In the late Thornhurstian afternoon, where undercurrents of evening’s imminent presence were found in the relaxed natures of the people who began to fill up The Overfilled Flagon.
Again, Alceren and Alyxandra were sat by the fire. They had tried all manner of other places within the inn, but something within them, something that neither of them could understand, beckoned them to the hearth; it could have been an innate desire for the slow, soporific crackling of the burning wood, the dancing colours, or even the fact that the sky was visible from their seats. Whatever it was that brought them there was irrelevant - all that mattered is that they were sat here at this time, at first in silence, nursing their goblets; Rupert had finally convinced Alyxandra to take a goblet, proclaiming again that it was never too early for wine.
The two of them, having been lost in their respective thoughts, and drinks, for a time, felt the need for speech between them. At least, that was Alceren’s thinking. There was a notion that he had been pondering for quite some time, an idea that had clouded his mind, and now it sat restless upon his tongue, angrily hitting out at the the back of his teeth and tickling his lips. He could bear it no longer, and the notion escaped, at that point between a whisper and normal speech.
“You remind me of someone I once knew, Alyxandra.” Alyxandra, hearing those words, looked up into his face and, for a moment, neither of them moved. Her amber eyes appeared to him almost liquid, like resin, while Alyxandra held his faint blue gaze.
Suddenly, aware of the mystified silence, Alyxandra opened her mouth to speak, when the door of the inn was flung open and, with much murmuring in response from others in the tavern, a tall male elf ignored Rupert’s flamboyant introduction and came and sat by Alceren. As he did so, a look of recognition crossed Alceren’s face, and he said, “Greetings, friend. It is good to see you again.” The elf smiled, replying,
“And you also.” He then turned to Alyxandra and smiled.
“Greetings to you also, my lady.” Alyxandra smiled and nodded.
“And to you.” The new elf pointed to the sword at Alyxandra’s side.
“I am glad that you recovered your weapon - it was too awful a thought to bear that you might never wield again, and that it would rust in the woods, while you became part of the earth.” Alyxandra’s eyes widened, and covered her mouth for a moment. She shook her head and asked,
“How do you know about that?” It was as she asked this question that she understood. “You were the one who saved me from that powerful marauder, weren’t you?” The elf smiled and nodded, and began to laugh as a look of confusion crossing Alceren’s face.
“You obviously were not informed of your comrade’s brush with death. It is just as well that I was in the area, or she would be lying there now, beneath a bush, cold and lifeless.” Alceren stared shocked at Alyxandra, while Alyxandra felt embarrassed and a little confused at this elf’s complete lack of tact.
“Why did you not tell me of this?” Alceren questioned. Alyxandra looked at the floor as she replied,
“I was afraid that you would think me weak if I told you the whole truth.” Alceren shook his head slowly,
“You should not see it as a weakness - you were alone, and probably a little tired, what with yesterday’s events.” Alyxandra nodded, smiling at his understanding. The as yet anonymous elf cleared his throat loudly, and said,
“Well, now that you both understand each other, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Telthar’rion Melathorin, Benevolent Sorcerer of Sylverlake.” Alyxandra looked properly at Telthar’rion for the first time; his hair, ash-blond, reached halfway down his back, even though it had been heightened somewhat by its style, held in place by a tall, deep red circlet. His eyes were almost the same shade as hers, perhaps marginally darker, and his face was strong, almost sharp to look at, piercing her core as her gaze was prolonged. He was dressed in red robes, the sleeves opening out at the elbow to reveal gold wrist guards. He held a tall, wooden staff in his right hand.
“And I am Alyxandra L’Mipra, one of the Shrouded, of Eryvale.” Telthar’rion smiled, replying in a friendly, yet almost ominous way,