Background: Forest Prince

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  • Forest Prince

    Table Of Contents


    I awoke to learn my fate, surprised to have woken at all. Of all the
    horrors I pictured, to become an overgrown nightingale in a briar
    cage never crossed my mind. It seemed to my captor I was just another
    exotic acquisition meant to entertain him, another trophy joining dozens
    hanging from the beams of his hall. There was no doubt my new
    master was a lord among the fey and for a time I even believed he might
    be the dreaded forest king – a creature of myth and fear. He held court
    in an enormous willow that dwarfed the keep of Aven, and elves from
    afar, to judge from their strange garb, paid him homage. I never learned
    the Lord’s name in my time in the forest. The only term I came to recognise
    in those addresses to him was “Bringer”, some elven honorific the
    significance of which I did not then grasp.
    During this time, I wracked my memory hoping to remember something,
    anything, which might preserve my life. I knew songs about
    the forest elves, but were they true or fiction? So rarely were they
    encountered in the wider world, unlike their meddlesome cousins
    from beyond the sea. The songs claimed the elves were the first to
    sing; that they disliked dwarves, and cared little about what went on
    beyond the borders of their secluded domains. They were also portrayed
    as mischievous, capricious and vicious; with my life hanging
    by a thread whatever I knew was woefully inadequate. Yet the sound of
    my captors’ voices was strangely soothing and the grace of their movement
    brought joy completely incongruous to my predicament.
    Short would have been this book had I been alone, and little would
    I know were it not for the lost children of the forest. Seemingly ageless,
    they had been abducted from the surrounding lands to serve
    the elven nobility and perform the more menial tasks the fey saw beneath
    them. It was from them I learned the first words of the elven
    language, so unlike my own. From my thorny prison I watched and
    I learned, each day believing I understood a little more of my captors.
    These people, or Trewi as they named themselves, were utterly alien
    yet strangely familiar. Much like our own, their noble folk are tall,
    proud, and handsome, but in a people as fair as the fey it was not that
    which separated them from the commons, nor was it their dress. It
    was the deference that was shown to them and the panoply of arms
    they bore which set them apart. To my eyes they were more like first
    among equals, leaders of a deadly pack, than entitled nobles born
    of mortal lands.
    As the time passed I came to know there were many such lords and
    ladies – for gender plays little part in the elven lands – both in Wyscan
    and the world beyond. Most answer to the King and Queen of the forest,
    but some follow their own path, even warring among themselves
    just as men do.

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