CHAPTER FORTY SEVEN
Kythorn 25 1277, Year of the Beholder, the Great Forest of Tethyr
“Yurick, as both your sovereign and your friend I order you to shed any foolish notion of following me tonight. You need healing, and I insist that you do exactly as the healers tell. High priestess Demin has suggested that you need to stay in bed for three more days.”
“Three days!” Yurick moaned in frustration. “But my liege, you cannot be left unprotected for three more days.” The young man propped himself up on one elbow and grimaced. His head felt as if it had been forcefully separated from his neck and hastily reattached. On top of this physical affliction, Yurick was painfully aware of how pathetic he looked, as the giant black-and-yellow bruise, which covered half of his face, didn’t lend him much credibility in King’s eyes.
“Nonsense,” Errilam’s dark brows furrowed over his warm brown eyes. “We are not leaving Suldanesselar until you have fully recovered, and while I am Queen Ellesime’s guest, her royal guard will protect me from any conceivable danger. Besides, what can possibly harm me here, among friends?”
Yurick could swear that his liege’s kind and concerned voice held some carefully suppressed cheerful modulations. If anything, the King sounded almost guiltily happy over the occasion. According to their original plan, they were supposed to leave right after tonight’s feast, as Errilam could hardly indulge himself by staying with his elven friends for longer than a few days. The accident had made it necessary for them to linger in the elven city for another week, and Yurick wondered if that was the reason behind Errilam’s light-hearted mood. But then again, the normally sensible and reserved Errilam of Tethyr had looked almost ridiculously happy and young throughout their entire stay in the elven city. It was as if dwelling with the elves had made him shed a decade in age.
Still, the young guardsman could not truly reproach his King, as from the day of Yurick’s disastrous fall, which had resulted in a broken leg, a number of fractured ribs, and a nearly cracked skull, Errilam had visited the infirmary at least half a dozen times, always trying to cheer his serviceman up and making sure that he received all the proper care. Not that it had been needed much – Queen Ellesime’s healers fussed over Yurick as if he had been made of glass, although the High Priestess Demin had only seen Yurick once, on the very first day after his fall, and had not been overly friendly.
“An accident like yours is a serious matter,” Errilam said sternly, as if suddenly ashamed of his own undue optimism. “If you want to continue taking care of my safety, you need to take care of yourself first.”
Yurick wanted to reply that dwelling on trees, like birds and bees, invited disasters and hardly befitted a King of a proud nation like Tethyr, but thought better of it and held his tongue.
The King was pacing around a small, well-lit chamber in the Suldanessellar’s royal infirmary – a polished wood, bronze, and glass affair, strewn with soft green-and-gold tapestries and rugs. Even the light, pouring through the round window at the ceiling, was of the same green and golden hue, and sometimes Yurick felt like a crippled insect, trapped within a green gullet of a fly-eating plant.
“What possessed you to take off the medallion?” The King stopped in his tracks, giving Yurick a reproachful look. “You were specifically instructed to have it with you at all times whilst inside the tree city!” Errilam’s own token – a silver chain with a flat disk, engraved with a stylized silhouette of a giant Tree, had firmly hung from the King’s bull-like neck since the first day of their arrival.
“But my King, “the young man muttered awkwardly, “I am sure it was in my pocket all the time…”
“Obviously it was not, since they could not find it anywhere! And why could not you wear it around your neck?”
Yurick flinched, hiding his eyes guiltily. Because of his mistrust of elven witchery, he had removed his own amulet at the first opportunity, tucking it into the pocket of his overcoat, and forgetting about it completely. It turned out that his negligence had nearly cost him his life, as the trinket was supposed to keep the humans ‘visible’ to the magic of the Great Tree that could not sense them otherwise. No elf would ever lose her balance and fall from a rope bridge, but even if she had, the feather-fall spell would counter the force of gravity. Yet, the protection did not automatically spread to those not of sylvan blood, and the humans needed these specially crafted amulets to benefit from the enchantment.
“Silly boy,” the King continued affectionately, “you had me scared out of my wits. If you were to die on me, what would I say to your noble father?”
“I will be fine, my liege,” Yurick replied in a voice tight as an overdrawn harp-string. Errilam’s personal attention touched him almost to tears, and at the same time made him feel even more wretched. He wished he could crawl out of bed and go after his King secretly, if need be using his hands and teeth to fend off potential attackers. However, despite the healing spells and potions administered by the elven priests, he was still too weak to even walk on his own, let alone fight. Not to mention that he had sworn to obey his King’s orders. So, Yurick made a brave face and nodded his acquiescence. “I shall comply with my King’s wishes. But Your Majesty, I beg you to be careful. Torm only knows what dangers may lurk in the depths of the blasted forest!”
