Lands of Astoria
The Fall of House Eleint
Elven reverie differs from sleep in several key respects; rather than falling unconscious, elves go into a mixture of trance, meditation, and waking dream, performing relaxing mental exercises and reliving past memories. The elf does not control which memories they experience, however. As I sat cross-legged in my cabin on the Tegrian delegation's airship, I saw again House Eleint’s flight from the feywild…
Impossibly tall and verdant primeval forests, grown since the beginning of time – now oozing with rot. Elegant towers and majestic spires studded with precious gems – collapsing and broken. Loyal retainers from families that had served House Eleint for millenia – twisted, corrupted, and howling for blood.
My family flees its ancestral holdings through the forest towards a portal complex leading to Pescana in the Prime Material Plane, and at our backs follows a horde of misshapen creatures seeking to spread the sickness affecting our lands. We reach the entrance to the complex housing the portal, but a root reaches up and snags my ankle a short distance from the door. I fall, and immediately the front runners of the horde are upon me. As their blades descend my mother Elenwe, wielder of the Eleint Moonblade, leaps to my defence. She slays the creatures and throws me to the door, but as she does so, an opportunistic redcap stabs her in the leg.
Father cries out for her to get inside the complex so they can escape together, but the horde is upon her. She instructs him to keep me safe, assures him that she’ll join us soon, and fights a rear-guard action to cover our retreat while the portal is readied. As the portal flares to life, we cannot see her any more amidst the bodies both living and dead surrounding her position. The horde breaks past her and into the complex, and we flee… leaving her behind.
Several days later we have been granted asylum by the Council of Elders in Pescana, living in our summer house. Father and several trusted warriors have gone back through the portal to determine Elenwe’s fate and try to bring her home. As he arrives back from his expedition the family gathers in the antechamber, awaiting his news. Father arrives, and it seems that only he is left, as the warriors are absent. He is clutching something in one hand. Stone-faced, he relays what he saw – corruption starting to overtake the complex, an enormous pile of bodies where Mother made her last stand, and no sign of Mother’s body. Only the hilt of her Moonblade.
“She’s dead”, he tells us. “Because of you, Feanor”. He throws the hilt of the Eleint Moonblade at my feet, and leaves. The rest of the family files out after him, variously throwing me glances of contempt, hatred, sadness, or sympathy.
I was 15.
Father hates emotional displays, so I have become very practiced at hiding mine. I appear serene as I leave reverie, any internal turmoil rigidly repressed.
With a doctorate in magical theory ahead of me at the Tegrian Magical Academy, hopefully things will be different in Tegria. While the Tegrians are a backwards, shabby people, Tegria is far from any of my past mistakes and Father’s influence, and I seem to have made some real friends among the peace delegation during the peace talks. And with my research, perhaps I can finally discover how to combat the corruption affecting the Feywild…