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Library :: The Descendants of Mog

By Crom

The years of my life have come and gone past me. Worlds have thrived and died as I sit here watching from my perch at the edge of all worlds. I have seen many a hero and villain conquer and fall. And many a bloodline flow and flourish, just to wither and die throughout the ages. But as I lay here, waiting for the end of eternity to come, one masterful lineage keeps echoing throughout the memories of my mind. The tale of the mighty Mog and his powerful descendants, fills my celestial brow.

Mog was a rather rugged Frost-Giant from the lonely Mount Paradis in the astral realm of Nez. His parents were lost to him when he was not more than an infant, killed in one of the many battles between the Frost-Giants of the Peak of the Mountain, and the Fire-Giants of the Southern Base. It was because of this loss that Mog became rather withdrawn from the rest of his Frost-Giant brethren.

Instead of tumbling and wrestling with the other Frost-Giant children, Mog tinkered with various mechanisms that he would invent. But of course, because of his own isolation from the village Mog became quite lonely and depressed. So he would take long walks about the peak, thinking to himself, and listening to the diverse chirpings, whistles, and roars of the animals that inhabited the many ridges of the mountain. And after many years of this, Mog began to understand the language of these beasts. He could decipher what they would say to themselves and the few phrases that they would utter to him. But what was even more astounding was that in time Mog himself was able to respond to the creatures' chattering.

The animals taught Mog a great many things about the world. The heights that only birds know. The narrow burrows that snakes can slither through. And the depths that only the hardiest fish could plunge. For several years he kept his knowledge of the animal speak a secret, until finally Mog himself accidently tipped his hand as he chastised one of the Frost-Giant elders for whipping a sickly pack animal.

The village elders, in their dimwitted superstitions, first thought that Mog was possessed by some horrible demon. They flogged and burned Mog, hoping to free him of the demon that they were sure had taken over his body. They imprisoned him within a dark cavern for months at a time, with nothing to sustain him but his own thoughts. Even the children added to this torture as they laughed and called him 'Beast'; which was considered an insult, for all beasts were viewed as lesser beings to the Frost-Giants.

Eventually after more than a year of this cruelty Mog began to pretend that he could not hear the animals. He stopped using the animal speak, and the village elders believed that they had finally purged Mog's soul of the demon that they so knowingly thought was within him. However, even after his so-called emancipation from the demon within, Mog was treated as an untrusted, and unwelcomed member of the Frost-Giant village.

Essentially Mog was an out cast. He was given a meager hut on the outskirts of the village. Mog was never allowed to go on the tribal hunts, nor into battle against the Fire-Giants. The village shaman would not take him in as an apprentice. Nor would the weapon smiths allow him into their fold. And so, Mog was left with the only occupation left in the village. The one job that was considered degrading and demeaning to any respectable Frost-Giant. The one that none of the other tribesmen ever wanted. Mog became a farmer.

Using the pack animals of the village to plow the hard terrain of the peak, Mog tended what few fruits, vegetables, and plants that could survive in the frigid climate. Raising and caring for the tribesmen's mounts, Mog felt was yet another test by the elders to see if he were fully freed of the vile demon. It was a hard job, unappreciated, and considered by some unneeded, but Mog enjoyed working with the animals. Besides it was much better than the alternative of incarceration.

One day while the other Frost-Giants followed the Half-Breed Crom down to battle the Fire-Giants of the Southern Base, Mog was busily plowing the fields to ready the ground for the planting of new crops. Mog pressed his rigid body against the heavy plow, starting a new column, as he surprisingly noticed how perfusely he was sweating. Yes the work was strenuous, but never before had he sweated so much. Mog looked out towards the village, and noticed that those few Frost-Giants that were left there were sweating quite a bit as well. Some of them had even fainted from the sudden warmth that was quickly filling the area. It was as if the whole mountain was heating up by some unknown force.

