[Written] Children of Men

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[Written] Children of Men

Post  Christen M. on Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:21 pm

Children of Men

Tolinar chuckled and crossed the airy veranda to stand at his friend’s side. “She will be fine, quit this worrying. She is not the first to bring a son into the world, nor the last, and Narielena is a wonderful healer. She will see your wife and son in perfect health.”

Baladin smiled softly, his natural reserve and decorum keeping him from expressing much more than that. His long silver hair was pulled back at the top and held in a beautifully worked clip, and he was dressed in the flowing robes of pale blue that marked him as one of the Keepers. Tolinar had been his friend since their childhood together among the Destined. Baladin had changed Halls, his friend had not. Still, four hundred years had made them the best of friends, and even if the other elf was a bit on the exuberant side, he was glad to have him here at this very auspicious moment.

“I know,” he replied, “But it is my first child, and…” a shadow crossed his delicate features.

Tolinar raised a dark eyebrow. He knew to what his friend referred. There had been whispers of late, in the last century or so, of births gone wrong. Many were never seen again, neither parent nor child. Some said that it was a magical illness, others that it was silly stories. Still, not a would be parent in Silv’An’Dar did not worry that there was truth to the stories.

The Destined placed a reassuring hand on Baladin’s shoulder. “We are in the most glorious city in Phantara, enjoying the beauty and bounty of the Elven Empire. There are not a people upon the face of the land more learned or powerful than we. No harm will come to your family, not here, not now.”
The other elf was about to respond when a scream tore through the room, coming from the parlor where Mileina was giving birth. Without a second thought, both tore through the garden like veranda and burst through the door. What they saw defied even their most horrible nightmares.

Narielena stood, staring down at a bundle of gray silken blankets while Mileina cried fit to break. Both women were ashen. It was the bundle, however, that was the cause of the horror. A beautiful baby, pink and mewing with strong lungs lay there in. Far too pink for the creamy skin of the elves. Far too robust as well. Elven children were fine featured and full of grace, even upon birth. And there was the fact that this child had no points to his ears. None at all. This… this was no elven child.

Baladin fell to his knees in the doorway, a keen of despair slipping past his normally stalwart reserve. Tolinar met Narielena's eyes across the expanse of the well-appointed room. She nodded. With slow and deliberate steps she made her way back to the bawling child, the child that was not elven. She picked up the tiny bundle with care, as if it would infect her with itself if she touched it. The healer quickly made her way from the room, heedless of his mother’s cries.

“My child! Give me back my child! Narielena!” The cries were shrieks of despair. In but a few moments the elvenwoman was back, her features a frozen mask. She knelt at Mileina’s side and began to sing softly, working some magic.

Tolinar, meanwhile, took up a place at his life long friend’s back, resting his hands on the stricken Keeper’s shoulders. “I’m so very sorry, Baladin. If only we knew why this hum’An’dar plague afflicted our fair folk, such as this would not be necessary. Alas that you and you and your fair wife should be among the cursed.” There was a deep sorrow in the elf’s steady voice.

Baladin turned and looked up at his friend, not quite comprehending the import of his words. “What… what say you? My friend, knew you of this affliction? That it might touch also my household?”

The elf nodded sadly. “We must not allow such horrors to live, my friend. Alas, but it is for the good of our people that this must be done.”
A bright flash of fire told him that Narielena had finished her work, that beautiful and kind Mileina was no more, consumed by the flames, destroyed lest she bring more of the vile beings into existence. It was the duty of those like Narielena and himself to see to it that such travesties of life be destroyed, as well as the cursed parents who had spawned them. The elves could not allow such as they to live, live and continue to infect their kindred with their filthy progeny.

“I am sorry, Baladin, truly. May it be that you find peace among our ancient kin, and that they forgive you for whatever wickedness you have done to create such a monster of a child.” Tolinar summoned his own magic, sending a lethal bolt of lightning into the prone body of his friend, who was consumed until there was nothing left of him.

Narielena came to his side and put her hand in his, a soft sigh escaping her. “I am sorry, I had thought them fine folk.”

He shrugged. “It seems I did not know my friend half so well as I had thought. Had I, perhaps I would have seen his fate much sooner. It is a sorrow that he and his wife were tainted, but we cannot allow personal feelings to interfere with our duty. This abomination must come to an end.” He sighed and turned to her. “And the child?”


“Disposed of, as is the command.”

He nodded. “Who is next to give birth?”

“Den’shara, but it will be a few weeks yet.”

Again, he nodded. “Then let us hope all goes well for her, and that we have at last put an end to this curse.”

The pair left the house in silence, both fearing that the hum’An’dar affliction would not so soon go away.


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Christen M.

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Age : 37

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