“It is said that Elves always walk in a light akin to the glow of the Moon. Their hair is like spun gold, woven silver or polished jet, and starlight glimmers all about them on their hair, eyes, silken clothes and jewelled hands.” – From a Bestiary, Anon.
She woke in pain, sharp pain that danced across her forehead in antagonising tendrils. On another quiet night with the sheets pooled around her body, the young elf unconsciously entwined slender hands together and stared at the blank wall opposite her bed. From her bedroom upstairs she heard her mother working away at the potions and the essences which sustained them and their upkeep, and despite her fear she felt a reluctance to intrude on her mother’s peace.
Looking beyond the open window, a night wind crept through and ruffled her hair, touching, soothing her sweaty neck and brushed away the last of her fears. She turned, and slept.
The sun hung high and touched Maryn’s face with the most intrusive of rays, resulting in an elf who stumbled around, dressing. There was no mistaking the time, the room was flooded with light and with a sense of fear she pounded downstairs with hands trailing on the banister.
"Morning, Maryn." Her mother didn't look up from her mortar and pestle and a twinge of guilt fluttered through her stomach when her eyes landed on a spotless duplicate of the tool. She hastily tied her locks with a ribbon fished from her pocket and began pounding away at blue quartz in earnest, when she was interrupted by a light reminder to have breakfast.
"We're going to the Markets, I'd like you to get ready." Maryn put down her utensils and crept upstairs again, the guilt weighing even heavier than before on an already burdened mind. She had neither forgotten nor made sense of the previous night's events yet, as she gazed into her mirror; there was no sign of physical illness in her face.
The same deep brown eyes, the same swathes of hair framing her face. Dark blue, the hair was, an odd, unique and extremely unnatural shade that contrasted against her naturally pale skin. Her ears were covered, purposely, for instead of the long pointed ears that elves boast, Maryn owned an oddly rounded version. Her mother was obviously an elf, mother and daughter had the same elongated, graceful features so that no one could dispute their race but the ears and hair colour were quite simply a mystery.
After a more appropriate, less worn tunic was chosen and her favourite moon necklace entwined her neck, she rushed to help pack up the goods, thousands of spirit restorations and health essences were stowed away in safety and she nodded at the neighbour, who would take them on the back of the cart.
"Ye don't want to be caught in those mines, ye never know what type of miners there'll be." The elderly elf said, with a patronising smile directed at Maryn. Sheltered she had been from an early age, she had known very few playmates who weren't elves and when in the busier parts of town, she had never been able to roam in the streets without a guardian hanging off her arm. She longed to break into the conversation about the economy and ask about her tortured nights when inevitably, the horses stopped and tossed their heads at some unseen danger.
"Wolves." The elder jumped down and withdrew a rather rustic looking sword, causing the girl to bite down on her lips to repress laughter. Instead, she mouthed words that held no conscious meaning for her and as the horses quietened, so did her two companions. Her mother looked at her sharply but did not dare reproach her in front of a stranger and Maryn was left to her thoughts as the cart bumped and trundled along.
The passing trees and wildlife held no interest to her as thoughts crowded her brain, why she could always sense the wolves she could not explain. There seemed to be a peculiar understanding between her and the animals, and her very favourite moon necklace was taken from the den of a wolf. After hoarding her treasure for days, she had finally summoned the courage to approach her mother about it but received nothing but a sad smile and a, 'it's beautiful'.
When the glaring morning sun finally receded, the cart had approached the hustle and bustle of the Markets. People of all different races rushed about, voices calling, telling customers that their goods were cheaper and indeed of higher quality than others. Maryn gazed about her in fascination, fingers suddenly itching for a pencil and paper to record this scene that was so much different to her home life. They reached the stand they shared and as her mother began arranging items on the counter, she was giving a small purse of coins and was told to walk with 'Uwe' amongst the stalls.
"It was very kind of you to bring my mother and I here," Maryn spoke formally and yet her eyes flickered from the clothes to the swords, the foods to the jewellery, her sharp sight drinking in the details and the vivacity of the environment.
Uwe the elder had given her an equally courteous answer when she realised she had been walking too quickly for him; she was alone. Though the noises had ever increased in volume, her twisting of her head and yells for his attention brought her nothing but unwanted attention from strangers. She hung her head and tried to blend in, however her frantic yells had attracted leering smiles and grim faces all alongside her.
Maryn walked fast, her feet turning in the opposite direction her sightseeing had brought her when she realised the yelling was only getting louder, and it was coming from a fighting arena. Intrigued, nervous and overwhelmingly curious she touched the edge of the crowd and watched the two fighters circle each other.
With armour, shields and strangely glowing weapons and all the two humans paced, lunged, and dodged to the overpowering screams of the crowd. She couldn't figure out why her attention was drawn onto the older, wearier fighter, until she realised his hair was a precise shade of dark blue.