The Great Library of Palanthas

Astinus' Office

Dominating the center of this room is a massive birch desk. Legend claims this desk has supported the thousands of volumes of history Astinus has recorded. A large pot of ink, a container of sharpened quills, and a candelabra complete the desks decorations. Small windows line the room, allowing light to trickle in and gently illuminate the entire room. A comfortable couch rests against the west wall. Tapestries hang on the walls between the windows. Shelves line the walls, filled with tomes of the more recent records of heroes and villians upon the face of Krynn.

The librarian notices you aren't reading anything... Astinus hands a manilla folder to an Aesthetic standing by you. You note the spine bears the word 'Barton' scribed in bright white ink. As you glance down at the page you read..

From the pages of Barton's book..


Author: Barton Date: Mon May 4 15:05:04 2020 Subject A Merry Life and a Short One

It began with an inauspicious start - his life. The young man lounged on a stack of barrels outside the run-down tavern and reflected on what had led him to this point. He was a short, stocky, barrel-chested hulk of a man, one who often chose to lead with his fists rather than his wit. It wasn't that he was lacking in wit, just that, for some reason, people couldn't seem to understand his dialect. They did, however, understand his fists, and his appetite for violence had come from a hunger for survival. Now it often seemed that same hunger could never be sated. Back to the beginning, though. As a young, orphaned, teenage boy, he'd been desperate to find work anywhere, and in any way, that he could. He found it first on a merchant's ship. The pay was barely a living wage, but it offered room and board and a skill set to hone, a sailor's skill set. Majere's Fortune, an oddly named vessel he thought, made the routine journey between Freeport and Palanthas, trading lizard tongues and holy wafers for various black market goods. The Captain didn't discriminate; he considered himself a middle man and took his transaction fee off the top. However, not a year into Barton's newfound occupation, Majere's Fortune found itself besieged and overtaken by pirates. He, and several of the other able-bodied men, were taken prisoner aboard the pirate ship. The rest were set adrift at sea. The captives were all given the same offer: "In an honest service there is thin commons, low wages, and hard labour. In this, plenty and satiety, pleasure and ease, liberty and power." It was an easy decision, and who would not balance creditor on this side, when all the hazard that is run for it, at worst, is only a sour look or two at choking? No, a merry life and a short one would be his motto. ------------------------------- Where he was merely good at being a sailor on a merchant ship, he thrived at being a pirate. The young man, Barton, shied away from most of the pirating at first, preferring to stick to the sailing. However, as he listened to the stories, and the glories, as he admired the swagger, and as he witnessed his colleagues reap their rewards... he fell in love. It wasn't long before he found himself locked in pitched battle after pitched battle: with other pirate ships, with the Royal Palanthian Navy, with merchant ships. It became life or death on the high seas, and he would choose life, as short or as long as it may last. ------------------------------- Years passed aboard the Sea's Howl, and Barton grew into a young man, one full of spit and vinegar and eager for a fight. As he sat aboard the barrels outside The Rusty Rudder, still feeling the hunger, he reflected on one terrible night, a memory that still made his blood boil, as even a passing thought stoked the fire. The Sea's Howl was anchored in a little cave just south of the Sea of Chaos, heartily celebrating their great fortune. They'd just pulled in a magnificent haul on a raid that seemed far too easy. Where others might have questioned the ease of their success, pirates living life on a short fuse simply credited the favor of their Gods and accepted the rewards. Unfortunately, this time their success wasn't a gift bestowed upon them but a well laid trap by the Royal Palanthian Navy. who As the night wound down and the alcoholic stupor increased, several dozen dinghies approached the Sea's Howl. The moonlight reflected off the shiny emblems of Paladine as the armed guards silently boarded the ship. Barton was one of the fortunate few; not long into the assault an alarm was raised, giving the crew enough time to mount a resistance, however futile. They were outnumbered and out-sobered (he wasn't sure if that was a word, but he liked it), and Barton watched as his Captain was summarily executed in the middle of the battle. With most of the crew quickly falling, he took his chances and dove overboard into the icy black waters, hoping that the sea would provide safe passage one more time. As he swam further and further out, he spared a moment to glance back at the Sea's Howl, and all that remained of his former home and family was a flaming pillar in the darkness. ------------------------------- He looked down at the compass that always seemed to point in a random direction. It had been a gift from his former Captain, though Barton hadn't yet been able to figure out where it was pointing and why. That was for another time, though. For now, it was a memory, and one of the few tenuous links he still had to his former life. This rumor floating around, of a ship for the blackhearted, the out-of-luck, the thrill-seeking, and the greedy, seemed like it might be Barton's second chance at life. And it might be his chance to find out who betrayed his former crew and allow him to gain his revenge. He closed the compass with a snap and hopped down off the barrels. He knew where to go to find the source of the rumors. Now he needed to find the ship. A Merry Life and a Short One



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He states simply 'You might start with that one.. or you could take a look at the latest story..'

The Latest Entry

Time Well Spent by Daridar, posted on Sun May 24 00:54:27 2020.

My months in the tower had been fruitful but difficult. I'd spent nearly a year there. The first six months were full o(read more)....

The Storytellers of Ansalon, The DragonLance MUD

Astinus points to the massive wall of books behind him and bids you to make a selection.


Authors: All|A|B|C|D|E|F|G|H|I|J|K|L|M|N|O|P|Q|R|S|T|U|V|W|X|Y|Z

Astinus sighs as he recants 'We saved 839 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'
\n