ground, screaming in silence; his vocal chords had already been ripped out.