The Death of Duke Sicanth

Posted by Dyranth Silverstream on September 06, 1996 at 14:42:15:

About a hundred years have come and gone since the horrid
tale began. It began with war, a war of genocide, suspicion,
and merciless murder. A war I can never, NEVER forget,
a war which lingers in my mind like my shadow lingers in
my wake. There is no escape from the past, my friends.

The worst of it all, this petty mortal war began over a
pitiful stretch of unoccupied forest. Hidden in that
forest, lay the elven dukedom of Whitewood, surrounded
by a magical shield that distorted space and vision, one
that showed the view of the opposite side of the dukedom,
the view of the lands beyond.
For example, if one stood at the northern boundry and
gazed into the shield, he saw what could be seen to the
south of the southern boundry. Yet if he walked south,
he would enter the dukedom. For centuries, it kept Whitewood
hidden and safe.
But the tiny strip of forest that lay outside the shield
was claimed by two opposing human kings. (I forgot their
names, so please forgive me.) Refusing to give way to
each other, Sardinia and Cancatha chose to battle over it.

They did not know Whitewood lay there. Whitewood did not know
they intended to fight there.

You can guess what happened.

Humans saw elves, decided they were working with the enemy,
and tried to slaughter them. Both sides did that. Caught
in pincers, the elves had no escape. Their options were
fight, or die horribly of iron-poison.
I, a couple humans, a trio of dwarves, and a sprite or
two had been visiting friends and relatives at the time.
We were sent to break past the armies for help, but a few
of us remained to fight. I, too young to be trained to
shapeshift into dragon form, chose to fight beside my father
and half-brother, Raythan.
The war was a slaughter for us from the start. Mainly
we fought for time, the time needed to evacuate all we could
to Sicanth's castle, or hide those who couldn't come. Many
dies to buy time for this, and since I am trained to heal
magically, I suffered with them. I cannot heal without
touching their thoughts, and those dying of iron...
they quickly go insane from the burning agony in their
blood. Sometimes, they nearly took me with them.
I fought back out of rage, out of sheer hatred for the
horrible deaths the invaders caused, the merciless murder of
prisoners and children.
I lead many a charge, and wouldn't be surprised if they
had thought me some sort of demon, for no true elf is silver
of hair, eyes (and slightly of skin!). Not knowing my
name, only that I was important to Sicanth, they called
me the Silver Elf.
On my last sortie, with an arrow in my ribs--the first
time I touched iron--they captured me from the battlefield.
Now is no time for me to go into my years of imprisonment.
But those following years scarred me.
With help, I escaped, healed, and decided to bring help
to Whitewood from my mother and her kind. I stole a horse
and fled for the gate that separates the Dragon-Kingdom
from the mortal ones. They chased me for miles, hunting me
like vermin through fair and foul means. They learned of my
destination, and tried to ambush me, but I broke through,
though that toll nearly cost my life.
My mother healed me, and flew to Whitewood with many
a dragon (youngest granddaughter of their king, she has
few who would dare disobey her!). Raythan was leading a
final stand when we arrived, and Sicanth lay dying of iron
on that very battlefield. I stalled his death long enough
for him to help plan a counteroffensive to halt the invaders
for good.

The final battle followed the following afternoon. Every mage
but I combined their powers to hold the human armies helpless,
as every available warrior on our side surrounded the lot.
Helpless and at our mercy, they chose to accept our terms. They
had no choice, really, besides acceptance or death.

I stood by Sicanth's bedside when we killed him. We had to.
The burning agony in his body could not be endured by any
sane creature, and he was too powerful magically to be
constantly contained. Besides... once the insane stage hit,
there exists no hope of recovery. He'd just be a vegetable.
So, like for all the others so stricken, we ended it for him.
If we did not, he would live on... only a mindless body
convulsing in agony, a lifeless mind endlessly screaming
for all with telepathy and within range to hear... and
go insane with him.
We drove a dagger into his heart--the very dagger Raythan
and I used whem having the human kings sign for peace
and compensation in their own blood. I still have it by
my sword, at my hip. Magically, it IS the treaty.

Raythan led the now-homeless people of Whitewood in search
of a new home... now named Silverstream after my mother,
who died so near it, when we chose it. Today, Raythan still
rules there in Sicanth's place. If you meet my gold-haired
brother, give my regards. I live with Sara in a human dukedom.

Yet neither of us can forget our father's horrible death, and
how long he suffered to save his people. Noble sacrifice, true,
but... we still wish it hadn't had to be.