Date Uncertain - best estimate, late Ches or early Tarsakh, Year of the Staff
Andril Forlorn the wood elf is here. Casualy walking through the forest. Humming to himself unaccompanied far from the worries of city life. Wandering aimlessly, perhaps looking for a settlement to stay and sell rumours and the like. I'd like to meet the forest Gnomes. Ihear they' re interesting, gracios people with wonders to trade...
Tathil slid through the waist high ferns, distrubing them not at all. His sense were tuned perfectly to his surrounds and the arrow notched in his bow was ready to fly in a moment. His prey was close, he could feel it. Perinani was patrolling to the North, as he should probably have really been as well. The pair had decided to split up though. It had been months since anything suspicious had been spotted this close to Everlaen and Tathil always hunted better alone - even when he was officially patrolling. No sense in wasting a good opportunity though...
Abruptly he stopped. He could hear... music? Someone singing? He sighed. One of Everlaen`s inhabitants must be out gathering herbs or something. A little far from the usual beaten path, but who else could it be within a days walk of the village? Caution would be wise though. The Nikym would have his stripes if he knew he were being careless - even if he was off gods-only-know-where at the moment. In any case, Tathil had not reached the rank of Iolaa without some modicum of training - and he was currently second in command of the Gateguard of Everlaen with old Blueshaft away.
Gliding through the forest he closed on the sound, fully intending to give whoever it was a good telling off for their carelessness and scaring any game he might have had a chance with away when he got a surprise of his own. It wasnt one of the villagers after all. It was a wood elf, one of the Sy`Tel`Quessir. More to his suprise the elf looked up at him, obviously hearing his not-so-silent approach.
Taken off guard he challanged "Who are you?" slightly rudely.
Tathil Twofeather, brown haired, brown eyed and browned off at his own error did not have a terribly friendly look on his face. The readied bow and knife strapped to his leg outside his hunting leathers did nothing to inspire much confidence either - though at least this as well as the sword at his side were sheathed.
He waited for an explanation.
The bright sun shone down yet again into Andril' s eyes. It had been an irritating day for Andril. Now sign of life for for two days and it was no fun to have no people to comment on your excellent singing. He had been travelling south, at a guess from the sun, for three days now and he had still met no boarder, not that he wanted to, or settlement. His decent bread and wine was running low."This will nver do," he thought as he passed through yet another unmanned glade."Oh,Pike!", he shouted as he twisted his ankle on a tree root and fell hard. His magic was limited and not of the healing kind."One could walk forever in the great forest and not meet elf nor beast!". He cut himself a stick and hobbled on. Now he would need to find somewhere rest and be seen to soon. "If only i had listened more carefully to Jaharyndex' s herbology tutorials as a child!", " Hi, ho life will and must go on....
Tathil looked at the green elf`s antics in some perplexity. Stumbling along and talking to oneself were hardly the actions of a trained and stealthy forest hunter, blending into the shadows and striking from the trees... Of course, he wasnt wearing war-paint or any of the other usual tell-tale signs of Sy`Tel`Quess border guard. Then again, these weren`t Sy`Tel`Quessir lands, but Teu`Tel`Quessir lands. Which asked the question again - who was this?
"I said, `Who are you?`," he repeated louder this time, stepping quite clearly into the open. Was this elf`s wits addled or had been drinking? He put his hand warily to the hilt of his sword and idly calculated which direction his patrol mate, Perinani had gone in. He also noted the apparant injury - a sprain probably - and thought it was lucky that it was only a days walk to Everlaen. Easy enough with assistance and some fortitude.
"Hold", said Andril in a surprised tone." I mean you no harm, but more to the point what harm do you mean me. If you ask my buisness, and i assume you will, I am orator, mage, entertainer and rumour monger all in one, in short Andril for that is the only fitting name for an elf of my character and fortunately it is my name. I am niether coming nor going and i seek the natural and malleable beauty of the forest and its folk. Forgive a wanderer his "rudeness" sir; i do not have a death wish, Ihave a life wish, a wish for life but an elf can never truely live if an elf has never said what he thinks. If you are going to kill me I will make but a small trophy for i am wounded, but what must be done must be done and so give the world it' s piece of me if you must and save yourself, or is it selves?, from babling or wisdom." Still unsure as to whether he would recieve a frown, a laugh or a sword in his chest Andril beemed and awaited his likley fatal reply in agonising suspence....
Tathil looked at the green elf with some perplexity. He had seldom heard one speak for so long and never with such eloquence. This was a strange individual indeed that the forest paths had steered his way.
"What is this talk of killing?" he asked. "Since when was it custom for the Tel`Quessir to slay each other when meeting? Have I drawn steel on you, or thretened your person? Do not overdramatise the issue, entertainer. You have wandered into a part of this forest which is mine to guard and hence I challange you as you would me, if we were elsewhere."
He removed his hand pointidly from his still sheathed sword a rocked back on his heels a little, appraising the figure infront of him, looking him over and taking his measure.
"Andril, you said you name was?" he half questioned, half stated, going on when he saw a nod of confirmation. "Well perhaps you can tell me what you are doing wandering so far from your people`s lands - I understood that the closest tribes are many days away to the South, on the other side of the mountains. Also... Perhaps you can tell me if you are in need of assistance - I cannot but help notice you seem to have a slight injury."
"Scorn me not fair stranger. It is my custom to ramble my way out of trouble and a stealthy Tel 'Quessir with a sword is trouble to anyone not in it' s favor. In answer to your questions I am from the southlands but this is not my first venturing away from home; i come only for crowds to entertain, wonders to trade and the natural beauty of our fair forest. But now sir you have an advantage for you have my name but i do not have yours and a name can be an elf' s undoing. I am i need of slight assistance. This clumsey youngling has sprained it's ankle. Reveal your scouting partner(s) and then i can talk in less anxiety..."
