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Sullivan: Manuscript of a Memoir

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My lengthiest and most formal of introductions serves as a summary of the most eventful moments of my life.

Lord Sullivan of House Atlas of Procampur, Loremaster-Venturer of Oghma, Avowed of Candlekeep, Fellow of the Eclipse, and Seer or Clairsentient Psion.

Here’s how got those titles.

Lord. Born to Lord and Lady Atlas before me, in a city where the color of your roof denotes the wealth and place of your family, and so help you if you stray from sanctioned behaviors befitting your caste.

Sullivan. I picked it out. Means ‘dark eye’ in Waelan.

Loremaster-Venturer. Fancy title for my rank in the church.

Avowed. Fancy term for the live-in librarians of the great fortress.

Fellow. Alumnus of the College of The Eclipse for psions, in Amn.

Seer. I See. Whew! Glad that’s all explained and leaves no ambiguity whatsoever.


Right. I’ll hit the usual questions.

For reasons unknown (not to say without hypotheses) I am privy to visions of the future and rarely the past. They are not guaranteed to happen and in many cases are so implausible or impossible due to past or current circumstances they reside squarely in alternate threads of reality that only retroactive continuity could coalesce.

I can’t control them. At all.

They tend to be about people or places I’ve been near or will be near soon. For this reason I never take for granted apparently random visions of unfamiliar faces or places. Every person, item, and location has a particular aura which disturbances of great emotional or vital-mortal changes cause to resonate more strongly. Yes, the highly studious, logical disciplines of psionics must account for emotions, because drama fluoresces like bonfires at midnight. Weapons and wedding rings sing with memory.

Nothing is of no importance. Nothing is of no relation. “Coincidence” is what we coin the darkness between seemingly unrelated points before illuminating the pathways with facts.

I had my first vision when I was six. I pitched to the floor in seizure. My right eye turned green. I had a vision about falling off my horse.

She was a dapple grey mare named Smokey and one of my few lasting regrets in leaving my old life behind.

Procampur is an old city. Already old when I was born, when my parents were born, and so on and so forth. It was old when it was built over older Proeskampalar.

It’s old and Procampans will happily tell you about how old their families are. They’ll tell you how old their houses are, how old the walls that separate them are, how old the first coat of colored paint on the rooftops are. Not that you’d know: the color has to be visible (they have to know what to think of you!) so the coats are frequently fresh.

The walls are high, the lanes are wide, the streets are clean, the gallows are ripe with blue faces.

You didn’t think new paint is why the city’s so tidy, did you?

The walls are thick but the gates are open. The lanes are wide but the streets are watched. The guards are punctual but their politeness is rehearsed. The districts are free to wander but what will the neighbors think of you if you do?

The thickest walls of all.

“Did you have to go and be such an inconvenience at dinner with another one of your fits?”

That’s what Mother thought.

“I don’t care if it’s true or not, can’t you just keep your mouth shut for once?”

That’s what Father thought.

“Oh that poor thing.”

That’s what the neighbors thought.

At first.

“Stop faking this silly illness and pay attention,” became, “Can’t you try harder to control it next time?” became, “This is serious and we’ll have over as many wizards and clerics as needed to get to the bottom of this.”

Eventually: “How can we use this?”

And that’s why I started honing my powers. To be better used.

Why don’t I like children?

I prefer conversational partners of a particular plateau of intelligence and wit to hold my interest, and most children lack that. But that pertains to other people’s children. Go and have as many of your own as you want, if that fulfills you, and if you can provide happy lives for them.

Many of you see children as an end: a treasure, a reward. Parenthood, an experience to cherish. Offspring desired as a shared journey with one’s beloved partner.

My existence was not rewarding to my Waukeenar parents.

I was an economical investment, parenthood a begrudged necessity. Boarding schools lightened the burden, relieving them of my pesky presence while honing me into a proper tool. My tutors and teachers were not to enrich my life, but to increase my net worth. Teaching children of noble Procampans is not to make them better people, but more desirable acquisitions. I was already betrothed to another before I could talk. I would someday be the wax seal on the joining of two enterprises.

The visions and fits cast doubts on my worth. Oh that poor thing. Those awful seizures, those ranting episodes. Always covered in bruises. How will she ever safely carry a child to term?

And that’s why I changed my name.

Whew! Glad that’s all explained and leaves no ambiguity whatsoever.