The Chains that Bind

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A choice

The biggest human ship was waiting nearby, and the wreckage of human, elven, and pirate ships alike surrounded it.

The stolen human frigate floated over to the ship and the pirates ducked behind barrels and debris staying away from human eyes.

"Ahoy frigate, get out of the way."

"Steady….steady….now!" Yelled the pirate leader.

The pirates leapt out of their hiding places and aimed their rifles upward firing a volley of shots. Humans jerked and some bodies plopped into the water.

"Reel her in!"

More pirates hurled grappling hooks up towards the large ship and they pulled the ship closer to theirs. The pirates aimed the frigate's cannons and fired at point blank range rocking both ships and sending debris everywhere.

The pirates boarded the ship quickly and somewhat desperately and Caewen was swept along in the tide.

"Everyone onto that ship!" The pirate Captain screamed.

Caewen clambered up the side of the ship, finding handholds easily as she heaved herself over the railing.

The pirates ran all across the massive deck, giving a good account of themselves although they were massively outnumbered. The crack of gunfire and the clash of swords filled the air as Caewen gripped her dagger tightly.

Kaboom!

Caewen screamed as the cannons fired and sent the wreckage of the human frigate into the air, some of it falling onto the deck and knocking humans and pirates overboard. She ducked the rain of debris and ran across the ship trying to stay close to the pirates. The humans attempted to overwhelm the pirates, but they ducked, rolled, and used the environment to their advantage.

Caewen did the same, and thankfully the humans didn't notice her. She felt as if a magnet was yanking her towards a small box held by a human man.

She rushed forward and the human placed the box down drawing his sword. She parried the weapon with her dagger, letting her father's training guide her muscles. She lashed out and slashed the man's arm wincing slightly at the blood.

She parried two more blows and swung her leg out as the man advanced. The man tripped over her leg and fell to the deck hitting his chest on the railing. He turned over to see Caewen standing over him and she brought her dagger hilt down striking the man's head.

As he collapsed she turned to the box and walked towards it, momentarily forgetting the chaos around her. She knelt down and opened the box revealing a glowing block of wood.

The second she fully opened the box, time seemed to freeze around her.

"What?"

Caewen looked around as the battle froze, she could no longer hear the sound of the battle from either the island or the ship.

The time has come.

Caewen jerked as the voice startled her. She looked around again, but saw nothing new.

"Who are you?" she asked

I am the spirit of the magic, locked inside this wood block. The humans would dare to use me as a weapon, but I only want to be free.

"I thought the elves banished magic from the world."

The elves were foolish to think that they could banish magic, although they were the first to encounter magic, they do not control it.

"How can I help you be free?" Caewen asked.

They only way I can be free is to be released from this wooden prison, but it will send my magic coursing through the world destroying all in its path. This is what the humans intended.

But you…..

You are an half human and half elven girl, and you can see both sides of this pointless war.

"What do you mean?"

The humans and elves will either be destroyed here, or a new war will engulf the world with neither side can destroy alone.

"What new war?"

Do hundreds deserve to die here? Will their lives be saved but their war with engulf the world killing thousands? Genocide is the outcome either way, but who deserves it the fighters here or the world?

Caewen grimaced "I can't make this choice! I'm not a god and I can't decide who dies. No one deserves to die!"

Caewen watched time slowly return to normal and the sounds of battle resume. She still heard one voice in her head:

Make them stop.

"I'll do it Dad" She sniffed back tears wishing he was here to advise her. She scooped up the box and ran towards the biggest cannon jamming the box inside.

"No! Stop that girl!"

The humans rushed towards her, but the remaining pirate forces charged forward throwing themselves in between Caewen and the human forces.

She pushed the cannon upward and aimed it above the island, before closing her eyes and firing the cannon.

Boom!

The box flew out of the cannon and opened up setting the box free. The wood soared over the island glowing through the dust of the battle.

Kol looked upward and saw the glowing block. He saw the magic begin to leak out of the wood and he raised his voice

"Everybody get down!"

Humans, elves, and resistance forces alike scattered in fear momentarily forgetting the battle.

The magic exploded and the wave of magic rippled through the world.

The warriors caught in the wave were disintegrated and others were thrown forward. Those under cover fared little better being jolted around.

Ships and cannons were hurled through the air and ripped apart and bodies were hurled with them.

Armor and weapons along with carcasses were thrown across the battlefield striking and wounding several fighters.

Kol shielded the Captain's body with his own unwilling to have his friend's body mutilated.

For one moment, every single warrior on the battlefield forgot their quarrel and humans and elves huddled together, defending each other from the storm.

The magic storm slowly faded out, and the silence returned.

The fighters slowly exited their hiding places and looked around staring at the devastation around them.

Kol stood seeing that his friend's body was fine. "Is everybody okay?"


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