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SYNOPSIS: A young, bitter Elf undertakes a solitary journey, in search of a weapon that could be the last hope of his people.
had never seen snow before. It wasn’t the kind of weather that Elves
traditionally preferred, and so they had little to do with snow.
shakily out of his boat, Jorr’s foot sank deep into a mass of the
damp substance. If the wetness of the sea couldn’t get through his
oiled leather boots, he knew this snow would fare no better. Still,
the cold was unpleasant.
stood and stretched, satisfied that he could do so after three long
days on the sea. He looked out over the vastness of icy, dark gray
water he had just crossed and frowned. It had taken so long, it was
hard to believe that he had sailed across the narrowest part.
Crossing that water again was not something to look forward to.
another thought – depending on what he found here, maybe he wouldn’t
any event, he was here now. He still had a good distance to travel if
the maps were correct.
grasped the side of the small boat that had been his home for the
past three days and pulled it completely onto the shore.
snow had stopped falling, yet there was plenty of it already on the
ground here. The day was overcast, but was beginning to get darker,
and the wind wasn’t helping with cold or visibility. Waves of snow
dust were washing over him. He pulled the hood of his cloak over his
bald head. He had waited too late. The hood had collected snow inside
of it, and now it fell down past the side of his face and down his
a vile substance!
resigned himself to the sensation, then looked around some more. The
snow-covered beach was stark white, contrasted with a row of dark,
dead trees a short distance away.
very lonely place.
dragged the boat through the snow up towards the trees. He was so
tired, but he had to get to those trees and start a fire, or he might
fall asleep and freeze to death.
that happened, the hope of the Elven people would die with him.
the small pouch he carried reminded him of how painfully little food
he had been able to bring. The Elves had little enough at all in
these dark times, and Jorr had hidden away as much as he could before
his trip. It was not mucht. He had hoped for a bountiful forest where
he could hunt, but as the island had grown into view bit by bit he
had realized the forest was dead.
as the Elders had said it would be.
were right about this, but that didn’t mean they were right about
everything. In Jorr’s opinion, the Elders were wrong about most
everything, and were not relevant any longer. Only a little time
left, and they would see that he was right. Although he was but fifty
years of age, and considered a child, he felt he was the one seeing
reality, while the Elders were content to meekly accept their fate.
Jorr realized that he was standing around freezing instead of
building his fire.
his boat by the forest edge, he made his way through the trees and
found what he considered to be an acceptable spot to make a fire.
There was a row of trees grown tightly enough together to block much
of the wind and the snow, so beside them the ground was only lightly
opened his pack and withdrew the Fire Element.
dull red rock glowed warm in his hands. Powerful guilt came over him.
Although snow was new to him, the Elven people were no strangers to
cold. They lived in a land that was nearly all desert, and the nights
were as mercilessly cold as the days were hot. It seemed every night
you would wish for the same burning sun that you cursed during the
Elements were precious. They represented the last vestiges of magic
the Elves still possessed. Supposedly they were used as children’s
fireworks back in the Before-Times, but now the few they had left
were critical to surviving the cold nights of the ShirraLand Expanse
where the Elves resided.
Elves were now taught to make a fire as soon as they could hold a
stick, so Jorr knew he could make one from the wood in these dead
trees if necessary, but he couldn’t take the chance that there would
be no forest here. He had to be sure he could survive his journey, so
he had stolen one of the Fire Elements the night he left.
would all be worth it. He did this not for himself, but for all the