The Forest Book 3 Part 3
by Dwayne Leon Rankin
Mighty words would then be spoken
As in the Forest, Darkness grew.
The Staff returned, a warning token,
As cross the Forest, ill winds blew.
The Human, tall with Staff in hand,
An Elf, a Dwarf, and Wood Nymph youth.
Before the Silvan Queen did stand,
Who stood alone, found seeking truth.
A Master of Lore with midnight hair;
With one seen golden like the sun.
Together then, this Silvan pair,
The Council gathered, thus begun.
Excerpt from The Travelers Song
The Queen stood with one of her councilors beside her in her hall as the Companions
were escorted in by Tol’Enithil.
“We have missed you Tol’Enithil” she spoke softly so that only he could hear. Then Speaking louder she called forth for a table and chairs to be brought so that they could all sit together and discuss what needed to be discussed.
Then seating herself, she looked them over noting each one before her. Sindara was the first to whom she gave public greeting.
“Be creosa ai er, Be welcome Little one, repeating in standard for the benefit of the Human who she thought might not know Tel'Quessir, What the Elven Fold called themselves, that is to say “the People”.
Sindara, blushing answered her in kind saying “Lle creosa naa most gracious, Your welcome is most gracious.” Translating as the Queen had done.
“And your name is…?” The Queen asked.
“Sindara” she replied not wishing to speak over much for her shyness in such exalted company.
“You carry a famous name in the Lands, Little One. Wear it proudly and may your songs be ever as told to us from the days of the Contest”.
Sindara blushed once more in hearing that the Queen had heard of her.
Then turning to Dorin bowed her head in slight acknowledgment of his presence simply stating “It’s been many years since one of the *Naugrim have graced our Woods with their presence, be welcome”. *[Elven name for the race of the Dwarfs]
Dorin bowed deeply in admiration of her stance as well as her beauty, for Dwarfs were always admirers of great beauty and hers was said to be the greatest in the Land.
“Most gracious av yer majesty, Scon are Dorin, current bun av Dolin current bun av de brah'der av conn, kin' av de dwarfs At yisser service.” He stated full of the pomp and ceremony of the Dwarven Court.
“Another proud name had entered into our court it seems like, is this not so Tel’ithil’Ian, and both so well spoken? Come, be seated all of you and refresh yourself with Water from the Everlasting Pool”.
They all then sat but for Tar’Melon who stood awaiting acknowledgment before he seated himself for he could sense some hidden animosity toward him from the Queen and the other blond haired Silvani standing next to her.
Then with both hands he gripped the Staff and shifted his feet ever so slightly in irritation of the slight given him.
Tol’Enithil then stood up and spoke softly to the Queen.
“May I present to you Tar’Melon the Traveler, newly come from the Old World and disciple of Garth”, adding that last part to ease any tension from the mention of him coming from the Old world.
Simbaura glanced at him and noticed the patience he wore like a cloak but also the irritation he was experiencing from her slight snub. She also noticed the Staff he bore and remembered the words of Atara.
“Your Majesty, he is human and from the old world…” Tel’ithil’Ian started saying
When Simbaura gave him a hard look then looked directly at Tar’Melon.
“MY apologies to you Traveler, we are unaccustomed to Human visiting court especially one newly arrived from the Old World and acquainted with Gar’eth, purposely using the Silvan Pronunciation of ‘Garth’.
“Please be seated and join in. I have been informed of your soon arrival but still was taken back by your visage and your bearing.” For Indeed she had found his face familiar to her but could not place it, and his height was that of a tall Silvan though his hair was the brownish shade of the Humans. And the way he held the staff, as if he were used to carrying such precious and powerful instruments around with him.
“Did you have much trouble entering into our Land?”
Tar’Melon bowed to her and sat down nest between Dorin and Sindara. “It is understandable Your Majesty. It was not difficult but the Woods I came through were not near as beautiful as these. Dark and tangled they were, filled with the voices of creatures, hidden and never seen. I was glad to finally leave that place as I walked into a meadow, then into the Oaken Wood to be greeted by Sindara and her kin.”
“Your Majesty…” the Queens Silvani Councilor started in once more but was quickly cut off by Simbaura,
“Enough, we will discuss any misgivings you have at a later date.”
With that Tel’ithil’Ian grew sullen and quiet.
