5: Elaria - Part Five
They rode all that day through the forest, following paths made by the elves. They occasionally overtook a band of elves making their way along the path. More often than not, however, the elves they came across were making their way through the thick trees, though how they could find their way through that maze was beyond Felanar. The elves they encountered seemed similar to Llafáris, yet each unique. Some had his blond hair, but not all; in fact some had quite dark hair and eyebrows. Most were tall and slender, both among the females and the males. They seemed to be of various ages, though none appeared to be old. All seemed happy to see them, and all seemed to have that same gleam in their eyes. Yet little light was able to stream in through the thicket of leaves overhead. Felanar wondered if the light of their eyes came from within.
A few of the elves spoke to the travelers with words of greeting and some even spoke to the horses. On one occasion an elf spoke to Felanar’s horse and in response it whinnied loudly, sounding, if it were possible, like laughter. It made Felanar feel slightly uncomfortable, as if he were the brunt of a joke. Llafáris turned back and explained that the elf had merely said to Felanar’s horse that he had gotten the easy job that day, only having to carry a child of the Men, and not a fat full-grown Man. With that Felanar felt better and laughed, though Bren now stiffened up in his saddle and got an aggrieved look upon his face. Felanar realized Llafáris had translated as much for Bren’s benefit as his own. That made him laugh again.
They rode through beautiful Lloréna Forest all that day and as the light began to fail, Llafáris announced they were nearing Irulára. As was the case with Melanaré, to the untrained eye there was no town to be seen. They drew up to a clump of enormous towering trees that reached far up into the sky with thick trunks. As the horses stopped, a couple of Findára climbed down from one of the nearby trees. The travelers dismounted and two vines fell from the largest of the trees. The two Findára invited them to climb. Bren, Ravesfel and Felanar began to climb using the vines while Llafáris again scampered up the tree without one. He was waiting for them as they reached a landing similar to the one they had spent the previous night upon. With him were two other elves, dressed in fine clothes of white silk with green trim and with the insignia of a tree upon their shoulders.