Suddenly, the ground opened up beneath Mog, and before he could even react he slid down into a deep crevice. Mog's body thrashed back and forth against the cavern walls as he fell further and further down the mountain. Mog let out a loud howl as he plunged nearly 500 feet into a deep underground river. The rapid waters of the river quickly carried Mog down out of the Northern base of the mountain along the Southern edge of the Pass of Despair. Mog tried to swim and keep himself afloat for as long as he could, but the swift currents dragged him under, plunging him into the oblivion of the water's depths.

When Mog awoke, he was not sure if he were dead or alive. Apparently, his body had washed up on a desolate river bank near the crest of a rather massive waterfall. His strength had left him, so he crawled the several feet to the edge of the cliff. Mog's mind began to reel as he watched the water of the river dip off the side and down into a deep black nothingness. The bank Mog washed up on was not more than ten-feet from a never ending plummet into death's darkness.

Mog's arms slipped underneath him and his face crashed against the muddy ground. As he turned onto his side Mog was surprised to see that the stars here were not overhead as they were on the mountain where he grew up, but rather they laid just along the horizon. They twinkled like campfires in his eyes. Sleep came quickly to Mog's tired head as he watched them sparkle.

After several days, Mog finally came to and found himself in a warm bed. As his eyes opened, he looked up at the ceiling as it stared back down at him with indifference. Mog then looked down at his own body and was surprised to find the many cuts and bruises that he had received from his hasty journey through the mountain crevice were cleanly dressed. Mog raised his head and was looking around at his surroundings as a heavenly voice sang a sweet melody that was beginning to fill his mind with pleasant thoughts.

The voice seemed to come closer and closer until suddenly an exquisite looking female Human walked through the small curtain that separated the room that Mog was lying in from the rest of the dwelling. She smiled to see that Mog was awake. Mog, not being able to recall the last time someone smiled at him, just laid his head back down and asked the woman if she was an angel. The woman giggled at the comment and shook her head. She introduced herself as Maori, from the Eastern Isles. Mog looked about and asked if he were in these Isles now. Again Maori giggled as she shook her head. She explained to Mog that he was in the Drow Elf city of Madre Nuit, he was found on the river bank near the edge of the city, and taken in by her and her family. Maori then knelt beside Mog and pressed a cold towel against his forehead.

Mog was astounded. No one had ever shown him this much compassion before. As a matter of fact, no one ever showed him any compassion before. He blushingly smiled up at the beautiful Maori as he became completely smitten with her. She giggled at his sheepish grin, as she would many more times as the years passed, for she too had been stricken by the arrow of love.

After his wounds had healed, Mog began working alongside Maori and her family, who by some miraculous coincidence happened to be farmers as well. Never would he stray far from the side of the sweet songbird who had taken care of him, nor would she have wanted him to. Eventually Mog and Maori were married and blessed with the birth of a son whom they christened Mogus.

Mogus grew up learning the ways of farming and was reluctantly taught by his father the secrets of the animal speak. Mog was afraid to educate his son in the art that had brought him so much pain back in his homeland, but he knew how useful the animal speak could be in the trying life of a farmer.

One night Mogus overheard Mog tell Maori about the vile nickname that he had been given, the tortures that he endured in the village of the Frost-Giants, and his fears that one day his own son might be faced with the same hardships. Tears filled young Mogus' eyes as he watched Maori comforting his father, telling Mog that the Frost-Giants were far away, and here in the city of Mother Night he and his son would be accepted by all for their talents.

Time rolled on, as it usually does, and Mogus grew into his teen years. And much like his father, Mogus showed a fascination with inventing. On his thirteenth birthday Mogus had a special surprise for Mog. It was a machine that he had created which would take away all of the toil in plowing.

Mogus hooked up several ropes to a mill wheel in the river and to a series of plows in the field. Mog looked on happily as Mogus released the wheel and the river's currents pulled upon the ropes tugging the plows forward as they digged their way into the dirt. Suddenly, a piece of timber floating in the river caught into one of the wheel spindles. The tension on the ropes caused several of them to split and hurled one of the plows into the air towards Mogus. Mog not wishing to see his son hurt pushed Mogus aside as the plow came crashing down. Mog let out a bloodcurdling scream as the plow smashed his body against the ground.

