Chapter 1: Introduction

Athos is unfair. Life is unfair. Get over it.

The words echoed in her mind as she trotted through the alleyway. Her gaze was fixated on the ground in front of her. She knew the route from work back to her home by heart, so she wasn't really paying attention to her surroundings. Normally, she would've greeted other passersby as she made eye-contact, flashing them a friendly smile, but today her mind was too occupied.

A young elf. Though no one would be able to tell the difference if she would cover her distinctly knife-shaped ears. Her dark brown hair made her skin seem all the more paler, which was one more feature she hated about herself. In Athos, elves no longer lived a life of prosperity since the humans had invaded their lands.

Elven magic was but a tale, as no one ever seemed able to wield it. According to the official history documents, there used to be many different kinds of elves. The northwest used to be the only part of Athos not covered by forests; plains stretched far into the distant horizon instead. The elven races had adapted to their environment. Pointier ears, longer legs and shorter overall height allowed the Plain elves to hear sound from further away, run faster and closer to the ground. Wider pupils, longer arms and leaner bodies allowed the Forest elves to have better sight and climb the trees with ease.

Now, all elves were similar. Living with the humans for so many centuries had made all special features but their knife-shaped ears disappear. To some, it would feel like their identity had been stolen from them. Forced to look like a human, act like a human and live like a human. But never treated as one.
There were even tales of elves living in the fresh water lake bordering Athos's lands in the west, way before the humans invaded their lands. Elves with tail fins instead of legs. Of course, even those tales were stolen by the humans, for now the history books were filled with legends of mermaids, humans with tail fins, roaming the very same lake.

In those books, it said the different elven races were at war when the first humans arrived from the east. They were simply caught in the middle of the crossfire. When the humans tried to offer peace, they had somehow angered the elven elders and, consequently, ended up a target themselves. The elves were described as distrusting creatures, never giving humanity a fair chance to live side by side with them. Whatever was foreign had to be erradicated. The first battle brought the elves victory and glory, and through fighting the humans together, they had united and bonded. They thought it to be over and many predicted a future of wealth and peace among all elves. Alass, humanity would prove to be much more difficult to erradicate.

What humans didn't have in strength, they had in numbers. The elves were quick on their feet, knew their way around, climbed and set traps, but they were not prepared to fight over a million soldiers. Once they'd set foot into Athos, they quickly gained the upper hand. Torching their homes, burning their lands, many elves died fighting or hiding, and pleads for mercy would have been ignored. For the time to offer peace had long surpassed. Yet, humanity did not rid Athos of all elves. When the next generation of humans came into power, they vowed to do better than their ancestors and give the elves a second chance. They let the elves live amongst them, while they built their own societies, but not without exerting complete control over them.

Sighing, the young elf headed further down the alley, until she reached her own front door. With a soft thud, she knocked to let whoever may be inside know she was going to enter, before taking the doorknob in her hand and opening the door.