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Articles: Vampiris Sancti: The Elf

Monday, March 18, 2013 - 12:36 AM, (1385 Reads)

Elves have mastered four elements that ensure their survival in the harshest of environments; they lie exceptionally well, their preference for the unexpected is constant, they can often hide in plain sight, and if worse comes to worse they can seduce their way into safety. Zyre is no exception as she uses all her magical abilities to escape being stalked by a dangerous demon prince.
The universe a magical elf Zyre is from co-exists with both human and demon worlds, only reached by a doorway called the Reveal. A doorway she is forced to use to escape an arranged marriage. What should have been nothing more than the lark of stealing chocolate in the human world instead, has her making pacts with vampires as she challenges the entire Empire. The local prince thinks he can handle both Zyre and the plots of a bandit, but then again trust a demon to believe they are the most dangerous creature around.

Her foray into this new world has her in the midst of strange political factions, bandits, and vampire schemes while attempting to protect the vulnerable humans. The unrelenting pursuit of her by an obsessed demon brings the world to the brink of invasion by demon Raiders led by his scorned bride. As Zyre faces the actuality of power within the universe she struggles with the notion of friendship, loyalty, the reality of her world, the choice of whether to pursue the dangerous decision of revenge, or give into the obsessive love of another.

Vampiris Sancti: The Elf
Look, there's no metaphysics on earth like chocolates.
Fernando Pessoa

It was Beb who warned her and the unexpected intervention of a Pixie was as contradictory as the drunken slur of his voice against the perfection of features that suggested sobriety.
“I am the weep for dreams lost in the foolish while my tears are visions and we are abandoned until known no more.”
If the Elf was affected by the drunk rambling, she revealed nothing. She had been aware of the askew wanderings of the Pixie who, if she had not known better, appeared to be stalking her. Zyre was trying to keep a low profile, an unusual attitude for an Elf, but she had felt the hum of interest following her about. It had been her experience that attention tended to follow those that the Elders were about to honour. This would be either, an impossible task or an impossible situation, and she would care to discover neither because she was certain if the Elders were involved it would bode well for no one.
She’d been slipping between the worlds of the Reveal effortlessly—well except for a few demon worlds—as it would be a very foolish Elf who wandered into a Martyc world. Those able to travel the various worlds without fracturing into paranoia found themselves borrowed by the Elders to perform tasks that could be dangerous or even worse—boring. Zyre didn’t want to become a prisoner of the institution—she wasn’t civic-minded nor had any inclination to serve her community, so she kept herself out of the way of those around her. The Pixie had noticed her even in his drunk ramblings, and he had fluttered lopsidedly between the tables until landing in a manner anything except graceful while his ruby eyes offered Zyre a stare best described as glazed.
“He speaks of death from the Outerworlds, the scourge who speaks of death.”
Pixies could enter any tavern aware that they would never foot the bill for their drinks as there was always a bounty of those willing to ply the mercurial creature with gin. Those doing so were hoping the drunken ramblings of the Pixie would contain gossip of a titillating, amusing, or shocking nature. If the Elders worried about the drinking habits of their chatty messengers they took no action, but then it did take a keen mind to decipher the rancid prose they tended to use as conversation. Beb was no exception, and Zyre poured him another beer in the hope he would spew out what he was trying to share or leave her in peace. He was in no hurry and managed the impossible feat of fluttering while sitting in a chair at the same time while regaling Zyre with muddled phrases of eloquent nonsense. In normal circumstances, she wouldn’t bother to stick around to watch a Pixie get drunk but he had singled her out which meant the information concerned her.
“The eye of the flower weeps for evil has no home.”
She did her best not to pinch him, for the musings of a Pixie was never the best entertainment. In general, the natures of Elves and Pixies didn’t lend to friendship since an aloof existence was the safest avenue for survival—except that she almost knew him. A while back, she had tipped him off when a Perhk demon the thief of the Reveal was about to cheat him in a deal involving the precious juniper spirit called gin. It wasn’t that she cared a great deal about Pixies since they tended to vomit on your shoes and sing horrid dirges for hours. Her interest was bound to that particular demon who had managed to annoy her with his usual demon stupidity, and one didn’t annoy an Elf without consequence. The disrespect of the demon that caused her anger was more attached to his ill-conceived arrogance than his actions because the offensive creature had tried to relieve her of some shalurs. The shiny marbles of iridescent colours were poor cousins to the highly prized cerilort, yet still highly valued. While Perhks were good, he wasn’t that good, and the shiny gems—currency in some worlds—child’s plaything in another—remained safely in her possession.