“By the Gods, lad, I thought that by now you would have let go of your ridiculous paranoia. Tonight is the last and most important night of the Faradome festival. And you better believe me, when I say that every monster within a hundred miles of Suldanessellar fled weeks ago. The orcs know better than to hang around on the night of the Great Hunt.”
“The Great Hunt?” Yurick asked anxiously. “And my King is going to take part in it?”
“I can’t,” Errilam shrugged his broad shoulders draped in green velvet. The fancy fabric gave his tanned and weather-beaten complexion a rather sickly look, as this particular shade of green was not his color, but Yurick supposed he wore it to please the witch-Queen. Yet even the unnatural greenish tint could not douse the bright youthful fire within the King’s eyes. “The Faradome’s Great Hunt is a sacred religious ceremony, in which only elves can participate,” he continued with only a slightest sign of a frown. “Some even say that on this night they run through the woods with only their weapons for cover, but I doubt this to be true.”
All of a sudden, the young man remembered the elf-woman with the fancy sword and the string of orc ears, and blushed.
“Bah!” Errilam grinned at Yurick’s bewildered expression. “Queen Ellesime invited me to the feast and the dance that precede the Hunt, so I will be able to tell you more after tonight. Sleep well, and try to recover your strength.”
And with that wise, if uninspiring suggestion and some more admonitions, the King had left the healing chambers, leaving Yurick to fret over the possible dangers of the tonight’s festival.
However Yurick hardly had time to close his eyes and try to slide back into restless sleep, full of dreams about shaky rope-bridges and terrifying falls into green rustling chasms, before more visitors arrived. First, his hearing registered a brisk conversation in Elven, just outside his doors: the familiar chirping voice of the young elven healer who had been charged with watching over Yurick asked a simple question, which, after a brief pause, was answered by a very different voice.
Even in his dazed and subdued condition and without being able to understand a single word, Yurick cringed at the inflections – somehow this deep and cultured, yet incredibly haughty voice made him hate its owner in advance. Obviously, the healer’s reply was somewhat disagreeable, as the conversation quickly became a string of indecipherable elven phrases, which sounded far too tense to be a simple exchange of pleasantries. Eventually a third, vaguely familiar voice joined in, as if begging moderation, and finally, the door of the infirmary opened a crack, admitting Yurick’s new guests.
His first look at the newcomer’s face only strengthened Yurick’s prior negative opinion of him, even though his new caller looked more ‘human’ than any of the elven folk who had daily treated Yurick’s injuries. Indeed, the strange elf that walked into the sick chambers with the slow leisurely stride of an authority figure, stood out among his shorter, copper-skinned cousins as an elm tree among hazel brush. He was too tall, too pale, and was dressed in rich and stylishly cut arcane robes, (that fact alone would have been enough to put Yurick’s teeth on edge). The mage was followed by no other than Yurick’s old acquaintance, the half-elf Rielev, who immediately winked at Yurick from behind his tall companion’s back, smiling amicably.
This prompted Yurick to give his remarkable visitor a more scrutinizing glance – and finally recognize the newcomer as Queen Ellesime’s consort, and Rielev’s teacher of the arcane. They had never met face to face, but the mage had been pointed out to Yurick from afar by King Errilam, who could not suppress his antipathy while doing the honors; later that night Yurick had seen that same elf in Rielev’s company, upset over King Errilam’s sudden appearance alongside the elven Queen.
That last recollection was the final drop that overflowed the cup of Yurick’s tolerance, (not that he wished his King to succeed in his courtship of the witch-queen, but standing by his liege was a matter of principle); and driven by an irresistible urge to snub his unexpected visitor, the young man shut his eyes tight, pretending to be asleep.
“Rielev, it appears that the accident has reduced your human ‘friend’ to the mental capacity of a root vegetable.” The hated cultured voice declared directly above Yurick’s head in perfect Common. “Or perhaps he has always been this way. A pity the human ‘king’ has to rely on such a complete imbecile for a bodyguard.”
Involuntarily, Yurick’s eyes sprang wide open, even as his mouth issued a croak of protest.