Maori and Mogus quickly ran to Mog who was moaning in pain. They gently carried the Frost-Giant back to their home, and laid him into his bed softly. Several doctors came to do what they could for the injured Mog, but all of them feared the worst. Mog suffered for several days groaning in agony, as Mogus watched his mother deeply weeping at the sight of her beloved slowly dying before her eyes. Finally Mog's misery came to an end as death's blissful release swept over his body.

Mogus ran out into the fields furiously tearing apart the contraption that had brought about Mog's demise. He cursed the Gods for allowing such a thing to happen. And cursed himself for what he believed to be his part in the accidental patricide of his father.

Maori tried to comfort her son, but Mogus became more and more withdrawn. With every passing day Mogus seemed to be slipping away from the world. Much the way Mog's life slowly slipped away from his body. Mogus was completely unaware of the new hardship that was about to befall him and his mother until it was too late.

The Frost-Giants that Maori had assured Mog were so far away, had unexpectedly appeared at the edge of Madre Nuit. Alongside the Fire-Giant Army the Frost-Giant Legion began to lay siege to the city. The city was in chaos as they seemingly held the tremendous Army of Giants at bay. For months this went on until surprisingly the Giants had made their way through a secret passage that was only known to the natives of the city.

Since Mogus was half Frost-Giant and had vanished from the public eye since the death of his father, the city officials suspected that it was he that gave the Giant Army the location of the secret passage. So in retaliation Mogus, Maori, and the rest of her family were taken to the Coliseum in the center of the city. Beneath this vile arena were many caged animals and prisoners who dueled daily for their lives. However this day was not to be one of contest, but rather of execution.

Mogus and his family were released in the center of the Coliseum as archers took up position around them. Mogus snapped out of his self-induced catatonia as he recognized what was about to happen to him and his family. He let out a scream as the arrows came crashing down upon them. Maori and the rest of the family fell to the ground with the first shot, but Mogus being half Frost-Giant could not be killed as easily. Mogus let out a violent howl as the archers began to retake aim at him. Suddenly all of the deadly animals caged beneath the arena broke free of their bondage and charged out towards the archers. Before they could react, all of the archers were ripped to shreds by the beasts.

Mogus fell to his knees beside the lifeless form of his mother. He took Maori's dead hand into his as tears streamed down his eyes; again the Gods had robbed him of a parent. Mogus took his mother's corpse into his arms and released the most depressing wail that even my ears have ever heard. The sound of Mogus' lamenting caused all of the animals within the city to go into a frenzy. City guards were thrown from their horses and trampled to death. Faithful pets turned on their owners. And Briar bulls broke out of their pens and stampeded their way through the city streets.

Crom and Garg, the Barbarian Brothers of Nez, watched in horror as the soldiers of Madre Nuit were crushed and impaled by the beasts that were rushing through the city towards them. The two brothers took up stance awaiting for the coming onslaught of death to be upon them and their army. Then, unforeseeable to all present, another melancholy wail was heard echoing through the air. The stampeding animals came to an instantaneous stop not more than a few feet from the Giant Army. The creatures began to part away from the center of the street as Mogus came walking up to the Giants, the inanimate body of his mother still cradled within his arms.

At the sight of the Half-Breed-Giant with a dead woman in his arms brought tearful memories to Crom and Garg. They sadly approached Mogus as they sorrowfully remembered the death of their own mother. Mogus looked at the approaching Half-Breed Brothers as his eyes stung with his own salty frozen tears. Crom introduced himself and his brother as he laid a hand upon Mogus' shoulder asking the younger Giant for his name. Mogus remembered hearing his father once speaking of a Frost-Giant Half-Breed by the name of Crom. Mogus raised his chin in the air and replied, his voice filled with pride, 'I am the son of Mog and Maori, I am Mogus the Beast!'

