Mists of the Past
My father, Elpidius Theodoard, was an elf. My mother, Mira, was a human. They were part of a group of elves and humans who wished to live together in peace. They helped to create a community, deep in the forest, which was self-sustaining and had little connection the outside world. They fell in love, and were joined as life partners. I was their child, the third in a line of four. My elder sister, Jandial, and elder brother, Selefris, were twins, slightly more than a year older than I, and my sister Alserynth was two years younger.
Alserynth was still a little girl when things began to change. A few young elves and humans, children of the founding generation, became restless with their sedentary life style and began to fight amongst themselves. As tempers rose they began to try and recruit others to their feud. With dire intent they stirred up old histories and memories long forgotten. They were subtle, seeping in like a poison. But soon tensions rose, and questions and doubts began to crack the surface of our home village. The community began to fail. Arguments began, which in turn escalated to disputes of ever increasing magnitude. Such rifts were new to our previously peaceful community, and were not dealt with as they should have been. As a result things were not resolved, but rather splintered out like cracks in ice.
The town became mostly divided, elves and humans moving to opposite sides of our settlement, forming camps. My parents and a few other inter-racial couples refused to move, trying to remain neutral. They had more to lose than most if the community fell. Elf-human relationships were not often accepted in the outside world, and could lead to a dangerous life outside of what had once been a safe haven. So, though the races urged their respective members to leave their families and join the “right” side of the rift, my parents and others remained in their homes, and did not openly side with either camp.
I remember the day the violence began, though I was yet young. I had never seen anything like it. I was still a child, and did not understand that I should be frightened. Quite the contrary, I was fascinated. I heard words of magic, and saw tools of harvest turned instead on elves and humans alike. Fire licked at buildings. Groups from both camps came through the town, finding the neutral “traitors” and dragging them off to be pressed into the ranks. A small but riotous crowd of elves began to break down the door of our house, intent that my father should join their cause, and that is the first time that day that I remember being afraid. My mother grabbed us and put us in a back room. The twins kept us younger ones quiet. She later told us that our father had gone with the elves reluctantly, but without struggle, for fear that they would harm my mother or us.
My mother came to the back room with us, and we all sat for hours, listening to the sounds outside. The roars of angry mobs, the proclaiming tones of leaders, the screams of children. I wanted to look out of the window, but mother wouldn’t let me. That night, we left. I didn’t understand where father was, why he couldn’t come with us, but my mother’s tears were enough to keep me silent. We ran into the woods, along familiar trails at first, and then off of them into the deeper forest. We never went back.
The world outside was far different from the one in our sheltered cove of existence. I had never known I was “different”, or a “mongrel”, to quote a few memorable phrases. The prejudice we encountered made it clear why we had never traveled far from our home. I soon learned that to feel as though you belonged was a luxury few of my breeding ever experienced.
All of us children were eager to relieve our mother of the label she bore as long as we traveled with her. The sooner we left, the sooner she was rid of the evidence of her “sins”. She loved us dearly, and us her, but when it reached the point that she was being refused business, service, and employment because of us, we drew the line, and as we each came of age, we left to find our own paths.
I have been traveling for almost two years. I have recently received a letter from my mother that Alserynth has gone north to find employment, and my mother plans to move in order to start anew somewhere else. I, on the other hand, have spent my time looking for that familiar face of my childhood, the one that used to tuck me in every night. I believe my father to be alive, and I cannot help but hope I can find a way to safely reunite him with my mother. I know that she is looking to the time when elves and humans can co-exist peacefully, and I cannot help but be affected by her hope.
I believe she might be ashamed of me, however, if she knew the details of my travels. My identity as a half-elf and my continuous travelling have done little to provide me with work. I have sustained myself as an odd-jobs-woman, as it were, though my talents do lend themselves more to jobs of an underhanded nature than anything else. I have been a mercenary, a thief, a scout- whatever it takes to buy a meal and maybe a bed. People in such professions care less about who you are than about what you can do- a trait I detest, but that I use, rather effectively, to my advantage.