Ellana woke up bleary eyed, her throat dry from the smoke. hungry too, she thought to herself. She wondered if this whole thing had been a dream, just a month ago, she had set her bed on fire, when she coughed up a lick of flames. back then, that was the strangest thing that had ever happened to her. That’s when this whole strange mess began; she had seen exploding furniture shops, crazed djinnis, dragon-men and a host of other confusing situations.
She felt her arms, where there once had been smooth skin, like her elven mother’s was now rough fiery-red scales. it was strange because she knew it was her, but it didn’t feel like it. She properly opened her eyes and tried to sit up, but her hair was caught. ‘well I suppose it’s not all bad then’ she thought to herself, realizing this meant she at least still had her hair. she pulled the tangled tree root out of it as she finally sat up.
who knows how long she had lay there, unconscious while the Waveham reserve burnt around her, days, weeks, months even. But it was clear now that she was alone here, surrounded by fallen black branches and ash. Her dead brother’s corpse was lying a couple feet away, mangled and broken, strange instruments of arcane origin stuck out of his chest as if he were completely mechanical, but Ellana knew that the man who died in her arms was he brother, from the childlike glint in his eyes, you don’t forget someone as close to you as that, no matter how far gone. but it was time to move on, he was dead now, but far from forgotten.
Ellana went to push herself to her feet, but then pain struck her, it spiralled up from her right thigh, putting every inch of her into immense pain as she held back a scream, just in case someone else was still in the ruined city. she relaxed her legs, calming the pain a little. It was a huge gash, probably from a fallen branch, too big to simply patch up, and too far infected to wait to heal. she eased her pack off of her back and pulled it open, surprised for a moment as she reached in and couldn’t find the bottom, before realizing she owned a bag of holding. she ruffled around the gravity-less pocket dimension, knocking bits and pieces around, searching for a healing potion, she pulled out dozens of potions, but to no avail. she slumped down, defeated and wondered what her friends were doing. on a boat probably, if they haven’t been killed, i doubt they’ll ever come look for me though, they knew me less than a month, there’s no point sitting here waiting for Oxfore to come, she thought, and started rummaging again.
She felt around in there, finding another irrelevant potion or two before something brass touched her hand, cold in the vacuum of the bag. she grabbed it and pulled it out, it was the little red amulet she had taken from the bandits when they briefly visited Accacia. it was very expertly crafted with a big red jewel in the centre the size of her palm. on the back was a small icon of a dragon. That strange lady-boy, ‘bob’, had told her never to put it on, but Ellana thought he was a bit weird and overly cautious anyway, besides if she didn’t put it on, she’d still be sitting here unable to move.
she carefully placed it over her head, brushing her leafy, mattled hair over it. the jewel on the amulet started a flickering glow. and then the first voice she heard since her brother’s:
‘HOLY SHIT, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!?’ exclaimed a shrill female voice eminating from the amulet, taking Ellana completely by surprise. Ellana started to blubber, confused, ‘I… errr… um?’, ‘DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW BORING IT IS TO HAVE NO-ONE TO TALK TO BUT YOURSELF? ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING WHAT A TERRIBLE CONVERSATIONALIST I AM!?’. The amulet lit up as every word left it’s figurative lips.
Ellana cleared her throat, ‘Hello Mrs Amulet, I-’, she was cut off,
‘MRS AMULET? I AM NO MRS! I AM A GENDER NEUTRAL MAGICAL ITEM WHO HAPPENS TO HAVE A FEMALE VOICE! YOU MUST ADDRESS ME AS “AMULET” OR “THE AMULET”, BOTH ARE ACCEPTABLE!’.
‘Alright,’ Ellana began again, ‘Hello “THE AMULET”, I-’, she was cut off again,
’THAT’S BETTER, THANK YOU!‘,
Ellana made sure to say everything slightly faster this time, so she couldn’t be interrupted,
‘Hello"THEAMULET"IamEllanaAerasumeandIwouldverymuchappreciateifyoucouldhelpmebyhealingmyleg’. Ellana breathed heavily, finally taking a breath, waiting for the amulet to reply, it took a second however.
‘WELL SURE!,’ the amulet replied, ‘BUT NEXT TIME MAYBE SPEAK AT A NORMAL PACE!?’.
there was a spark of blue within the ruby red jewel as a wave of positive energy channeled itself into the large gash on Ellana’s thigh, causing the dragonic scales to heal up and removing the pain. Ellana was finally able to relax. after a moment of respite, she pulled herself up, pulling the bag over her back and looking up at the huge moon, hanging over the decrepit city.
‘Well, What now?’ inquired the amulet after a moment.
Ellana sighed, ‘I haven’t figured out that part yet’