Chapter 15 - Seeing the War

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Sorry for the late post - traveling with family. Should have a chance to respond to all your comments next week! And congrats to kv_wilson for being the first person to catch up to my posting! I'll dedicate this chapter to you once I get back to a real computer. *Pinky promise*

"Dark elves are a normal elf's height." She lifted one hand and a figure grew before their eyes. A pale elf stood before them wearing no shirt and cut off pants. "Their skin has ever moving shadows flowing over it." Immediately the pale skin changed; black and purple shadows flowed from the chest to flit across the entire figure.

"Their eyes are suited to the dark forest so it takes them a moment to adjust to any source of light, especially sunlight." The eyes darkened and she made a pushing motion with her hands. She held her arm loosely in front of her body and began with her fingers clenched. Without moving her arm, she straightened her fingers. The eye suddenly enlarged and a black void stood as tall as a man's waist. Slowly, a yellow slit appeared and a thin white circle formed where the edge of the iris would normally be. The entire rest of the eye remain pitch black.

"They move quickly, but are about the same speed of a normal elf." The eye disappeared and the dark elf moved to grasp a sword that suddenly appeared at its waist. It drew the imaginary sword and with blinding speed made as if to impale Aleda. She just as quickly side stepped and sent a whip of magic out to wind around its neck. The creature slowly began to choke and collapsed to the floor where she made it disappear.

"As I have just shown, any normal method will work when killing and downing a dark elf. Their main advantages are how well they blend in, and the innate power each elf possesses. A dark elf can become a siren and grab any mind that is too close. This mind then loses its identity and becomes a tool, doing only what the elf in command wants. This affects mostly humans, but can affect elves and magicians of any kind. Magicians are the least likely to be affected because of our natural shields." The news that any of them could be turned against their fellows by a simple mind sent more ripples of conversation through the crowded chamber.

"It takes an immense amount of energy to do so and is apparently very painful for them, so most dark elves will not attempt it unless they feel it is the only way to survive. They have few magicians among their ranks as only the women can use magic and it is a very rare skill. Our magicians are trying to find a way to give other shields our natural resistance, but we have had no luck yet." Caine would swear she looked into his eyes as she spoke as if she knew some of the ideas he had been turning over in his head.

Aleda bowed to conclude her short speech. There wasn't much more she could say; there wasn't much more she needed to say. The warriors began the tedious process of setting up defenses by suggesting modifications to defenses or locations for new war camps. She had never much cared for it, much preferring to simply come into a conflict once it had started and finish it, so she walked to her seat and ignored them.

It seemed as if minutes dragged by like hours, but she entertained herself by dodging in and out of her companions' minds; she had never out grown the urge to push the limits. She, like Caine, was too curious, but curiosity had yet to kill her cats. Greylin sent a disapproving frown her way when he sensed what she was doing so she sent her best grin back at him; he shook his head and ignored her once again.

Unlike her, Greylin loved the setting up of troops and the order involved thinking of it as an elaborate game of Kings Chess. She thought him too locked into conventional ways of thinking most of the time, but it had its advantages. He sat enraptured and threw out ideas of his own; ideas that were usually adopted into whatever plans were in development, while she sat sneaking around through people's minds. A century or two of being a soldier before he had come into his current role had given Greylin ample knowledge to pull ideas from.

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