Twenty Six

Twenty Six

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Gevin receives a delegation from the Elven Council

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26.

‘Only men of character are trusted.’

-- Zig Ziglar

 

There was great relief around Woodedge, but everyone knew that they’d just delayed conflict for a future day.   Gevin napped briefly on a sofa in a room recently readied for his use in the Garrison Fort.   Applemint joined him, curled up against him at his side, both of them exhausted from the stressful night.

Troem and Zaeya did not take time to sleep, however, and resumed work on the next of the ‘defensive golems’ (as Troem had named their endeavor) following a break for some breakfast.

It was early afternoon when Nevon rapped on Gevin’s door, causing both Applemint and him to jump in alarm.

“We’re in here, come on in,” He called out, his neck cramped from sleeping slouched over.

Nevon peaked inside, “I’m not disturbing anything, am I?”

“Only a nap that has put cricks in our necks,” the Half Elf replied, noticing Applemint twirling her head around to work out her neck muscles.

“Well, sorry to disturb you, but Zete has returned, accompanied by three Elves and they want to meet you as soon as possible.   Terib is not among them.”

“Give us five minutes and tell them we’ll meet them in the guardroom off the courtyard.”

Nevon nodded and slipped out of the suite.

“I wonder what they’ll have to say.”  Applemint said as she worked to tuck some strands of red hair back into her braid.

“We’ll find out soon enough,”  He replied, smiling at her with the sun streaming through the windows and making her hair almost seem to glow.

“What is it?” She paused, seeing his look.

“You.   You are so beautiful; I could just stare at you forever.”

Applemint blushed, but smiled prettily, “You’re just being sweet, lord.”

“Lord?”

“Oh, sorry, I mean ‘Gevin’.   It’ll take time, you know.”

“Are you ready?”

“I think so.”

“Then let’s go see what Zete and the Elves have to say.”

 

***

 

Gevin was relieved to see that Zete and his companions did not have heavy frowns or grim expressions on their faces, though they didn’t look exactly happy either.   All bowed respectfully to Applemint and him and they returned the courtesy.

“My Lord, My Lady; may I present to you Leliand Jopal, Vielle Avellius and Doan Saldor, who were sent here as an honor escort from the Elven council of elders to accompany us to meet them.”

“We’re honored to meet you.   Where would the Elven council like to meet?”

The one introduced as Doan spoke, “They would like to speak to you at their present location, which would mean nothing to you as our people move from place to place.   Is that a problem?”

“No, not at all.   When shall we leave?”

“At once, if that is possible.”

Gevin turned to Applemint, “Is that alright with you?”

“Yes, but I should let my parents know.”  She replied, looking a bit nervous.

“Go ahead,” He turned back to the Elven delegation, “We’ll have to pack for the journey.”

“It is not far away and all of you should be back by sundown.”

“All of us?”

Doan smiled slightly, “Pardon me, I forgot to mention that.   The council would like for Troem Agis and the Drow lady to accompany you and meet with them.”

“Oh…well, we didn’t know about that.   Nevon?”  Gevin turned to the garrison captain.

“Yes, lord?”

“Are Troem and Zaeya around?”

“They are in their workshop working on their current project, lord.”

“Would you go and tell them this new development and see if they are available to accompany us immediately?”

“Yes, lord,”  Nevon bowed and hurried off.

“We were expecting to meet with the council alone, so please excuse the delay.”

“That’s quite alright, Duke Gevin,”  Doan replied, seeming to have trouble with the title.

“Please just call me ‘Gevin’, I am certainly no real duke, the people of the garrison just proclaimed me that.”

“Aren’t you the Black Duke’s son?”  Vielle Avellius asked, somewhat coldly, though politely enough.

“I am his b*****d child, sired on one of your ladies against her will.   I never met him nor sought any sort of recognition as his son.”

“Yet you benefited from your notorious father, as his half brother, King Corston saw to your upbringing and establishment as a knight in his court.”

“That is true, but look what that ‘benefit’ has sown.    Death, destruction, mistrust and perhaps hatred and no chance for me to understand and appreciate my mother’s people.”

