June 2, 008
It was a typical day in the sylvan woods. The day dawned grey and warm, but the bright sunshine which had once shone on Alfeim is now dark and unfeeling, brought on by the ongoing war against Drow, the evil elven country in the northwest corner of the woods. People went about their business. Most craftsmen turned to making weapons and armor. These were popular selling items for the time and many became profitable at the expense of the war. But, in days like these, one must save as much money as one can. Who knows when the dark knights of Drow will walk into your home and force you out? That, of course, was the best possible course of action that could be taken. They might just simply kill you instead. The drow elves are treacherously vicious.
People went about their business. Marketplaces opened and the wives of men came to buy for the meals of the day. The guards of Alfeim City walked about, hands on hilts, as they have for years now. Every morning they awoke to a new day. A day could bring their deaths. They lived on borrows time now. Drow has not made a move, but their armies have been slowly building. When their next attack was planned nobody knows. And Alfeim waited, building their own strength, so that they may live through this foreshadowed attack as best they can. So the knights of Alfeim walked the precarious edge of war and death every day of their continuing lives now.
There was a ruckus at the front gate of the city and a few who were in the vicinity rushed there, sword hands ready, expecting the worst. Two Alfeim knights, led by a third, rushed up carrying a large bundle. They were knights who had been given the most feared duty now among even the most brave hearted knights the duty of patrolling the woods of Alfeim. They spent nights in the wilderness of the country, walking amongst the trees, some mere miles from the Drow border.
The two carrying the bundle came closer in view. They carried a person in the arms a high elven man. They came through the gate quickly, the third man yelling loudly atop his lungs, "Make way! Move aside! Quickly!" And the three rushed through the gates as quickly as they had arrived there, heading directly for the palace at the center of the city. And even this was not as strange as the man they carried. For the man they cradled almost lovingly in their arms was a man thought to be dead for nearly five years Corellon Avantar, Elven King of Alfeim. Needless to say, most of the wives of men were not as interested in shopping as they had been only minutes before.
Corellon was still alive. They placed him in his chambers where he slept in his own bed, full of comfort, which he had missed for nearly half a decade. And the healing powers of a bed, especially after having nothing more than a straw palette for years on end, is far reaching indeed. He awoke feeling better than he had in years. He breathed heavy and stepped out of his bed. 'Twas now the next morning, June third, and he stared out his window into the sky for long periods of time. This was a vision he had missed as dearly as that of his home outdoors. He ate heartily that morning.
Nearly the next month was spent in learning of all the movements which he had missed in the dungeons of Drow. Messengers were dispatched to call all the royal figures of Alfeim to the palace. The plea was answered quickly, but none came to order and reached Alfeim as quickly as Mayour Glamour Faeriewalker of Alfeim City. He had been in Celtum for long periods, mulling over his defeat against Drow in the first battle he lead for years now. He had become nonchalant and very depressed and hearing of the return of his king he had responded immediately and headed straight for Alfeim City.
They spoke for long periods, Corellon and Glamour. Glamour treated the return of his king as a father would treat the return of his only son. He wanted to know all of what happened in the dungeons, and Corellon held no secrets back. Likewise, Corellon wanted to know of all of Glamour's movements since he took up seneschalship of Alfeim. They spent nearly a month getting all things in order and learning of each other's plights and stories.
By June 28, nearly a month after Corellon returned from Drow on the backs of two of his knights, all wardens and mayours were gathered in his meeting hall. All greeted him warmly but one, Warden Geran Whisperlane, who showed extreme indifference at the return of his king. Corellon called the meeting to order.
"I have spent this time awaiting you to call all my affairs to order and learn of all movements between us and Drow. I was very sorry to hear of Faeriewalker's defeat against this terrible foe. I have lied for years in the dungeons of that country and, while I am a fair and straight man, I am extremely angry. 'Tis time we rid ourselves of this scourge. 'Tis time we ride amongst them and destroy them. Captain Swordthruster, so far as I know, still lies in the dungeons. And I want him back alive so there is no time to waste. I escaped with barely my life. Swordthruster may receive death for my escape, especially if he has heard of it, for he is a threat to them even locked up. I owe those bastards." All members agreed, but none as staunch heartedly as Mayour Faeriewalker. Corellon continued then. "There are a few things left to get in order. And one of them is regrettable, but is what I feel is necessary. I am appalled at all of your actions since my disappearance. Only one of you, Glamour Faeriewalker, attempted anything whatsoever in this war. And Glamour will receive his just reward when all is said and done with the drow elves. But all of you others have done nothing. You dipped your hands into the coffers of your cities and villages to clothe yourselves in splendor at my expense. All of you are guilty of these transgressions." All heads bowed but for one Geran Whisperlane. "I am hereby freezing all coffers. I have no need for men who do nothing in times of great need. You should have used that money to care for and protect your populace. But none of you did. I need no mayors and I have no interest in wardens. I need only myself and my captain. I give to each of you a pouch of five thousand in gold and dismiss you all from your posts, Faeriewalker included. You may take this pouch and leave of your own accord, in peace, and go to wherever you wish inside or outside this country. You have all cost me dearly. I have no need for such stagnance." As he said this, he circled the table and gave each the aforementioned pouch of money. Then he continued. "Go or ride against the Drow with us. 'Tis now your choice. All your duties are relieved." All stayed in their chairs. They knew of their guilt and their treachery and all felt terrible at the situation. They owed Corellon more, and they would ride with him and pay him back in their own blood. Except one.
Geran Whisperlane, once warden of Lanksa, rose from his seat. "I am appalled at the release of our posts. We served you till the end and if this be the end for us so be it. But, 'tis not the end for me. This is outright betrayal by our king, if I was asked. A king whom we served in business and blood. I take your 'gift', but I will be seen again. You won't be rid of me that easily, my 'king'. My 'betrayer'!" He left quickly and with heavy steps. The door slammed hard behind him and he was gone.