With all the commotion of daily commerce, the sounds of hoof steps from a galloping horse entering town went unnoticed. The steed’s pace had become erratic. It had thrown a shoe and was foaming at the mouth. The animal was ready to collapse. Pausing for a moment, once reaching the center of town, the rider produced a scroll. He did not open it. Rather, he merely read what was written on the outside and then tried to find his bearings in the unfamiliar place. After turning his horse around several times, the rider determined the route he must take and headed down a street. Soon, he stopped before a great redwood and checked the inscription on the door against the writing on the scroll. The door read, Linvin Grithinshield - # 7 Spruce Lane. Convinced he had found his destination, the rider dismounted and tied his horse to a nearby post. He briskly approached the door and rang the bell. Sounds of a chair sliding across a floor could be heard from inside. The echo of footsteps was heard coming ever nearer to the door. It swung open, to bring the resident and rider face to face. Linvin stood in the doorway, wearing a scarlet robe and a confused expression. Outside, an exhausted young human boy was bent down with his hands on his knees in an effort to regain his breath. He lifted only his eyes as the door opened. “It’s quite early to be running around like this,” Linvin said with a sympathetic smile. “What brings you to my door in such a state?” The boy held out the scroll and said between deep breaths, “I come from the town of Fraylic; in the Human County. An old elf there told me to deliver this to Mr. Linvin Grithinshield of Missandor by this morning at the latest. Are you he, sir?” “He and I are the same,” Linvin laughed. He took the scroll and noted the seal on the outside. He was very familiar with the symbol impressed in the wax as it matched his own family ring. Opening the note he found the following words:
Greetings and Salutations My Dear Nephew, If all has gone as planned you should be reading this on the morning of the ninth day of this month. I shall be arriving in Missandor sometime in the evening of that day. I need to speak with you in person about some urgent matters, which will have a serious bearing on our futures. I send this message, in advance, in order for you to prepare. First, tell those in town and at your store that you are going away on a long trading expedition for the company. Tell them you may be gone for as much as a year. Pack a mule with equipment and provisions for a long journey. I know this makes no sense right now my Boy, but do what I say and trust in me. The time is at hand for the moon to come out from behind the clouds. I have never and would never lead you astray.
Your Loving Uncle, Anvar
Linvin’s expression changed to a look of concern, heightened by anticipation. “Sir,” the boy interjected, “the old elf told me you would pay me ten gold pharrings for getting this message here by this morning.” Linvin looked at him inquisitively. “When did you leave Fraylic?” “Yesterday morning, sir.” “That is a two day ride!” Linvin exclaimed as he observed the condition of the boy’s horse. “You must not have stopped at all.” “Only for a moment here and there to rest my steed,” the boy explained as normal color returned to his face. Linvin reached behind the door and produced his money purse. Opening the flap he began counting out money. “Here are the ten pharrings you were promised, five more for your swift delivery, and another five to get yourself a room down the road at the inn, a good meal and a shoe for that horse of yours.” The boy was overcome by the generosity. He thanked Linvin and then ran down the lane toward the inn, nearly leaving his mount behind. Linvin closed the door and returned to his breakfast table. His eggs and ham lay unfinished on the plate before him. Setting them aside, he read the letter over and over. There was an ominous tone to the note, particularly the part referring to the ‘serious bearing on their futures’. While the letter made little sense to Linvin, he was sure of one thing. He had the utmost trust and faith in his uncle. If Anvar wanted those things to be done, he had a good reason. That thinking alone was enough to make Linvin follow the instructions.