Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The Heroes of Fannen-Dar, Prologue

There could never be a hero from Fannen-Dar.

Theories abounded as to how heroes were created.  Some said that you needed the touch of a god to become a hero.  This posed a problem, though, since many heroes in fact opposed the gods.  They believed that they should not meddle in mortal affairs, just as parents should not try to tell their adult children how to live their lives, though letting them borrow money is to be expected.

Many believed that events simply conspired to bring about heroes.  The reasoning was that, since heroes tended to come from rather tragic backgrounds, it was in fact the tragic background that created the hero.  However, this theory upset the multitudes of people who came from tragic backgrounds but had not become heroes.  They felt that if it were true, then they had been robbed of a perfectly good chance at fame and wealth, or at least some excitement to their otherwise tragic lives.  The proponents of this theory are still working out the kinks.

Yet another idea someone had, probably while they were taking a bath with expensive bath salts and bubbles, is that heroes were simply as such from birth.  Being a hero, of course, usually attracted trouble, and this concept supposed that such trouble could come before the hero in question had even done anything heroic.  It could be because of an omen or maybe just because the universe was made that way.  What actually chose the heroes could be just pure chance.  The theorist behind this one probably had too much hot air in his own head.

The point is, there were many explanations about heroes in Calemor (they were all wrong, but nobody needed to know that).  No one could agree just what made a hero, but everyone could come together in harmony to declare that there could never be a hero from Fannen-Dar.

If you had to ascribe one word to the town of Fannen-Dar, it would have to be the word insignificant.  At the very least, the word requires you to sneer in order to pronounce it, and Fannen-Dar was home to more sneers than the oldest and wealthiest family could know what to do with.  Moreover, the town lay on a barely used road between a tall and impassible mountain and a deep and impenetrable forest.  It was overshadowed by Raylea, the great city to the northwest, whose major trade routes led in every other direction away from the town.  Southeast from Fannen-Dar lay nothing much at all.  Calemor was mostly unexplored, and Fannen-Dar was even insignificant in comparison to the random lakes and mountains that nobody had ever seen.  At least people occasionally wondered what was out there.  Nobody ever wondered about Fannen-Dar.

This is not to say that it was a small town.  It had a thriving population that would almost have it be considered a city if anyone ever considered the place at all.  The problem was that there were only three kinds of people in Fannen-Dar.  The first kind were the wealthy; however, they were not wealthy enough to do anything more than upkeep their estates, import fancy clothes, and squabble amongst themselves about who had what power in the town.  The second kind of people were the poor; there were a lot of mouths for them to feed, and that was about the extent of their concerns.  If you're thinking that the third kind of people in Fannen-Dar were the middle class, you're a very optimistic person.  The third kind of people were the thieves.

The town was run by the gangs.  The nobles allowed them to roam free because of the under-the-table donations, and the peasants had a better chance of being left alone by joining up.  Thus, the most interesting things that happened in Fannen-Dar were turf wars among the various groups of thugs, thieves, and scoundrels.  Nobody wanted to visit the town because of the high probability of being robbed blind.  The only thing that could possibly change the situation would be a hero from within, but of know.

Calemor, the great planet of dubious size on which most mortals lived, was a place of variety.  Anything was possible on Calemor, from talking stones to flying lizards to magic portals that could take you across thousands of miles in a single step.  There were some generally accepted rules, but in a place where anything was possible, it was a rule that rules had to be broken.  For example, everyone knew that all dragons were greedy and evil.  Therefore, it had to follow that, at some point in Calemor's history, there had been or would be a generous and kind dragon.  Of course, you have probably already thought, "Shouldn't the rule that rules have to be broken also have to be broken?" but that involves a lot of eldritch abominations, and I don't want to spoil anything, especially your lunch.

While the gods fought for control over the great city-states of Calemor, while the stars revolved around the oddly shaped planet, while the tides continuously changed their minds about being in or out, Fannen-Dar went through the motions of everyday life and passed unnoticed by anyone mildly important.  Those people were focused on the heroes, on the great events that defined the fantastic world they inhabited.  Nobody cared about Fannen-Dar, because there could never be a hero from Fannen-Dar.

So, it was only a matter of time before a hero was born in Fannen-Dar.

Chapter 1, Chase >>