“I have a most important task for you. Listen carefully. You are to go to the northern edge of Skalwood, near where the river leaves the mountains and enters the forest. There, living on a farm known as the Two Fields, you will find my mother, Elyn. You are to speak to her these words:
‘Perian your son, soon to be Consort to Queen Alauda at Lavrum, sends greetings and love. It is his wish that you should return with me to join him in Lavrum City, that your days may be lived out in comfort and peace.’
“Then you should bring her here safely and quickly, treating her with due respect and answering all her needs.”
The messenger departed immediately, taking a few attendants to ensure safe passage through Skalwood. He returned several days later with Elyn, just in time for the wedding. By then Lavrum was overflowing with visitors. People had travelled from all parts of the realm: from the farms in the west, from Skyrholm in the east and the islands beyond, from Skalwood’s northern limit and from as far as Byrig in the south. Marannan, the horse-master, brought a colt for Alauda from Lassian; Craigan, Hrinan and Therior came with him. Bannig and Theyrig presented their master Tellin the iron-smith, who brought armour for the Queen. A sword, the mate to Sheean, was brought by Jurth the swordsmith. With him was his apprentice, who looked much cleaner than when Perian had last seen him. The men of Skalbyrg came, led by Belryn, who presented a hogshead of ale and told of their resolve to set out for Waslant as soon as the celebrations were finished.