The Edge of Averlorn
And so it was that Aelion first sighted the trees which marked the edge of two vastly different lands, where worlds collided and the veil between mystery and magic hung heavy on the air. There upon its cusp the amalgamation which had been borne upon his creation was realized, and as he flicked his gaze back down from the evergreen foliage to the weathered map within his grasp he knew that it was so: Averlorn. A land he had heard of only in the fantastical tales weaved from the lips of his Mother, who spoke of the ethereal inhabitants that had captured her heart.
It had been longer than he could bear since he'd last heard her voice. A woman of strength and will, to see such vitality degrade in a matter of months had been a harrowing experience for the boy who had known naught but her company since the dawn shined upon him for the first time. As it waned upon her, bringing forth the twilight of her life long before she was due to pass into the Halls of Odiir, the parchment which now lay between his fragile fingertips had been brought forth from a chest filled with wonders, and the circumstances surrounding his conception had been voiced.
Skepticism held no place within the boy who had always known himself different from she who had sheltered him. Where she towered with brawn, darkened locks, and a hearty laugh, by comparison he found himself lithe and nimble and weak, with eyes that mimicked the cosmic stars above and hair that seemed kissed by the very fires which kept them safe and warm at night.
A quiet yip drew his attention to the tumbling mass of red fur by his feet. Reaching down he ran his fingertips across Aias' forehead and toyed with her ears before glancing back to to the evergreens which stretched out ahead of them. It had been a difficult journey down through the West, following the mountain range which seemed unwilling to relent. Tiptoeing around village borders, living off the land as his Mother had before him... It was a wonder he had survived, and without his companion he doubted he would have at all.
Without word the duo pressed on, until all that was light became enveloped in the uncertain mists which skirted the edge of the forest. A very real sense of dread washed over him, and down below he felt Aias press closer against his thigh. The hand remained atop her head, trusting her sense of smell and uncanny ability to sense for danger to lead them on their way. After all, it was impossible to read in the dark and his own senses could only get him so far...