Ayana waited in what was once a settlement of maehvindra elves suppressing a tear as she looked at the desolate place, the elder council had decided to move again which was not unusual in their race what broke her heart was that she had been left behind.

Ayana had lived most of his life among the swift runner clan elves they had always been isolationist but from time to time they made contact with humans and other races that ventured into their forest it was from one such meeting that her mother Elae had met his father Telp in the village of Sarlot.

Elae was marveled at the humans as she always said there were full of life. Ayana wondered how could someone have more life than others, she felt the humans were rude and always in a hurry to destroy something be it a forest an animal or something else.

The elves had always treated her nicely but in a condescending way like everyone expected her to fail because of her human blood, and as such she was given much more leeway than other elven kids this made her spoiled under the affection of her mother to the point of arrogance toward the other races.

When she became of age the elders thought that because of her human blood she would be the perfect way to communicate between their clan and the human settlements that encroached more an more into the forest.

The truth is that it was a charge she was not happy to take she hated the fragility of the humans which she saw reflected in herself, already Ayana looked older than Elae which brought her great pain.

In one such travel she met Tentz a charming young human from the settlement of Arnae her heart stirred with emotion when she spoke or was near him and so negotiations always dragged on for far longer than necessary, in Him she saw the vitality and life that her mother must have sen on his father and she became afraid.
She tried to reject him but lacked the will to do so, and so fell for him. The maehvindra had decided to settle for the winter near Arnae and she spent long nights next to Tentz claiming his love to him.

Tetz wanted her to marry him which she did under a simple ceremony deep into the woods with no more witnesses than an elder elven priest and the stars above them.
When it was time for the maehvindra to move again the elders had agreed to discuss the situation with Ayana. for them it seemed clear that she had made her choice and that she should stay with the humans as she was with child.

Ayana was terrified when they told them their decision she only knew her life among the elves she begged to Elae to plead for her but the decision had been made and the maehvindra left leaving her behind. The humans of Arnae were not evil, they were hard working men and women who lived for the now.

They didn't have the time nor the patience to deal with a spoiled arrogant half-elven brat who thought herself superior to the rest of them and so she began to isolate more and more from the community, she tried to arrange things as she knew them to be right from the way of planting crops as to not disturb the land to the caring of the animals not as beasts but as friends.

As a result her crops were plentier and the beasts healthier to the rest it was absurd not to plant all they could all the time as this would give them more crops but leaving the spirits of the land too tired, she taught this to those who wanted to learn and made a small circle of friends thanks to it the rest who didn't listen claimed she was cursing their harvests and sickening their animals.

The following spring the maehvindra settled again near Arnae, Ayana was very happy to see Elae and all of her elven friends again after so long for the elves which consider time in a different way very little time had passed and so were surprised to see how much she had changed in so little time and of the small changes in the community as it was not as predatory as other communities they had dealings with.

Elae helped her bring her new daughter Ticitly into the world the elven blood in her was being lost and she seemed too human to the elves and too elven to the humans, Eae gave Ayana what little advice she could. Elves matured slower than half-elves and so for Elae it had been quite a challenge to rise Ayana as she was always more restless, active and curious than the other elven girls of her age often getting herself in trouble.

What Ayana would suffer if she stayed with the humans was that for their standards Ticitly would seem to be too slow compared to the other children and so Elae requested to the council that she be accepted into the clan again with her daughter as her right for being Elae's daughter.

The council agreed to discuss it they said that the clan was an elven tribe and that for it to remain so there was no room for humans among them. Elae had heard the same thing from the council years ago when she tried for them to accept Telp among them they couldn't let one of them suffer the humans even if she bore a child of one of them.

But they were happy to leave behind Eale's mistake to her own especially now that she had a human child, the excuse they gave her was that she was doing such a great work teaching the humans how to live with nature instead of abuse of nature they agreed to stay a year so Elae could help Ayana with her new child.

Elae was happy to help Ayana memories fresh in her mind of when she was going through the same she loved her daughter dearly and saw no fault in her actions for she had done the same her only sin being born a half-elf.

