¶I. Many a yeartide swithly did pass, and again through the shade-dappled hurst Serenity rollicked delightedly with her sistren, and playfully she wrestled with them in the green brush, and through the underwood gamboled. Again she giggled and sang and skipped about the forestlands; again she was and seemed content in the Way of Nymphs. And the seasons did pass, and the Dryad band had great merriment frisking about the woodlands, entertaining Satyrs and Fauns who would for days with them travel, and idly then part ways.
¶II. After many a year Destiny had become gravid, and in the span of a mere six sennights she birthed unto her band a caul. The band placed this caul in an apple tree, and daily cared for and watched it as it nourished its roots off the tree’s sap. Each day the caul swelled larger as the child-Nymph grew within it, until after twenteen years was hatched the Nymphet named Prosperity.
¶III. Thus the Band of Destiny and had grown too large, and so split into two bands of seven: Destiny remained the Alpha Dryad of the first band, as Faith became the Alpha Dryad of the second. And so Destiny, Harmony, Trust, Divinity, Grace, Solace, and Glory remained in the Elder Band of Destiny, which also was the Whilom Band of Faith, whilst Faith, Charity, Eternity, Felicity, Ecstasy, Serenity, and Prosperity became a Younger Band of Destiny known as the Band of Faith.
¶IV. Faith’s new band was a joyous one, whose days were filled with laughing, singing, romping, and playing, and whose nights were graced by visits from the Pixies. Always they pranced and reveled throughout the Emerald Forest, ceasing only to nap or make love. And each many years Faith bore for her band another caul, and each caul was placed in a fruit tree where it would grow until it was bowned to hatch. In the next [INSERT NUMBER OF YEARS] six more Nymphets were from Destiny borne, whose names were Charisma(?), Radiance, Affinity, Letity, Essence, and Surreptity.
¶V. Yet even with her twelve sistren, Serenity was still lonesome.
¶VI. Then one day as she sported ’round the forest Serenity went her unto a clearing whence beyond a nearby brake in the underbrush she saw curtained in kelly sunbeams besprent so densely in dustmotes and bespangled in pollen and lion’s tooth ___ aglow as to appear nigh opaque amid the swart green shades neath its thick-pleached ogive bolework vaulting the old fern-fettered Treen Hall straught from Fairgate of Dryopoly in the east near the more easterly, ancient twin cities of Samelphame and Dryopolis herself west unto the untrod bridge through Wraymoss, myst-veiled maniholm strewn about the marshes and meres upon eighlets, eights, hummocks, eyots and hags by hoary causeys and age-eaten archways of bowed bridges and arcaded viaducts by abutments braced and by treen roads aloft borne or afloat upon mere-waters bridged, through Weremark unto Atham, obscure settlement amid miasmic brume of the mere-mysts on hummock beset, and heard her there erstwhile a stridor well up rebellowing afar easterly from her and erelong whelm the viridescence-strewn shades of the Stywood in wake of the strepent cacophony that bore it through that very Covered Highway forth from the Fairlands hither unto their fringes the Worldmarch nigh. And so therefore hastened Serenity to cast her upon herself a glamor, lest the dread source of so noisome a threat as to wreak such clamor espy her thence in that clearing(?) adjacent the Treen Hall and mayhap sunder Serenity there utterly or rape her into bondage wither she knew not, yet wherefore unto what doom recked all those of her kind according, whether bound still her captors unto or having been sold or traded to an other, she be strupated in wise she durst not ponder. And so Serenity there waited under cloak of her glamor stilly, that she might first espy her foes -- an foes they be -- and act in accord to the threat.
¶VII. At first Serenity saw her a pair of grey horses. fair and adorn with armor of silvern sheen, bearing riders of paley mantle belike a star that shone clear and bright out of yon distant shades whence came the clamor, swart as pitch howbeit by glimmer of glowing green sunbeams pierced, a sight assuring her they be not fell men, for mankind knew naught in those days yet of the least equestrian ways, nor could any man living yet ken the most easily mastered of equestrian skills.
