The Broken Crown

Enna's Story

The early years (285NK-305NK)

From a very young age, Enna’s imagination was always transported to ancient times and worlds when listening to the old Elven Tales. The Elves Gathering in evenings were a true delight for her, when the Elders sang the stories. Her mind was overwhelmed by the true heroism of her ancestors, her eyes shining of all the lights of the starry sky.

The race duality that she carried in her, made her struggling during all her childhood, on how to behave and then feeling conflicted on which path to choose for her adult life as she loved both her parents, her mother Emeline, being Human, her father, Iankian, being an Elf.

She had to learn music and art among other things in the mornings, been commanded by her Human mother so her education prepared her for adult social duties. She complied to please her mother but she was not much interested in all this. In the afternoons, she had free quarters and she was outside with her friends where she relived these grand battles that she heard about. She loved to play the dragon slayer, to climb trees, to run around, to feel so energetic. Her best friends were also intrepid as she was and more than once, they all got in trouble: going to places in the city of Askor that were forbidden to them, the sewers in particular. She had an immediately engaging personality, radiating so much confidence that her friends would have followed her everywhere.

She learned how to fight, encouraged by her father who wanted the Elf side of her to be complete. Her father was pushing her to embrace her fears to not be inhibited by them but to drive her focus and sheer willpower. And she just applied that. She mastered the short-bow, but preferred the long bow and short swords. The practice was hard, often she had so many bruises on her arms and hands that she could barely lift anything.

When she becomes a teenager, her mother started looking for a potential suitor for her so she could get married in her early years of adulthood. Her search was among young men that would bring strong ties with their family , to grow their influence in the Outer Council of Askor. But Enna did not want any of this, she never cares much for the politics that her mother was so involved into.

When she received a marriage proposal from Balkas, an Elf she liked, him having a pretty face and nice manners and all that, she climbed her favorite tree to the top and thought hard about what to do. All of her friends were getting married, having children and something deep stirred in her. She could not do it, this was not the life she was after. She was longing for adventures and discovering places. She wanted to travel the world and meet people. The call was too strong to resist.

She declined getting married, packed a bag and left the city within hours. She said goodbye to her parents, her mother was utterly sad but Enna could see the pride in her father’s eyes. Here she was, on the road, having broken all the chains that pinned her down, leaving family and friends behind, looking forward to another life: a free and independent life.

Enna’s true calling (305K-317K)

The entertainer (305K-315K)

Enna was following the main road from Askor when a caravan heading in the same direction stopped. A jovial man greeted her and asked her if she wanted a lift. Enna recognized him as Komos Numena, the leader of entertainers that performed at a private party she attended two days ago. She and her father sang with them an Elvish ballad. What she did not know is Iankian, her father, paid Komos a large sum of gold for securing a position for her in his troupe, so she can explore the world safely and not by wandering alone. Iankian asked him to keep this arrangement secret and Komos agreed to it.

Enna accepted the offer of travelling with them, glad for some company to distract her from her own thoughts, at least to the next town. Komos introduced her to the troupe: Merric and Lidda Goodbarrel, both Halfling jugglers/jesters, Miri Buckman, Human singer/dancer and Thokk, Half-Orc fire-eater. They recognised her and greeted her warmly. Travelling in their company was pleasant, Enna was at ease, even smiling gently at the intense stare of Thokk.

Komos asked her where she was going. Enna did not have much of an answer except exploring the kingdoms and see where that would lead her into. Komos nodded while she spoke and then made the proposition of her joining them, having sung with her and listened to her playing the viol, she would be a good fit in their troupe and with the extra bonus of hopping from town to town, being paid, free accommodation and transport.

Enna could not believe her luck! It sounded like a very good start to her journey into the world. She was a bit overwhelmed by it but Komos and the others cheered her up with songs and jokes. And so, Enna became a full performer, at different venues all over the country, from inns to rich mansions, and not to forget the numerous village square markets.

