The Great Library of Palanthas

An Aesthetic shows you to a small reading room.

Stories of Ansalon from the view of Mondraiken.

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 an elegant book bound in elf-skin on the table in front of you.
You note the spine bears the word 'Mondraiken' scribed in vibrant white ink.



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Sat Aug 21 14:11:01 1999



SubjectHeeeeeeere's Monty



The demon floated in the air before Mondraiken.

'M-my Lord...you don't understand. It's over...he's dead.'

A growl escaped the belly of the God. 'Explain.'

'The dagger...gone...it was that minotaur! And now...I mean, the
Knights...he was executed!'

'Executed...' Mondraiken's voice softened, and Hogkolo moved forward,
thinking he had caught a break.

'I have something...an item of interest. This Dagger of Vengeance intrigues
me. Which is why I created this.' The God lifted a small, thin stiletto, a
perfect weapon for an assassin.

Upon looking at it, the undead barbarian felt dread. '....what.....is it?'

'The Stiletto of Betrayal. For every innocent slain, it becomes more
powerful, for every black-hearted soul destroyed, it weakens, thus forcing
the user to rely on his own power.'

The God held the blade, looked at it with admiration. He had used a
considerable amount of energy to create it. He would rest, for now.

Mondraiken waved his hand, causing a ripple to form in the fabric of
existance itself. He sighed, he was weak, after all. He would sleep after
this...

He took the stiletto and threw it into the portal, letting it fall onto
Krynn, soon into someone's weary hands, where the carnage would begin, the
Vicious Circle would close.

Hogkolo drifted towards the portal. 'I can find the Nemesis's dagger, Lord'
he offered, but Mondraiken shook his head.

'You have failed me for the last time, Hogkolo...' at that, the Lord of
Betrayal  held out his hand, and slowly, Hogkolo's spirit flowed inside of
the God.

'This is not over...now....is my time to....rest...'

A cry was heard from behind him. Lord Mondraiken had forgotten about him.
He did not care, that had been Hogkolo's revenge. Let them think they'd
won...mortals....

The four kender sat in the bar known as the Swingin' Hoopak, where they
looked down at their mugs of ale sadly.

A kender by the name of Thorngrass was the bartender, he was a bit plump,
for a kender, but he was in his older years. He was wiping the inside of a
mug with a towel (where'd he get that towel from anyway? Not important, I
guess).

'Wow, he's really gone.' Lockpick said, sighing.

'They're both gone...too many people....so much death' the bald kender
sniffed.

Lilycharm put a comforting arm around him, causing Petalpick's face to turn
red in anger. Only her brother's playful whack to the head kept her from
saying something.

'It's ok, Twigpuckle..you see, sometimes people--'

'Daddy?!' a voice squealed from behind them.

'L-l-leaflock! LEAFLOCK! YOU'RE ALIVE!' Twigpuckle jumped up from the bar
and embraced his son. Tears streamed down his face.

But even as the kender embraced his son, he heard in his mind the voice of
Mondraiken. 'This is just the beginning....'



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Tue Oct 12 19:13:32 2004



Subject  Branchala's Tall Tales: The Very Mariner Variety Hour:
Introduction



--==[Lacynos, Mithas, The Drunken Centaur Tavern]==--

The mass of various races filling the tavern to the rafters was an uncommon
sight in Mithas, but such is to be expected at the recent news released by the
reigning emperor, Bargonarik Ar-Minlad  That news being a great calling of the
mariners, for soon the empire would again be issuing forth a great fleet.  An
undertaking such as this hadn't happened since the Illythorak wars, and every
port in Nethosak had a ship docked, with more in the harbor waiting.  Every
seafarer from Karthay, Kalaman, and even Kothas looking for good steel was
there waiting to get a charter from the emperor.

And such it was that this day was the busiest the Drunken Centaur had ever
seen.  The barkeep, an older, hunched over minotaur with one eye grinned from
behind the bar as he dried a mug with a greasy towel.

He didn't look down upon other races like most of the minotaur nobility, well,
as long as they had good steel he didn't.  His gaze wandered to the door,
which swung abruptly open as a new patron entered the building.

The barkeep watched as a large, black furred minotaur walked in the door.  He
appeared young, and two hooks attached to poles hung from his belt.  The
barkeep rubbed his one eye, doing a double take.  For a second, he thought
that the minotaur looked just like, no, but it couldn't be.  Shrugging, he
focused his attention to the half-ogre patron in front of him, babbling
something about another round of drinks.

The black furred minotaur walked through the establishment and finally took a
seat in the far corner, at a table occupied by a figure that remained hidden
beneath a thick cloak, despite the heat.

'Ah, so ye've made it,' the cloaked figure spoke, motioning for the
barmaid to bring over a few mugs of ale.  'Good.  I was beginning to have me
doubts.'

The minotaur peered at the hooded figure closely, but couldn't seem to make
out any distinguishing features.  'The waterfront is very busy, with all the
commotion.'

