When the two met
for the first time, they fell in love immediately. They spent every free minute
together and nobody had seen a love so deep and true before. It is said the Injčrá
stopped in her path and the Darkwinds ceased to blow, so that the time would
stand still and this love would never end.
And probably they would have been the merriest couple Caelereth had ever seen,
were it not for some rules and regulations which had to be followed. The young
man had not only to return to his tribe first, but to spend a year or more away
from his home to learn of the world, to broaden his ken before he settled down,
as it was custom in his tribe. And Fá'áv'cál'âr was not considered to be far
enough away to serve this goal. Leena on the other hand was seen as too young
for an elven maid with a long lifespan to marry already, her education was not
finished yet. It might have been a hidden objection to his being a human though,
her parents foreseeing the difficulties a different lifespan or approach to life
might cause. So the two had to part for some time. However, they swore each other eternal
love but disaster was already lurking over them.
Junaid left to see his tribe and then moved on to encounter the world. Nothing
is known today of where he went and what he saw. He returned after three years,
more splendid looking than ever, with a sharpened spirit and the air of an
experienced leader. He had suffered all those years from not seeing or even
hearing about Leena, and though he was distracted quite a lot he didn‘t stop
thinking of her every day. He didn‘t believe that she would break the vow they
had given each other, but he nevertheless feared that he would lose her and
envied all those who were able to live with her.
Leena missed him as much as he missed her, and despite her diving in all the lessons
which an elven maid of high heritage had to attend and trying to learn them as
quickly as possible, she never ceased thinking of him. She suffered as he did,
but in her case she lost interest in all the things which had pleased her
before. She got thinner and paler, though her beauty didn‘t suffer from this -
it may even have intensified. Not seeing him, not be able to speak to him or to
touch him sent her in a state of depression and deep melancholy. Her parents
worried and so they asked healers to help her, but it was in vain. Finally an
elven mage knocked at their door. They didn‘t know him, nor where he was from,
but being desperate to help their daughter, they welcomed him in as he offered
his help and promised them to cure Leena from her melancholy.
And Táemehán, as he called himself, was successful. He managed to revive her
interest in worldly things, in her studies and in communication with other
people. He showed her simple things and taught her again to see the beauty of a
common flower as the lotann. It were his magical abilities that helped him to achieve this success.
It might have been just illusions, if he sent a swarm of
white little birds out of his hands to the blue sky or when he put a wreath of
roses around her neck. He knew as well how to change one object into another, he
gave a simple grey stone the form of a marblewhite sphere or formed a leaf
picked from a nearby bush into a red rose with stunning scent. After some time
Leena found her old self back. Of course she still longed to be with Junaid, but
it didn‘t hurt as much as before and she found pleasure in studying again. His
impressive personality and skill had brought her back to life. And this was the
beginning of the end.
We don‘t know much about the wizard. He had the good-looking, age defying appearance of
most elves, his manners were very polite and he was a friendly, wise man. But
that did not prevent his falling in love with the beautiful Leena himself. He
knew that she would never love him as she loved Junaid, that she could never be
his, and this knowledge fuelled his desire and his longing for her so much that
he began thinking of ways to get her for himself which would have frightened
him, if he only had a clear mind and be able to see himself from a
distance. Some say, he deceived her, some say, it was her own free will to do
what he proposed, but who are we to judge?
It can‘t be said, when all started. Táemehán remained her teacher after she had
found life again and after some time, their studies proceeded and they grew
closer to each other. He showed her much of his magic abilities, she had no
trace of it and could not learn any of it, but she loved seeing them. When did
he get aware of his love for her? We don‘t know. But it was in the summer of
their second year together, when he showed to her, that he was able to transform
not only other objects - a grey dull stone to a white marble, a leaf into a
flower, a little dog into a rabbit -, but he could also turn his own body into that of
an animal. She had to promise not to tell other people, for this was his secret
and he didn't wish to share it with others - except her. Did he plan already
then what he carried out later? Nobody knows but him.
