• nicolasakmakjian

4: A Journey to See Elves - Part Sixteen

They sailed all that day, mostly with a steady east wind, and made good progress. The weather was fine and they experienced little trouble with the middle of the Straits. By twilight they could perceive the emerging shore. Bren was the first to spot it and as he announced it, Felanar strained to see this new land. The deepening dusk, however, made the shoreline appear like nothing more than a long, dark-blue sliver of land with not much in the way of features.

Bren guided the boat to the beach and, with Felanar’s help, up onto the sand. Ravesfel silently looked around at the nearby tree line and soon seemed satisfied they were in a safe location. The boat was anchored and their packs unloaded. As Bren made a simple supper, Ravesfel walked over to a nearby thicket of trees. He appeared to be searching for something. Finally he found what he was looking for: a bird perched on the branch of an ancient looking walnut tree. To Felanar it seemed as if the old man were speaking to the bird. That would be odd enough were it not for the fact that it also looked as if the bird was quite interested in what Ravesfel was saying. Indeed, as soon as Ravesfel was finished the bird flew off to the north.

Over a supper of cheese, bread and fruit Felanar asked Ravesfel about the bird.

“Yes, of course I was speaking to the robin. We have friends expecting us and I wanted to tell them we have arrived. Indeed, if I had not spoken to the robin she would have gone off and gossiped about us anyway. It is always good, I find, to set your own message for the messengers of the forest, or else you find the strangest expectations upon your arrival. Robins are simple-minded, you see, and love nothing more than to chatter on about something or another. If they can’t find something to talk about, they make it up. If what they find isn’t interesting enough, they embellish. I much prefer crows. Observant, sober, to the point, not given to flights of fancy. That’s the messenger of choice. Still, the enemy knows this too and it can be hard to tell at times whether you are dealing with a true crow or one who has been corrupted to evil ends.”

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