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In the time of long ago, a battle raged between the two great powers of the time. Shortly thereafter, a small woodland creature emerged on the other side of the world. Five more things happened after that. It was dark.

Horshwald Heronius was on his way home from picking up some groceries at the local adventurer’s mart when, to his horror, he found his uncle brutally murdered on the floor of their two-story treehouse in Stickerbacker Woods. He put away the groceries neatly and then picked up his fallen uncle’s sword. It was a family heirloom and had dispatched many goblins in the twelve year war of the goblins and other antagonists. His uncle also used it to slice cheese. Horshwald filled a small sack with some trail rations, a thermos of soup, and a handful of lamp oil. He donned his bandolier of throwing weasels and shealthed his inherited sword in his left front pocket, immediately slashing his leg. But he didn’t have time to bleed now, so he limped out of the treehouse in search of his uncle’s killer. As he walked away from his former home, he held a remote detonator up in his right hand. He flipped the safety off with he thumb and pressed the button. The treehouse exploded behind him as he walked away. Much of the forest burnt soon after.

The sun set. The breeze drifted on through the night. Orcs did some things. Most of them were killed as a result. The people of this time and place hate Orcs. Many people slept and some of them had dreams.

In onesuch dream, a mosquito flew through the night sky. It buzzed softly as it rode the night breeze throughout a small village. It landed on a sleeping dog. The dog slapped his tail around a bit as a reflex. The mosquito took to the sky again. It flew around for several minutes in sweeping circles outside a small cottage with no lights on. It eventually settled on a open-shuttered window sill. It sat. It crawled a bit from side to side. It flew to another part of the same sill. It peered into the cottage at a sleeping child in a small bed. The child lay on her back with her head turned to one side. Blond hair draped down over her shoulders and onto the bed, framing her neck. Her neck throbbed slightly as she breathed. Blood pumped through her jugular vein. Warm, sweet blood. The mosquito buzzed softly and then took to the air and flew hundreds of miles away where it was eventually sucked into the intake of the outer starboard engine of a 747 and reduced to its constiuent particles. The pilot of the 747 died a few years later in an automobile accident.

Horshwald walked the streets of New Upper Inner Carthalapathiovia in search of his uncle’s murderer. When the sun went down, he got a room at the cheapest inn the town offered, and then skipped out in the middle of the night, as he couldn’t even afford this particular inn, as he had spent all of his money on a series of hot-air balloon rides from what was left of Stickerbacker Woods, hundreds of miles away, thousands of pounds of opiates which he ingested rectally, and one scratch-off lottery ticket which didn’t pay out.

The orcs regained the initiative and killed, raped, and ate several humans, a dozen elves, and a gnome that they thought was a young girl. They celebrated with pie and ale. The people began to like orcs even less. Four-hundred and sixty-two people that had never seen an orc before went on a expedition together into a mountain range and were never heard from again. Someone theorized that they started their own society deep in the mountains, invented and spoke a language of only dipthongs and the number 213, and a religion based on their own body hair.

Although they couldn’t possibly have known that he was absolutely correct, the next-door neighbors of the one who suggested that theory axe-murdered him in his sleep, stole all of his belongings, through his goat off of a cliff, burned down his house, salted the earth where his house had stood, warded the area with seventeen different evil spells, buried one thousand landmines, a dozen barrels of radioactive sludge, three terrasques, and a small rock with a bad attitude on his property, erected a fence of razorwire around the area, dotted the ground in front of the fence at regular intervals with pikes supporting a mummified head taken from their own collection, and planted a small, wooden sign where the walkway to the front door used to be. The sign read, “Keep Out.”

A troupe of tree-thweeling troubadours settled in to a town on the edge of a country. They prepared to perform their famous routine several nights a week over the next few months. Eventually they all died.

In a freak accident involving a cursed book, a VCR and a stick, one of the troubadours was resurrected. Unfortunately, he was resurrected in the exact same spot that he had died, which was the inside of an active volcano. His name was Thad. He died again.

Horshwald found the man that killed his uncle. He bought him a drink and then offered him a job as a cosmetics salesman in a pyramid scheme he had thought up while riding in a hot air balloon and hallucinating from the large doses of opiates he was taking. The two had ice cream that night and eventually married twin elven maidens named Tyhraet’Jiktfy-Oeurq’tryghj and Bobbette.

Five centuries later the world was five centuries older. It is a world that is full of exploration. Many adventurers from around the world come here to explore it. Will you go?

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