The barmaid walked by, slamming the two foaming mugs down on the table before
continuing off.  The black furred minotaur took the mug and gulped down some
of the ale.  He was almost sure that this was the person he was supposed to
meet.

Now for the test...

'I've never been the biggest fan of ale, myself' he said, before placing
the mug back down.  He eyed the figure curiously, wondering if this was indeed
a trap.

'I've always preferred grog, myself' came the reply, the correct reply, to
the minotaur's relief, although he didn't show it outwardly.   The man reached
up and pulled back the hood of his cloak.

He was completely bald, with a slight tilt to his eyes and point to his ears,
showing elven heritage.  Strangely, his face was painted completely white,
with black paint streaks creating angular designs.

The man looked young, but the minotaur could not be sure how old he was, given
the nature of his elven features.  But the face appeared kind, as well, and
broke into a smile.  'You must be Mondraiken Than'tur, then' he spoke.

The minotaur nodded.  'Aye.  I was told by my...by Rasgoloth to meet you
here.  We're to assemble a crew, I understand?'

The man took his own mug of ale and brought it to his lips.  'Indeed.  But
relax, there will be plenty of time for business later.  I am Rolakilyth
Half-Wilder, friend to the mariners of the Orlouge, including Rasgoloth's
father, Sansagroth.'

'It is a great honor to meet one who knows the father of my own surrogate
father.' Mondraiken replied, bowing his head in respect.

'Indeed...there is a long history in my family with the mariner of the
Orlouge...' the man spoke.  'But for now, keep drinking, and I'll start to
tell you about it!'

--=Mondraiken=--



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Sun Oct 17 14:22:47 2004



Subject  Branchala's Tall Tales: The Very Mariner Variety Hour: Dragon
Isles or Bust



--==[The Drunken Centaur Tavern]==--

Rolakilyth slammed the empty grog mug down onto the table.

'So you want to hear a story?' he asked, grinning widely.  He reached into
his pocket and laid some steel down on the table.  A barmaid came by and took
their empty mugs, replacing them with two new mugs of grog.  The minotaur
picked up his mug and took a swig.  He shut his eyes so Rolakilyth wouldn't
see his wince.  That stuff would knock an ogre off its feet.

'Oh, I've heard a few from Rasgoloth already,' Mondraiken replied.

Rolakilyth took a gulp from his own mug. 'I'll bet you never heard this one.
It all started when...'

*Insert flashback music and effect here*

The Orlouge ripped through the sea, skipping over the water like it was thrown
by a god.  Illythorak Dimarhin II Es-Kalin stood firmly on the deck, peering
out with his bovine eyes into the mist that lay before them.  The wind whipped
by, and all that could be heard was the flapping of the sails.  The half-ogre
helmsman, Forte, gripped the ship's wheel tightly.

'Full speed ahead, Forte!  We'll be the first ship to ever reach the Dragon
Isles.  Emperor Gabor will have his name in the history books yet!'
Illythorak shouted back, referring to his brother, the emperor.

A red-robed mage slammed into him as the ship dipped suddenly. 'Easy,
Souril!' the minotaur added.

The hood of the mage's cloak had already been thrown back by the winds, and
the man didn't seem to notice that he had even collided with Illythorak.  He
was staring off into the mist intently.

Souril Amerius was of mixed heritage, his skin had a blue tint to it, showing
his Dargonesti roots.  But his most recognizable feature was his bushy
hairstyle, a legacy from his father, a mariner of Karthay.

Souril was by no means an extremely powerful mage, but he hoped he could use
his abilities to help get the ship to the island safely.  He reached into his
pockets and pulled out a small necklace of pearls, and held it in his right
hand.

Holding his left hand out, he chanted in the language of magic.  The winds
didn't slow, but the Orlouge continued to progress towards its destination.

'LAND HOOOOO!' came the shout from the crow's nest.  Holding a telescope
to his eye, a small figure held on for dear life against the whirling storm
around him.  His long hair flew wildly in the wind, seeming to swirl around
him like serpents, but all he cared about was the fact that he could see land
before them.  They just might make it out of here alive.  The kender grabbed
onto one of the ropes hanging from the sails as it flew by him.

He was taken for a ride along the rope as he slid his way down towards the
deck.  He was keeping his balance well until one of his pouches came untied,
its contents spilling out into the windstorm.  The kender reached out to grab
his items, and before he could realize what he did, he noticed that the papers
and trinkets in his pouch were suddenly very far, far away.

'OOOOF!' came the sound from the kender as he uncerimoniously landed on
top of Illythorak's head, knocking the minotaur to the deck.  Right at that
moment the ship bounded over a huge wave, sending a spray of seawater onto the
deck.

Forte still held on to the wheel with all his might, and Souril was now
crouched down, trying to keep his balance and cast spells at the same time. 
The Orlouge was almost past the mist, now.

The windstorm was a reaching a frenzied peak, and for a split second,
Illythorak feared perhaps they wouldn't make it out of this alive after all. 
He shut his eyes, for a second, until he realized that something changed.

