Faelyn had been traveling for about so long she couldn't keep track. She had been searching for the Orphan Village of Haela. There, many children lived in a neutral society. They were housed and fed and educated. No race attacked the place of peace for everyone had representation there except of course the Angels.
She happened to enter Karathor quite by mistake. Haela was very much to the south, and she had gone north. She knew nothing of direction but rather went wherever her feet carried her. She was just beginning the see the outline of Eldar City when the sun kissed the sky. She had been following a river and knew it would take her to someplace eventually.
The city was teaming with life. The streets were lined with cobblestone, carriages passed her by, and the people were dressed in the prettiest dresses she ever saw. She had never seen humans before and assumed none had seen an elf as they looked at her with something she could only claim to be confusion.
Although slavery had been something frowned upon by most races, it still occurred in the northern parts of the world. For too long there had been a false peace between the Humans and the Elves. In the last century, more human cities were beginning to be involved in the business of slaves. Elves were ideal because of their long lifespan and health. It granted the buyer a slave for their mortal life: long as the slave was well kept. The younger the better, as young elves had not yet come into their training or had their magical ability controlled. Eldar was not on the trade route but no elf was safe there.
Only a fool would travel alone.
Delmon thought as much as he watched the young elf walk around in excitement and ignorance. He looked back at his shoppe. Not too busy today. He called for his apprentice Joshua and said he would be on a quick errand. Without a second thought, his concern and curiosity got the better of him and he followed Faelyn.
“Step right up! Step right up!” a man called from a platform, catching Faelyn’s attention. A small crowd of people gathered and Faelyn stopped to watch. They were so distracted with him, they barely noticed the little elf amongst them.
“We have anything you need. Right at ‘Silas’s Wonders and Wears’,” the man spoke with cheer and eagerness.
“Elixirs that heal any ailment, blessed by the heavens themselves. Maps enchanted to write themselves. Token runes created by the Dragonborn to draw in wealth,” he said holding up a few items to show the growing crowd. Faelyn’s ears perked when he mentioned the map. That’s what she needed. Silas went on to showcase a whole set of things she had never seen before. At some point, he brought out an elf older than Faelyn.
“This here,” he said bringing out a vile “I gave a little of this to my elf, and the boy never gets sick. He gets stronger every day. A drop a day and he never has to take a day off.” he said with a smile, he brought the elf boy out front. He was strong-looking. Not too muscular but healthy-looking. There were excited murmurs throughout the crowd. Faelyn noted a collar he donned on his neck. It was very pretty.
“Folks, I’m a traveling man, you see. From the northern shores of Paye to the southern isles of Cardonia. Here and there I go. Collecting the world’s finest treasures. I stroll through towns and villages bringing you items you’ve never would have dreamed existed. I came to Eldar just this morning and I won’t be staying long. So act now, for these items will only be available for today.” he said causing a slight uproar in the crowd as people pushed against the platform with coin in hand.
Silas took the money while the elf boy handed out the vials. It was only when Faelyn got to the platform that people noticed she was there. Faelyn thought the crowd quieted down but she pushed that from her little head and went to the man.
“Here...you go..” Silas said sizing her up. The elf boy also looked on with confusion.
“Oh no, sir. Not the elixir. I wanted one of those maps you had,” she said with a smile. No one smiled back. “I have somewhere to go, you see, and I’m in need of such a map.” she went on.
“Where’s your master?” he asked looking around but grabbing the map anyway. He would never turn down coin.
“My...master?” she said a bit confused. She wasn’t an apprentice so she had no master and Faelyn had never heard of slaves before. There were a few more murmurs and suddenly Faelyn felt uneasy as people glared at her.
“I’ve been looking for you,” a deep voice called. Faelyn turned and a burly man walked up to her and placed his hand on her shoulder. She was confused. “This one’s mine, sent to fetch items for me. I’ll have that map if you please,” Delmon said, extending a coin to the man. Silas thought something was awry but the coin in his face made him think twice.
“Here you go...teach her some manners,” he said gruffly.
“Will do sir,” Delmon said with a nod of his head. “Come now,” he said hoping she wasn’t as foolish as she seemed and he ushered her off in the direction of his smithy. Faelyn merely nodded and walked with him, not knowing what was going on and not knowing she had been saved. She looked back at the elf boy once more who held her gaze for some time until the customers grabbed his attention back.
When they got to the shop, Delmon led her inside and told Joshua to get something for her to eat. He locked the doors and told her to sit down. She did so and Delmon paced the room a couple of times. He didn’t want trouble yet it had a habit of finding him.
“Um...why did you bring me here?” she squeaked. She was growing afraid.
“Do you know where you are right now?” he said back. She shook her head and looked like she was going to cry. He sighed. “What are you doing here little one?” he asked, trying very hard not to sound angry. Faelyn told him of her quest to Haela and how she needed the map he had purchased. She had been orphaned for quite some time after her parents were killed and her home village of Galan was ransacked. She happened to be playing in the fields at the time and with the aid of her parents, narrowly escaped the fate they suffered. Haela would be safe.
“Sweetling, this is a dangerous place for your kind,” he went on. When Faelyn showed no understanding he explained that she would have been carted off into slavery had he not stepped in. This brought her to tears and Delmon found himself comforting the little elf who had the audacity to cry herself asleep on his lap. He rubbed a hand over his face and carried her off to rest.
Very early the next day, Delmon took her to the outskirts of the city.
“Now look. You’re on your own. Haela is in the south. Follow this road here and be careful. Poachers don’t usually go this way but that doesn’t make it safe,” he said. The map turned out to be fake so Delmon got her a real one. He set her on her way. Glad to know that trouble was finally going to be leaving. He thought for some time, She was a young elf, barely into her maturity. He wondered if she could make it on her own. Something tugged at his heart but he tried to push it down. She had made it here from Galan, she would be fine. Perhaps her ignorance would get her the rest of the way. Though he was the one who instilled fear into her little heart, he thought. He walked faster, hoping to leave her and his thoughts behind.
A scream. Barely heard but it carried on the wind and kissed his ears. He stopped. For a moment he considered continuing home but he found he was running towards the forest before he knew what to do with himself.
He could hear her crying and he ran to a small clearing. It was a small campsite. A large carriage sat there and Silas had her by the hair.
“Please let me go…” she cried. It hurt so much and she tried to push his hands away but he was very strong. The elf boy was tethered to the side of the carriage. Pleading to Silas to let her go.
“Listen here girl, I won’t hurt you if you stop struggling. You’re my property now. Do you know what they do to escaped slaves? A lot worse than what I’d ever do to you,” he said with measured voice. He brought his face close to hers and smiled. Faelyn started to cry and closed her eyes. The elf boy cried out.
Delmon felt the world slow down. One minute he was watching the pair, the next he had his hands around Silas’ throat, bearing down on him. Silas released his grip on Faelyn who fell to the ground in tears. She looked up as Delmon crushed the man’s throat in a fit of rage. It was so quick. The body hit the ground and a silence settled on the three of them.
After a few moments, Delmon released the boy from his chains and the elf ran to his master’s body so that he could be free of his collar. Faelyn sat there, curled in on herself. Delmon looked off with clenched hands.
“W-what now?...” she sniffled.
“Now I take you both to Haela."