Ayana was grateful for the help but it wasn't long before the council decided to move again the land couldn't support them for long. Elae kissed her daughter goodbye hoping they would return in just a few years to see her granddaughter again.
Ayana pondered as he saw the empty settlement a strong arm circled her and brought her tenderly back, Tentz had always supported her wife even when many times he didn't understand her. He knew the elves wouldn't accept him into their clan even if he wanted to join them which he did not want but was happy that Ayana and Ticitly would stay with him.

Some of the younger girls in the community had tried to take him away from the elven witch which had him no doubt charmed and he had to reject them sometimes abruptly.

The years passed without the maehvindra settling near them again only individual elves passed from time to time with news of the elves and the ocassional gift from their mother to her or to Ticitly, one such gift was a beautiful necklace with a small blue gem pending from it.

To Ayana it meant nothing more than the love of a mother to her daughter but to other members of the community it meant Gold. Gold the community could use to buy animals or fix the walls or many other things always thinking of the good of the community.

When they asked for the gem so they could sell it she refused after all it was a gift from her mother to this the community gave her an ultimatum either she was a part of the community or she was not .

If she was, she had to relinquish the gem for the good of the community if she was not then she would have to leave Alone.

Ayana was rightfully enraged at the decision and had little choice but to accept. Tentz was also furious at the treatment being given to their family and so they decided to leave after selling their property to travel to the different cities as merchants.

The life on the road was a relief from the town for Ayana and she took the opportunity to show Ticitlyas much as they could on their travels. Tentz was an able merchant and through the years what began as a humble wagon soon increased to more and more wagons as they were able to deliver their merchandise faster and safer through the elven forest as Ayana knew the hidden roads.

Eventually the operation grew too large and they had to settle in the small city of <> here the people was different than what she was used to. This people had lost touch with nature and their spirits since a long time ago and not only that they were even more in a hurry than those in the community their pace was relentless and it seemed as if the city never rested.

Ayana had to mediate between the elves and the merchants as more wagons passed and more people knew of the hidden paths among the forest the need for a better road was imperative even if it meant cutting a path through the woods which the elves disagreed to.

An agreement was finally reached and a path supervised by the elves was to be made for the wagons to cross the merchants would be able to cut through the forest and have the protection of the elves in exchange for a toll. The elves thought that a toll would discourage the humans for using the road as it affected their precious gold.
As neither side trusted each other fully they designated Ayana again to serve as mediator, collect the tolls and see that the humans didn't trespass further into the forest as this happened the coffers of the family were full with their share for collecting the toll while their caravans went back and forth among the different towns.
Tentz was more and more absent as he had to oversee the road and spent a great deal of time on it leaving Ayana alone with the Ticitly which by this time had grown into a beautiful young lady with long golden hair and a sweet voice. Many people courted her both from among the humans of the town and from the elves of the forest.
Ayana didn't want her daughter to suffer what she did and so discouraged her from pursuing a suitor many of the young men in the city seemed more interested in the money and the control of the pass.

It was round this time that Tentz mysteriously dissapeared Ayana was heartbroken as she loved him dearly, Ticitly took over the family business while Ayana grief ed for her loss returning to the forest of her childhood searching for her lost love.

Eventually Ayana returned to the maehvindra and to Elae to heal her wounds of the heart, she was sick of the dealings with the greedy humans and she suspected foul play by the humans in the disappearance of her husband.

Now she was finally back home her daughter would remain with the humans and perhaps she would visit her from time to time but her place was in the forest with the elves she now knew and nothing would set her apart from them again.

Elae finally had her daughter back with her, that summer fling lasted longer than she had expected but now that Ayana was without child the council saw no problem with her remaining with them, a soft mischievous smile surfaced in Elae's face as she thought of poor Tentz, Ayana loved him dearly and would not return to her while he was around.

by Gustavo Sanchez

Art and story © 2002-2008 Alejandro Melchor. Nahast Campaign Setting and Product Identity © 2002-2008 Proyecto Nahast
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