The elf emerges from the great soaring edifice of the Runes Tower, her head spinning with so much new information, so much imparted knowledge that she felt almost as though she were filled to capacity and it was leaking from her ears.
She follows a rather raucous crowd of students, all laughing and talking, taking a much needed respite from the monotone drone of the voice of the Runes Professor who had just conducted the last lecture. The elf, as always, was on the outer of any group, preferring to sit apart in silence and gaze forward with the appearance of listening intently though more often than not her thoughts were a million miles away. Even she welcomed the end of the lecture for there was none that could make a dry subject seem positively arid than the Runes Professor.
Other students pushed past her as though she were not there and made their way out into the sunshine and Silrien too was relieved at the dappled warmth of the sun and the freedom that those lawns and gardens represented.
It was a beautiful day. Pleasantly warm and clement and she tilted her face to that golden star and allowed it to warm her as it did the ancient trees that dotted the green hues of the lawns, the formal flower beds. There were lessons and discussion groups also taking place in the gardens, as she moved away from the building and further into those magnificent cultivations.
Beneath a tree, a crowd gathered about one that was demonstrating a conjuration of light, a silvery white globe appearing above the hand, further away, near a favored gazebo of hers, yet others were experimenting with elemental magic, creating stone walls and fire walls with such ear splitting bangs and crashes that she decided today would not be the day that she retreats into the solitude of that jasmine laden folly and instead directs her feet from all others, past the trees, past the beds, to an ornamental lake hidden in a depression of the land and ringed by juvenile oaks that were exactly like an other oak but for their leaves that shimmered silver, and the few acorns they dropped gleaming gold.
This place was so unworldly and magical that anything that resembled the rest of Hellifyno- it’s trees, plants and animals, was seen as rather strange and unimaginative. It was beneath th limited shade of a tree that she sat, looking out over the still surface of water that reflected the clouded skies like a mirror
And not too far away in the air was Aero. The angel. He was flying over the area because he had never been here before. And if he was to find ways to benefit the planet. He needed to get to know it better. In the distance he saw what looked like an institution of education of some sort. So he began to change course but was attacked by an army of ducks and random birds.
This has happened to him a few times. And yes it’s embarrassing. In his panic and struggle he began to change course a bit more aiming him straight into what looked like a small lake. And without notice that wasn’t the roar of quacking ducks he landed straight into the lake causing a large splash and unintentionally diving towards the bottom. He could swim. But his wings get heavy when waterlogged. So he struggled to swim back to the surface.
Since coming to this place she had engaged with few other than was necessary in lectures and study groups. She gave no detail of her past, though would happily listen to the overshare of the other students as they tried ever increasing and outrageous ways to gain attention from each other. She barely even associated with the other elves that studied there though there was many occasions when she would decline their invitations, to the point that those invitations were mercifully reducing.
The elf spent much of her time in the library, laboratories or her private study. Solitude was her friend. And that peaceful solitude was disturbed by the screaming of a heavenly body falling through the air at terminal velocity and careening into the lake with a splash that created a bore of water that would cast frogs and fish onto the banks with a slop and the fowl of it’s surface taking to wing.
Silrien was upon her feet in an instant and searching the lake for what could have caused such a disturbance, calling out across the water for signs of life.
After a few moments he would break the surface and gasp before swimming towards the nearest edge of the lake. He was grumbling in frustration as he swam. His large black wings dragging him down a bit. He didn’t hear the one calling out over the water. Partly because he was splashing. An ungraceful swimmer. Once arriving to land he crawls out and just flops onto his back. He was wearing a nice business suit with a blue tie. Well now he was soaked. He lays there grumbling and such before closing his eyes with a long tired sigh.
The amphibia appeared more perplexed than concerned and merely turned about to wend their way back into the relative safety of the cool water as even now the sun beat upon them to suck their vitality from them. Fish flip flopping upon the banks were not so fortuitous and needed arcane assistance, which they received from the elf who, with a few gestures and whispered conjuration, returned them to their watery world.
There was something emerging however, a figure that was drenched and looked a little comical as it crawled onto the muddy incline.
Silrien though, would not be humored by the ignominious arrival of this figure and instead ran along the banks towards him calling “Are you a’right? Do you need help?”
Aero would see a slight figure of a female, dressed in voluminous floor length robes of pale green, denoting, that she was a scholar of natural magic. She approaches rather cautiously as she sees the state of this creature, a forlorn sight, soaked and bedraggled but her focus was his wellbeing.
