• nicolasakmakjian

5: Elaria - Part Four

When they all arose the next morning, they descended from the tree. Their horses had not been tied up overnight yet had not strayed more than a few yards to graze. When the horses saw the travelers descending from the tree, they moved back toward them. The men and elf mounted their steeds and rode off to the north through the forest. Felanar stared back at the oak tree where they had spent the night. This was evidently a guest house of sorts. He stared hard at the receding tree but could see no sign of the dwelling space within. Elven homes were hard to detect!

They were headed north and west to Irulára on the far side of Lloréna Forest. As they passed through the small woods in which they had spent the night they emerged into what Felanar felt was the most beautiful land he had ever seen. Fields of vibrant green rolled up and down gentle hills, intersected with patches of dark green copses of trees and bushes. From a distance it seemed that a patchwork quilt of many shades of green had been laid down over the hills. They passed meadows thick with small, multi-colored flowers that filled the air with a sweet scent. They crossed over little babbling brooks that yielded wonderfully fresh-tasting drinking water. Truly, Elaria was one big, lovingly cultivated garden.

Lloréna Forest didn’t disappoint either, as Llafáris had promised. Magnificent trees shot out of the ground and soared high into the air. Trunks thick and thin grew densely from the ground until there were sections where you could not see more than a few feet. The mossy ground along the path muffled the sound of the horse’s hoofs and the air was fresh with the scent of the trees. Even though it was a warm day, it was refreshingly cool here. Felanar felt very much at peace. He breathed deeply the fresh, lightly scented air, and listened to the birds chirping on the branches. He decided privately that he agreed more with Llafáris than with Bren on the subject of this forest.

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