¶VIII. A great white pair of war-armored pack elephants crinite in coats of short ivorine fur as brilliantly bright as their great paired ruel-bones begat fro their upper incisors before them borne bowed laterally convex yet vertically concave, deeply sloping into anterior descent adown before gradually unto ventral crescent spiroid crooks tapering each athwart its other into scorpioid spires aharply turned medial at their gedded argent (caps) tips to wrap around the straighter horizontal ruel-bones jutting in pairs forth whence the aforesaid nigh-spiroid tusks curved about afore these thick opalescent boles of [[[dental bone???]]] about atop the twain tusks emergent from
¶IX. With a crinet-like coat of laminate plates protecting the proboscean appendage to which the articulate armor had been tightly by mail thongs tethered nigh entirely the length of the thick, serpentine nose-lip rooted under their eyen and between their great ruel-bone tusks
¶X. stellate with a tower of wicker and sindon...
¶XI. ledged wagon with roofed porches skirting the wagon from the entry brighted between square-housed lanthorn sidelights beneath the anterior arch of the roof and enclosed by the supporting arcade of tortile latten brackets under arching brachiations of brown-bright sprigs and leaves returning the exterior walls to a smaller anterior doorway letting out each side of the cottage compartment overhanging the rear wheels by a short stair adown either flanking side of the return-roofed porch upon the (crest?) which
¶XII. blows bespangling the
¶XIII. ...and there she happed upon...
¶XIV. The Darkelfish man then spoke, yet in a tongue far younger than that of Serenity’s. Though a being as ancient and wise as Serenity, having9 heard as many tongues, could detect easily the differences between his tongue and her own, and apprehend the meaning of every word he spoke.
¶XV. “Are you alright?” called out the man, and Serenity was taken aback, for these were not the words of a dreaded Darkelf; these were not at all the words of a creature from the baneful shaded deeps, insofar as Serenity was wont to believe. And so Serenity cast away her glamor and approached on cautious feet, minding of whatsoever danger might there have been, yet far too curious of him to withdraw.
¶XVI. When into the open she came Serenity saw this Darkelf was escorted by two Lightelves, mounted each upon a white mare. Escorted perhaps as a prisoner, yet in no way bound or restrained was he. More likely it seemed he was being guarded; in fact protected by the Lightelves, in such a wise as to befit a man of great import. And although Serenity understood very little of the concept of clothing, she could discern by the way the Darkelf’s ebon robes draped from him that he had been so as to convey nobility adorned.
¶XVII. As Serenity continued her approach she studied the Darkelf’s affectations.
¶XVIII. The Lightelves readied their spears, but already had fallen enchanted, victim to Serenity’s fairness; for naught but the greatest-willed of wights, be it male or female, could endure the thralling lure of a Dryad’s lustrous beauty. Then under helotry of Serenity’s fascination the Lightelves let slip their weapons from their hands, as the Darkelf was staid motionless, entranced by her and enthralled.
¶XIX. “Lo!” said Serenity, “for I am a Trewardess of the Emerald Forest and Nymph of the Cherry Tree. Ye have strayed far too nigh the homewood of my band, and endanger the sanctity of all within its bounds. Therefore I must know your purpose here ere I permit you pass beyond this point.”
¶XX. “These men are taking me to Atham,” stuttered the Darkelf, mustering the needed composure to speak, “for protection against the Unseely Court , from which I have defected, and now must hide away.”
¶XXI. Serenity smiled, and yet she then narrowed her eyen, and upon the three Elves she cast a look most dire, and said unto them: “Harken ye intently unto my bid: ye Lightelves may pass of your own accord, an ye do so light of hoof, but no Darkelf may be permitted to tread upon yon hallowed ground. Unless, Darkelf, thou wouldst be willing to submit thyself unto me, and allow me, as a protectress of the Elder Whits, to lead thee through the wylds of Sylvany myself.”
