“You must take this sword,” the stranger said,
his hands trembling. “Tell no one.”
The Elf, an elder from the palace, hesitated for a moment,
staring at the glistening steel before him.
He recognized the filigree on the blade.
He looked up at the stranger and studied his eyes.
“Take it, you fool!” the stranger shouted.
Then he grabbed the Elf’s wrist and
placed the hilt of the sword in his hand.
“Guard it with your life,” the stranger said,
looking deep into the Elf’s eyes.
Then he wrapped his fur cape around his neck.
“They will be coming for it soon.”
He turned and left the Elf standing
where he had found him, in the doorway of the darkened cave.