Posted by davidludwig
Nov 30 2011

Elaria – Fantasia

Storm Keep, the sacred fortress built to house the World Scepter. It seemed ages since Elaria had last set foot in its halls. Of course, this time it would be more accurate to say she was setting talon in the halls. How quickly she had forgotten what it felt like to be human, but seeing Storm Keep again brought it back. These days freedom was a warm thermal beneath her wings, but once upon a time Elaria had a very different conception of freedom.

Blinking, Elaria turned her gaze down to her sleeping companions below. Yezen had been a blessing these last years. The cruelest aspect of being reduced to a mere animal was no longer being able to communicate with people, share the stories and lore that were Elaria’s deepest passion. The beastmaster understood her as plainly as if she retained the facility for speech and so eased her pain. Elise’s spell of transfiguration was unique, its power unequaled and its persistence unrivaled.

As a woman, Elaria had been used to dealing with the highest orders of magic—she was part of the party that originally enshrined the Three Relics in their sacred places. Storm Keep had been the last, and closest to Magica Valley. Elaria and her fellows had believed the Relics were too powerful to reside in mortal hands. Indeed Elise’s goal was nothing less than remaking Fantasia itself.

Yezen thought he knew Elaria so well, but now as they drew closer to Magica and the center of Elise’s power, the falcon finally began to feel guilt for all she hadn’t told her closest friend and only confidant of these last years. Unfortunately Yezen was a simple gnome at heart, and much of what Elaria had kept to herself would be beyond him anyway.

While not caring for the cat, Andromalus, Elaria could sympathize with his frustrations of having been robbed of his prodigious talents by Elise’s unbreakable spell. His theory was that killing Elise would shatter her magic, and that was a good theory. The truth however, was that even Elise might not know how to break her spell—there might not be a way short of direct divine intervention by a greater deity. It was even possible that Elise’s magic was so great not even the gods could break it. Elaria certainly had never encountered its equal and she had once walked the halls of gods. Lesser gods anyway.

Still, Elaria was opposed to Andromalus’ wish to slay Elise. Elaria didn’t want that, it wouldn’t be worth being human again to do so over Elise’s dead body. Poor sweet Elise, the path she had chosen for herself was no less taxing than the one forced on Audrey.

Elaria would have lived out the rest of her days as a falcon, and been happy with Yezen’s company; but the game had changed. Elise was pushing things too far now, and the girl from another world had appeared with signs undeniable. Elaria knew the marks of destiny; and Audrey Prince had a great one before her—even the Mantle of the Silver Moon thought so, and the Mantle had never failed to fall into the hands of a spell-caster who achieved greatness.

In a way, Elaria had been freed by Elise’s curse. As a mere falcon she couldn’t and therefore wasn’t obligated to oppose the sorceress. However much Elaria disapproved of Elise’s choices, she had to admit she had been happy to stay out of Elise’s way. But then Elaria had met Audrey.

Ultimately Elise’s fate would be in Audrey’s hands. Audrey didn’t want to fight, and that only strengthened Elaria’s conviction that Audrey was a blessed Chosen One. Andromalus’ selfish wishes were no ground for getting involved; but if Audrey Prince made the choice to battle Elise then Elaria would support her all the way—even if it meant forcing her poor misguided Elise to kill her this time.







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