CHAPTER TWO: Grom becomes an Adventurer (5)

     Bornen’s paleness was outmatched in white only by the hairs of his beard. He stammered nervously, “Wh-what is it Ezmyr?”

     “It is not only well,” he explained carefully, “but absolutely necessary that Grom partakes of this prophecy – if he does otherwise, the Realm is doomed.”

     The last word lingered loudly upon Bornen’s ears like beating battle drums, or the shrill of ceremonious trumpets. Apparently, (at least in Ezmyr’s mind), he hadn’t fully understood the sheer importance of this precognition, because his grin was in such a rictus that it drew from ear to ear. “Absolutely necessary, you say?” he asked, thinking to himself gleefully, “Shenon can’t refuse now. Imagine that; Grom, my grandson, a legend of the clan . . . Dhumond rejoice!”

     “The entire Realm depends upon it,” he replied gruffly, “or the future will be total darkness.”

     The drastic implications were finally sinking into Bornen’s rather thick head. “But you said there was only a chance of that happening.”

     “I did, but certain events . . . are in motion.”

     “Eh?” he grunted in confusion.

     “It begins in death, it will end in death,” he said sagely. Bornen’s blank stare warranted another explanation. “Well,” he ventured, “a woman dies, and that is when the darkness begins to spread.”

     “And who is this woman?”

     “Scrying does not reveal names, only the scenes recorded in the ripples of time. I think she was dwarven though, yes . . . some dwarf maiden.” Ezmyr spoke as he busily moved about in his hut, rifling through his oddities and stuffing the eerie effects into various pouches and satchels.

     “A dwarf maiden?” he inquired feeling more alarmed. “Tell me Ezmyr, what did she look like?”

     He was now engaged in snuffing out the candles; with a few licks to his fingers, the hermit pinched out the flames one by one. Those were quickly packed away as well. “It was only a glimpse, but perhaps she had hair like dark mahogany-“

     Bornen stiffened. “And perhaps eyes like fine sapphires,” Ezmyr added, which relaxed Bornen somewhat, at least until he corrected himself, “no, wait – if I recall, they were like fine emeralds; a soft, forest green.” The elf was too distracted, and he accidently let one of the pickling jars slip. It smashed upon the ground, and whatever was inside that particular jar scrabbled away before being retrieved.

     “Shenon . . . could it be?” he mumbled to himself, then hastily shuffled toward the door. “I must be off, Ezmyr,” he shouted over his shoulder, disappearing beyond the threshold.

     “And I must be off as well,” Ezmyr said gravely as he slunk the bulging satchels over his shoulders. He withdrew a long quarterstaff, (which seemed almost impossible, or as if by magic), from the very seems of his attire, cautiously inspected the hut for anything he may have overlooked, dropped the postage in a wooden box outside, and traversed toward a narrow mountain pass leading deeper into Redwing Peaks at a steady pace. The hermit was heading for the hills, so to speak, and planned to let this whole prophecy mess sort itself out.


The End

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