Centuries ago, the powerful Alpine lords colonised the Great Forest. The native Silvan elves were accepting at first, but one elf’s lust for power is threatening peace and driving a wedge between the two, immortal races. Leaders against followers, commanders against warriors.
Fel’annár is an orphan with a million questions and no answers – his Silvan mother died and no one speaks of his Alpine father. With the face of an Alpine and the heart of a Silvan, the boy steps into this conflicted world with nothing in his pocket but a dream: to be a Silvan captain in an army commanded by Alpines, an army desperately struggling to hold its borders.
Fel’annár’s path as a novice warrior will teach him more than warfare. Embarking on a journey of self-discovery, he must learn to deal with his personal conflicts and with an emerging power he is yet to understand.
From recruit to novice warrior and beyond, Fel’annár is the Silvan that could change the balance of power and alter his world forever.
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It was Captain Turion who first spotted Fel’annár, who knelt upon the ground beside the burnt cottages some distance away.
“Lainon, gather the warriors and arrange first aid. Once that is done, help them,” he said softly, his eyes moving from one Silvan villager to the next, schooling himself as best he could for their eyes told stories of pain and loss, of grief so deep it hurt the soul—how many times had he seen this, he asked himself. It was the reason he had once refused to become a captain, so that he would not have to witness this suffering any more.
With a final nod at Lainon, he walked to Fel’annár, who remained upon the slick ground, the damp, bloody mud seeping through his leggings, his own blood running down his arm.
He held a small bundle, clasped tightly to his chest—a babe realised Turion in dawning grief.
Soft wisps of silken hair tickled his neck and Fel’annár’s bandaged hand moved up to smooth it down; his eyes though, did not dare to look for although he knew what it was he protected in the safety of his strong arms, his mind did not want to accept it, for to do so would surely be the end of his own, lingering innocence.
“What have you there, Fel’annár?” came a soft voice behind him. “Will you show me?” he asked once more; kindly spoken words meant to calm and to soothe, a father to his son, a captain to his novice.
Fel’annár did look down then, to the weight in his arms, to the harsh, tragic reality of war. A tiny, pink ear, so pointed, so perfect, peaked out from the downy locks of chestnut silk and his thumb caressed it lovingly. He pulled it to his chest once more, but it was useless, for the warmth had gone.
Turion sat beside him, his eyes turning to Fel’annár, who stared blankly off into the distance, the tears in his eyes making his green eyes look like polished glass.
“His light has gone, child. His mother too, has perished.”
“Why?” came the soft whisper, as if he spoke to the wind but his face changed not.
“That is the question, is it not? You ask yourself how this could ever be allowed to happen. Why the enemy should benefit from taking a life such as his—what is the purpose?”
Turion paused for a moment, drawing a long breath before continuing. “The answer is as plain as it is simple, Fel’annár. That babe was no warrior, but he was a weapon, the most horrific and ruthless weapon, for with his death the enemy weaves its madness amongst us; it debilitates us, takes from us not the blood from our bodies but that of the soul—where true agony resides. It takes from us all the good feelings and emotions and leaves us empty and wrathful, vulnerable to their wiles. It is a most powerful weapon they wield upon us—this, is the true battle—the one I told you would not be easy, the one not all of us can wage. Do you understand me now?” he asked kindly, his eyes overly bright.
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