During the War of the Satyr
Life on the front was never easy. You don’t know where you will be tomorrow, or if you will even survive the day ahead. So when a newcomer walked into the encampment, Silannah’s heart leapt. The new woman’s rich violet hair was cut short, practical yes, but so striking on her gentle face. What was such a delicate thing doing out here? She watched as the graceful form moved to the command building.
After some time, the woman emerged and walked over to the fires, gathering herself a plate, she filled it and sat a few feet from the others. In the glow of the flames, her silver eyes took on a spectacular color. Silannah tried not to stare, but watched as she continued to talk with the others. The woman seemed to be observing everything around her, quietly taking measure of each fighter, every tent, the placement of the latrine.
The next day, a flash of purple hair breezed by Silannah’s tent over to the training area. Intrigued, Sil followed her. As the lead trainer, she could check out anyone to assign placement. What she saw was captivating. The woman had taken up a simple staff. Her movements were fluid, almost dancing as she sparred with two others at once. Blow after blow was blocked and parried. Suddenly, both women were disarmed. They stood there, dumbfounded, as she brought them down. Without a word, she replaced the staff and moved to take a sword. Sil jumped up and drew her swords. Entering the circle, she nodded and they began. The ring of steel brought others to the edge. Soon a crowd had gathered watching the dance. After 30 minutes, they stopped, breath heavy, sweat glistening on their arms.
“Your technique is flawless! I’m Estelæth. I haven’t had a good spar in a long time, thank you.”
“Silannah. Thank you! I couldn’t help but give it a go. Your style is impressive.” She felt herself blushing. “Can I get you a drink? I know I could use one.”
The purple haired woman nodded. They left the training area and found their way over to the mess tent. A couple of drinks later and they felt like old friends. For the next three weeks, the two were inseparable. They trained, ate, and slept together. Sparring had become foreplay and people would watch just to see how long they could maintain it before disappearing to their tent.
One morning, Estelæth woke to find Silannah gone. She got up, washed, and dressed before the warrior returned. Placing a basket on the table, Silannah walked over and kisses her gently. “I hope you didn’t mind me leaving early. I went over to the mess tent and packed us a lunch. There’s a quick scouting mission they needed done and I thought we could make a little day out of it by having a picnic first.”
“Well, don’t you just think of everything,” Este responded with a smile. “Let me get my pack made and we can head out.” She started carefully rolling some clothes and a blanket and stuffed them into a small bag. Next went a few items for taking notes and a scope for range viewing. It took them most of the morning to get most of the way there. Finding a quiet spot, they laid out the blankets and enjoyed a meal.
And so things went for a number of months. Sil found herself desperately in love with the woman. She was always happy to pull whatever time they could together. Soon the campaign came to an end. Life was about to turn back toward normal. Is it possible I have found myself someone to share the countless years? she wondered to herself. She smiled as she crossed the compound, headed toward the Command building. Inside, she hoped to find which House was needing retainers. With any luck, she could get a comfortable position and not worry. What she found was entirely different. The door was locked. “That’s odd,” she muttered as she knocked. Why is it locked up? Everything is over. She made her way round to the window after no one came to the door.
The sound she made stopped everyone around cold. Seeing her face, elves scattered to move out of her sight. Through the rippled glass, Este’s form bounced up and down on one of the males. From the look of the garments on the floor, a member of a High House. Another was waiting off to the side, grinning. Este looked up and saw Sil through the window. And she grinned. The woman just grinned at her. Sil ran.
She found herself at her son’s tent. Pushing back the canvas she found his pack was missing. So was he. It made no sense. Why would he have gone out now? Thinking to herself she realized she hadn’t seen him in almost a week. She had been so busy with the successes and the close of the war, she lost track of him.
“Where is he!” she bellowed into Este’s face. “You were his commanding officer, where is he?” Her voice was cold, grating. It was almost like the air around her was ice.
Este shrugged her off. “He was sent out with a small group to ensure the area to the east was clear. They have been coming back in one at a time. He’s doing his part. Just like we all do.” She stared straight into Silannah’s face. There was no hint of the woman Silannah had known the last six months. Estelæth was a stranger again. She would be working as a retainer for one of the Great Houses. The only thing Silannah knew for sure, is it wouldn’t be Whisperwind.
After two more days had gone by, another member of her son’s troop arrived. A large cloth draped over a saber as she walked it into camp. She moved to Silannah, her eyes haunted and empty. Silannah held out her hand and the woman placed Giliath’s ring into it along with the reins of the large cat. The woman knelt and placed her sword at Silannah’s feet and waited. Silannah kicked her over, gathered her son’s body into her arms. She didn’t make a sound. Everyone watched as she walked to his tent and disappeared.