“You didn’t seek to understand them when you led an army that destroyed the Albsylvia woods.”

“No, I did not, for at the time I hated all things Elven.    My lack of insight has caused a lot of pain and suffering.”

“Yes, it has, Gevin,”  Vielle almost spat out his name.

“If there is no hope for any sort of civil discourse between the Elven council and us, why not just bluntly tell us?   If you want me to stand trail and receive judgment for my sins and the sins of my father, then I will go and stand alone before your council.    I have admitted my sins and acknowledged my blame several times to your people, sir.   I had hopes that perhaps I could somehow make some sort of restitution that would greatly benefit the Elven people.   I realize nothing I can do can change the past, but I fully intend to try to rectify the consequences of it.”

“Clearly you are bothered by such topics as your past,”  Leliand Jopal replied, a bit more politely than his companions.

“Yes sir, I am indeed bothered by my past.  If you contributed to something that caused great pain and suffering to people and only later on had your eyes opened and realized the terrible things that you’d done, wouldn’t you be bothered as well?”

The Elf nodded, “That is true enough, Gevin.   We are asking you the difficult things now so that you won’t be surprised when you are asked them later.”

Gevin sighed, “That’s alright…I’m sorry I was so defensive toward all of you.   To be honest with you, I am always rather nervous around Elven people.   I feel like it is probably a futile dream for me to ever be able to redeem myself in your eyes.    But what choice do I have left to me?    The thought has crossed my mind that perhaps you are merely escorting me to an execution by your council for all my crimes against your people and quite frankly, that would be a logical ending to a tainted life.”

“We value life, Gevin, even that of our enemies and what you described would be a human strategy, not an Elven option,” Vielle Avellius said rather aloofly. 

“I’m glad to hear that, sir.   The last Elf that I trusted was an assassin that tried to kill a human child and me after she first tried to seduce me.   Her name was Tamcia Blleyea.”

Vielle flinched at the mention of her name, “Tamcia and her father were rebels that were not approved by the Elven council.”

“Yes, and clearly evil can taint the hearts and minds of lovely Elven women as easily as it can the heart and mind of a foolish half-Elven knight.”

Doan and Leliand surprised Gevin by grinning, both of them patting Vielle on his shoulder.

“Touché, Sir Gevin,” Doan replied to him, still smiling, “You are correct in what you say.”

Gevin held both of his hands out palms upward toward them in a passive gesture, “Gentlemen, I honestly don’t want to spar with you, or the Elven Council for that matter.   I realize that the burden is on my back to convince them of my sincerity and willingness to do whatever I can as restitution to the Elven people, but I hope that whatever they want from me will be something that will benefit the future of the Elves and maybe form the start of a restored friendship with the people living here in Woodedge.    I know this is a garrison fort, but those remaining from the garrison are good men that have no ill will against the Elven people.    The Halflings that fled from Greidour are equally as friendly toward Elves.”

“Oh, we know about the friendliness of the little folk,” Vielle responded, the hint of a smile on his face, “We have no problem with them, Gevin.”

“They are very dear to me, sir, and their future concerns me as much as the humans of this place and your people.”

“We have mutual concerns for them, so see, there is common ground,” Doan replied, “What concerns the Elven council is your political ambitions and how you plan to achieve them.”

Gevin shook his head in surprise, “Political ambitions?   I have absolutely no desire for any sort of role, sir, as God as my witness.   In fact, I would love nothing more than just to be a simple man in the background someplace.”

Vielle snorted, “I find that difficult to believe, Gevin.   You are the one that Woodedge has clustered around hoping for leadership.   Surely that appeals to you.”

“No sir, it actually does not appeal to me.   It terrifies me.    Anything that goes wrong here will once again be on my shoulders.   If we are overrun by Earl Cetiline’s forces, then it will be due to my poor leadership.   If I cannot work out an agreement with the Elven people, it will be at least partially due to my notoriety amongst the Elves.   If the Halfling clan that looks up to me are killed in an onslaught against this place, then their blood will be on my hands.    Leadership is an awful responsibility, sir, and I’m only doing this because there is no-one willing to take charge.   I would be thrilled to let the Elven Council take command and offer wiser strategies.”