The sound of the winds had stopped.  He opened one eye cautiously, then when
he saw that the storm had indeed ceased abruptly, stood up, with the kender
navigator Lockpick still on his head.

'Your lucky I don't have horns anymore, Lockpick, or you probably would have
jumped high enough to bang your head against Solinari!' he laughed, picking
the soaking wet kender off of his head and placing him on the deck.



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Sun Oct 17 14:28:17 2004



Subject  Branchala's Tall Tales: The Very Mariner Variety Hour: Dragon
Isles or Bust (part II)



The Dragon Isles were straight ahead, and the mist lay behind them, and now
the ship rocked gently like a cradle.

'We made it!' the kender shouted, running over to the edge of the ship to
peer at the land ahead of them.

'Indeed we have.  Now, stop slackin' off, everyone!  This island isn't going
to explore itself!' the captain shouted to the crew.

The big Thanoi, Sansagroth, dropped the anchor into the deep water as Forte
and Auschmal, a red-furred Kothan minotaur worked the rigging and began to
roll up the sails.  Souril walked over to Illythorak, his face weary with
exhaustion.

'So we made it...' he began. And everyone appears safe.  Wait a
minute,' he quickly scanned the deck, accounting for each member of the
crew.

Illythorak, Auschmal, Lockpick, Sansagroth, Forte, Kilarolyth, Elenna...
'Where's Selec?' he asked nervously.

As if on cue, the door to the captain's cabin flew open, and out staggered a
heavyset half-elf in ragged clothes.  He was rubbing his eyes and carrying an
empty bottle of grog.

'So...how far away are we from the islands?' he asked, stretching
languidly and yawning.

Souril gaped in disbelief.  'Selec...we just went through one of the
roughest windstorms I have ever seen...probably of magical origins to protect
this sacred place...and you were in the cabin drinking?!'

Selec looked around, finally noticing the ragged shape of the crew.  He
quickly put his hands behind his back, hiding the grog bottle.

'I wasn't drinking...I was passed out from drinking...' he began, trying
and failing to save face.'

'Only you, Selec...only you' Auschmal laughed and slapped the man on the
back in a friendly manner.  Selec hunched over, gulping, and ran to the edge
of the ship and hurled his lunch, and a few gallons of grog back in to the
sea.

Illythorak shook his head as he watched the spectacle.  It was hard to believe
that this motley crew would be hailed as heroes when they made it back to
Mithas.

.  If they made it back...he tried not to think about it in those terms.  No,
he had a ship to run.  He shouted his next orders to the crew.

'Well, ladies, don't just stand around all day!  Lower the rowboat, we have
history to make!'

--=Mondraiken==--



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Mon Apr 11 21:01:49 2005
Stamp   1113271309
Subject  Gnome Mand's Land


--=[ The One-Eyed Seagull Inn, Nethosak]=--

Mondraiken once again slumped down into the large armchair after another day
of searching for crewmen. After hiring the strange minotaur female,
Craustchalla, and her kender slave, er, indentured servant, and of course,
after paying the innkeeper for the damages done to their old room, they had
all moved onto the third floor, where they were given more room for the
fledging enterprise. Rolakilyth lazed in a chair of his own, opposite of
Mondraiken, pouring some grog into his cup.

'Another day, another headache,' the half-elf replied, rubbing at his temples
before taking a gulp from his glass.

Mondraiken sighed in agreement.  He was wondering if this little investment
was going to be more trouble than it was worth. They didn't even have a full
crew yet, and already he was almost broke.  Craustchalla was passed out drunk
on the bed, and Clocktick was locked securely away in his chest. Occasionally,
muffled noises could be heard from inside.  The minotaur eyed the passed out
female and the chest doubtfully before looking back to his friend.

'Well, it's a start, I guess,' he said.

'You're right&she seems to have experience enough,' Rolakilyth replied,
'Although&I'm not quite sure what to make of it, with the whips, and the
mask&'

Mondraiken shrugged and took the grog jug and held it up to his mouth.  It was
empty.  Sighing, he tossed it onto the floor.

'Well, it takes all kinds,' he added.  'I doubt it could get much stranger
than this.'

Of course, at that moment, the pair heard a commotion coming from outside. 
Mondraiken took a deep breath and prepared himself for frustration. The deal
with the innkeeper was that they would have the whole third floor to
themselves, and no applicants would be allowed in after they retired for the
evening. He was about to get up to see what all the fuss was about when the
door flew off the hinges and smacked down onto the hard wood floor. A smoky
haze filled the doorway, and two stocky silhouettes could be made out. One of
them rushed forward suddenly, a gloved hand grabbing Mondraiken's and shaking
it up and down repeatedly.