¶XXII. The Darkelf nodded affirmation, and gestured for the Lightelves to wend ahead ere he dismounted his black mare. And there in that clearing along the Treen Hall he and Serenity remained as the Lightelves awayward rode. Serenity and the Darkelf then tarried there till the Lightelves had fully left their sight, and began leisurely after them.
¶XXIII. “What be thy name?” asked Serenity of the Darkelf.
¶XXIV. “Lyrian ,” answered the Darkelven man.
¶XXV. “Welcome, Lyrian,” said the Adryad.
¶XXVI. “Well met, Serenity,” replied the Lyrian.
¶XXVIII. “So, Lyrian,” began Serenity, the Darkelf beside and just abaft her walking his mare as he and Serenity strode ever down the covered highway toward the untrod bridge, “tell me more of this Unseely Court, whence thou hast defected. It must be very troublesome.”
¶XXIX. “How is it that a Fairykin, even a Nymph, could know nothing of the Unseely Court?” asked the Darkelf.
¶XXX. “I know many a whit,” said Serenity, with all the erudite temerity of a being as ancient and wise as she. And she turned to face the Darkelf, still walking astride just afore him, and gazed deeply into his ruby eyen, and said coyly: “But an thou wouldst speak unto me pretending I knew naught of it at all, I should verily thus be pleased.”
¶XXXI. This somewhat confused the Darkelf, though he humored her natheless. “Well,” said he, “the Unseely Court is the highest host of the Daoi-Sith , formed thousands of years ago, after Ephraim the Father had founded the city of Darkelphame and wedded the White Queen of Umbry, Malkalivna the Livian , daughter of Flavian Maor , to beget six children: Rivekka the Valerian , Sarah the Rufine , Liora the Florentine , Adina the Cyrian , Avigayil the Treacher , and Jedan the Illyrian , the first King of Darkelphame , who married with Kalila the Augustine to found Dom Illyrium , the first house of the Unseely Court, uniting the Sidhe of the Spider God Uttu with the Sidhe of the Demoniac Mother Lilith . The Cloan ny Moyrn , the Couril , even the Nigheag na Hath must answer to its authority.”
¶XXXIV. Serenity shook her head. “Yet still little or naught doth that explain of wherefore thou hast defected. Art thou not of the Darkelven?”
¶XXXV. “Not if you were to ask my clansmen,” said Lyrian, “or former clansmen I should say. Dom Illyrium came to include Illyrian Jedan and Illyrian-Augustine Kalila as well as their six children, the second generation of the White Queen, of which the sixth-borne child and heir to the throne of Darkelphame, Illyrian Melekuzzi , married to Felician Atarah , to bear the second generation of Dom Illyrium. This third generation of Livian Malkalivna numbered six as well, of which the sixth child, Illyrian Saul-Melek , went on to wed Guardian Siphra , also known as Avitan Samira , and ascend to the throne of Darkelphame in his father’s wake, and had six children of his own. The sixth-borne of these, Illyrian Gideon , was wedded to Livian Navanoa before taking his own place at the throne, and had six children himself; the sixth of which was Illyrian Jered-Melek [ ], the next and fifth King of the City of Darkelphame. After ascending to the throne, King Jered-Melek, also known as King Illyrian V, was married to Cyriacan Adara , and had six children, the sixth of these being my grandmother, Illyrian Lilithena, born Illyrian Adi-Aliyah ; who, having been born with blonde hair and yellow eyes, among other traits, fulfilled the prophecy of the Beowelven being born the sixth child of the sixth child through to the sixth generation of the White Queen.”
¶XXXVII. “I don’t often follow the ways of my people,” explained the Lyrian, “not that it bothers me as such. What they desire is control and oppression, but what I wish for is freedom, equality for all peoples. That’s why I’m trying to reach Anarchy.”
