The Three Faces of Zembeth: Book I
I am the princess of elves. I once believed my life to be set in stone, as most often do from day to day. It matters not if we are a prince or pauper, elf or gnome; we understand where we fit in the grand scheme of things. The sun comes up, the sun goes down, and we are assured of our very reality through simple objects and gestures.
My warning is complete and, hereinafter, is not to be ignored. Never get too comfortable! I was guarded, I lived in a palace, and I was dug in to privilege as secure as any badger in a hole. One such as I, one schooled in magic and the unknown, failed to see the impending avalanche of "could never happen to me" rolling down the hill of my delusions that eventually wiped out the princess of elves and left you, my readers, with the wild–eyed beast at the end of this lesson.
The pages you now turn are the polished version of my erratic and terrified scribblings written whilst flailing amid my personal avalanche. I wrote when I was so terrified that I felt as though my guts were turning to something akin to hot pig fat dripping from a pot. I wrote in the wake of losing my mother, being framed for her murder, losing my people and my magic. I wrote while I learned to use fist and sword to defend my life, despite my fragile size and psyche. I might have lost most of my mind for a time, but damn it, I remembered to write!
So hold back what you may have believed of my kind for now. If you see me again, in some far–off land, hesitate to draw your conclusions. Don't let my ghost–white skin, ruby eyes, and pointed ears seduce your impression of what I really am. I am a princess, I am an elf, and once you know the full story, perhaps you shall understand the impact of the avalanche.
Meriden of Fairfax
Princess of Elves