Crom bowed his head in shame, for he remembered how badly the one known as Mog had been treated by his people. He then turned to the Army of Giants and announced that from that day forward, the nickname of Beast should forever be a Badge of Honor amongst them and that the Legacy of Mog would be intertwined with his own. Crom then turned to Garg, then back to Mogus, and asked the newly orphaned Half-Breed to join with him and his brother, and together they would lead the Army of Giants as a family. Mogus looked down at the body of his mother in his arms, smiling affectionately as he spoke to her, 'You and father can rest in peace now mother. The wrongs of the past have been righted. And I have a new family to protect me now.' With that he kissed Maori's lifeless forehead and handed her over to the Giant Army as they were instructed by Garg to give her a grand burial plot next to the spot where the great Mog was laid to rest.

Mogus went on with his newfound family, using his animal speak to bring the various animals that they would come across into the service of the Army of Giants. Many battles did he fight in, and many new allies did he recruit into the ranks of the Giant Army. It was because of his skills, and the many deeds that Mogus the Beast was responsible for, that caused him to be hurled into the portal that the Gray God Gris had created for the evildoers of Nez.

It is then that Mogus came to the realm known as Distant Lands. It was there that he made a pact with the other exiled beings of Nez, which would eventually lead to the formation of the Dark Order of Nez. But it was also there that Mogus began to return to his old ways of withdrawing from society.

For with the sudden loss of their abilities, the Barbarian Brothers would often succumb to bouts of sibling rivalry. Garg's opinion to the whole ordeal was that they could raise a new army and become even more powerful in this new realm than in their native world of Nez, while all Crom wanted to do was to return home to his own people. Even in this world Fire and Ice did not mix well and often the Barbarian Brothers would become so angry that they would turn violent towards one another. All the while poor Mogus was caught in the middle, watching as those that had called him family fought amongst themselves. And so to escape this never ending cycle of anger and hate, Mogus constructed a fine ship and sailed across the sea.

Mogus was at peace as he sailed along through the great ocean of Distant Lands. He enjoyed the gentle rocking of the ship as waves softly crashed against it. Delighted in listening to the sound of the gulls greeting him as they flew overhead. Smiled down to the fish that introduced themselves as he journeyed further and further into the ocean.

Finally, after several days of sailing Mogus came to shore in a small town called Rocksport. As he traveled through the city, he admired its sturdy appearance and the mixture of the many races that inhabited this township. It brought back fond memories of his youth in Madre Nuit, the days when both his mother and father were still alive.

Mogus daydreamed about the past as he walked further and further into the city till finally he came to pair of glistening gates. On the top of these grand gates was a wrought-iron sign that read, ROCKSPORT ZOO, and just below that was yet another sign painted in red letters which stated that the Zoo was looking for workers to help care for the animals. The thought of working with animals again filled Mogus with joy and he quickly rushed into the Zoo hoping for employment.

It was in the Zookeeper's office that Mogus met the lady that would one day become his wife. Her name was Kisha, and she was the Zookeeper's niece. Kisha helped her uncle take care of the animals and gave the various tours of the Zoo grounds for its many visitors. Mogus offered his services to the Zookeeper, who was astounded by Mogus' ability to speak with the animals, and instantly gave the Half-Breed Giant the job.

Over the coming months Mogus helped in making sure that all of the animals' needs were met. He would care for them when they were sick. He would calm them when they were restless. And he would feed them the nice little treats that only they knew about. It was as he worked side by side with Kisha that the two became enamored with each other. And it was because of his bewildering feats with the animals that the Zookeeper consented for the two to get married. Soon Mogus found himself a father to a strong healthy boy, which he and Kisha named Mogum.

Mogum was blessed with the best qualities of both of his parents. He had Kisha's human body but Mogus' strength. His mother's level-head and his father's stamina. But most importantly, he was blessed with Mogus' ability to speak with the animals. And so the Badge of Honor that was the nickname Beast was passed onto Mogum, which both he and his father bore proudly.

When Mogum was seven he, his mother, and his great-uncle became gravely ill. Mogus, who was oddly immune to this illness, took up the responsibilities of both running the Zoo on his own as well as caring for his sick family. Months passed, and the family grew more and more ill with each passing day. Mogus had all the best doctors, clerics, and healers come to see what could be done to rid his family of their illness. But no matter what the herbs, medicines, and magiks performed on them by these healers, did the family show any signs of improvement. They just kept fading further and further away.

