There is Beauty in Need

We have all we ever hoped for, here. So he said. Yes, we had peace and safety. The preservers and trolls served us just as they had served the High Ones. Our rockshapers kept the trolls under control, and our generous rewards of jewels and gold assured they saw the benefit in doing our will. They lived separate from us and were allowed much independence in their realm deep under Blue Mountain.

But Voll was mistaken. We had but the best of one world. And I had learned that worlds die. He refused my plans for eternity.

So I left Blue Mountain. The Palace of the High Ones, if I found it, would surely convince him - and if not, well, as master of the Palace I would not need him anymore. The gliders would all turn to me and hearken to my wisdom.

But my journey was interrupted when I found him.

The first human I ever saw, a hunter, weakened by wounds and hunger.

There is beauty in need.

It is life to a healer.

I mended him enough that he could walk, and took him back to Blue Mountain with me.

I took him to my secret champers built by the trolls, chambers no rock-shaper's hand had ever touched. I had the preservers bind him, I healed him and gave him food and drink.

Later I allowed him to walk in my chambers, making sure he had no weapons at hand. I taught him our language, and he was a swift learner.

What he told me was... disturbing.

This hunter was after no four-legged prey. He had been sent by his chief to catch elves, whom he called demons, to bring them to be sacrificed to the master spirit Gotara.

His name was Setten.

He would be an easy one. I smiled my most radiant smile at him.

"If I was a demon, why would I heal you and feed you? You would be dead without me."

"That's true, oh shining one. I owe you my life. I think you are no demon but a good and wise spirit. I used to serve Gotara, but now I serve you, oh bright and beautiful spirit, you who have done miracles with your touch."

"Very well. You are mine now. But remember, if you betray me the hands that healed you will deal pain such as you have never felt."

His eyes showed me he understood. I knew then, that fear was a tool that had been used on him before. As he had feared Gotara he feared me, now.

His fear and his worship - I don't know which tasted sweeter.

Setten served me, and I soon became accustomed to him always at my side. He was more pleasing to look at than the trolls, and once I got used to the strange bends of his mind, I discovered a new view at the world. A human view. It did not compare with the purity of elven thought, but was infinitely more satisfying to my curiousity than the blunt, greed-filled souls of my trollish slaves.

Then I became curious about his body.

His desire for me was a burning flame, his bloodsong slow but ohh so deep...

I tasted of this new pleasure often, I even used my powers on him to rouse him again when he was spent, so much did I enjoy him, and the fire born of his worship.

A new thought came to me.

A thought of Timmain... a half-forgotten, half-believed story from the days of the Firstcomers...

What she had done by instinct I would have to do slowly, changing every cell in my body. It was a challenge - but I thrive at challenges.

I took a human shape, yes, but I did more. For a while I became human, or close enough.

I joined with my servant and I was with child.

A beautiful new life inside me, then in my arms, her father wondering at her half-elven beauty - it was bliss, it was perfection.

Setten asked me humbly to name her - I sent to my child, and found inside her the secret name that was her elfin soul. But I would not reveal that to her brute of a father.

"Two-Edge, that she is. A bright blade in my hand."

She would have been, my mortal daughter, but for Setten.

Even though I had resumed my shape he began to think of us as a family, and himself the head of it. He forgot the worship. Worse, he forgot the fear.

One day he argued against me and struck me a blow with the back of his hand.

He did not live to touch me again.

Two-Edge saw him dead, and did not believe he had deserved it. It drove her mad...

The taste of her madness was pleasing to me.