So this is them. The princess’ playthings, I think to myself, gazing in at them bemusedly. They cowered back, their eyes wide, their plain faces contorted in expressions of terror. I looked at the girl, and couldn’t keep back a bit of a smirk. By human standards, the girl must be beautiful, but I knew I was far more beautiful than she. Which was a sad thought—as I was male—but when you factor in my elfish bloodlines, it made perfect sense.
Anywho, I stare in at them, before saying amusedly, “Well, come with me. Your imprisonment status has been altered.”
After staring at me in silence for another instant or so, the maiden asks quietly, “So, you’re springing us from this joint?”
I take a second to puzzle out her question—I say, these humans talk rather oddly, I think—before responding, “I am not setting you free, madam. Nay, far from it—you are my prisoners now.”
The smallest boy makes a mewling sound. I sigh, and with a long-fingered hand I gesture them towards me, and in my mind I feel something flick. In an instant, the three humans are on their feet, and practically climbing over each other to be the first out of the carriage. I help the young maiden down, curling my nose disdainfully at the perfumes she doused herself with—couldn’t she just rest in the forest awhile? An hour spent lying in pine needles will leave you smelling quite wondrous.
Personal ruminations on the differences between the culture of their world and the culture of ours aside, I was actually rather bored. I was sent out to capture two carriages: An ordinary one bearing a trio of human prisoners, and another bearing the princess herself. And I’d only manage to catch the one carriage—the one bearing the princess must be quite slow indeed to be so far behind.
Sighing, I guide the prisoners to my own carriage, my mind giving occasional flicks to send them in the correct direction, and also to keep them from struggling.
I realized, as I guided the young woman up the carriage ladder—it was half again her height—that I missed the challenge. How weak minded are these people? I wonder. Can it be that there is no magic where they come from? Is that why they so easily bend to my will?
I didn’t have much time to reflect, as the sound of creaking wheels comes from behind. I whirl, and leap from where my carriage is hidden in the shade, my mind sending my prisoners a final, powerful FLICK. In seconds, I am by the road side, and that is definitely a good thing. For, no sooner than my arrival at the roadside, the carriage pulls around the corner onto the path where I had halted the passage of the prisoners’ carriage.
I gently flick at the horses’ minds, gentler than I had before, and they halt without a fight. I leap easily onto the steps of the carriage, open it with an easy flick of the wrist, and send the group of passengers a commanding FLICK. They attempt to resist, but it is futile. I am simply too powerful. All too powerful. The guards collapse to the carriage floor, their minds overwhelmed, their bodies unable to respond to their commands. As for the princess, she meekly rises to her feet and comes at the gesture of my hand.
I have to admit, I am very disappointed in the girl. I had expected, at the very least, a scream or a fight. But I receive nothing. Not even the vaguest acknowledgment.
I carry her to the carriage, not even bothering to utilize any magic on her to keep her under my control. This, I think to myself, is the least contested kidnapping in the history of the Realm of Agra.
Which honestly is quite the achievement….Ever since the Accidental Explosion of magic a decade or two ago—the King’s Magician Tulinin had badly miscast a spell, and caused magic to run rampant and uncontrolled throughout our world—my magnificent Realm has been different. Man had failed to adjust, but as the king had at the time been human (we elves couldn’t actually be bothered to care about things so trivial as politics when we lived forever) they stepped in to rule over us.
And then one of us began to pour violet mist out of our skin.
And, if that wasn’t weird enough, all around the elf the magic…faded. It became controllable once more, and mankind delighted in that. But we elves did not. We’d grown to love our magic, our freedom, our experimentation with spells just to see how strangely they’d turn out. As more and more elves began to do the same, becoming Conduits, we soon realized that there was a cost for the control of magic: It took away the strength of an elf. T’wasn’t long before my kind was dying, their abilities to channel magic draining them so much that they could no longer live.
We hadn’t fought back much—we were content to be traded uncontested land in return for our service—but now that we were dying….
We start fighting back. We escape deeper into the forests, or slaughter them all too easily if we were in violent moods.
But then one of them finds the spell…..
The Binding Silver, they call it. A single silver chain, plain in appearance but flooded with enchantments. Once the spell is cast and the silver chain enchanted, it’s bound around the neck of a Conduit, and the elf is bound to continuously channel the magic.
They die within days.
And we have no way to break it. There is no real way to stop it, no way to get the chain off.
We fight them, sending as many of our kind to their graves as we can afford in an attempt to break free, but mankind easily beats us back. We weren’t trained soldiers. Why take life when living forever is a bad enough fate?
Still, in an attempt to appease us, the King had made it so we were guaranteed equal rights (those of us that were not Conduits, that is) and ensured that by marrying one of our own: Lady White.
Who gave birth to a daughter, and realized after a while that the King would never give her what she wanted: Clues to break the chains.
She left him one dark night, and attempted to take her daughter with her, but she didn’t have the ability to. And now Lady White owns a compound deep in the elfin woods, far from prying human eyes, where she runs the Resistance.
A scream snaps me out of my reverie. I had been lost in my own mind, so I hadn’t noticed when I had actually had begun to drive the carriage.
Which wasn’t a good thing.
The princess screamed, and the humans joined her.
I had run us off a cliff.
Which was very talented of me, wasn’t it….?