The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Karezak.

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 massive tome bound in dragonskin on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Karezak' scribed in faded red ink.

Author:    Karezak        
Date:      Wed Oct 22 14:31:19 2008
Subject     History of a Minotaur Part I

Karezak grew up just as any other minotaur would, trained for battle since
the day he could stand.

First some initial excercises like how to swing a sword, properly wield a
battle axe and effectively defend one self. As the young minotaur grew
older he started to fill out more, muscles began bulging dark brown fur
grew thicker and a flowing mane grew where a short stubbly one used to be.

Of course the normal knicks and scars formed for being a normal child came
with punishment and learning of the rules, training, and faith. During his
training he once came across a book about a once great minotaur who did
extraordinary things, ones that went against what he was taught, but
extraordinary nonetheless. Throughout his training and in secret, for fear
of being shunned by his fellow minotaur's knowing not what they would do,
he began to acquire more and more books about this Kaz ohn-Koraf and Helati
as well as the clan they started, their beliefs, and tie they made.

While being fascinated with this 'new' idea of other religions he felt like
there was something spiritually pulling at him, a battle he was never aware
of yet knew about at the same time. Ignoring it as much as he could while
in public and being engrossed with it, in the little time he had to himself
outside of training and worship at the local temple, he continued on
through his years learning and fighting, fighting and learning never being
exceptionally adept at the tactics, nor lacking in any form Karezak finally
completed his training.

The day of his rite of passage to become a man had finally come. His test,
which was a long tradition from his clan, was facing six different males
from his clan, all with varying degrees of skill not in ascending order.
This was the most difficult test. Not knowing if your first last or middle
challenger will be the hardest so it teaches these young men one final
lesson, that of endurance. The ability to have stamina and control of
endurance in battle is one key point that is stressed, your enemy may be
stronger and faster but they cannot beat you if they do not pace themselves
and tire quickly. 

Author:    Karezak        
Date:      Wed Oct 22 14:33:20 2008
Subject     History of a Minotaur Part II

Karezak went into his final day much as any other young minotaur would, in
silence knowing everything was on him from this point out, the time before
the test was taken in silence from others. This is for the youth to reflect
solely on himself his training and the battles to come. He awoke early that
day and first reflected on his training from that brisk first mid-fall
morning to this very day and, in his mind, reviewed everything all at once.

He then went to pray for a successful battle at the temple of Sargas asking
for a favorable outcome in battle, after that he went on to go practice
alone for a few hours just to refresh his memory, but then he did something
he thought no other minotaur had done, he sat in solitude and chose to pray
to a different god, one that he had heard nothing about except that which
he gathered in books. Not knowing what to say to this god he sat there, not
for long yet long enough, pondering the existence of this god. Then he,
more without thinking, began speaking out loud "Kiri-Jolith, a name I had
never heard before just a few years ago, yet now I crave knowledge about
it, the ideas appeal to me yet I am taught to dislike what I have read, yet
I can't help but wonder. Why? What is it pulling at me on a level I cannot
see yet I feel. That is a thought for another day though, today is the day
I must face my most promising challenge the day I become a man."

Sitting back he started to think about the equipment he would wear, his
armor was standard but he had the choice of two weapons, a one handed and a
two handed. The choices laid out before him for one handed weapons were a
mace, a sword, a dagger, or flail. His two handed choices were much more
limited, two-handed sword, or a battle axe. "Well a mace has power but is
slow to use, swords are more versatile and all around well but exceed at
nothing in particular, daggers are lightweight fast and throwable but don't
inflict much damage, and flails are good for disarming but that's about it"
Karezak thought to himself. "I'll go with a battle axe and a sword as my
secondary, should give me enough power to work with while not exhausting

With that in mind he set off for his room to put on his armor prayed one
last time to Sargas before entering the secluded woods where he would be
taking his final test and chose his weapons.

He set out past the point of no return to the first clearing, looking
around being alert as possible not knowing what to expect ears twitching at
every sound, eyes darting to every movement when finally a tall burly grey
figured emerged from the bushes on the other side of the clearing from
where Karezak stood. The elder who Karezak remembered from his training as
being called Raxas stood across from him tall, proud, and intimidating.
Without warning or word the two immediately jumped into their own stances
and began circling, waiting for the other to make their move, waiting in
anticipation for a strike, a feint, an advance, or anything that may be
countered and give them the advantage.

Finally Karezak being the impatient youth moved first swinging the battle
axe, held firmly in his sweating yet steady hands, in a wide arc missing
the seasoned elder Raxas. Then came a thunk on the back of his head, "Come
on boy, remember your training swing but recover your leaving yourself
exposed" he heard the elder yell in a somewhat angered tone.