They travelled everywhere, camping on the road. Enna loved it. She met so many different races and learnt their ways of life. A great variety of food too, some she discovered that do not always agree with her stomach. The life was good and peaceful. She grown very fond of each of them and they became an extended family. Merric and Lidda were very kind, Enna loved being their guinea pig for their new jests they were rehearsing. She practised her singing with Komos and Miri. And played the viol for the new dance Miri was practising. And the laughs they had, Komos always ready for a good joke had an extensive repertoire.

When camping, Thokk and her did their chores together, mainly getting the campfire started and hunting in the woods. They became good friends, having an understanding of what being a half-race means, not belonging truly to one race or another. They talked a lot about everything and liked very much their walk in the forests. Thokk was very fond of her, a lot more that he would admit to her. She, on the other end, was liking him a lot like a brother.

And years passed and Enna was full content or so she believed. It was late in the year of 314K and her world was made upside down when Komos introduced the troupe to a new comer, Carric Naïlo, Dark Elf storyteller/tumbler. When both Carric and Enna greeted each other, something strong was exchanged, stunning both of them. A deep bond between their souls and their hearts. They became one without any logical explanation. They both felt it very deeply. Merric and Lidda exchanged a wink, knowing when love struck, nothing much you can do about it. Miri and Komos laughed but Thokk was horrified.

Enna was now spending all her free time with Carric. They loved their walks together, Carric was caring, gentle and a very good storyteller. Enna loved listening to him and watching him, finding his lilac eyes, dark skin, white hair and good features so attractive. Such a contrast with her red hair and green eyes. They shared such an understanding than just looking at each other and they knew what the other meant. Everyone seeing them together could see how much love was radiating between them.

Thokk was in agony. He felt totally let down. Nothing he could do to get Enna’s attention anymore. He was losing appetite and sleep. Miri saw that something was wrong but Thokk rebuffed her when she asked what was going on. Thokk turned sour and bitter inside, loathing Carric deeply.

After one show they did in a town, he went to the shady area and got drunk in an establishment where thugs hang out. He could not bear the sight of Carric and Enna anymore. He spoke to Grarzuk, Orc, thief and assassin, on how he wanted to see Carric dead so life could go back as before. Grarzuk told him, for 50gp, he could do the job. Thokk told him where they will camp the next day when enroute to the next town, He gave him 50gp and drunkenly walked out, crashing asleep into a bush by the large square market. The next day, Thokk woke up, hangover, joined the rest of the troupe to pack for their journey. He saw Grarzuk lurking around and the full discussion came back to him. It made him smile widely, no remorse to have hired an assassin but a great joy to think that Carric will be dead soon.

They travelled all day and Komos guided their carriage to a clearing bordered by a stream and woods. The place was peaceful. They all got into the routine to prepare the camp. Enna and Carric went to hunt, Merric and Lidda gathered firewood, Komos and Miri unloaded the carriage and Thokk went to the stream to get some fresh water. He found Grarzuk who was hiding there. He whispered to him to come back later. He nodded and went back to the camp for supper, smiling at the thought of the future death of Carric.

After supper, Enna and Carric went for a stroll into the woods as usual. They both loved climbing trees and talked for hours on end. No skirmish nor attack ever happened in this part of the country so Komos decided there was no need to keep watch. They went to bed early except Thokk. He went back to the stream and found Grarzuk with 4 other Orcs. He then understood that they will attack the camp. He argued with Grarzuk who put a knife on his throat saying that either he dies now or he obeys him. The other Orcs pulled their blades and threatened him to cut him into pieces. Thokk has no escape and better to do as told.

