A dear friend

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A dear friend is a book found in the Grand Library in Prifddinas, which requires completion of Song of the Elves to access.

The book is written before the First Age prior to the elves' arrival on Gielinor from their homeworld Tarddiad. It describes the experiences of Caron and his wife’s encounter with a Hunleff cub, the elves' natural predator, on Tarddiad.

If lost, it can be reclaimed from any bookshelf in the Grand Library, or from a bookcase within a player-owned house.

Transcript[edit | edit source]

The following text is transcluded from Transcript:A dear friend.

My fool husband has outdone himself this time! When he returned from the hunt, he carried a small bundle in his arms - a nice haunch of meat, I thought, or a gift. But the creature that wiggled free from his arms was the stuff of nightmare. A Hunllef cub! He thinks it can be tamed. Hah! I've warned him that when it eats his face I will be the first to say 'I told you so.'

The other clans have caught wind of Caron's 'pet'. They are angry, and I agree with them. The cub might be content with table scraps and belly rubs now, but soon it will grow, and then it will surely hunger for elven meat.

But Caron doesn't listen. He spends all day with the thing, wandering the woods and teaching it to fetch sticks. I will admit, it learns quickly - but perhaps that is all the more reason to worry.

Upon the next new moon, Caron will travel to the council meeting. I only hope that his pet will remain loyal without him there to watch it.

My husband has not returned from Council. Nor have his loyal guards. I cannot stand to look at the creature, knowing that my husband might be in its brother's belly. It whines and scratches at the door to its pen. What is it planning?

My worst fears have become reality. Tonight I was woken by a monstrous crash as the Hunllef broke free from its cage and ran out into the night.

Our gates have been destroyed. The Hunllef will soon return with the rest of its pack, all while we are left defenseless.

Oh, Caron... where are you?

I have never been so happy to be proven wrong. This morning, as we gathered to mend our gates, a figure appeared on the horizon, limping and bruised. Of course, I recognised him immediately - it was Caron, my Caron, alive and safe after all! But he wasn't alone - trotting merrily at his side was the Hunllef.

While I was cleaning his wounds, Caron told me a wild tale. He and his men were waylaid by bandits on the way back from the council. They killed the guards, and kept him prisoner - no doubt hoping for a ransom. But just as he'd given up on ever seeing home again, he heard a howling from outside his prison. A long, angry howl. And then screams. And then silence.

I cannot believe it. The Hunllef is our natural enemy. Why would it risk its life for my husband?

But now I look out of my window and see him feeding it a haunch of meat from the dinner table. I see the way it looks at him, eyes wide and tail wagging, and I understand.

Some years later...

I know that Caron did not want to leave, but our clan needs us, now more than ever. We must trust in our Goddess, and go where she leads. But still, my heart aches.

We were for to leave Llef behind. We told the other elders our story - but they stayed cold. Tarddiad was rife with danger. To bring that same danger with us, as a pet, would be the height of foolishness. Once, I would have felt the same.

I wish they could have seen my husband's tears as he said goodbye. I wish they could have heard Llef's sad whine as we left him outside the gates. But they didn't, and now it is too late.

Each night, Caron leaves our bed and stands outside, looking up at the sky. Last night I followed. I saw him reach up an arm to the sky and whisper:

Thank you, old friend.

And for a moment, the cold wind sounded just like a lonely howl.