'Ah!YoumustbetheoneMondraikenThan'
turapleasuretomeetyousirofcourseofcourseitisanhonor.
YoumustallowmetointroducemyselfIamGornoshoftheGorbashfamilylocatedinthewestern
mostwingofMountNevermind-'

Mondraiken was too dazzled to say anything as the gnome continued rattling off
his name.  The gnome was bald, with a wiry beard, and wore a white overcoat
that seemed to have nuts, bolts, papers, and quills flying out of it as he
spoke.  The other gnome, this one wearing goggles and carrying a pair of tongs
pushed the first one aside and began to talk as well.

'YesyesyesandIamNorgoshoftheGorbashfamilylocatedinthe-'

'Enough!' Rolakilyth shouted, standing up abruptly.  'Slow down already!]

The two gnomes stopped, looked at eachother, and began chattering away again.

'
AhmyapologiesIforgethowslowyounonGnomesthinkyouknowyoureallymustexcusemybrothe
rherebutyoucancallusNorgosh&'

'&andGornosh' the other chimed in.

'We'rehereonamissionfromMountNevermindyouseewe'refromtheSeafarer'
sGuildDepartmentofTravelandTransportationCommitteeSixSubcommitteeThirty
twooftheMountNeverMindOutreachProgramandwe'
reheretorevolutionizethewayyoutravelbysea!'

Mondraiken sat back, and blinked.  'Okay&but&what do you actually&do?'

The bald gnome, Norgosh, jumped forward and unrolled a parchment that showed a
three mast ship and all the various rooms on board. Scribbled all over it were
drawings of mechanical arms, gears, pulleys, and all sorts of mechanical
"improvements" that the gnome had added on to it. He didn't stop talking as he
pulled out a roll of tape and began measuring the table vertically, then
horizontally.

'AhyesyesyesyouseeI'manengineer!I'
veinheritedagreatLifeQuesttoimproveupontransportationofKrynnspecificallythenau
ticalaspectofsuch.



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Mon Apr 11 21:14:16 2005
Stamp   1113272056
Subject  Gnome Mand's Land (Part II)


*NOTE: For some reason, while cutting and pasting, every time I had typed
"..." it changed to an ampersand (&). Don't ask me why...

YouseeyouseeI'mgoingtoproposeanideatomakeshipsoutofiron!Yesiron!It'
llbeamarvelofinventivegeniusofcourse!'

Rolakilyth snorted and rolled his eyes. 'A ship...out of IRON?! Come on! It'll
never stay afloat, and it would rust!'

Little Norgosh glared over at the half-elf, but continued talking to
Mondraiken as his brother instead got Rolakilyth's attention by grabbing the
cup of grog out of his hand with his tongs.

'Don'tworryaboutwhathesayshehasnotrainingormindfortechnology.He'
sanelfafterallorahalf-elfbythelooksofitjustlistentomeMasterMinotaur.
Theshipcouldn'tpossiblysinkyouseeit'samatterofbuoyancyandwaterdisplacement.
Allowmetodemonstrate.'

Norgosh began pulling out various items from his lab coat, including a small
model of a ship.  Meanwhile, Rolakilyth and tried to get his cup back from
Gornosh, who poured it into a flask and pulled a test tube out of his own lab
coat.

'Yesthat'smybrothertheengineer.ButI'mafraidmyownpassionisinthefieldofchemistry
.Yeschemistry!Oncetheworldisfullofbeatuifulshinymetalshipshowdoyouthinkthey'
llbepowered?
Notbysailsnonononotbysails!I'
minchargeoftheResearchandDevelopmentofMetalShipFuel.IthinkthatI'
vediscoveredthekeywithalcohol!'

He poured the liquid from the test tube into the flask of grog, then poured
that mixture into another flask It began to bubble. Rolakilyth peered at the
gnome, trying to figure out exactly what he had said.

'Alcohol...fueling metal ships...?'

The gnome popped a cork into the flask and shook it up.

'YES!Nowyou'regettingit!'

The flask exploded in a cloud of black smoke and glass.  As the smoke drifted
towards the ceiling, Gornosh's face was completely covered in char. He quickly
wiped off his goggles and began talking again, as Rolakilyth tried to put out
a small fire the explosion caused. Mondraiken jumped at the disturbance, but
Norgosh kep right on talking about his iron ship, leading the minotaur over to
the wash basin. He proceeded to fill it up as he talked about theories of iron
oxides and non rusting agents and began to slap small metal  sheets onto the
model ship.

'Justlikethiswe'
llhavetostartwithironplatingonthewallsyouseebutmostoftheshipwouldbewoodenatfir
st...'

He held up the model ship, now gleaming with metal like some bizarre ornament,
and placed it into the filled basin.

'Now...watch the magic!' It was the only thing the gnome said slowly.

The ship floated for around two or three seconds, then sank promptly to the
bottom of the basin.

'Well...there'sstillafewbugstobeworkedoutofcourse,' he said, scratching at his
beard as Mondraiken looked on, dumbfounded.

The minotaur shook his head.  'Uh, look...you two.  Gornosh,' he began to the
bald gnome, who was reaching into the basin to pull out the model ship,
muttering something about using large balloons to keep the ship afloat..

The gnome paused for a second and glared at the minotaur. 'I'M Norgosh!' he
exclaimed.

