Namdian sighed and buried his face in his palm. The meeting had been going on like this for close to an hour, and he had had quite enough of playing tiebreaker.
"I am not going to side with either of you. You are both able to settle your own disputes. If you have a reason for halting this excursion Estow, then say it."
Estow bowed slightly.
"As you know, the seasons are changing. We believe winter is still two fortnights away, but our non-flesh contacts say that the changes have been accelerated. Winter may be early."
The dwarf burst out laughing, "You would let the word of sprites and fairies dissuade you from a fight elf?"
"If it were just sprites and fairies, then no Korrik, we wouldn't."
"Nymphs and ghouls then?"
"Even deeper than that."
"Out with it then elf! What blasted spirit would you ever take advice from?"
Riled as he was by Korrik's words, Estow opened his mouth to retort swiftly and sharply, but on an afterthought, he closed it.
"I am afraid I have said too much." He said.
Namdian quirked an eyebrow, "You would hold secrets from your allies?"
Estow frowned. "If only it were that simple. I am afraid this is a secret that is being withheld from the majority of the elven population as well."
Namdian and Korrik shared a troubled look. The human delegate chose his words carefully.
"Estow. This engagement could be the turning point in this war. If we are to hold back from such a important skirmish we need to know why."
Estow was clearly deliberating over how much he could share with the two. After a moments hesitation he made up his mind and returned his focus to the discussion.
"There is nothing more that I may reveal."
His emphasis on the word caught the attention of both man and dwarf.
"You may reveal nothing? Could you perhaps allow us to infer?" asked Namdian slowly.
The elf's eye twinkled, "I am not myself. With the long ride, and awful tavern food; I believe my usually clever mind might let a few facts slip."
Namdian and Lorrik grinned as they realized what Estow was doing.
"The elves have long sought the ability to live in complete harmony with the world around them, but until recently, this venture was one that was sought in vain."
Namdian, brow furrowed in thought, tried to pick up the trail that Estow had left.
"Harmony requires communication so that a peace may be formed. Communication with animals and elemental sprites is something I have heard of, but communication with the spirits of nature? I was told that required great skill.
Estow looked hard Namdian.
"Some might term the Elves' skill as great."
Namdian's eyes grew wide.
"No... you mean to say that the elves can talk with the spirits of nature? Of trees?"
Estow's nod was unnecessary.