Faytaise is a world of fantastical people and creatures. It is on another planet and humans have only just discovered it.
Jeriel Lyndryll, Prince of Faytaisie, strode through the Silvan Forest, his soft leather boots silently treading the faint path that led him towards his home. With a sigh, he adjusted the strap that held his broadsword on his back, rolling his shoulders to relieve the stiffness incurred by a day's walk with the heavy weapon on his back.
The young Elf had spent the previous day in the Siren city of Wyyss, watching the Spring Games. His father King Deriel had sent him alone because the King and Prince Teriel were too busy to attend, and Jeriel disliked an attendance of servants and guards. Besides, as the younger son of a beloved King, he was quite safe anywhere he went.
The Games had been exciting, and Jeriel had enjoyed himself, but he was tired and glad to be nearing home. Spending time with the energetic, winged Sirens was exhausting and the journey home was long.
An unfamiliar sound brought the young Prince out of his thoughts. Without any outward sign, he became alert and watchful. He didn't really expect an attack, but it was possible. Under pretense of shifting its weight again, he reached up and loosened his sword in its sheath.
A figure stepped from the trees in front of Jeriel. He appeared to be an Elf, but Jeriel had never heard of Elves wearing such clothing, or wearing their hair so short, or carrying such strange implements. The stranger's clothing was tight, so tight is surely was uncomfortable; his dark hair was closely cropped; and he held an odd-looking black thing in his right hand. This last was pointed at Jeriel's chest, which gave the impression that it was some sort of weapon, although it looked more like a fish.
"Don’t move," the stranger warned. "And don't touch the blade. Do you know what this is?" He indicated the black fish-like thing.
Jeriel shook his head, his hands hanging loosely at his sides, well away from the sword but within a fingers-width of the dagger in his belt.
The stranger pointed his weapon at a rock in the path, and a narrow beam of bright light erupted from it, striking the rock. In seconds, the rock vanished, leaving a blackened spot on the ground. The stranger once again pointed the weapon at the Prince. "It’s called a blaster pistol," he said with a smirk. "My friends each have one too." He waved his free hand toward the trees and four more people stepped forth.
Staring at the blaster pistols, Jeriel asked, "Who are you? What do you want with me?"
"We’re humans," the first one said. "My name is Larry Thompson. Nothing personal; we just need some samples of native life." He turned toward the others. "Anderson, take the sword."
Jeriel stood quietly while his broadsword was removed. It would be useless against the blaster pistols anyway. Besides, he still had the dagger in his belt and a knife in his boot.
Larry Thompson pulled a small black box from his pocket and slowly waved it at Jeriel. It beeped wildly. "Well, well," he said. "Armed to the teeth, are we?" He stepped forward, and pulled the dagger from Jeriel’s belt-sheath, then stooped and took the knife from his boot.
The Elf Prince stared in amazement at the human. How could he have known? What sort of creatures were these humans? What kind of magic did they wield?
"All right." Larry Thompson motioned with his blaster pistol, having tucked Jeriel’s knife and dagger into his own belt. "Start walking."
Seeing no other option, Jeriel started walking. The humans fell into step around him, guiding him and watching him. All of them except Larry Thompson had placed their blaster pistols in things that looked like over-sized sheaths that hung from their belts in easy reach. Larry Thompson carried his blaster pistol in his right hand, pointed at Jeriel. Any attempt to escape would be futile.
Jeriel wondered why the humans wanted him. They had said it was nothing personal, but what else could it be? Why would anyone kidnap someone at random?
While the Prince was pondering, they stepped through the trees off the path. Before them was a small building that appeared to be made of metal. Jeriel paused and stared. How could such a building have been made? Even as he gaped, a door slid open in the wall and a bridge extended to the ground. The bottom of the door was at least two feet from the ground, which made no sense to the young Elf. Why not just make the door flush with the ground so that a bridge was not necessary?
"Inside," Larry Thompson said, gesturing toward the door. Jeriel obediently mounted the bridge and entered the building. Inside, it was nothing like any other building he had ever seen: instead of rooms, there were rows of chairs that looked like they were made out of cushions. Along the walls were windows with no shutters. Jeriel wondered what they did when a storm came. This was the most impractical building he had ever seen.
Larry Thompson followed the Elf through the doorway, then he pointed to a seat beside a window. "Sit down." The Prince sat, wondering how they meant to keep him a prisoner next to an open window. Then he noticed a smudge floating between him and the forest outside. Hesitantly, he raised his hand toward it - and encountered an invisible wall. The windows were closed, but he could see right through the shutters! These humans must have very powerful wizards.
Larry Thompson sat beside Jeriel. "Buckle up," he said as he pulled a pair of straps up from either side of his seat and fastened them together in front of himself. Awkwardly, Jerial copied him. The other four humans took seats as well and all five sat quietly, as if waiting for something. Jeriel sat quietly as well, although inwardly he was very agitated, wondering what was going to happen next.
He could never have guessed what would happen. The entire structure began to vibrate and hum as if it were alive, then it rose into the air. By this time, Jeriel's knuckles were white from gripping the arms of his chair. He watched through the invisible window shutters as the forest dropped away. Soon, he could see all of Faytaisie spread out beneath him. Heights had always made him dizzy, and this was higher than he had ever imagined he could be. He felt a wave of dizziness rushing over him and he closed his eyes to fight it. When he opened them again, Faytaisie was a small green-and-blue ball turning beneath them, and they were among the stars.