“So, you are not sleeping after all? Remarkable. Then maybe you can help me to resolve this trivial matter after all.” The elven mage towered over Yurick’s bed, boring into boy’s eyes with his cold blue ones. “My name is Joneleth Ithilnien. Of course this fact is completely irrelevant to you, but it has to be mentioned to satisfy the rules of politesse. I happen to be Queen Ellesime’s royal advisor on the matters of the Arcane.”
“A mere court wizard.” Yurick managed to utter in a voice that sounded more like a quacking of duck.
“Yes, I suppose so.” The elf laughed sharply and humorlessly. His eyes did not release Yurick’s gaze even for a second, and eventually the human blinked and turned his head away, to avoid the cruel mockery of that icy stare. “Can you identify this item?” A hand in a soft suede glove dug into a pocket of a silken robe, producing a small medallion dangling from a slim silver chain.
“It is… Where did you get it?!” Yurick tried to sit up, and immediately fell back on his pillows, driven by a sharp sting of pain in his healing ribs. His tightly bandaged ribcage was mending, but the cracks were still there, even though the elven potions had accelerated the healing process. “Did you… steal it from me before making me trip and fall off that blasted bridge?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” The mage’s frozen smile turned into a derisive sneer. “If I wanted you dead, nothing short of a divine intervention would have saved your hide.”
Yurick bristled, as his multitude of freckles drowned in a hot wave of blood rushing to his cheeks. He managed to open his mouth and spat out some pointless retort, before being interrupted once again.
“Silence, boy! I have no time for your antics. Rielev, do you still think he is worth wasting my time on?” One silvery eyebrow perked up over the bright blue eye. “Oh, never mind that.” Joneleth said dismissively, silencing his apprentice with a wave of a hand. “Human, I came into possession of your amulet by means of scientific deduction and... Let’s call it the art of persuasion,” a thin unpleasant smile crept over the mage’s pale lips and vanished as fast as it came. “Suffice to say that I conducted a short investigation on Queen Ellesime’s command. The perpetrator confessed to stealing the trinket. Supposedly, it was only a practical joke. But I want to point out that you invited that kind of attention by flaunting your disregard of the value of the item.”
The gloved hand, still holding the amulet dangling from its silver chain over Yurick’s head, suddenly withdrew, dropping the token on the side table by the bed.
“I hope that from now on you will take better care of the Queen’s gift. It took me several days to complete the enchantments, and I value my time much more than your broken neck.”
“If you made it yourself, why did you ask me to identify it for you?” Yurick wanted to say, but it was too late, as the door was already swinging behind his visitor’s back.
“But, Jon!” Rielev was trying to catch up with his friend as Joneleth briskly walked down the twisted corridor. “Did you have to be quite so rude while returning it? And why did you ask Yurick to identify the amulet?”
Jon stopped abruptly, nearly making his frustrated apprentice bump into him. “To ensure that no one would accuse me of making another copy, as a means of framing a perfectly innocent person.” He replied neutrally, before resuming his energetic walk down the corridor. The notion of Velemir not following seemed to never enter his mind. “Rielev, you have to use this head of yours for thinking too, at least twice a week. Now, I want you to go back and play a good guardsman to counter my rude one. The human should be upset enough to tell you all he knows. I want you to find out in particular if he saw a skinny character in green and black mage robes, just before he fell.”
“Yes, but why?” Rielev pulled his friend and mentor by the sleeve, barely catching up with him as they neared the next turn. “Jon, what are you trying to prove here?”
“I got the medallion from Zyruil,” Joneleth finally condescended to explain. “Yes, the dashing rogue that beds my sister when she is not entertaining herself with Dueilil, the mage. I suspect that in this case the two have settled their differences and worked together. There were indications that someone placed a grease enchantment on that bridge. If the human saw Dueilil before the accident... well, my conversation with dear sister will be so much more entertaining.”
“I cannot say I am much surprised,” Rielev licked his suddenly dry lips. “Do you think they attacked Yurick on their own accord, or did Bodhi make them do it?”
“Anything is possible,” Joneleth replied quizzically. “In the meant time, do not waist your breath guessing out their motives, boy, but hurry with your task. I shall meet you outside the infirmary. It is needless to remind you, I presume, that any information related to this little mystery should be kept secret until I tell you otherwise.”
