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Noelle Hay

Articles
- Tolkien's hobbits show basic goodness of people
- September 11 and the Lord of the Rings
- Fantasy Fans
- Evolution of a Sidekick
- Fan Fiction: Bane or Boone?

Short Stories
- Beautiful Blade

Beautiful Blade (5 ratings)
         by Noelle Hay
Page 1 of 3

The end was near and Kaze knew it. Before the prophetess Eyran had come into the Sylvan to preach repentance to the people, he knew it. The selfishness of the elves had spread like a plague. His own daughter, vain and spoiled, had not been untouched by it. In fact, she was the epitome of it. If only he had not lost his wife in childbirth - perhaps the end would not be so near.

When the prophetess had warned him that the first signs of destruction would come from his own house, he never questioned it. He knew if anyone would be the author of destruction, it would be Elseedi.

Beautiful, vain Elseedi.

The Council demanded her head. He had no wish to stop them in their unanimity even if he could. Elseedi had pouted and he had relented. Yes, the prophetess must die, he agreed. Now, he was a full partner in the elves destruction.

When the headsmanís ax claimed the life of the prophetess, Kaze knew the punishment met from Heaven would be great.

As the Council cheered at their triumph over the prophetess, and even over the Maker himself, he was numb to it all. He could read the signs - he could see the elves on the brink of destruction, and even he - King of the Elves - could do nothing to stop it. Crushed first by the death of his wife and then by Elseediís reckless vainity the destruction before him was more than his heart could bear.

Eyranís death did not stop her words from ringing in Kazeís ears. Her words were true. But he was still a father. When Elseediís tears fell, his heart could not remain unaffected. Though his kingdom was already stretched thin and his people, the elves, despised around the world, his weakness for his daughter could not be overcome. Had he not already spent a lifetime spoiling her? Was it not his fault she was vain and selfish? Since he had been instrumental in her creation, he could not be part of her destruction.

Like Elseedi, elves cared little about the opinions of the other races, convinced of their own superiority above them.

"It will be our downfall," the prophetess had said. "Selfishness leads to destruction. And if war does not claim this people, the Creator will. As his chosen people we have a greater call, and a greater punishment for failure."

Kaze could hear those words echoing in his mind. There was just the smallest amount of hope in his breast that they would overcome. They had overcome so many things in the past - the selfishness of one elven princess should not be too much. In the least, Kaze hoped that he would not live to see the destruction of his people.

When his nephews, Ander and Adan, returned to the Sylvan, he felt hope renewed.

Ander and Adan were promising young lads with brave hearts. They hadnít the touch of vanity that Elseedi had, nor the selfishness. They lived for each other - serving one another. They were such men that Kaze wished all elves could be like them, with such devotion that he decided one of them would have his daughter to wife - and be made king.

Kaze had his own devices for choosing between the two, but Elseedi had other plans.

Knowing that her father had intended one of them for the throne, and therefor as her husband, she set about their destruction. She seduced them, slowly and separately and set them against each other with the cunning and forthought of a diplomat.

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Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2001 Noelle Hay, sffworld.com. All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the author. The author has submitted the work in accordance with and in agreement with the following Submission Guidelines.

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