A Story for the Ages!

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Gandian Ravenscroft

Chicago Staff
With these strokes from my quill, I send my words out across Fortannis in the hopes they shall reach those who can help make a difference!

My name is Simmon Lavendale, and perhaps you have seen my name upon the covers of my many captivating and flawless novels, for I am a renowned author with books spread all across the Mists! Over the course of my life, I have ventured from realm to realm, spreading my work, expanding my literary knowledge, and seeking inspiration for my narratives through exposure to the grand tales of heroism in each land!

Throughout my travels, I have seen and heard countless incredible things that you, the valiant adventurers of Fortannis, have accomplished over the last decades! Each of you has been through trials and tribulations unique to your own homelands, but despite the hardships, you persevered and stood victorious, and I love the stories of how that came to be! What truly give me goosebumps of excitement, though, are the tales of when the adventurers joined with one another from their scattered lands to confront the greatest dangers our world has ever known! Together, you stood united and faced down the shapeshifting Rakshasa, the oppressive rulers of the Five Kingdoms, the twisted Aelin Mor and Sightless, and so many others!

But ah, I’m getting distracted. Needless to say, I am in awe of your abilities, and I have a humble request to make of such great people that have already done so much for the good of this world. Allow me to explain:

There are many mysterious places and artifacts scattered through the Mists of Fortannis, and perhaps one of the most intriguing is that of the Kullan Tarina, or “The Golden Story.” As its name suggests, it is an arcane and powerful book, and within its pages exists an entire continent! Just imagine: a living land within the pages of a book! To an esteemed storybook author like me, the idea of such a thing has always been wondrous, and I have longed to enter its pages and witness the realm within with my own eyes ever since I was a youth. Fortunately, after years of searching for this elusive volume, I finally managed to uncover its location within a pocket of the Mists, and it was the realization of a lifelong dream!

But just as I was about to step within, I had a thought: I’m an author! Why enter the book when I could write in it first? With the Kullan Tarina in my grasp, it was finally my chance to shine! I, who spent my entire life as a bystander on the sidelines, slaving away with my ink and words to preserve the legacies of heroes and villains, could use my words to write whatever story I wanted, and it would become truth! My quill, once simply a commonplace tool of literary transcription, could now serve me as a limitless instrument with which I could rewrite reality and bend it to my will! I could cease to be just a famous author - I could write myself into a hero worthy of stories and legends of my very own!

But I once again paused, with all of you brave adventurers that have done so much and triumphed over so many evils coming to the forefront of my mind this time. You are all so great, so spread all across the Mists in such plentiful numbers, and it made me realize something: why make myself the hero of my story when there are already so many worthy heroes I could recruit to fill that role?

That, of course, only left one option for me: I would be the villain of my story! Everyone always likes the villain in a good story more than the heroes anyway! They get phenomenal powers, legions of servants, a fancy outfit, captivating monologues, and they’re practically invincible until the heroes can uncover their secret weakness and/or strip them of the source of their strength! Everyone knows that is just how stories go, and who wouldn’t want that?

And so, with giddy excitement, I invite you to join me in Lavendalir, the continent wracked with suffering and devastation I have twisted the realm within the Kullan Tarina’s pages to become! With malicious tyrants slowly tightening their grip upon the land’s captive people and me at their head, I have filled the story within this mystical book to its covers with dastardly evil, and I’m certain that heroes of your skill and reputation are the only ones that can stop it! Sure, I’ll need to die in the end - no good story ends without the villain losing, after all - but my life is a small price to pay for such a glorious legacy!

My powers and the dangers thereof are, unfortunately, largely contained within the book’s pages for the time being while I still swell my influence, but even as my quill’s ink dries here, my mastery of the Kullan Tarina’s magic grows more and more complete! If all goes according to plan, I will be able to expand more of my creations beyond the confines of the tome before too long, putting other lands and people at risk! Truly, I will threaten this world and have my name become legendary alongside the greatest villains that the heroes of Fortannis have ever conquered! I can hardly wait! I should start rehearsing my villainous laugh!

As an author and avid connoisseur of literary tradition, there is nothing I love more than to see the forces of good overcome the odds and triumph over an extraordinary evil (like me!), to see peace returned to a land thrust into peril (like this one!), and most of all, to see a grand story reach its satisfying conclusion. To these ends, I implore you: will you, the great adventurers of Fortannis, gather together from across the Mists once again to become the heroes of my story, defeat my loyal tyrants, strike me down, and rescue this land I have taken hostage? What say you?

Let’s make this a true story for the ages!

Simmon Lavendale
The Author
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Chicago Staff
Simmon, you have lost your mind.

I have been your Editor for our entire lives, traveled the world with you, had your back time and time again through countless struggles, helped you through all the twists and turns of your writing career, even helped you find the Kullan Tarina in the first place, but what you’re doing now is utter madness. You’re putting innocent lives at stake, all in the name of your delusions of grandeur and your obsession with creating a new story with you at the center.

I can no longer stand by and let it happen.

Consider this my resignation from being your Editor, and if I could resign from being your brother, I would do that as well. I would try to plead my case and try to make you see reason, but if it didn’t work the first dozen times, I’m certain it won’t work now. You’ve made it clear that you don’t want or value my insight in your life anymore, and I certainly don’t need you now that you’ve become what you are. You’re a monster, just like you wanted to be, and I am done with you.

I would say that I’m sorry, Simmon, but the truth is that I’m not. You brought this upon yourself, and you’ll get what you deserve.

Adventurers of Fortannis,

I hate to admit it, but Simmon is correct about one thing: you all are the greatest hope we have of stopping the atrocities he has written within the Kullan Tarina. I am certainly no great combatant or mage and do not stand a chance against the power of The Author, The Illustrator, and the rest of their creations without your aid.

I may be practically useless in battle, but I can still offer you assistance in the form of my knowledge. Nobody knows more about Simmon’s stories and plans than I do, and I am happy to spread that information to help bring him down. With my insight and your ability to act on it, we should be able to defeat Simmon for good and return peace to where he has written strife.

Please, let me know if you are interested in the details of the land within Kullan Tarina and what my brother has done to it, and I will be happy to provide some information to prepare you for what you will find when you venture there.

Gaius Lavendale
The Editor

(Out-of-game: The link in the above text will lead you to a short form that, when submitted, will send you an email that contains additional plot information for your character regarding the 2021 National Event. Be sure to check your Spam/Junk folder in case it gets funneled into there. We encourage you to discuss the information that you receive with your friends!)
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