5: Elaria - Part Six
“We bid you welcome, honored guests,” said the older of the two elves as they both bowed deeply toward the travelers. “It brings us pleasure to see you safe after your journey. We hope the trip was as pleasurable as it was safe.”
“Pleasant enough, considering all this tree climbing,” said Ravesfel. “Is Llarand here now?”
“Yes, Ravesfel, he is at home and awaiting you in the main hall. His instructions were for you to join him at his table for a meal.”
This tree was much larger than the one they had slept in the night before. It was the most massive tree Felanar had ever seen. It had many platforms on many levels, connected by wooden spiral staircases in the center of each platform. As they climbed, Bren explained to Felanar that the stairs had been put in place as a convenience to visitors. Convenient it was, for they ascended through level after level, each one with furnishings for the elves. On some levels they saw elves wearing the same white garments with the tree insignia. Felanar asked what that insignia meant and Llafáris explained that it showed they were Knights of the Order of Findára.
“They are the guardians of the realm, Felanar.”
Finally they reached the main level and it was truly huge. It contained a great hall set with a banquet table and what appeared to be smaller rooms around the edges. It was to this table the travelers were brought. On the table were set fresh flowers and herbs, along with food and drink. It was lit by lamps, set on the table as well as around the hall itself.
Four Findára sat at the far end of the table, watching the travelers as they approached. They appeared to Felanar to be a family of elves. At the head of the table sat a tall, white-haired elf with large bushy white eyebrows. He was dressed in a flowing white garment that gleamed in the light of the flickering lamps. He smiled at the newcomers and his dark brown eyes focused on Felanar as they all approached.