My name is Binyë, I was a proud member of the Ellin forest tribe. My ancestors told us that we were expelled from Elfheim about two thousand years ago, banished to our current world. This was an old tale which occurred long before I was born.
For many years my people have tried to find their way back home, but were never successful. Finally, three years ago a clue was discovered about the World Tree. It was a chance to return to our homeland. All the scattered Elven tribes united under one banner, and marched on the so called Pit. We were even accompanied by the Elder green dragon and her four children who have long been the protectors of our people.
My role in all this was only to care for the weak and elderly, by Elven standards I was still relatively young.
None of our people had ever considered defeat to be an option. Only the young ambassador which had originally gone to confirm the rumors argued against such action, but no one listened.
Unfortunately the result of the battle was quite gruesome. Among those of us who participated, few managed to escape with their lives. Most had died at the hands of the powerful Lich turning to dust. Only the few that had died by other means were able to be revived by the Elder dragon. They then managed to escape but were for the most part easily captured by human slavers.
Although the rest of us tried to rally and save our brethren, we completely failed. Instead, a full-scale Elf hunting and enslavement expedition was launched.
Humans were truly cruel beings, taking advantage of my people during such a trying time.
They who had built their glory and civilization thanks to our guidance, had now turned on us. They attacked our villages and enslaved our people whether we resisted or not.
Their reason was this.
“ You are a bunch of low lives for daring to attack Necropolis.”
It was a simple logic brought on by the wondrous new products which Necropolis had unleashed on the continent. Revolutionary foods, improved weaponry, jewelry, etc. Everything was of the highest quality but the prices were still competitive, allowing them to easily control the market. Hunting and enslaving the Elves in order to have the chance to trade with Necropolis was both a justified and lucrative cause.
Overnight my former human friends had become enemies, it was already much too late for our species. With the exception of some secluded High-Elves, most of my people had been captured. Even our formidable warriors weren’t able to put up much of a fight, having been exhausted from the recent war.
I was no exception, although I had originally managed to evade capture, after around one year of being on run I was put in shackles by the humans.
One day a guard had come to my slave merchants’ place of business and proclaimed.
“We come with a royal order to conscript all Elven slaves.”
There was little different between our lives as slaves and those of convicted felons. We were treated as beasts and our future was bleak. I couldn’t blame many of my people for choosing to commit suicide, although I managed to stay somewhat positive.
I had shared my optimism with one of my colleagues, but he responded to me.
“It’s because you’re a little girl who knows nothing of the world. Your hope is the privilege of the ignorant.”
Although I had become angry at the time, he was probably right.
“You have all become slaves of Necropolis, now get ready to move.”
It was a declaration made by one of the kingdom’s officials, and we had promptly been moved to several carriages. They herded us like animals and many of us didn’t survive the trip. Still, these deaths made little difference considering the large number of us Elven slaves. Endless carriages for as far as the eye could see, I wondered if it was the entirety of my people.
“Have you heard the rumors? There are monsters in Necropolis!”
“I’ve heard rumors that they feed on Elves!”
“Why did our leader try fight against the King of the Pit? Even the dragon’s couldn’t manage!”
Sighs were let out here and there. However, unlike them I still held some hope. I had seen the wondrous products created by Necropolis during my time on the run. I figured that a city that could produce such wonderful things couldn’t been so barbaric.
I still held hope that Necropolis would be a heavenly city for artisans, that could craft and produce food better than even us Elves ever could.
It was nighttime when we had arrived on the outskirts of the city.
“From here on out we continue on foot.”
The slaves were brought down from the carriages one at the time and put in shackles so they couldn’t escape.
Looking up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A village in the Elven forest always had a natural beauty to it. The cities of men were often dirty and disorganized in comparison, but still had a homey feel to them, the imperfection of the humans.
However the city before me was the likes of which I had never seen. A stone tree birthed from the ground, and shining brightly in the dark night. The rock woven together to create a masterpiece.
I was not the only one who gaped in amazement. Our entire convoy stopped to stare, crying out in shock at the beauty before us.
“Quickly! Get a move on! I don’t want to miss today’s games.”
We were all waddling along, staring at the gorgeous sight therefore moved very slowly. Our overseers were unhappy with our slow speed and we were flogged often.
Although it was painful, our thoughts remained on the majestic city before us. None of us could believe that the people who built this place were barbaric enough to feast on our flesh.
“How nice would it be if we could live in that city?”
Although Elves held an affinity for nature, it was impossible not to admire the this city. Despite it being made out of stone and most likely created by those dirty dwarves, it didn’t change our attraction to it.
“If the city is so beautiful I wouldn’t mind be a slave so much.”