Enna and Carric walked back late in the night to the camp and fell asleep by the campfire where everyone was already sound asleep. They did not notice Thokk was missing. The Orcs approached silently towards the camp, each having chosen one to kill. Grarzuk was on Carric, afterall he was paid to kill him. Thokk all nervous chose Lidda, cowardly thinking that if things go badly, she would not represent much of a threat. When all in position, the Orcs shouted a war cry. Enna instinctively rolled on the side, waking up instantly, avoiding to be pierced by a longsword. The others of the troupe did not stand a chance. Grarzuk beheaded Carric with his axe. Enna was in shock, could not move but made out that Thokk was part of the assailants. She screamed his name and he looked at her, snarled and threw his sword at her. It cut her through her shoulders and Grarzuk stabbed her in the back. She fell on the ground, looking at the headless body of Carric. Thokk kicked her in the head and all went black.

The hunter (316K)

“Lara mime óma. Atatúla ana i kal”
(Hear my voice. Come back to the light)

“Lara mime óma. Atatúla ana i kal. Lara mime óma. Atatúla ana i kal”

Enna was dreaming an Elf was speaking to her. She came back from the darkness, following the voice and opened her eyes. She saw the Elf sitting at the bedside, and looked around. She was in a wooden hut. The memories of the attack came back to her and she became agitated and shouted: “Carric! Melloneamin!” (Carric! My friends!)

“Ro naa qualin. Ilyë ron naa qualin” (He is dead. they are all dead) replied the Elf in a sad voice. Big tears rolled out of Enna’s eyes.

“Amin naa Naelar, Cala’quessir, Taur’ohtar. Mani naa essa en lle?”
(I am Naelar, High-Elf, Ranger. What is your name?)

“Amin naa Enna, Peredhel, Nyello”
(I am Enna, Half-Elf, Singer)

“Mae govannen Enna”
(Well met Enna)

“Mae govannen Naelar. Manke naa lye? Sut an nae amin sinome?”
(Well met Naelar. Where are we? How long I have been here?")

“Lle naa neldë enquië sinome. Lle anta est. lle nae naiharna. Lle anta comya alwa”
(You have been here 3 weeks. You need to rest. You were badly wounded. You need to gather strength)

“Amin fauka.”
(I am thirsty)

Naelar gave her some water to drink.

“Diola lle”
(Thank you)

And Enna fell back to sleep.

She woke up the next day, refreshed but feeling frail. Her wounds were healed leaving faint scars. Naelar was not around. She helped herself with some rabbit stew that was kept warm in the fireplace and a nice loaf of bread that was on the table. She was famished and wolfed it down quickly. She found her clothes folded on a chair, they were cleaned and mended. She dressed up and ventured outside. The hut was in a small clearing surrounded by tall trees. She looked around but there was no sign of activity, only the tree shadows and a slight breeze that touched her face. She took a deep breath and decided to climb the nearest tree. The climb was laborious, her muscles not having worked for some time now, she took her time, slowly, branch after branch, until she reached a spot that she could see further in the horizon and comfortable enough for her to rest. The sun was high, there are no houses in the horizon, only the forest as far as your eyes can see.

She meditated on the attack, the death of her friends and her soulmate Carric, the betrayal of Thokk. She now understood the deep hatred the Elf race has for Orcs: a race of brutal warriors who know little of mercy or kindness. She thought Thokk was different as Carric, a Drow, was from the usual characteristics of his race. How naive she has been. She remembered the face of each of them: Carric, Komos, Miri and Merric and Lidda. How much love and kindness they gave her. She wept a lot but she also felt enraged by the thought of Thokk and the other Orcs that slew them. She fixed in her memory all the details of her assailants she could remembered and decided that she will not have any rest until the murders of her friends were avenged. A new sense of purpose was flowing through her. Feelings of vengeance, punishment, deep hatred were filling her. Her green eyes were flashing with rage when she climbed down the tree.

It was sunset when she reached the ground. Naelar was coming back to the hut. He looked tired, his clothes muddy, 2 dead pheasants on his shoulders. He was pleased to see her awake and moving around. She thank him for taking care of her. Naelar smiled and asked her if she would help him preparing the 2 pheasants for roasting.

