The events of the last few days had my mind spinning. We were attacked by human bandits and forced to flee to a nearby village, a village full of magic, which made me nervous, and to top it all off, our company grew again.
This time a young human woman joined our little caravan, and it seemed she was running away from something or someone, possibly the man I believed to be her father. I hadn’t seen any magical arts from her, so I wasn’t certain she had magic; however, the conversation was quite clear.
Would this latest appendage be a blessing or a curse? Magic was such tricky thing to get into. If it consumed someone, it could easily destroy them, hurting and possibly destroying everyone nearby. On the other hand, under the right circumstances, magic could prove to be very useful. I sighed. There was no way to tell which way the wind would blow.
Ramin eased his horse next to mine. I could tell from the expression on his face that a grave decision was weighing on his mind. “What is on your mind, my friend?”
“I was thinking about what you told me about the forgotten realm,” he stated in a matter-of-fact fashion. His pause was long enough that I urged him to continue. “Wouldn’t the elves know more than the stories you found?”
I bit my lip softly. He was heading in the wrong direction, but if I wasn’t careful, I would push him even further, faster than was necessary.
“They might,” I replied slowly. “They do live longer than we do. I don’t even know how long they actually live.” I paused to collect my next thought. “But, my warning from before is still true.”
“Yes,” he responded quickly, “but even you said that Naria was trustworthy.”
I smiled, laughing slightly, allowing my breath to escape through my nose. “There is a difference between trusting someone and someone being trustworthy.” I could tell that confused him, so I explained further. “I trust her not to hurt you personally, but I don’t know if I trust any elf with the secrets of the forgotten realm.”
“Maybe it isn’t a secret to them.” Ramin tried a different tactic. “Perhaps they have the answers that have been lost in the eons of time.”
“All right,” I said, sighing. “I can tell that you will pursue this no matter what I say. Please, though, use caution. Don’t volunteer extra information. Ask about the phrase, and see what you are told.”
Our conversation faded into nothingness, both of us riding in quiet for a long time. I reflected over the conversation Ramin and I had the night before the bandits came.
“You never got a chance to tell me what you found in your research,” Ramin had said. I proceeded to tell him of the stories I had found in some very old books. The pages were beyond yellow, many of them falling apart at the slightest touch. The books themselves were copies of older works long since lost to the crippling effects of time.
I never found the phrase “The Forgotten Realm,” but there were murmurs in the stories. Dealings with elves were more common in times past, and the further back you went, the more common they were. Magic was also more prevalent in those early years, which lead me to believe that maybe the forgotten realm was forgotten on purpose, though I wasn’t certain of that.
The greatest evidence I found of the forgotten realm were conflicting stories concerning the history and background of our founding father, Rivek. Some say there were no humans before him, that he was created by some supernatural force. Others say he fled from another region, crossing the mountains that bear his name today. The reason he may have fled is up to speculation. One ancient historian even used the phrase “the story time forgot” when discussing the account of Rivek.
As we rode along, continuing our sojourn to the elders of the elves, I wondered how much of the story of Rivek we would learn. Was Rivek even a part of this? Were the elves keeping the forgotten realm away from the humans of Sojourn? Were there humans elsewhere that had no knowledge of us? Could we possibly be their forgotten realm?
These and many more questions would plague me for some time. I was hoping that I would live long enough to learn the answers - or at least some of them.