Their time has come to do what they were born to do.
|Chapter One: Elwing
The afternoon sky was beginning to darken. Distance thunder and lightening announced a coming storm. A soft breeze had begun when three riders crested the hill. The hoods on their green capes hide their faces. The one white and two black horses raced across the clear meadow for the tree line of the forest.
The riders reigned in their horses as soon as they entered the trees. The horses danced around breathing hard and excited. A young woman pulled her hood off, leaned foreword and rubbed her horses neck.
"Easy Whirl Wind, " she said in a soft but firm voice. "Aelrindel, can you see anything?"
He removed his hood and looked over the meadow. His straight auburn hair blew across his forehead blocking his grey eyes. "No, Elwing, but I know that there is someone that," he answered.
"Aerendyle," this time there was authority in her voice.
"No, nothing," he said. "But like Aelrindel I know that they are there." The wind blew off his hood revealing Aelrindel's face, and pointed ears. They were twins, Elf twins. Elwing was the only one who could tell them apart easily, even better than their parents.
"Elwing we must away quickly before the storm is upon us," says Aerendyle. "I'm sure they won't follow us into the forest, whoever they are."
" Yes, away to the cave," she said. "We cant make it home before night fall and I don't want to ride in the rain. Anyway the horses need rest."
They all turned their horses and rode deeper into the forest. Each one lost in their thoughts as to who had been following them. As they rode away dark eyes and shadowy figures on he ground watched just below the crest of the hill. They were tall and slender, their white hair looked almost silver againist light purple skin. They were Druchil, the Dark Elves.
"Kauhzuhruc, do we report this to that red witch?" asked his brother Cagroc.
"No, we owe no loyalty to her," he answered a ghost of a smile on his face. "We inform him first. This will be of interest to him, knowing her raiders were Elves." The six shadowy figures moved back down the hill to their horses, mounted and rode into the darken afternoon.
Our trio rode in silence arriving at the cave just as the started. The rain was falling in relentless icy sheets, the wind was blowing. The lightening lit up the night sky and the thunder seemed to shake the ground.
Elwing and her two constant companions had stumbled upon the cave four years earlier when she turned 21. None of them had any idea who it had belonged to or what it had been used for. When they found it hadn't been used in a few years.
The trail leading to the cave was surrounded was small and well hidden by trees. It was only by accident that Aelrindel found it. The riders had to dismount and lead their horses to the cave. The entrance to the cave was half way up a high tree covered mountain. Then it was hidden by a large boulder that cancelled so completely that not even fire light from inside could be seen.
Once inside the cave was large. It had stalls for twenty horses, there were sleeping areas with beds. There were storage areas for food and supplies. In the last four years the three had stocked it full and turned it into a home away from home.
"Aelrindel , you start a fire, l will tend to the horses," Aerendyle said when they entered the cave. Aelrindel you know Father will be upset about this."
"Yes, I know," he shouted from back in the cave. "But he won't be upset with everyone, more like you and me."
Aerendyle looked at Elwing with small grin. "Yes, not all of us."
Alright, alright I'll try and make things right if he's upset," she said. "Don't I always?"
Elwing removed her cape, tossed it on a bed where she would be sleeping and went to warm herself by the fire. As she sat there Aelrindel came walking up.
"Elwing you need to rest yourself after you eat," he said sitting down next to her. "We will keep watch tonight."
A pained expression came over her face. "It's not fair you two always keep watch," she said with anger in her voice. "I can watch just as well as you!"
"We know you can," Aelrindel answered. "But you know we don't need to rest as much as you do. Anyway as kids you remember we swore to always watch over you. We cant do that to well if you are awake and we are asleep."
"Elwing, why must we always do this?" ask Aerendyle. "You know Elves only need to rest about four hours a day."
She took her hand and pushed her light hair behind her ears. "What are these?" she shouted. Her eyes flashed with anger.
"We know about those. But pointed ears do not make you an Elf," said Aerendyle. "And you are not an Elf, you are human."
She hung her head, knowing he was right. It was never really explained to her how she came to be here or why. She had lived with them for so long, they were like family to her and she sometimes forgot she was human.
Elwing stood up quickly anguish on her face, turned and headed for bed. She threw herself onto the bed. "Wake me early so we can be home by night fall!"
The twins realized now that they had gone a little to far. "We are sorry Elwing," they chimed together. Elwing just rolled over and looked at the walls.
As she drifted into sleep a man's face appeared. It was a face she had seen in her dreams for many years. There was no memory of who he was. He had long dark hair, a beard with grey running down to his chin from the corners of his mouth. It was the eyes that really stayed with her. They were warm, full love and tears. A light blue, she had never seen eyes like that on anyone.
Early the next morning she was awaken by Aerendyle softly calling her name. She opened and wiped the sleep out of her eyes. Put her feet on the floor and walked over to the fire.
"Come eat, the horses are ready," said Aerendyle. "We can leave as soon as you are finished. And we are sorry about last night, we know how you feel. You are one of us and you always will be."