Althea Palantír

Dawn was upon us, and as I said a fond fairwell to my sister, her husband and Hulien I felt excitement at the journey ahead rising inside me. As much as I loved my home, the trees and the peacefullness of the forest, I felt that it was time for me to explore the world before returning to my beloved forest.

The sunlight sparkled through the trees, each speck a beam stretching to reach the forest floor. I rode ahead of my two companions, Tia who was the best scout around, and Jamir, one of my best warriors. We rode through the wood silently, listening as the trees told us of their lives and the wind whispered in our ears of distant lands only they had seen. There was the sound of a snapping twig to our left and I held my hand up to signal our stop. A fox darted out in front of us, paused to regard us with his cunning eyes, then continued on his path. I listened for any further disturbance, but heard none. I gestured for our company to continue.

"Althea, what will happen if someone finds this outcast before us?" Tia asked, her hand resting on her dagger as she urged her horse to draw equal with mine.

"If anyone of good heart were to find him before us, we would take him with no trouble to the resistance. If he is found by Vallinor's men, we shall fight to the death to free him." Tia nodded and dropped back to ride next to Jamir.

As we neared the edge of the forest, I felt eyes watching our group. I glanced around quietly but couldn't see where this gaze came from. I beckoned to Tia.

"Tia, someone is watching us. Go ahead then circle round, try and find out who it is." Tia nodded and rode off at a canter. Jamir rode forward to join me. "Let us ride together Jamir."

We continued on our way, watching more and more light break through in to the forest as the trees thinned out. We were almost in King Vallinor's land now, and I felt a surge of trepedation at the thought of what the future might hold. I turned and saw Tia coming through the trees.

"Your sister sent a guide to watch us out of the forest. Evidently she had forgotten that we are not children." She grinned at her little joke. We continued until we had left the forest, and broken out in to the daylight.

"Come. Our journey begins." I felt that ray of hope and exploration fill my heart again, and I led the way along the forest edge as the seer had informed me.

The End

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