The day, following their nuptials, was like most days. The humans that had come to witness the Joining had all left early, thanking the elves for their hospitality and packing their carts with the gifts the elves bestowed upon them in return for the Gifts of Joining that they had brought for the King and his new wife. In this place, at this time the elves and humans intermingled as they pleased. There was no need for magic mists to hide the Village and the view of Erin from the bridge was breath taking. Tall cliffs lined the coast with many small cart paths zigzagging from side to side up the stone mountain, and, sometimes, through the mountain where natural caves were used to create tunnels. Atop the cliff the forest crowded along the edge to the point where many trees, hundreds of years old, had toppled over the rim, seemingly pushed by the ones behind them, where they lay dead or dying among the boulders strewn across the wind swept expanse of the rocky shoreline. The morning sky was blue with rain clouds threatening in the distance. First meal was served as usual. As Erlenkönig roused from his bed, he immediately felt the presence of strong magic building in the air. A dark magic filled with malice and danger. He was ill at ease with this feeling but did not mention it to his new bride as they went down to the eating hall. DynDoeth was waiting in the foyer as Erlenkönig reached the bottom of the stairs.
“Erlenkönig, may we have words,” DynDoeth asked of the king.
“Not even a good morning or congratulations, DynDoeth,” Erlenkönig replied.
“I'm sorry,” he said, bowing deeply to both of them.
Snickering, Aisling looked at the middle aged elf, hair just touching at gray
on the sides, shorter than most but with trim waist and and strong physique.
“He jests with you, DynDoeth.” They had not known each other for long
but she had grown fond of the elf and his wife, she, headstrong and willful
reminded her of herself, but she was also kind and caring, one of the few elves in the village that had accepted her from the very beginning, without hesitation.
“Any maiden that can steal the love of our king will always be welcome in my house and in my heart,” she would say, and he, doting over his wife with a surprising playfulness, always trying to be helpful in all the right ways, but usually just bumbling through in such an endearing manner. Aisling was offered a room in their home for the weeks preceding the wedding and later, during the dark, days. She spent more time with DynDoeth and Ceridfen than in her own home. DynDoeth looked up and saw the big smiles on both of their faces,
“Do you feel it,” he proceeded? Erlenkönig leaned forward and kissed his bride and gently requested she proceed to the eating room. He would meet her there. A slight look of worry crossed her face but she turned and continued toward the wonderful smells of the early meal with an off-handed,
“Don't be too long,” called back over her shoulder.
“Do you know from where the magic originates,” Erlenkönig asked.
“It seems to come from all around us,” was his response.
“A plot,” the king suggested.
“I believe that to be the case, with more than one participant. When first I felt it, it was surrounding the keep. As I proceeded into the keep it was all around me. I count at least eight streams of magic, of very powerful magic, not that of the average elf.”
“A coupe to take power it would seem,” responded the king. “Find the elders and gather them quietly in the courtyard as quickly as possible.”
“What's left of the counsel as well?” inquired DynDoeth.
“No!” was the kings quick but stern response. “Only those who we can be certain of their trust. Do not do anything until I get there, DynDoeth my friend, we do not want to give our hand away until the last moment.”
“As you wish, where will you be.”
“Having morning meal with my wife of course.”
They both smiled at this, and DynDoeth was quickly away.
Copyright © James Inman | Year Posted 2021