The First Great Writer finished his work and soberly gazed at his apprentice. "It is time" he said. "I THINK this book will bring you back. I have written phrases in it that should lead you back from this strange, wonderful universe to our fair city. In fact, to this very room." As the brave lad looked inside, the scribe added hastily, "and my favourite gazpacho recipe." The young man looked at him dubiously, "but never mind that. Fear not! If it fails I will simply send another after you to bring you back." The young guildsman's face relaxed. "YOU are the chosen hero of a great chapter in our people's history! Dont you know why I called you in today?"
DWF * shook his head. "I didn't think you liked me, Sir. I apologize if I sounded brash when I asked about successions...."
Frobozz cut in "Nonsense! I know a future leader when I see one. I cant lead Garternay's guilds forever. And the fellow who proves The Magical Art works will be the greatest hero in our history! One day you will put even MY name in eclipse.. They may even make you head of the council for this, my boy! We shall succeed! And the Ages of the Universe will be ours! So..are you game?"
DWF nodded exuberantly. Nervously the tall lanky red-head placed his hand upon the panel. A sharp glow surrounded him, accompanied by an odd hum and a sort of sucking sound...then he was gone.
Frobozz grinned and patted his leatherbound portal lovingly. "Well that's one more down.... They'll never get ME out of my Guildmasters Chair!" The Crazy Old Git cackled with glee, cutting a caper across the rug until his muscles spasmed and left him helpless. "Wait'll he gets a load of the natives!" Still shaking with laughter he rang the bell for his nurse. "I'll make it through my fifth century yet! You wait and see!" he wheezed to his attendant.... who simply nodded, humouring him.
Years later, historians realized that Re'Nerif's "Earth round(dirt/pie)" was NOT the first great Age. They had been confused by early references because of the similarity of names. Mud was the original.....a wet world whose link point was a sloshy, slimey, well forested island populated by ugly simians. Sadly, they also discovered that Frobozz had burnt the books after years of one-way use. Many well-intentioned efforts were made to relink to the Age using his workbooks but none were successful. ( probably because no one knew about the odd recipes and colourful phrases in crayon Frobozz had whimsically included at the back) No rescue was possible. However, these efforts did result in a number of Ages popular for improving one's complexion. The families of these lost pioneers were ennobled in partial compensation for their loss. DWF's name did indeed live in history, his descendants even wore the crown for amazingly brief spells, given the Guartenian/ D'ni's usual lifespan, but those are other tales...... In fact, the outstanding efforts made by DWF's kindred may well have played a role in Kerath's decision to end the monarchy.
Ages later *ahem* .....someone managed to link to the same age as the first village of hardy travelers. By this time there was only one of pure Garternian descent left near the link site.
After establishing that the rescuer really did have a WORKING link book, the old man said to the newcomer "we expected you much sooner than this" and dived off the end of the pier in sheer frustration.
Atrus watched on in bewilderment as the apes lit the end of the walkway.
*** DWF DimWit Flathead I
" Don't pray for tasks equal to your powers, but powers equal to your tasks"
Anon E. Mouse