Title: Rise from the ashes
Specific elements: War, politics, spirits, different races Ė humans, elves, dwarfs, unrequired love
Pairing: Rebel elf (male) & human princess
Inspiration: A song of Fire and Ice, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Witcher 2
War never changes, and never does the reasons behind it. The world has crumbled beneath the many races settled in a deteriorating world. Previously fighting over petty political disputes, the races have now turned against each other in the fight for clean water and the most fertile of farmland. A decade of bad harvests, natural disasters and barren wars, has mined the world of its generosity and resources. Entire ancient forests have been chopped away to provide warmth during the merciless winter times, and with no one to care to replant the trees, the forests and its wood have become a depleting resource that is quickly coming to an end. With the forests shrinking, the wildlife follows the same steep curve down to nothing. Larger game animals like the deer, buck and moose has all been hunt to extinction. Something as easy as fishing, has become troublesome. Over-ambitious fishing men with their boats have ventured out on dangerous sea, and only to be devoured by it. Due to the thinking tree population, those ships that are lost are truly lost as no one builds ships anymore. Rebuilding is both costly a time consuming Ė two things the poor folk donít have.
Entire civilizations has fallen from grace and they are all fighting against each other for survival. The Kings and Queens of the different races are stubborn; feeding themselves with their pride and dodging any treaty that might be good. Old blood keeps them from forming any alliances and their people suffer greatly for it. Sickness, hunger and thirst haunts ever race; every individual regardless of their position on the high ladder of society. Rich families burn their fancy furniture and valued literature through the winter, which only seem to grow harsher.
Fifteen years into the misery and into the worst winter since the start, the elves rise against their fair Queen. They urge her to put aside ancient history and make peace, as they are starving to death this year. Whatever army they once had, have not fallen by the hands of the enemy, but for starvation. Those who dare to urge the royalty, are branded with the title of traitor and are quickly silenced. However, many rebels and free thinkers quickly leave the elven capital Naevys, and regroup in an old fortress on top of mount Memnon. It is a defendable point being so high above the clouds, giving them a good advantage to anyone who would dare to attack them. They gather and plot, and soon they become the largest rebel base for the elven kind, but like the rest of the world Ė they fight the same dilemma of starvation, thirst and sickness.
Little do they know that the castle is sheltering more than just them. A lone soul of the world whispers to the rebels among them, but only one decides to listen. He is a battle-scarred sergeant from the war, and instead of sitting around starving, he follows the voice. After some time of listening, she reveals herself as a spirit of the world. She can be anything, but at the same time nothing and with her world falling apart, so is she. In her attempt to save what is left, she has reached out for help. She wants them to bring back the forests and the animals, but is unable to do it alone. After a bit of coaxing, she convinces the elven sergeant to carry out the first of many missions. He is set with the task to collect the entire skeleton of an animal she will bring back to life.
The sergeant leaves the rebel base and climbs down from the mountains with the spirit as his guide. It takes him several months of venturing before he has finally completed the first skeleton and as promised, the spirit carefully brings the beast back to life. They name her Nambra the Deer, as she is the first animal to be resurrected. Rios the Wolf follows, together with Alluin the Serpent, Sana the Eagle, Tyarel the Fox and many more. Unlike no one else has cared for, the spirit has him plant an entire forest in a ravaged valley for the animals to reside in. Surrounded by high mountains and only accessed through a treacherous trail, the vale is left alone by the outside world.
Not far from the Phoenix Vale, as the elf have begun to call it, the humanís capital of Acre lay. It is a place of great calamity and with the common people at their breaking point Ė they have launched an all-out assault on the royal palace. The King and Queen send away their son Ė the crown prince and their daughter Ė for protection and there are escorted in a rush to a safe house several hundred miles from the capital. They stay there for months; trapped within the cold walls of the fortress in complete solitude from the outside world and then suddenly one day, a routine patrol of the surrounding area brings the elf to their door. Believing him to be an elven spy, they are quick to lock him in chains and put him far from the royal children.
However, having read all the books in the library and sewn as many socks as she could manage over the past months, the princess cannot help but to let the curiosity overpower her and she seeks out the elf without the consent from her brother and the general guarding them. Little does she know, it might be the most adventurous decision in her life.