In a valley at the base of the Northern Flights, amidst the slender alders and beneath the mighty maple boughs, a creek tumbled its way among the polished bolders and mossy stones, flowing with the quiet whisper of the glacier-cold waters.
Ferns leaned over the shallow eddies, and leaves on the current passed soundlessly through the myriad of tossed shadows that speckled everything beneath the canopy.
Then, slipping gracefully around the bend from behind the green stalks that fringed the banks, emerging as if from another world, there came a sailboat of such exquisite beauty; its slim hull shone through the miniature ripples as it moved in perfect balance with the waters, and its soft grained deck of polished wood rocked gently, the complete detailed collection of sailing apparatus delicately set in place with the motion of the ship. Its mast reached a height of one foot above the water and it swayed gently, the little green flag at the top twittering in the forest's breath.
The boat was quiet and disappeared around the next bend, vanishing as neatly as it had come. But one important detail amidst the wonder of such a sighting remained clear in the mind. There had been a roll of parchment on board, bound in a golden ribbon, the edges crisp with wear, and the careful script written in shining black ink. The parchment was the sole cargo on the sailing vessel and it was moving closer to its destination with silent inevitability.