A/N: Chapter Nine, finally! This chapter is subject to change. I wasn't even going to post it but I decided that the few people who have actually reviewed, deserved to read the long awaited (o.k., not really) addition to 'Telrúnya'. I hope that you all find it satisfactory.

Chapter 9

Kaffel and the Thorwyns

The setting sun shone through the abundant, deep green leaves of the forests of Kaffel, creating a light that was green tinged as well. Telrúnya and Aralyn had reached Kaffel after four days of traveling the well-worn path that led out of Seren. They had come to a fork in the road. It was marked by two signs. The one to the left read NORAM, then, underneath it in smaller characters was the word, 'Humans'.

There were, in the realm of Cihamornah, very many and very diverse races. Included among them were: Humans, Centaurs, Dwarves, Gnomes, Fairies, Titans, and various kinds of Elves. Because of all of the different races, it was often a requirement to put the most prominent race of a particular country as well as it's name, on the maps and signs of the realm.

The sign to the right read in faded letters, KAFFEL. Below was a word so obscured that it was completely beyond legibility. The path had long since become overgrown and looked very hard to travel. But travel it they did. It had been three hours since they came to the signs at the fork in the road. They had just finished setting up camp and eating an evening meal of meat and vegetable stew, bread, water, and some blackberries from a bush they had found near the campsite.

Bliss was gone again, she left every once in a while, but always came back within a few hours. The two Elves had simply sat in complete silence staring at the fire, lost in their own thoughts when suddenly Aralyn spoke. "Telrúnya, do you plan to speak to the Oracle, if you can find her?"

To this Telrúnya sighed heavily, still staring into the fire, "Yes." She then looked at her companion. "Aralyn, have you wondered how Chait managed to release himself from his bonds?"

"Well, yes, but when we were discussing it, you didn't seem like you wanted to talk about it. So, I decided to wait until you wanted to tell all."

"While we were fighting, I unexpectedly kicked Chait on the shin and was terribly surprised with what came out of that action. He immediately began glowing crimson red."

Aralyn's face went still and she quietly intoned, "Jaykor!"


"But, it was my understanding that Jaykors, no matter what shape they took, had to be black."

"I asked that of him. All that I managed to get out of him before he died was that the Jaykors had discovered a means that allowed them to be other colors."

"Oh no!" Aralyn said with concern in her voice. Then she spoke again. "Telrúnya, how difficult was Chait in battle?"

"Not quite a Lord, but definitely not a normal Jaykor. He was a skillful fighter."

There was a moment of silence. Aralyn looked over at Telrúnya, who was adding a log to the fire. "Hmmm, Telrúnya I've just thought of something; while you and Chait were battling, why didn't he shapechange? Couldn't he have just turned into a Stone Golem and crushed you? Why did he stay in human form?"

"I do not know." Telrúnya responded, "Perhaps you could ask the Oracle that question."

Aralyn smiled then said, "Perhaps. But, first I'd like to know what you are going to ask her!"

"I am afraid that there are many more Jaykors then anyone suspects. I plan to ask her how many there really are. It would not surprise me if they have multiplied in secret."

"Do you predict war?"

"If there are as many as I fear then, yes, I predict war." She paused and whispered, "A very bloody war."

Aralyn took a deep breath. "And how many do you think there are?"

Telrúnya looked up at Aralyn, then back down at the overgrown path. "Get down." she whispered and swiftly dropped to the ground pulling Aralyn with her. Suddenly a shower of arrows pelted the trees directly above them. If they had not dropped to the ground, they would have been impaled.

"Aralyn," Telrúnya whispered, "a spell to hide us, quickly!" Aralyn closed her eyes and whispered an incantation in Elvish, instantly the camp, including the horses and Elves, disappeared!

Nineteen dark, slow moving, limping creatures emerged from the surrounding forest. Telrúnya, from her place on the ground, stared at them in horror. Wights!

Wights were evil, undead creatures. They typically inhabited barrow mounds and catacombs, though they sometimes dwelt in isolated, overgrown, tangled forests. Kaffel fit that description perfectly. Wights hated all life and sought to destroy it whenever it was encountered.

Wights looked like large, hairy humanoids with warped, distorted bodies and long, sharp claws and teeth. Their skin was grayish and their hair was a tangled black mass. Anyone killed by a wight became one and was completely controlled by his slayer. They weren't very intelligent, but they had excellent senses and would no doubt find the invisible camp in a short time. Telrúnya knew the invisibility spell that Aralyn had used and it was of the kind that dissipated when those who had been made invisible attacked, or were attacked.

Telrúnya closed her eyes in repulsion and dismay as one of the dreadful beings looked in her direction.

"You said that theys vas ere!" The largest of the wights said in a harsh, rasping voice.

"Theys vas ere!" Said another pointing almost directly at Shadow, who was tethered to one of the gnarled trees surrounding the Elves' campsite.

"Vell, theys gone now!"

"Nah, nah! I kin steell smell theer fleshhh!" Said the wight licking his lips, if you could call them that.

The first wight, most likely the leader, lifted his head and began sniffing everywhere. "Oooh yis, theysa ere!" He turned to the other wights, "goo and find the fleshy ones!

Telrúnya silently gripped Flametongue as the wights began to search around the area immediately to the right of the camp. Two Elves against nineteen wights. Not very promising. She thought grimly as they came closer and closer to the invisible camp. Aralyn's singing probably won't do much, as wights are undead. Singing would be a form of charm, and undead aren't affected by charm.