“The Elven Council has shuffled their feet for many years, Gevin and have done pathetically little, which is why things have dissolved into the situation it has today,” Vielle responded with surprising criticism.   Gevin glanced at the other two Elves, who frowned at what he had said but were gravely nodding their heads in agreement.

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir,” Gevin answered, “I’m sure you understand how precarious this situation is.    Greidour has crumbled from within and I’m sure one of the noble families will eventually dominate, but this is probably the only chance that your people will get to restore Albsidhe, and even now Cetiline’s forces must be dealt with.    In fact, we dodged a war with them very early today.”

“Yes, we heard about that,” Doan said, “That was rather impressive how you handled that.”

“I don’t take any credit for it; it was a ruse designed and executed by others.”

“Still, in your situation, deception should be used.”

“Yes, but I just pray that it doesn’t come back to bite us later.   Earl Cetiline will take some time to regroup and rethink his strategy, but sooner or later he will return, unless he meets opposition from other claimants to the throne of Greidour.”

“So what do you want from the Elven Council?   There are perhaps three hundred Elves living in the west, well-hidden, and at least half of them are women and children who have no fighting skills.”  Leliand said.

“Well, I mainly wanted to invite the Elven people to return here and dwell amongst or near us.   I’d love to see the land populated with Elves once again and the Albsylvia Woods replanted and restored.”

“Forests take a long time to grow,”  Vielle stated, “To achieve what you speak of would take a long term effort.”

“Yes, but wouldn’t that be best?   It’s not right for the Elven people to live like refugees in their own land.    A handful of humans and Halflings clustered around a garrison fort will not constitute much of a community.    I could take them some place far away from here and form that.    I would like the Elves to be restored to their former glory.   I don’t want to ‘rule’ over them or over anyone.    Set things up and I will happily step down and swear my loyalty to the Elven council or to an Elven king or queen.”

“We’ve not had a king or queen in many, many years,”  Doan said somberly.

“Which is not always a bad thing,”  Leliand suggested, “Kings lead to noble families and royal connections, dynasties and then intrigue and corruption.”

“Not always,”  Doan argued, “But we digress from our discussion.   Gevin, you are saying to us that you feel your current role is to help a restored Albsidhe form - at least in some sort of military force able to withstand those seeking to dominate them, and that after our independence is achieved, you’d step down?”

“Yes, exactly right, sir.   Nothing would make me happier than for something that I did to greatly help the Elven people.”

“What if you achieved all of this and the Elven council asked you to depart from Albsidhe as part of your penance for past crimes?”

Gevin blinked in surprise, thinking about it, “Well, I guess I’d leave then, if that would be what they think I needed to do.    As long as Albsidhe was secure and strong, that was all I was dreaming of; I wouldn’t have to be part of it if they still distrusted me.”

The three Elves glanced at each other as if monitoring what they thought of Gevin’s response.   He wondered why they were asking so many questions, which would be the Elven council’s job.   He was about to ask them about this when Troem, Zaeya and Applemint arrived, escorted by Nevon.

They were visibly surprised to see the Drow woman, but Zete (who had not said a word after introducing the three Elven men) introduced Troem and Zaeya to them and they exchanged greetings.

“You are actually a Drow,”  Vielle said while shaking her hand, “I heard tales from my great grandfather of times in his childhood when your people raided Elven villages.”

“Well, I’ve been away from my people for a long time, but from what I’ve heard, we don’t get out much anymore,”  Zaeya replied, meeting the grumpy Elf’s gaze until he dropped it while releasing hold of her hand.

“You are staying amongst these people?”  Leliand asked her.

“Yes, I guess I am; that surprised me more than it does you, believe me.”

“And you are a sorceress?” Leliand followed up asking her.

“Well, I’m as powerful as my Matron Mother or my older sister, but honestly, there is so little magic being used up here on the surface world, I would probably seem quite powerful to you.    Is there no magic amongst your people anymore?”

