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Blessings Of A Curse - 2012 USA Edition - chunk 02 (standard:fantasy, 9164 words) [2/6] show all parts
Author: Wayne Edward ClarkeAdded: Mar 19 2012Views/Reads: 1455/1470Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
The next installment of the epic fantasy novel Blessings Of A Curse.

“The mountain elves as a group are about the same height as the northern
elves, while the elves of the forests and jungles tend to be taller, 
averaging four feet ten or eleven for males.  The plains elves, who 
have almost entirely joined their cultures with that of the great 
empires of the humans, tend to be taller yet, with males averaging 
about five feet two, perhaps five feet three.  Females in all our 
subcultures tend to be about three inches shorter than the males.” 

“Interesting.” Markee remarked, consciously imitating the old elf's
manner.  “Tell me, what is the average lifespan of an elf?  I 
understand that you are unique in that regard, but what is the general 
elven longevity?” 

“A well phrased question, even if you are being a sarcastic sprout.”
Yazadril grinned.  “Elves don't die from old age.  And, since we have 
an innate ability to heal ourselves, we very seldom die from diseases 
or wounds.  Other than the given possibility of death from magical 
attack, we only die when we are wounded in the brain or upper spinal 
column, or when we are killed faster than we can heal ourselves.  For 
instance, the most common natural cause of death among The High People 
is being struck by lightning, since it's too quick to react to.  We are 
likely to be struck by lightning every thirteen thousand two hundred 
years on the average, though no one lives that long, and to be fatally 
struck every fifteen thousand one hundred years.  Over time, the 
dangers of the world kill everyone.  By far the most common cause of 
death for elves is war.  Also, since we can choose not to heal 
ourselves if we are feeling an immensely powerful despair, a few elves 
have died by suicide. 

“Throughout the two hundred and thirty seven thousand years of elven
history, our average elven lifespan was about one thousand eight 
hundred years.  But, during this present epoch, which includes the last 
eight thousand years, it has been relatively peaceful for those of us 
of the elven race, and we have only been affected by three major wars 
and seven minor ones.  Largely because of this peaceful condition, our 
average lifespan during that time has risen to two thousand, three 
hundred years.  Generally, if you live to eighteen hundred, you start 
to get a little extra respect due to your age.  The plains elves tend 
to suffer more fatal mishaps than the rest of us, on average, but 
that's due to the influences of living with humans.” 

“I see.  And how many of your people are there?  The High People of The
Nine Valleys?” 

“Two thousand, seven hundred and ninety-one since the last birth, a baby
boy born just six years ago.” 

“Your people don't have many babies, for that many people.” Markee
commented, a little sadly. 

“Not compared to yours, but everything has it's price.  We have long
life, but if we also had high fertility as you do, we would cover this 
world like flies on a carcass, until everything was consumed, and then 
we would all die.  The same would happen to your people, with their 
amazing fecundity, if every one of them could be a wizard and live as 
long as an elf." 

“I didn't know wizards lived as long as elves!” Markee exclaimed. 

“Ah, they are not as consistent in their longevity as elves.  Almost all
human wizards manage to extend their lifespan by at least fifty years, 
but only a few manage to do it as well as elves.  Still, there are a 
few human wizards out there who are more than two thousand years old.” 

“And what about me?  How long will I live?” 

“My boy, I have no idea.  At least as long as an average human, at any

“Huh.  So really, all you elves are wizards, but only the most powerful
among you get to call yourselves wizards?” 

“Almost all of us can cast the power to a greater or lesser degree, but
it is not only the most powerful elven magic users who declare 
themselves to be wizards.  Those who are the most skilled, those who 

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This is part 2 of a total of 6 parts.
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