by Shir'le E. Illios
Added:2006-06-08 Last Updated: 2006-06-08
The soothing notes of a harp danced through the fresh morning air. Like a fairy causing ripples on a clear, spring pond it touched upon the children already out to play in the orange gleam of the dawn sun. Swirling through the open doors and windows of the small hamlet, it moved around the cobbler' s workplace, defied the beat of the smith's hammer and pulled the people from their homes. As tendrils of smoke spreading from house to house it soon had all those able standing in the street to see the source of the pleasant music.
The soothing notes of a harp danced through the fresh morning air. Like a
fairy causing ripples on a clear, spring pond it touched upon the children
already out to play in the orange gleam of the dawn sun. Swirling through
the open doors and windows of the small hamlet, it moved around the cobbler'
s workplace, defied the beat of the smith's hammer and pulled the people
from their homes. As tendrils of smoke spreading from house to house it soon
had all those able standing in the street to see the source of the pleasant
With the light at her back, almost as if coming from the sun, a figure
approached over the seldom-traveled path. She moved with a certain elegance
that's just beyond human ability, holding a small harp to her shoulder with
one hand and playing it with the other. As she neared they could hear her
dulcet voice, softly singing a song they didn't understand in accompaniment
to the tune. Thus with each slow step her features became clearer; her
relatively small size compared to the villagers, the simple brown-green
cloak swaying around her form, the long braid of white hair hanging in front
of her chest and. her obsidian black skin.
"Drow!" It was as if the peaceful music she played was of little consequence
for as soon as she was recognized as a dark elf, swords were drawn, axes
were readied, and women and children told to hide indoors. Where they had
come to listen they now were in an angry uproar, ready to defend the town
against an invasion of the evil elves. "Your kind is not welcome here," said
old man Flannerty as he stepped forward, his sturdy, oaken staff firm in
hand and ready to defend, ready to kill. "Leave now or die."
But the young drow woman in her slightly worn leather clothes just stood
still in front of the assembled mob and stopped her playing and singing.
"Please," she said in a voice kind and melodious even without the supporting
tune, "I come with no ill intent." She gave a friendly smile, looking at
each of them with hope in her pale, red eyes despite all the weapons trained
One of the younger townsfolk didn't need long to decide. He rushed at her
with a sword little longer than half an arm, intent on murder. "DIE!" he
screamed as he struck at her. But as he did a transparent cone of silvery
light briefly appeared around her, causing him to stagger back. But not
before getting a cut in at her cheek.
She however just wiped the back of her hand across the wound and looked at
the blood smeared across her black fingers with a sad smile. "Please," she
said again, this time directed specifically at the rash youth, "I mean no
"Oh yeah," the young man was obviously angry, but didn't approach her and
her magic again, "then what are you doing with that." He pointed at the
sword she had at her side, half-hidden beneath her cloak.
She looked down at the weapon, briefly touching the pommel as if recalling a
fond memory. But then quickly withdrew her hand as to not give the people
any wrong impressions. "I carry it for protection," she answered his
question honestly, "protection such as my kind so often needs. And surely,
being the capable farmers that you are, you are aware of dangers such as
wolves and bears, bandits and orcs. And there are other, greater evils out
there one would need protection from." A murmur arose from the crowd as if
to include her in those evils. She ignored it and instead directed herself
at their leader. "I beg of you. I come with a message and will take but a
The old farmer was growing impatient, but had lost the heart to just
outright kill this one. "Be quick about it then," he barked at her, "and
then leave this place."
The drow woman inhaled deeply, sighed and softly started playing her harp
again as if to strengthen her resolve. "I have come to tell you that the
fellowship I am part of, the Chosen of Eilistraee, has opened a new place of
gathering. It is open to all of good heart, without exception or
reservation." Her voice was almost singing to the new tune of her harp,
almost but not quite. "If one needs refuge then one can find it there. If
one needs aid we will do our utmost to provide it, whatever it is. And of
course we are there to receive those wishing to follow the Dark Maiden. Know
that we only wish friendship."
After the short speech the sudden silence seemed strange, as if something
was expected of them. Finally Flannerty spoke up. "Mmm, so you do." He
seemed a bit more relaxed now, wasn't holding his staff in front of him like
a shield anymore. "Well, you'll find no takers here. So you best run off to
whatever dark hole you crawled out of and never show your face here again.
You or your treacherous kin."
"I will," she said with a smile as she curtsied before the old man, "thank
you for listening." With that she turned around and, shielding her eyes from
the glaring sun with her arm, walked off the way she came singing a cheerful
verse-in elven this time. All the villagers could do was stand there and
watch her move away. A few tried to argue with their leader to go after her
and kill her, but the man hushed them. Soon after making certain she was
truly gone they returned to their homes and shops, getting back to their
Through all this you stood in the shadows of an alleyway, taking it all in.
None had seen you, you're certain. That is what you're good at. And nobody
knew you'd be here. Yet somehow you've got the feeling the strange drow
woman's words were directed more at you than at anyone else. Your curiosity
roused, you decide to find out more about these 'Chosen of Eilistraee'.
Chosen of Eilistraee © Shir'le E. Illios
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