Turnip was drowning in a pit filled with maggots and rotting flesh, screams for help answered with mouthfuls of fetid fluids and worms. A distant voice said something, but Turnip couldn’t hear. “HELP!” they screamed, and an answer drifted back, “Fr-”
A knock at the door startled Naeris from their nap and the nightmare drifted away, forgotten. Wiping away sleep dust, they opened the door.
“Message for you,” a young woman said, and handed Naeris a sealed envelope. “That’ll be 3 silver.”
“Who’s it from?” Naeris asked, as they fished around for some loose change.
“Didn’t say. Odd kinda guy, looked downright suspicious. But I don’t get paid enough to ask questions.” She gestured emphatically with her out-stretched hand.
“Right, here you are,” Naeris placed 3 gold coins in her waiting palm. “Couldn’t find any silver,” they added with a slight shrug.
The messenger grinnned. “Didn’t catch his name, sir. Dressed kinda funny–think he might have been from the Green Plateau. Looked a bit… well, you know. Like that sort.”
“Thanks, I think.”
Naeris stared at the letter, an indecipherable expression on their face. A vague memory of a drunken wager with a passing stranger–a favour owed to the victor. Naeris’ brow furrowed at the four words written on the paper, as if trying to conjure the author by sheer willpower.
But no manifestation, nor memory, appeared. Naeris folded the paper with great care, and placed it in their breast pocket. The message had answered a question that Naeris hadn’t thought about in years, but it had also offered new ones. Questions that Naeris hadn’t expected to care about, especially after all this time. But there it was.
They named you Merilin