The secret of the Silver Door

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"You really are a stubborn, chauvinistic goat! But an agreement is an agreement. Let's find the door, open it, divide the treasure into equal parts, and - each to his own side. You annoy me too, but I'll stick to the deal. Is that okay? "

„Okay..., where's that door anyway and what exactly did that drunken half-elf tell you?" Derdon was suspicious.

"At the lowest level of Ulder Zur, in whose ruins we are just now," Lurien explained.

"Why didn't he make it in a more accessible place, on the second floor, for example, or on the ground floor?" Derdon was really impossible.

"Would you like them to build a castle to your liking? You really are mucking up works, being so old... Oh, here it is! There, at the end of the hall!"

Everyone suddenly saw the silvery door of the treasury. It was impossible not to notice it, due to its size: it was over three meters high and more than one meter wide, and also: it was the only thing that did not succumb to the ravages of time, because there was not a speck of rust on them, only a thin veil of dust. The hallway at the end of which was a door was decorated with now largely rotten paintings in gilded wooden frames, and rotten remnants of once beautiful flags and tapestries. But the scariest "decoration" was on the floor of the hallway: dozens of different skeletons dressed in various, now completely rotten or rusty armor and tunics. Some were in a deathly embrace or stabbed each other with swords.

The members of the group tried to ignore the horrible scene as much as they could, while icy sweat drops slid down their spines. Anton, of course, was not frightened by the sight, but it seemed sad to him that these people managed to reach the door, and then started to argue over some nonsense and fight with each other, instead of cooperating and opening the door. Lurien came closest to the miraculous door and took a look at it carefully. It was not decorated at all. It had a simple, round door handle without a single hole or keyhole, and there was an inscription on it, in a language unknown to him.

"Derdon, I can't read this. What does it say about them? Do you know this language?"

"Um ... ah yes, the Old Elven dialect from the foothills of the Gray Mountains. Few people know it. Let's see, it says here: 'No man can... open this door.' "

Merlisa smiled sinisterly.

"No men? Ha, never mind! I am protected by the medallion of the Bronze Forest, a very powerful talisman; so don't worry, my dove, no one can do anything to me" said Lurien. He grabbed the doorknob before the old wizard could react, turned to Merlisa, and smiled, a moment before the door activated and turned him into a pile of ashes and bones. The medallion that was supposed to protect him melted like a piece of butter on red-hot iron. Only his sword kept its shape, but the silver fell from it. They were stunned, and Merlisa was first to speak:

"No! My dear Luri! Oh, well, there's always Arlin for me." Derdon wondered:

"Arlin? Who is... But why should I wonder if you have more of them... Don't you feel sorry for this creature?"

"Yes, a little bit ... but it's not something that a ton or two of gold can't cure. And now move aside, old man. You read the inscription yourself - this door needs a woman's touch. There is nothing you men can do right! Now you will see the strength and power of a woman! No man can resist me, no matter what race he is. What is a silly magic door - nothing!" A moment before she defiantly and confidently grabbed the door handle, Anton himself read the inscription on it, out of curiosity, and noticed that the wizard's translation was wrong. Still, it was too late to warn her:

„Wait, miss, the translation is not..." She turned, defiantly pursed her lips, not caring about what Anton wanted to say... and the very next moment she turned into a pile of ashes, charred bones, half-melted hairpins, bracelets, earrings...

„What do you mean: the translation is not correct?! And why didn't you stop her?" wandered Derdon.

„I thought your knowledge of Old Elven language was great, old friend, but... This translation was good – except for one word: the meaning was not 'male' but 'man'. 'No MAN can open this door'. That is the exact translation. No human being, no man nor woman – that is the point. Did she really think that nothing is going to happen to her just because she is a woman? It doesn't make any sense", Anton finished.

"Women are sometimes difficult to understand," the wizard wisely concluded. "How are we going to open the door? I'll try to break them, watch out!" Anton stepped aside and the old wizard began to utter some kind of spell. His eyes began to glow; he created a large purple ball of lightning between his hands and fired it at the door. The only effect that the ball lightning-caused was that it blew all the remaining dust from the door.

„You will try something else?", Anton asked.

„Something else? That was the strongest magic that I know. With such lightning, you can shoot down a black dragon from the sky, and this door is not even scratched."

„I will try to open them. The magic that protects this door should not have the influence on me, because I'm a golem", said Anton.

„Are you sure about that?"

„No, but I don't see another way. I have to take the chance."

„You better not. What if..." He didn't complete the sentence, because the giant grabbed the door handle. The wizard closed his eyes, not wishing to see the death of his clay friend. After few moments he realized that there is complete silence, then he opened his eyes and saw the golem still alive, holding the door handle.

„So... I'm glad too that I was right. But, let's see what this door hides." He pulled the door with one hand and realized that it's not moving. He concluded he had to grab the door handle with both arms and pull it with all strength. Anton was strong as a troll, and yet he struggled with opening the Silver door. „I don't know what this door made of, friend, but it's obviously not silver", he murmured breathlessly. They were both dumbfounded seeing what the door hides. It wasn't an entrance to a huge treasury full of gold, silver, and gems. There was no luxury of that sort; it was a simple room with a magical purple candle burning for centuries, hanging on a wall, and one little wooden table, on which was a piece of parchment. Anton investigated the room carefully to see if there are any traps, but there was nothing. He approached the table together with Derdon, picked up the piece of parchment, and began reading a short message in Old Elven: "Dear robber or adventurer, congratulations on understanding the simple message at the door, which says you are a learned person, but the treasure you expect to find is in another castle. More luck in the further search." Anton began to laugh in anguish, and soon Derdon joined him. They laughed out loud for a while. Derdon stopped first and said:

"There is nothing here! Does it say at least where that other castle is? "

"No, nothing about that. I would also see invisible ink, but there is nothing hidden on the paper. Then, what are we going to do now?

"First, we will bury those two fools. However, they were our companions, no matter how much they got on my nerves" Derdon said. They picked up what was left of them and their stuff and left the ruins of Ulder Zur.

Derdon decided to bury them at the foot of a beautiful, old oak tree, next to each other. Anton dug graves and later placed large stones on them. Derdon said a short prayer, and they set off slowly. Then Anton asked:

"Where are we going now? Will we continue the search? "

"No, I'm tired of adventures, at least for this year! In a month or two, it will be winter and I want to be in a warm home, reading a book and drinking tea with honey. That's what I want, my friend. And now, let's go to the inn! I want to wash away this disappointment of an adventure with the black beer. Let's go!" And they slowly headed for the nearby village, as the sunset behind Ulder Zur.

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