"They... They..." Flint said softly, his eyes cold and lightless.
"What did he say?" I yelled, shaking Flint until his head flopped loosely.
Flint seemed to come to himself then, because he pulled himself from my grasp, and clutched his forehead.
"Grdar." He said deeply, "I just saw something."
"Saw?" I asked suspiciously.
"He called me over." Flint said, sounding disbelieving himself, "He told me he'd dreamed something. He began uttering something, and a vision began to unfold before my eyes."
"And?" I said impatiently, "What was this vision!"
"I... I don't know. Large creatures, far taller than any man, yet half the width. I don't know what they were, but they were walking out of the trees."
My eyes widened, and I swayed on the spot, "Surely they didn't..." I muttered, "Surely they didn't know..."
"Grdar?" Flint asked, snapping me out of my thoughts.
"Listen to me." I said, "Do you know the reason, the true reason you attacked our mines?"
"To prevent an attack on ou-"
"No, you weren't told anything else?"
"No, that was all we were told."
"Flint, do you know much about the Count that sent you?"
"All I heard was that he lives in Caelorn. There were rumors around camp that he was just a pawn, but I didn't hear much else."
"He must have been after-"
I was cut off at a sudden gust of wind, and small shakes of the earth.
"What is this?" I shouted.
An enormous figure leaped out of the brush, running West toward the mines. It stopped when it saw us, and changed course to walked over to where we stood. It was almost twice my height, with waist length sandy-gold hair tangled with plants and leaves.
The creature gave a wide grin, and leaned down to stare at us from behind long bangs. I could see two large luminescent golden eyes staring at me, with what I could only describe as curiosity.
"W-what is that?!" Flint cried, and the thing turned to grin at him. It seemed happy. I saw a long pointed ear with a leaf where there would be an earing.
"It's an Elf." I gasped, and the Elf grinned even more, and sat down cross-legged in front of me.
"An Elf?" Flint choked, "Elves don't exist!"
"They do." I said, staring at the happy Elf. If they had awakened, why wasn't this one running out to seek the wielder of The Heart?
"Grdar." Flint said, "Tell me what's going on."
"Are you educated in your history?" I asked.
"Not very." Flint said embarrassedly.
"Have you heard of the Black Crusades?" I asked, still staring at the Elf, who was returning the stare with the same intensity.
"Yes." Flint replied, "But what does that-"
"Long ago you humans held a power. A weapon. Drunk with that power, your leaders sent their armies upon Dierlen, the weapon in their front ranks. This weapon was known as The Heart." I paused for a moment, as the Elf cocked it's head to the side, its gaze becoming vacant.
"Of course as you know, your armies were unsuccessful in breaching our mountain.When we learned what they held, we took The Heart from them. Our priests examined the thing for years, but were unable to gain any knowledge from it. All that we knew about it, was that its wielder could summon the Elves to their side at any time. Our priests guessed that The Heart was a part of them. Not seeking war, we transported it to a new mine that we had excavated just for The Heart, and sealed it away in its deepest crevice. Our most learned priests stood guard over the vault until their dying day. For five generations priests have lived and died guarding the vault, which by now has become a tomb. What we hadn't expected was that mere hours after sealing away The Heart, the entire race of the Elves seemed to vanish. We were taught that the Elves would only awaken when someone broke the seal, and I guess it was true. But this is not how the Elves were described in our tomes..."
The Elf continued to stare at me. It had seemed to suck in my words, and when I had finished it rose to its feet. Its body swayed toward the West, but it continued to stare at me. The golden eyes pierced into my body, even as the Elf ran off into the West. I shuddered as its gaze was finally concealed by the trees.
"Elves... Are real?!" Flint muttered.
"Yes, weren't you listening to a word I said?" I snapped, disconcerted by the Elf.
"Then, is it heading to The Heart?" Flint asked.
"Most definitely." I said darkly, "If the humans have taken it, then it will mean war for all the nations."
I was running again. I had crossed the land in half a day, after learning that I could run. I'd been so happy, but small Dwarf's words had saddened me.
Small Dwarf had spoken of war. I didn't want war. I didn't want to kill. Had silent man lying on the ground by small Dwarf and young man been dead? I just wanted to exist, and be happy.
I felt something falling from my eyes, was I crying? The tears stung my face and eyes, and saddened me further.
Where were the rest of my kin? Why hadn't they been running with me? I was alone. I was afraid. I wanted to go back to small Dwarf, but The Heart called me closer. As I grew closer, my heart grew colder. The Heart was angry. The Heart was violent. I was violent.