The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Cronis.

A little gully dwarf runs by and says 'Wordwrap Off 65 80.'
The gully continues 'Eyes hurt? Turn Color OFF!! (regular story dates)

Astinus says 'Enter the main library here to view only the author list.'
Astinus gently places a large tome gilt in gold on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Cronis' scribed in faded red ink.


Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Thu Oct 26 22:45:26 2006
Subject   Death is Only the Beginning

Perched atop the rocky crag, Cronis shivered as the chill winds whirled
about his broken and naked frame.  Dried blood caked his face and body and
as his swollen eyes peered skyward from where he lay he thought vague shapes
could be discerned flying high overhead, circling him and watching his slow
demise with anticipation.  Somewhere in his shattered and tortured brain he
knew them to be vultures and as they slowly descended to rest at his side he
cackled softly in madness, then sighed in relief as one began to pick away
pieces of his all but dead body.  He was far beyond feeling anything, pain
or otherwise, and as another chunk of bicep was torn from him he finaly
found the peace he had yearned for in life.  Soon it will be over he
thought.  This unbearable world of pain and suffering will be gone and I
will know not but oblivion.  Finaly I shall be free.  He tried to move
against his chain, to make himself an easier meal for the carrion birds and
to hasten his end, but the iron links resisted and he had to settle for the
pace set by fate.  

They picked at his arms until only scraps of meat hung from his once
magnificent and powerful body then began working on his legs.  Gradually the
flow of blood slowed as his body's supply ran low and eventually, when the
foul birds of prey began to rip into his stomach, his violet hued eyes
closed for the final time.  He could feel tugging on his intestines but his
final thought was simple academic curiosisty about the philosophical
implications of one who is aware of his own death as it happens slowly and
welcomes it like a dear old lost friend.  

Time slipped away and he knew naught.  Nothing enveloped him, comforted and
consoled him, gave him serenity and his long saught after freedom.  For the
first time in he knew not how long he felt at ease and at home.  Strange, he
thought.  I am dead and gone, yet still I contemplate though all I see and
feel is the sweet caress of oblivion.  He shrugged inwardly.  Not any kind
of afterlife he had considered but then again it didn't really matter. 
Nothing did anymore.  

After a few minutes, or maybe eons, he began to become aware of something. 
At first it was just a faint glimmer of sorts, a slightly different shade of
nothing.  Slowly though it began to lighten and, as he focused his thoughts
on it, to coalesce.  Suddenly it took form and in a flash brighter and yet
somehow darker as well than anything he had imagined a form appeared before
him.  Instantly he was awestruck at the beauty of it and the nothingness of
oblivion was replaced by the divine glory of eternity in the form of the
most magnificent being ever seen by a mortal.  

It was feminine but of indeterminate race.  Although seemingly human she
somehow exuded and Ogre essence, pure blood Ogre like himself and not the
stupid and unthinking brutish nature which held most of his race in thrall. 
She gazed upon him with compassion mixed with rage, love blended with hate
and above all intelligence and understanding.  He knew she was aware of his
innermost thoughts, hopes, fears and desires.  He was an open book for her
to read at will.  

She spoke softly then, her voice a husky, sultry whisper which commanded his
attention and admiration.  Instinctively he knew her name, knew her to be
the Everlasting Queen, Lady of Darkness, Mistress of the Dark and the Liege
of his race.  

"Cronis, do you know who I am ?  " she asked simply.  

"Yes my Queen.  I know you.  What is your wish ?  " he answered.  

"It is not your time to enter my embrace Cronis.  You have tasks yet to
accomplish in the Land of the Living.  You must return.  " she told him.  

He shivered at the thought.  He did not want to live again.  Now that he had
seen her in all her etherial glory he yearned to sit at her feet for
eternity and bask in that divine essence.  

"That is not to be, yet.  This is your task, your legacy.  You must bequeath
this to the world.  Only you carry the old blood from the Age of Dreams.  It
is your fate, Cronis.  ".  With that he saw a dream, a Vision, and he
accepted it.  


Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Thu Oct 26 23:07:32 2006
Subject   Death is Only the Beginning, Finis

"As you command, Lady.  I live, again, to serve you.  " he replied.  She
smiled upon him and nodded.  

With a slight gesture, she was gone and he again became aware of the chill
wind and pain as the world of life enveloped him again.  He sighed and
opened his eyes.  Looking about he found the vulture gone and he sat up
slowly.  His body complained with stiffness and pain at the movement but he
ignored it.  He gazed upon his body and found himself whole again and the
enchanted iron chain which had bound him upon this high precipice were
broken at his side.  A small pack lay at his side and he opened it to find a
small store of food, a dagger and a simple silken robe.  