Kisha slipped away through death's door one night as Mogus tried his best to combat the extreme fever that had filled her body, and it seemed that Mogum and the Zookeeper weren't far behind her. Mogus again found himself cursing the Gods as yet another one of his loved ones was robbed from him. Maybe it was this cursing, or maybe just a simple coincidence that brought the powerful visitors knocking upon Mogus' door that night. The dark visitors that would forever change Mogus' fate and save the lives of both Mogum and the Zookeeper.

When Mogus opened the door, he was surprised to see the Half-Elf Markon Elvenfire and the enigmatic Dwarf known only to him as Legion, standing before him. At the sight of the dead Rocksport Human lying in a tub of cold water, Markon feared that he and his comrade were too late. But the sound of Mogum wailing in his bedroom brought a veil of hope to Markon's heart. Markon desperately asked Mogus to lead him and Legion to all of those that were ill within the household. Mogus did as he was asked and watched as Legion performed an odd spell upon the dying Zookeeper and Mogum. After Legion finished, he looked towards Markon, sighed, and explained that the vile plague had been stemmed.

Mogus asked the duo what it was that they were talking about. Markon at first dodged the question by asking who was the dead woman in the tub. Tears filled Mogus' eyes as he explained that it was his cherished wife Kisha, and the people that Legion performed his magiks upon were his only son and his uncle-in-law. Markon looked to Legion then bowed his head in sadness.

It was then that Markon revealed to Mogus that the illness that had killed her and infected the rest of his family was a plague that they had brought with them from Nez. Most races were immune to it, except for Humans, and only those that had close contact with one who carried the disease would be infected with it gradually over time. The guild-members of the Dark Order of Nez had found this out several months ago, but were unable to find Mogus to explain to him about the deadly virus that he carried with him. Mogus dropped to his knees as he found out that for a third time he had been the harbinger of death to someone he loved.

Markon bowed his head to Mogus and told the Half-Breed to take heart that at least he and Legion were in time to save Mogum and the Zookeeper. Mogus fell onto all fours, his eyes filled with tears, and his hands clasped about his head as if he were protecting himself from some invisible onslaught. Markon tried his best to console the grieving Mogus, but the Beast from Nez could not be appeased. Three times had he caused the death of someone he loved. Three times had his heart been broken. And three times was he the murderer of a family he adored.

Several days passed as Legion tended to Mogum and the Zookeeper, and Markon tried to comfort his one time comrade in arms. During this time Markon revealed that the guild of Nez was stronger than ever, that the petty disputes of the past had ended, and they now were together in unity. But of course, none of this talk brought any cheer to Mogus' heart. It wasn't until he heard the gentle footsteps of his son Mogum running up to him, arms outstretched, did Mogus snap out of his gloom. Only when Mogus embraced his son in his arms did he show any sign of happiness. Unfortunately, for the Bloodline of the Beast, that mild sense of joy didn't last long.

The Zookeeper came out of his room, spared from the deadly disease that had killed his niece, and hateful at the Half-Breed for bringing the vile plague into his household. The Zookeeper shouted at Mogus, telling the Beast to leave his home and the Zoo and never come back. Markon tried to come to Mogus' defense but the Half-Breed stopped him. Mogus simply put his son down, nodded, and accepted the Zookeeper's order. He asked only one thing of the angry man, that the Human would take care of Mogum, for he couldn't bear to bring any more harm to a family member. The Zookeeper agreed, but of course Mogum did not.

Mogum lamented that he wanted to follow Mogus wherever his father would roam. Mogus tearfully shook his head and told his son that he must go off and fulfill a promise he made to the Dark Order of Nez a long time ago, and that the young boy should stay to take care of the animals, it would be what Mogum's mother would have wanted. Mogum, tears streaming from his eyes, held onto his father's legs tightly, not wanting to let Mogus go. Mogus wept softly and gently pushed the young boy into the arms of the Zookeeper. He then turned to Markon and Legion, and the trio left the house, never to return.

