“The Drow Among the Fey” by Marcus Hernandez

Hello everyone! Welcome this guest post by Marcus Hernandez. You can find his bio and blog information at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

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In Edaria, few believe the Feywild truly exists. Even among the scholarly mages of Swindon, only a handful have ever crossed into that whimsical, dangerous realm, and fewer still return to their own time with their memories in order. Powerful creatures known as the archfey govern the Feywild, and among their ranks, some choose to condescend and bestow power upon mortals in the form of a warlock pact. Many a peasant has lost his agency as a slave to the archfey. But for all their warlocks and slaves, the archfey have never been known to foster mortals as their own offspring…

* * *

Silver-barked trees snatched at the light of a dusky sun, diffusing it beneath their boughs. Flecks of fey light strayed in the evening wind, skimming the quiet lake surface. Stern sprites courted among the giggling pixies. Upon the eastern shore of the lake stood a tower. Its emerald walls rose for untold stories, gold lacing its stones in wild sprays. At the foot of the castle spread a courtyard, where two men and three women gathered around a towering elf. The elf’s noble attire spoke to his affluence, yet his countenance stilled the most troubled heart. He seated himself in an elegant wooden throne, and fresh foliage sprung from its knots as he eased against the back.

“Tell me again what you saw, Ceidil,” he prompted gently.

“I didn’t see anything,” a brunette qualified, “but just as I banished the beast, it came back to mind.”

The elf frowned deeply. “You were in Hurtak?”

Ceidil nodded. “It’s spreading. Gorstag heard it from Xafranir.”

The man beside her grunted. “It looks like it will be seeping into the Reach in twenty years, at best.”

“Cal,” a redhead in the front piped, “if it’s him, then he’s calling us out. We can’t play defense much longer! Just send me after him. I’ll have him groveling at your feet before the week is out here!”

The elf shook his head, drumming his fingers against the chair’s rough-hewn arm. “No, Zasheida, he is not after us.” A chilling breeze interrupted the warm twilight. Cal took a deep breath, and the wintry wind dissipated. He eyed an older woman at the back of the group, who clasped a golden cane. “You have been quiet.”

The woman nodded her agreement. “I am reserving my words for when they will profit most.”

“And when is that?”

Hurried footsteps stamped against the stone steps circling the tower, and a young elf leapt to Cal’s side. She brushed a stray silver hair from her obsidian skin, glancing at the assembly. A bow slung across her back clacked against the quiver at her side. “Cal, you promised that I could join the meeting today!”

Cal clasped her hand. “That I did, my child, but I now know today’s meeting is far too dark to trouble your mind.” He turned to the older woman. “If you must reserve your words, perhaps you are not too busy to entertain my daughter.”

The woman smiled warmly and hobbled forward, the young man beside her in tow. “Come, deary. Your father has important matters to attend.”

The dark elf shot Cal a reluctant glance, but he nodded his assurance, and she followed the two away from the courtyard. “Cal’s warlocks only meet once every Bashan year, right?”

“That’s right, dear. The last one was two centuries ago, by fey reckoning.” The woman eyed her as they walked along the lake shore. “I did not know Cal had a daughter.”

The elf shrugged helplessly. “Well, he doesn’t, I guess. I’m adopted.”

“Ah,” the woman laughed. “As is my son, Sergor.”

The man at her left nodded to the elf. His red hair was well-kempt, and a young beard bordered his jaw. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss…?”

The elf studied the human. His blue eyes were bright and wild, but there was a strange temperance and dignity to them. “Uh, Caelynn,” she finally supplied, averting her gaze. “Nice to meet you, too.”

“Caelynn,” the old woman cooed, testing the name. “What a beautiful sound. Did Cal give you that name?”

Caelynn’s pace ground to a shuffle. “No, my mother did.”

“I see. If I may, I don’t believe you are from the Feywild. How long ago did you leave home?”

Caelynn slid her eyelids shut. “I’d rather not talk about it.”

The woman nodded. “Of course. Well, don’t you worry now. You’re safe here. If Cal is half as good of a father as he is a mentor to his beloved warlocks, you will have nothing to fear.”

They walked in silence for a time. Caelynn noticed Sergor occasionally glancing at her, as if a question burned upon his tongue. When they had reached the far side of the lake, the woman paused.

“Sergor, wait here with Caelynn. I have to run to the cart and grab something.”

“Yes, mother.”

The woman departed. Caelynn spied the curious glance again. “Well?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You obviously want to ask me something.”

Sergor blushed. “Forgive me for being…indiscreet. I have never met a manner of elf quite like you.”

“Oh,” Caelynn laughed. “I’m a dark elf. The Material Planers call us drow, like it’s a curse word or something.”

He eyed her face openly now. “Are all dark elves as fair as yourself?”

Caelynn stared blankly at the unflinching blue eyes. “I…what?”

Sergor shook his head, locking his eyes upon the lake. “Sorry. I just…never mind.”

“No, it’s all right,” Caelynn stammered. “No one has ever…where I grew up…I wasn’t around strangers much. It…didn’t come up.”

Sergor didn’t answer for a long moment, intently examining a striped fish. “So, you remember your past, before the Feywild?”

“Of course. Don’t you?”

He shook his head gently. “I did not have one. I was abandoned as an infant, then Mother Hama found me and raised me as her own.”

“Hama?” Caelynn quizzed. “I didn’t pay much attention in my classes, but I’ve never heard that name. Are you sure that’s from the Reach?”

Sergor shrugged. “I do not know of names nor their conventions.” He finally returned his gaze to Caelynn. “Mother takes a special interest in you, I believe.”

Caelynn raised an eyebrow. “Why is that?”

“I am not certain.”

A distant branch cracked. Sergor straightened up. A golden cane emerged from the nearby brush. Hama followed with her free hand clenched. She shuffled toward Caelynn. “I want you to have this, dear.” She opened her palm, revealing a small, golden pendant with a silver chain. “Cal gave this to me to protect me from harm. Wear it, and if trouble ever finds you, I will come.”

Caelynn worked her jaw, as Hama pressed the necklace into the elf’s sooty palm. “Why are you giving me this?”

She chuckled. “Because it is mine to give. The Feywild is no safe place, and I want my son safe in the hands of a capable friend. Soon you will be just that, my love. But until you are strong enough to stand on your own, a mother must be sure she can find her children and her children’s friends.”

Caelynn frowned. “But why me?”

Hama smiled gently. “Oh, my dear, surely you must know that Cal did not pick you on accident. Has he made you a warlock yet?”

“No.”

“Then he has something far greater in mind for you.” She pressed a finger against Caelynn’s chest. “That is exactly the person I want protecting my son. He means the world to me.”

Caelynn directed her attention to Sergor. He watched silently, a mix of joy and disquiet tracing his eyes. He parted his lips. “It is a gift. There are few fey you can trust, but my mother is one of those few.”

Caelynn stared down at the chain in her palm. Her fingers closed around it. “Thank you.”


Marcus Hernandez is a Christian fiction writer attending Cedarville University. You can find his work at https://thinkitthrough892.wordpress.com/

Want to know more? Click the LEARN MORE button at home. You’ll find some helpful links to my work in journals, which I have started posting here too. You can find me in Ariel Chart, The Cedarville Review, Nailpolish Stories, Bluepepper, 50 Word Stories, The Aurora Journal, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, The Drabble, and Anti-heroin Chic. Look for me in Sledgehammer Lit later this year.

Need help proofreading a story? You can find me on Fiverr!

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