Story of Reluctant Friends

The Three Finally Meet

An encounter in the monastery may create allies from strangers.

Chapter 5: The Three Finally Meet

The elf looked at the two with a confused look. It was clear that these were not monks. He drew his weapon and held it pointed at them. “Are you the ones responsible for this?” he said with a stern tone of voice as he made his way out of the tunnel. The sound of the creatures still beating against the door to the study could still be heard. Both Vladimir and The Lady Maire held their weapons aloft at the elf and studied carefully. They didn’t appear to be like the other monks here but no one could be too careful.

As the three stood with their weapons towards one other, Vladimir lowered his sword. “No, we had just arrived not long ago.” Vladimir said honestly. The Lady Maire followed Vladimir’s actions and sheathed her sword. Though the elf still looked skeptical, he too sheathed his sword. The elf looked at them both, and then relaxed. “We shall see.” He said as he took a quick look at the door; it wouldn’t be long until it would collapse at the hands of the monks. “Come, we’ll head back to the library and find a way out there.” The elf turned and walked back into the tunnel.

The Lady Maire sheathed her sword and looked at Vladimir with a smirk. “Told you so…” she said to him as she followed the elf into the tunnel towards the library, a strut in her step. Vladimir rolled his eyes and followed the two, only whispering something in his native tongue. As the passage to the library sealed, the door to the study finally gave way to the handful of monks that were thrashing at it. They looked through the room but found no sign of their meal. Several shrieked with anger as they left the study to find their food.

The Lady Maire had long since found the tunnel leading from the library to the monastery wall. However, fully aware that Vladimir tended to not appreciate it when she succeeded at a task quickly, she feigned further searching as the two men talked, verbally circling one another. The holy elf, finally introduced as Lysandre, was currently speaking.

“What are you doing here at the monastery? Why would you come here?” he asked, seeming calm. Still, the Lady Maire could hear the suspicion buried in his words, and decided to let Vlad answer, as it was really his quest after all. And also a bit because he hadn’t really explained it to her very much.

“I am looking for the origins of my sword, which I . . . inherited. The trail seemed to lead here. And you? I could ask you the same questions,” Vladimir replied, giving the elf a hard stare.

“A friend of mine, a mage named Caelan, was working on something before he died. I wish to continue his work, and came here.”

Neither man seemed to notice when the Lady Maire jumped a bit at this statement, as the two were engaged in an intense battle of wills. A moment passed, and both men seemed to relax fractionally. Lysandre continued, "The monks here were said to be scholars of _memento mori _and the danse macabre, and all I could find of Caelan’s work was a page torn from a book, which was in itself surprising, as Caelan was also a scribe. " He then drew a piece of vellum, brightly illuminated, from a sheaf of papers at his back. As the men looked at the paper, the Lady Maire could detect a faint amount of consternation on Vlad’s face. Taking pity on him, she asked the elf a question as she stood in front of the latch for the exit, disabling a small device meant to burn those who didn’t know the proper points to press.

“What is a memento mori? I know that danse macabre is elven for “Dance of Death,” which sounds kind of dreary. Is a memento mori better?"

Lysandre gave her a serious look. “They are both reminders of our mortality, that death will come to us all, and plays no favorites.”

“Sure,” thought the Lady Maire, “Doesn’t play favorites. Easy for an elf to say. Long lived jerks.” She pressed the lever before her, and the wall creaked open, revealing another dark tunnel. Out loud, she said, “Let’s get out of here.” Then she led the way to the open air at the base of the mountain.



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