Aliv and the Evil Dragvad

A short story by Signe Hammar

Once upon a time in an elven kingdom there was a princess called Aliv. She was the favourite daughter of her mother Vareck and her father Taengel. In fact, the whole kingdom loved Aliv. She was kind, so kind that wherever she went the people she met got a happy tingling feeling. She was so beautiful that by the age of five hundred she'd already rejected one thousand proposals (she was secretly in love with her martial arts teacher). Furthermore Aliv was so beloved by all and everything that when she smiled, the world, even the Sun, smiled with her.

Alas Aliv wasn't as happy as you might think that a five hundred year old elf princess might be. Aliv had a sleeping disorder. Because Aliv was so good and pure her essence couldn't stand the evil and immorality Dregvad represented. As a result, Aliv couldn't sleep while he was at large.

The king Taengel was beside himself. He felt helpless and insufficient because he knew he couldn't do anything. It was prophesised that a great warrior, Pheras, would come from the skies and kill Dregvad. Taengel sent out people to search for a flying hero but he couldn't find anyone anywhere. However, Aliv didn't waste her time. She wasn't going to wait for a flying hero to save her from insomnia (though it did have its benefits, one being able to stay up all night without parental complaints). Aliv trained everyday, all in the pursuit of becoming a living lethal weapon. She also trained with every weapon know of to the elves (her favourite was the sword; it had an elegance the others lacked). She had the best trainers, Arf was the prominent of them, he was three thousand years old and had never been defeated in battle. Aliv admired Arf, she wanted to be like him and loved his company. Furthermore, he always had a story to tell (her favourite involved and elf, a dwarf and a daisy).

On Aliv's five hundred and first birthday she sat alone by the river Dolfen thinking of things, when suddenly the water started to spray. It looked magnificent in the sunlight, the water shining in every colour known to elf. Out of the water came a pair of blue silver boots with blue tinged white wings on either side of the foot. A mature, calm female voice which sounded like pouring water, sounded out over the surroundings (though somehow Aliv knew that she was the only one who heard it).
"Aliv, you have been chosen to free the people. You have been chosen. You have been chosen. Pheras."

After those words the voice dies away and the water stopped spraying. The boots landed softly on the ground in front of her. She examined them a while. When she lifted them up they where as light as feathers. When she dipped the toe of one of the boots in the water not a single drop stuck on it. Aliv checked the underside of the boots, 'Lasnad' it stood. Hmm, she thought, this is very interesting. Aliv finally put them on and not surprising (she doubted anything could really surprise her anymore) they fitted perfect. My calves look ideal!

Aliv knew that her mother would never let her go on this journey. The king most definitely would, he trusted that Arf had trained her the best he could and therefore trusted that she could take care of herself. However, her mother was far too worried about everything concerning Aliv and weapons and she had the king in her pawn. I must go now. Before anyone has time to stop me, Aliv thought. Weapons Aliv, Weapons! Said a voice in her head. Arf has weapons, he won’t tell my mother before I've had time to be to far gone. He'll help me, he must.

Because Aliv was an elf princess she was very smart. She knew that it would be un-smart to start off on a journey across dangerous and un-known lands with flying boots without at least trying them on secure ground before. Now let's think, she thought, how do I get them to fly? The thought had barley even crossed her mind before she was hovering in the air, the white wings flapping softly to keep her in air. Up and north.

"Aliv, what on earth are you doing outside my window?" Arf said in the dark deep voice Aliv knew so well, as he started to walk across the floor to open the window. Despite his three thousand years Arf looked very young and handsome. The benefit, he would say, of being an elf.
"I'm the flying hero Arf! I'm Pheras. I was chosen, so now I must get weapons before I go, sorry fly, and face Dregvad." Aliv happily explained as she climbed in through the window. "I should probably get an armour as well don't you think?"
"Slow down Aliv. Weapons you said..." Arf hadn't been surprised that Aliv was the one chosen to fight Dregvad. He'd suspected that for a long time. He was happy for her, he knew how much she really suffered from the insomnia. On the other hand, he'd miss her more than he wanted to admit if she didn't succeed. Finally, he found it! A sword made for champions, a sword made for winning. He himself had used it while battling the forces of evil, wonderful memories. A delicate iron longsword perfectly balanced with a platinum hilt. The grip and cross-guard had inputs of gold and silver shaped like the stem of the rose. Furthermore the pommel had a beautiful green gem mounted in the middle. However the scabbard of the sword was simple. It was made out of leather, the chape and locket made out of iron. "Here, take this and use it well."
"Arf, it's beautiful." She held it her hands a while before pulling the sword out of its scabbard. The sword felt good in her hands, she’d always loved swords. Debonair, was the word that came to mind.
"I have an armour for you in the room next door, it's your birthday present." Arf said. "You go and change, I'll wait here."

When Aliv was changed and ready she stopped to look at herself in a mirror before she went out to Arf to say good-bye. The breastplate was of blue silver, a metal stronger than any other. She wore a golden skirt that went just below her knees, movability was key. She looked flawless. When she went out, she noticed that he'd already opened up the window for her. No long good-bye then.
"It suits you well. I know you will do well on your mission. Now you have to go because I'm expecting your father any minute now." Arf looked solemn and composed. Through his young and beautiful exterior his age and wisdom shone through. Also his worry, though he tried to hide it.
"Thank you, for everything. I knew I could count on you Arf." After those words Aliv stepped out of the window and flew away.

The flight was long and tiring. When she got hungry she flew down and ate the barriers and fruit she could find, drank the water of whatever lake or river she stumbled upon. After three long days she finally arrived at the mountain Srot on which backside the fort Lutrab laid. Go fast, faster than the eye of any creature, she told the boots. Then land on the courtyard. The boots did as she said and she flew faster than she thought possible. No guard even noticed her presence before it was too late.

"Come out dark lord! Come out, come out and meet your destiny!" She shouted over the dark courtyard. Evil minions looked surprised to see her standing there in her shining armour and blue silver boots. "Come out of your hiding and meet me!"

The minions, who had been chatting with each other about a highly peculiar event of no meaning, suddenly stopped talking. Aliv could hear distant thuds, as of heavy metal boots walking on stone, coming closer. Out of a colossal black gate a tall man appeared. He had a great big dark helmet on and a long dark cloak.
"Who dares to break and entry my fort?" A cold, hard and very un-elfish voice said from the darkness of the helmet.
"I dare!" Aliv said in the most elfish voice she could. "I dare you to battle me, a battle to death."
"Fool! All of my battles are to death. Not mine might I add." Dregvad laughed and his minions laughed with him. Dregvad stepped even further out on the courtyard, towards Aliv. He laid back his cloak and revealed a chain mail and a sword. To darkness with all training! Then with a single thought she was behind Dregvad's back, two feet off the ground. With all of her strength she thrust the sword deep into his back and twisted. Dregvad let out a shriek of surprise and pain. He fell hard down on the stone floor. The evil minions looked worried and uncertain. I'll let father clean up the mess, I want to sleep. Aliv then laid down where she stood in the courtyard of Lutrab. As she did so grass and beautiful flowers sprung out of the ground so that she had a soft bed to sleep on.

Epilogue

Where darkness once had been light now came. The evil minions turned over to the way of the light and got their own little kingdom to rule (where Lutrab once had been). Aliv never more had insomnia. Furthermore she wed Arf, whom on her return confessed his feelings. Together they ruled the kingdom after her father had decided to move on to the next world.

The names of Aliv and the Evil Dregvad