“Aruuuuugh,” the Pixie made a sound between a burp and a yelp, his breath stinking in her face.
Months later she discovered the selfsame demon attempting to cheat a magical creature out of the rare delicacy—human gin. In the magical world, the only alliance was against outside forces and even then, Elves were well known for their lack of observable empathy. They were not cruel, uncaring creatures; they simply couldn’t cope with the intense demands of an emotional interior. Elves preferred to remain the observer, unapproachable, uncontrollable, and sometimes instigator of the tragedies of the Reveal. In this instance the lure of gin from the human realm, using that special flavour of juniper, had set the Pixie into paroxysms of delight. Anything from the human realm usually came from the extremely expensive and highly regulated Martyc Empire, and the only thing an Elf loved more than upsetting a demon was upsetting a Martyc demon. The deal with the Perhk was thwarted, and the Pixie despite being confused by unusual Elf kindness never forgot the favour.
She endured an hour of something resembling mangled poetry. Pixies couldn’t speak in a straightforward manner, and it took a rather determined soul to suffer their doggerel. Zyre found herself reaching her limit of universal pondering as she tugged at her copper hair with her small fingers while her kaleidoscope eyes merged seamlessly between blue and green. Elves were deceptive, not only in spirit but also in body, so her delicate features and fine-boned structure gave her a fragile appearance of one requiring protection. Lulled by the non-threatening aspect of her appearance the victims of her pranks or wrath were always surprised that such beauty could conceal great mayhem. The Pixie was of a sturdier frame, with ruby eyes and beauty to rival hers. All magical creatures, except Gnomes and Goblins, were possessed of exceptional beauty that entranced the demon worlds that shared their multiverse—the Reveal. After muddling her head with his nonsensical musings, the Pixie spewed forth what kept him tied to the Elf.
Reeking of Gnomes’ beer and a heartbeat away from starting a dirge his leer approximated the link of friendship as he tapped his forehead to make a point.
“I know of a missive,” he said cryptically.
The Elf refilled his glass since it was best to keep Pixies lubricated as their coherence was linked to sobriety, and the more sober a Pixie the less coherent their conversation.
“So you say,” she replied.
The uninterested tone of her response was no more than façade as Pixies were the messengers delivering information to and from the Elders. If the Pixie had information that was important enough to seek her out then it was serious enough to garner something she rarely gave—her full attention.
Beb continued, “They have plans, wanting friendship with this Martyc, a most powerful Xatn on many worlds.”
“Blinkity bah, when demons learn not to bother us with politics?” Her annoyance crackled.
He rolled his eyes as if attempting to sort this information from the many other messages crammed in his mind. Then he spoke in the shortcut magical beings used as they sensed via the atmosphere rather than listened to words.
“There be renegade, the Martyc who attacks the Empire. Elders like peace of current Xatn, with this prince there be no more wars for anyone.”
Their eyes became opaque with memories of the last demon war for while the magical realm had never lost a war against demons, and probably never would, it was the aftermath that was far more brutal than the actual battles. Magical—the most powerful of the Reveal were also the most fractured schizoid beings that barely coped with the brutality of truth. Battles might be won, invaders expelled, entire demon worlds demolished, but there was no celebration of victory when entire Fairy Cartocs committed suicide, Gnomes hid underground for a generation, Pixies ceased to function, and Elves absconded to farthest recesses of the multiverse. Of all the worlds within the Reveal, it was a contradiction that the creatures profuse with talents were also the least stable in their psychological makeup. The Martyc rule had brought peace to most of the Reveal so while an attack from other demon races was unlikely those wishing to harm a Martyc would consider attacking the world they valued the most. It was well known that Martycs loved Elves for they were the women sought in the union of marriage and sometimes if they were lucky, Elves would love them back.
“Martyc Xatn has asked for alliance—he wants Elf and the Elders are to give you.”
Blue seeped into green as her kaleidoscope eyes became a stormy teal, “He asked for an Elf or for me?”
Beb let out a huge belch that scented the air with an alcoholic haze and Zyre fanned the space between them as he replied, “Vryn Dhaigre knows of an Elf who lost him a great deal of money on Heristrah.”
