ELFQUEST
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Allura

I'm on a writing roll! (It's like a croissant, only more like a muffin.) I like how, now that I've gotten to the good parts, I can do so much more dialog.

PART 11

Hoykar and Aroree had been out hunting most of the day, and had come up with very little to feed their companions at Blue Mountain, let alone the whole of the Gliders. It depressed Hoykar and made him want to stick it out and go farther until they had caught something.

**You may return to the Mountain if you wish Aroree,** he sent to his hunting partner, **But I wish to see if I can find bigger game farther out.**

Aroree, never truly wishing to be alone, hesitated for quite some time before insisting that if he wished to continue then she would accompany him. He took that answer, and they flew their great hawks in a direction they rarely hunted. There was usually little to hunt in this wood by the waterfall, but they had had no luck elsewhere. They circled the area many times before even Aroree admitted she was tired and wanted to return home. But Hoykar didn’t want to go just yet. **You go, young one. I will make only one more circle and then join you.**

She agreed to that, and steered her mount back towards the mountain in the distance. However, before he could make much more of a turn, he spotted something rather large running through the snow below him. He couldn’t make out what it was, but send a halt to Aroree’s departure. After that all he had to do was let the hawk do its thing. It dove, and Hoykar found even after all this time, he loved the thrill of the wind on his face, and the adrenalin of the fall. But his joy was cut short as he suddenly picked up a frantic open-sending. **RAYEK!**

Hoykar pulled on the giant bird’s reins and only just managed to pull it out of it’s decent, though it was not happy. He then looked around to try and find the source of the sending, for certainly it hadn’t been Aroree or any other Glider. He then noticed the creature that the bird attempted to catch was a wolf, and next to the savage creature was what looked like”¦ an elf! However, before he could say anything on the subject or take in too much detail on what he saw, he was face-to-face with yet another elf, though dark in skin and hair, he was an elf! And he was flying!

“H-how”¦” He started, but words failed him.

Aroree joined him both in body and shock just as the dark-skinned one spoke. “We have often seen the giant hawks in the distance, but had I known that each bore an elf on its back I would have given them more than just a passing glance.”

Hoykar could not seem to find his voice, but thankfully Aroree was able to ask what he had been thinking. “Who are you strangers? And where do you come from?”

“I am Rayek,” replied the dark-skinned elf. “And this is Pike. I come from a land of desert and heat far away, while the other comes from a forest land halfway from here to my place of birth.”

An open sending drew attention away from Rayek and down to his companion. **You’re sounding more elegant than usual black-hair. Trying to impress them?** But Rayek seemed to ignore the comment. “Who are you who seem to have the gift from birth, that I have worked so hard for?”

Finally, words returned to Hoykar, and he straitened. “I am Hoykar, and this is Aroree. We are of the Chosen Eight, hailing from Blue Mountain, home of the Gliders.”

That comment seemed to interest the desert dweller. “There are more of you?”

“Of course there are, stranger.” Aroree started, “We have created a safe haven for all elves, and there we have dwelled for countless years, unchanged by the outside world as you small ones have.”

There was a pause, and then Hoykar asked, “Are there more of you?”

Rayek looked to Pike, who only shrugged. The desert dweller then nodded. “We are a small group, but there are two others with us.”

“Come to Blue Mountian with us!” The female Glider exclaimed. “Lord Voll would love to know how those we left behind have survived! You will be safe there. And warm. It must be harsh living out here in the winter.”

“We make out ok.” Pike mumbled, and then attempted to calm down his wolf companion, who did not like the nearness of the giant birds.

After a moment of what Hoykar guess was a private sending between the two smaller elves, the darker one, (Rayek?) agreed to accompany them to their dwelling, but only after first picking up their other companions.

They were led to a small cave near the waterfall, where the two strangers were greeted by two others, one female with dark skin like Rayek’s and an aged elf who looked like the world had simply worn him away. He felt pity for the aged one, and a twinge of fear, for if they had stayed in the world outside, that may have happened to him. Aroree seemed no less shocked and fearful than he”¦ possibly even more so. But the others didn’t seem too disturbed, and so the two Gliders said nothing.

Once the situation was explained, the other two elves were both surprised and amazed. The female introduced herself as Shenshen, and the aged elf was Ekuar, apparently a rock-shaper. They were offered the same chance to go to the mountain, and Ekuar agreed to go happily, while Shenshen seemed thrilled. “Elves! More Elves! Wouldn’t Savah be proud?”

Shenshen and Rayek both agreed to the offer of being flown on the two Gliders’ great hawks, but Pike refused to leave his wolf behind, and insisted he would rather have his feet on the ground anyway. Ekuar as well wished to stay on the ground, giving them the reason that it would be difficult for him to keep a good hold with only one arm. Hoykar was ashamed that he had even suggested it, forgetting that the elf was so disabled, and apologized, but Ekuar didn’t seem to mind. Rayek then promised that if Ekuar rode with him, he would not let him fall, but the rock-shaper said, “Someone should keep the Wolfrider company.”

The arrangements made, they group got ready to leave, but were interrupted by a high-pitched screech, causing Rayek to sigh loudly. “Highthings not leave Petalwing behind! You be smooshed or teeth-bit! Petalwing keep you safe!”

With all the surprises so far this day, Hoykar should not have been so caught off-guard, but the green winged creature before him called forth old forgotten memories, and almost made him lose balance on his hawk (which he never did). “By the Great Egg! A Preserver!”