The gods of Nevre: The Scholar – After

Irfan walked into the great library of Zentar located in Overik. The guard at the door tried to intercept him, but he just popped out of existence in front of him, and back into existence behind him.

“Here’s a tip. If you work at the great library dedicated to a god, learn what that god looks like.” Irfan continued walking into the library. “Though, I guess to some zarx all humans look the same.”

The zarx turned it’s horned head to look at Irfan. “You’re The Scholar? I expected you to be bent with age and have thick spectacles.”

Irfan turned to face the furred zarx. “What? Why would you think that?”

“The temple, that’s the statue they have. Maybe it’s supposed to depict scholars in general, but they say it’s a likeness of you.”

“Where’s the temple?”

“That way.” The zarx pointed with his clawed hand. “You can’t miss it.”

Irfan nodded and walked past the zarx guard. “Well, you’ve kept me from the library for now, but I’ll be back.”

– – –

The Scholar approached the temple. The zarx had been right, the temple was adorned with almost as much glamour as the king’s own throne room. He shook his head as he approached. “Since when is scholarly work worth so much grandeur?”

There was a guard outside the temple as well, but he seemed more like an honor guard than anything else. Irfan walked by him with no problems. Inside the temple, he saw the statue that the zarx had described. It was a depiction of an elderly, stooped man with thick spectacles. He was carrying an inkwell in one hand and a few small, furled scrolls in the other.

The Scholar stared at the statue, a memory floating at the back of his mind that was unwilling to reveal its secrets. He sighed and pointed at the statue with an open hand, palm up. He muttered something under his breath and in doing so he cast a spell.

The memory of an aging scholar with a stooped back and thick spectacles floated from the back of his mind to the front. He was the previous scholar to king Rajendra. Irfan had never known his name, but when the king mentioned him he always referred to him as his old scholar friend. Irfan had tried to emulate him for many years before the creation of the Fount of the Gods. Now he knew his name. It was Anton.

As he stared at the statue, hand still pointing at it, a scholarly priest approached. “Ah, admiring the statue? You know, many people believe that is a depiction of The Scholar himself.”

“Oh, and what do you believe, priest?” Irfan put his arm down and faced the halfling.

“Well, we both know it’s not.” The halfling smiled. “You probably don’t know, but I’ve seen you in my dreams, Scholar.”

Irfan’s head cocked to the side. “I have?” He straightened again. “Well, back to the statue. Why is there a statue of Anton here? I met him once and he died a peaceful death shortly afterward.”

“Was he not a mentor to you? In the old texts of this temple that is the origin of the statue.” The halfling motioned to the back of the temple. “I can show you if you wish.”

“No, that’s fine. He wasn’t a mentor so much as something to aspire to. Rajendra thought highly of him and I adjusted my behavior to better fit his. I befriended The Coward that way. I was still myself, but I was also some of him.”

“May I write this in the books of the temple, my god?”

“Yes, please do. Also, a plaque stating the importance of this man would be great as well. I don’t want people to think I look so different from my true appearance.”

The halfling nodded, then asked, “should we build a statue for you as well?”

“No. I have enough of those around. Let Anton have just this one temple to himself.”

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