Tathil was rather flumoxed by this torrent of speech from Andril. He wasn`t used to such flowery speech and not from random green elves met in the forest, that was for sure.
Almost without realising it he had walked forward and offered the elf his arm to lean on, leaving himself open to a sudden attack. Andril`s charm and fancy speech had put him off his guard. He was strange to be sure, but Tathil`s initial reaction was that he liked him and he was probably harmless. No doubt old Blueshaft would have given him a dressing down if he saw this, but he was not here - and Andril was, with a hurt ankle.
"You have nothing to worry about, Andril. There are no hidden enemies who will shoot you from the trees. My fellow scout will show herself in good time." In truth, he wasn`t exactly sure where Peranani was, but there was a limit to how trusting he would be. "My name is Tathil, Tathil Twofeather. Iolaa of the... of the guard of these parts," he finished a little lamely, giving his name and rank, but then remembering it would perhaps be imprudent to mention the Gate that he was sworn to guard.
"I think we should take you somewhere where you can be cared for," he suggested, also thinking `and somewhere where I wont be so likely to put my foot in my mouth`.
With a huge inward smile, Andril noted that his charm had once again worked like magic. He had been worried that in his surprise he had over stepped the mark and had perhaps seemed slimey and untrustworthy instead of gracious and well finished. He relaxed. If strangers are willing to tell you their names, even if they are fake, it' s usually a good sign. He had realised that Tathil had made a mistake and almost told him something important, but thought it best not to pry incase his new found friend became his new found enemy."This place", he asked inquisitively, "does it have a name? More importantly are there people?" As Andril remembered days gone by where crowds would clap and cheer at his performances, laugh at his plays and reward him for his recitals, Tathil guided him through the forest to their destination. Singing songs of forgooten legends and lore, Andril followed...
Tathil and Perinani
"This place", Andril asked inquisitively. "Does it have a name? More importantly are there people?"
"Indeed it does - on both accounts," beamed Tathil. "We call it Everlaen - but to most of us it`s merely our home in the forest". Andril seemed to be the chatty type, so he would probably appreciate the pun - after all, Everlaen in one context could mean `Forest Home`. Of course in another it referred to the ancient moon elven kingdom of Earlaen which had once covered a third of this forest - but perhaps Andril wasn`t versed in enough history to know that. Then again, thought Tathil, maybe he is. He certainly seemed unusual enough.
Tathil helped Andril along, listening to him chat and sing, offering what conversation he could back. He managed not to reveal any of the secrets he was supposed to keep or reveal any of Everlaen`s defences - though he was willing to chat a little about the place. It didn`t take too much for Andril to gather that Everlaen was a new community, peopled mostly by Teu`Tel`Quessir from the distant Elven Court and that they were all of the opinion that the People had been fleeing Faerun far too much in recent years and were hoping to make a stand... Of course that didnt explain exactly how a small group of isolated elves would make any difference whatsoever.
It was a few hours later when a chestnut haired moon elf dropped in on them - quite literally. Rather small and particularly thin, even for an elf she managed to somehow convey an air of competence. "Who have you managed to find then?" she asked Tathil.
"Ah... Perinani. I`d like you to meet Andril... Hmm What did you say your second name was again?" he asked turning to the Sy`Tel`Quess.
"Forlorn", replied Andril in a nonchalant tone. He marvelled at his luck; a friendly face, what sounde like a quaint and beatifull settlement (with women to match by the look of Perinani). She seemed rather more aloof than Tathil on first impressions, probably less easy to talk to he thought as he switched on the charm," Yes Andril Forlorn, my friends call me Pally. I don' t believe we' ve met, I' m sure I would have rembered. Is it common place to have unaccquainted moon elves drop on you in these parts? If so i shall befriend the moonelves and watch my head more often. Perhaps some sort of hat is in order, possibly Mithril. Pardon me but what did you say your two latter names were? Better still I' d like to meet some more people and see this settlement of yours ; if i am permitted that is." As he saw Tathil grin once again, he awaited Perinani' s response (always eager to please the females) to his flurry of speech.
Perinani raised an elegant eyebrow to Andril`s statement about what his friends called him, but couldn`t help but laugh as the words "perhaps some sort of hat is in order" passed his lips.
The elf had a silvered tongue, that was for sure. Of course it was a good thing he would like to see Everlaen, as that is what he would be doing whether he liked it or not. Anyone strange found this close would be automatically escorted there - unless they seemed undesirable and then other steps would be taken. The thought made her take a second glance at the green elf - undoubtably handsome, but not what she would call a threat. He did seem rather... foppish for a Sy`Tel`Quess though...
She shrugged to herself and answered his questions with a smile - there was no reason to be rude. "Perinani Truesong, at your service. And if you haven`t had the proper pleasure, allow me to introduce Tathil Twofeather. We will be happy to help you to Everlaen, but I don`t think you`re going to reach it well before midnight at the rate you have been travelling. I suggest we move on a little further and make at place we know - it will allow you some time to rest and you can arrive tomorrow morning. So much better, don`t you think?"
Tathil nodded at her suggestion, approving. It would allow one of them time to run on ahead in the night and alert the village of a new arrival. A useful thing and one he knew the council would appreciate.
"Surely, that would do nicely. Firstly I' ll just weave a resilliance spell if that would be alright? I noticed your curiousity to my nick name; it' s short for one of my many names. In full i' am Andril Palpethin Mandrassar Woodsong Forlorn." Laghing inwardly at the elves' surprise at his names, the same old astonished faces he always got when announcing himself he carrried on," Shall we get going then?"