After dinner was finished, Rav spoke up, “I stopped by to let you know that I will not be here for a few days. Nouseum and its outer worlds are in turmoil as a great evil has been released from its imprisonment. It must be stopped before it destroys Nouseum and its outer worlds. For if it succeeds in recovering the Elf Rune Books of Deep Magick, it may even penetrate into our physical universe. No time to say much more. I am sure Merlin and Morgana will keep you busy.” Tristan kissed Morgana and was gone once again.
Morgana was afraid, the students did not know what to think. Merlin acted quickly, “Don’t worry, Tristan is the most competent Magus I know. Let’s retire to the library for some stories about Tristan and Camelot. They are quite amusing. Maybe, Morgana will tell you why and when she fell in love with her Tristan. He and Morgana first met as children and before she was ‘turned by the dark forces.’”
Everyone stood up at the table, thanked their invisible cooks and server staff for another excellent meal, and joined Merlin and Morgana in the library. Everyone found his or her favorite chair and sat down. Gold cups of Merlin’s famous honey mead appeared from out of the air. By now, the students were comfortable with magic and elementals and thought nothing about such happenings.
Taking a draught of her honey mead, Morgana placed the cup onto its little table and began, “I was about twelve or so when Tristan and I first met. I was playing by myself in an old apple orchard near the castle trying to do some simple magic. All of a sudden, a curly haired boy appeared from out of nowhere landing with a dull thud at my feet. He was dressed very strangely and his hair was not as long as it is now. I could not say a word.”
The boy stood up, dusting off his bottom, saying, “I cannot believe it worked. Cool. Who are you? What’s your name? My name is Tristan.”
I stammered, “My name . . . my name is Morgana. Nice to meet you. I live in the castle over there.”
“Nice to meet you Morgana. I like your name. Your ears are a little pointy, are you a elf girl?”
I started laughing, “Pointy ears, I should box your ears for saying that. I do not have pointy ears. Of course, I am not an elf. Don’t you know anything?”
Tristan replied, “Never seen an elf except in books. I did not mean to hurt your feelings, Morgana. I think you are the prettiest girl I have ever, ever seen in my whole life.”
How could I be angry? He was the first boy to tell me I was pretty. So I said, “OK, I forgive you. But, why are you so nice to me, anyway. Most of the boys call me old hag or witch girl or something else very mean.”
“Then, I think they are stupid boys and I shall have to slug them for insulting you, Morgana. I really do think you are beautiful and so is your voice. I have never met a girl like you.”
I had never felt so happy in all of my life. At last, I found a real friend, and it was a real boy too. I asked Tristan, “Do you like magick? I can do a little bit. My Granny teaches me. I will show you if you would like to play with me.”
“You can do real magic, Morgana, Where I came from there is no real magick. I don’t know for sure how I even got here. Last thing I remember is reading a spell in a story book about a magical place and all of sudden here I am.”
And so thus began Tristan’s life into magic. He and I practiced magic all day and had a great time together. As the sun started to set, I asked him if he wanted to come back with me to the castle to met Granny. And of course he said yes.
I said, “We must sneak into the castle by the secret passage as your clothes are very strange. Granny will change your clothes into our clothes.” And so Tristan and I walked back to the castle. As we walked next to each other, I took his left hand in mine. The other boys would have hit me if I did that, but, Tristan liked holding my hand. And I was old enough to dream of having a real sweetheart. This was a most lucky day for me, indeed.
When we got to the back of the castle, we bent down on our hands and knees so to crawl under a thick hedge so to get to a wooden door. I opened the door with a magic word and we entered a hallway made of stone. I lite a torch, took Tristan’s hand once again and we walked to the end of the hall. I pulled a cord and Granny let us in. When Granny saw Tristan her eyes became as big as those of a barn owl.
“So you are the boy who wished so hard for magic to be real that I brought you here. I am surprised it worked, dearie. Clearly, you are more than a normal boy from the physical universe. You must be part elf,” Granny exclaimed. “Do you like my granddaughter young man?”
Tristan held out his right hand saying, “Nice to meet you Granny. My name is Tristan. And thanks for bringing me here. Yes, I like Morgana very much. I am pretty sure she likes me too. Maybe we can get married one day when we are older. I would like that.”
Granny saw that Morgana was really smiling. Her cheeks were rosy, her eyes sparkled, and she was standing up straight. She hardly ever smiled. Plus, she had been holding the hand of this nice young man from the physical world. So Granny replied, “Of course, you two shall be married one day. I have never seen Morgana so very happy. Thanks.”
Everyone just looked at each other for a few moments. Then, Granny said, “Come here boy and give your new Granny a hugs.” And so Tristan did.
“Old rags to new gowns, new gowns fit for a prince, so it shall be,” chanted Granny and Tristan was dressed like a real prince of old.
Tristan and I spent the whole summer together. Moreover, none of the castle pages called me ugly names anymore after Tristan fought with a few. I was so happy being with him. And you may not believe that a twelve year old girl can really fall in love, but, I did. I loved Tristan with all of my heart.
During this summer, Granny began teaching Tristan magic. He picked up on magical skills without any difficulty. Granny said “He is the most gifted person she had ever trained. He must be part elf to be so easily taught.”
Towards the end of the summer, Tristan created a beautiful ring for me. It was made of gold from the mine of a mountain dwarf, was alloyed with a little silver to harden it, and had a touch of copper to make it pink. The ring itself was formed as two cobra snakes entwined with their hoods open on top. Resting in the space formed by the cobra hoods was an Alexandrite of changing colors. It was the most beautiful ring I ever saw.
On the day I first saw this ring, Tristan promised to marry me one day and that he would always be around to take care of me and our family. And I have never lost this ring, even when I was turned by the dark forces. I wore it with a golden chain around my neck, hidden in my bodice. I think that my soul hid from the dark forces in this ring. Even then, Tristan was a greater magician than any of us realized.