Chapter 1: (v.3) A son & a Scar

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  No Houses

Reads: 187
Comments: 3

 

 

 

Chapter 1

 

 

Sunlight poured through a small window, illuminating a thin but muscular young elf. His hair was an inky black. His skin was so pale it was nearly the color of snow. The contrast between the two was striking as he lay on his bed, with his chest bare. Sweat glistened on his taut skin, evidence of a restless night sleep. He had had the nightmare again.

His eyes blinked open and the sun glinted off them like it would an emerald. Many had told him that he had his mother's eyes. He winced slightly at the sunlight and inwardly grimaced. A moon elf, such as he, was normally not active so early in the day. They often preferred to use their slightly more sensitive eyes  from dusk until dawn. Things were different now, however. Peaceful morning naps were no longer part of his routine. Today least of all, for today was the last day of his cadet training with the rangers. Today was his final test.

He slid out from under his blanket, then stood nude in the middle of his room. The cool wind that blew through the window smelled of sweet gardenia blossoms as it quickly brushed away all traces of sweat. He thought about his dream, but just as quickly pushed the thought out of his mind as he reached up to the wooden beam above and starting pulling himself up and down. He looked out of his window as he made his up and down movements. His eyes were greeted by the familiar arch ways and pale wooden tree homes of his people. This is why I train, he thought, to protect my home. He had other motives too, though he wasn’t as open about them, even with himself. Deep down he still wanted justice for that night years ago -- he wanted his mother’s killers. These thoughts were not on his mind as he motioned through his morning workout, however. When his muscles finally started burning, he dropped nimbly to the floor and walked over to his small mirror. He took a moment to look himself over, proud of the muscles and small scars he had earned through his training and hard work, before tying his long hair back in a ponytail.

He then grabbed his green tunic off the floor where he had left it the night before and slid it over his head. The soft familiar fabric comforted him somehow. Next came his undergarments, his leather pants, boots and sword sheath; all the same, smooth, russet brown, not the black of the real rangers. That could change today, he thought. No, it will change today, he assured himself mentally. He then opened his drawer, pulled out a small jar of crushed charcoal and with his fingertip, applied some to thicken the look of his eyebrows. He would have many spectators today, may as well look his best.

He quickly ran down the stairs into the kitchen. Looking around, he realized that his father wasn't there. Of course, he thought. His father had gone to help prepare the tournament grounds; he was the town's weapon master after all. Without his father, there wouldn't be any rangers, let alone a village to protect. One of the rangers had told him before that his father Gladriel was a town hero. His father was more than just a town hero; he was a kind and loving father. The young elf never really blamed his father for not being there the night that the bandit’s attacked. He had been one of the guards assigned to protect the priestess during the ritual outside the city. Through his father’s valor, many lives were saved, though ultimately the orb was lost as well as the lives of many elves, including his wife’s.

Gladriel had set him out some cut fruit and a goblet of cool water which the young elf eagerly scarfed down. He then noticed a little scribble on some parchment by the meal. "Good Luck Nezu. I love you" he read, then smiled as he rose from his seat and headed towards the door.  He placed his hand on the knob. Then he paused, mentally preparing himself before  he opened the door. He looked down the road towards his destination and gripped his sword firmly.  "Let's do this."

As he walked the quiet streets of his home town, Glade Malaa, he couldn't help but think back to how things used to be. In place of some of the hanging gardens, large banners hung low: the silver owl on its black background, a purple crescent moon embroidered behind it. There were locks on doors where there used to be simple silk drapes to keep the neighbors out, and rangers on guard high in the trees. The village had changed a lot in the last few years. Since that night...  He shook the thought out of his head again. Nothing like that will ever happen again, he thought. He gripped his sword a little tighter and picked up his pace towards the training grounds.

After a short walk, he finally arrived at the courtyard. He had never seen it so festive before. More banners draped the walls, but not just the town banners, house banners were there as well. There was the red bear of House Falrialon on golden linen, the jade dragon of House Vix on red velvet. His own Banner,  a solar eclipse on grey silk for House Galu’del, and even the the banner of the elder council. The council banner bore the seven branched tree, a branch for each of the founding members. There were no longer seven elders, but the young elf had good reason to believe that the surviving members would be here.

It was when he looked down from the colorful banners that he saw his fellow classmates, the first graduating class of the Malaa Martial Academy. They represented hope to the people there, a chance to lift the veil of fear that had covered their Moonglade since that night years ago. To Nezu, however, they were friends and comrades with whom he had been training with for years. There was Solis and Fenris, twin high elves who had moved to the glade years ago with their parents. They had golden hair and gold-green flecked eyes. They were two of the most lively people Nezu had ever met and that often got them in trouble in the village. Then there was Sorrisia, one of the few girls in the program. She was beautiful and quick, one of the best sorcerers in the class, but she had an unusual aversion to smiling. There were twenty-three students in all, but those were the only ones Nezu took the time to acknowledge as he made his way over to the larger group.

"A! Na vedui! Good morning Nezu!" Solis called out cheerfully.

"Danduledh? Eh? ," said Nezu as he grabbed Solis' out-stretched hand and pulled him close for a quick embrace. “You ready for this?”

