Hello. I am Calliope.
Calliope seems like a rather fancy name for a simple person like myself. Mother wanted to name me Teresa, but Father insisted on Calliope. I'm not entirely sure why, but Mother said it had something to do with a vision of an oracle that he visited. Notwithstanding that, Father didn't like the name Teresa, anyway; he thought it was too simple of a name for a daughter of elven ancestry.
Ancestry has always been a bit of a concern for my parents, given that I'm of mixed origins. Of course, they love me unconditionally, as they love each other. However, I've learned through my 5.3 years that my parents' relationship is a societal faux pas in these lands, and in turn, so am I. While I've not been directly harmed as a result of being a half-elf, I have gotten… Well, let's just say some people aren't subtle with their wandering eyes. It's why I've taken to wearing a cloak when going into town. People can't stare and gossip if you make yourself unnoticeable.
This isn't to say I'm not proud of my appearance. On the contrary, I've grown to love how I look. I've inherited the jet black hair of my mother and the piercing green eyes of my father. I'm slender, yet muscular, which comes from acrobatics training with Father. I have olive skin, which would stand out more if I was raised in an elven community. I stand at an unremarkable 5 feet 4 inches tall. That's not to say "unremarkable" means "bad"; it helps to not be stared at if you're of average height.
I suppose it's in part due to my wish to not draw attention to myself, but my general refusal to take praise for what I feel are unwarranted reasons has led to me being known as Calliope the Humble. I don't think I'm particularly humble, insomuch as I'm being honest with how I view myself. While I'm proud of being who I am, I don't think that makes me very special.
I'm a being who values taking care of both the mind and the body. In between training sessions with Father, I read as many books as possible to take in whatever knowledge and wisdom lie within. I'm a massive lover of the arts, and I listen, watch, and perform whenever I possibly can. This is a love I inherited from both parents. I consider myself friendly to both scholars and troubadours.
When it comes to matters of the soul… Well, that's a bit different. After I was born, my mother's former church denounced her, claiming that her union with my father was heresy. To them, my mere existence was an affront to the human race. As such, I hold an air of disdain when it comes to the clergy.
What do I aspire to do with my life? I'm not entirely sure. Right now, I feel like it's hard enough to fit into the human world as a being who's not entirely human. I hope to eventually figure out my purpose and improve myself along the way. I don't know what's in store for me, but according to the oracle Father visited, I'm destined for great things.
It's with this thought in mind that I begin my quest towards becoming the woman I was meant to be.
A Sentimental Value
Before I left home, Father came to me, telling me he had a gift. He handed me a small wooden box. Within the box was a silver ring. Simple, yet beautiful. Father explained to me that it belonged to his mother. "It has brought me comfort on my travels, and now, I hope it will do the same for you. Never forget who you are or where you come from. Be safe, my sunshine."
"My sunshine." It had been a while since he called me that. I suppose he thought I was too old for it once I reached a certain age. It warmed my heart to hear him say it again.
I won't forget, Father. I promise.
I'm used to dealing with people staring at me. What I'm not used to is people following me.
There was a certain sense of unease as the cloaked figure continued to shadow me. That's all I saw at first. A black cloak.
The figure didn't come close enough to do anything that I thought would harm me, but it was enough to raise my suspicions. I turned around and started to walk towards the person to confront them and ask what they wanted with me. Oddly enough, they didn't run away. Rather, they came closer.
Just as I reached them, they touched my shoulder and leaned in closer. A soft, articulate voice whispered to me, "Meet me tonight at the large oak tree by the river. I'll explain there." And with that, they stopped following and went their own way.
The voice wasn't one I was familiar with, but it reminded me of Father's. He had the same refined way of speaking. I knew of the tree the figure spoke of; there was only one tree that could fit that description. It was a place I often took refuge in when I needed a place to think. The bubbling of the river calmed me, while the oak tree brought me comfort with its large, sturdy roots. Had the figure seen me there? What other things did the figure know of me?
It was confusing, and I contemplated not going to the meeting. I didn't know if this person wanted to harm me. However, my curiosity overrode my feelings of safety, and I made my way to the oak tree after dinner.
As the stars started to appear, I heard footsteps. Not moving from my spot, I cautiously placed my hand on my dagger, ready to strike in case of danger.
"I'm not here to hurt you."
"What do you want with me, then?"
"We have to talk."
Cautiously, I rose, making sure to keep my hand close to my dagger. I turned to face the figure. "What do we have to talk about? I don't even know who you are."
The figure removed the hoof of their cloak, exposing a face that I had never seen, yet jolted me from the familiarity it held. The woman I faced had pale, smooth skin that reminded me of a bright full moon. She had long blond hair that was partially obscured by the cloak she wore.
What jolted me, however, were her eyes. They were a piercing shade of green. The same shade as my father's.
My eyes immediately darted to her ears, and their pointed quality only confirmed my suspicions. Sightings of elves other than my father were few and far between, but even then, I could tell that this woman was related to me somehow.
She broke the silence. "I'm Loreleia." She meekly reached out her hand to shake mine, showcasing jewelry of fine quality. "I'm your father's elder sister, and he asked me to look after you."
Hearing that made me inexplicably angry, and it was difficult to maintain my composure. "Why here? Why now? You didn't care before. Otherwise, I'd have known who you were."
Sensing my rage, she took back her hand and replied with some hesitation. "Well, you see, my… position kept me rather occupied."
I sneered. "What, are you a princess or something?"
She smiled, which only served to fuel my anger. "Oh no, not anything like that. Your father and I are of elven nobility, however."
"He never mentioned that to me. I've only ever known him as a master archer."
"Well, that's true. Nylian has an excellent gift with the bow… "
Nylian. Now I knew she was telling the truth. Mother often called him Nyle, but Nylian was his true name.
"Calliope, I wanted to help you sooner. I tried hard to locate you and my brother, but the council made that difficult after his… transgression. I didn't know what he saw in that human woman, but I didn't think that-"
Seething, I interrupted through gritted teeth. "That human woman you're talking about is my mother."
"Y-yes, of course. I didn't mean it the way you think." She sighed. "I know it's been a long time coming, but I want to make things right. Please. Let me help you."
I stared into her face, trying to gather her motives. She sounded sincere, but I couldn't trust that this wasn't an act. What would a member of elven nobility want with a half-elf? Relative or not, I couldn't quite feel like she could be confided in. Not yet.
She broke the silence once again. "I can see you need time to think this over. I'll leave you to your thoughts." She started to walk away, but turned back once more. "If you won't do it for me, please do it for your father. I don't know much about you, but I do know that your father loves you very much and wants to keep you safe." With that, she put the hood of her cloak back on and left me standing next to the oak tree.
Loreleia was right about one thing. I need time. I need time to think of what she told me about my elven ancestry. I need to think about why my father decided to trust in her… And if I should, too.
Breath of life comes to Calliope the Humble. I, Calliope, have died but am alive again! I am still Calliope the Humble even if this wishful thinking doth maketh me dumbfounded the 1st time over.
A Dog Rat attacked me but I made the final blow that left the Dog Rat dead.
I, Calliope the Humble, was attacked by a Caveman and was victorious in combat.
I have defeated a Bat Swarm. Let all know that it be by the mighty hands of Calliope the Humble.
Now that I have attained Level 1 among my people, ye shall see a more powerful Calliope than otherwise might have been known.