The Day was bright. It was early evening and Dieannel had been working all day. Now that she was almost done with her work outside and it had cooled to a good temperature, she was in a good mood. As she bent to clip off the dead blossoms, she hummed a tune and worked to the beat. She would do this till the song was over then she’d straiten to look at her work that she had done so far, then change to a new song. Her Cat Karterin followed Dia as she worked. Soon she clipped the last of the dead blossoms. She stood strait and looked back. Ah, how beautiful it looks! She thought to herself. Dieannel turned and faced the front of the building that she now lived in. She looked up at the wooden sign hanging up in front of the door. The words engraved on the sign where panted in green. They where extremely faded from the years of absent care. They Read “Sunnydail Inn”. That needs to be repainted Thought Dia.
Dieannel was about 5’6″. She had long blonde hair that went down a little under her bust. It seemed to shine gold in the sun. Her skin was tan from all the time she spends in the sun. Her eyes shown brightly like when the sea is hit by the early morning sun. At the time, she wore a wide sun hat as she worked in her gardens. Usually she had her hair pulled back in a half ponytail, but sense she had a hat, she didn’t need to pull it back at all. Gardening gloves covered her dainty hands. She wore a green and white dress with flared sleeves.
She had spent three years living in the small village of Sunnydail. The Village it’s self was set at the bottom of a huge mountain. The Inn that she now owned was above the village. She could see it now from where she stood. The people that lived in the village below where more or less friendly toward her, though some were wary of her. She did not know if this was because they still considered her a stranger or because of her being elvish. Dieannel did not care, for they would send her business when a new person came into town. Though these days things seemed pretty quiet. Dia did not mind much. She liked these quiet days. It gave her time to think.
Presently she thought back to the days when she was younger. She had been married then. Dieannel was nineteen when she and her husband had been married. Now he was gone. They had not been married two years when he had been captured by orcs.
A big hunting party of orcs had attacked the village that they were living in. Though most of the orcs where killed, some escaped. So the village decided to send out a party to kill the survivors. They went out and were gone for a long time. It was late into the night when a runner came back and said that the small group had been ambushed. They sent out more men to help, but by the time they got there the orcs where gone. Most in the surch party where dead or injured. Those still alive, where taken back to the village and cared for. The strange thing was that all the elven men that here not injured or dead where gone! Her husband, being an elf, was found as one who was captured. When Dieannel had heard she was devastated. Instead of dieing from hart break, she instead went out looking for he lost husband. For those three years that she had searched for him, she never saw him once. Though she gave up on the search, she knew that he was still out there, alive. She could not tell how but she knew he was. Suddenly the sound of hooves pulled her back to the present time.
“I wonder who could that be, Kar.” Dia wondered to her white and Black striped cat at her side. The cat looked up at her owner, light blue eyes reflecting intelligent curiosity. The two made their way toward the approaching new comer. Dieannel could tell that it was not some one from the village for the rider had traveling cloths on. This included a cloak with a hood that the mysteries looking rider was wearing upon their head. This prevented Dia to see the face of her visitor. She could tell by the build that the rider was definitely a man, he road upon a huge black stallion. Kar was the first to reach the hooded man. He jumped down and she sniffed at his dusty, travel worn boots. He bent down and petted the beautiful cat. She purred happily.
“Can I help you?” Dieannel asked, as she got closer to the man. He stranded though he did not remove his hood, he gave her a courteous bow.
“Yes, I have traveled a great distance and was looking for a place to stay for a few day’s rest.” He answered. His voice was gruff, though somewhat recognizable. Dia looked the man up and down. A bit dirty and unkept, but that was understandable. There did not seem to be anything threatening about him infact he seemed like a down right gentlemen to her. She nodded her head.
“My door is open to all that need shelter.” She said. She made way for him to enter the inn behind her. He passed her by and entered. “Veilder,” Dia yelled and a boy that looked as thought he was just reaching puberty appeared behind the stable door. “Take this man’s horse and have it fed.” She commanded. Veilder nodded and ran out to fetch the big black. Dia followed the new comer into the inn. She found him sitting at a table by the fireplace.
“You must be hungry. Let me get you some food.” She offered, as she started a fire in the fireplace.
