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Chapter 1 – P1



A new – or rather ancient – threat looms ominously on the horizon, casting its shadow over the once vibrant and verdant forests of the Faerie realm. The tendrils of darkness slowly extend their wicked claws, threatening to engulf these magic lands in a malevolence that knows no bounds.

Unlike the gentle embrace of twilight, this darkness is a sinister force, brimming with malice and foreboding. Foul creatures, more repugnant than the vilest of orcs, have been sighted prowling through the heart of this realm, their presence a dire omen of the imminent doom.

Yet, amidst this advancing  threat, there are those who choose to turn a blind eye, feigning ignorance as if the world around them remains untouched by the spreading darkness. They carry on with their mundane lives, entangled in petty disputes and trivial concerns, oblivious to the imminent catastrophe that threatens to consume them all.

But in these treacherous times, when the very fabric of existence hangs in the balance, it is imperative that all nations cast aside their differences and unite as one. For history has taught us the dire consequences of division and complacency, as civilizations of old were swallowed whole by the eternal darkness that now threatens to resurface.

All nations must stand together or risk falling back into eternal darkness, as in the past. For only through unity can they hope to banish the looming darkness and restore the brightness that once graced these lands.




Victory Day celebration! Aerin sat on a stone bench near the statue of Caredir, god of Storms. Legend had it that this day was chosen to commemorate the triumph of the heroes over the demons in a colossal war that raged centuries ago. She didn’t know how much of that was true. It sounded too grand, too embellished for effect.

She took a bite of an apple she had brought with her while she listened to an old man spinning tales to a group of children sitting on a bench beside hers. Other children were darting around while their parents savored the evening.

To her, it was just a splendid epic to entertain kids. In the end, it didn’t matter. At least everyone had a few days to unwind and a fun night out.

A cool breeze caressed her face, and she closed her eyes, relishing the moment. The night was beautiful and starry, and everyone was together and happy. This was remarkable, because that was not always the case in Príbora. A group of bards played happy music in the center of the large old square. People clapped in sync with the music, others danced. Various aromas of delicious food filled the air. Even her sister Brylla seemed to be in a good mood. Aerin spotted her across the bustling square, nibbling on a pastry and chatting with her friends. She was radiant and graceful, her golden brown hair reflecting the light of the lanterns. It made no difference to her that Brylla was her half-sister, that they had different mothers but the same father. They had been inseparable since childhood, sharing secrets and dreams. They were sisters in every way that mattered.

The night was cheerful, and although Aerin would rather read in a quiet place, it was pleasant.

“Aerin!” Brylla’s voice cut through the festive noise as she waved her hand at her. Aerin smiled and made her way through the crowd of elves and dodging dancers.

Brylla greeted her with a hug and then proceeded to fuss over her appearance. She smoothed out a few stray strands from Aerin’s braid and then adjusted the flowers that adorned her sister’s golden brown hair. “That’s better.” She said with satisfaction, eyeing her sister up and down. “You look lovely in this dress.”

Aerin shrugged. She didn’t care much for the frilly gown that her mother had picked for her. She felt suffocated by the tight bodice and the layers of silk. She longed for her simple tunic and pants, the ones she wore when she sneaked out of the city to meet him. “I didn’t want to be here‌.” She tossed the rest of the apple she had been nibbling into the trash.

Brylla scanned the crowd and whispered, “Gareth’s not coming? ”

Aerin’s face brightened at the mention of his name. He was the only reason she had agreed to attend this feast. The only reason she endured the stares and whispers of the other elves, who looked down on her for befriending a human. “He’s waiting for me at the old ruin. I’ll meet him in a moment.”

“A secret rendezvous!” said a feminine voice behind them. In a tone a little too loud and high-pitched. “How romantic!” she said with a wide smile as she clasped her hands in front of her body.

“Sydriel! Shh! ” the two sisters spoke at the same time.

Sydriel was a red-haired elf, small by elven standards. Her face had freckles and a cheerful smile. Her eyes shone in a bright green, like fresh leaves, and she had flowers in her hair, just like Aerin. She and Brylla had been friends since childhood.

“Hic!!! Sorry!” Sydriel covered her mouth with her hand. “I think I drank a little too much,” she pointed to the cup in her other hand, which was filled with a potent elven wine.

Aerin chuckled. She loved Sydriel’s bubbly personality and her adventurous spirit. She was always up for a good time, and she never judged Aerin for her choices.

Brylla, however, wasn’t amused. “You think?” She snorted. She was more serious and reserved than her sister and her friend. She cared about the rules and traditions of their people, and she worried about Aerin’s future.

“But he’s a cutie!” Sydriel said, smiling and winking at Aerin.

