“I’m Samuel Foster, but I go by Sam,” Sam said, extending his hand towards the young woman.
Her studying glare was replaced by a friendly smile as she lowered her hood. “I am Elain Velarois, court mage in service of her ladyship Princess Eveline.”
Sam recoiled in shock as he noticed that Elain had a rather peculiar feature her hood was hiding. She had a pair of sharply tapered ears on her head. “Whoa… What is up with your ears?”
Elain looked at Sam quizzically. “What do you mean? My ears are not elevated.”
“No. What I mean is why are your ears pointed like that?”
Elain looked at Sam like he had just asked a ridiculously basic question. “I’m a mage. Just like you.”
Sam snickered, reaching for his own ears with his fingertips. “Umm, yeah, I don’t think I have pointed-” He went silent as his fingers met narrowed tips on his ears. Panic gripped Sam as he gave a surprised gasp, staggering back in wonder at his newfound changes. “What… What happened to my ears?”
Elain’s curious look came back. “Did you not always have ears?”
“No, I certainly had ears, but they weren’t all pointed like this.” Sam couldn’t help but continue touching his ear tips amazed rather than shocked.
Elain’s glare grew even wearier. “You said you were from somewhere else. What is the last thing you remember before entering my library?”
Sam thought hard, trying to clearly recall the events that brought him here. “Well, my friend Joshua and I were in the swamp. We were there to collect some experimental samples,” Sam said, motioning to his pack, “When we got to a small clearing there was this anomaly. It looked like a black hole. It opened into a white space and sucked Josh and I into it. The next thing I can clearly remember is falling into the library where you found me shortly after.”
Elain’s eyes widened. “Are you absolutely certain that is all correct? A portal drew you through it and dropped you here?” Sam nodded. “Oh my. This is far more serious than I thought. Follow me.”
She began walking towards a large door that presumably was the main entrance and exit to the library. “Wait.” Sam called after her. She stopped and turned around to face him. “Where are we going?” Sam asked.
“This is important enough to warrant the attention of her ladyship,” she said. “Congratulations, Mr. Foster. You have only been here a matter of minutes and yet you are about to meet Princess Eveline, Ruler of Deyras.”