He stopped for a minute as his face wrinkled with amusement, “That be you Zyre!”
Zyre sighed as she searched a mind filled with memories of transgressions too numerous to account. She had visited the pleasure world of Heristrah years ago, a place where rich demons sought expensive pursuits such as gambling. The local Martyc was the usual arrogant demon, strong, compelling, and annoying as all Martycs tended to be, but not a Xatn yet. Once he had known of her presence he chased until she let him find her, for the game was not fun unless he was witness to her mischief. She might have enjoyed his fascination if she had not been so busy avoiding entanglement, as what a Martyc desired was rarely what an Elf offered. The Elders wanted to align themselves with an immensely rich and powerful demon, so an Elf marriage would cement a strong treaty. Zyre was no fool because if the Elders wished for an alliance, and if marriage was the seal with her name mentioned then she would be the one offered up as a sacrifice. Politicians happily tossed their unsuspecting citizens into any fire if it was a means to their goals, and her world was no different in its political machinations.
Zyre smiled at him because, despite the threat of being dumped into marriage, her Elf nature couldn’t resist challenging the Elders.
“They can’t give me if they can’t find me!”
Beb hiccupped, “Don’t go to Outerworlds, they be dirty there, full of Raiders and dead mice.”
His advice fell into empty space for the Elf had already dissolved as Elves tended to when they were done with conversation. Zyre, aware that the Elders would pressure her into this hell for the so-called good of the majority, decided that the only path available to her was obvious. If she absconded across the Reveal before official contact was made then she couldn’t be forced to serve their purpose. She briefly considered going to her Maz, the one who raised her, as she had never known her parents. Their own mothers rarely brought up Elves and they sent their daughters home to be raised by surrogates. Elf mothers believed their demon sons required their presence more than their daughters and so sacrificed keeping their family intact. She had a brother somewhere once but her entire family died, which was a very unusual occurrence in the magical world. This left Zyre an orphan without ties. She sighed because she knew her Maz would tell her to obey the edicts of her government, something the wayward Elf had no interest in at the best of times.
She dissolved before the doorway into the multiverse, which was poorly guarded by two surly Gnomes. Sturdy creatures of bad tempers and voracious appetites they were—despite their small stature—almost impossible to overpower. Their faces were gnarled like walnuts and covered with impressive beards that were grown for both the prestige and the useful ability of strangling an opponent in battle. They had the usual conversation of sharing stale jokes since they weren’t the most imaginative of magical creatures.
“You—Gnome,” said one.
“Yes Gnome,” responded his comrade.
“How many rocks can I fit in my hand?”
“More than a Viznix.”
The pair fell about laughing at the well worn joke as everyone knew Viznix had no arms and did all the famous metalwork from their world with their feet. Zyre took a shalur from her pocket and gave the beautiful marble of iridescent colours one last look, yet had no regrets as she heaved it away from the doorway. Young Elves such as Zyre were attached to remarkably little, whether it was objects, people, or places. This gave them the opportunity to mature without baggage before facing the emotional upheaval of bonding. She watched the greedy Gnomes push at each other as they chased after the glowing gem. Their attention was distracted for only a few seconds, but for an Elf that was all she ever needed.
Travelling the corridor between worlds was an uncomfortably tight squeeze between walls made from a wave of energy. It passed around and through the traveller until bones ached and heads pounding from stress threatened to burst from the force. It could be a dangerous process, and those of a feeble physical structure were often unable to survive the journey. Magical beings with their ability to become an ethereal presence found the passage mildly annoying, and sturdy demons noticed nothing at all. Vampires couldn’t go until Ancient since their survival depended upon the strength of their age, and humans were not known to survive passage through to multiverse.
It was the stench—it slammed her, left her breathless. This first venture into the world of humans was a sortie into filth as unfamiliar as it was disturbing. Zyre had left her pristine magical world the second the Pixie spilled his news, knowing that soon the Elders would be on her trail. She departed swiftly, and arrived hoping that none would notice a strange new visitor suddenly appearing. The Elf had planned to visit this world and tried many times, but was always distracted by the promise of mischief elsewhere. She had been told that the human world housed the demon mutation called Vampire and a strange breed called humans. These short lived creatures, whilst not magical or strong, were amazing in their innovation and remarkable in their ability to ignore their own environment. All manner of beings floated in and out of this world, however, for the humans only an esoteric few had been graced with the truth. A confident Zyre slipped into the gaps between pedestrians while her graceful entrance matched the flow of traffic, and she believed no one was the wiser to her entrance.
