A plenty of toxins and powerful potions, many of them unknown to lesser alchemists. Amulets aiding the stability of her form. A stave made of the chaotic matter of ‘unused’ creation.
While it grieves her sometimes, Arjanelle would never admit that she rerets abandoning the form of an elf sometimes. Today, she is muscled and tall, rather than wearing the fragile husk of an elf; clad in fur like black steel instead of vulnerable silken skin, her face protruding into a muzzle filled with sharp teeth in place of the stubby blunt objects we’d like to call so; her arms no longer helpless, but armed with sharp claws, two appendages with foot-long talons adding to her rather frightening appearance.
Her eyes are generally cold, scorning and bitter, yet filled with sadness when she doubts the course she chose. Proud of bearing and a tasteful dresser, she prefers simply cut clothes adorned by a centrally placed jewel or two - generally a headband and an amulet on her chest.
All over her body, small jewels are sewn into her skin, having become a part of her.
Once, she frolicked along her kin in the proud cities, lush meadows and verdant forests they called home - an elf maiden with a mane like raven feathers, pale and moody like the moon, filled with optimism and joy.
Like so many flawless things, her life in the community was not meant to last long, for threats abounded on the horizon - human and dwarf nations, their ambitions fuelled by the rise of technology, overpopulation and greed, threatened what her kin had laboured so hard to create and preserve. So, the Elves went to war, a tragic event for them, for what does it matter that one dragonlord does kill several thousand enemies before his fall, when his life is not to be replaced, and neither that of his mount, while the humans breed like rats in a congested sewer, and dwarfs assemble warrior golems day and night in the safety of their halls?
War claimed many victims, and Arjanelle saw fewer and fewer of her kin every day, until but a few of them strolled lifelessly along the streets, while the besiegers were hammering away at the wards ensuring their safety. The mages gone, those faded as well, and the uncultured foes were free to wander the deserted streets, mouths agape at such beauty and splendor, until their greed overrode their respect, and they tore apart anything of value, artwork molten down to coin and machine, books fuelling campfires and statues used as cobblestones.
Fleeing without direction and purpose, Arjanelle was soon tracked down and laid in chains, to be carried off as a trophy, to be slave to those not worthy of kissing an elf’s feet. Long did she pity hersef, cry rivers of tears evoking only laughter from her captors, yet one day, after her whole self was consumed by the flames of degradation, torture and abuse, something new arose from the ashes. Arjanelle lashed out at her captors, burning the mansion of her owner and all within to the ground, barrels of oil and a few torches replacing what she lacked in magic.
That night, she ran off again, but now with a purpose - she joined a faction of elves who questioned nature’s wisdom in creating the other sentients, and wanted to remedy this error, by fire and steel if necessary.
Driven by desire to forget what was done to her, and stamp out anything that reminded her of the suffering, she was one of the most ardent enemies of mankind, rising to a position of power amongst her likes soon, honing both her physical and magical might.
True, she had few friends, but she cared little… what desire for company she had was sated by Yanessi, her mate, and a brother-at-arms.
Yet again, doubt gnawed at her, for her companions failed to see all of the humans and their likes as but a plague - they distinguished between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, when all that mattered was a ... remedy. She realized that the Elves were weak as well. ALL had to be replaced.
Long she travelled the lands, only Yanessi at her side, seeking an answer to a question she shared with no one. Many hardships she endured, until she found what she was searching for. Having snuck into the halls of the gods, for all of the earth she already had searched, she entered the fortress of Rukh, the eldest of the gods, the keeper of time and judge of the other deities, who ovrsaw the wheels of time and reincarnation. There, in a vault not meant to e opened, she discovered a treasure far greater than anything in existence - unwoven creation, unused by the gods, saved up to be used if the need arose. Drawn to it like a moth to flame, despite the warnings of her mate, she eagerly grasped a large chunk of it with both hands.
Her will, feeble when compared to the gods’, and not meant to handle such energy, could not contain it, and molten she was, losing any semblance of her form. Yanessi’s will was weaker still, and any trace of him ended that moment, dissolved back again into what he came from.
Grasping what she could hold of raw creation, but a small piece, Arjanelle fled, an amorphous mass, unable to find any permanent shape.
Still, her resolve did not let her to slip into madness, and, piece by piece, she did what she could not do as a whole - give her body a shape. When her will finally gave the shape to an arm or leg, or piece of her face, she crafted an amulet to keep it that way, so that she could focus on a different part of herself. This is when she attained her current form.
And then, she set out what was her goal from the start of that mad voyage… she abducted elf, human, orc and dwarf alike, and studied them, studied their very essence, until she understood, and then, she used the raw creation she stole to forge new beings, ones who would be worthy keepers of the world, not like the filth that walks upon it.
Today, she is a queen of a realm of ‘Ubermenschen’ of her own making, slowly grinding away at the defenses of her neighbors, knowing, that one day, victory will be hers.
Still, was this the fulfillment she sought? Deep in a corner of her soul, she doubts it. She yearns for innocence lost, for the love she had but could not see, but most of all, she seeks forgiveness for herself, for all her sins. The doubt gnaws at her, because what if she is wrong? What if it is not the humans, but her, who damns the world?