Three Keys of Magic (Attempt 3)
(Cheating slightly by a few days worth because of having to stop halfway through during the last summer session, and being unable to think of a new storyline.)
John and Elsibeth are the younger children of the Duke of Lionshire, and quite content with their place in life for the most part until their elder bother is first cursed then killed. When someone then hires an assassin to kill John their lives become more than figuring out how to be sure they arranged marriages are to people they can tolerate for more than five minutes. The ban on magic in their country, and the fact that their prince hates them both doesn't really help their chances of survival.
Rose and Auron are elves, centuries ago they were nature spirits that gave up their immortality to better communicate with humans after humans discovered one of the keys to magic. Their lives revolve around growing enough food to support their people through the winter, and bartering for anything else they need that they can't grow themselves. After meeting the children of the duke they find a way to perhaps save all their people, if the two humans can get past the fact that Rose was hired to kill John.
And somewhere there is a threat to all of them, an elf that wants to do the impossible, and undo what has already been done.
An other-worldly wail filled the valley as John fell, bleeding badly, to the ground. A vicious whirlwind swept through the battle field an instant later. The magic origin of the whirlwind was clear even before it was close enough for Auron to taste it, for only those who continued to fight where lifted from the ground and hurled back towards their side of the field where some on both sides lay all too still upon landing. Those who had fallen, or had simply stopped when the wail had sounded, were spared. But the rest, be they human or elf, were treated with the same cold rage.
Even though Auron no longer fought he was still viciously ripped from the ground and for a moment he was certain Elsibeth, for there was no mistaking who wielded this power now, would kill him for that moment of inattentive battle rage. But before she could slam him back into the ground a second whirlwind snatched him from her grip and carried him away from the frontline. He recognized his cousin’s magic easily and didn’t fight her. But soon he was dropped and the second whirlwind died, her cry of pain cutting off sharply and sounding from mere yards away from him. He quickly rolled to his feet and tried to find her in the sudden gloom.
When he did find her she was half pinned beneath her horse and unconscious. The force of whatever blow she had suffered had been enough to kill the horse outright, and for a terrifying moment he was afraid that it had killed her as well. But no, she still breathed. Ignoring others who came to check on him Auron used magic to move the dead horse off his cousin and did his best to check her for injuries.
Slowly it dawned on him that he was breathing hard, but easily. The air should have been filled with the dust and dirt that had been thrown up by the dueling whirlwinds Elsibeth and Rose had summoned. But it was clear.
He looked up, and almost wished he hadn’t. All the dust and debris thrown up by the wind was drifting in a dense cloud just a few short feet over their heads. Not just dirt and grass but he could see a few weapons drifting through the cloud as well. It was very unnerving to say the least.