On Elven Speech
The mountain of a man walked through the forest. He stood over three yards tall, with legs thick as tree trunks. His long-eared companion's slender legs found difficulty in matching the pace of the long, slow strides. "Mahrem, wait a moment." The elf paused to catch his breath.
The giant looked over his shoulder and saw his companion leaning against a tree three paces back. He covered the distance in a step and crouched a bit to speak nearer eye-level. "I'm sorry, I forget some times." He stood again and peered into the distance. "Elerir, I think I see your village ahead."
"So soon?" the elf leaned his head back, looking up at his friend. "I thought it would be leagues away yet."
"See for yourself." Mahrem took a knee and the elf scrambled up his arm, standing on his shoulder as the giant stood again.
The elf balanced easily with the assistance of Mahrem's raised arm. He shielded his eyes from the sun and gazed down field. "Ah! There it would be!"
"What?" the giant stifled a chuckle to avoid sending the elf sprawling to the forest floor.
"You would be right. It would be up ahead only an hour's walk." Elerir beamed as he looked down to his friend's face, smiling broadly.
Mahrem bent again and the elf climbed down. "One of these days, we're gonna have to teach you to conjugate properly. I'm no scholar, but the way you talk just sounds funny to me."
"What do you mean?" The elf got a short head start as the giant stood again and put one foot in front of the other.
"Most folk would say 'there it is' and 'you are right.' What you say might not be technically wrong, it's just different from how I'm used to hearing it.
"Bah! You humans and your tenses."
"Half. I'm half human on my father's side."
"Still. You speak the human tongue."
"Come on." Mahrem scooped up his friend as he strode past, nearly cradling the elf in his arm. "You walk slow, and I want to get there before dinner!"
The Elven Embassy is a glorious example of architecture, intended as it is to represent all the craft, beauty and power of the Elven race. For an embassy dinner, it is so thoroughly lit as to seem from outside like a sculpture solely of light.
The Ambassador would gladly staff the mansion only with his own people, but on special events, extra staff are needed, and thus are hired from the surrounding country. The temporary wait staff are instructed to maintain a rigorously professional demeanor, as they are to be as much a symbol as the building itself. A giggle in view or earshot of the guests is rewarded with a quick trip home without pay.
The dinner is filled with moments that try the humor of the newest staff.
"You be coming along in your spellwork. It be almost as good as your swordplay. Regarding that, you seem to have an excellent grasp of the Floatingleaf defense, though your thrusts be a little too cautious."
"I are going to the river tomorrow morning. If you would like to join me, we is easily going to have a fine sunny day for a luncheon on the bank. Is you interested?"
"I am more than a little tired of the tricks you am trying to pull with our client. Our offers am more than generous, and your insinuations of back handed generosity am entirely unfounded. Perhaps it am time that we ceased to wait for your approval and found another buyer."
Every time, there are one or two youngsters who are instructed not to return.