Celandine doesn’t speak of her past. If questioned she would ask what the purpose was in looking backwards when now is all that matters. It is something of a cover though as she chooses deliberately to turn her mind from hardships.

As a youngster of the Spring Court she turned away from the traditional role of ‘looking pretty’. She preferred always to be of some positive use and never saw the role of producing future generations as something which was her calling.

Her parents listened to her, and even though they thought her wrong, they gave her as a trainee to the Fae Guard. Yes, you are right… Fae are often short and slight in stature and you wouldn’t think them difficult to fight, but you would be wrong. Their strength comes from their sheer number. Imagine if you were to kick at a wasp’s nest. Each of those insects may be small, but goodness they are formidable when angry and acting as a swarm.

Much to the annoyance of her parents she excelled at her training with bow and daggers. She took her place as one of the valued Fae Guard and devoted her days to watching over the safety of the ‘Hive’. Although sentry shifts meant vigilance, she was hidden in trees or within thickets of flowers. She was happy both in her situation and work.

Her life would have been a happy one had it not been for a terrible enmity between Celandine’s Hive and a Dark Elf House. The Dark Elves came for the hive under cover of darkness one night and although the Fae battled valiantly, they were no match for the sheer number and viciousness of the elves. Celandine let loose her arrows on the wing and once she had none left in her quiver she took a dagger in each hand and flew down as fast as she could, twisting her body round and round, arms outstretched… and she plummeted into the throng of elves slicing and slashing.

She saw little of what happened to those fae she was directly related to. The last thing she remembered was a hand grabbing at the quiver strap around her shoulders and pulling her backwards and upwards quickly and to safety. It was Crowfoot, commander of the Fae Guard. He knew that Celandine’s feisty nature combined with youthfulness would mean certain trouble at that point of the battle for the young fae. He pulled her from the fight as the signal was given to retreat. Those who could fly flew, and the strongest carried those who were struggling. Luckily the Dark Elves didn’t pursue those who fled. They seemed satisfied with having crushed the fae homes, and destroyed many of the most prominent Fae of the Hive.

The straggling survivors eventually found each other and took time to search for and embrace those remaining of their families and friends. Celandine looked… waited… then looked some more as one by one the injured arrived at the safe spot. Her parents and sisters were nowhere to be seen. When she asked about them to others all she received were sad hugs and news that they had been seen in the crumpled piles of those who were lost.

The young fae turned her grief and anger towards Crowfoot. Surely if she had been allowed to stay and fight others might have been saved? The old fae listened and allowed her to clear her sadness. His age and wisdom let him see things in a very different way. Once Celandine had run out of energy and angry words, Crowfoot took her gently by the shoulders and spoke to her softly. “Too many had already been lost. Far better that you came away to watch over those who remain.” Crowfoot steered Celandine to look at the dejected and wounded who looked to them for guidance now.

Naivety and grief won that day and Celandine refused to hear Crowfoot’s words. She couldn’t see what the point of the Guard was if it was to flee from a battle. She left the group of fae and flew back to the smouldering remains of the Hive’s home. Luckily the Elves had left, but the sight that greeted her brought no cheer. She landed and glared around her in almost disbelief.

It was impossible to discern which of the fae had been destroyed because all that remained of each was a featureless pile of waxy ash. The magical spirit which made them fae had rejoined the creation spark, and all that was left was little more than compost.

Celandine placed her hand into the moss of the forest floor and closed her eyes. She chanted words sacred to those of her kind and as her tears fell to the floor the forest rose up to reclaim that which was of the same matter as it. Moss and grasses moved rapidly to merge with and consume the heaps of faeremains. Nothing would go to waste. Just as the spark of each faebeing would light creation in something new, their earthly forms would nourish and invigorate the woodland plants.

When she opened her eyes she was shocked to see the forest scene before her as if there had never been the housing pods in the trees, or the hustle of busy faelife. The only remaining indicator of the battle was the uneasy silence of the glade. Birds and animals had fled and it would take some time for them to return. Apart from the absence or fauna, the greenness and plants were even more vivid than before.

As the morning light bathed the treetops, Celandine knew the time had come to move on. One way led back to the survivors of the Spring Court and she felt a pull to return to the faces she knew. She felt torn too though. Those closest to her were no more. This was truly a new dawn, and perhaps a new way of being. If there was no reason to try and protect other fae, maybe she should devote her days to watching over the woodland. The young and stubborn fae thought that maybe this was a time to take to a life of hermitage, to build a home in the trees and find a way of life to suit just herself.

Character Backstory for Elyona. Further details for the SIM can be found at: https://elyonarp.wixsite.com/dawn

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