1 - Air Raid

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Prologue

My name is Keel. I was born in the year 9.315 of the Nelfarian calendar. Who I was and what I did changed the history of my world. However, what has been told about me is less than the truth. After centuries, the truth, the facts, they seem to be of little import. What is left is legend and fragments frequently focusing on the worst of it.

My name for many centuries was associated with acts of madness, cruelty and tragedy. An uncommon name I had. Being the son of sailors, I was given a named related to boats. Many ignore the fact that most words related to sailing came from human languages. My ancestors, the high elves, are blessed with no tradition of sailing, not in oceans, not even in Rivers. I didn't share my ancestors' luck and was born in an accursed land, but at least it was touched by the compassion of the great Goddess Ectarlissè. I was born under her moon, Gallzareth, and received a name related to the part of a sea vessel that provides equilibrium. My story goes far from balance and peace. I was born during the Great War, the most terrible war ever seen! A war that lasted for centuries and one in which I fought for centuries as well.

It's curious to watch myself, after thousands of years, remembering and telling these experiences. At some point, I thought my life was over, but I was wrong about that. The history of my people is amusing. It's a curious fact how close we came to extinction and how long it took the war's wounds to heal.

My life was long and rich in experiences and detail, if I was to tell everything about it I think, dear readers, you might miss my point. After all, I lived nearly four hundred and thirty seven years. If I were to tell all of it, perhaps a full year wouldn't be enough time for someone to read my story. By the way, if I go on like this, this hardly would be an interesting tale. So, allow me to tell you the story of my life, as if it were a novel, with a beginning, development and an ending...

Book 1

Before the Sword

1

Air Raid

When my first heroic act came to be...

My heart was beating madly and I felt like throwing up. My mind was clouded by tension and anxiety and this wasn't related to sailing in bad seas. It was the first time I was actually frightened. My arm was grasped and twisted by the nervous hands of my sea mate, Págoras. The sailor was panicking and giving in to despair as he said in tears – We're gonna die Keel! We're all going to die!

Just a short time ago, we were looking at the same horizon, as the sun was about to go down and sink beneath the ocean. But before this happened, darkness came strangely soon. Some of us thought it was an eclipse, but soon we could see better as that dark cloud grew and covered part of the sun. The cloud began to scatter into points as if it were a blanket of locust. Minutes after that, it had grown to a great mass that covered part of the horizon and the whole sun. The night came upon us quickly as we faced the greatest demon horde I had ever seen.

Págoras was going mad and I found strength to tell him – That's not for sure, Págoras. But if our fate is to die today, let us face it with courage and pride.

I unsheathed my sword and looked him in the eyes. He had the eyes of a common sailor, just as myself. His body was a bit bigger and he had short blond hair.

"Come on, friend; let us prepare to defend our lives!"

He wiped away his tears and focused on the incoming attack.

They were upon us. Our fleet made of seventy-six ships was engulfed but the flying demon horde.

"Defense positions!" the captain screamed from the main deck, just below.

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