illustration is art


A Tale of a Little Wood-Elf

Whenever I do an original painting, it always starts with an idea. I always write the idea/concept down, so I won’t forget it. Sometimes that’s as far as it goes. If, however, I actually start the painting, I also always develop the idea. This helps me get more involved with the painting, and adds greater depth to what I am attempting to portray. Anyone familiar with Creaturina or Alice will know I always have a little story to go with the painting. In the case of Creatuie and Alice, I have developed an entire world for them, practically written a book, all by writing these little vignettes.

The other day, I posted some of my previous Sprite paintings. I have been trolling through all my previous posts, and re-posting some of them. Just posting what grabbed my fancy, no particular theme. Posting the Sprite images made me want to do another Sprite painting, as I love my version of Sprite. This caused me to write a short story, as usual. This story really grabbed me, and I kept polishing it. I really like it, it is, as all my personal stuff is, very dark.

I realised my Sprite are not the traditional Sprite, so wrote a little explanation of my take on Sprite. In doing so, I greatly enlarged/crystalised my own Sprite lore, much to my satisfaction. I have decided to make the word ‘Sprite’ both the singular and the plural… it just feels better to me. Below is, first Chris’s Sprite Lore, then the little tale (:

Chris’s Sprite Lore

Though I have read a bit about the Fae, and have always loved the darker (older) Fae lore, I am a creative, not a traditionalist, and I have formed my own interpretation of Sprite and Sprite lore. This is it:

Nature created the Fae millenia before she created Humans… Reality created the Sprite, millenia before Nature created the Fae. Sprite are to the Fae, as the Fae are to Humans… very, very distant relations; Sprite are no relation at all to Humans. At the time, Nature was extremely harsh, and Reality, through a coalescence of morphic resonance, created the first Sprite as a giant middle finger to Nature’s brutallity, not just a middle finger toward her, but rammed in her eye. Nature relentlessly tried to eliminate the Sprite, but she only made them tougher, and in the end, she simply ignored them, which is how their magic is so much more potent than that of the Fae; it comes from Natures blind side, as does the character of the Sprite.

Sprite are eternal, unless destroyed, and they are incredibly hard to destroy. For the first few thousand years of their lives, all Sprite are the same… childish, petty, nasty, spiteful, capricious, inquisitive, cheeky trouble-makers, capable of eternal devotion or intense malice, but more often, just annoying, though often very funny. They have humourous tropes that last thousands of years, and never cease to amuse them. They are mercurial creatures, totally un-predictable and, for this reason, impossible to manipulate. Most Sprite remain this way for ever but, for some reason, a tiny percentage of them, at around 2 or 3 thousand years of age, evolve… they become Elite Sprite.

Elite Sprite are to most of their kin what High Elves are to wood-Elves and Imps; Elite Sprite are Sprite aristocracy. They are bigger, stronger, faster and far more sophisticated than their lesser kin, and their magic is vastly superior. Elite Sprite are even less predictable than normal Sprite, though far more honourable. Unlike their inferior kin, Elite Sprite remember the past, right back to the first Sprite; they remember, and can tap into, the raw, primeval energies of the formation times, when Nature and Reality were angry, warring cousins, still experimenting with their own powers, powers the Elite Sprite saw and learned.

Elite Sprite are one of the few creatures that can easily kill normal Sprite, should they choose, though they seldom do; but they sometimes do. One Elite Sprite could slaughter several High Elves, should she choose, and this has been done. High Elves do not dis-like Elite Sprite, in fact, they have immense respect for them. This fact ensures that Elite Sprite seldom feel the need to slaughter High Elves. The reason High Elves respect Elite Sprite is the very fact that they understand that Sprite are children of Reality, not of Nature, and walk a different, older, darker path; one that gives them knowledge and insights unattainable to even the greatest Elven scholar. Elite Sprite are wise in an unfathomable way, but wise, none-the-less.

