I knew what direction the young Ramin had gone. After I had given him my opinion of his piece of parchment, I told him what I thought his next step should be.
There had been a knock on my back door. I had not risen for the day, so it took me a few minutes to make it to the door. Even before I opened the heavy wood door, I knew it was Ramin. No one else used my back door. It was sort of our little secret, though everyone knew.
“Vilhelm,” he greeted. “I want to show you something that was given me.” His uniquely colored eyes were glazed over with eager anticipation.
“Come in, Ramin,” I replied, mumbling about the hour. Ramin’s ears were not as old as mine, for he heard my mumbling without effort.
“It is nearly time for the noon meal,” he said, his voice calm. Then, returning to his previous enthusiasm, he continued, “I really must show you this.” He was carrying something wrapped in a portion of rolled leather.
He laid the leather roll on the table in the main room. He spread his arms wide, allowing the leather to unfurl, revealing the contents on the inside. “Here it is,” he announced.
There was a small piece of parchment (about the size of two hands lying side by side). The parchment looked to be very old. The edges were torn, and it appeared that at one time it had been snatched away from a fire, one corner singed.
There were words written on the parchment in two lines of text. The first line contained one word, and the second line was a phrase of three words. I believe I recognized the language, though not the exact meaning of the words.
Referring to the words, I said, “It is a very ancient language. Not spoken anymore.” I paused to study the first line with the one word. “Oh, this looks awfully familiar.”
My lips quivered involuntarily as I tried to sound out the letters. “I believe there are two syllables here in this first word.”
“What language is it?” Ramin asked.
“Well,” I replied, “if I am not mistaken it is the very first language spoken, spoken by Rivek himself. All human languages today come from that language.”
“What’s the name of it?”
“The only thing I know to call it,” I stammered, “is the language of Rivek.”
I turned my attention to a bookcase on the other side of the room. I found the book I was looking for, a dusty old book that I had not touched in many years. I laid it on the table next to the other materials. I opened it and ran my finger along some of the words. I turned several pages until I found what I had been looking for.
“Here,” I said, pointing to one paragraph in particular. “This first word is …” I looked up in surprise.
“What is the first word?” Ramin asked anxiously.
“Why, it is your name, Ramin.” My stare was blank, my minding trying to piece all of this together.
“It says my name?” Ramin asked, his tone a little disbelieving.
“Yes,” I replied as I turned a page, reading another passage to help translate the second line of the parchment. After a few moments, I continued, “The second line reads, ‘The Forgotten Realm.’” Ramin repeated the translation and asked what that meant.
“Well, my young friend,” I replied with a rye smile, “if it is forgotten, surely I can not remember.” His smirk told me my jest was understood. I continued in an even tone. “I have not heard of this. I will have to do some research.”
I had asked Ramin how he came about this unique parchment, but as I ride through the forest in search of him, the unbelievable tale continues to amaze me. I wonder what sort of journey awaits him.
Suddenly, an elf leaps from the bushes. Upon identifying herself as Armes, she states, “My, you are the second human to cross here in the past two days.”