“Sure, sure! Unknown dangers. Whole town watching... “ Solis replied.

"Looks like good weather for the tourney at least," chimed in Fenris.

"If you like the feeling of the sun scorching your retinas," groaned Sorrisia, before breaking out into a forced smile to show she was joking, at least partially.

“Ah, what a special day this is! We even got a smile from ole’ Sorri!” Fenris teased back.

"Ugh, can you three actually act like rangers for one day? The whole town is here watching us today." Sorrisisia muttered, looking visibly more nervous than usual.

"Ah, but Rangers we are not. Not yet anyway!" interjected Solis with a coy smile.

"Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I intend to be one by the end of the day," Nezu said confidently.

" We shall see about that G'del," a voice sneered from next to them.

It was Melthiel Nalorian, another elf in Nezu's class. Melthiel resembled Nezu in many ways; the same long black hair, pale skin, and green eyes – trademarks of the Moonelf peoples. The two boys were top in their class at both swordsmanship and tracking, always competing with each other. For Melthiel however, the competition was something more, and for several reasons he had come to resent Nezu over the years. Today was his chance to prove himself better once and for all, in front of the entire town no less.

"We shall see indeed, Melthiel..." replied Nezu with a cocky smile.

"Why don't you leave us alone? Shouldn't you be out begging anyway? Your daddy is gonna get thirsty up in the stands," Sorrisia remarked sarcastically. All the elves in earshot laughed, except for Melthiel whose cheeks were flooded with hot red.

 

*******

 

Rage welled up inside Melthiel. His face contorted with rage, his muscles tensed. No matter how hard he tried, would he still be a joke? His worthless coward of a father, forcing him to beg as a child... Would they never forget - never let it go? These thoughts raced through his mind. His hand slipped down to his sword and began pulling out his blade as another smaller hand grabbed his wrist and slowly pushed it down re-sheathing his sword. It was his girlfriend and fellow classmate, Lila. She was an orphan in the glade, who, like Melthiel. had joined the training program to find purpose in her life. At that moment, the young elf Melthiel wished he had been an orphan like her rather than be left with his father. But he took solace in her tender touch. For once in his life he no longer felt quite so alone. With a quick kiss on the cheek from her, Melthiel felt a sliver of his rage dissipate.

“Don’t worry about them, Mel. You’re gonna shine today. I know it,” she whispered.

Melthiel wasn’t convinced and still wanted to smash someone’s face in. But before anything else transpired, the trumpets began to blow; heralding the beginning of the trials. The young elves took their places and prepared themselves as best as they could for the unknown challenges that awaited them in the crucible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Submitted: January 29, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Tim Quinn. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Jack M

Follows on very well from the first chapter, although they are very different stories, this chapter reminds me of the 'attack on titan' anime series. I also liked the Melthiel character, part of me actually wants him to finish above Nezu.

Mon, April 18th, 2016 6:01pm

Author
Reply

I have actually watched attack on titan but I don't really see the connection, I guess that is one cool thing about reading is how differently two imaginations can translate the same words on the same page :p
As for Melthiel, yeah, he almost would have made a better protagonist as the odds are stacked a little more against him. Still, he is a jerk :P

Wed, April 20th, 2016 12:49pm

B Reaved

Hey Tim!

Things I liked about your story so far would definitely be the prologue. Nice and interesting. Lots of questions! Made me jump straight to chapter 1 afterwards. I also like that you have a good choice of names and use correct terminology for the elvenkind such as the "Drow" elves. The narrative is good too but here are some suggestions.

Don't take this the wrong way. Please don't. But use a Thesaurus. It makes for a bigger variety of descriptive words. We don't always have the right words to carry the correct emotive context of a scene so it kinda gives us a helping hand. Also, watch your punctuation. Throw in a well paced comma to not make a sentence sound like it's meant to be said in one breath.

Other than that, I would say you have a great story here. Steady progression.

Please do keep it up!

Fri, April 22nd, 2016 4:58pm

Author
Reply

Thanks! This is basically what I was wanting to here. I am already in the process of trying to buff up and edit some of this, but I will try to use some differing vocab. I have heard some authors and editor's say things like don't use too many complex words or it can throw off the reader, so I will try to balance that with not being repetitive with my adjectives and descriptions. & grammar is definitely a weakness of mine. I should have paid more attention in school :P
Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Fri, April 22nd, 2016 10:31am

Hope Jamsy

Mmmmmmmmmelthiel eh? I like it. He seems like a jerk but at the same time very much so just a product of the elvish Noble society which also shows a side of Nezu I hadn't expected from the prologue which is good, it shows that Nezu isn't a perfect character, he's still very willing to Laugh at the poor kid who's angry he's poor. I like how Nezu has developed in however many years it's, very much not so different and yet changed all the same, that's exciting. Gotta say I'm excited that Viktus wasn't mentioned at all this chapter, even if he were to pop up every two or three chapters I think that would be enough needed. Honestly his character and demeanor is a very stark difference from everything the moon elves got going on and I think that shows a very diverse cultural aspect to this world. Gonna def have to see how this crucible plays out. Melthiels paragraphs are Melting my heart doe if I gotta be honest lol

Thu, April 28th, 2016 2:21pm

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