Leena was fascinated by it, especially the idea to change into a bird and to be
able to fly she loved best. How must it be to roam the skies and to look down on
all the little villages! How must it be to feel the air under your wings and to
glide over the vast forests with the sun warming your feathers? How must it be
to search for hot wind and to soar up into the sky till all the world under you
vanishes in a mist?
As winter came and the lessons took place inside the palaces and houses, she
fell back into a slight melancholy again, thinking of her love far away. But a
sunny spring followed and the desire to fly came back to Leena and one day she
asked Táemehán, if he didn‘t know a way to make it possible for her as well. He
didn‘t say anything, but a few days later he had a birthday present for her. She
unwrapped the parcel and found a velvet cape in it, with a lovely colour
changing from Santhran violet to waterberry blue when the sun shone on it. It
had a white rim and just inside the rim was a border of white flowers. On the
back was a silvery pattern, matching the one which ran along the bottom of the
cape. It was so intricate, that Leena could not make out a special form, but
when she looked at it the next day, half dreaming, suddenly different animals
appeared, one after the other.
She loved the cape as it was and only after several days she dared to ask her
mentor about it. He stayed silent for quite some time, but when she thought he
would never give her an answer, he simply said:
"It will enable you to fly."
Her eyes went wide and her voice was so low he could barely understand her when
she asked: "How?"
He looked again at her for a time, till he answered: "It is easy. Just put it
around your shoulders and close the brooch in front of your chest. Then close
your eyes and think hard at the animal you want to be. Imagine it, its body, its
limbs - and then fill your heart with the wish to be like it - and you will be
it in a matter of seconds. But - you need to be naked when wearing the cape,
otherwise it will not work, clothes will hinder your changing."
She blushed slightly at this thought, but went on asking:
"And how can I get elven again?"
"Just wish yourself back in your old body, but be sure to be in a safe place
when it happens and on a firm ground when you have been a bird. Remove your cape
then when back in your natural form, that‘s all. You will be tired afterwards
though for quite some time, for changing into another form is exhausting."
"Thank you so much!" She clasped her present tight to her chest, she kissed him
softly on his cheek and hurried away.
Maybe it was this kiss which send the elven mage over the border of reasonable
thinking and considering what was respectable and decent to do. Perhaps this was
the moment when his plan, to seduce her in a way no woman had been seduced
before, was born?
We don‘t know, whether Leena tried out other animals she changed into before she
found the one she loved most and which should become her second nature. It was
of course a bird, an animal which was capable of flying high and far, and this
bird was as beautiful a creature as Leena was in her elven form, it was an
You might not know, what an Avásh-Vévan looks like, for they are birds of the
colder regions and are only found north of the Tandalas. No god created them,
but Avá herself dreamed them into existence, myth tells us, for they have the
grace of the elven kind, with long necks and long beaks. And with their even
longer legs they surpass a man in height. Their body is slender and their wings
can spread wide. Mostly white plumage , maybe with a hue of grey and silver here
and there, is set into contrast to dark grey legs and a nearly black beak. Their
eyes - nobody ever described them in the same way, some say that they are grey
like a the sky after a storm, some claim they are clear like water running over
the stones of a rivulet. But all confirm, that the bird looked at them as only a
sentient being is able to - aware of themselves, but with a dreamy expression in
them as well. Therefore they are often called "Avá‘s Dreamers".
Well, Leena had chosen the animal which suited her best. When sunrise was near
she mounted the high tower which belonged to her parents‘ palace, locked the
last room and climbed up to the platform above it. Injčrá had not yet sent her
first rays over the rim of the world and so Leena did not fear that anybody
discovered her secret. Up there she cast off all her clothes, put on the cape -
and took to the skies. First she was a bit anxious, but soon she lost all fear
and the world above the land was hers. Now she could look down on all the houses
and palaces, tiny as children‘s toys, she saw the Luquador river lying beneath
her like a silvery ribbon, the forests were tiny spots of dark green scattered
amidst the emerald shining grasslands. In the distances the white tops of the
Tandalas were greeting her on the one side and the Imlith Mountains on the
other. And she soared higher and higher, and in this moment she was happy and
her heartache about her absent lover was nearly, but not quite, forgotten.
