Chapter one, part one: The Legend of the Goddess
In the beginning, the elves thought that they were alone. They lived on the wide, sweeping plains of Onsira, where they built their villages and lived quiet lives. In those days, they hunted the deer that fed on the lush grass; those near small patches of woodland speared wild boars for their supper. All in all, it was an idyllic life, but to some of the elves, it seemed to be missing something. For ages, they simply farmed the land and did their hunting, never knowing what it was they were missing.
…Until the day came that someone found her.
It was a warm day in the springtime, the old legends say, when a group of hunters entered the forest, chasing after a deer that was desperate to escape the spear-points wielded by the elves. They divided their forces in order to surround the animal, and snuck through the bushes to encircle it. Shiir, one of the members of that hunting party, crouched beside his older brother, peering through the leaves as he searched for the deer.
“It is lost to us!” he whispered, only to be hushed by his brother.
The older boy gestured for Shiir to follow him, and they moved deeper into the forest. The canopy above grew thick, and the woods were dark and cool, quiet but for the sounds of a few birds. The smell of the rich, fertile soil below them we far more apparent as they waited, focused on catching the deer should it pass by them.
Then for a long time, nothing happened. Their long ears picked up no sounds but those of the birds and the faint rustle of the leaves.
Shiir was ready to tell his brother that their dinner was gone when the bushes across from them shook, and a tall, mighty stag dashed towards them. The brothers clutched their spears tightly and prepared to lance it when it was close enough. Two arrows pierced through the air without warning, and Shiir’s brother pulled him out of their path. They missed the stag, which turned sharply to its left and headed deeper into the woods.
“You missed it!” one of the hunters groaned and he and the archer stepped out of the same bushes where the stag had come from.
“I had never seen them run that fast,” the archer replied, defending himself. Then he looked down at Shiir and his brother. “Your first hunt is not going so well.”
“It is not only me that this hunt is not working out for,” Shiir told him as he shrugged.
The archer gave a light-hearted laugh. “For a moment, I was sure that losing the deer and finding the stag was going to be a great boon!”
“We can still catch it,” the other hunter stated, his words empty of any humor. He started walking in the direction that the stag had gone. “We have to catch something for the village if we expect to eat tonight.”
As Shiir, his brother and the archer began to follow him, the other two spearmen in their group arrived, and followed along. They spoke in hushed voices as the crept between the oaks and elms, careful not to get stuck on the bushes. They decided to sent Shiir to scout ahead, knowing that he was small and quiet; he could follow the stag and signal where he was when the time was right for an attack.