Sigurd sat on a decaying tree stump, just outside the camp. His bow rested against his leg and staff remained balanced between his hands. By his feet lay an untouched stout ale, secured firmly under it was an unopened, sealed letter. A stark black wax proved to any eye that the writer was the last to read it.
The elf's eyes wandered outward, toward the darkening hills. His mind exploring the possibilities of what the letter contained. Orders was what kept barking in his mind. "It has to be orders," he muttered into the southerly breeze.
As usual, the halfling overheard the mutterings of the elf. "It could be a warrant for you, or perhaps simple greetings." He sat down on the grass in front of Sigurd, chuckling slightly. "More than likely a warrant though. Who would send greetings to you?"
Sigurd just grunted in response, the burden of the seal was what worried him. "That is my fathers seal, my families seal. Our house colour is not black, it is winter green and rose red. Black is the kings colour."
Sigurd released the cloak that whisped about lightly in the breeze and gave it to Racieus. "The crest, that is my families crest." The halfling looked at it curiously, quite a simple crest, two bows together, facing in opposite directions, connected at the handles by a large letter V. All design on the right, green and all that on the left, red. The background, like all Elven family crests, was the Kings black.
"My family history is long Racieus. My father, Lord Amabo Villentious is the third of his name, and twelfth of my family to serve on the Kings Guard, he is nearing his sixtieth year in appearance, it would not surprise me if this letter was requesting I take his place." Sigurd scoffed, and cast his staff aside. Leaning down he raised the glass and drained it.
When his eyes were no longer fixated on the sky, he noticed the letter was in the halflings hands. "I am not going to sit here and tell you I know a lot about Elven histories, politics and that boring jargon. But my friend," Racieus stood up, and walked over and lay a hand on Sigurds shoulder," I know about fighting, and you're a fighter. If this," both of their eyes dropped to the sealed letter, "is good news or bad, we will stand by you, Sigurd Villentious, of the house blah blah in Elf land." He playfully nudged the Elf in the arm as he spoke the final words.
Sigurd smiled and snatched the letter. In a swift movement, the seal was broken and the rich paper smelt the crisp, clean air. Removing it from its envelope, Sigurd read the black ink aloud;
"Sigurd, son of Amabo, of the house Villentious.
You are requested by I, King of the Elven lands, to report to Firellowier before the next cycle of moons.
Urgent matters have been brought to the attention of the Elves, and we require you to bleed light onto the dark battlefield we now look down upon.
With haste as swift as the wind, we await your breeze. "
Sigurd sighed and muttered the final words again before throwing the letter to the ground and reaching out, he took the cloak from the halfling. He swept it around his shoulders and re-buckled it.
Racieus pondered aloud, "what are you doing? Hardly much point in putting on your cloak now, it is time for rest."
Sigurd sighed again. "I am leaving, my King has summoned me. The letter stated I have until the next cycle ends. Which in Elvish means, get here before it starts. A curtsy of sorts. So I leave tonight, with some luck I can reach Fallbridge before the weeks out. From there I estimate another eleven days to home." He turned his back on the halfling, meaning to walk to the stables to get his horse.
"I will go too." Racieus said proudly.
Sigurd turned his head, almost in hesitation, before nodding. "You tell the others, I shall prepare the horses, and then you mount your horse with much speed, tonight will be a tiring journey, for we travel at the speed of an arrow."