Mogum grew up sadly fulfilling Mogus' wish; he stayed in the Zoo and cared for the animals. Taking over the duties that both his mother and his father were responsible for. He fed, cleaned, healed, and spoke with the animals day in and day out for more than a decade. He even expanded the Zoo and brought in many new animals that were rare to this part of the world. Beasts such as Owl-Bears, Ostriches, Octopi, and even an enormous Roc, which was donated to the Zoo by a powerful magic-user, were given proper homes within the Zoo.

One day as Mogum was tending to his daily chores, he noticed that the many animals of the Zoo became overwhelmingly restless. It was as if they were deathly afraid of something nearby. Whatever it was, the beasts were too scared to even tell Mogum what it was. So he was forced to walk about the Zoo in search of the culprit. As he reached the center of the Zoo, he found a Rock-Gnome lady pushing a small baby carriage in front of her. The Gnome seemed to be every bit as frightened as the animals around her.

Mogum, believing that this Gnome could reveal to him what was the cause for such anxiety, approached the lady, and proceeded to ask her what it was that was troubling her. The Gnome just replied, 'I'm sorry, I should have known better than to take him here. Forgive me.' Mogum looked down at the small Gnome baby in the carriage as he told the lady, 'It's all right. You haven't done anything wrong. You and your baby can go on touring the Zoo. I was just curious what has everyone so spooked.' The Gnome lady shook her head and explained that the baby wasn't hers, she was just caring for it. Mogum smiled down at the baby as he lowered his pinky down to the child so the infant Gnome could play with it. The child giggled up at him and began to toy with his finger with its little hands. He then curiously asked the Gnome lady where the baby's parents were. The Gnome lady shook her head and morbidly stated, 'There is no father. Just a mother. And she . . . she is the Dark One . . . '

Mogum looked up at the Gnome lady with an odd expression as they neared the Roc pen. The massive bird peered at the carriage, and once it caught sight of the child inside, the Roc began to squawk loudly. Mogum turned towards the Roc as it violently flapped its wings in the air, releasing an ear piercing cry that caused all within the vicinity to cover their ears. The Roc broke the thick chain that kept it rooted to the ground and rose a few feet in the air as Mogum tried to soothe the tremendous bird. It then reached one of its powerful talons towards the carriage and the screaming baby that laid within it. The baby simply raised a hand towards the Roc, the bird then blinked, and turned its fury upon the Gnome lady. The lady let out a horrifying cry as the titanic bird grabbed a hold of her.

Mogum regained his composure and let out a howl which caused the Roc to instinctively let loose of the Gnome in its grasp and return to its roost. The lady shrieked as she fell from the sky and into the Hyena pen. Before Mogum could even say a word, the Hyena's were on their prey, devouring the poor Gnome as she landed. Mogum closed his eyes to the massacre that laid before him, as he released another howl that compelled the Hyena's to retreat into their cave.

Mogus then went into the pen and pulled out the remains of the hapless Gnome. After retrieving the body Mogum covered it with a tarp, then rolled the baby carriage out of the Zoo, and proceeded to find the authorities to report the unfortunate incident. With his mind racing the way it was, Mogum hadn't noticed two very peculiar things: One that the child seemed to be giggling at the sound of the demise of its own nanny. And two that as soon as the baby was removed from the Zoo, all the animals instantly seemed to become calm.

Since no one knew who the ill-fated Rock-Gnome lady was, or to whom the baby belonged to, Mogum found himself with another dilemma. Either give the child up to the adoption clinic in the hopes that it would find a good home for the baby, or he could take care of the infant himself. Mogum decided the latter, since he felt somewhat responsible for the death of the child's nanny, plus the fact that the baby seemed to like him.

Mogum named the child Mogson and over several years time he truly grew to love the child as if it were his own. Also, during this time, Mogum found that for some odd reason the animals didn't seem to like Mogson. Mogum felt that the animals reacted this way because of the unfavorable occurrence that had happened when the Gnome lady had brought the child into the Zoo the last time. But Mogum paid no mind to this, except for the fact that he decided not to teach Mogson the way of the animal speak.