“It has diminished greatly.”

“Well if your Elven Council will work with Gevin, I would be glad to show your people forgotten spells that would benefit them.   I’ve already shown some to Troem and he picked it up quickly, so I imagine there are many of your people that would love to know spells that could protect them or heal injured and even enchant weapons and armor.”

Leliand’s eyes sparkled at the possibilities, as did the other two of his companions, though they tried to look stoic and only semi-interested.

“That is something to consider, Lady Zaeya,” Leliand replied, a slight smile on his lips, “I honestly didn’t think a Dark Elf would be so charming.”

Zaeya shrugged, smiling, “I was a prisoner of an Ogre in an enchanted place for many centuries and I spent much of my time observing some of the poor surface folk that would get trapped in there with me, so I lost some of my Underdark edge, I guess, though my friends have seen it from time to time.”

Applemint, Troem and Gevin glanced at each other, for she had referred to them as her ‘friends’ for the first time.

“Lady Zaeya,”  Doan spoke up, “It might surprise you to know that at one time there was a kingdom on the surface of the world ruled by a Half Drow king and a Drow queen.”

“I’ve heard of it.   Marksylvania, wasn’t it?   King Eleazar and  Queen Aurei and I believe they ruled over a peaceful kingdom of a multitude of Elves, humans, Halflings and even some of the extinct races such as dwarves.    Their descendants were still ruling when my grandmother was born, though by my time the political climate had changed.   So if Drow can rule a peaceful kingdom for many generations, surely something could be worked out between your people and Gevin and the humans and Halflings living here.”

Gevin was quite pleased with Zaeya’s pitch and smiled appreciately at her.

“You make a good point, Lady Zaeya,”  Doan replied and Leliand and even Vielle nodded, then he turned to Troem, “Sir, your name is familiar to me and I know of your family.   Tell me how you got involved with Gevin and these people.”

Troem recounted meeting Gevin and his determination of their kinship.

“Do you believe Gevin’s idea would work?”  Doan asked him after he’d finished.

“Yes, or I wouldn’t support it.   You know when Albsidhe fell and during the bleak time following it, our people lost all hope.    I spent years as a hermit living up in the mountains, alone with my memories, giving up on life and thinking that I would spend countless years like that.   I had no concept of things getting better, because all that I had known had changed.   But now I see that sometimes you have to help facilitate change in order for your life to get better, or for your people.    Living alone in exile would not help the Elven people, Doan.   Neither would a remnant of Elves living like nomads wandering from place to place.    Whether you accept Gevin’s proposal and help us or try some other plan to restore our people, either way, only action and accepting what has happened in the past will allow you to create a future for them.   Take a chance on us, sir.”

Gevin looked a bit puzzled, for Troem seemed to be making the argument to the three escorts as if he was speaking to the Elven Council.

“They’re just here to escort us; we’ll have to meet with the Council in person,”  He said to his great grand uncle.

Troem smiled, “No, these three fine gentlemen are the Elven Council; I recognize the medals hanging around their necks which only council members wear.”

“You’re the Elven Council?   But you said-“

“We apologize, Gevin,”  Doan cut him off, “It was a ruse, but we wanted to hear you speak without you realizing who you were speaking to.    Those speaking to important people speak differently than to common folk.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say anything differently to anyone, but are you three all of the Elven Council or just part of it?”

“Sadly, we are all of it,” Leliand replied, “The Council is always made up of elders of our people who must be a certain age.   Regrettably, we are the only three of our people that meet the age requirements.”

“I hope I sufficiently presented my case to you.”

“You did,” Vielle answered, “ And we have heard from three of you, but the one we are most intrigued to hear speak is your lovely companion who has not said anything so far.    Applemint, you are clearly not just a Halfling, not even just a ‘Taphelo’ as they refer to it.   You seem to posses much more Elven ancestry than the other Halflings that we saw when we arrived here.”

“Yes, I learned recently that this is true.”

