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It took time, but eventually my master allowed me to wander beyond
my cage. In the first days there were always eyes upon me. From my
amblings through the nearby groves I learned that elves are not warlike
by nature, yet some hear the “Song of Nyb” stronger than others
and embark upon the path of the spear. These elves devote their lives
to protection of their kin from the dangers of the world. They are the
guards in halls of the lords, keepers of peace in the groves and the spearwall
on the field of battle. Though respected and honoured for their
service, most Trewi keep their distance for it is vested in these elves
to uphold the unwritten laws of the forest and carry out sentences no
matter how grim they may be.
I never laid eyes upon the guardian elite, but was told at length of
their exploits. For reasons I know not, an elf will forsake his spear, the
company of his kin, abandon the groves and take up the glaive to stand
guard over the most dangerous parts of the forest. It falls upon these
dauntless warriors to stem the tide of an invasion while the rest of the
fey gather for war, and when the Sylvan Elves march upon foreign lands
a lord will anchor his battle line around them.
One night, after hearing the stories of these elves living apart from their
kin in service to a song of the gods, I wrote a melody of my own, echoing
the emotions I imagined such noble warriors to represent. I am not
overburdened with modesty, but I can honestly say it was a fine work,
one I have never shared with any audience since its first and only recital.
With the smattering of Elvish I had learned, I introduced the piece
to the Lord’s court and launched into a haunting and mournful chant.
I cannot say which halted the work quicker, the gales of laughter from
the gathered elves or the stony stare of the Forest Lord. I slunk away,
lost all over again. What could I hope to offer my captors, if not my art?
Bold, proud and vigorous, they were
united in the determination of their eyes
and the set of their shoulders. Where other
elves danced, they strode. What other elves
started, they finished.
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