Karezak quickly recovered and realized that he was letting his nerves take
hold of him already, it was the first few minutes of his first battle and
he was slipping. He had to regain his composure and concentrate he told
himself as he began to feel the adrenaline of battle intoxicate his mind
and body. Blood started flowing things began to warm up and he had a sense
of himself, "Can't let this go to my head, I have been told it's dangerous
I must remember my training and that this is a life or death situation."

Regaining his composure he quickly got back into his stance and surveyed
his surroundings, looking for things he could use to his advantage or
things his opponent could use, while keeping an eye on Raxas of course.
Finding nothing out of the obvious he immediately set upon the elder hoping
to gain the advantage of surprise he charged and swung his axe ferociously
barely missing his opponent yet keeping his guard up and immediately after
missing he readied his weapon for a defense. A moment too late because the
elder had already saw the opening and quickly clenched his fist connecting
with the youth's jaw and a sickening crack following after. "I told you
keep your guard up never forget that." Snarled the elder "Ok let's try this
again without getting hit."

Karezak muttered to himself getting a bit frustrated and upset. He then
swiftly took a different stance, one of a more defensive position thinking
to fool the elder, which worked quite well for at that moment the elder
Raxas began attacking ferociously. The elder swung in an arc at Karezak who
swiftly backed up away from the swing, meant to dismember the youth, and
left a slight opening which was quickly exploited by the youth who then
advanced a step or two just close enough to get his own shot in and struck
the elder squarely in his breastplate obviously denying him oxygen. With
the elder left winded Karezak began moving forward again poised to strike.

With a swift blow to the snout the shocked elder quickly said "That is
enough. You have passed your first challenge move on now the others are
waiting, and remember your guard is everything." 

Author:    Karezak        
Date:      Wed Oct 22 14:34:41 2008
Subject     History of a Minotaur Part III

Slightly nodding to himself and taking heed of the elders advice Karezak
quickly moved on to the next clearing which was not that far ahead. Here he
found his next obstacle much like the last Karezak faltered a few times but
regained his composure in order and moved on. The challenges felt like they
took days, maybe even weeks yet he knew better, the sun had not even set
yet, though it was on its way. 

Finally, after many battles he was finally going on to his last challenge.
As he entered there was a large crowd, the villagers had gathered and there
was a crude ring of sorts, several torches gave the ring dark corner of the
ring "You shall receive your final battle here, your test is to survive.
Yes, this is a duel to the death one of you will not leave this circle. Now

There they stood both beaten, bloody, tired, and knowing one of them would
not live to see the sun rise again. Both knowing this was the time to give
it their all they once again took out their weapons and began circling,
quietly sizing each other up and waiting in eager anticipation.

Then it happened, Karezaks challenger stepped forward and begun to advance,
seeing this Karezak took up a defensive posture and waited as the other
advanced. As his challenger begun attacking Karezak did what he could to
gain knowledge about his attackers style and noted a few flaws in his
method, seeing one such flaw Karezak started his attacks, a swift jab with
the sharp point at the end of his axe knocked his opponent back and Karezak
went in for the kill swinging his axe in an upward motion he swung, as the
blade got closer his grin got bigger thinking this was it he would finally
be accepted as a man when the blade was just inches from his foes chest it
was knocked from his hands with no warning, it was then that he realized
his foe had feinted the knock back hoping for just this to happen.

Quickly taking a step back he drew his secondary weapon and had began to
rethink his approach, with no time between his steps back and his
assailants attacks he was forced to think on the move and improvised with
each strike. A block here, parry there, then he was struck, his left arm
was opened by a well-timed strike from his opponent and would now bleed
freely. "This is it" he thought "this is how I will end my story, not even
a man just a simple youth lost in the rites of passage never able to prove

The attacks came swiftly after that but Karezak knew he could not just give
in he must at least keep his honor and go down fighting. Though he was now
bleeding from much more than just his arm he did what he could and suddenly
realized that while he had exerted a lot of energy and even more was lost
from the blood flowing freely from the numerous wounds he saw his opponent
begin to waver, the attacks were coming less frequently, the full defensive
maneuvers had turned into half hearted attempts to keep up a block.

Karezak then gained a second wind of sorts, he began to attack ferociously
with everything he had, the only thing that mattered was winning a blood
lust ran through his body. Nothing but winning mattered, not his cuts,
wounds family, nothing. Pure instinct to total control over his body and
his attacks began to flow like never before, is this what they meant when
the elders told him everyone had their own style they just had to find it?
Is this what it felt like to find your personal skill?

Then a burst of cheer grew from the crowd, without realizing what had
happened or how it happened he saw his opponents lifeless body sink to the
ground. He had finally done it, the battle was won and he could finally
rest in peace for the moment. With reality coming back to him so did the
hurt from his wounds, the exhaustion from battle and at that moment he fell
to the ground with an unhealthy thunk. To be continued. 