“Mela en' coiamin, would you stop sulking in the corner and come here to help me with the silly clasp? Veralon Quickfingers – Seldarine bless his clever hands – is the best goldsmith in the city, but he seems to think that everyone is as good with tiny hooks as he is...” Ellesime’s words fell from her lips like droplets of water into the marble basin of a fountain – each one as clear and transparent as the one before – nevertheless he could swear there was a hint of self-doubt woven into the crystal chimes of her voice.
Joneleth sighed, rising from his seat in the dimmest corner of her dressing chamber, and went to his royal consort. It was doubtful that she truly needed his help fastening the necklace of gray pearls and pale chrysolites that was her choice of neckpiece for the evening. Yet who was he to point it out to the Queen? The ornament went well with the clinging gown of pale green silk and a wrap of golden lace, but then again, Ellesime tinu en’Rallathil would have looked equally stunning draped in a piece of rough sailcloth.
“Vanimle sila tiri,” he murmured, taking the ends of the intricate golden chain from her fingers. “You don’t need to wear the gemstones, A'maelamin, they dim next to the jewels of your eyes.” The smile that flowered on her face was his reward for the eloquent flattery, more valued because it was so rare.
Before proceeding with his delicate task, the Queen’s lover lifted a loose strand of her fiery-gold hair, and tucked it carefully behind one pointed ear that twitched at the barely discernible touch of his hand. His fingers were cold against the golden warmth of her skin, and he felt a pang of unease for causing her this small discomfort. Yet, as soon as he was done, Ellesime’s hands captured his, effectively preventing his escape by firmly pressing his palms to her half-naked shoulders.
“Don’t go yet,” the Queen implored without turning her head, and leaned against his chest, nesting into the familiar hollow. “I need you, Jon,” she said simply, and then repeated almost pleadingly, “I need you to be rational. Don’t dare you going green-eyed on me again! Not when I need you to stay calm and level-headed.”
“I always thought that green was your favorite color, A'maelamin.” He was tall enough to press the tip of his chin into the elaborate knot of her hair, studded with bejeweled pins, masterfully avoiding the danger of pricking himself on one of them. “When have you started disliking green? Not after your pet human took to wearing the shade, I hope.”
“One pair of green eyes is enough between the two of us.” Ellesime laughed quietly, giving her lover’s hands a firm squeeze. “And I like yours the way they are, Maelamin.” Jon’s hands were as cool and steady as those of a statue, and suddenly she wished his self-control were less palpable. “I regret that the night which you spent out there in the woods did not give you backaches,” she said with almost childish pettiness, “it would have been a fine punishment for all your recent transgressions!”
Jon chuckled behind her back, and she pulled him even closer, clinging to his lean, sinuous frame with her whole body, and wishing that Faradome was already over, and that they did not have to go anywhere tonight. Joneleth started to say something but stopped himself, opting instead to lower his head and capture the tip of one of her ears between his lips.
“Stop it!” She sounded insincere even to herself. “It took Mienelle near an hour to dress my hair for tonight’s festival.”
“Well, if she did it once she can do it again...”
“The gong will sound any moment now, silly boy. We will have to go soon, or we will be late.” Ellesime tried to disentangle herself from her consort’s hands with visible regret, then stopped in mid-motion and turned to look at him face-to-face. “Do you think Errilam will eventually agree to marry your sister?” She asked, suddenly switching the topic of the conversation. “Yesterday, I appointed Bodhi to be King Errilam’s escort for the duration of his stay in the city. They seem to be getting along rather well.”
“He would marry a lamia if you asked him nicely,” Jon answered after a short pause. Over many decades, Ellesime had learned to discern the subtler aspects of his intonations, and although his chuckle sounded almost natural, she could not shake off the faint feeling of discomfort.
“That was not a nice thing to say about your sister,” she reproved him gently.
“Certainly. But Bodhi is not your average sibling.”
“Bodhi might not be a paragon of domesticity, and her pragmatism might be distorting her priorities,” the Queen replied with a sigh. “However, she is very intelligent and possesses a great sense of loyalty.” She stopped, sensing more than spotting the sudden flicker of amusement in her lover’s bright eyes. “Why are you laughing?” She demanded suspiciously. “Only the other day Menerlim have told me that over the last decade your sister’s company has delivered more reconnaissance information relating to the drow activities in the Starspires than all his other scouts put together.”
“Really? But perhaps your venerable lord constable is getting too old for his lofty post?”
