The Half Elf, Volume I

Chapter 3

Shava tossed her cloak aside, revealing four daggers tucked into her belt. Joshua pulled out his sword and charged at the half-elf, swinging like a drunken berserker. His mad fighting instincts had kicked in, the same instincts that had saved him from death many times before.

However, before he got within striking distance, three lights shot towards Shava, flying from Rathron’s arm. The half-elf sidestepped them with ease, before throwing a fireball towards the charging soldier.

The flames yielded to his armour, but Joshua collapsed from the heat, crying out in pain.

Rathron again fired missiles towards Shava, distracted by the human doubled over in pain. This time they hit their mark, staggering her. Her iron gaze turned towards the High Elf, and, with all her loathing and hate pouring out, she discarded her spell book and pelted two of her daggers towards him, one of them hitting its mark. Rathron collapsed onto one knee and released his spell book, wincing and gasping with pain.

Shava smiled at her handiwork, especially as he was an elf, the bane of her existence. This moment of distraction caused her again to let her guard down and be struck by an arrow in her shoulder. She turned her face towards the source of the attack, and noticed the half-Elf at the other end of the room.

‘You… you scum! How dare you side with this piece of filth!’ She exclaimed, pointing to the elf while not looking at him. ‘He hates us! They all hate us for no other reason than because we are better than them! They are blinded by their ignorance to the modern world that they don’t see that their old ways are dying out. You’ve heard and seen it: Jo’s breakup, Mago’s decline, Atmenea’s implosion, hell, even Spring, with its halls of gold and beings of honour is slowly being driven into the ground! And yet you dare side with these things that call themselves wise? Your utter dishonour is only trumped by their arrogance!’

Talos paused for a second, thinking about what she had just said. He’d never really thought about it that way – having grown up and known both sides of his family, and grown up in Squoma, a reasonably diverse place, he’d never really felt that sort of discrimination from elves. He did acknowledge it existed however – hence he wasn’t so surprised with Rathron’s attitude to him. What he did realise though was that no matter what he said or did, Shava would probably still try and kill him.

‘I try not to think about that sort of thing too much,’ Talos remarked, ‘lest I forget about the situation at hand!’

Shava looked confused for a second, before feeling a sharp pain cut through her body and throw her sideways.

‘This half elf may not exactly have the same opinions as you’, Rathron commented, standing up and holding his spell book, ‘but he certainly has a better ability to keep his focus!’

Shava looked at Rathron with her face showing a mix of confusion, anger and pain.

‘And to tell you the truth: I’m sure you’ll live to regret this!’

Rathron threw his hands in the direction of Shava once more, and she collapsed onto the floor, finally incapacitated.

***

‘Mr Talos? What would you like, drink’s on me.’

The party were sitting in a tavern on the outskirts of Gorack, the capital of Masportana and the closest city to the abandoned mine. Shava had been taken to the Masportana authorities.

‘It really is a shame though,’ commented Talos, ‘that we never did find that mask again’

‘It is lamentable,’ replied Rathron, ‘it was an artefact of immense magical interest.’

‘Well, I’d better be off. My commander won’t be particularly happy that I just up and ran half way across the continent! Thanks for the drink though, Rathron.’ Said Joshua

‘My pleasure. I can’t imagine we could have got through without you.’

The human downed his drink, grabbed his things, then left the tavern.

Rathron also took a swig from his drink. ‘Let me tell you something, Talos.’

‘Hm?’

‘What Shava said? It got me thinking. She isn’t making it up, the elves are dying out. A mystery I have yet to solve. But it also dawned on me that you creatures such as yourself as the future of Birras. Crosses, mixups, I could even call it mistakes.’

‘Ouch. And I thought you weren’t being a total jerk for once.’

‘Let me finish. You have magical aptitude from your Elven side, I can feel it. And yet you have the flexibility and resilience of a human. You see where I’m going with this?’

‘I’m actually not a mistake?’

‘Well, no. Never mind then, I guess I overestimated your intellect.’ Rathron left the table and started to walk to the back. ‘If you need me, I’ll be in my room.’

Talos sighed, downed his drink, then called for another.

Journal of Rathron, Year 1077, 48th day of the Summer Season

I have recently acquired a most mysterious mask. It is imbued with magical qualities that even I cannot fathom, it must be from the Nesamer Era. Due to its sword-like markings, I have named it ‘The Mask of Maesroton’, as from my knowledge of Nesamer Gods Maesroton was that of War. Unfortunately, it seems that its latest owner has spent all the energy residing in this mask for herself, leaving me to wonder what power truly lies behind it. I have concealed my ownership of it from my companion, lest he attempt to take it for himself. I am currently in Gorack, and plan on immediately departing for Meko in the morning, so that I might console with my peers regarding this latest development. What lies behind it, I believe, no, I am certain, that I will soon know.

Next Chapter: A troll mystery