It is no wonder, that she became addicted. As a bird she enjoyed a freedom she
had not known before - and had not missed either. But now she had tasted what it
was like to be independent from all human or elven limitations and sought to fly
as often as possible. She was prudent enough though to avoid detection and
nobody suspected anything.
One day, when she enjoyed the air rushing through her feathers and the hot air
over the forests carried her high above the ground she found herself suddenly in
the company of another bird of her kind. At first she was a little frightened,
but soon she savoured its company. Or should I say ‚his‘ company? For it was
Táemehán who had joined her and from this hour on she never flew alone, but they
were always seen together. He showed her more of the world than she had dreamed
of, not only did they visit far away skies, but also the vast Water Marshes
searching for food or they rested in one of the many hidden clearances in the
forests below. However, they never spoke about it when meeting as man and woman,
in their own bodies.
You may ask now, if it is forbidden to change into an animal, is it evil to give
up your natural form for a short time ? Why was this the beginning of tears and
To understand this, you need to know that the Avásh-Vévan is not only one of
the most royal birds, splendid in its appearance and gracious in its movements.
It is known as the ‚Bird of Love‘ as well, for he mates for life and has one of
the longest and most complicated mating rituals of all beasts, and one of the
most beautiful on top, with bowing to each other and wrapping their necks around
each other and so on. Once a pair has found each other, has spent a certain
amount of time together, there is no choice - the pair is driven to it, mating
The summer went by and the two joined flocks of other Avásh-Vévans who came from
the north to spend winter in the warmer south. Spring came again and with it
another mating season. The other birds went north again, but two stayed. Life
seemed to be easy and agreeable to both.
Time flew quickly by and the day came, when Leena got lore that Junaid was back
from his travels. Her heart skipped a beat, for she knew, that her airy
adventures had to come to an end now. For she still loved this human who had
conquered her heart so quickly back then, and she had given a promise she would
keep. But despite the thought of how many years of happiness might lie before
her she felt the loss of her freedom to roam the skies and to meet a soulmate
deeply and was sad beyond tears. But she stopped using the robe.
When Leena and Junaid met again, all sadness was soon forgotten, the old love
was back strong and young as ever. The wedding was prepared and it took place
soon under a blue sky and the green-golden roof of leaves in the middle of the
great trees on the central place of Fá'áv'cál'âr. Before Leena left her parents
home the last time as an unmarried young lady, she went to see Táemehán to say
farewell. This was the first time she mentioned to him their flights.
"I will no longer fly or use the robe. Thank you ," was all she said. And then
she took the robe which she had carried in her arms and laid it back in his. He
looked sadly at her and his answer was as short as her announcement. "I
But when she lowered her head, turned around and was about to leave the room, he
called her back. "Leena!"
She looked amazed back at him.
"I have a present for you." He walked over to her, took her hand and put a ring
in her palm. "If you ever need me, if you are sad or alone, if you wish my
company, put on this ring and think of me, please. And keep the robe, I have no
use for it."
Leena first hesitated, not being sure if she should take the robe back or if she
should accept such a gift as the ring or not, but then she closed her fist
around it and put it in her pocket.
"Thanks again!" she said to him, taking the time to look into his face for the
last time. And then she kissed him, softly and tenderly, but without real
passion and whispered a last "Good Bye" before she turned away and hurried out
of the room. This was the first and only time she had been really close to the
As already said, the wedding took place and the young couple moved into a house
of their own. Years went by, children were born and brought up and the marriage
was a happy one. Both gained strength and wisdom which they needed dearly, for
they had both to take responsibilities within the ruling class. It was not until
many years later, when their happy fate changed and misunderstanding, jealousy
and maybe the racial difference lead to a bitter end.
