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The Forest Bower IV

Sun Jul 25 2021 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Why, how could he even help lead a people who were so clearly wise beyond his understanding? His insane promotion complete, he turned to face the fair lady's people.
"I will be a leader to you. What little I know, what little I can do will be in your service. Though I lack the age of your people, I will strive to make use of all my experience to guide and protect you." As he spoke, the young lad felt a love of these strange people bloom within him. It felt like something between the love of one's family and the one's country.

The lady turned to her people, "It is now time to re-take the road. Let us proceed," and shouldered her own pack. Our lad took up his place beside her at the fore of the caravan and they set out. Though he had lived in this place his whole life, he was astonished by the hidden paths they travelled. Not only did they avoid mankind's house's and settlements, they seemed to be under some ghostly veil. Animals gave them little notice and they tread on tender vegetation leaving nary a mark. The caravan soon happened upon a family of deer, and, instead of fleeing(deer's usual policy towards newcomers) the deer raised their heads and continued grazing.

The morning wore on, and the sun beat down. "My people need rest!" the lady addressed her new leader.
"I'm sorry, I was awaiting your single. Shall we stop here?" Her assent given, he hailed the company and they soon gathered and broke open their packs. The fare was rich, fatty ground meat with tart seasoning.
Having reclined at the head of the company, lad started into his ration. "Watch that you eat slowly, this is more powerful than the food of your people." the lady warned him. Indeed, he could feel the strength growing in him as he consumed this strange substance. "So, where are you heading thus far? To lead you I need to know the destination!" "To the west, there are fewer of us, and of you their, we hope to find shelter with my cousin Aliedurth. Reports are that he is rich and powerful." Rich and powerful . . . the lad didn't think much of either of those . . . they would probably do his people good though :/. "But to arrive there we must travel about the great waters and through the homes of many other nations of the unfallen. Some don't take our passing kindly. Indeed, even now we are in the lands of the Erroni, and they distrust us. Besides there is the ever present threat of the vengeful fallen ones." "My people are vengeful; for-" but the lad was interrupted as an arrow whistled by his head."