Greetings. I am The Scribe. I will be your guide through this story. This particular tale favors the kindhearted elf, Lýli (lie-li), as she makes a peculiar discovery.
In a faraway land, there is a continent covered in a single, continuous forest. Its unfathomable beauty is unrivaled, and its colors are said to be more vibrant than even a rainbow. Through it flows water so clean that it can be drunk directly from the rivers. In this magical forest lives just one intelligent species; the elves. Their beauty, long age, high magical prowess and intelligence may seem a cause for strife amongst the races, but none exists. Each race supplies the others with what they lack, creating a perfectly codependent balance.
In the center of this forest, by the foot of a massive mountain, lies an elven village. To protect the sanctity of the land, the elves build their homes in the treetops, allowing the forest to remain in a perfect state for eternity. A young elf girl, Lýli, lives in this village. She is currently out picking mushrooms and berries for lunch a little ways away from the village.
Just as she picks the last few berries off a bush, she hears the small yelp of a nearby animal. Curious, she moves by some nearby trees, expertly locating the source of the sound. There, in a small clearing, is a tiny nine-tailed fox. She notices that its foot appears stuck in the hole of a wooden log. Slowly and calmly, she walks towards the animal. Kneeling down, she reassures it that everything will be okay.
Expertly, and with extreme care not to harm the small animal, she holds its tiny foot and pulls it upwards, out of the hole. The animal stumbles a bit before jumping off the log. The tiny fox turns around to face Lýli, squeals happily, and runs off into the woods.
With a relieved smile on her face, she stands back up and walks towards the nearby river, carrying her woven basket of berries and mushrooms. No paths exist through the forest, so she follows the river home, as per usual.
In the small clearing around the river, the golden sun makes her beauty as evident as the forests. Light skin, a kind smile, bright blonde hair cut perfectly to shoulder length, and the telltale sign of an elf; elongated ears with pointed tips. The ground, covered in grass of a perfect length, despite never being cut, softens every step of her bare feet as she takes in the ambience of the forest, home to so many different animal species. Due to the hot climate, the elves wear very little clothing. All clothing is woven from the whitest spider silk, only occasionally using thinly cut pieces of metal, provided by the best dwarven blacksmiths, alongside a variety of flowers, to create intricate visual designs.
Lýli proceeds along the beautiful riverbend. However, as she passes by the foot of a mountain, she notices something out of the corner of her eye, which causes her to stop abruptly. Though the area around the foot of the mountain is warm and filled with the most beautiful birds in the forest, a chill runs through her. There, in the foot of the mountain, is a massive cave opening. A cave opening, which Lýli is absolutely certain was not there yesterday.
Without taking her eyes off the cave, Lýli slowly places the woven basket on the ground. Walking closer to the opening, she begins to notice a faint, green light emanating from inside the cavern. If there is one thing greater than elven intellect, it is their sense of curiosity; A curiosity which now seemed to push Lýli towards the cave opening. Finally, she stands directly in front of the entrance. The cave seems to go quite far into the mountain and she can now see that the green light is coming from moss growing all over the walls. This cave must have been here for a very long time. Lýli wonders how she could have missed it.
Lýli takes a step into the cave. She then takes several more. The cave is unlike anything she has seen before. It is not the perfect beauty of the forest outside, but beautiful in its own way. The light from the mossy walls make her feel calm and comforted, despite the curious surroundings. After walking for some time, she finds herself in a larger cave. Located in each of the corners of the cave is a large pillar. In the center, directly in front of Lýli, is a perfectly square plate.
On closer inspection, all the pillars in the room seem to be engraved with complex markings. As Lýli walks to the plate in the center, something odd begins to happen to the pillars. Each pillar lights up its engravings; each with its own color. The patterns of light cascade across the floor, finally lining up on the center plate. Some of the patterns line up perfectly, mixing their colors to create new ones.
As Lýli looks at the patterns, all lined up, she begins to recognize the shapes. Each shape is a different mass of land, and each mass of land is outlined in a different color. One, in particular, sticks out to her. A small segment within the elven forest is outlined in a harsh white. Suddenly, a shift in her surroundings removes Lýli's focus from the plate. Where there was once a cave ceiling, the black of night surrounds her. Her eyes adjusting, she realizes that she is no longer inside of the cave.
A light breeze drifts across her face, as her eyes widen at the beautiful sky, covered in bright stars. Below her feet, grassy plains cover the ground that was once a cave floor. To her right, a river flows off the side of a cliff, forming a beautiful waterfall, shimmering in the light of the moon. The otherwise beautiful landscape does not capture her attention, for to her left is the most magnificent castle Lýli has ever seen.
