The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Dross.

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 worn book on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Dross' scribed in dull brown ink.


Author:    Dross          
Date:      Sun Mar 17 14:15:29 2013
Subject     Dross' wish for a career change

Dross, well where to start, well I guess at the beginning. Dross grew up an orphan in a seaport. Everyone assumed judging from his appearance that his parents were human, at least mostly, but no one seemed to know for sure. What everyone agreed upon was it was a stormy night when a basket appeared in front of the harbormaster's office at the port. Inside was a baby boy, a bawling baby boy. But as soon as the harbormaster picked up Dross, the baby stopped crying and even smiled, displaying dimples and a twinkle in his huge blue eyes. The boy grew up fast, a free spirit, reckless, daring, and with an infectious laugh. Stealing a shiny rock from the jeweler's shop, or an apple from the street vendor, Dross lived by his wits, his eyes never still, but always searching for another adventure or treasure to ..umliberate. The human lad always loved the Sea, especially with there was a storm blowing. Standing at the edge of the pier, his wet clothing plastered against his lithe body, his long white hair flapping in the wind, Dross felt so alive. Each clap of thunder, every lightning bolt stirring his inner soul. Being too small to join a ship's crew, Dross spent his time climbing on the roofs, spying potential 'customers' whose money bags were heavy. Alas that was how his short life changed. One fine day, the youth was lying on a nearby roof, when a fat merchant appeared, his bag of coins bulging and seemingly begging to be taken. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, Dross dropped to the ground, and taking a quick look to make sure the town guard wasn't around, began following the merchant. Hiding in the Shadows in an alley, he waited until the merchant was just passing him and, using his lightning reflexes, grabbed the moneybag. But, his eyes bulged with surprise as he felt his wrist held in a vice, the 'merchant' now pulling Dross into the street. Feeling helpless, his eyes looking for any escape, the merchant cuffed him alongside the head. "Here boy, stand still. I want to look at you." The man's cold grey eyes seemed to look right through Dross. "Please, let me go, I promise I will never bother you again. Honest.". But the man shook his head. "Dross, I heard about you and wanted to see if the rumors were true. My name is well for you, Master, and you are going to work for me." Before Dross could say anything, he whispered in the boy's ear, 'I am the head of the Theives' guild and you are a natural." "But, I want to be a sailor, perhaps a buccaneer or even a pirate. The Sea seems to be calling to me." The Guildmaster just shook his head. "Someday Dross, but for now, you work for me. You must perfect your skills as a thief." Not releasing hold on the lad's wrist, he dragged, pulled Dross into one of the dark warehouses on the pier and that was how Dross became a thief. Under the tutelage of the Guild's best, Dross learned his trade - how to unlock the toughest locks, how to hide in the shadows, and even backstab an opponent, with no warning. Before long, he was given the most difficult tasks, he loved the challenge, and the rich rewards for his many successes. He moved like a wraith along the roof tops, never seen nor heard, just rumors in the market place whenever something of value was stolen. Dross never gave up his dream of the Sea and watched the ships that pulled into port, often visiting the port taverns listening to the tales and stories of the sailors. One ship, the Tempest, captured his attention and his eyes would light up whenever a sailor would share a rumor about the exploits of the ship. Finally his stars appeared to line up correctly. At night, slipping silently into the port, the Tempest anchored and the crew came ashore on a secret mission. Throwing caution to the wind, Dross gathered up a few gems and treasures and dove into the dark water. Swimming up to the ship, he yelled, 'Ahoy there, throw down a rope before I catch pneumonia." Unafraid, Dross climbed up the rope and stood before the watchful eye of the crew. Facing the Captain, "Captain, permission to come aboard." And that was how Dross underwent another career change.