“Don’t be petty, Jon! Bodhi did a splendid job at hounding the twisted ones back to their caves. If not for her and her troupe, by now we might have had drow raiding parties venturing into the very heart of Wealdath. Suldanessellar will miss her dearly, but if everything works out for the best, Errilam will gain a warrior queen – and the one I will be proud to call my sister. And don’t forget that it was Bodhi who discovered injured Adalon, hiding in the temple of Angharradh. It is not your sister’s fault that to this day nobody has been able to permanently capture her heart. In fact, I can understand her discontent, as having grown up around you she cannot be satisfied with anything less than…”
“Perfection? You are giving me too much credit, A'maelamin.” Joneleth finished with only the merest note of amusement in his leveled voice. “I seriously doubt that my dear sibling is measuring up her paramours against my magnificent personality. But generally speaking, I agree that you could not have made better choice.”
“You agree with me?” Ellesime seemed puzzled over his sudden compliance. “After so many years of opposing the whole idea of the alliance with the humans?”
“Do I have a slightest chance of talking you out of this inane plan?”
“No.” As always, the Queen’s tone was firm enough to leave him no doubts over her resolve.
“Than my sister is a perfect candidate. She has no romantic attachments, is bright enough to see where her profit lies, and, most importantly, is sufficiently bored with her present lifestyle to welcome an exciting change.”
“Is that all you can think of?” Ellesime complained mockingly. “I believe you greatly underestimate Bodhi’s wisdom and geniality. Cannot you see them falling in love with each other over years to come? They will make a handsome couple leastwise.”
“But of course,” Jon replied with an expression of complete sincerity painted over his pale, arrogant face. “This aspect of the charade has eluded me entirely.”
“I am surprised you are willing to admit to something of the kind,” Ellesime smiled teasingly, running her fingers through the fine strands of her lover’s long silver-white hair. “I love it when you don’t go into pointless arguments and simply accept my solutions. Now, we really should be going, A'maelamin, we should not try their patience. Demin would blame it all on you, candid soul that she is, and I do not wish for my best friend to be at odds with my beloved.”
At the first mention of the high priestess’ name Joneleth’s lips cringed in derisive smile, yet, as always, he hid his contempt under the mask of tranquility. “That woman has little sense, yet she possesses some small modicum of talent as a seer. What did she have to say about my sister and your plans for the human King?”
“You would be surprised, but for all her temper, Demin remained as articulate as an oyster. When I asked her personal advice, her reply was in tune with yours: something about Bodhi being unattached and dissatisfied with her present state.”
“Fine qualifications for a bride to be. Yet I have little doubt that if you put your mind into it, you will convince the human.” Pale eyelids slid over bright pinpoints of Joneleth’s eyes, making him look like one of the blind idols in the Elders Grove. The momentary silence was an awkward one, almost as if the Queen’s lover was bargaining with himself. “For my part, I will not hinder your efforts.” He continued finally. “Maelamin, if you need my cooperation in convincing our lady mother you only have to ask. But something tells me that lady Nyonin will not object to your plan.”
“Not if you ask her in person!” Ellesime’s face brightened at the thought. “Jon, I knew I could always relay on you and your family. But this affair... it incurs a debt of honor on my part. And my only hope is that I will be able to repay you in full in due time.”
King Errilam finished fastening the gilded clasp of his cloak and gave his splendid persona one last glance in a tall silver glass, framed in elaborate knot-work of bronze vines. The mirror reflected back a good-humored, if a little rough, clean-shaven face of a man in his early forties, crowned with a shock of carefully cut dark hair, silver-grey at the temples, a heavy square chin, split in the middle with a small, baby-like dimple, and a pair of serious brown eyes under bushy eyebrows. After Yurick’s misadventure, Queen Ellesime had offered Errilam an elven retainer, but the King had refused, arguing that at his age he was still capable of taking good care of himself. He had been certain that it would please her, and indeed she had smiled and switched the topic of their conversation. But regardless of his boldly expressed desire for self-sufficiency, every night after Errilam fell asleep, some invisible hand freshened up his chambers, brushed and aired his clothes and cleaned his boots, leaving him puzzled at the source of that timely service.
The King frowned at his reflection and tugged at the stiff collar stitched with golden thread – it was too tight for his massive neck. His red velvet cloak clashed with the bright-green of his doublet, and the embroidered collar rubbed against his rough, weather-beaten skin, leaving a sore spot on the ridge of an old scar, but he decided to ignore it. He never felt comfortable in his party clothes anyway, as first and foremost Errilam of Tethyr was a warrior, not a courtier. Indeed, he had started his career as a captain of his father’s guards, and after accepting the throne had been forced to fight in many small campaigns, gradually strengthening Tethyr’s borders with Amn and Calimshan, and curtailing the power of local robber-barons.
