The narrative below is taken from the lectures of Dr. Merry Andrew Dempsy, lecturer in Fictoverse History at Empty Throne University. It was given six weeks before the onset of the Injunction War.
What you have to understand is this my good Elves, Wizards 1, Dwarves, and Gnomes – while we all take our position in the Fictoverse for granted now, for many years we weren’t even aware of either the Real World or the Actualized Realms. The Mountains of Deluge were the borders of The Realm, and no one dared the Pass of Commons to see what was on the other side. Not even the Dwarves of Red Mine did much more than glance over their tallest peaks.
Yes, we did sail the sea and found the Monstrous Islands. Beyond a destination as a vacation spot, however, there was nothing particularly interesting about them 2. We were quite happy living in The Realm – Techno Dwarves, Darned Elves, Penny Gnomes, and Great Wizards. Aside from the occasional unpleasantness from the snobs in the Forest of Classics things went well.
Until, the Penny Gnomes started hearing voices. It began, as you well know, deep in the vaults of the Penny Ore Mines. A young Gnome, whom we’ll call “Oswald,” 3 heard a humming coming from a particularly dense seam of penny ore. As he leaned in to discover the cause of the hum he felt the seam vibrating. Stronger and stronger the vibrations got as he leaned his head down. Until, finally, when Oswald’s ear touched the unusual ore he heard a voice. It’s words would change the course of The Realm’s story,
I don’t care what you want to do, you’re going to clean up this mess before you go out!
Ahh, you laugh! But it’s true these were the first words heard in The Realm which were spoken by The Narrator. Oswald didn’t know it at the time, of course, but he did immediately recognize the voice an important development. He assumed, at first, the voice came from somewhere in The Realm. He even began making plans to figure out how sending your voice through penny ore could be used for long range communication 4. Day after day Oswald came down to listen to the voice, hoping to get some clue as to it’s location, but he could gain no clues from what the voice said. In fact, the more the voice spoke the less it appeared to make sense. The voice complained about strange things like “Washington,” “Talking Heads,” and something called, “Cowboys.” It also referenced two rivers he’d never heard of – one of which, oddly enough, sounded like it had murdered people 5. The voice treated this river with utter contempt.
It wasn’t until another voice was heard through the ore that Oswald began to understand. A young child called out, “Daddy, will you read me a story?” And the voice did read a story – but the contents of the tale made him lose his breath. For in this story were several of the classmates Oswald had met the summer before while on a student exchange trip to the Forest of Classics. The voice knew all there was to know about their likes, dislikes, triumphs, and failures. He thought the voice must be coming from somewhere in the Forest of Classics, until the child spoke again once the story was finished, “Daddy, are these stories really real?” The voice laughed and said, “No, Son, they’re all made up. Now go to sleep.”
Oswald then understood. The voice was coming from nowhere in The Realm, but from some place else. Some place which knew about the Forest of Classics, but also believed them to be nothing but stories. As Oswald sat in that deep vault and pondered what this all meant, something happened. Something which would cause Oswald to be remembered for all time 6. The voice spoke to Oswald,
Why are you just sitting there? Don’t you gnomes understand imagination is dying out here? You’ve all gotten too comfortable, and need some shaking up. Start dreaming again, start coming up with ideas, start doing something or we’ll all shrivel up and then where will you lot be?
The Narrator had spoken.
This concludes part one of the Dr. Dempsy’s talk on the story of the Injunction Wars.
- This talk was obviously given before the activation of the parody shield. “Great Wizards” has not altered to “Magicasters” in order to keep this speech in it’s historic context. ↩
- With the notable exception of numerous all you can eat buffets and as many miniature golf courses as you can count. These were part of the natural landscape, mind you. The Windmill Shrubs of the Monstrous Islands are a terrible obstacle to behold. ↩
- The actual name of the gnome has been lost to time, it is customary in The Realm to give the gnome a name when telling his story. It would have have come of a shock to Dr. Dempsy that, on this occasion, he got the name completely incorrect. ↩
- And call ahead coffee orders. ↩
- Oswald eventually concluded the river was a cursed place to live, every school of fish which had lived in it had been killed. ↩
- Well, with the exception of his name, anyway. ↩