The Legend of the Bravest Wish
Many tales of strange events come from the darkness of the woods at night. But there are none so miraculous as this one. For long ago, the simple wish of a pure heart, saved the lives of all that was held dear.
It was the winter day of feasting in Feladan, a time when the brightest star in heaven would align itself directly to the top of the city's pride and joy, The Shrine of New Hope. It was given that name after the many races of Istaria had banded together to rid Feladan of the evil that once plagued its land. It is a widely held belief amongst the elves that the star will grant one wish to the person who is in most need of it that night.
The sounds of celebration could be heard all over the city as the Festival of Hope carried on throughout the day. Joy was present in each heart. There was dancing. There was drinking. Games of chance where played around every corner. And delicious foods adorned each table.
As the day wore into night, the women in charge of keeping the tables stocked began to run low on food. A young maiden named Elestanya volunteered to go out into the woods and gather food so the others could stay behind and prepare more dishes for the hungry crowd.
Seeing that the lady was on her way out of the city, Grendor, one of the council elders, stopped Elestanya to ask her for a favor. The time of wishing would be there within the hour. It would be a pity for any elf to miss their chance at being picked by the star. So Elestanya was asked to give a message to the sentries that stood guard at the dormant portal that lead from the dreaded Realm of Blight. The portal had been dead for so long that the elders believed it would be safe to leave it unguarded for just a little while.
After delivering the message, Elestanya was about to take her leave from the guards when one of them stopped her. He smiled boldly and winked as he handed her his horn for just in case she needed some help. Then he asked her to stand with him at the shrine when the wishing star came. With her head lost in romantic thoughts, Elestanya placed the horn in a basket that she had with her, and happily made her way through the woods to where the wild grapevines grew.
* * * * *
But evil does not lay still just because a season of joy overtakes the land. Rather, it sits and watches from a distance; waiting for any opportunity to strike terror into the heart of all those who oppose it. The soft hum of energy began to sputter its way into a rhythmic pattern as the portal once again came to life. An eerie green fog oozed up from the ground. A foul smell of death hung thick in the air. And very soon enough, the heavy thud of footsteps thumped against the ground. The Withered Aegis had returned to Feladan.
Off in the distance, Elestanya gathered up her bounty as quickly as she could. Her head was swimming with thoughts of the handsome young guard who took a fancy to her. Once her basket was full, she hurried her way back to the city in hopes of discovering a name to put with the guard's charming face. But she had been so preoccupied with her thoughts that she didn't notice the hordes of undead minions until it was too last. Her smile turned to fear as she gasped in disbelief.
Not wanting their surprise attack to be foiled, the black hearted soldiers targeted the young elf for destruction. Elestanya's heart pounded against her chest as her attackers drew near. She could already feel her soul being leached out of her body. A voice inside her head screamed at her to run.
Utterly terrified, Elestanya dropped the basket of grapes and ran for her life. She ran through the trees, hoping to cut across the woods and back to the road. But her legs could carry her only so far. Panting for air, Elestanya hid behind one of the trees. In the distance, she could hear the cheers of celebration as the festival carried on. Her thoughts turned to her people and how devastated they would be from such a sneak attack. She knew she had to warn the others somehow. She reached for the horn in hopes that her handsome young guard would come and rescue her. But it was not there. Only then did she realize that the horn was still in the basket that she dropped along the road.
Summoning up enough courage, Elestanya took a peak out from behind the tree. More and more of the dark forces where coming out of the portal. But worst of all, they where closing in on her. Her heart sank in despair as she looked back towards her village. She knew she would never make it back home. Nor would she ever see her young guard again. But just when Elestanya thought all was lost, a ray of hope filled her heart.
The night sky lit up with a brilliant white glow as the Star of Hope aligned itself with the city shrine. There was only one wish in Elestanya's heart. And even though she was in grave danger, she stepped out from behind the tree and into a clearing. She knelt down on both knees in the direction of the shrine. And with a bright smile on her lips, she clenched her hands together and held them up towards the star as she made her wish. "Oh, start of heaven. Oh, star of light. Grant me this wish that I wish this night. Please keep my people safe."
In the blink of an eye, the air around Feladan dropped to a bone chilling temperature. The night sky darkened as clouds moved in to conceal the moon and stars. Throughout the city, all eyes look up to the sky in bewilderment. Shivers ran rampant over every living body as the air they expelled became white puffs of mist. And then a torrent of rain came pouring down from the heavens. It had grown so cold that the rain began to freeze as soon as it landed.
The townspeople had seen this kind of weather before, but never here in Feladan. In all the history of the land, it had never once gotten cold enough to snow, let alone turn water into ice. A sheet of ice began to coat everything in sight. Everywhere, people started to grab whatever could be saved from the festivities as they hurried into their homes for safety. All through the night, howling winds roared with anger while the rains continued to freeze where they fell.
* * * * *
By morning, the storm had finally quelled its fury. Mages could be seen hurrying about to each house, using their flame spells to melt the ice that had glued all the doors and windows shut. When the people came outside to look at what was left behind, they were in awe from the beauty of it all. The glassy coat of ice made the city look as though it were made of crystal.
But what had caused such a strange thing to happen in their own land? They all had to wonder. As the people began to walk around the village to marvel at the sights, they heard a call of alarm shouted out by one of the portal guards returning to his duty. They all rushes outside the city walls as quickly as they could to see what it was all about.
When they gazed down into the valley, every heart pounded with the fierce beat of brotherhood at what they saw. For they now understood why the ice storm had came. Just off to the side of the road, a frozen statue of a young maiden kneeling with her hands raised towards the sky, glistened in the sunlight. And just behind her, an army of Withered Aegis minions stood frozen in their tracks.
From that winter season on, every elf adorned their homes with glass figurines of Elestanya to commemorate her selfless act. The village courtyard would fill up with ice carvings that depicted how one brave wish had saved the lives of so many. Just looking at the statues filled the villagers hearts with joy. For there was the proof that wishes really do come true.