Many of us had spent the last few years hunted and on the run. A fate which was even worse than that of a slave, that is why we were so accepting of our fates.
We walked for quite some time before arriving to what appeared to be the royal palace.
It was a grandiose construction with towers so high they seemed to pierce the heavens.
The drawbridge rose and we were escorted into the main courtyard and waited there as thousands of us came in. Finally, the last had arrived and we had all but filled up the place.
The courtyard had been constructed with precious stones and a tall observatory could be seen on one end of the palace gardens. The top of it was decorated with lavish gems and giave of an ominous and oppressive feeling.
Elves were very sensitive creatures and could predict danger using their sixth sense. For that reason, all the Elves in the courtyard were now looking up to the observation tower, as if faced with a mortal enemy.
“Do you think they brought all of us here only to then slaughter us?”
“Damn demons! Why have you done this to us?”
“If you wanted us dead why have you spared our warriors?”
A commotion broke out amongst the elves. It was a situation where their enemy had even defeated their protector dragons, so they were powerless against him.
A thunderous voice rang out and quelled there disruption. None were able to breathe let alone speak out.
“ You are all members of a foolish race which chose to act against my husband. If it were up to me I would burn you all but he is a merciful King, and has allowed you all to live as slaves.”
With such insulting words we had every right to be angry, but we were all instead filled with hope and ambition.
“But if any of you try to betray us and try to rebel, I will give you a death that is worse than a thousand years of torture regardless of what my companion thinks… wait, stop that Johra!”
She helplessly let out a booming laughter.
“Ha ha ha ha!”
We were all so nervous that we chose to follow and laugh along, creating an incredibly awkward situation.
“Quiet! Do you all want to die? No! Johra stop or I’ll bite you!”
Apparently the voice had been annoyed by King Johra’s interruption. It was clearly a lovers quarrel which made us women envy that she was married to the ruler of such a magnificent city.
“Hmm, good all quiet. Anyways you should thank my husband who has saved your life from the cruel nobels. However I don’t want to simply feed and take care of useless mouths, you will be required to work to earn your keep. Use your work here as atonement for your mistaken invasion, and be thankful to my merciful husband who is allowing you to live in this beautiful city! No…Johra! Hiiing. You guys can go to your accommodations now. Alpeon, lead them away. Johra bother me when I have my serious voice! HHing~”
The last tone was definitely lovely and charming. They must truly love each other. We had just learned about our bleak future here as slaves but none of us could refute her words.
Obviously the voice from before had been a dragon, us Elves could easily recognized the voice as our people had long been acquainted with them. It would be incredibly stupid of anyone to try and cross a dragon.
We agreed with her claim. The reason we became slaves was that we invaded the nest of a powerful dragon, so the result was understandable.
“It’s a monster!”
“Stop making useless noise and proceed to your designated dormitories. The number you have each been assigned with will guide you to your new rooms.
A shining golden creature with a human’s torso and the lower body of a termite guided us and he spoke.
We arrived to a large stone building. We were disappointed upon seeing its simple and rugged exterior and sad to learn that it would be our new home. However when I arrived inside I was truly surprised upon seeing the room. Each accomodation included two rooms which were quite spacious. There was a well crafted bed and a desk with paper to write on.
It was a place fit for a noble, not a slave.
“Is… this really my room?”
“From the outside we couldn’t notice it, but it’s really well made indoors. Look at this wood, it looks alive! It must have been made by someone who knows trees well!”
Us Elves were very close to nature, so we could appreciate the craftsmanship of the beautiful furniture.
“Just what is going on here?”
It was a child who would share the room with me, a little girl named Pirin. Despite her young appearance, she was brilliant and mature. Elves aged very slowly so even one that looked like a child could be wise and experienced.
“I think Necropolis is testing us.”
I said the first thing that came to mind.
Pirin asked me.
“A test to see whether or not we are worthy of joining Necropolis.”
“Why would they go through the trouble?”
Pirin replied, clearly confused.
Necropolis is a city for all creatures that were persecuted by the humans, that would definitely apply to us right now.”
“But aren’t we slaves?”
“I think it might be because in the past we attacked Necropolis.”
“What choice did we have, since returning to our homeland has always been our people’s greatest desire?”
“Well that’s just our perspective, from their point we were definitely the invaders.”
“Should we even be talking about this outloud?”
I continued discussing it all night long with Pirin in hushed voices but were unable to come to a conclusion. The only thing we had agreed upon was that we knew too little about the reasoning behind our peoples invasion.
We soon fell soundlessly asleep, drowning in the comforts of a bed which we had not had for so long.
Knock Knock Knock