Late one stormy night as Mogum was reading a bedtime story to Mogson by the fire, a knock came at the door. Mogum let the child off of his lap, stood up, and walked to the door. As it swung open, Mogum was greeted with the sight of an exquisitely beautiful woman dressed head to foot in white standing in the doorway. Mogum stood there for a moment amazed at the woman's loveliness, completely oblivious to the fact that even though the lady stood out in the pouring rain, not a drop seemed to touch her delicate frame. The lady pleasantly asked if she might be let in to converse with him where it was dry. Mogum shook the haze from his head, apologized, and bade the lady to enter his humble home. Mogum admired how the lady gracefully seemed to glide across the threshold and into the living room.

At the sight of the young Mogson by the fire the lady smiled at the child and nodded as her dove-toned voice spoke, 'Yes, this is the one.' Mogum asked the lady what it was she meant. The lady apologetically curtseyed as she spoke softly, 'Forgive me. I have forgotten my manners. My name is Ladychance. And I have been searching for this very child for quite some time.' Mogum smiled and was about to introduce himself when Ladychance politely stopped him, telling the large Human that she knew all about him and the little Rock-Gnome child by the fire. She then respectfully asked Mogum if they could speak in private.

Mogum simply nodded, picked up Mogson, and carried him to the small Gnome's bedroom. He then laid Mogson into the child's bed, and tucked the little Rock-Gnome in, as he promised to finish the story another time. Mogum then proceeded back into the living room and cordially asked Ladychance to have a seat near the fire. Ladychance smiled and thanked Mogum as she gently slid herself into the chair. Mogum went on to ask the lady what it was that she wished to speak to him about. A sad look covered Ladychance's face as she began to tell Mogum about herself and the horrible things that had been revealed to her through many recent nightmares.

Mogum learned that Ladychance was quite a powerful cleric and beloved by all the land. Her powers were legendary, as were the many visions that she would receive on occasion. It was because of one of these visions that she began to seek out Mogum and Mogson. A grim look covered her face as she sadly stated the events that had plagued her dreams a few months before, 'It was one of the darkest visions I have ever bore witness to. Much of it is still a haze, but I will reveal to you what I know. The child in the next room is a child like no other. He was conceived in the death throws of an evil Goddess from a different plane of reality. Apparently this Goddess, in a hope to cheat death, created the child from a small part of her own spiritual essence. For many centuries this child was stuck in Limbo, another realm that is closely linked to all dimensions. In Limbo there is no such thing as time, so the child remained nothing more than a baby, the powers within him seemingly trapped forever. The spirit of the Goddess waited for the stars to align just right, before she released the child from Limbo and into our world . . .'

Ladychance paused for a moment as a shiver crawled its way down her spine, ' . . . And so the time came. The child was sent into our world and given to a poor helpless Rock-Gnome who suffered with horrible nightmares incurred upon her by the wicked Goddess. In one of these nightmares the unfortunate lady was told to bring the child to the Rocksport Zoo. I don't believe I need to remind you of what happened next . . .' Mogum just nodded sadly as the shocking memories of the Rock-Gnome's death began to flood his mind.

Ladychance placed a hand upon Mogum's, a sudden calming feeling flowed through him, before she continued her story, 'Anyway, within this dream I saw you taking the child in and caring for him as if he were your own. Now from there the dream begins to become distorted. As prophecies of the future often do . . .'

Again Ladychance paused for a moment as her body began to tremble, ' . . . However, this is what I have clearly foreseen within the dream. The child will become part of an otherworldly guild, not by deed, or by natural birthright, but by lineage. Within this guild will he be nourished and protected. Eventually this guild shall catch the eyes of the Gods and will be transported back to their homeland. It is then that malicious Goddess's plot shall unfold. For it is within this dark realm that the child's abilities will be at their highest pinnacle. And with these abilities the child will resurrect the diabolic Goddess so that she may enact her revenge upon the one that had slain her. And after that . . .'