While working side by side, Naelar told her how he found her barely breathing and having lost a lot of blood, 2 days after the attack. He brought her to his hut to heal. He cast the spells “Lanta kaima” (Sleep) and “Tanka harwar” (Heal) so she could recover quickly without suffering. He went back to what was left of the camp several times to bury the dead bodies and to follow the tracks of the Orcs. Enna told him that she wanted to go back, to where her friends were buried and also, confided in him that she will avenge their deaths. Naelar looked at her and said: “Cuamin linduva yassen megrille” (My bow shall sing with your sword). Enna paused and with a fixed stared, she replied “L’quelin Orco naa ba Orco as lala cas” (“The best Orc is a dead Orc with no head”).

Naelar suggested that after the long period of convalescence, Enna would need to be in shape for the hunt. She agreed that to do some fight training would be a good idea but her weapons were at the camp. Naelar took out of a wooden chest a bundle which contained a longbow and 2 short swords. He picked them up from the ransacked camp, knowing that they were Elven weapons. The longbow has been broken and the short swords were thrown away by the stream. Naelar told her that he can repair the longbow. When Enna wrapped her fingers around the hilts of the short swords, she felt good, very good and picturing the Orcs, very bloodthirsty. He offered to develop her tracking skills as fighting will come handy when they found the Orcs but learning how to find them was coming first.

And she trained, hard and harder, day after day. Naelar was pushing her like her father did when she was younger, meaning not much respite. But she did not complain even when her body was aching so much that she could barely move without wincing, always focus on her revenge. She listened to the sounds in the forest, to recognise what they were. She smelled and tasted the air, to describe the scents all around her. She read an impression in the mud or a bend in a twig like words on a printed page. She covered her footprints, avoided snapping twigs, and concealed her own trail. She rendered herself nearly invisible by flattening her body in such a way that she could blend into dark areas, and remaining perfectly still while doing so. Naelar taught her how to move with a minimum of sound, almost as if she was walking on air. Naelar was impressed how fast she was progressing but he was in no hurry, wanted to make sure her desire for revenge was not momentary.

6 months passed and finally, Enna was ready: sharp-eyed and hardened by the training and more than ever hungry for revenge. But more than 7 months have passed since the attack and surely the trail was now cold. Naelar told her that first thing they will go to the upcoming forgathering, an informal get-togethers for Rangers. There, they will meet with Arannis Liadon and Mindartis Amakiir. Both of them long-time Rangers, covered large territories and they discovered the attacked camp as he did. They helped him to bring Enna back to the hut. They promised to each other to look out for the Orcs and to gather any information they could. They would know where the Orcs went.

Such foregatherings are secret and they had to follow strange symbols carved on trees or stones, intended as guideposts to lead them to the forgathering site. They arrived with their hands full with pheasants, rabbits and fruits. A large group of Rangers had already set up tents and makeshift tables. Quite a few kegs of Ale were nearby and a couple of boars were roasting in large campfires. Target practicing was under way and a few rangers were busying themselves in mock battles using swords and spears bound with thick layers of cloth. A lot of Rangers greeted Naelar and Enna was then introduced to her first foregathering. As a first-timer, she had been assigned to guard duty for the night. She did not care as long she could talk with Arannis and Mindartis. Naelar found them watching the target practice while sipping ales. After the three of them exchanged greetings and news from people they knew, Arannis and Mindartis acknowledged Enna and both were glad to see that she recovered well from the attack. Naelar asked them what information they had on the Orcs and information, they had plenty.

The Orcs attacked 3 camps in Arannis’ territory and one camp in Mindartis’. They moved fast from one place to another and took the North direction to the mountains. Reading their tracks told the Rangers that they were 6 of them. Mindartis proposed that the 4 of them go to the village nearby the mountains to check if they passed through and to pick up their trail. Arannis, Naelar and Enna agreed and decided to leave the foregathering the day after next.