And one more thing lay in the bag.  A small medallion formed of some strange
black material.  Shaped like a crescent it seemed to absorb the light and
yet somehow exuded an odd inky blackness at the same time.  And it throbbed,
as if to some unknown pulse.  He hung it around his neck and it hung upon
his chest.  He knew the pulse to which it was attuned, and as it rested near
his own heart he felt the pulse of Takhisis through his flesh.  It warmed
him, gave him strength, comfort and warmth.  He stood and gazed out over the
lands of Ansalon, spread out below him like some child's model.  

In his mind's eye he saw his Vision.  It was incomplete but he knew in time
more would be made clear to him as he progressed.  He nodded.  It is as it
should be.  

Looking out over the landscape again he peered into the distance, into lands
unknown and whispered into the wind.  

"Alright you bastards.  It's time.  In the name of the Dark Lady, for you I
come.  "

His long strides carried him quickly down the steep slope and he vanished
into the forests below.  Simple forest creatures were the only witness to
his passing and, sensing the Darkness which he carried with him, remained
silent and said naught to any of his passage.  

Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Sat Oct 28 11:07:48 2006
Subject   Revenge... the Dish Best Served Hot

Gazing up the path ahead from within the concealing shadows of the forest
edge Cronis waited patiently for the sentries to move and thereby reveal
their positions.  It took a while but eventually he saw what he was looking
for.  As he suspected a slight rustle of the bushes near the cave entrance
confirmed that there were two guards on duty and with a gesture and a
muttered incantation Cronis' eyes tingled slightly.  The simple spell
allowed him to see through the guard's cloak of invisibility and he could
see them now, two very large Ogres armed with serrated glaives.  Another
simple spell and Cronis vanished from sight.  Standing up he made his way
towards them, being carefull not to step on any twigs or anything else which
might reveal his approach.  Once within a few yards he crouched down and
waited.  

An hour went by, then another.  Then he heard a noise from within the cave
and in a moment two more Ogres emerged to relieve the others.  Using the
noise of the guard changeover to cover his own footsteps Cronis carefully
but quickly walked up and, unbeknownst to the now off-duty guards, followed
them into the tunnel which bored it's way into the hillside.  

The guards he followed soon stepped off the main tunnel into a side chamber
where he knew they had a guard station set up but Cronis continued down the
main tunnel a way.  He knew these tunnels like the back of his hand.  After
all, this had been his home for many years.  He passed by many openings off
to either side, each leading to different chambers, and continued on towards
his goal.  After a few minutes a faint light began to become apparent ahead
and as he neared the Chieftain's chamber he stopped and listened intently. 
Not hearing anything he slowly made his way forward and peered into the
dimly lit cavern ahead.  There, on a bed of animal hides, lay the Chieftain
and two of his whores.  Waiting until he certain they were depp asleep
Cronis made his way into the chamber, past the bed and to the far end of the
room.  There he found the chest where the master of this band kept his most
valuable booty.  Kneeling beside it Cronis gently lifted the lid and,
ignoring the glittering gold and bags of coins lifted a tattered old scroll
out of the box.  Unfurling it enough to confirm that it was the correct
parchment he stuffed it into his small pack and began to leave the way he
had entered.  As he neared the entrance he spied two small casks nearby and,
with an evil grin on his face, grabbed one and removed the bung from it.  

Silently he poured the vile smelling contents in a circle around the bed and
them back again to the other cask and over it.  Laying the now half empty
cask on it's side he nudged it and it rolled across the floor until it
bumped into the bed.  The Chief stirred in his sleep but didn't wake and
Cronis' grin widened.  He hadn't planned on revenge but it was an
opportunity not to be passed by.  

Taking a flint and steel from his bag he knelt and struck the two together. 
A few small sparks flew and hit the powerfull alcohol and instantly it lit. 
Very quickly a trail of fire made it's way to the bed and before they could
awake all three were hidden by a curtain of flame.  Cronis quickly made his
way down the tunnel and a moment later heard the Chieftain yelling in rage
behind him.  Footsteps ahead warned him of the approach of guards and he
flatened himself against the wall, allowing them to pass without noticing
his invisible form.  Once they had gone he continued toward the entrance
and, as he exited the Ogre den he heard what he had hoped for.  

While the guards tried in vain to dowse the flames around their Chief's bed
the second cask exploded so powerfully it sent a column of fire down the
tunnel.  As far as he was from the blast even Cronis felt the heat and shock
wave.  In the chamber itself the blast would most certainly have been
lethal.  Running full speed he pelted past the entry guards and they, not
hearing him pass by due to the sounds from within, moved to enter the
warren.  

Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Sat Oct 28 11:33:47 2006
Subject   Revenge... the Dish Best Served Hot, Finis

Cronis ignored the stupid brutes and made his way back to the concealment
and safety of the forest.  Not slackening his pace he contiued to run until
he felt he had put enough distance between himself and his former family. 
There he rested for a few minutes and drew forth his prize.  

It was what he had hoped for.  An archaic map annotated in an equally
ancient language.  He had glimpsed it once before and although none of the
Ogres, including Cronis, had been able to read it the scroll was the band's
most prized possession for it was a tangible link to their ancient past. 
Passed down from generation to generation for countles centuries it
contained information which led to an item, a weapon, of power.  It was the
birthright of the Chieftain's bloodline and Cronis, as his son and heir, was
determined to lay claim to that heritage.  Beside the fact that it was
something he had always dreamed of aquiring his Vision from his Queen
commanded him to find it.  Nodding to himself in satisfaction he returned
the scroll to his pack and stood up.  Turning his gaze back east towards the
den he saw a thin trail of smoke rising from the entrance.  

"Well, father.  Now you have been repaid.  I have claimed my right of
vengence and my birthright.  May Chemosh gnaw on your fetid soul for
eternity"

A gesture and incantation and Cronis' feet left the ground.  He flew swiftly
and invisibly above the tree tops and made his way west.  He needed to find
the one who could read the scroll and he knew where to look.  His Vision
guided him onwards, towards the city of Palanthas and the Master of the
Library there.  He knew that, even after Astinus translated the writing that
it would take a long time to find his birthright but he knew he would
eventually be successful.  His Vision told him this was so, and he trusted
his Queen implicitly.  

On through the night he sped, toward his desire and the destiny laid out for
him.  He mused about his Vision and wondered what form it would take after
he found the weapon but what it would be he knew and cared not.  All that
really mattered was that he served his Liege faithfully.  The future would
unfold as it must and however it evolved he knew she would guide and protect
him.  

The dark medallion upon his breast pulsed slightly and he knew the Dark
Queen knew of his progress and was happy.  Her pulse warmed him and he
smiled as he flew on.  

Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Tue Oct 31 14:54:00 2006
Subject   A Path Revealed

Cronis gazed questioningly into the golden depths of his mug as if it
were a scrying pool which held the answers he saught.  Alas the aged meade
stayed silent, denying the young Ogre the knowledge he craved.  

Sighing slighty he looked up and peered about the smoky chamber.  Half a
dozen others sat nearby, some quietly and others in subdued conversations. 
A good place to think, and Cronis had some figuring to do.  

After a very long trip he had arrived in Palanthas and gone to the Library
immediately to make an appointment to see the Master, Astinus.  To his
surprise instead of having to wait months (as he had feared) he was instead
informed that the great historian was expecting him.  He was taken to meet
the ancient Master and within the hour was out and sitting here, in this run
down tavern, sipping a drink and mulling over what he had learned.  

Astinus had easily translated the scroll, as if the ancient Ogre language
were his native tongue.  Indeed, it seemed as the scholar read the words
that he was more remembering them than reading them, as if he had been
present when they were penned.  And as he had translated the text aloud
Cronis had felt a shiver of recognition run down his spine.  He was at a
complete loss as to what the riddle had meant but something in it tugged at
his mind.  He felt as if he knew the answer already but it was so dark his
own mind refused to acknowledge it.  In their conversation Astinus had
seemed to imply (if one were to read between the words) that this was the
case.  Cronis dredged his mind but could not find what he saught.  Raising
his mug he drained it, hoping the alcohol would loosen up his too structured
mind.  While good for wielding magic a mind too rigidly focused is not as
yielding to instinct, and Cronis thought that maybe he needed to let go his
conscious self in order to allow the knowledge to surface on it's own. 
Ordering another mug he sat back in his chair and prepared to get
comfortably numb.  

He awoke early the next morning, somehow in his bedchamber above the tavern.
Sitting up he winced and goaned aloud.  Holding his head in both hands he
swung his feet from bed and stood up.  Promptly, he fell to his knees as the
blood rushed from his head and he almost blacked out.  

Oh, gods, he thought.  What did I do to myself last night ?  

Slowly, carefully, he got his feet under himself and pushed up gingerly,
holding onto the bedpost with both hands.  Once vertical he made his way,
very slowly, to the washbasin.  Being carefull not to drown himself in it he
splashed the cool water over his face.  The shock woke him completely and he
splashed more onto his head and face, feeling more refreshed with every
drop.  In a minute he felt good enough to try tackling the stairs down to
the common room for breakfast.  Making sure his moneybelt was still full
after last night he opened the door and cautiously made his way down the
hallway, aware that the walls were seemingly swaying gently to and fro. 
Steading himself as he went, he descended to the bar and ordered a light
breakfast with plenty of clean, cold water.  