As one of the wights came within a foot of Telrúnya, she abruptly drove Flametongue into it's stomach, thinking to herself, if we must fight, I would rather be the one doing the surprising! The wight let out an earsplitting shriek and Telrúnya heard Aralyn shout a spell as she herself withdrew her sword from the wight and used it to cut into it's side. The thing made a grab at her but she dodged and quickly moved to the nearest wight whom she killed with one fell blow.

It seemed wights were swarming all around Telrúnya. She felt claws bite into her side as she fought to keep herself from being smothered. Aralyn, it seemed, was not doing much better. Her Ring of Fire spell was leaving the wights severely burned and howling, but both Elves knew that they would eventually be overcome by the sheer numbers of the evil beings.

Telrúnya felt something warm and sticky running down her leg as she kicked a wight off Aralyn. She looked down and saw that her calf was bleeding heavily. She sighed inwardly, she hadn't even noticed. Telrúnya dropped Cobra as a wight bit into her arm. She plunged Flametongue into it's chest and drew Frostbite, her dagger, with the hand that had dropped Cobra. This she thrust into another wights neck.

Suddenly Telrúnya heard a soft tapping noise, as if someone were lightly hitting a stick against one of the huge gnarled trees of the Kaffel. The sound was in a pattern; tapped rapidly nineteen times, pause, slowly twice, short pause, then rapidly eight times, over and over again. It was far too regular for any normal woodland noise.

Telrúnya started in surprise. Eight figures had dropped among the wights from the overhead foliage. It was hard for her to see however, because the wights were still swarming around her. They were not attacking her anymore though. They were running away from those eight figures as fast as they could in their strange, limping gait.

The creatures, who had stooped as soon as they hit the ground, now stood. They were tall, slender, and lithe. "Strange creatures in my mind I see, tall and slender, like a tree." The Thorwyns. Telrúnya stood there, breathing more heavily then normal. She felt the searing pain from the bite in her right arm and let Frostbite fall from her hands, Flametongue she gripped in her left. Aralyn moved up behind her, quarterstaff in hand, looking warily at the Thorwyns.

Telrúnya could, finally, see the creatures. There was plenty of light now as it seemed the Thorwyns carried a light with them. Further observation showed that the Thorwyns were the light. In fact, they seemed to be radiating it.

I wonder, thought Telrúnya, if Jim really knew what these Thorwyns were when he said 'like a tree'. For trees they were; but not like the rough, gnarled trees you generally saw in the Kaffel. They were tall (around twelve feet), sinuous beings, graceful and lithe. They appeared to be light in color, however that may have been because of the light they radiated. The Thorwyns didn't seem to have mouth or nose, but Telrúnya could see small light olive green eyes. They did have arms and legs and, it seemed some form of feet and hands. At their top were leaves and branches that looked like those of the Weeping Willow tree. The leaves hung down to where their legs began, like hair.

Abruptly Telrúnya heard a soft, slow, whispering female voice, sounding like the wind through the trees.

"May we help thee Elf?" One of the Thorwyns stepped forward and gestured, first to the other Thorwyns, and then to Telrúnya and Aralyn.

"You already have." Said Telrúnya. "You have my deepest thanks. I fear we would have been brought down if not for your timely arrival."

"We have come simply to ask what your business is in the Kaffel. That the wights fear our light is of no consequence."

"My companion and I seek the wisdom of the Oracle. We each have a question to ask her."

Abruptly the light grew to such a shining brightness that the Elves were forced to cover their eyes. Telrúnya dropped Flametongue and began to cover her eyes with her hands. Upon lifting them however, she saw that she herself was glowing as well. She heard Aralyn whisper something and it seemed that a sheer veil had been placed over her eyes, dimming the glow. She looked up and saw that both she and Aralyn were glowing, though the Thorwyns shone brighter still. The light slowly died until it was gone in the Elves, and just a pale glow around the Thorwyns.

"Your hearts are pure. You may come with us to our city, Kíwérdan. I am Enreldrè. What is it that they call thee?"

"I am Telrúnya. My companion is Aralyn."

"Princess Telrúnya Ireth Moonbright of Umenelnána, and Aralyn Emberoak of Lowenamolor. Yes, it is the time that thou are here to speak to the Oracle."

"I presume the Oracle knew that we were coming?"

"Of course."

After quickly binding their wounds, Telrúnya and Aralyn packed up the camp and then took the reigns of the horses. The Thorwyns led them off the path and through the dense forest. They traveled for five hours straight, with Enreldrè in the lead. At the end of the five hours, she drew aside.


Kíwérdan stretched out before them. The enormous roots of the trees of the Kaffel formed the houses and other structures, including fountains. Each fountain was fed by a series of small waterfalls that seemed to fall from the tops of the very tall trees.

"It is very like a Wood Elf village, is it not?" asked Aralyn looking upon the city. Enreldrè nodded, her branches swaying.

"We were once great friends with the Elves of the Woods of Kaffel."

"Why aren't you anymore. I do hope we did nothing to offend you."

"No, nothing to offend us. Most of the Elves were slaughtered, and those who were not were forced to flee. But that is a long and dismal tale. T'is not a tale for now. Come. You will wish to prepare yourselves before seeing the Oracle. It will be challenging in both mind and body. You should be fully rested, healed, and have your greatest spells and weapons equipped. I will leave thee with Farothfäè, my sister, while I tend to your horses. Farothfäè will heal your wounds and assist you in getting ready. I will then take thee to my husband, Seregur. He will inform you of what you are going to face. May luck be with thee, Telrúnya and Aralyn. For now, enter, and be healed."