Discovery of the Well of Lost Memories
They reappeared beside the hut and sat down in the soft grass. Mirrortac was feeling thirsty and went to the old well to fetch himself some water. He looked into it and saw the water level was about half an erfin-length from the top. He leant over the side and cupped his hand into the cool water below. The water was stale and bitter to the taste but it would quench his thirst. He wiggled over the ground until he was comfortable. His belt scraped against the rim and, as he reached in to gather some of the water, the sword dislodged from its sheath and slipped out, splashing into the well. He snatched at the submerging blade but had to let go as the blade cut into his fingers. Mirrortac muttered an erfin curse at it as all of Moongleam dunked out of sight.
As he stared after the sword, he could see the metal dissolve away in a flurry of bubbles and the water boil an ugly yellow. He jumped back out of the well and hit his head on the timber support above. Through dazed eyesight, he could see symbols written upon the timber but could not decipher them.
‘Beth!’ he called, holding his sore head with bleeding fingers.
The woman ran to him, gasping with concern when she saw the blood. ‘Mirrortac! Thou hath wounded thyself.’
‘What are these symbols? Can you read this?’ he asked, dismissing her attention to his wounds.
Beth wet a lump of earth and placed it upon the erfin’s head and fingers. ‘T’is a nasty lomp thee hath, sir. Ye morst take more care. Thou wouldst nowt wont to lose thy body here.’
‘The soreness will heal,’ he said with annoyance. ‘Now, tell me what these symbols represent. I have lost my sword in that damned well and the water has eaten it by the means of some sorcery.’
‘Sorcery? Thy sword?’ She gave him a questioning look and laughed. ‘T’is best rid of, thy sword. T’is but an instrument of death.’
Mirrortac pouted at her with irritation. ‘The symbols? What do they mean?’ he insisted.
Beth turned her attention to the wood and its faded symbols. She peered at it for a few moments then spoke. ‘The symbols say “Well of Lost Memories”,‘ she said, then added with a cheeky grin. ‘Well sir, methinks thy sword be but a Lost Memory now!’ she howled, and then glancing down into the well, her interest was caught by something floating on the water.
‘Thy sword ist a memory but there ist some rod or a stick floating in it. Hath thee lost anything else?’
Mirrortac leant over the well and looked in. As Beth had said, upon the surface of the water floated a long rod of silver metal. There were ornamental knobs on either end and at the centre of it and he could see familiar symbols etched upon its polished cylindrical sides. He reached down and fumbled with the smooth metal until he had a firm grasp of one end. Then he plucked it out of the water and lifted it to the light. Whatever the rod may have been, it was well crafted and provoked a strange air of familiarity to the erfin. He examined it closely, rolling the near erfin-length of rod between his thick fingers. As though it was his own, Mirrortac enfolded his hand around the central knob, locking his fingers neatly into the form. He swirled it and handled it with a deftness that surprised Beth. Beth’s eyes widened as she stared at the erfin and the rod, exchanging knowing glances with Roderick and beaming at Mirrortac with awe.
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