Author:    Karezak        
Date:      Thu Oct 23 08:57:16 2008
Subject     History of a Minotaur Part IV

As Karezak awoke the next morning he had wished that it was him that had
died. His arms had felt like they had been hacked off at the limbs. With
his bed soaked in blood and fur matted from the dried blood and scabs
beginning to form Karezak wearily sat up and tried to open his eyes, only
to find that they were mostly swollen shut.

With a long and loud groan he got up and started to go towards the lake
where he would wash himself and dress his wounds when he was interrupted by
the town healer.

"Back in bed you, at least until I can dress your wounds" she said.

"I was going to do that myself at the lake, I need to be washed in order to
do it properly" Karezak said over his shoulder as he continued toward the
lake aching with every step trying not to let it show. When he finally
arrived at the lake he had bathed and dressed his wounds as best he could
with the knowledge he had learned during his training and returned to his
hut to lay down for a while.

Throughout the following months while allowing his wounds to heal Karezak
still did what he could to train. Basic techniques were all he could manage
the first few weeks and even those left him weak and weary, tired and
aching, but he never let it show. He would go back to his bed sleep for a
little while and always refused medicine claiming it would only weaken him
and make him dependent upon it.

After about two months he moved back into his normal routine of training
with different weapons, for every minotaur knows a good combatant is a
versatile one.

After about six months he was finally back to his old shape, perhaps even a
tad stronger and began to train full heartedly once more. Morning to night,
sunrise to long after sunset he sat in the secluded woods training and

One day after a long day of training he decided it was his time to set out
amongst the seas and take him where the current would have him go. It had
long been his dream to up and leave the secluded blood isles and go where
ever he wanted, whenever he wanted, and however he wanted.

So upon making this announcement to his fellow minotaurs he got what he
expected, ridicule for wanting something new, and a good luck from those
close who knew this day would come. After much preparation and finding a
boat, just something one man could take to island hop until he got
somewhere he would allow himself to stay for a little while, he bid his
farewell and set off across the oceans.

Where he would wind up only the gods knew but this did not bother Karezak
it excited him a little. The thought of going somewhere new, doing
something no one had done before, all the childhood dreams welled up within
him once again as he began to beam to the nothingness around him.

After many nights adrift at sea, Karezak saw no reason to steer for it
would defeat the purpose of his journey, he happened to come across a small
port deciding this was where the gods willed him to go he docked and set
out to explore the town. Walking through the town Karezak noticed many
differences between his town on the blood isles and the town he was in now.

In this town there were kids playing when they should be training, everyone
knows a good childhood is one spent training for battle. These people were
awkwardly dressed no kilts embroidered with signs of their clan only plain
things they called pants and no one wielded a weapon. There were also no
arena's which was odd in itself.

Karezak stayed at this town for quite some time studying these puny human
beings and their odd lifestyle. After a year or two he grew bored with this
town and decided it was time to move on so with that in mind he set across
plains to the east and eventually came upon a more inhabited city, one with
different races. Still no arena's and more children oddly laughing and
playing but Karezak had grown used to those odd habits so he had paid no
attention to them anymore. The one thing he did find interesting were that
some humans were walking around in armor.

Some were in more pleasantly looking clothes than others and in the center
of this town was a beautiful domed building. In front stood a man that was
almost as tall as Karezak but not quite. After a little bit of questioning
he came to find that he was in the city of palanthas, a city that was
mentioned in the book he read about Kaz de-Orilg the great minotaur that
had made his own civilization on an invisible island far to the east of
here. He also came to find out that the humans walking around in armor were
the Knights of Solamnia. Trying to learn more he ventured into the library
and sat, reading a couple books then finding a place to rest at the inn.

After spending several months studying books, researching the different
'immortals', as well as the Knights of Solamnia he decided it would be a
good idea to seek out one of these knights questioning them about their
ways, laws, and decided he would see what he would have to do to join.

These puny humans need to know what honor is and I will bring it to them"
he thought to himself "They do not respect me now or know what true honor
is but I will join them and set the example." With this in mind Karezak
approached a few of these so called 'honor bound knights' "Hey you. " he
said to one of the first knights he approached "What are the requirements
do join this knighthood of yours?"

"First of all you have to be human." The knight returned.

Infuriated at the thought he would be denied simply because he was superior
to these puny humans Karezak immediately turned to instinct and unsheathed
his axe and readied himself for the battle he was sure would happen right
here and now. "What's so special about being human? I am strong, more
intelligent, and better than you in every aspect if you think otherwise
prove it!" Karezak screamed.

By the time Karezak had taken the first step there were already a dozen
other knights gathered around and without a chance to defend himself
Karezak was laying on the ground, eyes closed, unconscious. With the
"beast", as they referred to Karezak, subdued six different guards drug
Karezak to a jail cell to await trial for "disorderly conduct on the
streets of their fair city", or atleast that what Karezak thought he heard
them say as he was being dragged. To be continued possibly through RP with
a story summary posted after. 

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