5: Elaria - Part Twenty-Three
“It’s all right, but what do you mean?”
“We are beset on all sides, Felanar. The autarch of the tri-cities of Shakkart raises ever larger armies. Vélakk grows stronger in his land. The elves cannot hold back these forces forever, and many of my people no longer even wish to try, but would rather withdraw completely into our island home and shut out the events of the world. The world that once was ours alone, along with the animals.”
Felanar did not know what to say to this, for he felt himself ignorant of much of what Alessa was saying. Finally, he just said, “Not all men are to be feared.”
Alessa laughed and said, “Quite right, my friend, as you have clearly shown me. I am sorry to spread my gloom to you, but you asked what was on my mind and there it is. But do not despair. Never let it be said that Alessa is a rude host. Come let me show you more of my home.” They spent the rest of that day exploring the forest.
The day of their departure soon arrived. Llafáris reappeared, for he would escort them back across the Plain. He was impressed at Felanar’s new skills and thought he would get along much better with his horse on the return trip. He told Felanar that this skill also worked with horses that hadn’t been around elves, though they tended to be quite surprised at first at any man that made the attempt, so Felanar was not to get discouraged if his regular horse looked at him strangely.
Llarand and Heléste wished Felanar well and hoped he had a safe journey. Heléste told him, “You are a very well-behaved young man, Felanar, and we would be honored to have your presence back with us again.” Felanar bowed deeply toward her and thanked her for her kind hospitality.