Junaid was now of an age, where he could look back on an eventful youth and a
successful manhood. He was shortly after the height of his live, having had
great times and done even greater deeds, age was not yet a subject to think
about, but it knocked at the door. The first grey hairs lightened his once black
strands and he couldn‘t compete any longer with the young heroes at the court.
Leena however, with her elven heritage, looked as young and beautiful as ever.
Her grace and friendly smile conquered so many of the hearts of the young men
around who worshipped her, though she never gave them a second look. A first
sting of jealousy entered Junaid's heart, despite his love for his wife. The
years where it had been a matter of course that she was around him didn‘t
prevent him from being angry with his destination of being a human and not an
elf. Were it his responsibilities in the government that led him away from the
court more often and on longer duties, or did he want to prove himself being
able to carry out what others couldn‘t? But not only these voyages kept him from
staying at home with his wife, but lengthy hunting parties and expeditions into
the far North or the snowy Tandalas. Junaid needed to know, that he still was
capable of doing all this and didn‘t realise, that these endeavours stole the
time he could have spent with Leena.
Leena‘s three children were grown up and married apart from her youngest
daughter, but even the nearly grownup girl went her own way. So Leena was
lonely, more than ever in her life. No wonder, that her old melancholy which she
thought was banished for all time was slowly sneaking back into her wounded
heart, when Junaid was away and the weather was dull and unfriendly for weeks.
She longed desperately for the company of her lover, but he was not here and it
was nearly as worse as back then before their wedding when she had waited for
his return. When she thought she couldn‘t bear it any longer relief came in the
person of her youngest daughter Arilin visiting her. She swept in like a ray of
sun and suddenly the fire in the hearth was burning hotter and the mists outside
But what seemed like the first light at the horizon at Firstflame was the last
flash of light when Injčrá sets. For Arilin, when she was sitting with her
mother in her room, noticed a chest, which she knew well from her childhood, for
it contained old clothes of her mother which Leena had liked so much that she
didn‘t want to give them away. Every dress carried a memory and with throwing
them away she would have had the feeling to throw these loved memories away as
well. It was not the first time Arilin looked at some of the dresses and she had
put them on as soon as she was old enough to not vanish completely in them. But
she had never dug so deep like this day. After much laughter and merriment she
immersed herself again in these wonders of cloths and fabrics and nearly fell
into the coffer. At the very bottom she had felt a soft touch of something
special. Finally she was successful and pulled out a velvet cape. And as she
unfolded it before the eyes of Leena something fell out of it and rolled with a
silvery tone towards Leena. First she stared at it speechlessly, then slowly her
hand moved forward to pick it up.
"What is it, mother? Let see me, it is a ring, how lovely!"
At first Leena held the ring on her open hand and showed it to her daughter, but
then she closed her fist around it - like thirty years ago.
"May it have it mother?" asked Arilin, but Leena only shook her head.
"No, my dear, that is nothing to play with, and please put this robe back in the
chest as well. No more dressing plays today. Come and let us have some cha‘a at
the fireplace." And the cape in the colour of Winterberry blue mixed with
Santhrian violet was stored away again.
Was it accident, that Arilin had found the robe and the ring of Táemehán just at
a time when Leena was standing near an emotional abyss? Or was it destiny and
what followed was written already in the movement of darkwinds who chase the
stars ? Did Leena have the choice not to use the robe?
Arilin stayed for some weeks, but then Leena‘s days were as before, dull and
uneventful and without love. On one evening she put on the ring and thought at
Táemehán, thought of the times when he was her teacher and of this wonderful
time together high up in the skies - and on the ground. Memories came back, and
though deep in her heart was an insecureness about the rightfulness of their
doings back then, she had never believed that what had happened when she had
been a bird was of relevance for her live as an elven woman. After she had worn
the ring for some days, she put it back, no Táemehán appeared at her door and so
she nearly forgot about the ring and the cape.
