Next they travel to seek the promised aid of the elves in the Brecilian Forest. Naturally, the elves have their own problems. A band of werewolves is attacking and killing their people. Before anyone goes anywhere to fight a Blight, this must be dealt with.
To make a long story short, the werewolves are the result of a curse the keeper put on a band of humans who killed his son and daughter. Somehow he summoned a not-quite-demon spirit to power the curse, but now after a few centuries the spirit wants to be freed, the humans want to stop being werewolves, and the elves want the werewolves to stop attacking them. So they get the old elf down there and try to talk him into lifting the curse, but since that involves him dying…. well, anyway, he dies, the curse is lifted, the werewolves return to human form, and Valorien tells them to run and be free.
So as they’re leaving the forest, Alistair says, “Elves really *do* hold grudges a long time. Imagine, he cursed those people for *centuries.*”
“He could not let go of his hate,” Valorien said half to himself.
“Look, I hate to keep bringing this up all the time, but it really bothers me. Are you ready to forgive Duncan?”
The elf stopped and faced him. “Do not task me with this, Alistair.”
“I am sorry. It’s just that he meant so much to me. And now he’s gone….” He swallowed a sudden resurgance of pain. “And it’s just you and I together, through thick and through thin. This animosity between the two of you, it’s like a stone in my boot. I try to ignore it, but it’s uncomfortable.”
“Your insistance only makes me reluctant to let go of the matter.” Valorien looked at him steadily a moment. “You have to trust this rift will heal by itself over time. Please do not ask me about it again.”
“Okay, just *one* last question, I swear that is all.” When the elf nodded for him to go on, he asked, “Will it be sometime *this* century?”
Valorien sighed wearily and turned to continue along the path.
Alistair thought this reaction over carefully. “I’m going to be optimistic and pretend that’s a ‘yes.'”