Therearefew of elfkind still left in the mortal world. We are enoughto establish our own cities, trade and live amongst ourselves, but we have been reduced to the sizes of clans bickering amongst one another. The only reason we have been living undetected amongst humankind is our spellweavers that manipulate our appearance through the power of the ancients. But something is going wrong. Their spells are failing and exposure is imminent.
Recently I, Ela'nuin, have been commandeered by the elders to accept an apprenticeship under a spellweaver. Spellweaver apprentices were always chosen after 14 seasons, but recently older elves that were previously dismissed as having too little skill have been sought out and trained. I have seen 16 seasons pass by and had accepted that I would become a birdkeeper or gardener by the time they came for me. My parents insist that it is a great honour. Elven culture is all about bragging rights and honour. "Just imagine! Our daughter a spellweaver!" was my mother's reaction. I feel sick to my stomach. They rejected me two seasons ago and now they crawl back, begging! Why should I? Then again, this is my childhood dream. To be able to manipulate the world through the power of the ancients! I will prove them wrong: I have skill enough!
I am leaving with the recruitment party. My backpack feels extremely heavy, especially at the thought of leaving my twin brother, Ar'luin, behind. I can still se his chocolate eyes moisten when I told him I was leaving. Of course my parents chided him! To think the honour they would be receiving. They had beamed as I left the house and I had never loathed them more. Suddenly I am snatched out of my reverie by the girl next to me tugging my sleeve.
"What do you want?" I ask, irritated at being disturbed, but also at being caught off guard.
"You wear the mark of the Neochrosa clan!" she says with wonder in her eyes.
Of course! I had almost forgotten that our clan is the oldest in this half of the world. This time I really look at the girl before me. She is of usual age for an apprenticeship, only barely 14 seasons old. Her brilliant blue eyes shine with excitement and fear. Her other features, like blonde hair and long arms, tell me that she is an Angelic elf even before I see the wings under her robe. There are four elf races:
Angelic - of the sky.
Sprite - of the waters.
Dryad - of the wilds.
and City - those elves who live and walk around you every day without you even knowing. I am a City elf.
Each race has specific features by which to identify them. It frequently happens that clans within races unite to wage war against other races. We City elves are mostly diplomatic, allying ourselves with the most likely victor. There is however little love between our race and the Dryads of the wilds. Each elf has a tattoo placed by a spellweaver on the right jawbone beneath the ear. This tattoo portrays which clan they belong to and changes when an alliance to a new clan is made. Her tattoo is that of the Primay clan - the royalty of the sky race - but not nearly as old as my clan.
"My name is Mor'anya. You look so strong! Will you protect me?" she babbles all in one breath, eyeing the dagger at my waist. I smile at her nervous behaviour and nod. She immediately relaxes and smiles. So it seems I have made my first I have made my first friend on this journey.