Junaid came back for the Turning of the Year from one of his journeys and joy
came back to Leena's life for a short time. Festivities lightened the dark time
of the year up as if it were high summer and dances and great meals made many
people happy. All the greater was her disappointment when her husband left
shortly after these events to start a second time this winter to a new hunt
somewhere south, something which he hadn‘t done before. She accompanied him on
horse into town and a little beyond, but then returned to her home. And there it
happened. On the short distance back to the town, unable to say a word to her
attenders because she was not sure if her voice would not break, she saw the
birds - a flock of Avásh-Vévan. And while the tracks of her husband‘s party were
still fresh, she decided to fly again.
It was not as easy as it had been in her parents house, where the tower roof had
been an ideal place to start and land again. Though her rooms were high up where
she could enjoy the view best, it was not as secretive as back then. She had to
use a balcony situated on one corner of the building. Probably nobody would ever
look up there - but it was in full sight. It was still winter and freezing on
this early morning and the cold gripped her when she put the robe around her
naked body and stepped out on the balcony, but as soon as she had transformed in
an Avásh-Vévan she could bear it and the skies were once again hers. Sometimes
she joined the other birds staying for the winter in the Water Marches, but
mostly she enjoyed flying. The higher she soared, the less her worldly sorrows
did hurt her. But somehow she was still lonely, though she felt better already.
So one evening sitting at the fire she put Taemehan‘s ring on her finger. She
didn‘t intend in this moment to call him, but it was such a good feeling, to
think back on those glorious times when they both felt the air brushing their
She stopped flying, when Junaid came back from his expedition the next day and
the ring went back into the chest, together with the robe. Life was agreeable,
spring came and the world was green again. Time for Junaid to start his next
voyage. Leena didn‘t even wait till he was some days away, but used her robe the
very next morning, sad, but frustrated and angry as well. Avá‘s white birds were
about to go back to their summer meadows in the north and Leena wished she could
go with them. But suddenly she realised, that there was one bird that didn‘t
stretch his wings to take to the air and fly northwards. She recognised him as
all birds know their partners, even if they are parted for a long time. After a
first shy approach, joy was great. A bright future seemed to lie ahead of her.
Táemehán was back.
As long as Junaid was away, their time together was as great as if there hadn‘t
been thirty years between the now and the then. But though Junaid wasn‘t very
attentive it occurred to him after quite some time has passed, it may have been
even a year, that his wife seemed as content as she hadn't been for a long time,
that she didn‘t any longer mind him going away again and again. After the first
suspicions he got more attentive and realised, that she often was away for more
than a day, that he got always an evasive answer to where she was going and that
she was very tired afterwards and slept the whole day. It didn‘t take long till
he discovered her ability to change into a bird, for there had been rumours
about her since she had started shape shifting again. One day, he even observed
it himself and that very day he forced access to her rooms and took the robe
away. From this day on he called her Leena Térquan instead of Tékaan. And this
name stuck to her till today.
Leena was devastated and fell into a depression as she had never endured it till
then. She couldn‘t enjoy her airy adventures and her heedful companion anymore,
nor did she have a loving husband who really cared for her. Being so used to her
current life she didn‘t see the options she could have - leaving her husband
altogether or just wait till he would die and enjoy her long elven live
afterwards. So she just stopped any activities, spent her days in her rooms only
and refused to eat anything. It didn‘t take long and she was on the brink of
death. Finally, Junaid, who still loved her in his way, brought back the robe
and didn‘t object to her using it. However, he hadn‘t known about Táemehán.