Ladychance bowed her head as if she was trying to look away from something most terrifying. Mogum did not wish to see the lady in pain, but he needed to know the outcome of the prophecy. Ladychance, reading Mogum's mind, decided to finish the dark tale, ' . . . After that will her full power become complete. And with that omnipotence, she shall rain down her fury upon all worlds. Bringing nothing but sorrow, sickness, pain, and death!'

Ladychance began to weep to herself. Mogum considerately offered her his handkerchief which she gladly accepted. As Ladychance whipped her eyes, Mogum asked her was there anything that could be done to stop the coming onslaught. Ladychance smiled up at Mogum, nodded, and praised him for his courage. She then proceeded to explain that the future is forever changing, there are always ways of rewriting what the future holds.

It was at this point that Mogum began to reveal to Ladychance the portions of the prophecy that he believed in part, had already come to pass. He grimly told her that it is his lineage that leads to an otherworldly guild, the Dark Order of Nez. Again Ladychance placed a hand upon Mogum's, calming him as she spoke, 'Yes, I know this. But do not worry, even though the guild pursues the goal of returning to Nez, that does not mean it is all bad. To be honest the guild is quite a good thing for it will protect the child. Even his arrival in Nez would not necessarily bring about the end of all things. No, the true danger lies in whether or not he decides to resurrect the vile Goddess . . .'

Mogum looked at Ladychance shocked by this last comment. It was quite appalling that the fate of everyone and everything would remain in a choice made by a child sleeping no more than 20 feet from them. Ladychance placed her hand upon Mogum, calming him with her miraculous powers for a third time, as she continued, 'This is why I have sought you and the child. I believe if I teach the child my ways, the ways of the cleric, that he will make the right decision. But of course, this means that I will have to take the child with me for a short time, for private instruction.'

Mogum gallantly stood up and exclaimed to Ladychance that if fate means to take his son from him for a time to save all of creation, then he would gladly do it. Ladychance smiled up at Mogum, applauding his chivalry, 'Oh Noble Mogum, I knew that you would understand.' The lady then stood up, and kissed him on the cheek. She then politely explained that she must take her leave of him for the rest of the night to prepare things for the young Mogson, and that she would return the following morning to take the child with her.

At dawn the next morning Ladychance knocked upon Mogum's door. The door opened and Mogum slowly walked out into the sunrise with the young Mogson at his feet. The lady was quite surprised to see that Mogson was already packed and ready for the journey. Mogum bent down to look Mogson in the eye as he spoke to the child, 'Now you remember what I told you. This lady will take care of you for a while, and when you are ready she will bring you to meet Grandpa Mogus and the rest of the Dark Order of Nez.' Mogson looked sadly at his adopted father and asked, 'Will I ever see you again?' Mogum smiled and nodded, 'If all things go well, I might be standing beside Grandpa Mogus when you arrive.' Mogson smiled and wrapped his arms around Mogum's neck, just as the large Human wrapped his arms around the child's tiny body, returning the embrace. They both exclaimed how much they would miss each other as they held each other close. Then Mogum let Mogson go, and bade the child and Ladychance a safe journey. Ladychance smiled as she took Mogson's hand and winked at Mogum, 'Don't worry, you two will meet again. This I am quite sure of.'

Mogum watched as Ladychance and Mogson disappeared over the horizon. He then turned back into the house, grabbed his pack, and then traveled toward the port. He had quite a bit of searching to do to find the Dark Order of Nez. Many great adventures did he go through in his travels. Many grave dangers and powerful foes did he face. Until he finally found his father and was greeted into the fold. And after a time, all of the descendants of Mog finally came together. Three generations of a lineage united as one and conquered over unspeakable odds.

And what about the prophecy you ask? Well only time will tell. But as I sit here watching as the present slowly unfolds into the future, I can't help but recall something I once heard. The future is not set in stone. Destiny and fate have no bearing in the present. We are always going to be faced with changes. But we should not fear these changes, for no matter what we do they are eventually going to happen. It is the choices we make after these changes occur that truly define what the universe is to be like, not to mention, prove who we really are.

The End . . . or is it?

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