'Er, right.  Uh, look, I appreciate you coming over here...'

'Even though we told the innkeeper not to let anyone in' grumbled Rolikilyth.

'...but we really don't think your, ah, skills...are what we're looking for in
crewmembers. Besides, even though we're primarily an exploration vessel...we ARE
the flagship of the Mithas Navy as well...and, uh, it could be very dangerous. 
We wouldn't want you or your brother to get hurt. I mean...who would, uh,
continue your VERY important research!' Mondraiken scratched behind his ear.

The innkeeper's son, a youthful brown furred minotaur, speared in the doorway,
squinting through the remaining smoke.

'There they are!' he growled. 'I must apologize, Master Than'tur, and you to,
Master Elf.  These...gnomes' he almost spat the word, 'Came barging into the
inn, and their wicked contraptions set off a few fires downstairs in the
common room.  We tried to stop them, but they disappeared up the stairs.



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Mon Apr 11 21:23:19 2005
Stamp   1113272599
Subject  Gnome Mand's Land (Part III)


I've been checking all the rooms looking for them while my father cleans up...'

Rolakilyth rubbed the side of his head.  'You should have just followed the
explosions...' he muttered.

The brown minotaur rubbed his hands on his apron and continued into the room,
grabbing a gnome in each hand by the back of their labcoats. 'Now, you two
little rats better leave at once, and get rid of those Sargas forsaken iron
barrels you have blocking the entrance! And we expect to be fully
compensated...'

'Iron barrels?' Mondraiken asked.

Norgosh tried to wriggle out of the minotaur's grip but failed.

'Oh!Icompletelyforgot!
YouseewehadacquiredasidejobforafamilyinPalanthasandweinventedthemsomemarvelous
contraptions.
SomenewandimprovedbirdseedmadebymybrotherhereandanautomaticbowlingmachinethatI
personallyinvented.It'stheNorgoshbowler5000patetpendinginMountNevermind-'

'I don't care WHAT it is, it's making a scene and I want it out of here! We're
trying to run a business here!'

Mondraiken snorted as the innkeeper's son left the room with the two gnomes. 
He went to get a drink, but remembered they were out of grog.

'I'm going downstairs...I have a bad feeling about this, and besides, I feel a
little responsible.  We've brought nothing but bad business to this place.'

Rolakilyth nodded in agreement.  'I agree...besides, it's starting to stink in
here.'

They headed for the stairs and the half-elf stopped and looked over his
shoulder.  Craustchalla was still sleeping heavily, although she had turned
around and put the pillow over her head, and Clocktick's chest was rattling. 
'Think they'll be ok up here?'

Mondraiken shrugged.  'If all this racket didn't wake her up, nothing will.'

They continued downstairs to the common room where the innkeeper's son was
yelling at the gnomes to leave. His father was trying to reattach the leg of a
table where it had been burned off.

'Look...let me take care of these two, they came for us, after all.' Mondraiken
said, and he handed a clinking pouch to the young minotaur.  'For the
damages...'

The innkeeper's son's eyes brightened a bit upon receiving the pouch.  He
looked satisfied as he counted the coins inside. 'Fine, fine.  This place will
be entirely refurbished by the time we get rid of you!' he laughed.

Rolakilyth grumbled to Mondraiken as they stepped outside. 'That was the last
of our money...are you going to send to the emperor for more?' '...Don't worry
about it.  Al-Minlad gave me a few paper vouchers.  We should be fine for
another month or so...what in the name of the Abyss...?'

The two gnomes were picking themselves up and dusting off their jackets after
being thrown outside. Much like the innkeeper's son had described, two large,
iron cylinders, each a head taller then the gnome, stood outside.  They each
had a pair of wheels on either side.

'Ah!MasterThan'tur!You'vecometoseetheautomaticbowler!' Norgosh shouted, waving
to Mondraiken.

The minotaur and half elf approached cautiously.  'What in the name of Sargas
is this thing?'  he peered inside, and a large iron ball rested on top of some
black powder.

'ThatistheNorgoshbowler5000!It'susedforbowling.' the gnome exclaimed proudly.

Gornosh stepped in as well. 
'Andthatblackpowderisthelatestinbirdseedtechnology,developedbyyourstruly,
thechemicalmastermindofKrynn!'

Mondraiken asked, 'What the hell is bowling?'

'Agame!Agreatgame!It'llsoonbetakingAnsalonbystorm!Usgnomesinventedit!
Youtakealargeironballandthrowitdownalaneatsomepinsandtrytoknockthemdown!It'
sbrilliant!
Buttheautomaticbowlingmachinewillrevolutionizeit!Allowustodemonstrate!'

Rolakilyth sat down on a barrel behind the "automatic bowling machine" and lit
up a rolled Thon-Thalas herb. 'Why is the birdseed inside of it?'

'gMerelyfortravelingpurposes!Wedidn'
thaveabagforthebirdseedsowesimplyputitinsidethebowlingmachine!'