“I know.” Aerin put a hand on her chest, feeling her heart flutter. She thought of Gareth’s warm green eyes, his blond hair, his strong arms, his gentle voice. She thought of how he made her laugh, how he listened to her dreams… She loved him more than anything in the world.

“But it’s complicated, not to mention forbidden!” Brylla reminded her sister.

A little irritated, Aerin looked at her. “Just because he’s human?”

Brylla raised her eyebrows.  “Just because he’s human? Just for that reason? Well, you should know that that already makes any relationship other than friendship impossible. Humans and elves don’t mix, Aerin. It’s too foolish and it never ends well.”

Sydriel clicked her tongue dejectedly. “She’s in love, Brylla. Who can blame her? It’s so unfair.Why can’t they be together? Why does it matter what race they are?” 

Annoyed, Brylla answered the obvious. “Well, maybe because he’s going to die one day?”

Aerin sighed sadly.

“Sydriel, don’t add fuel to the fire! ” Brylla chided her friend. “You’re not helping. You’re only making it harder for her. She needs to face reality, not live in a fantasy. Thank the gods, Gareth has more sense than my sister. He knows this can’t go on forever. He knows they have to end it, sooner or later.”

Aerin felt a pang of pain in her chest. She hated to admit it, but Brylla was right. Gareth did have more sense than her. He was always the one who talk about the obstacles they had to overcome, the sacrifices they had to make.He was always the one who said they should stop seeing each other, before it was too late.

But she couldn’t let him go. She couldn’t imagine a life without him. She loved him too much.

This topic always depressed her. “Nothing will ever happen between us, Brylla. Don’t worry about it.” She said in a hollow voice, trying to sound convincing.

Brylla gently took her sister’s arms. “It’s for your own good. He’s a good friend, but anything beyond that would be too dangerous. Humans aren’t welcome here or in any other elven city, you know that! What kind of life would you have then? Not to mention other obvious problems and differences. You’re not compatible, Aerin. You’re not meant to be.

Aerin jerked her arms away. “I don’t care about that. I’d take on anything for him,” she said in a defiant tone, but laced with sadness, for she knew her sister spoke the truth. It was impossible.

Brylla scowled and looked reproachfully at her sister. “Sometimes you act like a romantic fool, Aerin. It doesn’t work like that. You can’t just ignore the consequences of your actions. You can’t just follow your heart and hope for the best. You have to think of your future, your family, your people. You have to think of yourself.”

“I’m already sick of hearing your opinion on the subject, Brylla. I don’t want to listen to any more lectures!” Aerin snapped, feeling angry and hurt.

Sydriel took another sip from her cup. “I prefer Gareth to that Maeglor. The man gives me the creeps.”She said, changing the subject.

Aerin shuddered. Maeglor was her ex-lover, but he’d been trying to get her back for some time. In fact, sometimes she was afraid of him too. But it wasn’t always like that. Maeglor was very kind at first. He was handsome, charming, and wealthy. Her parents approved of him, and he showered her with gifts and compliments. He seemed like the perfect match for her.

He was charming, but now… he looked like a different person. He changed. He became jealous, possessive, and violent. He didn’t like her spending time with her friends, or talking to other men. He wanted her all to himself, and he didn’t take no for an answer. He said he loved her too much, and that he couldn’t bear to lose her.

Aerin tried to break up with him, but he wouldn’t let her go. He threatened to hurt her, or worse, Gareth. She didn’t know what to do. She felt trapped, and helpless.

“I don’t trust him,” Brylla said, echoing Sydriel’s sentiment. “He’s dangerous, Aerin. You need to stay away from him.”

“I know, I know. I’m trying. But he won’t leave me alone. He’s always watching me, following me. He’s obsessed with me, Brylla. He’s crazy.”

“ You can’t deal with this alone.”

“I know, Brylla. But if he finds out…. He’ll hurt me. He’ll hurt Gareth. He’ll hurt you. He’ll hurt everyone. He’s powerful. He has connections. He has influence. He has money. He can do anything he wants. And he wants me.”

Aerin felt tears sting her eyes. She hated that Maeglor still had power over her. She felt lost, not knowing what to do. She wished things hadn’t come to this point. Maybe she wasn’t trying hard enough to distance herself from him. Maybe she still held a glimmer of hope deep down that he would return to being the kind old Maeglor. At least their situation would be possible, unlike hers with Gareth.

“I have to go,” Aerin said, wiping her eyes. She needed to see Gareth. She needed to feel his arms around her. She needed to hear him say he loved her, that he’d never leave her, that he’d always be there for her. She needed him.

“Be careful!” Brylla said, grabbing her hand. “Please, Aerin. Be careful. I love you, sister. I only want what’s best for you.”

“I will be careful.”Aerin assured before walking away.

“Have fun!” Sydriel nodded with a smile. The slight nudge of an irritated Brylla almost made her spill the contents of the cup.

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