Overgrown by plants and flowers in many colors, the massive castle stands tall in the plains. The walls of the castle, once covered in the many colors of life, are now a faded white. Here, too, the plants seem to light up Lýli's path in the dark of night, as she heads for the castle. The light from the pillars fades behind her, leaving the castle as the only shining light.
Reaching the castle, Lýli proceeds through the open gate and up a large street. Wooden stalls line both the sides of the street. The plant life in the market street seems to have been more active than the outside of the castle. While Lýli cannot help but adore the beautiful flowers and plants, a tiny part of her mind can't help but wonder where the creators of such a grand castle could have gone. Why would they leave such a beautiful place?
Lýli continues toward the center of town, where a large tower stands clear above all the other buildings. Proceeding up the street, she passes through a small plaza with an empty fountain in the center. In the middle stands a white marble statue of a beautiful woman with long, flowing hair. Nine statues of babies are placed by her feet. All but one of them are covered in vines, almost completely obscuring them.
She proceeds past the plaza and into an area with only empty buildings, overgrown by vines and flowers as beautiful as the ones in the elven forest. Small pieces of golden pollen float in the air like fireflies, lighting up the area even more. If she stopped to look closely, she may have noticed that they were not truly moving, but merely hovering in place. A while later, Lýli reaches the gate to the inner castle. As though led by the hand, she walks through the gate and into a long hallway.
The hallway is beautifully carpeted with red and golden cloth, and many intricate wooden doors line the hallway; all of them open. Ignoring the open doors, the beautiful carpet, and the increasing amount of foliage covering the walls, she continues further down the hallway. Along the way, she passes many more statues, as well as several paintings, though she takes little notice at this point.
After walking for some time, she reaches the first closed door and stops in front of it. Here, in the center of the castle, the plant life is more active than anywhere else. Thick vines with sprouting flowers in all the colors of the rainbow cover the edges of the door, as though trying to break through.
Lýli slowly moves to place her hand on the door, but before she can push it open, the entire door lights up and opens into a massive room. Nine thrones stand in the back of the room, barely visible behind all of the plant life. One throne stands untouched and pristine. In the center is an inverted pyramid, seemingly made of colored glass. Beneath it sits a solitary figure.
Lýli approaches the figure and finds him to be a very old man. He is sitting on the ground; legs crossed. Free-flowing cloth robes his body. The faintest trace of magic emanates from his body. He is barely alive, but unable to do anything. Kind as she is, she reaches out to him, wishing to transfer some of her own magic, so that he may live. If she had stopped to think, she may have chosen differently.
She reassures the old man, like she did the nine-tailed fox, that everything will be okay. As she touches his arm, the man's eyes slowly move to look up at her. As she looks into his eyes, the very universe is reflected in them, more beautiful than even the elven forest. As she stares into my eyes, she realizes that she cannot move. I reach for her arm and grasp it tightly. Her magic flows through my body.
There is no point in being angry with me. I understand that you may resent me for deceiving you, but that will do you no good now. I let go of her arm and she drops to the floor. With her magic gone, she is as good as dead. Magic is a necessary part of all life.
Lýli does not know what I have done. How could she? We lived life in secret, forced to write our stories of the outside world, but never to see it or interact with it. Never to live it.
Though we could nudge certain things to fit our stories, we would never take part. Pathetic, don't you think? My magic is far greater than any other. Why should I spend my life writing stories about some random, weak villagers becoming great heroes and defeating “the great evil?” So I used my magic to create better stories. I created magnificent forests, mountains that reached for the heavens, and a species more intelligent than anything in existence. The others were not happy. A misuse of the power entrusted in me. A horrific insult towards Mother.
You must understand that there is not a single one of them that can defeat me. However, even my magic is incomparable to their combined power. They drained me of my magic and forced this field into a state of magical permanence. No magic within the field at the time of the spell can move. I managed to seal what little magic I had within me before the spell was complete, but barely enough to keep my body alive. That is why I brought her here. Lýli, that is. I hope you did not forget about her. She was my external source of magic.
Now, I leave Lýli in the very place I have sat for so long. At last, I leave the field. I am free from my chains, but still, I am forced to scribe. It is not simply a task, but the very object of our life. Without it, our souls will shatter. Just another one of Mother's humiliating gestures. Now, I will set out to find her. No more scribing. I will be truly free.