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Library: Froggy's Tale of Watery Exile

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Author: froggy
Date:Nov 14 2007

I remember clearly the day my world ended.  Even now I feel the water rushing
around my feet and hear the screams and cries of people swimming for safety,
grasping for anything to keep them afloat.  As I sit here now to relate this
tale to you, know that these thoughts are as fresh in my mind today as they
were so many years ago.  

I write of those events because the efforts of one, without whom I would have
perished with so many others.  Their story must survive and should not die
with them, or in my own heart.

The time of the floods came as a surprise to everyone.  None of the great
seers or academics foretold it, although many had suspicions that the very
fabric of our world was groaning, aching and ready to unleash eons of unspoken
fury upon us all.  It was eerie, and one could almost hear the evil grins and
laughter from the powerful Wizards and Archwizards who manipulate this
fantastical magical realm.  Something was afoot.  Something very, very big. 
Sadly, we were none the wiser and for our ignorance and so were punished.

The inrushing flood waters on that dreadful day quickly swept from the north
through Ravensflyte.  I had no time to grab anything and instinctively ran for
higher ground.  The river I had lived near for so many years was now cruelly
overflowing its banks.  Water rose fast and ran swiftly.  Cottages and huts I
ran past had little chance of surviving the onslaught.  My mind wanted me to
stop and help every passerby I saw, but my body kept pushing me farther and
faster up the hill.  I lost count of how many mothers carrying their young
children I passed, as well as how many old warriors I had once fought with and
against were struggling to climb with weak, aching bones.

The water rose faster and the skies opened up as well, releasing a torrent of
rain and hail at us all.  The top of the hill was approaching and I pray
Aveallis that I had the strength to reach it before I succumbed like I knew so
many already had.  I ran, my legs weakening and endurance spent.  I pushed
harder, further, only to my own pain and detriment.  

The tree line near the top of the hill gave me hope.   I had climbed the trees
often as a youth, and always remembered them for being strong and noble.  I
remember spying many kilometers in every direction in the world.  On a clear
day, I remember being able to even see Old Bat City and Shadowkeep.  I smiled,
thinking of those simpler days.  My heart was warm with joy. 

The cold of the water snapped aware me from my daydream.  I was no longer even
walking.  I had spent all of my energy and was leaning against a young maple
tree.  I clung to it, as I knew I could not stand on my own accord without its
help.  The water kept rising, though. colder, faster.  The cries of those
around me caught in the maelstrom were drowned out, in some cases literally,
but the roar and rush of the water.

I raised my eyes to the sky, stinging raindrops hitting my forehead.  With all
that was left in, I screamed at the top of my lungs.  In my heart I knew no
one would hear.  Even if they did, there was nothing to be done.  My world was
slipping beneath the waves and I along with it. I closed my mouth and began
weeping, praying that Aveallis make my death quick and painless.  

The water continued to eddy around me and I could feel the tug of the currents
on my body as the world sank around me.  I let go of the tree and, by it, my
control over the very life and world in which I had known and loved.  I could
fight the waves and try to swim, but what was the point?  Where would I swim
to?  What would be there for me if I arrived?  Perhaps death was a more
fitting end to my humble life.

I felt water entering my nostrils, causing sharp pain due to the frigid water.
 I fought a little, but soon after my lips gaped, gasping for one final breath
of air out of instinct.  But there was no air.  Not down here.  I could see
the world around me darken in the haziness of the water.  I was being sucked
down and dragged to the abyss.

--------

My eyes parted slightly to the harsh light of the sky.  I deigned to open them
to see what Heaven had in store for me.   In my hubris, why should I assume I
was worthy enough to enter such a place anyway?  I took a breath and was
pained.  Strange.

"Relax, you are going to be fine," I heard from my right.

I turned my head slightly and forced my eyes open a little more.  A smiling
figure was rubbing my head softly, like a mother.s touch.  Where was I?

Apparently I somehow vocalized my thoughts and the figure answered, "You are
on my ship.  You were one of the few I was able to pull to the surface that
survived.  When I got you on board, I noticed you were right at Death.s Door. 
You are safe now, though."

I closed my eyes and swallowed carefully.  I was in some pain still, but I
could begin to feel my body again. my hands, my feet and my head.  

"You are a savior.  Thank you."

I uttered the words with my still unsure voice.

The figure responded, "As we merfolk as creatures of the sea, and as I am a
dedicated follower of Tarmalen, it was my duty to save you as much as it was
my calling."

"How can I ever repay you?" I asked

"Spread the truth of Aveallis.  Show compassion to others I have shown you. 
But for now, rest.  We are almost there now.  We are almost there."

"Where?" I asked.

"A strange new land our scouts have found ahead.  A massive place of beauty
and new people, who are ready to assist us in our time of need.  The Gods may
have made us exiles of our old lands, but soon we shall be safe again."

I breathed a sigh of relief and slipped slowly into a very deep, recuperative
rest.  It was to be a different world for all of us now.  Those of us that
survived can and will continue on.  This was our time.  It was the Age of
Exiles.


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