Leaves on the Wind
Entry, the first
It is an interesting and yet troubling problem. The young prophets (the Doomsayers as they are often styled) fear that Sylvian is in imminent danger. The word is that a nameless doom descends upon our charming isles with rapidity, yet none of the wiser members of our society see evidence of this. Certainly, all agree that prophecies can be interpreted that doom awaits us eventually, but many of the wisest believe this trouble to be far off. Some even believe it to be only metaphorical.
However, I have been asked to chronicle the events. And in an example of perhaps developing wisdom, I keep my opinions about this prophecy to myself. For even if the Doomsayers are wrong, I’ll be granted the opportunity to chronicle an epic expedition, the chance to travel alongside one of the more promising of the young loremasters, and the possibility of learning the songs of men. Despite their crudity, the enthusiasm of their young voices (young, as we have elves older than their whole race) cannot help but expand my repertoire and bring me attention from the College of Song. At the end of the journey, I’ll have seen as much of the human lands as any elf, and will be one of the first to see the Sea of Trees.
Entry, the second
Fortune is truly fickle. Having been distracted by the plumage of Thurindor’s kestrel (he truly has marvelous birds!) we found the only ship capable of bearing us to our destination to be none other than that of Captain Nenir, the Eruanneargrond. (Editor’s note: The true name of the ship is Eruannaearist, which translates roughly as “graceful sea cleaver”. Galandranion’s name is somewhat less kind, meaning approximately “graceful sea club”.) Our good commander Bregdhor negotiated passage, but would not take my advice to wait for another ship – any other ship. I feared, at best, we had but a few days to make landfall before the captain would find his piloting abilities taxed beyond his proven capacity. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in persuading him to wait, and unsuccessful in persuading him to take as direct a course to land as possible. With a storm in the air, a message of some urgency from Thurindor suggested that we needed to take this ship and take it quickly.
Entry, the third
Captain Nenir is justly famed for his ability to make his ship peform like that of no other captain. I passed most of the first couple days as is my wont, observing closely the water from the gunwales, or spending quiet time lost in my thoughts as I attempt to withdraw completely within myself. Thankfully, our loremaster, Lathron made a tea that settled my stomach somewhat and made the passage more pleasant than any I have taken with good Captain Nenir. The cracking of the mast in the storm was somewhat troubling, as the captain can find enough challenge in a ship-shape ship.
After a few days, we were completely becalmed, and the captain had a great deal of trouble summoning a breeze to aid us. I joined in and helped. Despite our occasional disagreements, we have always sung well together, and we managed to call up a gentle breeze to sail under. As we sang though, I was aware of a discordant harmony being carried upon the air and it was clear that we were being opposed by someone with a talent for stilling the winds.
Entry, the fourth
We are set upon a strange shore, some distance from our intended destination. It is a rocky place, and trees here are lonely. We should be wary, as we are far outside of lands any of us have travelled. First, I suppose we should seek out some directions.
Entry, the fifth
It is clear that we will have to encounter some of the humans here to get our bearings. Most of the scouts and the captain all cling uselessly to the idea that finding some great long sea passage in order to cut down on the later trip is the answer to our prayers. Even if this foolishness…I should say “especially if”...about disaster is true, it is the most unwise part of their plan. In the event of a disaster, we will need to get as many elves away from Sylvian as possible as quickly as possible. That means finding the nearest landfall from ports, and therefore finding the longest overland route. In their insistance on cutting down the land side of the trip, I begin to wonder if enemies haven’t influenced them. After all, if Sylvian goes down, it doesn’t matter whether we have to walk across the human lands for one year or three…it’s all a short journey.
But, again my words fall upon unhearing ears. And so we seek out people, all the while staying close to the coast so that we may eventually try to buy passage for a trip we will probably never get to take. I think perhaps the fact that many of our small band has spent time among or time observing humans has colored their perception of time. We are not on a mannish calendar. Oh, well.
Entry, the sixth
Our keen-eyed scouts bring back word of a village along a river not too far off. While the river is crossable, it would be unpleasant, and we are better off seeking a gentler crossing. Our talented rangers will see what is to be seen in order to prepare us for what may be ahead.
Entry, the seventh
Melldur and Raniver come back into camp late, aiding a badly-wounded human. As Lathron begins to tend to him, it is mentioned that he was the third of four humans who appeared to be involved in an attack on the settlement we were approaching. The first two had been felled by Melldur’s shafts, and this one had been chased down and stabbed by Raniver’s darting blade. The fourth vanished into the surrounding hills. Despite our best ministries, after two hours and thirty two minutes, give or take, it becomes apparent that the human was not long for this life. Lathron attempts a lay that would have let him speak to the man, but he expires before the song could finish. We will bury him the next day down by the river under a pile of rocks as we hear humans often do. We will mark his grave with his cloak in case any of his fellows wish to perform other rites.
Our scouts tell us that they saved a human boy, but in the process frightened him terribly and also stole his flute. This is unfortunate, as it is clear that any impression we might hope to make upon the humans has been somewhat colored. It is decided that we should decorate the flute in a beautiful way and leave it where they might find it, and by doing so we will retain an air of mystery and perhaps greatly mitigate any possible bad impression we may have given.
Entry, the eighth
From across the river, I sing with Lathron some fine melodies and harmonies. As we do so, Melldur steals into town and lays down the garlanded flute upon a bed of wildflowers. Quietly as a spring shadow, he leaves and is gone before they see our gift. But see our gift they do, and the look for us to no avail. Perhaps soon we will try to speak with them.