Chapter Two: King of the Forest Halls

He was alive. At least, that’s what Fauste said over and over to reassure himself. The Lord was lying on what seemed to be a beach. Where this beach was, who knew? The last thing he remembered was supervising the siege, and then…. Garant. That treacherous fiend. Garant was the leader of the northern division of the Dia’ Laban. In fact, he was second in command of the entire guild, right below Fauste himself. The attack made a lot more sense, now. The army wasn’t trying to overthrow the clan’s iron grip on the trade and travel in Aden, the objective was to get Fauste out of the castle. Well, that just wouldn’t do at all. However, there was little Fauste could do at the moment. Not only did he need to find out where he was, but he needed a sizable army to retake his castle. This just wasn’t a very good day. Fortunately, a highwayman chose that moment to knock him unconscious with a cudgel.

He awoke, yet again, confused. Fauste was fairly sure he was in a forest now, but he made it a point not to get too comfortable. After a few minutes passed, he decided to risk a look around. He leaned up on his elbows and rubbed his head. It was sore, but not over damaged. The woodland noises had proved right, and he was indeed in a forest. The thing that made it unique was the fact that in the trees, there seemed to be a thriving city. Oh, and there were the archers. He slowly raised his hands, so as not to alarm the multitude of bow-wielding elves which had crept up on him. He was satisfied to note the care which they paid to being stealthy, as if he was suddenly going to jump up and take them all down. “You can quit that foolish dance of yours, elves. I can see you quite well.” Perhaps he shouldn’t have been so insolent. An arrow thudded into his left arm, hurling him back to the ground. The trees certainly were tall. It seemed as though the light made it a special point to weave in and out the long, pointed leaves. Fauste wished it would brighten up a bit. The blackness was quite ruining his view of the forest. Why couldn’t he feel his left arm? The archers were carrying Fauste now. “I wish you’d put me down.” He remarked, but the elves didn’t seem to hear him. Oh well, go with the flow. Fauste blacked out.

This was becoming quite a trend. He wasn’t lying down this time, though. Fauste was in a wide hall, seeming to be carved out of living tree. The branches wove around them, the leaves forming a beautiful roof which let just enough light in to show you the beautiful decor. All about it were hamocks of golden thread, and lying in them were beautiful elven maidens, each with harp or lute. Fauste’s head was lifted up by a sudden but gentle hand, as another poured a soothing liquid down his throat. The blackness threatening to take over suddenly subsisded. He could now easily make out the company of elven men which were both supporting him and gaurding him. He realized that they were wearing strange cloaks, which changed color with every sway of the wind. So, that was how they did it. After awhile he became aware of a particular soldier motioning toward the end of the hall. Fauste still couldn’t see well, even with his keen eyes, so he was forced to walk the great expanse of the tree-hall, the light from the roof now stinging his dark eyes. The music the minstrels were playing was soothing, and he wanted nothing more to lie in one of the hammocks and sleep. Still, he didn’t want anymore poisoned arrows in his body, so he had best obey his captors. At last he saw the end of the hall. There were two great breanches, weaving in and out of eachother to form a high seat. Upon it was a middle-aged elven man, not yet old enough to be called elderly yet old enough to be deemed wise. The elf’s eyes met Fauste’s for a brief moment, and it seemed that there was a great straining of wills, as the mighty lords tried in vain to piece one another’s shrowds of secrecy. Finally, Fauste’s younger years lost to the elven king’s wisdom, and he fell to his knees. “If it weren’t for your poisoned arrows” he tried to say, but the king seemed not to hear him. He walked over, lifted Fauste up, and carried him over to a hammock. The matter was urgent, but it was of no use to interrogate someone this delusional. He ordered a few minstrels to play for the young dark elf, and he himself retired to his private chambers to think.

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