The Chains that Bind

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Pieces of the past

15 years ago.

Siegfried's fleet sailed ever closer to the Elven Island and the young King smiled. "Have the fleet circle the island and prepare the cannons! I want to bombard that island into a charred heap of nothing."

One of the generals raised his hand, and with a nod of permission from his king spoke: "Milord, the elves have taken no direct action against you or your lands, is it wise to attack them when we have no reason to?"

Siegfried stood and faced the man "The elves took away magic from this world! Hundreds died because they needed magic to sustain them, hundreds more died because of the rioting and looting that went on during the aftermath, and thousands of mythical creatures were wiped from the world! The dwarves died because the elves took precious resources away from our campaign, if they hadn't caused this tension maybe the dwarves would still be alive! So don't tell me they didn't take direct action!"

Siegfried drew his sword "All of our problems were started by the elves; they take our food, weapons, supplies, and our very lives! But today I will serve my people, and I will end it!"

Within the hour the human fleet surrounded the island and Mael grimaced as she put a dagger at her belt "Oh Siegfried it doesn't have to be this way." She placed a hand on her swollen belly, "I just want a peaceful land, for us and our child."

Her guards and steward entered the room all noticing her state, "Milady, I strongly recommend that you remain here. The pregnancy has gone on for longer than expected, and the stress of speaking to the humans could take its toll." The steward led Mael to her bed.

Mael made a weak attempt to struggle "My Island is surrounded by a hostile force and the queen dares not show her face? How ridiculous!"

The steward smiled "Just like your mother, when Queen Rival was carrying you she was as stubborn as an ox, taking on all the burdens of being a queen and refusing our help, but do you know what her first words to me were once you were delivered?"

Mael cocked her head in confusion "What"

"Don't make my daughter go through that!" The steward gently pushed Mael backward and helped her into bed "Please honor your mother's wishes, and don't worry if the humans try anything we will give our lives to protect the both of you."

Mael nodded "Okay, and thank you."

Mael suddenly scrunched her face in pain and screamed, gripping the sheets.

"Oh no!" The steward backed away from Mael and turned to the guards "Stay here." He then proceeded to run down the hall calling "Get the midwives up here now! The baby is coming!"

"Open fire!"

The human ships fired their cannons, many for the first time, towards the island. The new weapons jolted as they recoiled from the shots and several humans moved to reload.

"Are you sure that's what's supposed to happen?"

"Course I am, I helped build the thing! Just point at the island and pull the rope!"

"Alright let's reload this thing, I think the ball goes in first, and then the powder and then you pull the cord."

"No you idiot the power is poured in first, followed by the ball and then you pull the cord."

"Will somebody just pull the darn cord already!"

The cannon fired as a human did just that and another cannonball sailed from the weapon and smashed into the island.

The elves ducked another volley feeling panic spread through their ranks.

"Those weapons spit fire and metal! They make a sound like thunder!"

"What can we do, the catapults won't reach that far!"

"We should run away!"

"Where to you blockhead? They got the island surrounded!"

"Everyone hold it!" A tough looking elven general marched through the crowd of elves "No one is running anywhere!"

"But the humans, they're ripping our island apart!"

"That's exactly why we ain't running! They are attacking OUR home, and our queen! We can't just roll over like dead dogs and let them. Because of what the humans did, we lost one queen, and by God we won't lose another! Queen Mael is up there giving birth to a baby that is going to rule over us someday, and it's our job to keep them safe for as long as we can!"

A shocked gasp went through the crowd as they digested the information. "I understand you are all scared, and frankly so am I, but I won't stand by while these humans slaughter my people and attack my home! Look!"

The elves turned as a human ship began to sink, having shot itself with one of the cannons when the weapon came loose, and fired at the deck punching a hole clean through the ship.

"There's a sinking ship, and that's all I need to fill my heart with courage! Despite those weapons, we know we can still kill them!"

The elves smiled and dispersed, gathering weapons and preparing for the moment when the humans would set foot on their island.

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