Althea Palantír: Call the council

I crouched perfectly still in the branches of a willow tree, watching the elven children playing with their bows and arrows. Although I had high responsibilities, I made time to visit the children now and then, to see our future blossoming in front of me. I watched Hulien, my sister's child, take aim at a target on the ground. She released her arrow and hit the centre of the target. I smiled. Hulien had spent her early years watching me shooting, and had developed a passion which mirrored my own. I was proud of my sister's child.

A low whistle sounded through the forest, and all the children ran to their Nanu, their carer, whilst I turned and threw myself gently to the floor. Hulien waved at me, her smile dazzlingly matching her sparkling blue eyes. Just like mine, and my sisters. I knew that Hulien was special to me, as I hardly expected to be a mother myself. As the Captain of their majesty's army you cannot be distracted by a child. I smiled back at Hulien as she disappeared with her Nanu, then made my way delicately across the forest floor and through the willow branches to the council meeting hall.

I entered through the willow branches in to a large open space, carved rock beneath my naked feet and the white sunlight shining through the tendrils of the tree. Ahead of me sat Lady Ildris, and her husband Lord Telio, our tender rulers for the last two thousand years. Ildris, my sister, beckoned to me. I slipped around the circle of gathered elders and council members to join her at her side. She smiled, briefly touched my hand, then turned her attention back to the fully attended council.

"Council. My Lord and I call you here today on the most important business." The elves barely stirred, although I ould tell that they were intrigued with what could be so important. "One of the seers has experienced a vision of battle, blood and fear." A slight disturbance rustled amongst the elves, although to the untrained eye it would have merely looked as though the wind had rustled the clothing of the council. One of the elders stepped forward.

"May I ask if there was anything specific in this vision?" Ildris gestured at one of the oldest elves in our council, a seer, who stepped forward.

"I saw no specifics Master Lavial, only this. The army was that of the King, and the bloodshed was on his behalf. The battle consisted of two armies, one, the King's own, and the other was an army made of every race in our world. It is, I believe, a warning that the prophecy is to become true."

The elves began to talk amongst themselves, and even I felt excitement stirring inside of me. The prophecy. King Vallinor would fall, and peace would reign once more. Ildris once again caught the council's attention.

"Please listen. The prophecy tells of an outcast leading this army. I intend to send a small group in search of this outcast, while we prepare our army to help King Galvador. My sister Althea will lead the group, along with two elves of her choice. Althea will leave her second in command to organise the army, and will deliver the outcast safely to the resistance. You may return to your normal business."

I followed Ildris from the council meeting place and through the trees until we reached her home. Hulien rushed out to meet us and I scooped her from the floor, twirling her around whilst she laughed. When I had placed ehr down again I turned to Ildris.

"You could have warned me."

"I love to see you try to keep an straight face. You must leave tomorrow at dawn if you are to reach this outcast in time. This is what the seer says. There will be others who have seen this vision, and some may work for King Vallinor. You must be careful."

"Aren't I always?" I asked, before leaving the room to inform my second in command of the plan.

The End

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