Reeling from her overloaded senses, she quickly turned into an opening from the street as doors across from her invited entrance into a mall. The large glass windows of the shops shone with the reflected glory of world crammed with consumer durables and her eyes hurt from the sharp lines of their shape. She required respite from the relentless noise of this world, zooming carriages, shouting into little boxes, the complaints of disgruntled pedestrians—these humans must be deaf! Offensive scents seeped into the pores of her being, the fumes of industry, transport, and filth clogged her mind leaving her overwhelmed by the shiny new of everything. She sat down on a bench reflecting that even the most vicious of demons were known to clean the blood from their streets. So why was it too much for these creatures to clean the filth from theirs?
She watched the closed tired faces of those who scurried past seeing only prisoners of ambition and woe as snatches of conversation echoed, more, not enough, too much. She couldn’t understand their words as most travellers through the Reveal spoke Giryg, the language of nomadic demons, but she did understand the emotion enveloping them. She wondered if their survival depended upon never seeing more than the span of a foot before them as an entire world was calling out, yet none appeared to heed the song. A man caught the corner of her eye. He was a pale, dormant creature that sat reading a large paper while sipping a drink. The wan face with burning eyes told the Elf this creature only looked human as she did, yet this being was not strongly demon. She stared at her first non-ancient Vampire and wondered how such a weak mutation survived against the comparably robust humans.
He might have noticed the presence of the Elf watching him, for she gave off an unmistakeable floral scent caused by her frequent munching on flowers. However, Elves were masters at hiding in plain sight, so while he could have perceived something he wouldn’t have been able to locate her. She could have sat there for hours in her silent observation if something so wonderful, it was almost magical in quality, had not wafted through the air. The door of one of the shops swung open briefly as a customer exited and the most amazing fragrance floated into the corridor. Zyre was entranced by the smell—what heavenly concoction had the beasts that resided in their own filth manage to create? Zyre abandoned the Vampire because if there were one in clear view then there would be others, and instead she followed the seduction of a new sensation. She entered the store to find herself consumed with the aroma of paradise because Elves relied upon sugar of all sorts as the base to their energy. She could exist by eating fruit, vegetables, and she could absorb energy from living plants but sugar would give the Elf the zap of extra strength. Relishing the wall-to-wall glory of delight, an unobserved Elf carefully opened one of the packets to taste the human creation.
Able to hide at will, and rarely noticed by those busy with life, busy with thoughts, too busy to care, she wandered about the empty store. Two employees stood gossiping behind the counter and while she couldn’t understand their conversation, she knew vicious when she smelled it.
“...oh I know and did you see the dress she wore to dinner? She looked so bloated!”
“What do you expect—she buys bargain off the rack, no style at all. She embarrasses everyone—I had to pretend I didn’t know her.”
The heady delight of this discovery was the excellence of chocolate and Zyre ignored the snatches of a conversation as she was too busy slipping bars into every pocket she possessed. Mindful of being a first time visitor she didn’t steal the chocolate outright as she was unusually flush with shalurs. Leaving one in place of the missing bars, she believed it was more than a fair trade considering the value it had within the Reveal. Returning to the street she crammed the joy of joys into her mouth as this unexpected discovery changed her perspective of this strange world of contradictions.
The mutation Vampire intrigued because he had not found her presence, but then again it usually took an observant demon like Varkja or Poqir to do that. She wondered how many demons currently were on world, and hoped she could stay off their radar since they usually served the Martyc Empire. Elves in general were more inquisitive than friendly, and though they never sought association with others, they were the obsession of many a demon. Those of the Reveal either loved or hated Elves, depending if they had been the victim or had the pleasure of watching one in action. If she had bothered to examine her sudden interest in Vampires, she might have noted it was bound to the potential of sanctuary from the Empire. While she didn’t concern herself with the economics of the Reveal, it was an acknowledged fact the human world was a rich varied cosmos of untold opportunity and somehow the Vampire was an important factor.
High from sugar and satisfied by the excellence of chocolate Zyre hummed a little tune causing those near to her to smile unaware they had heard the song of the Elf. She skipped lightly as she sang deciding she would stay for a bit because this world definitely had possibilities worth exploring.
PURCHASE THE ELF

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