Roanoke: Chapter Sixteen
Edwyn le Fay had strange dreams. Perhaps it was the strange circumstances of where he found himself. Perhaps he had a lot on his mind. Or perhaps it was the fact that he was the sort of person who tended to have strange dreams anyway.
He woke up early the next morning to find himself staring into the ashes of the fire. It took le Fay a few seconds to realise where he was. Then he remembered everything which had happened to him. He groaned out loud. Things were looking bleak.
He supposed that they could have been worse, though. He was still alive. That was one thing. But he had no idea how he was going to get home. He did not fancy staying in this world for the rest of his life.
At least Trevelyan did not appear to have come through that mystical vortex into this world. Le Fay had thought that the black Magician would have made an appearance by now. But perhaps he was still on the other side, convinced that the vortex was a doorway to Hell. Perhaps he was trying to call through demons from his side of the vortex. Well, Trevelyan could keep trying to do that for the rest of his life and he wouldn’t be successful. But maybe it might keep him busy.
Le Fay got up. He did not need to get dressed, as he had not got undressed the night before. He yawned, and stretched.
The people whom had given him a place to sleep did not appear to be up yet. Le Fay decided not to disturb them. Not after they had been so kind in giving him something to eat and a place to sleep.
He went outside. The sun was low on the eastern horizon. It was as massive as before, and every bit as red. He doubted that he would ever get used to that giant red sun. But he did not intend to be in this world for the rest of his life.
Somehow he had to find his way back to his world. If he had known the correct spells then he would have tried opening some sort of portal. But such spells had been lost, even if they had ever existed. He had heard of spells of Portal Magick which could transport a person halfway across the world. But he had never heard of spells that could take you from one version of the world to another. Perhaps such spells had never been invented.
He was hungry. He couldn’t think. Maybe he would be able to think a bit more clearly after he had had something to eat. He wondered what they had for breakfast in White Town.
He went back inside and waited for the family to get up. He realised that he couldn’t remember their names. If they had told him, then it had slipped from his mind.
Le Fay did not have to wait long to be joined by his hosts. In White Town it was still a case of ‘early to bed, early to rise’.
“I’m sorry, but I seem to have forgotten your names.” Edwyn le Fay was forced to admit. This time he intended to make sure that he committed the names to his memory.
“I be Michael Archard.” the man said. Yes, le Fay thought, Archard was one of the surnames of the colonists who had crossed the wide Atlantic to Roanoke. “This be Virginia, Mary and Thomas.”
“I am Edwyn.” le Fay said. He did not bother telling them his surname. He doubted if they would ever have heard the name le Fay before.
He was invited to sit down while they broke their fast.
Breakfast was simple, being only some bread and some water. Grace was said before any of them ate any of the bread, Le Fay was not used to saying Grace, as he was not particularly religious. He mumbled his words while the other people said them clearly.
Le Fay did not say anything to the Archard family, apart from the occasional thank you when his cup was filled up with water. What could he possibly have had in common with them? These were god-fearing people who presumably did not particularly like Magick. What was he going to do, tell them that he was a wizard? They must have guessed that, anyway, from the fact that he had suddenly appeared in their world. They had to know that he was not one of them. Yet they did not yet press him with questions as to where he had come from. It made him feel a little bit suspicious. But he told himself that these were only simple folk.
After breakfast Michael Archard asked le Fay to come with him. Le Fay agreed, although he was not sure where they were going. But that soon became clear, as they walked through this colony in another world.
Le Fay was introduced to the other people of White Town. They went from house to house, Edwyn being introduced to some of the families of this town. As they left the houses behind them Edwyn saw young men and boys run off to some of the houses that they had not visited. It was clear that the news of his arrival was spreading like wildfire. Edwyn le Fay was not sure whether this was a good thing.
He was taken to the main square of the town, and the Michael Archard, the father of the family who had taken him, explained what had happened, and how this stranger had knocked on his door late on the previous evening. He was told what some of the other people were called. There now only seemed to be seven surnames in White Town: White (which was the surname of the founder); Archard; Cooper; Payne; Smart; Viccars and Colman. In the past three hundred years the other names had disappeared: either through marriage, or through getting killed by the dangers of the Red World, or by being descendants of those had joined with Bishop.
A lot of people wanted to know where the stranger had come from. They were told that he had somehow come from the world that their ancestors had left, over three hundred years previously. They seemed to accept that, although le Fay could see quite a few suspicious glances thrown in his direction. He heard a few people mutter the words Black Magick. But le Fay was not going to say anything. These people had come to the world in the 1580s. He was not going to tell them that he was a wizard. They might think that all wizards were evil, for all that he knew. He had no desire to be strung up. Let them think that some sort of accident had brought him here. It was safer.
A few men called out, wanting to know the details of how he had come to White Town. Le Fay ignored them. Others wanted to know if he was going to join them, and whether they should build him a house. The idea of actually settling down here, in this other world, had not occurred to Edwyn le Fay. It was an idea which he found horrific. Settle in a town that did not like Magick? Settle in a world which did not have shops selling books on Magick? No, this place was not for him. Le Fay had nothing against these people. But he had to kill that idea off dead. It was not why he had come to this world. It was not why he had sought to solve the mystery of the lost colony.
“I must leave White Town.” Edwyn le Fay said. “This is not my world. I must find some way back to my own world. I think that there must be one, somewhere. When I find it I will come back for the people of this town, and then you can all go home.”
The people looked doubtful. They did not tell le Fay that not only did they not think that he would succeed in his task, but that they did not particularly want to leave their home. White Town was the only place they had ever known. The idea of going back to the world from which their ancestors had come was something strange and frightening to them. But they didn’t tell Edwyn that.
Instead they waved as Edwyn walked out of White Town, in his search for some way out of this Red World.