I knocked at the door and entered, pulling the linen drapes aside I saw that he was lying in one of those high end hospital beds, a bright red blanket up to his chest and an IV drip was attached to his left hand. I knew it was morphine. He looked gaunt and tired, his hair was uncombed and he had a pale look to him. Not just pale, but worn, almost translucent. He smiled as I entered.
“Hello champ how goes it?” I bantered as I sat down in the chair closest to the bed.
“Hey! I have been waiting for you slacker.” He said in a strained voice, barely above a whisper. “How am I? I’ve been better.” A small mischievous smile crept across his face. “You see that hot nurse out there? Too bad she’s taken. I can’t talk her out of dumping her fiancée and running off with me to Tahiti.” His smile ended in a slight grimace and a spasmodic cough. “Sorry, the morphine is still kicking in. The pain is not fun.” He said. There was a moment pause where we just looked at each other.
Memories flooded me, the times we had shared, and a sense of what this man meant to me as my friend. Dam few friends these days to lose any more, especially ones that were so important.
Seeming to sense my mood, Vance smiled, “I still think you should have bought the Jag.” I laughed as my mind flashed back to a time when I could have bought my dream car for a song. I procrastinated and it was sold out underneath me before I mustered the guts to sign on the dotted line. Vance said that I was a fool and went to some pains to remind me of his ignored advice for going on twenty years now. Never of course, in front of my wife, but when we were alone, it was almost a mantra. Twenty years? Yes, I recounted them; I had known this man as my friend over half my life.
“I have something for you.” He said and he motioned to the table next to him. There was what looked to be a large stationary box. “Open it.” he said.
I reached over and grabbed the box. It was much heavier than I had anticipated and brought to my lap where I carefully opened it. Inside was what looked to be a typed manuscript.
“I have been working on this for a long time”, he said, “and now I want you to have it.” He paused as I took a moment and inspected the pages, several hundred, neatly typed. This surprised me, as I had no inkling that Vance was a writer.
“I don’t understand” I said, unable to contain my confusion.
He smiled, and said, “Read the introduction.” He then closed his eyes and sighed, “I will just take a short nap here while you do. Wake me if that hot nurse comes in. I have to work in her some more.”
I smiled then turned my attention to the box in my lap. The introduction was twenty pages long, talking about of all things, the nature of the universe. Specifically how there are infinite variations of reality played out in alternate dimensions and explained fairly well under the general term of Quantum Physics. It went on to cite references and theories and wove an intricate argument of how every story, every act of artistic creation was a momentary breach between these infinite dimensions bringing that “reality” back into our own. Every story, every novel, every “fantasy world” was in fact, in some other alternate dimension and therefore real. It ended with a question in that do we really pull this stuff from alternate dimensions, or by the act of inspiration do we cause its existence? Do we create infinite universes by our acts of creativity and storytelling?
I looked up maybe twenty minutes later to see Vance watching me. He smiled and whispered, “Keep reading.” then shut his eyes again.
I looked down at Chapter One, and I started reading about the history of this medieval fantasy kingdom: Pendor.
Почти 1000 лет назад Править
Война титанов заложила фундамент для вознесения Человека. После страшной войны, древние расы были вынужденны покинул мир лишенный магии, и эти легендарный люди некогда столь могущественные, стали теперь лишь материалом для фольклора и легенд. Лишь затворники Нолдоры, или-же "Эльфы" остались с тех времен, и их когда-то великие города были разрушены, кроме возможно лишь одного.
354 года назад - основания Пендора Править
Это время людей. История сосредотачивается на плодородных землях Пендора и борьбой народов, их лидеров и их судьбах. Несколько сотен лет назад, единственное королевство был выковано огнем и мечом. Жители поддерживали стабильность, а пять поколений Пендорианских царей сидели на Серебряном Троне в Сарлеоне на протяжении 200 лет они руководили судьбой своей земли, и это не придел.
198 год со дня основания Пендора Править
Гибель Королевства была очень быстра, как это произошло? это было ужасно. Лишь за Один месяц и тридцать дней, великая империя превратилась в щепки. Ирония заключалась лишь в том, что пала она не от меча в бою, или какой-то темной магии которая повлекла смерть короля и его семьи. Причиной этому стала страшнейшая болезнь - красная чума, которая уничтожила половину населения всей страны. Королевская семья погибла, и не было ни одного короля, который смог бы править землей. Затем начались вторжение которые казалось разрушат когда-то гордое королевство и их славу в щепки. Королевство Пендор теперь стало лишь легендой со смертью короля и его наследников, был лишь хаос. Несколько лордов претендовало на трон, и почти все знатные дома начали ссориться по поводу унаследования трона.
Заложение фундамента Пендора – год 199 Править
The carefully laid agreements, truces and alliances with neighboring powers became suspect. In the North, the mountain tribesmen began raiding the heartlands of Pendor. Embolden by their success and the lack of response from the Knights of the Realm, they struck even deeper and soon this led to the siege to Rane. The Earl of Rane sought help from the nobles of the land, but the schemes of the powerful found reasons not to come to his aid. Many Northern Lords, banded together and formed a small army that marched to defend the city from the onslaught of the northern Mystmountain warriors.. The battle was bloody and fierce, and in the end, the siege was lifted, and the barbarian tribesmen and their shaman leaders, routed back to their mountain homes. The Northern Lords, who fought so valiantly that day, decided to establish a knighthood order, the Order of the Dragon, comprised of the valiant warriors who defended the city. News of this new order was not well received by other knighthood orders or by the nobility to the South. They demanded that the Order of the Dragon be disbanded which in the minds of the proud warriors of the North, was an unforgivable insult to their valor. The scorn of other established knighthood and the lack of support to route the invaders from Rane prompted the Northern Lords to break ties with the southern lords and declared themselves an independent Kingdom:The Kingdom of Ravenstern.