“Zete has made spectacular claims for you.   I am always skeptical of such things, but before we see the supposed proof, I want to know what are your thoughts about these claims?”

“They scare, me, to be honest, sir.   It has been extremely overwhelming and though I am honored, I certainly think someone far more qualified than I am, with a much more distinguished and pure Elven bloodline should inherit Queen Ylvelia’s armor and sword.”

“Yet you are a descendant?”

“So I’m told.  The apparition of the queen spoke directly to Gevin and me.”

“You don’t seem to know much about her.”

“I don’t; the first I’d heard of her was when we saw the vision of her outside of her tomb.    Neither one of us knew anything about her at all.”

“She is the Great Queen of the Elven people, the one who prophesized her return and only those of her lineage who are of the purest blood can even lift her sword, let alone wear her holy armor.”

“So she did have a child!  Isn’t there someone else who descends from her that would be more worthy?”

“Apparently it is the queen’s discretion that decides who is worthy.    We didn’t know that, but we have not been able to trace her descendants…until now.”

“But she did have a son?”

“Yes, that much is hidden knowledge amongst our people.    The son of one of her nobles forced himself upon her in her sleep, bound her hands and then he fled in terror for fear of her retribution.    The guards released her and her wrath was terrible and swift.   The boy was consumed in fire as he fled on horseback, but the stead was unharmed.    The Valleric family was disgraced and fled from the royal court.    Things began to go back to normal, but a month later the queen discovered that she carried the Valleric teen’s child in her womb.    She had pledged to her people to never marry and remain a virgin and while they understood the situation of her rape, she feared to reveal that the terrible act had resulted in conception of a child.”

“So it was kept hidden?”  Applemint asked.

“Yes, except for trusted members of the royal household.    She grew extremely big and could not be seen, staying secluded in her chambers.    But the seclusion and the unwarranted guilt that she had somehow let her people down played heavily on her mind.   She had conflicting emotions toward the baby she carried; maternal love but hatred for what it represented.     By her third trimester, it became clear that she was carrying twins rather than a single child.”

“Twins!”  Troem exclaimed and Vielle nodded, frowning.  

“Yes, and she became irrationally convinced that one twin was pure good and the other was pure evil.   She thought they were battling in her womb and her mind grew more and more fragile.   She began speaking of a future time when ‘everything would be set straight again’.    She acted as if she could see into this time frame and in the final days of her pregnancy, she was out of her head and rambling on about events and people that made no sense.    When she went into labor, it was agony for her, for her babies were very large and bringing them into the world seemed to drain her of her life.    Though there was nothing that the midwives or wizards could detect that was wrong with her, she simply died after naming both of them.   One was named Penrick and the other, with her dying breath, she named Sorrick.    They were not indentical in appearance and neither one seemed either good or bad as she had feared.    The Valleric family was given Penrick and swore to the wizards that they would not reveal who the baby’s mother was, not even too him when he was old enough, or to anyone, ever.    Sorrick was adopted by another Elven noble family, who also had to swear to keep his identity a secret.”

“Did either child become good or evil?”  Applemint asked.  

Vielle shrugged, “They were typical Elven boys, proud and haughty, but noble and brave.   They never knew they were brothers and the nobles decided, rather than establishing another dynastic line of royalty, to simply have a council of elders rule over the people.   Several years later, some of the Valleric family, descendants of Penrick, tried to reestablish the monarchy, claiming royal blood, but they were defeated and slipped off into obscurity.   Some of our elders believe that they learned about the Great Queen’s pregnancy and that their family had some of her descendants amongst them, but we never learned how they learned of it.   Perhaps they broke their promise and told Penrick of his parentage after all.      Legends of the White Queen appearing once again to restore Albsidhe to glory persisted and grew into grand fairy tales.    She had left specific instructions about her burial long before she died and when interred, magic encased the hill where she was buried, though it came from no known source.    Then her tomb and the barrow covering it simply vanished.”

“Vanished?”  Applemint and Gevin exclaimed together.

