B10 – NIGHT’S DARK TERROR
08 FYRMONT OF 1005 AC
SILVER NEEDLES, GOLD THREADS AND MAGICAL TAPESTRIES.
The festival in honor of my return home, safe and sound thanks to the providential intervention of the dwarf Adrik, Dan, Marjana, the little gnome, had been sober and sad. My mother Kuzma and my niece Masha had sung sad dirges in honor of the two departed friends, died in the endeavor. In turn and by tradition, each of the presents had raised the cup and spent some words in memory of Tiberius and Brannart. “I didn’t have the honor and pleasure to know them. But I will always be grateful to them, for the rest of my life” I had only said. The more shocked was indeed the girl. She had been silent throughout the journey from Xitaqa to Sukiskyn and for long stretches, when she was alone, I had heard her crying. My brother Pyotr had taken care that nothing, within the possibilities of the clan, was denied them. Throughout the evening he gave me looks full of joy. A joy and a sincere happiness he had not shown in fullest, only out of respect for the pain of our friends. When it was over, the women of Sukiskyn in their respective lodgings, the night had fallen. Yet no one present seemed determined to close the eyes and receive the deserved rest. I for one. I was thrilled to understand, to finally know, what was the sense of the whole story. The reason for the attacks on farms, my abduction, the constant questions of Golthar, the Yellow Wizard, about the “big map”. I had spoken in the two-day trip with my liberators and together we concluded that the answer had to be inevitably in Sukiskyn and in the ancient scroll found among the belongings of the runaway magician.
“Here we are!” began Adrik without preambles. “Me and Glimreen are sure to have solved it” the gnome nodded, pleased and with two round eyes. Me and the present sat down around a long dark oak table that dominated the main room of the farm. The tapestries, the stuffed heads, the furniture: everything was in the exact order I remembered although, according to the story of the night of the siege that my brother Pyotr had told me, much had been destroyed.
“The parchment is written in an ancient language, unknown to most people and only thanks to magic we were able to decipher its contents.” Adrik gave emphasis to his words with a long pause. “It is a message, or rather, an exhortation by a priestess named Baistqet, aimed to her people.”
“Read it.” cut it short Dan.
“I Baistqet, high priestess, do command your
return to Hutaaka. The stars have changed and
our power wanes. Strange creatures harry us
from the mountains and our people grow
restless. We are stretched too thin. Bring the
treasures of the temples and the people of the
lowlands to feed the one. The sacred tapestries
and your silver needles show the path.”
Then he concluded “That’s all.”
“The Sacred Tapestries? Silver needles? But ..” the words of Marjana remained incomplete. The eyes of all of us had already turned to the great tapestry dominating the western wall of the room of Sukiskyn. In all those years I had always wondered what there was represented, what the author had wanted to convey and say through the strange and bizarre combination of various and colorful patches. “It’s a meaningless drawing but I like it” had always said Pyotr as if he, alone, was able to see something more. “And it’s something that we pass down from generation to generation.” Everything now seemed to make sense.
“Is it the reason why the goblins attacked? For this piece of moldy cloth that they burned the farms of the area and killed, murdered, kidnapped? For this useless relic of a lost past that Tiberius and Brannart died? “
Marjana seemed even more shocked and upset after that revelation, as if everything, including the deaths of her friends had suddenly lost its sense, provided that they had had a sense.
“No. Wait and see. “Adrik had risen and he had pulled the little inlaid ebony box from his pocket. He opened it sliding the cover. Inside there was a silver needle and a skein of golden thread. “Yellow Wizard. Golthar. Room” spluttered in Common Glimreen pointing to the box. Meanwhile the dwarf had slipped the thin thread through the eye of the precious needle. Looking his slow movements, I felt growing inside me an anxiety and excitement never felt before in my life. When he stuck the needle in the tapestry, for some long, endless moments, nothing happened. I exchanged glances with the others and everyone seemed focused on the dwarf and what he was doing.
The wait for something to happen was palpable. But what? Then I saw the golden glow and the thread, lit as if it was enveloped by magical orange flames. But it was not until I saw the needle moving that I realized the true extent of that magic and I suddenly realized the meaning and significance that, from that point on, I would have given to the rest of my life.