'...of course...' Mondraiken said.



Author:  Mondraiken
Date    Mon Apr 11 21:26:51 2005
Stamp   1113272811
Subject  how


Gornosh ran around ten yards away and began setting up ten wooden blocks in a
triangular pattern.  He waved and moves out of the way when he was finished.

Norgosh explained the genius behind the automatic bowling machine.  He even
managed to slow down his talking so the minotaur and elf would appreciate his
fine work.

'Now, you see here, this little rope...' he pointed to the base of the
cylinder, which actually proved to be rounded. A small bit of rope hung from
the bottom of it.  'You pull the rope, and the ball rolls out!  Right into the
pins!'  he smiled triumphantly and pulled the rope with all his might. The
cylinder, balanced on the wheels, fell forward, but the iron ball inside
remained where it was.

'Darnit!It'sthatbirdseed!Thatcursedbirdseedhaskeptthebowlingballstuckinside!'
The gnome stammered, as Mondraiken and Rolakilyth laughed.

Rolakilyth took a puff of his herb. 'Looks like you have a few bugs to work
out...' he said, as he flicked his ashes.

A spark from the herb fell onto the pull-rope, and it caught on fire.
'Ohno!Youfool,youcaughtthepulleyropeonfire!'

The gnome, minotaur, and elf watched as the fire burned its way up the rope
and inside the cylinder, where the bowling ball sat atop the birdseed.
Suddenly, with a huge BOOM!  The ball flew outwards at a tremendous speed. 
The pins went flying, and the ball continued through the air, knocking through
several buildings before it landed in the ocean. A cloud of smoke hung above
the group as Gornosh shouted. 'mybirdseed!'

Mondraiken rubbed his eyes.  He then looked to Rolakilyth, who seemed to have
the same thing on his mind.  'Great Sargas! Look at how much damage that blast
did!'

The two gnomes were shouting at eachother, each brother blaming the other,
while Mondraiken smacked his head to stop the ringing.

'...You two are hired!' he shouted.


Author:    Mondraiken     
Date:      Wed Sep 27 02:41:40 2006
Subject  Retro=Mariner Stories: Exile: A Bittersweet Reunion

--[The Orlouge's Memory, Kalaman]--

The man stood outside of the tavern, looking up at the sign. "The Orlouge's
Memory," the place was called. The sign in question, hanging above the door
had the name written on it in Common and a few other languages.

Ergothian. Kagonesti. Dialects from both the Mithas and Kothas islands. The
man could read them all. Also painted on the sign was a simple drawing of a
sailing ship going up in flames. This was definitely the place.

The man reached up and pulled back the hood of his robe, revealing his
black, bushy hair. In most places, his hair caused him to stand out, but in
a port city like Kalaman, nothing raised an eyebrow.

Add that to the fact that the hairstyle is common amongst a few seafaring
cultures, and the man became just another face in the crowd. He opened the
door and engulfed himself in the smoky heat and noise coming from inside.

It wasn't long before he was noticed by just the person he was hoping to
see.

'Either that's an overgrown gnome who tried to perfect the lightning rod,
or that's Souril Amerius,' a rough voice shouted over the crowd, coming
from the direction of the bar.

A smile climbed onto the man's face, as he peered in the direction of the
voice, trying to find its source. He made his way through the crowd and
took an empty seat at the bar.

'And either that's the product of a marriage between a goblin and a cow,
or that's Auschmal Nijniros, alive and well,' Souril responded, his grin
growing even wider.

The man referred to as Auschmal made his way over to Souril's seat. Souril
noticed the limp as Auschmal walked towards him, and could hear the thump
of the minotaur's peg-leg easily with his half-elven hearing.

He picked up on the irony of the fact that Auschmal obtained a peg-leg
years after retiring as a mariner.

Upon getting a closer look at this man, a dear friend to Souril, albeit one
he had not seen in quite some time, his smile began to turn into a frown.
It was miracle enough that Auschmal was still alive, but he was left with
very little.

Although standing at around eight feet tall, Auschmal was now a bit hunched
over.

The leg was also a very significant change, but one Souril was prepared
for. A scar lined the bovine cheek of Auschmal's face, and whip marks cut
through his short, reddish fur.

And perhaps the most obvious change in Auschmal's appearance: his horns had
been cut off.

Souril didn't know the full story, but he could guess. Auschmal abandoned
the secret "Thulak Soblium" society his father was in control of, and
therefore was rendered harmless without having to destroy him completely.

He was made into a cripple, was tortured, and his horns removed to ensure
that he would never be able to return to Mithas to cause his father's
shadowy organization any trouble.

Stripped of all he had, he managed to build a new life for himself as just
a citizen of Kalaman, owning a bar to make ends meet. A bittersweet last
chapter in the life of the once proud warrior, veteran and hero of many
wars.

'Alive and well, indeed,' Auschmal responded. 'And how have you fared
over these past few years?'

Souril bit down on his lip before answering. 'I have been...restless, I suppose.'

