The Festival of Graff

Solve the riddle and win a prize!

The sun hurt my eyes as I left the archive building. For the last few days I have been immersed in ancient text and maps, looking for one small clue that would lead us to the temple of Lornu-Ava. Just a few minutes ago I did locate an ancient map that showed an area of caverns that had been closed off from the rest of the dwarven mines. The archivists stated that is precisely the area we were looking for. They promised to make a copy of the map and have it ready for us in the morning.

As I stepped out into the afternoon air, I was ready to return to the inn and get some much needed rest. That was when I heard, from a few blocks away, the sounds of merriment and realized today was the festival of Graff. Sleep could wait a little longer, my body deserved some food and a mug or two of ale after two days with very little of either. I turned and headed in the direction of the temple district.

I made my way through the crowded streets, stopping here and there for food and drink. I could see a large crowd gathering outside the temple of Graff, so I headed that direction. Karlithen spotted me as I approached and she waved me over. A look of relief washed over her face. “Thank goodness” she said. “You can help me keep an eye on these three.” She threw a dark glance toward Elric, Arkas and Streeaka. I paused, asking myself if I really wanted to know what trouble they had gotten into and decided it was best to leave it alone.

“Where’s Hordo?” I asked looking around and not seeing the dwarf anywhere. Karlithen informed me that Hordo was responsible for all the ale being served today, so he would either be making another batch or catching up on some sleep.

“It’s too bad, because he will miss out on the riddle” said Elric. “That’s why we are waiting in line. We are waiting for our turn to enter the temple and solve the riddle. I hear that whoever solves the riddle will have a wish granted by Graff. We could wish for just about anything we desire.”

Eventually the line got shorter and soon it was our turn to enter the temple. Inside we were greeted by the temple priest. “Come on in” said the priest. “Welcome. Oh, what a smart looking group we have here. Welcome to the temple of Graff the Weaver of Wishes. I will present you with a riddle and you will be given up to three attempts to solve it. Each guess you make to solve the riddle will cost you a very small donation to the temple of only 150 gold. What do you say, do you wish to play?”

We each chipped in some gold pieces and handed the coins to the priest. “Ok, here is your riddle. Solve it and Graff will grant you anything you wish for, within reason of course.” The priest pulled out a piece of parchment and read from it.

I am related to water, but am not wet. I am related to shadow, but am multi-colored. I am an illusion, but I show what’s real. What am I?

The priest looked at us and asked “What is your answer?”

I don’t know if the lack of sleep or the mugs of ale I had were causing me to see swirling colors before my eyes, but I blurted out with confidence, “A rainbow!”

“Sorry, that is incorrect” the priest said. Someone punched the back of my shoulder. I turned around to see Karlithen glaring at me. She motioned toward the priest. I quietly counted out 150 gold coins from my pouch and made another donation to the temple.

The temple priest repeated the riddle and waited quietly for our answer. This time there was some discussion about what the answer might be. Elric answered for us. “A reflection” he said.

The priest paused for a few seconds. “Very close, but that is still incorrect. You have one more attempt if you want to take it.”

I collected another 150 gold from the group and handed it over to the collection basket. Again the priest repeated the riddle for us. More discussion followed. When we were out of ideas, silence fell over the group.

Suddenly, Streeaka spoke up. “I know what it is” he said. “The answer is a mirror.”

Unsure of the assassin’s answer, we all looked at him with some uncertainty. Karlithen, her eyes fixed on the floor, said with a snarl “You better be right.”

“Is that your final answer?” asked the priest. The five of us could only look at him and nod. “Of all the groups that have come in here today”, he paused as a smile crept across his face, “you are the first to answer the riddle correctly. Graff will grant your wish now.”



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