¶XXXVIII. “What seekest thou in Anarchy?” inquired Serenity, her gaze in question tautened.
¶XXXIX. “Liberation,” replied the Lyrian. “There’s a group, based in Atham. A small group at present, yet ever growing. While the Seely Court prepares for war against my grandmother’s armies, this group prepares for the contingency of her success.”
¶XL. “Success wherein?”
¶XLI. “In the war,” said Lyrian.
¶XLIII. It’s imperative therefore that I reach them.”
¶XLV. “ ‘Tis imperative, is it? And wherefore is that, O heroic and brave Darkelf?” scoffed the Dryad, grinning upon the Darkelf haughtly, in wait of his reply.
¶XLVII. The High Empress of the Unseelie Court, Lilithena: she’s begun a campaign to overtake our nation, to set the Unseelie Court as the commanding Sith of Transylvany, to appoint herself Transylvany’s supreme ruler, and to transform Transylvany itself into the seat of the Unseelie Court for all of Borea.”
¶XLIX. “And just how dost thou think thou wilt be able to aid them?”
¶L. “Information,” replied the Elf. “I can give them information, as I once held a seat on the Unseelie Court’s Legislative Directorate.”
¶LI. Serenity’s eyes then grew that instant very wide as she pored at the Darkelf. “Wow,” she expired, smiling brightly, and she asked him: “However couldst thou have accomplished such a feat?”
¶LII. “Legitimately, as much as I hate to admit it. Well, as legitimately as anywhit else in the Unseelie Court. I’m of Dom Illyrium myself. The High Empress is actually my grandmother, and so it was by her endorsement that, in addition to being an heir to the highest throne of the Unseelie Court, I was appointed the Cloan ny Moyrn Sith’s representative Director of Legislature once Jaakov the Agripetan (father of Barak) supplanted the High Priestess of the Unseely Court, Navaatarah the Valentine.”
¶LIII. “Well,” laughed Serenity, “an thou art not Mister Highborn....”
¶XXXVI. Serenity raised her eyebrow at the Darkelf, and she asked him: “Thy grandmother being the Beowelvene, thou shouldst have wealth and power and infamy! Doth not every wight of the Clan Darkelven for such whits aspire?”
¶LIV. And together Serenity and Lyrian strode through the wealds, and in wonderment Serenity listened to him speak of the world outside of the Emerald Forest. And Lyrian told her many tales.
¶LV. And when at day’s end they had raught the road to Atham, Serenity asked the Darkelf: “Wouldst thou give unto me thy troth that thou wilt return here unto me in a sennight?” Longly the Wood Nymph stared at him as she spake this, her eyes yearning.
¶LVI. “To this very spot?” asked Lyrian.
¶LVII. “Nay, not here of course,” quoth Serenity, laughing slightly. “We be far too nigh the city of Atham for my liking. The clearing wherein we just met, where we can be alone together, far from the city and its noises.”
¶LVIII. “I would love to meet with you again,” said the Darkelf. “Though I can’t help but wonder what a creature as beautiful as a Nymph could want from as comparatively lowly a wight as an Elf.”
¶LIX. “That would be mine own concern, wouldn’t it?” replied Serenity. “Yet an thou givest unto me thy troth thou shalt return whither ere we first met, mayhap thou wilt discover to thy behoof just what it is that I desire of thee. And in return, mayhap thou wilt receive what thou desirest of me.”
¶LX. For a moment Lyrian’s jaw hung slack, until somehow he mustered from within himself the wit to reply unto her: “How could I possibly refuse you, talking like that?”
¶LXI. “Thou knowest as well as I that thou canst refuse me not, no matter how I speak,” answered Serenity. “I am a Nymph, after all....”
¶LXII. “You’re right,” said Lyrian. “Of course you have my word. I’ll meet you back at the clearing this time two sennights from today.”