Legends of Belariath


From The Branches - One Night Left

*written on a scroll, this was found by one of Ehlanna's slaves in the forest close to the ivory tower of Unigo. seeing that it was by a firepit, it must have been dropped by whomever had spent the night resting there. when brought to Ehlanna's attention, she spent the rest of that hour and the majority of the next one poring over the handsome script, remembering with slight tears in her eyes the man who wrote it... but why would such a scroll be found now, and so far away from home?*

Do I write this little notice to myself, as a small reminder of what I shall do in the morn. The village is all but asleep, and only I am awake in my cottage. My mother lays still upon her mattress - dreaming mostly of deeds I have yet to accomplish and fantastic voyages I will be able to afford for her once I finish this one task. I have told her not to worry, as this particular sojourn is no more than a trip to the southern coasts of the high elven kingdom of Esenihc Lovaird, yet shall reap such reward the likes of which I have never thought to see outside of a dragon's lair.

I have not told Ehlanna I am going, nor my friends. If I dared tell any of them, they would wish to come along with me for the journey. Well, most of them would. Some would most undoubtedly call me daft in the head and obviously under the spell of a goddess or some form of ancient magics. Ehlanna I am completely assured would forbid me to go, saying it is far too dangerous for a youth such as I to travel so far away from home. Yet if you hear about the tales of Rhysia Yrilliach, she was not much older than I when she first went off to fight the dark elven hordes in Tyrrian! So without a word will I make my leave the moment the dawn kisses the horizon, and join this caravan who dares make the trek down the SIlver Wyrm Trailway.

Something I have noticed about Ehlanna over the past year is she insists on taking it easy on me in private practice, yet in public more harsh than any taskmaster I have seen work their slaves. My mother says my eyes are foolish, but my back and bruised arms and legs tell me another thing. It feels as if she is actively herding me away from adventuring, while encouraging the others to seek out their destinies. When shall she realize I am no more a child than she is? Perhaps when I come back from this relatively routine caravan guard trip will I be mature enough to set her straight in her appreciation of me? Maybe even finally see me as more than just a boy, or a friend?

Ah, my soul dreams of mists and gossamer presents. Things which I would wish into being shall never be thus. Everyone knows Ehlanna will find herself a gallant Unicorn Knight to choose as her lifemate, as she makes sure to broadcast it to any male who dares put the moves on her. Though I cannot say it does not lighten my heart to know she is still without a constant beau by her side, do I wish it could be me. Alas, I am still ten years her junior, and she only takes me seriously whenever I err in martial practice - which happens to be far too often as of late. My heart would sing arias for her and my fingers write epic poetry of dashing love and majestic victory, but the real me knows naught of either - that and I could not carry a tune to save my life. My skin tingles around her, and my beating heart flushes the blood through my person so quick I would outrun the fastest deer in order to catch a tear from her eyes before the undeserving ground could taste her sorrow.

The night grows short, as does my patience. I have gone through all of my equipment, only to find myself believing it will not be enough. I have honed my daggers to shear grass with a mere touch, and my bow has the finest string I could find for it. All my arrowheads are poised and ready upon the tops of shafts I cut and whittled myself - all last night. The nervousness which posseses me now shakes my spirit to the core, yet hiding this all from my peers and Ehlanna has made it even worse. I know I will be much better the moment I am on the road with the village behind me, but for these last seconds of the night do I know fear.

What if the guards question my leaving early? What about the worries of my family who know not why I have done this? And even more important, what if Tzlor`kythnayn does not pass his test to become a novice journeyman because he is out looking for me? By the seventeen hells of humanity, this is all very confusing when I look upon it now. I could easily abandon my desires and remain here, yet should I look into a mirror from that day forth, would I recognize myself... or want to?


I will do this. I can do this. I MUST do this, if only to prove to myself I am not a boy like Ehlanna seems to think I shall remain for all of eternity. This is more than a journey, it is a quest for my manhood. And if it means I shall set my old self behind to find a new one, so be it.


*closing the scroll, Ehlanna thought back to the day Tolwyn first disappeared from the village. it took the entire class of rangers and clerics of Tolwyn's level three days to break Hylera's iron grip on the knowledge she bore in her head and heart. even then, it was a costly battle: the entire class spent one hour of every day until Tolwyn returned helping Hylera with her chores and tasks around the village and home. Ehlanna herself set off to find Tolwyn, only to be stopped by one of the village elders. reminding her that some times young people must like herself needed space to "discover the road they were always trodding over," Tanti Avanlia sent Ehlanna back to her regular life until the fateful evening that Tolwyn returned home.

the tale of the reuniting of Tolwyn and his village, however, is one best heard on its own...*