You should never have left the path, for now you find yourself wandering aimlessly in the dark, tripping over roots and scratched by branches and thorns. Has it been hours? Days? In this lightless world, you cannot tell.
Glowing eyes flash around you, far too close for comfort, before blinking out only to appear again, nearer this time. Strange chittering and rustling seem to come from every direction at once.
Gasping for breath and out of your mind with panic, you cry out, "Help me!" to the trees and the shadows.
The woods fall silent. The eyes vanish as a light appears, floating towards you through the mirk and shadows. It has been so long since you've seen any light but those awful eyes, and your heart rejoices at its wholesome, golden glow.
You shout and wave your hands, though you know you are lost in shadow and doubt the bearer of the light can see you. To your relief, the light approaches you. As it does, it illuminates a tall, fair being with long golden locks and keen gray eyes. Your eyes fall upon his ears, and you realize he is one of the fair folk: a wood Elf. He wears a tunic and cloak of pale green and a bow and quiver are strapped to his back. He extends his hand holding the lantern, and his eyes widen as its light reveals you.
"Are you lost? One should not wander alone beneath these trees. This is the realm of the great spiders."
You explain that you lost the path and ask him if he can lead you there.
He eyes you up and down. "The path, yes, I can help you find it, but you will never be able to complete your journey without rest and food first. Come with me. I will take you to my people."
Your eyes never leave his lantern as you follow him through the twisted underbrush of the forest. His footfalls are silent, never cracking a twig or rustling a leaf. He walks swiftly, navigating unseen paths, but pauses every so often to check on your well-being and to be sure you can keep up.
After a time, distant music drifts through the trees and the darkness softens to a pleasant twilight. The space between the trees here is fairer, with flowers growing in the green grass, and lanterns hang from the trees to mark a well-trodden path.
The trees open onto a grove that hosts a long table covered in more food than you've ever seen in one location before. More stately beings, some in long gowns and elegant robes, surround it, laughing, drinking, and singing. Your escort brings you to a seat at the table and presents you with a platter of delicious food and a goblet of sweet drink. You take in the fragrances of ripe fruit, roasting meats, and seasoned vegetables. The Elves have strewn flowers upon their tables along with fresh herbs. You sit and breathe it in, feeling safe for the first time in too long.
Soon your journey will continue, but for now, you will take in the delights of this merry company. For now, you will rest.