I set out from the city of Torun to seek out the abandoned dwarfish castle of Marezledin under the ground. Instead, I wandered the tunnels hopelessly for months, emerging with nothing, save this tale.
A small, bright flicker of light could be seen in the distance, growing larger with each passing moment. I stared into this wondrous sight, the first visible light that I had seen in ages, and I did not know whether to approach it, or to flee deeper into the darkness. My body made the decision for me, as I found myself walking towards it, my hand stretched forward.
The light seemed to be before me, and I waved my hand and tried to grasp it. I caught the luminous thing in my hand, and closed my fingers around it, encasing it in my palm. almost instantly I began to feel it burning, and it seemed as if tiny needles were scraping into my flesh. With a cry of anguish, I relinquished my grasp, and from within my palm there emerged a small, winged thing, still glowing with the light that had enticed me from afar. Then the light began to fade, and the creature began to take shape.
It was like nothing that I have ever encountered before, and I have encountered many strange creatures in my journeys. the wild beasts of Threndar seldom left the woods bordering the region, so as to not be exposed in the vast plains now inhabited by humans. These creatures usually ranged from medium to large sizes, and they would only expose their presence during moments when their victims could not escape. They were monstrous beasts that made no attempt to humour their human prey, preferring instead to subject them to ceaseless horror before a slow, agonizing, grim death. This creature that I encountered in the cave was different. It had drawn me to it with its luminous glow, and then it drew my blood, revealing its true intentions. its light faded, and all was dark once more, but before it faded completely, I caught a glimpse of the creature’s eyes. It’s red, gleaming eyes that seemed fixated upon my neck, and I saw in it a sense of great desperation, and it was filled with a desire that seemed to overpower its discretion, rendering it vulnerable to a swift, hard swing of my arm, into the side wall of the cave. I was convinced that hunger had driven this small creature to attack me, and I held no scorn to this thing, indeed I pitied it. Then I crushed it under my boot and continued to drudge forward, seeking the cave exit.
I emerged from the mouth of the cave, and felt the warmth of the sun once again. I shielded my eyes for the first few moments, as I had seen nothing but darkness for fourteen days. Three months I wandered in the tunnels, finding every path to my destination blocked, save for the one tunnel which led me here. I was lost, and confused, and I knew only the region that I was in, for Threndar’s unending plains are unmistakable. I walked towards the large mound to the south-east, hoping that I would ascend the hill to find the capital city of Eno on the other side. My assumption was correct, and I found myself resting in a room above a tavern the next night.
After I had rested, I visited the King’s court, where I was greeted by two guards who took me to General Selcros. the general asked me of my journey, and showed great interest when I told him of the luminous thing that I encountered in the cave. He explained to me that the name of the cave was Vila Meralisus, and that the creature I encountered was a fairy. I laughed at this, thinking it to be a jest. in Torun we would tell stories of the fairy-folk to children, and they were usually mischievous characters. in allegorical tales they would generally represent the lost innocence of children, a reminder of simpler thoughts and dreams, without the complications of life’s complexities. to learn that these things were real were a great shock to me, though it was even more shocking to learn their history, as it was grim and terrible.
It seems that, during the most recent apocalyptic event and near extinction of humanity, the fairies sided with our enemies, and they grew to appreciate the taste of human flesh, as did all evil creatures who roamed the lands. when the war was over, and the humans had won, they were hunted down along with their allies. They fled into the forest on the western side of Threndar. the soldiers formed a line across the eastern side of the forest, and they set it ablaze. every tree was burned to the ground and all the creatures within perished save for a small company of fairies that had been planning their escape as soon as they entered the woods. not one year to the day that the forest was decimated, the trees grew back in full, but they were twisted and changed. Blood red dew dripped from the leaves every morning, and an air of death surrounded it, and it was called the Cursed Forest thereafter.
It is believed that the surviving fairies sought to head north to the mountains, where they would be in the safety of the giants, but they could not traverse the plains without being spotted and killed, because soldiers were everywhere, and the fairies could not fly far. so, they fled into the nearest place of hiding, which was the cave of Vila Meralisus. They thought themselves safe in there, but it was not so. Soldiers marched into the cave, and they saw fairies hiding under mining carts, and clinging to the ceiling. the soldiers paid no attention to them, and instead they drenched the rock in oil, and left a trail leading out of the cave, then they set fire to the oil, and it swam through the cave like a burning flood. the fairies on the ceiling were roasted immediately, and the ones under the carts most likely suffered a slow, horrible death. some survived by hiding within the walls, but the race of the fairies was irreversibly diminished and damaged.
Thus, when I encountered the fairy in the cave not two days earlier, it was a descendent of these broken creatures, weak and nearly flightless due to generations of cave dwelling. It seems that the King had decided to leave them be, as they were no longer a real threat save in great numbers, though not many of them still lived. I hear that their blood is now used to decorate the streets of a nearby village, and this seems to be their only use. a bitter end this would be for any creature, and for a creature I once thought to be fictional and whimsical, this was indeed a depressing revelation.