Reeling from the succession of the Northern cities and lords, the remaining Pendorian nobility were not prepared to meet the next challenge that followed within a few short years.
Заложение фундамента Пендора – год 202 Править
From the South, over the southern sea,the Great Baccus Empire launched an invasion fleet and landed a powerful army on the shores of Pendor led by the war hardened General Oasar. He drove inland conquering cities and castles, and seemed unstoppable. Ironically, within a few short months of campaigning, the general received by messenger that the great Baccus Empire itself was in civil war and that the Emperor had been assassinated. After receiving this shocking news, Oasar established himself, with the support of several Pendor Lords, as Overlord of Janos and officially broke away from what was left of the Baccus Empire. The great Baccus Empire convoluted and fragmented into dozens of principalities, city-states and kingdoms. The greatest and most powerful is the under the dominion of the priesthood of the serpent: a powerful and seemingly mystical religion of warrior priests who worship the unnamed goddess of darkness who manifests herself in the form of a snake.
For the once great kingdom of Pendor, that meant that a large portion of it’s Southern lands, cities and nobility were now either dead or sworn to service under this upstart general who calls himself Overlord.
Заложение фундамента Пендора – год 204 Править
After the establishment of the Northern Kingdom of Ravenstern and the invasion of Oasar, the powerful Lord Alfred, Duke of Sarleon, consolidated the remaining lords of Pendor and declared himself King of Sarleon. For ten years a measure of peace was maintained.
Заложение фундамента Пендора – год 213 Править
To the far north, across the seas lived the hearty warriors of the Vanskerry. Segmented into Jarldoms, they were raiders and traders. With the Baccus Empire gone, many of the Vanskerry mercenaries in their employ were free to return home to the frosty shores of their fathers. A wise man’s musings in the reaches of Vanskerry goes “Death is found in the blade of your enemy and trouble when a warrior has nothing to do.” When word came to the North of the troubles of Pendor, it was greeted with a call to arms and promises of plunder and women. Soon, raiding ships found the shores of Pendor a ripe land full of gold and wealth. Their well-armed and hearty warriors began raiding the towns and villages along the coast and met very little resistance. The Knights of the Lion and Lords of Sarleon responded by patrolling the coastal shores. Yet, still the crafty Vanskerry raiders managed to sack village after village. With so little ability to defend themselves, the merchant lords of the Pendorian coastal provinces sent delegations to the Jarldoms to seek alliances and protection. At first they were rejected, but in time as offers included titles and lands many Jarls and their huscarls began to listen.
The lands of Vanskerry are rugged and cold, compared with the lush and rich pastures of Pendor. The lure of good weather, and the chance to become a Lord of a castle, or even a well-located mayor of a village, appealed to many of the Jarls. Soon, many Vanskerry households left the shores of their fathers and sought fortune and prosperity along the coast of Pendor. Some entered into the service of the Pendorian lords, others married into the noble families. This changed many things in the Kingdom, as the warrior culture and attitudes of Vanskerry were brought into the noble houses of the coastal lords. Within a generation the culture gap was so great that the coastal nobles broke away from the King of Sarleon and formed a rough alliance of city-states called collectively the Fierdsvaain.
Заложение фундамента Пендора – с 204 по 245 Править
The story continued and detailed intrigues, war and heroic actions as well as the great villains of the land. There were stories of the Jatu tribesmen and their flight from the Empire and General Oasar, becoming nomads in the Eastern prairies of Pendor. There are the detailed accounts of the Order of the Lion, a knighthood order of Pendor, and their history and their betrayal by one of their own which had the order declared outlaw for years until their redemption under the current King of Sarleon. Chapters were dedicated to the D’Shar, a nomadic peoples who are evolving into a military and economic force only to find that their own worst enemy is themselves. Just as fascinating was the references to the encounters with the ancient Noldor and their powerful weapons and enchantments that changed the life of more than one adventurer. I was especially drawn to the story of Madigan, a wandering mystic who prophesized the coming of a hero who would unite the lords of the Pendor and reunite the old kingdom. His saga touched me as a hero himself, trying to speak the truth and being condemned to death for his beliefs.
I was startled out of my reading by the nurse telling me that visiting hours were over.
It was late, and I had spent most of the afternoon and early evening captured by the amazing story I held in my hands. I skipped quickly to the last pages and found them blank. I realized suddenly that the final chapters were missing.
I looked at Vance, who once again was awake, and watching me. Guessing my question and concern he said, “I do not have the answer to the last chapters. Those will have to be written. Perhaps when you write them, it will create those dimensions, those realities. I do not know for sure, but I suspect that is the case. I am too tired now to continue. That is why I asked you here today mate. Finish the story.”
He reached over and took my hand and gave it a hard squeeze. “I am tired mate and I have to sleep” he said in a half dreamy voice. It was the morphine I knew, finally giving him relief to the awful pain he must be feeling. I smiled at him and he shut his eyes and went to sleep.
Год 354 Править
Наши дни. Никому неизвестный странник (а может быть и странница) начинает свой путь в Пендоре. Кто знает, что с ним (ней) пройзойдет?
Погибнет от рук бандитов
или сам(а) будет наводить ужас на караванщиков и путешественников?
Соберет свой отряд или предложит свои услуги одной из враждующих сторон?
Приведет одну из стран к победе или возродит Пендор?