AT that moment another Silvani entered in with an apologies saying “Another Human is come and requesting immediate council with you. He seems most distressed saying that he has lost his companion on the trail…, to the Darkness.”
The Queen stood up and quickly ordered him to let the stranger in for having 2 humans come was indeed a sign of dire events.
A few moments a tall human walked in dressed in well-worn travel clothes looking like he had not had much sleep in the last several days.
“Quickly, bring him a chair to rest upon and a cup of the Water to refresh himself” Simbaura stated. Then as he sat down and drinking deeply from the cup, she looked him over and waited.
When he was finished, he looked up at her and then around but upon seeing Tar’Melon sitting there across from him, he abruptly stood again with mouth wide open in surprise. Looking as if he had seen a ghost from the past.
“What are you called? Quickly now, I do not have all day.” The Queen asked him.
Then looking up again at her, he mumbled an apology and answered her
“Alain, Alain Stronghold, Your Majesty” then glanced back at Tar’Melon with wonder in his eyes.
“That is quite a name you have young Alain? Is there any significance to it?” Tol’Enithil asked.
“Oh, um, Yes Sir, It has to do with my grip sir.” Then looked back at Tar’Melon”.
“Ahmm, what was it you needed so desperately young and what do you mean about losing your companion to the Darkness?”
Quickly Alain’s attention focused on the events of the last few days.
“There have been troubles down our way, Peoples hearts are changing, and then disappearing. The Council decided to send two of us here to see what was going on.
People are scared and not knowing what to do.”
Then for the next hour or so they all questioned him and then sent him off to get some rest. They would decide what to do with him later but first they had their own troubles to discuss.
Simbaura noticed his reticence in speaking and had seen the way he had looked at Tar’Melon, as if he had recognized him. She started to wonder and then gave Tar’Melon a closer look too. Suddenly she gave a sharp gasp but then quickly hid it.
It couldn’t be, it was impossible. The face she saw would be much older now than the age this man looked to be, but she knew that face, knew it from many years ago. The young Human she had noticed the one time she had visited their Home Woods seeking to find an answer about what had happened to her father. She then blushed at those memories shaking them out of her head. It could not be, but still she did know that face. But knowing that there was more pressing business to take care of than this she dismissed the notion of what she had been thinking and turned her thoughts back to the problem at hand.
In the end, the decision was to go off and find the unicorns. Not once was mention made of the Staff. Until that is, when the Queen and her councilors were alone with her, then Tel’ithil’ian promptly brought it up.
“Your Majesty, did you not see what it was he was bearing?
“Yes, I saw it.” She answered,
“Then why did you not demand it back; It does not belong to the Humans”, once again speaking that name in derision.
You must get it back and then through that, that, human out for obviously he is a thief”
“SILENCE!” she spoke sharply. “Do you question my actions? Do you not think that I know what he has and thereby from whence he has it? Did you not hear me say that I had been informed of his arrival? For good sir, I have, by Atara herself. You will not touch him, nor speak to him or of him to anyone, do you understand, this man is under Protection.”
“But…” was all he got out before she silenced him once again this time with a stern look and a nod which conveyed her intentions of he did not obey.
“As you wish Your Majesty” then stood up with great formality and walked out. Whispering “if you would excuse me, I am tired”, for he was of great age and drawing near the time of taking his walk. He meant no disrespect to her but he had been devoted to her father and still was of the opinion that it was the humans fault for the king’s loss.
“You are excused my friend, I do not mean to be so sharp with you but you must understand the situation.” At which he slowly with head bowed low he walked out.
She looked over at Tol’Enithil and said, “Please make sure that he makes it ok to his quarters and, and please have one of the others in the household keep their eyes on him. Do not hinder him but follow him. He is old and getting near the Time.”
“Yes Simbaura” he said so softly that no one else would hear, then left to do her bidding.
She looked at the Companions and said “The time grows short; tomorrow you will prepare and leave in your undertaking. I am sorry but with Tel’ithil’Ian incapacitated; I will have need of Tol’Enithil here with me to guide me. I will seek to try to find a replacement but I do not know if I can. Maybe we will gain some guidance ourselves in this manner.”
“What of Alain” Tar’Melon asked. “I think that we should ask him to join us. If you sent him back alone, he will most likely never make it and you do not have anyone to spare.”
Sighing then, Simbaura acquiesced to the logic.
Then they all went to their quarters to get what rest they could before they arose to make preparation.