Welcome to the conclusion of my unintended Short Fiction September. :P As with the others, this is a character study for a plot-in-progress, and the third of the three main characters. This is also the one I had the hardest time getting a hold of. While this character has been in my head for years, this is the first time I really tried to capture her, and she's not one to easily be tamed. I feel a little better about writing her, but I do think she's going to cause me a lot of trouble.
And in case anyone asks, I don't know her name. I've never given her one. She's always only been Princess.
Eleventh princess of the house, they called, me, and also ‘weapon.’
From birth, I learned of the elven houses, and how the Divines granted each of them a different facet of magic, and how the houses had all come to hate each other for having magic that they could not themselves use. When I showed talent at my family’s facet of magical creation, of fusing magic into items to make wondrous things, they praised me. My kin taught me to make solid objects from pure magic, and told me what they would have me do with them.
I would make weapons, and kill, all to advance the family’s goals. Ever since I was young, my uncles had filled my ears with tales of the glory of battles long-past. So I agreed.
From then, the lessons were simple. Here are the seven points to strike an elf’s neck if you want to paralyze, or cripple, or kill. Here is where to cut to slow or stop an elf from walking. Here are the largest veins though you’ll only make a mess if you cut them, why do you even ask. Here is where to strike to keep most targets from screaming, and here is where to strike to make any target scream, though there’s no reason for you to ever do that.
Training with my manifested weapons was much the same. Stilettos for striking at the smallest points. Daggers to find tiny holes in armor. Hammers for armor with no holes to find. Put that axe away, did I think myself some kind of barbarian. Curved blades for elegant cuts, when a target deserved an artistic death. Chains to bind and strangle and what do you mean you wonder what’s best to hang a body from. A simple bow for a traditional strike from a distance. A great bow with sweeping curves for a targeted strike from a great distance. What are you doing with that enormous sword, you look a fool swinging that brutish thing.
Before my first kill, my parents told me the specific reason for my training. Our kind had become so reliant on magic that when someone was murdered, they would use magic to locate the weapon. But with no weapon, there was nothing to find. They taught me magic to keep blood from touching me, to make it run free from my clothes and skin, leaving me unmarked.
I stood ready to slay in the family’s name, to bring them what they wanted. But assassination sounded so boring. I wanted blood and carnage and the glory of battle.
When the wars began, I remember the joy that surged through me. To the surprise of all my kind, the lesser races rose against us. And before my family could stop me, I sped to the front lines. As a princess of a noble house, none could deny my right to serve.
The lesser races knew magic, true. But they did not live it as we elves did. I carved my way across fields of battle, swords of bright blue magic glowing behind the blood that coated them, my dress still pristine white. They knew me only as death, and I smiled.
Battle after battle, I fought, and knew the glory of my uncles’ stories. When I returned, I told my family how many I’d slain, and looked for pride in their eyes. I saw only unease, and fear, and condemnation.
Didn’t they understand?
The wars slowed, and peace talks began. My father the king came to me, and at last said how proud he was of me. And since I’d done so well, he had a very special job for me. There was to be a peace accord among the races, but the death of one man would stop it, and keep the war going another decade at least. Would I like to make this happen?
I struck in the center of the accord, twin blades glowing as they cut through my target’s neck. The guards were ready and waiting, and captured me in a moment, then bound me in a timeless coffin to await trial for murder.
It seems my father betrayed me. But we elves live a very long time. And he will regret turning me into a weapon when the day comes that I escape this coffin.