Envandame stared into the flames of the small tavern’s stone fireplace and watched them dance. The young wood elf sat next to her, happily talking about his adventures and how he longed to see Moria again.
Family is warm nights spent by the hearth, filled with stories and song. Family is mother and son lovingly braiding each other's hair. Family is a father reading the history of his people to his young son, perched upon his lap. Family is an unconditional love, one that is hard pressed to be broken.
Then, family becomes three young elves, naive and innocent, tears glimmering in their eyes. Family becomes a fight for survival. Family becomes hope for a new life.
I awake to the gentle chirping of birdsong, somehow loud enough to overcome the roaring of the waterfall which served as a soundtrack to my sleep. My eyes open to a briefly unfamiliar location, though as they adjust I am able to recognize it as the East Porch of the Last Homely House. The sun is making its path along the morning sky.