The firelight danced over the old woman's face as she rocked gently back and forth in her rocking chair, her hands busily working the crimson yarn into a sweater. She pulled her yarn over her knitting needles and made yet another stitch. A smile came to her lips when her gaze rested on the girl who was watching her as she retold what happened during the last days of the Great War. The girl's reddish-brown hair gleamed where the firelight touched it, and her green-brown wings shifted noiselessly as she rested her chin in her hands. Her dark brown eyes were focused on the woman's face.
Then Ch'lant winded his horn and called back his troops because Lársh was slain, the woman continued.
After that, he returned to Veir'endale and helped restore the peace to Feyndom. Those whom Larsh had thrown into his dungeons were released as the feyns took back the fortresses that Larsh had seized in the war. At last, the slaves were also freed, and they returned to their homelands. What torments those poor souls endured! The feyns hardly dare to speak the deeds of Larsh for they were heinous! Many brave feyns were lost under his tyranny. Nimph's Vale was abandoned, and the Tower of Naglash where he dwelt was left to ruin. Where Larsh's cruel hand once wreaked havoc, peace and freedom was now restored. Thus, it was that the Great War ended, and an age of peace begun. Those years were good, though riddled with dangers of their own. The woman paused to count her stitches, sighing as she did so because she had lived through most of the Golden Age, as the feyns called the years following the Great War.
What happened to Ch'lant after the war, Gwenyth? the girl asked.
Laying down her knitting, Gwenyth sighed. Her pale green wings that rose from her back shifted as she addressed the girl.
That is where it becomes strange, dark, and sad, Charlotte. There was sadness in the woman's green eyes as she stared into the fire. She remembered only too well what had happened during those thousands of years, having lived through most of it.
After Ch'lant had cut off Larsh's hand, Larsh cursed him, swearing to avenge himself by killing him and his descendants. It was not long after the war was over and peace was restored to our world that Ch'lant was dead, having been murdered in his own bed. His wife Estell was poisoned and died a few days later. At the time, the feyns thought that Lársh himself had somehow slain them, but later they realized that it was Larsh's warlocks who had murdered them. Similar strange, violent deaths and disappearances met each of their descendants until only Valliea'son and Aevn'song Ch'lant were left.
What happened to them?” Chárlotte's eyes were intent upon Gwenyth's face. Growing up, she had heard these stories before, but it was only now that she began to comprehend them fully.
Seeing that the girl was understanding, Gwenyth continued,
Valliea'son and Esus with their infant daughter were traveling from Bérnsted to Enrall, a town that lies on the western part of our Island. They had some friends living there and were intending to visit them. On the road, just outside of Ros'wall Forest, they were attacked by a Zarkvalgh. No one escapes those accursed dragons alive, and both Valliea'son and Aevn'song were slain. Their daughter's body was never found, and many think that she was carried off by the Zarkvalgh. Gwenyth's voice trailed off, and she glanced toward Charlotte who was staring at her, growing horror and fear in her dark brown eyes. The girl's wings were slightly open, as if she were readying herself to fly away. Gwenyth's eyes softened, and she reached out to stroke the girl's head with her hand.
That happened ten years ago, my child, and our hope has dwindled slowly during that time. At least, it has for some of us. Her last words were almost inaudible for they were spoken under her breath.
“But Larsh is dead,” said Charlotte.
That is what most believe, my child, returned Gwenyth.
Some doubt it though. There have been rumors during the last two years of something dark in Nimph's Vale. I fear what it might be. Many of us who were uneasy when Varendile quickly called the victory believe that Larsh might not have died. There is a Prophesy which states that Ch'lant's descendant will kill Lársh. If Larsh and the Ch'lants are dead, then that prophecy is not true. But... if it is, then may Lightness protect us all!
The woman's hand moved to Charlotte's hand and squeezed it gently. There was something else that the girl felt besides the gentle love that flowed from the old woman's gesture, but she was too young to understand what it was.