“Thank you.” He responded, gratefulness thick in his voice. Dia lit an oil lamp on the table and headed into the kitchen to make a quick plate of food. The stranger stared into the fire as he waited for the food to come. Kar jumped on his lap. He absentmindedly petted her. Karterin began to purr. Some how Dia had gotten a complete meal done in under an hour. She came out with two plates of food and one for her and one for her guest. She placed a plate in front of him and went back to the kitchen. She came back with a goblet of ale in both hands. She placed one in front of the visitor. He thanked her and took a sip. They began to eat when she sat. They did not talk much as they ate.
When they had finished she took the plates and put them in the basin in the kitchen. Then she returned. Dia decided that she must know who this man was. When she came back he lead upon the table. The lamplight reflected in his eyes. They were a cold, dark, violet blue. They looked familiar to Dieannel. Though the ones that she knew had been her husband Areon’s, but those had been soft and kind. Yet… Her brow furrowed. Realizing his mistake, the man sitting across her sat back and she lost site of his eyes.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“No one that you know.” He responded.
“I feel like I know you.” Dia said.
“The man you think me to be is no longer alive.” He said. Dieannel looked at him in surprised.
“Who are you?” She asked again. He did not respond. “Why do you hide yourself so? Are you in trouble with some law?” She asked. He shifted a bit, yet he still did not say any thing. Suddenly he stood up.
“I am tired. I would like some sleep,” he said and made his way toward the door that separated the main from the upper level.
“Please…” Dia begged. The tall man stopped and turned back around. “If you would only remove your hood so that I could know if you where my husband or not.” Tears shined brightly in her sea blue eyes. Kar was by her side. The cat meowed sympathetically and rubbed against her owner’s leg. The man sighed and slowly removed his hood. Dieannel gasped at what she saw. The man before her had long black hair. She stared into his cold violet, blue eyes.
“Areon!” She stood up and walked to him. He took a step back.
“Oh how I longed for your touch, my sweet. Yet I do not deserve it.” He said. He bowed his head. Dia stopped where she was and looked at her husband confused.
“Why do you say such strange things?” she asked
“I am not the man you remember. I have become something of a treble sort.” He got close to Dieannel.
“Oh Dia!” He shouted almost desperately. “I have done awful things!” Then he broke down and started crying. His wife enveloped him in her arms.
“Oh Areon, my sweet Areon. Come now Love. We are together now.” She said. She lead him up stares to her room, he lied on the bed. “Get some sleep. Things will be better in the morning.” She said. Dia removed his boots and cloak. She folded up the cloak and laid it on a chair and set the boots right next to the chair. Areon watched as she did this. As she returned to the bed, he tried to say something, but she put her finger to his lips and hushed him. Then she started to sing a soft song and his eyes slowly drooped shut.
When he was asleep, Dia went down stairs and washed the dishes. As she was finishing up she heard the whinny of horses out side the window and a knock on the door. She dried off her hands and went to the door to see who it was. When she opened the door, her heart jumped into her throat. Before her stood a man that was very tall. He was fully armed and wore a cloak. Behind him where three figures that where stooped. They also wore cloaks. These where drawn around them. Also they had hoods that covered their faces. Kar, who was beside Dia, growled in warning.
“Can I help you?” Dieannel asked. She looked at the group wearily.
“Yes. I was wondering if we could come in and ask you some questions.” The taller man said. There was a small silence, and then Dia opened the door a little wider to admit the group.
“Please take a seat at that table gentlemen,” She said offering them a table. “I’ll get you some drinks.” She smiled at them and left to the kitchen. The tall man seated himself and the others with him followed soot. They watched the pretty Elven woman enter the kitchen. When she was gone, one of the hooded forms leaned toured the unhooded man. It’s ugly face now visible in the lamplight.
“She’s a pretty one, master.”
“Quiet Sarces, we are here only to get his whereabouts, then we’re leaving.”
The hooded creature leaned back in its chair.
“Yes Master.” It responded somewhat reluctantly.
Dia was watching from the kitchen door that was cracked open a bit. Kar was by her side watching. Orcs. She thought to herself. Kar let out a low growl. The man was accompanied with orcs.