As he ate he tried to piece together the previous evening.  Ah, yes. 
Alcohol to massage the mind, to allow his subconsciousness to retrieve some
deeply buried knowledge.  He smiled and chuckled at himself.  A silly idea
which in the end had only lightened his moneybelt and not his mind.  He
shrugged and drained his mug of water.  

With a shock his eyes shot open and he sat bolt upright, his gaze fixed on
some distant and unseen image.  In a flash of intuition and inspiration he
saw it.  He knew suddenly the first referance point on his ancient map. 
From there the rest of it made sense.  He knew now where he must go, and
what the dangers ahead would be.  He shivered at the thought but was
resolved to make the attempt anyway.  Destiny or doom, he knew where the
road lay.  Now all he need do is walk it.  Finishing his meal he quickly
paid the innkeeper and ran to gather his things.  Within the hour he was on
the road, unaware of eyes watching from the shadows.  

Author:    Cronis         
Date:      Wed Nov  1 09:16:32 2006
Subject   Changlings, I

Cronis sat upon the stony height, resting a moment before descending into
the swampy vale barely discernable below.  Even with his excellent vision
the misty air was an impenetrable wall.  

Glancing back the way he had come he wondered if his pursuers still
followed.  They must be there somewhere he thought.  He didn't know who or
what followed him but they were trackers second to none.  Cronis had made
this journey invisible and flying but still whoever followed had kept on his
trail without faltering.  Cronis had cast spells to enhance his vision, to
see invisible and hidden objects, but they had remained elusive.  Although
he hadn't seen them the young Ogre knew they were out there somewhere,
probably watching him as he strove to watch them.  

Looking again down into the vale he thought that maybe this might throw them
off his scent.  Magic sight or no, that mist was thick enough to restrict
any vision to a few feet only.  Casting his flight spell again he rose
slightly off the ground and descended into the wall of white.  Moist, misty
tendrills carressed his face and arms and Cronis vanished from sight long
before he reached the valley floor.  

At the bottom he paused and looked behind him for any sign of pursuit but,
seeing none, shrugged and continued on his way.  Obviously whoever trailed
him wasn't interested in attacking or they would have done so already. 
Probably they wanted to steal whatever it was he quested for he thought. 
Cronis wasn't exactly sure of the precise nature of his objective, other
than that it was a weapon of power, but he knew that once he had found it
that no one would steal it from him.  Any who tried would pay for their
audacity with their lives.  

Sliding through the air a few feet off the ground Cronis noticed the earth
was getting more wet and eventually solid ground vanished to be replaced by
a quagmire of a swamp.  Somewhere in this morbid, ruined land lay the debris
of Xak Tsaroth.  Although once famed as a powereful merchant city before the
Cataclysm what was not well known is that it had been built upon older ruins
and those upon still more ancient ruins.  In the past so distant that only a
few knew of it the site had been home to his people, the Firstborn, and had
only been abandoned after the traitorous Igraine had destroyed their
dominance with his pathetic weakness.  It was there, deep beneath the
merchant city's decaying buildings, that his quest would take him.  

Night fell and Cronis took refuge in the boughs of a tall tree, one of the
few to reach any significant size in this fetid mess.  It was hard enough to
make out anything in daylight.  Traveling by night here was was asking for
disaster.  He slept lightly and when the sun rose he descended again into
the mist and continued, all the while wondering if the swirling mist might
reveal the presence of his pursuer.  So far it hadn't but eventualy everyone
makes a mistake.  All Cronis needed was for them to make one error.  Two
days passed in that quagmire and just as he was beginning to wonder if the
swamp had swallowed the ruins completely Cronis found his first clue.  A
shattered stone column rose like a silent finger from the murly water.  As
he neared it Cronis could see it was covered in carved script and upon
investigating recognised it as an old human dialect.  He couldn't read it
but knew it meant that Xak Tsaroth was nearby.  The ground here was barely
beneath the water's surface and carefull examination revealed the remains of
an ancient paved road leading into the swamp.  Deciding that this either led
to or from the ruins he chose a direction and began to follow it.  As he
went the ground rose slightly and the road emerged from the swamp to
continue into some small trees ahead.  

Rising higher into the air he crossed over the stunted trees and saw a
ruined courtyard below.  Flanked by the ruins of once fine buildings he knew
he had finaly found the site.  

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 mentions 'We have had over 803 storytellers on Ansalon pen their epic stories here for all to read.'

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