Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War

A Side Story: A Dancing Memory

Al’ev felt weird. Was this what grown ups did for entertainment at parties? Swords and magic were much more fun.

“Why do I have to learn this Mom?” He ask as he mirrored his mother’s steps for the fourth time that evening.

“Because someday you’ll meet the girl of your dreams and she simply won’t be able to resist a handsome young man like you. Even more so if you know your way around the dance floor.” She answered.

Al’ev put on a face of disgust. “Yuck! Why would I want to dream of a dirty girl?!”

Nalef laughed as she continued to spin around in circles with her son. “You’ll understand it someday. Ready?”

This was the part that Al’ev hadn’t mastered yet. And how could he. The boy was only seven years old. His mother was still much much taller than him. He tried to spin her under his arm anyway and ended up being spun instead. He didn’t manage to stay on his feet.

“Aww….I’d much rather go practice magic.” He said as his mother pulled him up.

“You know the rule, Al’ev. No practicing magic for more than a few hours each day.”

“But I…” He started to answer.

“Zid told me you were at the Arcane Library all afternoon.” She stared into her son’s eyes.

“But Mommmmmm…” the boy complained.

“Al’ev.” She said sternly as she intensified her gaze. The half-elven boy had to look away. The set of his shoulders betrayed his defeat.

“Come. Let’s try again.” Nalef ordered and they began again. A few moments later Al’ev had failed the spin again. This time, however, he lost his grip on his mother’s hand and was sent flying towards a wall. He almost stopped in time.


Tears were flowing down Al’ev’s face. Aside from it being slightly more red around the boy’s nose and forehead, he appeared fine.

“Did Dad ever dance with you?” He managed to ask between sobs.

She looked away and answered softly. “Only once.” She looked back at him. “And he was quite dashing.” She sighed.

Noting that she hadn’t lead him back to the middle of the room yet he saw this as his chance. “Can we stop now? This is boring. Swords and magic are much more fun.” He nagged.

A smile replaced the distant look on Nalef’s face. “Al’ev, did you know that some of the greatest swordsmen and magicians in history were also great dancers?”

“Nu uh. No way. Why would they be good at something dumb like this?” he mimicked a silly dance move he had seen a villager do once.

“Because dear. Swordplay’s movements are very much like dancing and the motions of a dance can teach one’s body to make the proper motions for many spells as well. Teaching you to dance is like helping you get better with both.” She said with a small smile.

REALLY!” He asked excitedly.

She barely had time to nod before he dragged her back to the middle of the room.

“Then come on!”

They began again. This time Al’ev got the spin right.



A Side Story: A Dancing Memory

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