Author: Dross Date: Tue Mar 26 20:31:11 2013 Subject Dross' life as a cabin boy

The Captain looked over at Dross, a mischievous glint in his steel-grey eyes. "So you want to join the crew of the Tempest." The way he said it, it wasn't a question, just phrased as if it would be an impossible goal for the young man. Turning to his crew, "well, lads, what say you? Do we let this poor excuse for landlubber sail with us?" The first mate stepped closer to Dross, sniffing the air, fingering his belaying pin all the time. "Aye, Cap't, I vote to let this pup sail with us. I will teach him good - and his bruises won't show much." The rest of the crew quickly agreed, glad to have a new target for the first mate's cruelty. "OK, lad, what be your name?" Dross took a deep breath trying to maintain his calm, as much as he wanted to carve his initials on the first mate's chest. "I am called Dross, Cap't ." This brought a snicker from the crew, the first mate adding, "Don't worry lad, soon I will give you a new name." The Captain stepped between the two and said in a loud voice, "So be it, from this day forward, Dross is accepted on a provisional basis as a Cabin boy. He will clean my cabin, carry out any tasks I give him, and when not otherwise engaged, he will answer to all of the crew. Make him a sailor." That was the beginning of Dross' life on the Sea. His time spend as part of the Thieves' Guild proved to be well spent - with a head for heights, he learned early on to finish his tasks for the Captain and then head aloft, scurrying like a monkey around the ship masts. He learned the capricious nature of the Sea, at times gentle and tranquil, other times terrible and dangerous. Offering a prayer of thanks to his Goddess, Zeboim, the only time he felt truly alive was being aloft during a storm, the wind blowing through his now long white hair, his sun-kissed skin washed by the rain. On deck, however, his life was anything but tranquil. The first mate was a huge bully with pig like eyes and had a savage streak that took pleasure in punishing the new cabin boy. No task was ever done correctly - with an evil grin, he would pull out his wooden pin and beat Dross' back and thighs, making sure that the Captain didn't see the bruises. Dross never said anything, though his pale blue eyes flashed like an approaching thunderstorm. His silence seemed to drive the first mate mad, not stopping the beatings until Dross' body was covered in purple bruises. Promising that his time would come, Dross did any task given to him, no matter how dirty or demeaning the task. Before long, he was accepted by the rest of the crew and some secretly helped in his training. By the time the Tempest reached its first port, Dross knew that the Sea was in his blood and he chose his new career choice wisely. Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Dross kept a pair of razor sharp, well-balanced throwing daggers hidden in his boots. Schooled by the Thieves' Guild in their use as part of his assassin training, the daggers appeared into his hands quickly as if by Magic. At Night, when he was alone in the riggings, he would take out a small sharpening stone and sharpen his daggers, always ready just in case. But the piggish first mate was both sly and clever, always finding excuses to beat the cabin boy. Then one day, just as the Tempest was about to weigh anchor in a tropical port, things quickly came to a head. Dross spent the afternoon ashore, sipping a rum drink and entertaining Yvette, a lovely red-head wench that caught his eye. When it was time to leave, Yvette tied a red silk scarf around Dross' neck, whispering, "so you will hurry back to me." Wearing her scarf, he met the first mate as he climbed the gangplank to board the Tempest. With an evil laugh, "Dross, my pet, give me that scarf. It is now mine." Shaking his head, the young sailor just laughed. "Yvette gave me this and it is mine. If you weren't such a pig, you could get your own." The first mate stood speechless, just blinking his piggish eyes, not believing what he heard. With a terrible roar, he pulled a cutlass from its lashing and pointed it at Dross. Suddenly both daggers flew into Dross' hands, he was standing ready on the balls of his feet, his blue eyes glowing with excitement. The rest of the crew made a circle around the two combatants, the sounds of betting filling the air. Then a loud roar froze everyone in their place, "Belay that and I mean NOW!" The Captain stood on deck, his eyes cold. "No one, and I mean no one, draws a blade on my deck, unless I give him permission. First Mate, stow that cutlass back where you got it. Now!" The crew quickly disappeared below deck, so as not to be another target of the Captain's anger. Then he turned his gaze on Dross, as if seeing him for the first time. "Dross, you know that it is a punishable offense to have weapons on the Tempest. Give them to me. If, and I do mean if, you earn them back, I will return them to you." With no choice, Dross handed over his daggers, feeling a bit undressed. Taking them, the Captain admired the well cared for weapons, and in a lower voice, added "Dross, I expect you to be smarter than that. I can't afford to lose one or both of you. Become the sailor I think that you can be." With that, he turned smartly and moved back to his cabin.

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 803 books from Ansalon from before the great Cataclysm through today.'
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