Vielle nodded, “There were those who said that from time to time the ‘queen’s barrow’ would reappear at dusk or dawn, for a few moments and at different locations, but no-one could approach before it vanished again.    After several hundred years, the wonder of it was lost on a disbelieving new generation of Elf and the appearances of the magic tomb and hill covering it grew less and less.”

Gevin looked at Applemint, “We must have been very fortunate or, more likely, we were supposed to see it.”

“I’m sure both of you will understand that we will reserve enthusiasm until we verify everything.”

“Of course.”

There was a moment of awkward silence, then Applemint cleared her throat and asked, “So…what do you want us to do to prove ourselves to you?”

“We have a way to determine if you are a descendant of the Great Queen,”  Vielle said, and he slipped his hand into a pouch at his waist and brought out two green gems.   One was a brilliant light green, the other one a darker, rich green in color.

Troem made a slight whistle, indicating he knew what the two gemstones were.

“Our brother Troem recognizes the Eyes of Ylvelia.   These enchanted gems were made only a few years after her death, by her younger brother and they are seldom seen, for they are used to show the potential power of an Elf by their glow.    Centuries ago, wizards who took an apprentice made them hold these two gems to see their worthiness.”

“But I’m not a wizard,” Applemint replied, wondering how these gems would assist the Elves in proving their claim.

Vielle smiled, apparently charmed by the lovely Halfling girl, “They also have a second function, which is actually their first function.    Any descendant of the Queen who holds the proper stone will show which of Ylvelia’s two sons they descend from , while the other stone will remain dark.   The essence of the White Lady is in these stones.”

“I’ll demonstrate - I am not a descendant of either of the lady’s sons, so the faint glow you will see is merely my attunement to magic.”

He brought out both gems and laid them in the palm of his hand and then held his hand, palm up, for everyone to see what happened.    

Both gems glowed slightly, twinkling as if bright sunlight was shining on any mundane gemstone.   Vielle turned to Zaeya, “You are a sorceress, care to see how they glow for you?”

The Drow lady eagerly held her hands out and Vielle slid the gems onto her hands.   The glow from each gem noticeably intensified.   The result seemed to unnerve the Elven council member for a few moments.   He didn’t say anything about it, but nodded at the result, clearly impressed.

“Applemint, let’s see how they do in your hands,”  Vielle said after Zaeya gave the gems back to him, “We’ll start with the dark stone; it should not glow at all from what you have told us.”

Applemint held out her hand and Vielle deposited the dark green stone onto her palm, but nothing happened, except the slight glow dying out after it left Vielle’s hand and passed to the Halfling girl.

“See?  You are not a user of magic and not a descendant of the White
Queen’s son, Sorrick.   Gevin, take the stone if you will and we’ll try the other one.”

Gevin came forward and Applemint slipped the dark stone into his hand.  To everyone’s surprise, the dark green stone began glowing as brightly as an ember in a fire.

“I’ve never cast a spell nor would I even know how!” the Half-Elf protested as the Elven council members all stared in wonder.

“It’s not that,”  Leliand replied, “It simply means that you are a descendant of Sorrick.”

“Me?”

“Your mother was an Elven woman, it is certainly possible.   His lineage was not tracked by genealogies, and as far as I know, only these gems can determine a descendant.   Congratulations, Gevin, you are of a noble ancestry.   Perhaps that is why the Queen appeared to you as well as well as to Applemint.”

“You know that would make us cousins,”  Applemint teased as he glanced down at the glowing gem.

“Distant cousins;  her sons lived long ago,” He turned to Vielle, “That was a surprise.”

“Yes, to us as well, but a good surprise and one that only bolsters your status in Elven eyes,” he took the dark stone from Gevin and the glow dwindled down to a twinkle.   Turning back to Applemint, he held out the light green stone and asked her, “Are you ready?”

“Yes, sir,” she replied and without further ado he sat the gem onto her palm.   Immediately it filled the guardhouse room with bright green light.

“Amazing!” Vielle gasped, “Never has the gem glowed so brightly!”

“So that shows I’m her descendant through Penrick?”  Applemint asked.

