Meeting the first Roznogh (The Three Stones of Destiny)
It was not long after that Mirrortac found himself back in the physical world in a freezing wasteland of bogs and strange moving lights in the sky. He was searching one such bog for any semblance of food when he met the first of this land’s inhabitants. It emerged out of the centre of the bog like some slimy monster, carrying on its back a heap of stinking weed. As the creature materialised out of the pond, Mirrortac was struck by its likeness to the tall seeker-erfins of Eol. The male being was large and covered in a thick coarse black fur, with shorter ears than an erfin. A tuft of dark beard fell down over his face and his large eyes protruded under a bushy brow. He was particularly muscular and thickset. The two stood facing each other for several moments as the being adjusted the weight of the column of weed upon his back, which was half bent over to accommodate it. What happened next was even more startling ― the being spoke in his head!
‘The noise of your thinking is confusing, strange one. Who are you and from what clan do you drag yourself here?’ came the gruff remark.
‘Wha … did you speak in my head? How …? Mirrortac said aloud.
The being grimaced at him as though the question was plain silliness. Then with a sigh he spoke. ‘You must hail from an ancient clan. I have nought seen such as you in all my seasons of the veil.’
‘He speaks the tongue of Eol!’ The erfin observed with surprise.
‘Eol … is that your clan, strange one?’
Another surprise. ‘I said nought yet you knew what I thought. Only the spirits do such things!’
The being shrugged. ‘Why should it be otherwise? All have the same tongue here. You vex me with your talk of spirits. Go back to your clan. I must return to Erga before the White Veil has claimed Yidrogh.’ At that he turned and began to move away.
‘Wait!’ Mirrortac shouted. ‘My clan is too far from here. I wish to meet your clan. My name is Mirrortac. And yours?’
‘I am a hyfnuk and all our people are roznoghs. Follow if you will, but expect no welcome in Erga.’
‘Perhaps I can help you carry some of that weed. You are bent over with the weight of it,’ the erfin suggested.
The hyfnuk halted and swung around, his face suddenly contorted with near rage. ‘Help ME carry the hyfnu!’ boomed the voice in the erfin’s head. ‘You will nought take any of my hyfnu. I will nought be deceived into giving up my task. I would carry more hyfnu for Yidu if there were need. I would crawl upon my belly with the heaviness of it.’
‘You can have your task then, and I mine,’ Mirrortac thought back.
The roznogh snorted and sent his thoughts as he started to walk ahead, rolling under the weight of the hyfnu weed. ‘It is my task under Yidu to collect the hyfnu. This is every hyfnuk’s task. You are not a hyfnuk. What is your task, short one?’
‘My task is sacred. I can say nothing more about it.’
‘Sacred. You are a holy one? I don’t know of such a holy one.’
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