“Are you hurt?” she asks as she arrives breathless at his side.
He sighs before slowly smiling and offering a thumbs up. “I’m… Just… Dandy…”
He coughs before plopping onto his back some more. After a moment or two he slowly moves to sit up and and smile to the woman… The elf that helped him in his time of need.
“Thank you ma’am..” He said softly. “How may I repay you?” He asked softly. And just then the angel slowly closed honeyed before coughing and falling limp. Maybe the impact damaged his head a bit. Regardless the reason. He was out.
Silrien merely tilts her head at his words and with more digital dancing through the space before her and a mutter of arcanery, he would feel a heat upon his limbs and his sodden clothes would start to steam and within moments, would be dry, but still rather rumpled and creased.
As the creature’s clothes dry, the figure starts to waver in integrity, until eventually fading from view. And so, with only the damp toes of her boots as a sign that anything unusual had happened, she is left once more, in solitude and with nothing but the call of birds and the grumbling chirrup of frog song.
Perplexed by this, a little confused, she makes her way back to the tree where her books and manuscripts are situated to resume her study in perhaps more peaceful surrounds now that the missile has vanished.
A strange place indeed this island among the clouds, and yet still, strangely comforting to the elf who saw it’s idiosyncratic construction as blissfully normal after her experiences with Hellifyno thus far. It was many miles across, she had yet to explore it’s circumference completely.
The buildings upon it were constructed, layer upon layer, illustrating the many architectural styles that past occupants had used to design this great nation, intertwined with winding walkways and alleys that separated the secular from the religious and the academies from the dwellings.
Upwards the great city stretched, reaching ever further higher with its dreaming spires, its gothic towers and buttressed solars, and delicately graceful arches of such resounding beauty that they must have only been made through arcane means. Drakes soared about the tips of those towers, like flocks of jackdaws, feeding from the residual magic that found it’s way from pitched laboratory roofs and the high domed basilicas that formed the colleges of the Universite Magnifique.
With all matters magical, there must be balance, and just as there were established academie for learning those arts associated with the path of Light, then too- there were others.
The elf had heard rumors, that upon the underside of that island, whose mountainous terrain was hidden from the light of Hellifyno’s brilliant star, and stayed always in cold and shadow, there were creatures that were not of the light, and practiced the arts of the Dark Path, most horrifying, necromancy, that most despicable of crafts that shaves away at the soul and prevents those that have won their rest through a lifetime of living, from enjoying their eternal rest. They were only rumors, but there was rarely smoke without fire.
Still, she had been at peace here for many cycles. The Arch Chancellor was true to his word and she had been kept safe. No primordials to torment her. There were no reminders of the pain of Ar’Elis or the degeneracy of Consequence not for many moons until- quite by surprise two memories from her past revealed themselves.
The first Myrno- that child like demon whose life was bonded to her own, after she purchased and then freed what until then had been an indentured existence for the creature. It was quite by chance that she had discovered her in the library of the Universite- chance because it stretched metaphysically into infinity. Although joyful at finding her friend here- it raised demons of her own, of a time in her past that she would rather forget. It had disturbed the peaceful equilibrium that she had forged for herself.
Quick on Myrno’s heels was Garret. Again, a face from her past, albeit a brief association when the elf had first been spat out by that accidental discharge from her home of Tinnulîn to the harsh lands of Hellifyno. Garret of Kading. An honorable knight who had shown her the city of Consequence and allowed her to form the opinion she disliked it intensely.
An oath barely remembered, had him searching the realms for her after an absence of years- an absence that left him wracked with guilt and shame. Again, it was more responsibility than she wished for, but he was healing from his odyssey in the infirmary and had pledged fealty once more to the Elf.
She had her misgivings. He was not there to protect her from the sadistic cruelty of Siclides when she needed him the most. As it transpired, no one was- not even the people that she had considered friends. The asylum of Kili Toda has come at just the right time but would these remnants of the past bring further harm?
Her lids close to allow the dappled sunbeams to dance across them, the robes seemed heavy, cumbersome and incredibly hot, but hid the curves that seemed to turn males to morons and she was happy to hide, to cover herself and not be seen. To throw herself into the world of Academia, to become a familiar ornament in the library, oft seen poring through books and manuscripts, not speaking, not engaging, lost in a world of her own that excludes all but two, and only then, on her terms.
(With thanks to Aero)