'That's no surprise. You've always been seen as a strange one for reasons
other then your hair,' the big minotaur grinned.

Of course, Auschmal was right. Souril was a half-elf, the product of a
human and one of the rare Dargonesti sea elves.

His strange appearance and fascination with minotaurs have caused him to be
seen as eccentric by most, serving as a sea mage for years alongside
Auschmal and other infamous heroes of Mithas: Illythorak, Kilarolyth,
Sansagroth, Almethrak, among others. Although he completed the Test in the
Tower of High Sorcery and was awarded the Red Robes of the Conclave, his
involvement and position in the Conclave were basically honorary at best.


Author:    Mondraiken     
Date:      Wed Sep 27 02:51:37 2006
Subject  Retro-Mariner Stories: Exile: A Bittersweet Reunion

He took the Test because he was a wizard and wanted to avoid
confrontation in the future. His interest was more in the pursuit of
knowledge then simply expanding his spell-book.

Of course the leaders of the Tower were well aware of this, which is why
they were content to let Souril pretty much do as he pleased.

Souril was most well known for the countless books he had written, most
of them about Mithas and the political system of the minotaurs.

He is a frequent visitor and contributor to the Great Library of
Palanthas, the one place he feels comfortable at with the exception of
the high seas.

His writings, not his magic, were his claim to fame. Which is how he
earned the name "The Chronicler".

'After the Orlouge was destroyed, and everyone went their separate
ways, I had a lot of time to think,' Souril said to his friend.

Auschmal grabbed an empty glass and filled it from a jug of
foul-smelling liquid kept behind the counter. He placed the glass in
front of Souril and took a swig out of the jug.

Souril looked down at the glass and a faint smile crept onto his face.
'I haven't had grog in a long time.'

'I figured as much. Now, come on, I may look a little different,' he
thumped his wooden leg, 'but it's still me. What's been bothering
you?'

'Well...over the years, I've gotten to know my human side and
qualities well. I've never given much thought to the other side of my
heritage, though.'

'Ah...an identity crisis, then?' Auschmal took another gulp of grog.

'Somewhat. A lot of it is just...well, curiosity, I guess,' Souril
shrugged.

'Curiosity killed the kender, you know.'

'Then it's a good thing I'm not half-kender,' the mage grinned.

Auschmal let out a loud laugh, 'For a variety of reasons, then!' He
then leaned forward and took a more serious tone. 'So what do you wish
to do?'

'I don't know. Going to Watermere is out of the question. And my
people--my father's people--are rare on the surface.

I wish I had at least spent more time with the Dimernesti troops during
the Illythorak Wars.'

'It is true that the Dargonesti elves are rare on the surface. But
there are still a handful of them scattered about Krynn. You have vast
resources, you know.'

'Not as vast as they once were.' the half-elf sighed.

'That is most certainly true, old friend. But you know that I will
keep an eye out and an ear out for you.'

'Thanks, Usha, that means a lot.'

'Anything for a mariner! But, I do have a business to run, so if
you'll excuse me. Please, feel free to sit back and have a few. Might do
you some good. Everything's on the house, of course.'

Souril picked up his glass and looked at the liquid in it, then gulped
it all down. 'I appreciate that, my friend, and of course I'll stay,
but only if you get me another drink.'

Auschmal laughed again. 'Of course, but you have to promise me you
won't drink me into the poorhouse!'

--[Somewhere on the Continent of Ansalon]--

How he had managed to survive this long was a miracle. Some god or
goddess was smiling down upon him, or perhaps playing a cruel joke.
That's what this all seemed like, some kind of ruse that would fade away
in a few minutes.

But he knew that wasn't the case. This was his life now. Exiled. Alone.
Out of his element, struggling to survive. Everything was different here
then from home.

He sat against a tree now--a month ago he had never even seen a
tree--looking through his remaining spell components that he had taken
with him from his old life. He knew nothing about surface magic.

He didn't have much left that would be of use to him. How long would he
survive then?

His clothes, taken from some poor human traveler that had been in the
wrong place at the wrong time, were ragged, he hadn't eaten in days, and
he had no idea where a town or city was or how long he might be exposed
to the elements.


Author:    Mondraiken     
Date:      Wed Sep 27 02:54:11 2006
Subject  Retro=Mariner Stories: Exile: A Bittersweet Reunion

He had hid in a small pond for a day or so, and even that was a
struggle. To make matters worse, the strange dreams and other abnormal
feelings and actions that overtook his body didn't go away once he made
it to the surface.

If anything, they only have gotten worse. He wrapped up his remaining
spell components in the pouches and fumbled to tie them to his belt.

He would need another set of clothes, not only to protect himself from
the elements, but to hide his identity. He stood up, leaning against the
tree.

He still wasn't quite used to being in the open air, without the comfort
of water all around him. He never realized how much he took that feeling
for granted.

It was like having a safety blanket wrapped around him at all times, and
then all of a sudden it was ripped away.

How he longed to use his magic to transform his body into a dolphin, and
swim about with speed, grace, and beauty.

