Elfling and Me

Ah, the road. Nothing like fresh air, fresh furry critters, and the smokey flavor of freshly cooked boar. Rations--baaaad.

Me was munching on a leg and missing my ale and thinking back to my talk with the little elfling whose mother was, um, decapitated in a horrible fashion. I know how it is to lose a parent and so I thought I could share. But I not so good with children, or at least elfling children. Here is how it roughly went:

Hey, little elfling girl. You okay?

I am a boy.

Oh. Well, you've got a nice dress on, anyway.

These are dress robes for my mother's remembrance.

Ah, I see. Ummmmm, so how you holding up?

I have lost everything, my mother, my home, even my treehouse. How do you think I am doing?

Probably not so well. You see, I lost almost everything myself when I was young. It hurt. My whole town was lost. My father is, well, maybe, no more. And I found myself in a strange country.

What, what happened?

My mother was part of a human colony to the monster lands to the east, so they say. She met my father, an orc if you can believe it, and they fell in love. Or rather wrestled into love. Anyway, I was born, years passed, and then the monsters attacked. In force. My father stayed behind to fight. He might have survived, but we have never heard from him. Probably he was taken unconscious, revived, tortured horribly, mutilated, chopped into pieces, and sacrificed to the evil god Gruumsh in a spine-tearing, head-ripping fashion. So pretty awful. So I know what you are feeling.

You mean, because my mother, my wonderful good mother, was, was, was tortured and ripped apart? Oh Corellon! That's so, so awful.

Well, you know, I mean similar, not same.

You mean she was not tortured?

Oh it definitely seemed she was not. We think she was under a spell or something. She might have been completely unaware. They really only needed to kill her, not make her suffer.

Oh good, I would hate to think of her being ripped apart. She was so beautiful.

Um, yeah.

You look uncomfortable? She was, was ripped apart?

Um, you know, I really need to get going.

No, please stay. They say you tried to save her. Thank you for that. Please tell me what happened.

Ah, well, that's a long story. But I think it is enough to know that your mother's large head felt no pain as it was ripped off of her big body.

Enlarged head? Big body? That is not my mother? What?

Um, yeah. Anyway. She was fine, really, except for having the whole spine ripped out of her body. I mean, it seemed really quick. Mind you, we were running for our lives. Fighting a flaming bull-man is just not something I can do yet.

I think I need to learn to fight. I hate bull-men. I hate dark elves. I want them dead! How could they do that to her?

Now, now. Hatred leads to bad stuff. Yes, learn to defend. Learn the ways of your people against these demons and evil ones. Serve your lord well. But do not have this hatred. It will turn you dark. I know, I lost my friend to hatred....Now, tell me, have you done any mischief lately?

I have been kind of grieving, you know.

Well, when I had lost everything, I cried a lot and was fearful. But I found that doing harmless mischief was rather fun. Not mean stuff, just going places where I wasn't supposed to and eating food in places reserved for my betters and that sort of thing.

What did you do?

Well, lots, but one of my favorite memory relates to...food! I lived on these temple grounds. And most of the place was open for roaming. But there was one place, a building of green glass. It glittered in the sun. It was not tall, but there was something amazing about it. Anyway, Starg and I, uh Starg was a friend of mine, were scamping about and we noticed that behind the place was this dumpster. It seemed full of good food. We had some. But it was cold. So we looked around. We noticed a little unused side entrance behind a fence. We also noticed that most people who went to the building wore some nice hooded robes. So we, um, borrowed some and snuck in through the side door. We found a feast like we had never had before. We grabbed a little darkened corner and ate. Week after week, we would go and eat the feast. But one day, there was a notice pinned to a board. I couldn't read (still can't so much), but Fiola, another friend, so smart she is, she read it and it said "We think there are thieves sneaking into the Emerald Hall. We are looking for any information. Remember, the food in the Emerald Hall is only for those who have passed all the trials of Kord and done great deeds to honor our Lord." Fiola was anguished at the thought of someone eating there uninvited and I was ashamed. But Starg's resolve doubled. Just one more time he said; he was always talking me into things. We waited a few moons, until the notice had fallen, the leaves had died for the year, and our bellies ached for some of that sweet ambrosia they served. A Heroes Feast they called it. We always felt so good afterwards. So one day, we snuck in. We ate happily and then we noticed that we were all alone. The tables had cobwebs on them and the meat was suddenly green. The ambrosia turned to black gunk and we started feeling nauseous and feverish. We heard clanking, as if a battalion of people were approaching. Chanting, chanting of getting the infidels. Our insides were burning and our feet felt as if they were encased in lead. But we summoned our courage and energy and ran. We ran so fast and so far, we found ourselves outside of the city even. We emptied ourselves; it was glorious. And we nearly died on that cold day in what seemed so empty a place. But we laughed. That was the best time ever. I am on my quest now to someday reach that table properly.

So, I should break into the king's chambers or something?

Oh, well, the specifics vary you know. And King Fella is not one to trifle with. Maybe you could start with some uppity baker or something. And you need a partner in mischief. Starg and I, well, I miss our misadventures. He and I had so much fun together over the years until... You know, it really is companionship that helps. Find someone. Mischief optional. Though the excitement and fear really drove all other thoughts out of our head.

Mord, will you be my companion?

No, you need someone of your own age. There have been other attacks. Maybe there is another little elfing whose father or mother was ripped apart. Oh, um.

**s0b** I had forgotten! Oh, oh, oh...

And the little elfling just cried against my shoulder. It was nice. Well, maybe not for him. I hope he finds someone. Still, you know, I think I could have done better. Somehow, I am just a bit too upfront, I think. Ah well.

"Hey All Grins! You need some help getting that fruit? It seems rather high for short people. You do not seem good at climbing you know. Remember that time..."

Mords of wisdom: When comforting a boy who lost his mother, don't go into details.