December 31, 2010

What Alric Saw

Posted in Homecoming, The Alva tagged , , , , , at 12:01 am by E.V. Svetova

The story of Yaret’s origin, as told by his human family.

From Book II: Longing. Fourteen-year-old Ælfled falls ill with dry fever that has already decimated the House of Fairfax. Her desperate mother reluctantly agrees to send her to a Christian hermit who lives an hour to the north from Lynton and is known for his healing powers. Unconscious, she is put on a cart driven by a Fairfax man, Eni. Her twin brother Alric accompanies her on horseback.

The ride was smooth over the frozen ground, and the fresh air brought Ælfled some relief. They entered the woods in broad daylight, slowing down to pass between the trees. After a while, however, the path became too narrow for the cart, so Alric ordered Eni to unharness the horse, pick up the pack and get on horseback, while he took his sister onto his saddle. They rode this way for a short time before the horses were spooked. As he tried to calm his mare, Alric regretted he hadn’t brought his wolfhound, because at that moment he knew: they were being tracked.

The hermit’s hut was just over the ridge. Eni lead the way until suddenly they heard bone-chilling yelps and howls left and right – the pack was surrounding them. In the falling dusk the gray wolves moved like shadows, talking to each other, preparing their attack. Mad with fear, Eni’s horse dashed, spiriting the rider away into the depth of the forest. Alric was left in the wilderness, with his feverish sister in his arms.

Young Alric was a good tracker and didn’t fear losing his way, but his mind was hazy with worry for his sister who was burning up, fading fast. He dug his heels into the mare’s sides, and galloped until he was sure the wolves were left behind, drawn away by poor Eni, or the smell of smoked meat in his pack. At a small clearing Alric slowed down. In the uneven dusk light behind the trees he saw the roof of the hermit’s hut with a ribbon of smoke raising, and his heart sang out in joy. At that moment, a white hare dashed across the snowy ground startling his horse; as it reared, the brother and sister came tumbling down onto the snow. The fall knocked the wind out of Alric for a moment, but he came to right away. His sister, however, lie motionless, stretching awkwardly on the snow.

Avoiding to look at her for the fear of what he might see, Alric scrambled to his feet and went to fetch the mare who stood several yards away. Only then did he force himself to look back. Ælfflæd was still on the ground, as if dead, her cloak blood-red against white snow. That was how he remembered her, for when he looked again, bridle in his hand, Ælfled was no longer there.

He searched for her all night, together with Eni, who managed to fend off the wolves without losing his load, as well as the hermit, who came out of his hut after hearing Alric’s desperate cries.

For three more days Fairfax men searched the woods around the hermit’s ridge, but in vain. The maiden had disappeared from the face of the earth. Not even the finest trackers could find any trace of hers.

What Yarbonél saw

More in the New Year!



  1. Guest said,

    So did he abduct her or rescue her? I’m officially confused.

  2. Katyok said,

    Well, it depends on who’s telling the story. According to the Alvan contingent, a young human female was found near death by lord Yarbonél, who in his infinite kindness picked her up and brought to the mothership his dwelling, he cured her, they fell in love and lived for many years in bliss, until they both resolved to sacrifice their lives to give life to their beloved child.

    According to the Fairfax, yes, she was abducted, raped and forced to bear an alien spawn which killed her.

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