As the pair passed into the forest, Van's brain was abuzz with schemes to escape. The forest was quite sparse, offering an endless number of paths to take by simply stepping off the road. Van was about to do just that when a figure descended from the branches of a birch.
"Greetings, Morley!" the man said, much to the old man's delight.
Morley clapped his hands a few times before replying. "Ah, good to see you, my friend! Who is this young man with you?"
"I-" Morley hesitated. "I'm not sure. But we're off on an important errand!"
Suddenly watched by two pairs of eyes, Van abandoned his plan to flee. A defeated sigh escaped his lungs. "My name is Van and I'm not going on any errands, important or not. And you are?"
"I am Findil, the elf!"
Van noticed that one of Findil's ears was askew. On closer inspection he saw that they were in fact sewn of cloth and wire.
"You do realize elves don't exist, right?" Van said dryly.
Findil's jaw dropped in horror. "Who are you to tell a man he doesn't exist!?"
"I thought you said you were an elf?"
"Quiet your questions or I will ensorcell you with my magic!" Morley shouted. "Van, that is no way to treat a companion."
Van groaned in response. "You mean he's coming on this adventure too?"
"Yes," Findil replied. "And quite willingly, too."
"How did you know I-" Van started to say, curious how Findil knew his "adventure" had started with little better than a kidnapping.
Findil stared vacantly up into the forest canopy. "The trees speak to me."
A second sigh signalled Van's growing hopelessness at enduring any adventure. Nevertheless, the adventure continued with Findil leading the party through the forest, Morley making gibbering small talk all the way.