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When Sadron awoke, it was to a loud clamor of excited voices. Rolan Lightarrow arrived at the door of his chambers, and shook him awake, a big grin upon his face “My liege! Come quickly! We have a visitor!” he exclaimed, before running back outside. Groaning, and feeling older than he was, Sadron climbed out of his bed and stretched before donning his armor. Five minutes later he emerged into the glaring sunlight of the mid-afternoon. In the sky, hazy bird-like shapes flew around the fleet in a strangely organized pattern. As his yellow eyes adjusted, he noticed a grand table upon the deck of the ships, with the remaining food piled high upon them. Angrily, he clutched Starcleaver until he saw who, or rather what, sat at the table upon the deck of his flagship. It was a short creature with pink skin, and fiery hair. A bulbous protrusion that must have been its’ nose was buried in a gray mug that had foam stains on its’ sides. Next to him sat Seborhil, who gestured to the food with a grin on his wizened face, and joined the creature in feasting. Still clutching Starcleaver, Sadron descended down onto the deck, and those upon it fell silent as they saw him. Carefully, moving like a cat, he approached the table and sat opposite the creature and his most trusted advisor. Glancing to Seborhil he asked, “Seborhil, who or…what is our guest, and why was I not informed of his arrival?” Seborhil’s face flushed a deep pink, and Sadron almost gasped. The arch mage almost never showed any emotion but plain indifference. In a slightly slurred voice, he responded, “My king, thish ish the esteemed Graphon Rider, Bjorn of the Arie.” He then proceeded to burst into a fit of laughter, along with everyone else at the table, all of whom were clearly drunk. “Tha’s Gryphon Rider of the Aerie,” the creature admonished Seborhil and turning his odd eyes upon Sadron he extended his hand saying, “Me kinsmen an’ I are known to th’ world as Dwarves. Pleased tae meet ya King Sadron.” Sadron took the dwarf’s hand and clasped it, a faint grin appearing on his own face. “The pleasure is mine.” He responded.

It was hard not to like the dwarf, odd as he was. Seborhil had cast an enchantment upon him when it had become clear that the language he was speaking was unintelligible to the wood elves. Apparently the dwarves were metal smiths, not spell casters, and the arch mage’s knowledge of the arts amazed them. Before long, the rest of Bjorn’s group landed on the flagship as well, their beasts remained untethered, but well-behaved. They had the heads of large cats, with the powerful front claws to match, however their hind areas were feathered, and their back legs were a pair of talons. Their tail feathers were long and stiff, which made them incredibly good at maneuvering in the air. They also appeared quite playful, as they sensed they were in no danger, the wood elf children soon lost their wariness of the beasts, and began playing with them. As night fell, the dwarves invited a group of wood elves to their fortress, known only as The Aerie, where they were promised food and aid. Sadron left his Queen in charge of the fleet, and promised he would return on the next day after meeting with the Jarl of the Aerie, who was the equivalent of a lord to the wood elves. The dwarf king was away, and when asked where he was, the dwarves always expertly danced around giving an actual answer. Sadron suspected they were quite skilled politicians.

And so Sadron, along with Seborhil and several lords and armed soldiers landed at the base of the Aerie, which was actually a hollowed out mountain. Each of them was flown up to the highest peak of the fortress, where they were ushered into the Jarl’s council chambers. Still armed, Sadron thought it odd that nobody had asked them to give up their weapons, and advised his soldiers to be careful. If these dwarves were so sure of their martial prowess, there had to be a good reason for it. The Jarl of the Aerie greeted the king of the wood elves with a feast, and welcomed him to Arconia. After a night of drinking the dwarve’s incredibly potent alcoholic beverages, they retired to their bedchambers, which were Spartan, yet cozy. The next day brought a shock to Sadron and his party that would only be understood by one other race. Next to the Jarl of the Aerie stood an elf. It was clearly related to wood elves, but had purple skin instead of pale pink. A blue aura surrounded the elf, who introduced himself in ancient Lordrassian only as Mirlan. He came off as haughty, with a sense of superiority that astounded the wood elves. He claimed to know exactly how their races were tied together, but refused to speak of ancient elven history in front of the dwarves, which caused frowns to appear on many faces. Still dealing with the shock of seeing a cousin to his own race, Sadron told the Jarl that he was returning to his fleet with the supplies the dwarves had agreed to give them. Mirlan insisted that he come as well, and invoked his right to do so by mentioning an alliance to the jarl, which left the wood elves utterly confused.

When they reached the fleet, the shock of seeing another elf, especially one with purple skin, caused many of the people to react harshly, threatening to kill him for fear he was a dark elf. Sadron quieted them by pronouncing, “Good people of Lor’drassil! This is Mirlan, of Misa’thral. A master magician and practitioner of the arcane arts. Unlike our dark elven cousins, his kind managed to avoid corruption…as far as we can tell. He is to be treated as an honored guest! He is kin to us! And it is with his people’s aid that we may establish our new home in this land called Arconia!”

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