The Elven Queen looked down her arrow aiming at the old buck blowing steam in the trees. A deep breath, she pulled the arrow back, placing her shot perfectly the big animal went down. She pulled her arrow out of the deer’s eye and cleaned it, she placed it back in the quiver at her hip. She grabbed the animal’s legs and slung it over her shoulder. She carried it back to her city throwing it down onto the table before he lord husband. He set to work quickly, skinning, cleaning, and butchering the animal. She hung the hide and delivered the innards to the kitchen while her husband worked on separating the meat from the bones. He carried the huge chunks of meat to the smoke house. She returned and carried the bones to the local carver.
She returned covered in gore, her husband had carried the last of the meat to the kitchen. They did not kill lightly, only the royal family could hunt. They had citizens to feed, and their food stores were not enough to get them through the winter.
“We may need to hunt again, but we will eat tonight!” He said triumphantly. He wiped blood off her cheek. “Our people will be grateful for this beasts sacrifice.”
She nodded, and headed to their shared room to change. She washed her face and hands in the icy water beside their bed. She donned her favorite dress and a heavy winter cloak. They hardly lit the hearth in their room, saving the fuel for the great hall and their citizens. They enjoyed more privilege than most of elven kind, they refused to allow their people to suffer for their own comfort. Their sister clans of elves were not always so generous. There were many refugees coming in to their city seeking shelter and food. Many were sick or injured from their journey, the queen’s heart went out to them.
Meals were held in the great hall, for all of their citizens. Her kin were gathering before the evening meal was even completed. They chatted excitedly. The king and queen mingled with the group. The cooks brought out the food and were the first to eat, then the King and Queen, and everyone else followed in an orderly manner. Once they had finished they returned to their usual duties.
The queen took her husbands hand. “Do you think the people are happy?”
He arched a dark eyebrow at her. “Why would they not be happy?”
“Do you think they need more from their lives?” She asked.
“Like what my love?”
She wasn’t sure and shrugged. “Maybe we should not be confined to our cities anymore?”
“Go out into the world of men?” He asked concern drawn on his face.
“Maybe we could trade with them and have enough supplies for the winter?”
“What would we have to offer them?”
“Our artisan’s goods?” She said snuggling into his arms.
He shrugged, “I will look into it.”
They went to bed. The next day the king traveled to the lands of men with goods to see if they could trade for food.
He came back a week later bloodied and injured. It took all of their healers skills to save his life.
“We go to war.” He whispered from his sick bed.
She rallied the soldiers. They lead their troops into battle riding side by side on white horses. The humans didn’t stand a chance against their troops, their weapons were more deadly, their warriors were more deadly. They suffered minimal losses, they left the human dead on the ground. They got all the supplies they could and recovered their dead and wounded.
“We will never speak with the humans again.” The king declared riding back into their city.