Let us tell you a tale.
≈ VII ≈
v. The Saga of Frostwood
When Mithrilon had grown from youth to man, his father began to send him on supply runs beyond the borders of Midgard, and later he became his emissary of sorts, traveling to commissioners, taking measurements, presenting material samples, and finalizing the details for his father’s sartorial creations.
In his 20th spring, a dwarven duke commissioned a pair of boots, finer than the general dwarven stock, soft and strong and beautiful enough to make his kinsman higher up the line of succession ooze with envy.
For such stock, Habadon dispatched Mithrilon to the land of the light elves, Alfehim, where Moon Elk roam the forests. Their hide is thick enough for leather armor, but supple enough to bend and move like silk on the wearer, shimmering a mix of gold and silver when the light played off it.
The best markets for such hide lay in the interior cities of Alfheim like Enedon, silver roofs dripping with wisteria and freesia blossoms, filigreed walkways spanning the space between the trees like architectural spider’s silks kissed with gold light through the eaves above.
In this part of the realm, even the poorest quality goods in the market were finer than most in Midgard, but his search for the Moon Hide in particular was proving to be nearly as difficult to track as the animals from whence it came. It took him the better part of the afternoon to to locate the merchant stand with Moon Elk hide as fine and fair as the young huntress who had stalked, killed and tanned it.
Her name was Rhewil and she was the loveliest creature Mithrilon had ever seen. Which was why, perhaps for the first time in his life, he had not even attempted to haggle on the price. As he handed her a pile of coin and packed up his get, he saw that the gold filtering through the treetops was turning silver, and the mists had begun to rise in the forest.
“My dear lady, might you know of an inn to pass an evening?” Mithrilon asked. “It is a long road back to Midgard, and I fear I will lose my way in the forest if I attempt to return this night.”
“Yes, just around the bend there is a place with excellent libations.” she said, busying herself with packing up her stand for the night. “I expect the beds are fair as well. You don’t find many mattresses of straw in Alfheim.” She cocked one sparkling blue eye at him.
Was she mocking him? The elves tended to live a far more comfortable life than humans, but that definitely felt like a ribbing. She said, “I have my own, so I have not had the occasion to vet them.” It did seem to be a bit of light mocking.
Young, bold and full of unearned confidence, Mithrilon decided to be bold. “Perhaps you will make a deal with me. If you show me the way to the inn, I will spill silver as long as you wish for the both of us on these libations you speak so highly of. And when we are both well and drunk, you decide what we do next, even if that is leaving me alone and naked in the forest after a good spin around.”
“Or I could just go home.” she said.
“Yes, you certainly could. You could also take me with you if you like.”“Yes, you certainly could. You could also take me with you if you like.”
“Well aren’t you bold.” she said.
“Luck is on my side more often than not.” he said, rubbing the green stone nestled in his pocket.