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The Adventures of Lucius: Prologue
The Adventures of Lucius
A Faerie Tale
By Joseph S. Ray
These being the writings of the renowned bard and friend of Lucius, Nanus
It was indeed with great delight that I accepted the task to write this foreword to the journals of Lucius, the great and powerful Aeromancer, whom I accompanied on many fantastic and amazing journeys the likes of which most mortal men will never believe. It was my great honor to accompany this most notable man on his many adventures throughout the world of our cosmos, and I must say that never in all my life have I ever met so noble, caring, wise, intelligent, and masterful a man as Lucius is. To think that our meeting though was by mere happenstance. Though, the guiding hand of the Divine Will may have brought us together for the very purposes that we fulfilled.
Now, dear reader, I will allow you to be the judge of all that I say. Perhaps, like some you shall not find Lucius to be as noble and as great as I do. You shall though in this text judge him by his own words and his own deeds. For indeed besides this introduction and a few footnotes written by that respected gnomish scholar, Kianith the Scribe, who has made a great study of all things in this world, the text is written by Lucius himself. Therefore, I pray, dear reader, that you do him the honor that he deserves and listen to his tale.
I first met Lucius in a small inn. I will admit that I was not at once captivated by the man for like many a true hero, he did not have the look of a hero about him.. His nose was overly large,1 and his tittering laugh was most annoying and unbecoming. In truth, he looked a weakling. Now, I am the first to admit that I am not the most imposing physical specimen that the world has ever seen. I was after all born a dwarf. Many have called me misshapen, and others have even gone so far as to call me monstrous. Once, my own parents sold me to a circus so that I was put in the freak show. Of course, my name shows my parents’ carelessness when it came to me. After all, they simply named me Nanus, meaning dwarf, but I digress.2
Where was I? Ah yes, Lucius and I first met outside a small inn in a small little hamlet where my circus had stopped to perform. As was often the case, I was being poked and prodded by the village children as they had never actually seen a dwarf before. But that is enough about me. I have it on good authority that Lucius has included said story within his journal, so you shall know it soon enough. It is now time for me, dear reader to take my leave of you in order that you may all the more readily read the words of the great man, Lucius, himself, and so learn the important details of our adventures. So it is that I, Nanus, bid you farewell.
Prologue - How It All Began...
These beings the words of the renowned Lucius with notes written by the gnomish scribe Kianith.
So there I was running for my life from a great big dragon. O yeah, and a host of flesh golems.3It is at times like this that one begins to reflect upon his life and wonder about certain things. Like why the hell didn’t I become a smith like my father wanted me to. I mean seriously. Smiths have it so easy compared to wizards. Most smiths probably do not wake up wondering whether or not they are going to be chased by a great big flaming dragon and a horde of walking corpses, but we wizards have to worry about such things. People expect us for some reason to do things about such things. Now, where was I? Oh yes, I remember.
So there I was running for my life from a horde of walking corpses and a great big flaming dragon across a muddy, slippery plain. Now, dear reader, please understand that the dragon wasn’t really breathing fire. It was simply breathing noxious fumes that could kill a man in an instant. You see dragons don’t breath fire.4 Now, I should also make it clear that the dragon was being controlled by the evil warlock, who had created the fun, fun flesh golems and who apparently wanted me dead. Why? I had no idea.
Now, it was of course at this moment that I chose to slip and fall. Dear reader, do understand that I am not such an idiot to have actually decided to slip and fall to the ground when I was being chased by such dreadful enemies. It just sounded good to say it that way. As I slipped and fell, my coat got caught on something and tore. I was angered by this, so I got up to my feet and turned and shook my fist at my enemies.
You might be wondering why I was so angry about the coat. Well, you see it was an expensive coat even though it had only cost one coin. It occurs to me though that I am starting in the middle of this tale.5 The tale really all started at a small, quaint little inn named, The World’s Edge. I don’t know how it got its name.6 However, one day, I found myself in said inn drinking horn of mead. Dear reader, it was a delightful horn of mead. It was the finest mead that I had ever tasted. It was heaven’s mead. Of course in all fairness, I didn’t have much experience to base my judgments on. You see I was suffering from what we learned people call amnesia. It basically means I had absolutely no memory of my past life. That is right, all my history was a total blank, an empty canvas, a yawning abyss. Well not completely. You see, dear reader, I did remember that I was a wizard, and I also remembered how to wield my wide range of Aeromantic powers. Beyond that though my history was a total blank, an empty canvas, a yawning abyss. Well, except for the fact that I also had one very vague memory of some overbearing bearded man telling me that I should be a blacksmith instead of a wizard. It was at this point that I stepped outside of the inn and saw a few nasty little children throwing rotten tomatoes at a poor dwarf. So I decided to be a hero,
Now, dear reader, you should take my story here recorded in many words as a cautionary tale. The warning you should take from it is this. Don’t be a hero! Being a hero ends you up in situations like running for your life from a horde of walking corpses and a great big dragon. I mean sure at the moment it might seem as though you are just saving a dwarf from abuse, but it turns out that you are actually throwing yourself into a life and death struggle between the forces of good and evil. It is not worth it, I tell you. Not worth it in the least. But I digress. Where was I? Ah yes, the dwarf.
As I valiantly, idiotically stepped forward my companion the gnome Kianith seized a hold of my coat. Oh right. This is the middle of the story, not the beginning.7 It all really started on a beach amidst the wreck of a ship.
1This is most likely due to the fact that Lucius has some Trollish ancestry. Large noses are a hallmark of that race.
2In the circus he was apparently named Monstrellus, meaning little monster.
3Flesh Golems are golems made from the flesh of humans. Usually you will use a dead corpse to this end. Most wizards find this thing distasteful at best if not outright evil. The reasons warlocks will often do this though is that the corpse while weaker than a regular golem will retain (depending how long after death it is made) some of the skills of the person who died.
4Well, this is not technically true. You see there are in point of fact two basic types of dragons. You have your draconis vulgaris and your draconis reguli. Draconis vulgaris don’t have wings. Draconis reguli do. Draconis reguli are then divided into fire dragons and non fire dragons. The Draconis reguli were apparently made to be a killing machine by the old gods, who we all know were actually a group of evil sorcerers not gods. So what Lucius was facing was a draconis reguli of the non fire breathing variety. He was correct on the deadliness of the poisonous fumes that one such dragon can belch out. For more on dragons, I would recommend that you read the gnomish scribe Firanith’s seminal work De Monstrifici (Of the Monstrous), or if you are more academically minded, you could read his much larger work De Draconum (Of Dragons). It is a very interesting read when you get right down to it.
5Really, more like the end, but you know
6Perhaps because you never bother to ask the scholar in the group. The World’s Edge was named because the famous or infamous gnomish explorer Iranith (who was quite frankly an utter and complete embarrassment to our race) thought that the world was flat. So one day, he came to some cliffs and declared them to be the world’s edge. Later on someone built an inn in the same spot.
7It isn’t really the middle either but okay.
© 2014 Joseph Ray