The Tale of Thanasius AmpeliusEdit
The First Telling Edit
Once upon a time, in the distant land of Tivit, lived a foreign monk. First raised in the island nation of West-north, he quietly practised the martial art of Arpying — whose practitioners assumed the visage of others — in the monastery of Agog. Yet he yearned for something more.
Hearing rumours about the Protectorate of Plort and its fabled knights, one day he simply left the monastery. The great wars have moved elsewhere, and the Great Incident and Storm of Fury were things of the future; for a while peace reigned in the land of Tivit, and his journey was peaceful.
He arrived at Borrd on a clear night when the stars shone brightly and the Sirocco was blowing. For a while he settled there, but he did not find the satisfaction he sought, so he packed his belongings again and moved to Iric.
However, it was a time of unrest. Whispered conversations in the inns of La Wunj accused the reigning baron of cruelty, of greedy ambition. At first he did not believe the rumours, for he was naturally trusting. Soon, though, he clashed with the baron. It was not a matter of great import; a disagreement concerning a metaphysical statement, no more, but to the monk it seemed like the whole world hinged on the answer.
For a while he seethed quietly, but a time came when he could stand it no longer. Rejecting the revolutionaries that now plagued the region as the dangerous men they were, he instead went into exile, leaving Konti-Nyuum for the island kingdom of Ydyff, where he fought in their wars for a time.
But the desire that drove him to seek Plort in the first place was still strong in his heart, so after a while he returned. The ship that brought him back was small but well-maintained, a parting gift from his commanding officer; he arrived at Borrd once again when the Sirocco was blowing and the stars were bright. Making his way through the streets, he quickly left the city.
Living for a time in the wildernesses of Baron Huinesoron’s domain, he chanced one day upon a queer sight. A knight was hard at work at a forge, whose fire was provided by a young woman. He approached them, and they soon became friends, bringing him to their abode in a hidden vale not far from where he encountered them.
For a while he was content to learn, working with the knight, who dubbed himself the Fast Seneschal, at his forge and with the woman — Karrin the Blue — at her library; but tragedy struck after but a short while. One day the monk returned to the library only to find Karrin tearing her hair out in agony, for she has seen a vision of a great Marizu leader raising an army for an attack on their abode. As the smith-knight was absent, they stowed away on a ship bound toward the Marizu lands.
Their battle with the Marizu leader, Nova, was long and hard; fortunately they had secured the help of a wandering knight, else they would have surely perished. At the end they triumphed, and, weary and wounded, they made their way back home.
Ever since then the monk is quietly toiling at the secret abode, practicing the dual arts of Beytah and Arpying with his friends. From time to time he ventures forth to slay the Marizu, and once every few months Ydyff’s king requests his services yet again, but for the most part he quietly sits in his library, learning.
The Second Telling Edit
When Thanasius Ampelius first arrived at Borrd, he rented a room in an inn so nondescript no-one even remembered its name; its inhabitants and owner were insignificant in the large scheme of things. Well, save for one that arrived at its door one humid night. His appearance matched that of Thanasius exactly, save for one detail: he sported a horrid goatee while Thanasius was clean-shaven. Warily, the monk approached him. The man seemed amiable, and they sat down and ate their dinner together. Thanasius learned that the man was named Death Dendle, that he hailed from the nation of Dunastuvaryorz, and, most curiously, his profession: Death Dendle was a Kagemusha, a shadow warrior trained to impersonate the master who had his contract.
Even though Thanasius was poor, deep in his bones he felt that he had to get the Kagemusha's contract. So played a game of cards, which Thanasius barely won, and Death Dendle declared his loyalty to him.
Time passed; he moved to Iric, was exiled to Ydyff, and returned, settling in Baron Huinesoron's lands. One day he chanced upon an axe lodged in a tree. It was beautifully made; white, long of handle and of blade and gleaming in the sunlight. Curious, he dislodged it and inspected it. Runes were written on the blade, and after a few hours of deciphering, he understood what they said: Anebrin, blade of evil's bane by evil shattered.
He looked around. There was no-one in sight; finding the axe's owner seemed like an impossible task. Rising to his feet, he swung Anebrin experimentally. The axe's blade seemed to cut the air itself, electricity crackled across the blade, and Thanasius felt a great feeling of “Right”, tampered by the slightest speck of fear. Taking one last look around, he made a loop in his belt and took Anebrin for himself.
Yet more time passed. He encountered the Fast Seneschal and Karrin the Blue and settled in their monastery; he and Karrin fought the great Marizu Nova and lived to tell the tale. Three months later, he received reports of a Marizu leader named Auniira that was raiding the Scholars' Empire land of Feir-oon. Taking his Ydyffan ship, he set sail to Feir-oon. There he battled Auniira and bested her, but not without a price; as he struck the killing blow, a shard of her malice lodged itself within Anebrin's blade, and the axe shattered shortly after Thanasius returned to the monastery.
Devoid of a weapon, for a while he laid low, seeking a replacement, until one day he found a peculiar tome in the monastery's library.
Sneezing from the dust – for that section of the library was not disturbed for many a year – Thanasius gingerly removed the tome from its resting place and put it on his reading desk. It was large, old and bound in brown leather; on its binding the words “The Librarian” were beautifully written in golden ink. He opened it, and wiping the tears from his eyes (he was sneezing again), began to read. After a while, it became clear that it was a tome of spells, and the monk decided to replace his axe with it.