viernes, 8 de enero de 2016

The Silver Spider

Kumoel had been living at the monastery for so long he barely remembers his parents as blurry faces. Kumoel is a silver elf, as they call themselves, a dokkalfar as they were called in old times or a dark elf, as most people calls them nowadays. Kumoel has grown in the monastery since he was adopted, or so he's been told, it's not that easy to trust in what another person tells you, specially when that person gains something out of that trust.

Kumoel sits patiently, waiting for one of the masters, the highest he's ever seen, though not the highest there is. While he sits, he observes the room. The tactical factors were noticed in the first moments after entering, while the monk who showed him the way told him to wait there. A dark oblong room with luminescent fungi in pots at the points; eight columns, thick as a man, so he sat against the column in the dark enough limit, having it between him and the door.

Nothing else to do until the master arrives, so he observes the bas-relieves in the walls picturing spiders and half spider half elf creatures, the carvings in the floor making it look like a spider web, the ceiling adornments as a giant spider's abdomen, the columns sculpted as the spider's legs...
Kumoel pressed his lips: the whole monastery seemed designed by a spider fetishist, no wonder other people had prejudices against silver elves. Not that Kumoel has anything against spiders, but enough is enough.

Kumoel got up when he heard soft footsteps getting near the door, and he was ready as it opened. The soft footsteps got to the room's center and, after some moments, its owner's voice broke the silence.

You have trained for many years, we have taught you as much as we could, but there are lessons that are better learnt than taught and there are needs that need to be taken care of. Tomorrow, you will leave the monastery, you will be known as The Silver Spider and you will walk, speak and fight to help our Queen in whatever task she can't say out loud.

We, Silver Folk, have been feared and hated. Even our cousins of Wood and Sun fell under that deception, but be not angry for that hate or mindful of that fear, for it is the way of this world. Forgive their actions, for they are ignorant, for the End Times are near and the survival of the Shards lay in those who further the same goals.

Go, now, find your weapons and sleep for the last time in our sheltered refugee, for tomorrow you will be shown the sun for the first time and sent in the surface world as another thread of the web that serves the Queen.

Kumoel waited until he heard the visitor go outside and then he went out of his hiding place as quietly as he could. When he got to the room he had been sleeping for the last years of his training, he found a black leather backpack, a wire with spider shaped handles to strangulate people and throwing knives with handles in the shape of, yes, spiders. Kumoel inspired deeply, resolving to sell that conspicuous gear as soon as he could and getting something more ordinary.
For now, though, he packed everything and lay in the bed to rest, thinking. He had been training all his life to reach this point, when he'd be allowed outside, to have his own way. Of course he was willing to help the Queen of Elves, it just wasn't the only thing he wanted to do.

The monastery taught that the Sun Elves were to further the magic's knowledge and power in visible places of power throughout the lands and that the Wood Elves were to keep the natural elven lands strong and protected with more mundane methods. That was obvious enough for everyone, but the masters taught that the Silver Elves were to find ways to help the Queen that she would not be able to ask out loud without damaging her reputation with her allies. An example was the conquest of dwarven underlands through guerrilla, assassination and poison tactics, something that brought metal resources to the three Shards of the Court, while keeping the reputation damage only on the Silver Folk. The monastery of the Spider was devoted to train spies, thieves and occasional assassins, and the particular order that raised Kumoel taught that the most dangerous assassin was that who didn't looked the part. That's was the reason behind all the emphasis on unarmed and unarmored combat, since a commoner with no weapons or armor wasn't thought of as that much dangerous. Kumoel had his doubts, since the idea of calling himself a creepy name like "Silver Spider" or carrying spider-themed gear all around kind of was the opposite idea. Above all, he wanted to go out and actually see the sun and all the lands he could see. He had been in the surface a few times, but only at night, and knew more of maps and pictures of sun-lighted lands than about the actual soil and sunlight. He smiled, happy and wondering what wonderful adventures would live and what interesting people he'd know in the years to come.

Finally, he had actually started a real life.
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