“Yes, and I’d say the brilliance of it suggests much more.   Clearly you are the one the White Queen chose and blessed.”

Applemint beamed, “Her armor and sword seem to like me as well.”

“We were told about that.   Would you be willing to demonstrate the magic?”

Applemint glanced up at Gevin, who nodded.   She took a step backwards and recited the phrase in Elven to activate the armor.   In a flash she was encased in it, her dress and undergarments dropping to the floor as the armor and arming doublet replaced them.

“Oh, I forgot about my clothes - hey that worked out great!”  Her voice inside the helmet sounded powerful and mature and all three members of the Elven Council slid to their knees, squinting in the bright white light, lost in awe.

Zaeya had her face buried in Troem’s chest from the brightness but said nothing.

Applemint extended her hand and called forth the sword and it appeared in her hand.    The glow of the gem in her other hand now intensified, but lost the green tint and became a pure white light.   Everyone in the tiny guardroom felt the power fill it.

Doan, who had not said much in the past several minutes now spoke up, speaking to his fellow council members, “Brothers, can there be any doubt now?”

The other two men shook their heads.

“Lady Applemint, Lord Gevin, we have seen and clearly you are blessed by the Great Queen.   We will do what you have asked of us and we pledge our support and that of the remnant of the Elven people.”

Gevin stood up and turned to Applemint, “Apple, dismiss your armor and sword, please.”

The girl complied and both disappeared at once.   Thankfully, her dress and underclothes were restored to her body, for neither she nor Gevin had considered the possibility that his command to her could have resulted in an embarrassing moment.

The room was now only filled with a pleasant green glow from the gem and when the Halfling girl sat it down on a table, that faded as well.

The three Elves looked a bit surprised, but Gevin gestured for them to stand up and he explained.

“Gentlemen, I don’t want magic - even magic that confirms our cause- to stir you up into making a decision that is so important to your people.    As I told you, it is not my desire to rule over you or anyone, and I know Apple feels the same way.   I honestly want to restore the Elven people and make atonements for past crimes against them.    I don’t want to ‘lord over’ anyone and I certainly don’t want your people to loathe me, but hide it out of fear of some great power that I possess…or my wife.”  He glanced quickly at Applemint, who was surprised but thrilled at the public statement of their future intention to marry.

“Gevin, we assure you that our decision is not based on the magic that we’ve seen,” Doan spoke, “We know you are a flawed man with a tainted past, but you are clearly sincere now and a different man than the younger you.    Applemint loves you and seems to possess much of the character of what we’ve been told about The White Queen, and we all feel that she would be well loved by our people.   I suspect you will be too after a time.”

“I want that, Doan.   I want your people to accept me.”

“They will, Gevin, if you stay true to your character now.   They aren’t ‘my people’ you know - they’re ‘our people’.”

The words moved Gevin and to everyone’s surprise and his embarrassment, his eyes filled with tears, though he fought them off with a red face.    Unable to speak, he simply nodded.  Applemint took his hand and spoke for him.

“Thank you, Doan, he’s never thought of himself as part of the Elven people.”

“Well, he should, for he has been accepted by those who he will rule over.   Don’t worry, Gevin, we know you don’t want to rule them, but that only makes you more worthy to do so.   You have convinced us with your spirit, not by magic.”

For the first time in his entire life, Gevin felt a sense of personal achievement that did not amount to his skill at arms or wining a tournament by physically besting another knight.   The feeling was one of hope and teased him with the distinct possibility of a better future, something he had never dreamt was possible.   Applemint sensed the moment too and slipped her arm around his waist.  He wrapped his arm around her and hugged her close as the Elven Council began discussing plans to transfer their people eastward to Woodedge.




© 2020 Eddie Davis


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Added on December 5, 2020
Last Updated on December 5, 2020
Tags: Synomenia, Nihility_Gate, fantasy, elf, sword_and_sorcery, magic, knights, Halflings, Drow


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

Writing
One One

A Chapter by Eddie Davis


Two Two

A Chapter by Eddie Davis


Three Three

A Chapter by Eddie Davis