She moved through the forest the way a fish moves through the water – intentional, effortless, with perfect grace. The whisper of her leathers was as the breath of wind through the trees, as she ducked down familiar lonely pathways and across wide ridges and forded small streams, skipping from rock to rock. Home called to her, as it did now and again – the trees becoming more familiar with each step, the air fresh and wholesome in her lungs. Eyes briefly closing, she lifted her fingers to her lips, issuing a long, low whistle; then silence. Two more.
A return cry, soft and sweet, echoing through the forest. She allowed a fraction of a grin to briefly tug her features, before smoothing them once more. Home was near at hand.
The settlement wasn’t much to look at, as she rounded the bend – but there was her mother, long and lean as ever, bedecked in her usual soft leather trousers, hair pulled back into a dozen stiff braids, smiling with sharpened teeth and a spear in her hand. Vlyn waved an arm in greeting, and the war-like woman responded in turn, the two briefly circling one another before clasping fore-arms. The motion became a brief hug before they parted.
“You look healthy and strong as ever, mother – tell me, where is father now?”
The older elf offered Vlyn an appraising glance, eyeing her up and down before stepping back and gesturing with the spear towards the cunningly, painstakingly crafted hut of living trees, each carefully braided together – the work of decades. The pair padded to the cleverly maintained abode, ducking beneath a curtain of weathered leather.
“- And you look too pale by far, daughter; you’ve been spending too much time away from the forest, the sun barely kisses your flesh these days, no? — He has left to visit our neighbors, but will return within the fortnight. Was there a purpose to your visit-?” Here, a sly glance. “Perhaps a bit of news for us? A likely Bosmer lad to draw you from those books you love so much?”
Vlyn snorted, arms folded as she dropped down into the lowered floor of the hut, bee-lining for a clay pot which held dried grubs and filling the bone pipe beside it. “Hardly, mother – I have only come to visit those dearest to me. You might find my books more interesting than you give them credit for, if you were to try –”
“Oh no, I think not, sweetling.” The woman grinned, settling down amidst furs and patting beside her. Vlyn laughed quietly, lighting the tip of her pipe with snap of her fingers and breathing in the heady grubsmoke – blowing a smoke ring out impetuously at the older elf.
“It has its uses, wouldn’t you say?”
“If you insist, oh perpetually strange daughter-of-mine. I only pray that someday soon you learn to dwell on the more practical things…”