The Elves of Alfheimer – An excerpt from “The Dark Tides”

Light ElfI think anyone who’s played Dungeons and Dragons or seen any of the Lord of the Rings movies can appreciate the undeniable attraction to Elves. They are rooted in myth and legend and have been used in countless tales of fantasy. I tried to stay true to the legend by calling the home of the Elves of Avalon Alfheimer after one of the nine realms of Norse mythology, home to the Light Elves.

Here is an excerpt from The Dark Tides that tells of the first meeting between the Gil-Gamesh and the Elves of Alfheimer.

***

As the sun began to set over Avalon, the two men finally reached the end their destination. The weary travelers rode to the top of a hill overlooking an enormous valley between the two mountains. A waterfall—stretching nearly a mile high—cascaded down between the mountains, feeding into a river that ran down through the heart of the valley. Rising up the mountain walls
was the fabled city of Alfheimer, home of the Elves of Avalon.

The ornate and intricate structures showed the beauty and passion of the Elves in every column, building and statue that adorned this amazing city. The complex structures were woven into the natural beauty of the mountain, displaying the symbiotic relationship between the Elves and nature. In the waning twilight of the setting sun, the city glowed, but not from fi re or candle light, from the magic of the Elves themselves.

Every street and every building was aglow with a diff used brilliance that left the Gil-Gamesh breathless. “Never in my life could I have imagined such a place.”

“Not many humans get a chance to visit the ancient city,” Thomas explained. “And for one such as yourself, it is a double blessing.”

“What do you mean?” Bryan queried.

“Well, no Outlander has ever step foot in Alfheimer,” Thomas continued. “Even Sir Charles has never been here Gil-Gamesh.”

Bryan couldn’t believe his ears, making him both anxious and impatient. “Well then, there’s no time to lose!” he said, spurring his horse on. But Thomas quickly grabbed the reins and stopped him.

“Whoa, easy there lad,” he interrupted, “you mustn’t be so impatient.”

“What? Why? What are we waiting for?”

“You don’t just ride into Alfheimer . You must be escorted by an Elf,” Thomas explained. “The city is protected by ancient magic from the dawn of time. They say the Elves wield a power greater than Merlin himself. So, we wait!”

The two men sat on their horses and waited as the sun dipped down low until it disappeared behind the mountain. Through the darkness, lanterns twinkled and glowed, moving closer toward them. A procession of Elves dressed in fl owing white robes with silver fringe, adorned with jewelry of mythril and precious gems, walked toward them. Each carried an ornate lantern hanging at the end of a shepherd’s crook. Each lantern was illuminated by a flickering flame, dancing like a lightning bug in a jar.The lead Elf places his hand across his heart and bowed.

Salüs dai Tulafáir Bryan MoonDrake and Sir Thomas Forest. I bring you strength,
honor and enlightenment from the Elves of Alfheimer. Enter and be at
peace.”

Bryan was humbled by the welcome that had been bestowed upon him. Th e two men followed the procession down into the valley, over a mile long into the entrance of Alfheimer. Th e statues of Bryr and Begguila, servants to the god of the Elves, stood over a hundred feet
tall above the city gates, as if they protected the city and its inhabitants from all harm.

Bryan recognized a familiar face waiting for him at the gates. Eonis, dressed in elegant robes of green and gold, stood at the center flanked by two other Elves. They were also dressed in flowing silken robes ordained with gold and silver, each one held a staff adorned with a large crystal that glowed in magical light. Each wore a crown of mythril encrusted with gems of amethyst, moonstone and sapphires. Bryan couldn’t take his eyes off them, as if he was mesmerized by their radiance.

The two riders dismounted as pages stepped out to take the reins of their horses. Bryan was so overwhelmed he didn’t know what to do. Thomas nudged him forward with a tap on his shoulder.

Eonis reached out to greet his friend. “It does my heart good to see you again Gil-Gamesh,” he announced.

“Thank you Eonis … This is quite a welcome,” Bryan exclaimed. “It’s a little much for this old sailor.”

“Well I’m afraid I have to indulge your senses some more,” Eonis said as he took Bryan by the arm and lead him. “Bryan MoonDrake, Gil-Gamesh of Avalon, I have the honor of introducing Baldrid, Lord High King of the Elves and his wife, the Lady Lyllodoria of the Valley.”

Bryan stepped forward and knelt before them, bowing his head in respect. Thomas, lingering behind, followed suit and knelt as well. Lyllodoria stepped forward, as if floating on air and touched Bryan under the chin, lifting his face so she may see his.

“May the blessings of a thousand wishes be upon you Bryan MoonDrake,” she told him. Her voice, so calm and soothing, touched Bryan deep into his soul. His shaky nerves began to settle down. Lyllodoria placed her hand on Bryan’s chest to feel his heart beating. She closed her eyes to listen and feel the rhythm of his heartbeat. “You have a strong heart Bryan MoonDrake. It is filled with love, hope and courage, but I sense a deep sadness within you.

“You miss your family, don’t you?”

A tear welled up in his eye. “More than anything …” Bryan stuttered.

“Yet to become the Gil-Gamesh, you must leave them behind. Why would you do that?”

“My family will always be a part of me,” he explained. “They are my heart, my soul, my reason to live. I am doing this for the chance that one day, when Avalon is at peace with itself, I may see them again. I am doing this for them!”

Lyllodoria smiled and moved away as Lord Baldrid stepped forward.

“Your intentions are true, Bryan MoonDrake. Th e spirits of the Gil-Gamesh flows through you. We welcome you to Alfheimer, Bryan MoonDrake and give you pass as the Gil-Gamesh of Avalon,” Baldrid affirmed as he clasped Bryan on his shoulders.

“Thank you Lord Baldrid,” Bryan said with a bow of his head. “Salüs dai Atrémar.” Bryan enunciated a traditional Elvish greeting. “It is an honor to enter the sacred valley of Alfheimer.”

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