"Wait Urhea, something is wrong," Vennar said, stopping short of the tree he'd indicated suddenly. What happened next seemed to occur in the blink of an eye. First he heard a thunk and turned to see a dead wolf metres from him with a green-feathered arrow buried in its neck. Before he could move to investigate however, he heard another thunk and turned to see a second arrow in the trunk, inches from his head. His heart skipped a beat as he turned, trying to see where they came from.
"Who dares intrude on the forest of Ithi'lien?" came a loud voice from somewhere nearby. "Answer me quickly or the next arrow will find your throat. And mage, in case you are tempted to try one of your tricks, be aware I have been using magic longer than you have been alive, so don't even THINK about it."
"We meant no offence," Vennar called out. "We seek passage through the forest, we got lost along the way." He turned to the others. "Play along, whoever this is, they have the upper hand on us."
"You must think I was born yesterday," the voice said with a dismissive laugh. "No human takes a stroll through here, I said to tell me the truth."
"You're right," Vennar said with a sigh. "We're on a mission, we must reach the high mountains, but we have no idea of the paths of this place, if Carolina had-"
"Carolina?" the voice said suddenly. "I thought her long dead." Suddenly the source was revealed, stepping from behind a tree near to where Shael had ran to was a figure taller even than Vennar, a long green cloak hung over its shoulders, a hood hiding its face and a pair of thick leather boots on its feet. "If you are here on her orders, there is no way you can mean ill, I am sorry that I reacted in such a way." A pair of gauntleted hands reached up, pulling back the hood to reveal a pale-skinned elf, a pair of ice blue eyes just visible beneath the fringe of a long mane of silver hair.
"Ariadne?" Vennar asked, realisation suddenly dawning on him. "Friends, you can relax, you are in the presence of one of the Elven rangers left to defend this forest, one I'm glad to say I consider a friend." They hugged tightly, both smiling. "It has been far too long, we have not spoken since..." he trailled off, looking a bit distant.
"I know, I am sorry," Ariadne replied. "You are lucky I found you, you have alerted the wolf packs to your presence." She gave the others a look, a faint smile crossing her face. "Vennar, I didn't realise you kept such attractive company," she said, letting out a soft laugh."