An old elf dismounted and summoned the stable boy. He gave the boy instructions and then pulled a coin from his pocket, to give to the lad. Taking hold of a bag and a staff from his horse, the old elf turned and headed for Linvin’s tree.
Linvin smiled as his uncle came up the street. “Anvar; do not tell me you are so old that you need a staff to walk now!” Linvin called down.
Anvar spied his nephew and retorted with a smile, “I only carry it to swat people who annoy me!”
“You had better leave it at the door then or I might find myself meeting the end of that thing,” Linvin joked as Anvar reached the front door. He gestured for his uncle to come in and then returned to his rocking chair. In a few moments, Anvar had joined him on the balcony.
“Still lounging about doing nothing,” he jested.
“That is where you are wrong,” Linvin answered as he walked toward his uncle. “I am quite busy drinking ale. Would you care for one after your journey? It is my turn to buy, after all.”
Anvar laughed and hugged his nephew tightly. “I’ve missed you, boy!”
“And I you,” Linvin replied. “Come; fill your cup and sit down. Your trip has been quite long.”
“Soon that distance will seem very short,” Anvar said as he sat down with his ale.
“Your message made it sound like we were going on an extended trip.”
“Not a trip,” Anvar said before drinking some ale, “a quest.”
Linvin laughed so hard he nearly spilled his drink. “Oh come on,” he chuckled, “a quest? You sound so serious!”
“This is serious!” Anvar fumed as he stomped the staff on the ground. “Everything is at stake right now! Our lives and the lives of those around us hinge on the decisions we make this night. You are ignorant of all that I speak. In that way, I envy you. I sometimes wish I did not know all that I do.” Anvar’s soft eyes began to fill with tears.
The comments had caught Linvin off guard. The conversation had taken such a dramatic turn so quickly. He found himself dumbfounded and waiting for Anvar to continue.
After wiping his eyes, Anvar produced a letter and handed it to Linvin. “This is a letter from your mother. Read it slowly.” Anvar stood and looked off as Linvin opened the letter. He recognized the hand writing as belonging to his mother.
My Dearest Son,
Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing your smiling face just one more time. Added to my list of regrets, is not being able to do just that.
This will be my last contact with you. I have taken ill and I will no longer have life when you read this. No normal malady is to blame for my condition. My physician has informed me that someone, who went to great lengths to make my death look natural, has systematically poisoned me. I do not know who did it or how, but I fear I do know why. The subject is too delicate to trust to written words. They may find their way to the wrong people. I can only tell you to listen to your uncle and go with him. He will be able to guide you and protect you as I thought I was doing. I see now that he was right about many things and I have been a fool for many years.
I never told you how proud I am of the man that you have become. You are good and honorable. Perhaps that is why the recent events have taken place. Forgive me, my errors in judgment. Though well intentioned, they have brought ruin on us all.
Go with Anvar and do not look back. Only by fulfilling your destiny can you make the deaths of your father and I something that served a purpose.
Never has a mother known such joy, as having you for a son.