The longing and discomfort drove him, however, to make his way through
this strange world and acquire the resources to get the one thing he
wanted more then anything else in the world: revenge on those who did
this to him.


Author:    Mondraiken     
Date:      Wed Sep 27 17:56:29 2006
Subject  Retro-Mariner Stories: Exile: Dreams

With the grace and speed that only a Dargonesti elf possesses, the young
mage darted like an arrow through the water. This was no playful swim,
however, as two sharks pursued him with a deadly sureness.

Somewhere in the back of the young elf's mind he was reminded of the
knowledge that on the surface, sharks were viewed as only carnivorous
fish, simply animals.

In truth, they were creatures of intelligence, evil by nature,
counterparts if you will to the peaceful dolphins that also inhabited
the waters of Krynn.

Although his thoughts were only on escape, subconsciously the elven
arrogance in him scoffed at the idea. How barbaric the creatures of the
surface were!

A fleeting thought of his mother also flashed in his mind. His mother,
threatening him as a naughty child. In that instant he could almost hear
her voice.

'Now, now, Rouuthav, behave yourself, or you'll be sent up to the
surface forever!'

The surface. Where his ancestral elves bickered and feuded and warred
amongst the humans, dwarves, and other races doomed to toil on the rocky
earth under the burning hot sun.

He had never seen a human, or a surface elf, and never wanted to.
Leagues under the Blood Sea, there were no wars, or governments to order
him around. Just the wild, untamed wilderness. Freedom.

The memories were shattered as he dove down deeper, trying to lose the
sharks, who followed him with admirable patience. Most sharks would have
given up by now, but these two would not relent.

A smile crept onto his face as he could make out a canyon down below. He
pushed as hard as he could to go faster, as he could practically feel
the sharks nipping at his heels already.

Despite the danger, he felt absolutely alive and free, but of course, he
was a barnacle-brained youth, after all. He continued his descent into
the canyon and weaved about the rocky outcroppings.

He finally spied a cavern big enough for him to enter. He swam inside,
which opened up to an enormous cave, where pillars of the ancient city
of Istar were felled.

A grave to the arrogance of the Kingpriest, another example of the
rashness of the surface dwellers. He ducked behind one of the pillars
and rested against it. It was a good thing his mother couldn't see him
now.

Another lesson he was taught as a child was that the various ruins of
Istar were forbidden to enter. Of course, he had done so on many
occasions, but what the others didn't know could not hurt them.

He didn't believe in superstitions anyway. He reached for the sealskin
pouches tied to his belt and pulled out a conch shell the size of his
fist. He began to prepare for a spell, waving his hand in the
appropriate fashion.

He took in a deep breath. He had never successfully cast this spell, but
now his life depended on it. He closed his eyes, waiting to feel his
flesh rended by sharp rows of shark teeth.

Pushing the fear away, he began to speak in the language of the arcane,
razor sharp words that almost seemed alive escaping his lips.

'El'karinth a-a'lmaskelta relkin'tha!'

He leaped out from behind the pillar, seeing the sharks speed towards
him, harbingers of death, and blew into the shell with all the power he
had left within him.

A whirlwind of bubbles clouded his vision, and he felt the shell ripped
out of his hands. He kept his eyes closed, but could still see a flash
of light through his eyelids.

He was then sent flying backwards and unceremoniously smacked against
the second pillar. A groan escaped his lips and he opened one eye to see
the last remaining bubbles dissipating in the murky water.

The charred remains of the sharks were sinking down to the ground, both
of them lifeless. He was filled with pride and triumph immediately
before he felt all of his strength seeped from him.

The spell had cast a great toll on his body. He tried to push himself
off of the pillar but found that he was too weak. Everything became
hazy, and the world faded into nothing...

...and then he saw her face for the first time.


Author:    Mondraiken     
Date:      Wed Sep 27 17:59:01 2006
Subject  Retro-Mariner Stories: Exile: Dreams

He sat up quickly, alone in the darkness. His movements were
over-dramatic, still not used to living in the surface air, and he fell
over again, his head smacking against the hard stone.

For a second, he felt like he was still in the ruins of Istar, but his
mind told him that it was just a dream. A memory of long ago, for that
had happened over fifty years ago.

He was now in a cave on the surface world, banished from his home
forever. He pushed himself back into a sitting position and put his arms
around him for warmth.

A dream. But at least it was a normal dream, not the strange nightmares
he had been having since a few years before his capture and exile from
the waters. Anger flooded through him. Exile.

What had he let himself become? In the end, he consorted with sharks,
instead of fighting them.

The remains of his conscience told him that he deserved this, he had
thrown aside all that was good for her, but he quickly pushed that
feeling away. He was right. And he would teach them.

She wouldn't abandon him. He still could see her face, and hear her
voice. He would return to the sea one day, when he was strong enough,
and he would be strong enough.

Then he would show them the error of their ways. They would bow to him.
They would praise him. And they would rule the seas together.

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.'
\n