The Little Wood-Elf

Once there was a cute little wood-Elf. Like all her kind, she loved everything and everyone. She loved the trees and plants, the animals and birds… she could talk to them all, and they talked to her. She lived in a beautiful glade, filled with light, bird and animal life, and a lovely, babbling brook. She was always singing and laughing, and her laughter filled the glade.

In this glade, following that beautiful laughter, seven Human males, one day, found her. These males were ugly of heart and soul, and hated everything. They raped and tortured the little wood-Elf, and left her for dead, along with the bodies of several of her wood-land friends, beside her babbling brook.

Days later, two Sprite found the frightened, broken, dying Elf, she was in a circle of sad, helpless woodland creatures; her grieving friends. Sprite are not Elves, Sprite tap into a completely different, much older and darker vein of Reality. Sprite can, and do, love, but they are mercurial, capricious creatures, not governed by any Human, or even Elven, concepts of love or fairness; when roused to vengefulness, they are an almost unstoppable force of Reality. Sprite are incredibly strong, incredibly resilient, immortal and almost unkillable. Elite Sprite, even more so.

These two Sprite were lovers, had been a couple for thousands of years, and had a soft spot for wood-Elves. They were, also, both Elite Sprite. One Sprite sprinted immediately to the side of the dying Elf, scattering the timid woodland creatures. Dropping to her knees, she gently gathered the trembling Elf’s head and shoulders into her lap, and, crooning in her hypnotic Sprite tongue, using her powerful magic, instantly erased the traumatic memories of the last few days from behind those shocked, glazed Elven eyes, then fell to preventing her death. This took all the Sprite’s considerable power and conviction, the air burned with the smell of the terrific strain being placed on the fabric of Reality. The Sprite, deep in concentration, didn’t need to say anything to her lover; her lover was, just as instantly, away on the trail of the Humans.

The Sprite tracked the Humans for nine days. She was led well out of the heart of the wood, into Human lands; here her Sprite magic was greatly diminished, but her ferocious Sprite lust for vengeance was not… nor was her frightening physical prowess. She found the Humans in a camp of thirty other Human males, all ugly hearted haters of life. She killed the other thirty as they slept, but she waited till the seven had wakened, then challenged each of them to single combat. They, being arrogant and stupid, thought they could wear her down, thought some of them might survive. They were wrong. The last three tried rushing her together.

She made sure each of them was completely aware of why she was killing him. Being cowards, they all begged and blubbered at the end… it did them no good. She finessed their deaths in such a way that they all took at least as long to die, and in as much pain, as the little wood-Elf had lain in agony, scared and alone, dying in her glade. Sprites are experts at this kind of detail. She sat, calmly, nearby, and watched them all die, begging and mewling, alone and frightened.

Then she raced back to help her lover.

The little wood-Elf did not die, she was saved by the love of much darker creatures. This love changed her, of course. She lived out her life in her glade, though, now, she never sang, and seldom laughed, and, when she did, it startled her, and she covered her mouth, and looked about her, not sure what she was worried about… then she would stop worrying, and be happy again, but not laugh.

She was delighted to have seemingly acquired the trust of two beautiful Elite Sprite, who never seemed far from her glade, and often came and sat with her… she could see they were lovers, and it filled her huge heart with love. Though she still loved the animals and the birds, the trees, fishes and insects, she could no longer see, or even think about, Humans, and so, never realised that Humans could no longer approach her. Humans could not approach her for two reasons… both of them Elite Sprite.

It took the Sprite who saved the Elf hundreds of years to recover from the effort. The Elf had been closer to death than life, she had passed into Natures great cycle, and the Sprite had had to pull her back, but very carefully, so as to retrieve all of her. She had no time to prepare for this, no time to gather her magical reserves, she had leapt straight in, and it almost killed her. Her lover had arrived back just in time to give her a magical, life-giving infusion of her own life-force, otherwise she would have become a broken, burned-out shell. Such is the love of Sprite… total.