Chapter 1 Part 1
Ches 28, Year of The Solitary Cloister
Spring was just dawning in the Dalelands. While the world of men moved from its winter routine into its spring one, the mystical forest of Cormanthor sandwiched between them continued as it had for millenia.
Ardinia woke to the pleasent, dewey morning as she had for the past 100+ years. Slight disapointment crossed her face as her arms found the bed next to her empty. Siam was gone often and could stay that way for awhile and while she neither needed him for safety or necessity, her life always felt slightly emptier when her beloved was away.
An hour or so later, she would discover her husband’s where abouts. Sitting on the balcony off their bedroom, Ardiana was sipping tea and watching the rising sun burn off the rest of the morning dew when she saw Siba come bounding from the underbrush into the short grass that defined her yard.
“Devil cat!” she thought to herself as her lip curled unconciously at the sight of the beast. The animal took a look back the way it had come and then another up at the elven maiden on the balcony above her, Ardinia almost imagined the cat leaping and grabbing her in her poweful jaws and dragging her back down to the ground. The two females had little to no love for each other. Instead the animal layed down in a patch of sunlight making its way through the ancient canopy.
The reason for their mutual animosity soon followed the cat out of the forest. The elven ranger was tall with strong sholders, wider than what is common for his kind. He wore his typical functional clothing, and carried a bow and quiver on his back and long sword on his left hip. Ardinia rose at the sight of him, concern flooding over her. Siam had the form of an elf over his shoulder and was breathing heavy under his load.
She met him at the door, the alarm evident on her face.
His smile nearly set her immediately at ease. “I am fine, my love.” and he gave her a kiss on the way through the door. “Our friend here,” he said as he lowers the elf from his sholder to the lounge in the front room of the pleasent cottage, “has seen much better days.”
Knowing her husband to be fairly skilled in the ways of healing and injury, Ardinia was concious not to get in the way as she looked over Siam’s shoulder. The elf appeared middle age and was dressed in common, simple clothing. His blond hair was matted to his sweaty forhead and his skin was flushed. He moaned slightly as his head list to the side.
“What’s wrong with him?” Ardinia asked with true concern.
“He was attacked by a lupine. A wolf” He turned to meet the astonished look he knew he would find on his wife’s face. “And for one to take his form last evening, on a night where Selune was not at her full…” his voice trailed off. “It must be very powerful and old.” And then almost as an after thought, “And dangerous.”
The next few hours were spent deciding what to do. Siam knew that first thing in the morning, he needed to start looking into whomever attacked the elf in his living room. It was decided that Ardinia would take the sick elf to the temple at Ryventhal. Her brother was a private in Aerun’s Army and she knew the priests of Rillifane well.
Little sleep was had that night. Even with Siba stalking the perimeter of their land, Siam spent the night on the balcony, bow in hand in the event the lupine decided to come back to finish off his prey. Ardinia spent the evening drifting off and jolting back awake, trying to keep one eye on the wounded elf, sure that she would wake the next time to find a large wolf staring back at her.