5: Elaria - Part Two
Two of the Erenár tied the ship to the harbor and the passengers disembarked. From the well-maintained dock the three travelers were led into a nearby woods. The Erenár stayed behind on the dock.
As they walked through the woods, Felanar noticed how fresh the air seemed, clean and vibrant, with a scent of flowers and fruit. The ground was green and mossy and they walked in near silence. Lafáris was truly silent, but the men still made some noise. A few hundred feet in, they came to a large oak tree and here Llafáris motioned for them to stop.
“Excuse me for a moment,” he said, and with a sudden leap he sprang up the side of the tree and onto a nearby branch. From there he quickly scampered up into the thick foliage. Felanar had never seen anything like it. He and Alak liked to climb trees, but their skill was nothing compared to that of Llafáris. He ran up the oak tree as if it were a road.
A twisted vine fell to the ground and Ravesfel said to Felanar, “Up you go, now!” The boy grasped the thin but strong vine and pulled himself up into the foliage, steadying himself with his feet against the bark. At first he saw nothing ahead but more thickly entwined branches and leaves, but then he could make out Llafáris standing on a platform high above. Felanar kept pulling himself upward until he nearly reached the elf. Llafáris then reached down and helped the boy up onto the circular wooden platform that surrounded the trunk.
What had looked like a normal oak tree now appeared from the inside as a large house. Branches had been pruned away to form a large living area. On the platform were beds of goose down neatly arranged to one side. A small wooden table sat near the clearing and a few small, low chairs surrounded it. The table was lit by a couple of candles and food was set for the travelers. Felanar was amazed at this tree house, for it truly could be called a house.