Things went quite well from then on, Leena recovered quickly after she was sure
that she was allowed to use the robe again, Junaid took care of her and didn‘t
go on journeys as often as before. The rest of the summer went quickly and the
winter as well. Then spring arrived and with it all Avásh-Vévan migrated into
the north - except two, as it had always been. It was then that Junaid learned
about the second bird and watched their pairing one day.
He was furious, he felt betrayed, though he didn‘t even know then, that this
other bird was a person as well, until Leena mentioned it casually, for it
hadn‘t occurred to her, that Junaid might not know it. Junaid went pale this
moment, and he knew instantly, that he had to kill this other bird.
Some weeks passed. Junaid didn‘t want to talk to Leena, though she was ready to
give up the robe. She longed to restore the love between her and Junaid, but to
no avail. So she used the robe again and met Táemehán, secretly first, then with
less care for not being seen. And Junaid watched them, trying to find out a
their habits. He wanted to kill the other man while he was alone, but he only
appeared when Leena took to the air. Finally he thought he had found a pattern,
that he could distinct the similar looking birds sure enough and he couched
behind a wall, his bow ready for the shot that should end his sorrows. His shot
was an excellent one, it hit the bird in a vital part of a wing and the
Avásh-Vévan plunged down not far from the place he was standing. He ran towards
it and when he arrived his eyes went dark with horror. Leena, his Leena was
lying on the ground, naked, for the robe didn‘t cover her nudity, his arrow in
her shoulder. He carried her to her rooms, the eyes full of tears. The other
bird still circled in the air, but left soon with a loud screech unheard till
Leena died that night, for though the arrow wouldn‘t have killed her, the fall
from the height did. It is said, that Junaid held her in his arms all night and
that when she entered Queprur‘s arms they didn‘t bear any grudge against each
other any more. Now that he had lost his beloved wife, Junaid became aware of
his faults, but his hate against Táemehán grew as well. As soon as Leena was
buried he tried to find out where his rival stayed - and it was an easy task.
Táemehán was still around - in his Avásh-Vévan form. We would expect, that he
had fled the town after he had realised, that Leena was dead. But maybe he was
full of desperation and sorrow as well and felt guilty for her death? Maybe he
just wanted to stay near the place, where they had spent so much joyful days
together? Maybe he just didn‘t care for his life and his animal form was as
convenient to him as any other? We will never know.
Junaid, when he knew the place where he could find Táemehán, went to Leena‘s old
rooms, undressed slowly and put the robe on. Then he went out to the balcony and
started to change form. But he didn‘t transform to a slender white and lovely
Avásh-Vévan, nor did he change to one of the mighty eagles which are said to
have roamed the skies back then, no, a much more frightening animal appeared - a
dragon as black as nor'sidian velvet, with a hint of dark red over the mighty
wings. It was not a dragon as big or mighty as we know from other stories, but
he was powerful enough to find and crush a friendly white bird.
It didn‘t take long till he had found the lonely Avásh-Vévan not far outside the
town. He lunged at him as if he would be the incorporation of Kalkaroth, the
demon lord himself. In his mind he saw the bloody carcass of a once white bird,
feathers stained with blood lying around, a slender white neck broken. But it
didn‘t happen as he had imagined it.
Just before he was near enough to tear it apart, the bird‘s form changed - into
a dragon so huge and mighty that none of the witnesses from the city nearby had
ever heard of. It had metallic scales which reflected Injčrá‘s rays so that it
sparkled with all colours of the rainbow. He didn‘t breath fire as some
expected, he only turned his horned head towards Junaid, and then the human man
lay on the ground in his human form, unconscious, naked. The dragon however
stretched his wide wings and lifted itself up in the sky. Junaid‘s men came and
carried him home but though he didn‘t have obvious injuries he died soon after -
many believe his heart just stopped beating because it was 'broken'.
Táemehán, the shape shifter dragon circled for some time over the town, causing
fear and horror, but also admiration for his beauty. Then he flew south, and it
is said, that he shed many tears which fell to the ground and formed the Crystal