Esben’s Tales part 2

The next morning young Esben found his throat aching from all the talking he’d done the day before. He ate and drank in silence for the day until the Meddyg’s promised visit came. She brought with her this time another ofyddian dressed in armor and armed with a sword. He stood a foot higher than the Meddyg, but his horns were smaller and his eyes more sunken. Esben realized he was staring and turned his eyes to the more visually pleasing Meddyg (who, Esben considered, should she actually have hair, would make a wonderful wife).

Esben started to speak, and it came out first as a squeak. He cleared his throat and asked, “What have I done? To those crackpot cultists, that is.”

Meddyg Ibis sat herself next to Esben on the bed of his borrowed room. Her bulky ofyddian companion shifted to block the door. A sudden wave of dread washed over Esben as the supposition that the Meddyg and her mate were a couple of the crackpots. Seeing the discomfort in his face, Ibis (as usual) laughed. Esben smiled nervously and wondered if he would survive the jump from the second story window at this time.

The Meddyg spoke. “We sank that ship a thousand years ago in the deepest part of the ocean in hopes that history would be preserved until such time when the old gods and demons were no longer … desirable. It’s a terrible thing to destroy a story, so even I can’t forgive you for burning their books.”

Esben cowered slightly more than he’d already been cowering. “You—” he squeaked again, “You don’t look that old.”  Ibis gave him a pat on the back and laughed loudly. Esben flinched.

“Don’t get me wrong,” she continued, “I like you. You’ve done much. You’ve done what the Meddygon could never do. You’ve destroyed history, and prevented a future. A future no one would like, I’m certain of it, but that’s no matter now. Those were the only books and that order of idiots was never much concerned with sharing rituals verbally.” She gave him a motherly kiss on the forehead. “For that, I thank you.”

Esben, still quite nervous, blubbered. “I meant to p–properly dry those books,” he admitted.

“It’s no matter now, young man, there is only a story of it, and if you don’t tell anyone that your deed was all a mistake, no one will know. Now as for your dream of never lifting a finger for yourself again—” she turned to the door guard, “Dafyd, take Esben to the college, then protect him.”

The man spoke for the first time, his voice gruff like a man who’s smoked cigars since he was a teenager, “How long?”

“Until I need you again,” Ibis replied. The two men promptly vanished from the room, leaving the woman alone. She frowned.

Old Man Esben to this day tells of his heroic deeds for the order of the Meddygon and how he destroyed the order of Thedalavey (which he didn’t learn the name of until much later, but he’ll never admit that), ending a long and arduous battle of the cults.

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