Elian’s hand darted once more into the lake and when it returned, a large trout was grasped there. He marvelled at his catch then placed it in a sack with the four other fish he had caught.
He brushed a curl of his long, black hair from his face as his sharp eyes began seeking another catch. His pointed ears tweaked at the noise of movement in the water, coming from near where the river joined the vast expanse before him. His hand darted again and once more removed a fish from the water, sparkling in the sunset.
Elian slung the sack of fish onto his shoulder, picked up his longbow and quiver and walked back to the trees. His tent was pitched about a hundred metres into the forest, ensuring he could see passersby, but they could not see him. Mera, his horse was tethered to a tree near his tent and a bright fire was burning. She was a large, chestnut brown horse with a long, flowing mane. Elian was only as tall as her back. He dropped the sack next to the fire, placed his bow and quiver on the ground and unstrapped his rapier from his side.
His features were clearly evident in the flickering firelight. Elian had a slight build and was around five foot. His pointed ears protruded from within his layers of sleek black hair. A long, green hunting cloak was draped around his slim form, covering a brown tunic, stopping just short of a pair of boar-hide hunting boots.
Being elven, Elian’s slim form deceptive of his unnatural strength. He had almost twice the strength of a normal man and was also much faster on his feet and with his hands. His eyesight was incredibly sharp and he could see clearly for great distances, similar to his hearing abilities.
The fire crackled as twigs were added for the fish. Elian skewered the largest of them on the point of his rapier, which was resistant to fire. Its skin coloured quickly as the flames surrounded it. Delicious smells wafted, rousing the attention of a fox which slunk from the trees. It warily made its way over to the fireside where it lay beside Elian. He had that effect on animals, they accepted him where most people didn’t. He loved the animals, preferring their company to that of other people.
When the fish was finished cooking, Elian sliced it with his small dagger. He tossed a piece to the fox which caught it in its mouth and began tearing into it. He took up a piece and began to eat himself, eyes on the lakeshore, just visible through the trees. He listened to the sounds of the woodland creatures, settling themselves down for the night. Mera lay down on the other side of the fire. Elian’s thoughts turned to the Seven Shadows, those evil lords who lived in the darkness and poisoned the world of men. He had come up against some of their creatures before and the fights had always been exceptionally viscous. He tried not to involve himself in the quarrels of ordinary folk, but the shadows threatened his existence also. They threatened all who existed.
When he finished eating, Elian gathered up his weapons and entered his tent to sleep the night away until the next day of his solitary existence.