Areon awoke with a start. He looked about the room and found that he was lying on the bed. At first not remembering where he was, everything that had happened came back to him. He sat up and looked more closely at the room he was in. All was dark. Where was Dieannel? He then heard the whinny of horses and he then knew why he awoke the way he had. He went to the window and saw the four horses. They where here. At first he was so afraid he did not know what to do. When he finally got a hold of himself, he grabbed his cloak that was folded neatly on the chair and swung it about him. Then he quietly left the room, shutting the door silently behind him. Then he creped down the stairs. When he reached the landing he hid himself in the shadows and looked at the scene before him. Dia was not in the room at the time, the three orcs and the man where silent at the moment. Areon knew that they where close enough that they could be heard once they started to talk. This also meant that he could be heard. He had to be careful. Suddenly Dia came into the room from the kitchen. She had two mugs of ale in both hands. She set one in front of each of the four visitors. She sat down to join them. The orcs drank their ale greedily as soon as it was in front of them, but the man sipped his business like. Dia felt very scared, but she did her not to show it. Areon held his breath as he watched. He wanted to go to her side, but knew that they would kill them both if he was seen. Finally the man broke the silence.
“As I told you, I’d like to ask you a few questions. I know that it is late so I will keep this short.”
Dia nodded her agreement.
“Good,” the man said with a smile and leaned back in his chair. So at least we’ll have her cooperation, he thought to himself. “Well before we get started, you should know who I am. My name is Fareain. These three are my servants.”
“I am Dieannel. I own this inn by myself. ” Dia told him. She looked less then pleased. Fareain sensed this displacer and decided that he should make this short. Though she was only a woman, it was apparent that she was an elf and was not a weakling. He smiled and nodded his head.
“Well Dieannel, lets get this over with. I am looking for a man at the moment and was wondering if maybe he had stopped by here.”
“What does he look like?”
“He’s a 5′ 11″ elvish man that has long black hair and dark, violet, eyes.”
Dia realized that this was a description of her husband. She had to be careful about what she says. She quickly made up a lie. She looked at the ceiling as though thinking.
“Yes.” She said slowly. “A man of that description did come in here.”
Fareain smiled and Areon stifled a gasp of horror. She wouldn’t give him away! Not now. Fareain broke into his thoughts.
“I knew that you could be of serves to us. How long ago did you see this man?”
“About a few days ago,” she informed. Areon relaxed. Dia continued. “I remember because he had his hood up and sat in the back of the inn where there was little light, but when I served him I could tell that his eyes where a strange color.”
Areon smiled. She was using the memory of another man to cover her lie.
“Good girl, Dia.” He whispered.
“He spent one night here and left.”
“Do you know where he would be now?” Fareain asked.
“He’s probably over on the other side of the mountain by now.”
“Thank you for your time, Dieannel.” He said as he moved from the table.
“I’m sorry I could not be of more help.”
“You couldn’t be more help if you tried. We will be leaving now.”
“May I ask what this man did?” Dia asked. Fareain’s face went grime.
“He has broken a law that is very important from where I came from.”
“What is the penalty for braking this law?”
“It is death.” Fareain said. Dia looked a little a bit taken back. Fareain and his three servants went to the door.
“Well good luck.” Dia said as they left. She shut the door behind them. She leaned agenst it and gave a big sigh. When he was sure the danger was over, Areon came from the shadows. He removed his hood. Dia gave a start.
“Areon! I did not know you where there.”
“Sorry. I did not mean to startle you. I must thank you, though, for covering up for me.” He said. An air of gratitude was great about him.
“What was that about?” Dia asked. She lifted a trembling hand to her forehead to still it. All of a sudden she was suddenly tiered. Areon went to her. He put his hands on her waist.
“Many reasons, love. There are many things to be told, but now is not a good time to do so. Things will look better in the morning. Now it is time to sleep.”
Dia nodded, she leaned her head on his chest. Her husband picked her up, carried her up stairs and laid her on the bed. Then he went back down on the main floor. He blew out the candles and oil lamps. He locked the door for the night and headed back upstairs to join Dia. He found her asleep. The two where not disturbed the rest of the night.