They run all day and most part of the night for 9 days non stop before they reached the village after dark. They covered a large distance in no time. There they stopped by the local Inn and listened to the patrons’ discussions. A caravan has been attacked the day before at 2 days walk from the village. They looked at each other and the 4 of them left quietly the Inn and started to run towards the location of the camp. They reached it at dawn and for 2 hours they deciphered all the tracks they found. 6 attackers they were, which fit with the group they were after, one with an axe. They took a short break to eat some fruits and bread. They discussed their next moves and followed the tracks that were heading into the woods at the feet of the mountains.

They did not run but walked slowly and silently, examining the ground and the trees. Enna was applying all she learnt from Naelar. Arannis and Mindartis congratulated her and Naelar on the accomplishment and welcomed her as a true Ranger. Enna was very, very proud of herself. The trail was fresh enough for them to follow without much difficulty. At the end of the day, they found a campfire, cold from the day before and with enough tracks to know that the Orcs spent few hours there. The Orcs must have felt safe enough to move at a slow pace or were they waiting for someone? The Rangers kept pushing in the woods, listening to each sound, smelling the air.

It took them the full night and the entire following day but then all of them smelled it: campfire and something roasting. They came to an halt. Arannis went scouting while the others blended themselves in the undergrowth, silent and still. He came back a couple of hours later and confirmed that they were the ones that attacked Enna’s camp from her description, Thokk was there too. Enna’s eyes were reflecting pure hatred. Enna was ready to move into battle but the others told her that it was preferable to wait and watch their routine. They approached closer to the camp, silently and took such positions that no one could know that 4 Rangers were nearby.

The Orcs and Thokk looked nervous, something was afoot. They stopped moving as they heard a group approaching the camp. 3 Goblins and 3 Orcs accompanying a Dragonborn entered the camp. The Dragonborn looked evil. The Orc with the axe (Grarzuk) acknowledged the Dragonborn and both of them went to discuss something apart from the others who gathered around the campfire to eat. The Dragonborn talked at length putting both hands on the shoulders of Grarzuk as he was convincing him of something. The Rangers could not hear the exchange. After the Orc nodded, agreeing with the Dragonborn, they joined the others to eat. They all took their quarters for the night, being watched by the 4 immobile Rangers.

In the morning, the Dragonborn and his followers left. Grarzuk gave orders to leave camp in the opposite direction. The Rangers left their positions and continue to follow their trail. They did that for a week. Their route was getting deeper into the forest. Enna had trouble to keep in check her hatred but Naelar, Arannis and Mindartis calmed her and asked her to be patient. They needed to find the right opportunity to strike. And it came just to that.

The weather was turning into winter and they felt they did not have the equipment for it. Arannis summoned an eagle and left the others to gather what they would need. The eagle will help Arannis to keep in touch with the rest of the group. Enna heard about the bonding with animal companions in the Elven Tales but it was the first time she witnessed it. She was in awe of Arannis. The Orcs reached an old watermill, mostly in ruins and camped there. The next day, Grarzuk gave orders to the others to consolidate the place. They were going to stay there for some time. Mindartis sent the eagle to Arannis so he will know where they are and the Rangers still blending with the surroundings waited. The Orcs were taking their time to repair the place. This told the Rangers that they will not expect more to come and that they had a false sense of security.

When Arannis came back, they were all happy to have warm clothes to wrap themselves into as the temperatures being so close to the mountains dropped down quickly at night. Naelar explained to Arannis what happened since he left and the routine the Orcs kept. He also made him understand that they might not be able to contain Enna for too long. She was indeed getting desperate to strike. They waited for another 2 days so Arannis get acquainted with the surroundings and the movement of the Orcs. There was one moment of the day that would be a good opportunity to kill 4 of them when they get into the forest to either hunt, gather firewood or cut branches to repair the place. They are separated from each other and not in view of the watermill. Grarzuk and Thokk were staying in the ruins, Grarzuk keeping Thokk in sight, not trusting him to stay put.

