My Beloved Dorthea,
I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the comfort you provided during my most recent visit home. The tension had grown very thick within the Material Realm Research Project, and I believed a little time away from it would do me some good.
I regret to inform you that while I addressed my mental anguish, my absence allowed Captain Blythe Ferdinand to acquire control of the project. I am now deeply concerned that the good work I had established in this realm is no longer within our reach. Captain Ferdinand’s mistreatment of the indigenous population of this realm has crossed a line.
Upon my retreat back to the Fey Realm, Captain Ferdinand commanded my researchers to determine the Material Realm’s capacity for charm magic. On its face, this request did not seem unreasonable. Much of what my research team had been doing was analyzing how each known discipline of magic functioned within the Material Realm. They could not have known of Captain Ferdinand’s ill intent.
Another key change to Captain Ferdinand’s tactics was commanding her soldiers to capture any indigenous hunting parties instead of killing them. Again, on its face, this seems a commendable change in her indigenous policy. The wording of the order implies that Captain Ferdinand had intentions to question the hunters and release them back to their people. However, Captain Ferdinand had no intention of relinquishing these prisoners from her detainment. She instructed the researchers to suppress their free will with charm magic so that she could force them to serve the project directly.
As I returned to our research encampment, I was horrified at the blank-faced hunters that now be seen among the soldiers and researchers. They were doing all kinds of menial tasks ranging from fetching tea for the researchers to digging trenches around the encampment. This project was meant to help the people of the Fey Realm. I know that Captain Ferdinand has assured me that she is still working towards that goal; however, I must ask, at what cost?
This deep-seated feeling of guilt ruminated within my head for days upon my return. I was technically in charge of the project, but I am no fool. I am a mere magic researcher, and Captain Ferdinand is an accomplished military leader. If I challenged her authority, she would inevitably retaliate with force. She would no doubt blame my untimely end on the indigenous people of this realm. There was already so much blood on my hands. I could not bear more in my name. However, I knew I could no longer sit back and watch as Captain Ferdinand terrorized these people indiscriminately.
Roughly one week after returning to the project, I found myself alone in one of the research tents. I called one of these mind-controlled servants to my tent as though I had need of them. Just before I left the encampment for holiday, I had discovered a new kind of magic that had never before been studied. This realm has something I have dubbed “dispell magic.” This magic is able to counter the effects of any spell, no matter the strength or permanency. I tapped into this power and released this servant from the control of Captain Ferdinand’s spell. I further tapped into the divination magic to create a telepathic link so that the two of us could communicate silently.
This woman’s name was Tawny, as best I could translate it into Elven. Tawny was inconsolable upon immediate release, although I did manage to calm her. She used the telepathic link to show me the horrors that Captain Ferdinand had committed not only to the hunters but also to the indigenous settlements themselves. Ferdinand had not only ensorcelled the hunters, but she had also taken children from their homes and sent them back to the Fey Realm. Suddenly, the future that I imagined where our people freely shared the magic of this world with those native to it was rapidly disappearing. I had welcomed pain and tragedy into this land.
I advised Tawny that there was little I could do about her fellows, but I could send her somewhere safe. She begged me to use the same technique I freed her mind with on her children, who were currently imprisoned in a large tent within the encampment. I knew it was risky, but my guilt had gotten the better of me. Saving these children may be all within my power I could do to ease the suffering of these people.
I instructed Tawny to act as my guide and to not show emotion on her face as she walked me across the encampment. She complied, and it was only a matter of minutes until we found ourselves in the company of 30 children that had been magically put to sleep. Captain Ferdinand must not have the resources to charm them yet. Tawny wanted me to free them immediately, but I knew we had to be more strategic in our rescue. I spend the next hour drawing a teleportation circle around the children. I
knew my power was limited, and I had to use it wisely. The dispell magic would wake the children, but they would not be quiet. They are children. I would need to immediately teleport them after they have awoken. I informed Tawny of all of this and asked her to stand inside the circle. I told her I would transport them roughly 25 miles away from this place, but she would need to take them farther from there. Captain Ferdinand will be increasing the scope of her operation in due time.
Tawny understood and nodded at me in sullen agreement. In a quick motion I tapped into the dispell magic and released a massive pulse of dispell energy. No doubt, others in the encampment would become aware of it. Before the children stirred themselves awake, I sliced across my palm and slammed the blood into the circle. I knew that blood magic was the only way I could manage to teleport this many people.
They all disappeared, and I have since used my remaining time among the living to compose this letter. There is residual teleportation magic enough to send this to you. Once this letter is sent, I intend to confront Captain Ferdinand and attempt to retake control of this project. I have already communicated my fears to you as to the consequences of these actions. I am sending you this because these two realms need to know that there were elves horrified by these actions. I imagine it won’t be much longer until the intent of sharing this world’s magic will be a distant memory. I would like to believe that the Queens of Summer and Winter would put a stop to this if they were only made aware. However, their “lesser beings” policy has been clearly demonstrated with our realm’s gnomes and pixies.
Please know that I pursued this project because I believed our people could find a better way. I wanted to build a better life for you and our two children. I love the three of you with all my heart, and I wish for nothing more than to return to you. But I must do what I can to ease the suffering of these people that were so helpful to me. Even though I am doing this for the indigenous people of the material realm, I also wish to cleanse my soul so it will not taint our children in the future. Please take care of yourself and our children.
Goodbye, My Love,
These stories serve as inspiration for the upcoming short story collection, Tyranny of the Fey. The collection will be released in Fall 2023. You can get a $1 preview now!