When I was young my mother told me of the men across the sea and over the great mountains, a people that lived until killed. They had pale skin and eyes that shone like the sun and moon, and the waters of a lake on a clear afternoon. These people were beautiful, and also the world's highest social elite, no mortal besides one with royal blood was even allowed to speak with them. It was thought that our filth would offend them. Our name for their kind was Lunaytae, as their skin let off a luminescent glow like the moon at night.
They were a people that were constantly at war with the surrounding nations, as they thought the world would be better off without those other lesser creatures, Communess, Drakorians and Alabasterreks. None of these countries were that of humans, but yet it showed just how dangerous a force the other races are over the sea.
But mother had laughed at them, she told me that vanity and arrogance were some of the most dangerous weaknesses anyone could posses. These traits repelled bravery, honesty and kindness, the things that made the best warriors our kingdom had ever seen. I had believed her then. That the Lunaytae were nothing to be afraid of, they were separated from our land by so much water. What power could they hold over us? Humanity's finest. How could any creature best us?
That was until the Blackmoors invaded , and turned everything loved and familiar into ashes which littered about the ground underneath their feet. They came in the night during a particularly cold winter on demented horses that were not quite dead or alive, like their riders. Wearing solid black armor and not making even the smallest of noises until that horrible, savage call pierced the still night air. Their howl to battle. But this was not a battle or even a fight. It was a slaughter.
The Blackmoors were once humans, but had since then been corrupted by drinking the blood of the fallen soldiers to satiate their hunger as they starved to death. No one knew what power really re-animated these demonic beings, if it was god's wrath at the sickness of man kind or something much more simplistic. No one knows to this day what exactly it is that curses them to be hideous and bloodthirsty half beings for the rest of their miserable existence. They have to kill in order to stay "alive" or at least out of the realm of death and therefore judgment. On that one horrible night, they came to my village for their meal.
We had no preparations, we had no weapons ready but simple axes, arrows, knives. Most of us were asleep in the warmth of our homes, curled up in bed when we heard the call.
Solel, my baby brother started crying and woke up the rest of the house as the screams of our neighbors could first be heard. I went over to his crib and carried him in my arms to find our parents, fearful of whatever was happening outside. I found mother in the front room looking at the door with eyes that were red with shed tears. Her bronze colored hair in a mess upon her shoulders, she grabbed a coat from off the wall and I understood what she was mourning for.
My father went out to protect us, but he could not fight a whole regiment alone and badly armed. He had sacrificed himself protecting us, So my mother and I ran into the forest by way of the back cellar door. Her blue eyes were determined as she picked up my small form and carried me in her arms into the woods, while I held a now silent Solel. For some reason even as a small child I knew it was not the time to cry out and so did he.
She was breathing heavy and I could feel her heart beating quickly against my ear, her simple dress torn by protruding shrubs and branches. She kept on running for what seemed like hours in the dark, tripping over roots but always regaining her balance by sheer force of will. We finally stopped next to a great oak tree with a hollow base. Where she crawled in with the last thread of remaining strength, never letting go of me, I never letting go of Solel, who had already fallen asleep.
"go to bed child" she said panting, as my eyes started to water.
I wanted to stay awake and cry until the end of time, but I was too tired and too young to keep myself up for the rest of the night. Her arms were so warm and comforting around me that it was almost as though this was really just a dream. And that I would actually wake up in the morning to a nice breakfast, and my father's soft smile.
"sleep, sleep, go to sleep my small girl" I heard her soft voice say, or maybe that was just in my mind.
If only I had known what awaited me in the morning, perhaps I would have stayed up watching my mother for the rest of the night. Maybe I would have told her that we could fight through the exhaustion and keep walking. Maybe I would have told her how much I loved her over and over again. That night forever will haunt me with its missed opportunities.
" Captain, there is a girl..." a deep and raspy voice called out.
I could smell iron permeating the air so much as to make anyone sick. The smell clung to the Blackmoors, it soaked into their every pore and became a distinctive scent. They carried the scent of spilled blood with them always.
"A child still alive?" A much deeper voice boomed, I closed my eyes tighter. I tried to hug my little brother closer to my chest but only found empty space instead.
I heard heavy footsteps, and then a cold hand was rolling me over. I don't know what gave me away, but the man knew I was alive and hauled me to my feet by my arm. My scared eyes flew open to see something that made me wish I had kept them firmly closed.
He was covered in blood from head to foot, staining over the black armor that was a mass of spikes and sharp edges, his eyes were black inside his helmet. His hand was cold as ice gripping my small arm painfully, he squeezed harder and I let out a cry of pain.
He laughed in my face, showing rows of demonic sharp teeth and pointed to my mother and brother on the ground. I started sobbing uncontrollably and couldn't bear to look at the bodies lying limp and cut all over on the ground in a heap. He backhanded me across the face and pulled out a dagger already covered in crimson, and pulled back to plunge it into my heart.
I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable pain. But it did not come. I peeped out at the same man, with his dagger still in the air, but he had a look of utmost surprise on his face. He was staring at my neck like there was a diamond glowing there, and then he let go of my arm in a haste, as if I had burned him.
He spoke to his companions in a language of growls and harsh words, they all had an equally surprised expression. I don't know what miracle saved me that day, but they let me go free.
They got back up onto their horses and left, turning their heads to stare at me like I was a tiger ready to pounce. I was just a little girl. I was just a horrified little girl who had seen her entire family and village gruesomely murdered.
Author Note: please review so I can know what you guys are thinking :) much appreciated, next chapter will most assuredly be longer.