Finally, at his forty two years, Errilam had grown into the shoes of a King, becoming a fine caretaker of his realm genuinely admired by his subjects. He was never an exceptionally brilliant strategist or devious politician, but his soldiers loved him dearly, for he was a sound military commander and simply a good man, with steady character and a sort of inbred loyalty – both to his land and his people. If not for his infatuation with Ellesime, eventually he would have made a perfect husband and father. As the things stood though, Errilam had never been married and had no offspring – not even a bastard one.
At the age of nineteen he had met the elven Queen in the woods of Tethyr, and had fallen in love at first glance, desperately and hopelessly. This relationship – albeit for obvious reasons chaste, and nonphysical – had consumed him entirely, and had been the cause of many curses placed on the head of the elven ‘witch-queen’ by the fairest maidens of the Tethyran Royal Court. Errilam’s romantic infatuation with Ellesime, however, did not prevent him from maintaining a very physical liaison with a human woman much older than himself – a widow with no children who had been proved barren over the many years of their affair. By rumors, the King’s paramour was once a kitchen maid in one of the royal castles; eventually, she was installed as a housekeeper in a small hunting lodge not far from the capital.
This peculiar discord between the two aspects of love more than often made Errilam feel guilt-ridden and depressed. He was somewhat attached to his mistress... yet he could not imagine his life without the magic dream of winning Ellesime’s love. Lately, the pressure from the Court had become unbearable: even though technically his nephew was the official heir to the throne of Tethyr, everybody wanted the King to take a wife. Errilam knew he would be forced to make a decision soon, and that was the driving force behind his sudden proposal to the elven Queen.
Ellesime had rejected him, which was more or less the outcome he had expected. But there had been more to that long and passionate exposition under the swelling tide of moonlight than her obvious preference of another... Errilam had sensed it with his skin, even though he could not merge the flickering facets of his intuitive feelings into one clear image. His beloved needed his help – of that he was certain. But what was Ellesime’s great need, and why was her mouth telling him one truth, while her eyes spoke of another? What kind of influence did the Queen’s devious consort truly hold over her? Perhaps, Ellesime wanted to break free from that tiresome bond and only needed Errilam’s help to finally face the truth: that she did not love her court magician any more?
If only Errilam could spend a few more weeks in Suldanessellar, another opportunity to express his feelings would surely present itself? The mage might go away for a few days... or be sent away on some errand. The King stopped his pacing across the thick green carpet: the orange sky behind the round window of his chamber was quickly fading into a deep velvety blue. The Evening Star, known to elves as Wentiri – the Bright Maiden – had already risen above the horizon. The great feast of Faradome was about to begin, and his place was on the Faradome Green, not hiding in his rooms nurturing forlorn hopes of his unrequited love. Still, where there is life, there is always hope... and Errilam’s hope for tonight was for a few stolen minutes together with his Queen.
There was a brief knock at the door, and swiftly, he covered the short distance that separated him from the oval of polished wood. For a brief moment, full of desperate hope, his heart stopped beating. Maybe it was Ellesime, coming here to take him to the festival in person?
“Greetings, your Royal Majesty,” purred a voice that under any other circumstances he would have found pleasant and even appealing. His visitor’s Common was near perfect, with only the slightest hint of the lilting elven accent. “Queen Ellesime has asked me to be your guide and companion tonight.”
As she sat down in a low curtsy, her raven locks swayed around her fair face like a fringe of deep-water kelp around a priceless pearl. The pale mounds of her breasts jiggled in the low cleavage of her evening gown, suddenly making Errilam think of Elsa and their last assignation. He blushed, shaking away an unwanted and disgraceful association.
“Greetings, my lady Bodhi,” he was finally able to say in a voice ringing with disappointment, “I hope everything is well with the Queen?”
“Certainly,” Bodhi replied after a pause that lasted an eon. Her big blue eyes framed in thick dark lashes gave Errilam a look of curious appraisal, bordering on hidden challenge. “Queen Ellesime will be joining the festivities in due time.”
Mela en' coiamin – (elv.) love of my life
A'maelamin – (elv.) my beloved
Maelamin –(elv.) my love
tinu en’ – (elv.) daughter of
Vanimle sila tiri – (elv.) your beauty shines bright