The Forests of Adrimon

Part 6: Elrick's Knowledge

Written by: Jonathan Mariucci

"Ever since that day, leaving the forest..." Elrick began, "I've made it my life's work to gather information on her. I feel as though I've betrayed your mother and father, in letting them die out there. Gathering all of this is all I could do to help them."

Arvellon knew he was being too hard on himself and told him so: "You know you did everything you could, right? There is nothing more than that. You mustn't dwell in the past- I don't begrudge your decisions. I'm alive because of you. You've raised me and given me opportunities many don't have. I'm not like the others around here, and knowing my past helps me understand why. That would be worth more to my parents than any of this." She gestured to all the papers and journals stacked on the table.

He looked down at her with no small bit of fatherly pride. "My dear child, my you've grown. Your parents would be proud. I am proud." The two smiled for a moment at one another, but it was short lived. They were both far too concerned about the future work that needed doing: Adrimon's undoing.

Elrick pulled his journal from a stack of books on the table. "Now, where were we? It's time you learn everything I know about Adrimon. I've spent the better part of 10 years sifting through these letters and scrolls from that region. I still have contacts on the fringes there, but correspondence has all but stopped now. Everything I've found is in this journal." He proudly held it up to her.

She rolled her eyes again and laughed, "I've read it already, don't you remember?" In her hands she shook the small key chain that was not ten minutes before kept safely in his pocket. The single small key wiggled about as she did so. She was clearly more interested in the stacks of parchment nearby.

 

"You mustn't keep stealing my things Arvellon, you're much too pleasant a young lady to get good at thievery!" He scolded her jokingly and laughed a bit before taking the key. "Yes, you've read what you've read in the journal, I'm sure you have. But that doesn't mean you've seen everything in it."

Immediately she suspected there was more knowledge there, and her eyes grew wide with disbelief. "You're joking!" she said. He smiled and responded: "Here, take a look. It is a simple ritual I've mastered." Elrick gave her his glasses and she looked through them at the first page. While wearing them, she saw fine rows of new information appear, clearly visible, text that hadn't been there before. "The ritual is elven, a fairly ancient one. It allows you to fill a page with about ten times as much script, and easily catalog and find what you’re after." He smiled. She did the calculation in her head, and knew immediately that it would be a week's worth of study.

"So I suppose I'll leave you to your reading then." Elrick said. He stood and walked to the library's door. Before he crossed the threshold, Arvellon looked back and said: "Elrick, thank you for everything you've done. For my mother, and for me."

He nodded and felt for the first time since she died, the personal guilt he'd carried from the event wash away. The historian lingered there, watching her for a moment, comforted by the knowledge that Delaina’s line of royalty hadn't ended that day in the grove. Arvellon was the last daughter of the queen, possibly the one destined to free her people.