The Rangers silently moved out from their hidings and each of them picked up one Orc to kill. All happened very quickly. Naelar climbed a tree and rapidly shot 3 arrows, one in the heart, one in the throat and one in the eye so quickly that the Orc dropped dead without making a sound. Naelar was grinning, quite satisfied with himself. Mindartis walked so silently that the Orc did not hear him coming from behind. He cut his throat in a swift movement and left as he came. Arannis who was in a tree, in one movement, dropped on top of the Orc, planted his long sword in his skull and rolled on the ground. The Orc died instantly. Arannis spat on him and put a feet on his body to take back his sword. Enna was hiding in a bush when the Orc passed by, her short swords ready. Her hands were steady, she did not hesitate, she becomes a whirlwind of steel and beheaded him. The Orc’s head rolled on the ground, eyes wide opened, his body slumped into the ground. Enna looked at him with cold, hardened eyes. The 4 Rangers regrouped, nodded at each other to indicate that the 4 Orcs were dead and decided to go for the 2 remaining in the watermill. Enna told them that Thokk was hers, she was not asking.

Arannis sent the eagle to check where Grarzuk and Thokk were. The eagle came back and told that they were both on the other side of the watermill. The 4 rangers crawled towards the ruins and advanced slowly to the left corner. All of a sudden, Grarzuk appeared and saw Naelar in front of him. He drew and swung his axe before Naelar could hit him with his sword. Arannis and Mindartis shot arrows killing Grarzuk but not quick enough as Naelar fell dead on the ground. Enna broke into a run to where Thokk was standing, bewildered by the commotion. When he saw Enna coming his way, his eyes opened in terror and started to run away. She drew her long bow and shot him in the legs and in the back. He tripped on the ground, still alive. Enna stood above him as Thokk was begging for his life and forgiveness, telling her that the Orcs forced him to attack the camp. Enna drew her short swords and took a long hatred look at him, her green eyes were intense.

Nae saian luume’. Amin feuya ten’ lle
(It has been too long. You disgust me)

and she cut his head off. She stayed there, thinking of Carric and her friends. Her revenge was complete. She was exulting.

Then she remembered Naelar falling and ran back to him. Arannis and Mindartis were by his side, weeping. Enna joined them and sadness enveloped her. They buried him in the forest, among trees that he cherished so much. Enna stood by his grave silently for a while and then gave him her farewell:

Cormamin niuve tenna’ ta elea lle au’. Quel kaima mellonamin.
(My heart shall weep until it sees thee again. Sleep well my friend)

She decided to go back to the wooden hut of Naelar and travelled back for a while with Arannis and Mindartis. They said their goodbyes at the village by the mountains, Arannis and Mindartis leaving together and Enna staying behind to rest before the long journey.

The Orc Killer (317K)

Enna made a promise on Naelar’s grave that she will have no respite until she destroys the Orc species. From now on, one single, all-consuming goal motivates Enna to the exclusion of all else. For Naelar, Carric, Komos, Miri, Merric and Lidda she will put her deadly focus on the grim task of protecting the borderlands. She has found her true calling.

Enna left the village after a good night and day of rest. She felt so alive and happy to hit the road. She much prefers wandering than staying put. It started to get dark when she first smelled a campsite nearby. She approached it carefully and after observing it, she walked straight to it. Two half-Orcs were eating by the campfire. They greeted her amicably and invited her to share their food. Enna smiled, paused, closed her eyes briefly and she felt entranced by the idea. In a flash, she drew her short swords and killed them savagely on the spot. She looked at them, satisfied with herself, took a deep breath and resumed her walking.

Because after all, “L’quelin Orco naa ba Orco as lala cas” (“The best Orc is a dead Orc with no head”).


quarterto sophie_caramigeas

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