I wrote:"Sister," said the man in grey, smiling, "I do not believe it was by chance that I was passing that way. The fates work mysteriously, and the time is ripe for change. Bandit groups are growing in power, and dark mages are joining them. Some kings are becoming restless, I fear that wars will erupt. Not here, Forlego and Harlego's peace has good magic behind it, but elsewhere...who can tell. Let us go inside and dine with our guests." So saying, he and the woman in white left the stable and went into the treehouse.
___When Roëd awoke, it was late morning. He wondered vaguely where he was, and then he remembered. After he'd gone inside the treehouse, he, Nary, and Berw were seated at a table. The four younger, but still old, dwellers of the woodland cottage sat down with them, and a few minutes later, the old man who had found them and the woman in the white dress joined them. They clapped their hands, and food appeared on the table. It was simple fare, but better than the travelers had had since they started out. After that, Roëd remembered being led to a tub and given some clothes to change into. When he had finished his bath, he was shown a bed in a dark room, and went to it gratefully.
___When he dressed himself in his travel clothes, which had been washed, he went to the kitchen and found Nary up and talking with the women in red and brown. When he inquired, he found that Berw's leg was being healed by the man in grey and the woman in white, and that the men in blue and green had gone to gather supplies from the forest around them.
___Roëd went outside to look around and saw the two men approaching the house. The one in green was carrying a huge bundle of branches and the one in blue a barrel under each arm. Neither of them seemed tired at all, and Roëd looked at them in wonderment. He called out to them, "What is in those barrels, that you carry them so easily? And what of those sticks? Are they made of clouds?"
___The men looked at each other and laughed, then the blue-clad one spoke up. "These barrels? Just water. And my brother's bundle is branches from regular trees. Come, Roëd, try lifting them yourself."
___Not pausing to wonder why the man knew his name, he ran over to them. Taking the bundle from the man in green, he nearly collapsed under the weight, and when he tried to lift one of the barrels, he couldn't. "How do you do that? Are you magic?"
___"Well, you could say that, but that's not how we lifted these. Watch carefully," said the man in green, and he picked up his bundle of branches, and set them down again. "Now, you try."
___Trying to make his posture the same as he'd seen the green-robed man do, he tried again, and to his amazement, lifted the branches effortlessly. He started laughing, and danced around, when suddenly the weight hit him again, and he toppled. He stood up in a moment though, dazed but unhurt, and asked them, now beginning to understand, how they lifted the things.
___"I see you're beginning to learn, Roëd, so I'll make this short. You simply have to be confident that you can lift it, and you will. You mustn't lose concentration though, as you aren't yet trained enough to lift without focusing. If you practice for many years, you may get as good as we are," said the man in blue. "On another matter, you don't yet know our names. I'm Bule, and my companion is Ergen. Our elder brother is Reyg, and our sisters are Hiwte, Dre, and Rowbn, in white, red, and brown, respectively. We have two more brothers and two more sisters, but they dwell not here. They wander the lands abroad, and you need not know their names. If you see them, however, you will know them instantly as members of our order."
___"Thank you for showing me how to lift things, Ergen. Bule, it is an honer to meet you. Now, how about some breakfast?" Roëd asked lightly, and they went into the tree cottage, setting their burdens down outside of the door.