Calling all Creatures of the Night
An Undecided Story
Posted on 9/24/96 by WatM
He decided to leave the planet. On board his spaceship, he said "now I wonder just what special there might be about this old sword?" to which the sword replied "you mean other than the fact that I speak?" "yes other than… wait… you speak? I didn't know that. I've known a number of singing swords in my day, but never as yet a speaking one." "Same basic idea, really," said the sword. "Yes of course it is. Well, then, tell me about yourself." "well, I was created 5 thousand years ago, give or take…" "give or take what?" "I don't know specifically. If I did I would have given you the exact date to begin with, wouldn't I?" "of course. Please continue, sword. Oh, by the way, I don't suppose you have a name, do you?" "What? Oh… oh yes, I think I did. It's been a while, really. I've been buried down in the sewer for about 100 years, I'd guess. Nasty place, really." "indeed." "yes, well, anyway, if I remember, I'll let you know. Most of my memories are rusty, you know. Say! Perhaps if you polished me up a bit…" "oh of course" said WatM, and proceeded to clean the sword and polish it and generally make it look like new. "better?" "yes," said the sword. "My memories are clearing now. And I do feel quite good. Thank you." "you're most welcome." "anyway, on with the story. The recorded history of the planet Prisintieth goes back… um, at the time I was created, it went back 15,000 years. For the first 10,000 of those, it had been very peaceful. It was made up of 25 continents, each one with its own indigenous civilization. Only one on each continent, you know. Well, these civilizations were all perfectly peaceful and happy for 10,000 years, and in that time went about the business of advancing and growing and all. Then some of them started traveling the seas. And they began meeting each other. They had always each thought themselves to be alone in the world. And none of them were any too happy to find out they were wrong, and they went about waging war to make themselves so (alone). This war went on for the next 5000 years, with various civilizations in or out of the war at any time. It was rare for all 25 to be in at once. There were never any real truces or alliances, but sometimes it was understood that there would have to be a brief lull in the war if ANY civilization was to continue. Of course eventually a few of them were eliminated, and by the time I was created, there were but 10 remaining civilizations. And for what is presumed to be the first time in the history of the planet, someone considered that there would be nothing wrong, that it would in fact be for the best, if all the civilizations got together peacefully, ended the fighting, and lived together as friends and neighbors. This was not a popular idea, as you may well imagine, but it was not as unpopular as you might have thought. There were others who now decided that they agreed, and came out and joined this visionary, Tolat.. Tolat formed the Unity. The Unity began to grow, and eventually they took over the small continent of Ducoit. They now had a secure base of operations, and made plans for bringing the rest of the world together. They had no idea how to do it, really, and were pretty much doomed. But for now they were safe. Ducoit was of minor concern to the other civilizations, and the Unitians posed practically no threat. So the others continued to fight each other, leaving the Unitians alone for now. Then one day a strange thing happened. A meteorite approached the planet, and fell in the countryside of Ducoit. Tolat sent out investigators to retrieve the fallen object, which turned out not to be a meteorite after all. It was, they discovered, a space ship. Oddly enough, even after all this time of knowing of the previously unexpected existence of others on other continents, it hadn't ever occurred to anyone there might be others on other worlds. Well, there was but one traveler about the ship. His name, he said, was Taragor, and he called himself a drow. He told us he was an explorer, trying to find new worlds to join the alliance of free worlds from which he came, so as to improve their chances in their occasional wars against various evil forces. And so he stayed for a good time in the Ducoitian capital city of Sanityville. He decided that he wished the Unity to win the leadership of Prisintieth one day, and so he helped them. He taught some of them to wield various majikal spells, and others he taught new technologies. To First Uniter Tolat he gave a gift of a majikal sword… oh, say, that would be me! He called the sword… um… yes, the Unity Stater, because I work toward the goals of the Unity and because I talk. Well, then the Unity were more powerful than the other civilizations and advanced on them. Taragor left Prisintieth, promising to return one day to see how things were going for us, and to perhaps when the Unity was in control, to allow us to join his alliance of worlds. He never returned, as far as I know, not yet anyway. And then while he was gone, it took a few decades, but eventually we succeeded. The world was unified. Peace and order were restored." "that is nice. How is it then that you came to rest in the sewer for a hundred or so years?" "well now… Sanityville continued on as the capital of Ducoit, and then of Prisintieth, for millennia. And the world continued to progress as most worlds do-" "how would you know how most worlds progress?" "I'm… um… proguessing." "okay. Carry on." "and as I was saying, things were very good for a long time, but eventually corruption seeped in, to one degree or another." "yes, I've heard about that. the city officials of…" "yes, yes, but I mean all over Prisintieth." "Oh." "things got bad, but not as bad as they could be. Normal, is what things were. Then as you say in Sanityville, the officials realized how bad things were, there as everywhere, and" "I know the story from there, I think." "yes you do. But I was going to tell you about me. I was after the war to unify Prisintieth kept from then on in a special place on public display in the Great Hall of Sanityville. I never saw much action, but I was content, and proud to have achieved my purpose in existence and to be able to daily witness the sanity that had come to pass foreverafter. I knew things were getting corrupt, but it wasn't so bad. People minded, but not too much. Things were a far cry better than they had been. People were happy, and so was i. And then what happens? Evrybuddy goes nuts in Sanityville. The sane folks moved to other cities. Other continents, some of them. It was a sad thing, what had happened to Sanityville. Once the center of order for the world, it was now the only really chaotic and utterly awful place. I began to moan and cry and shout, ranting about the state of affairs here. and the officials then had me taken down and thrown into the sewer, so they wouldn't have to listen to me anymore." "hmmm. Okay. So now what do I do with you?" "well, naturally, you use me to retake Sanityville from the villains and lunatics, and set it up once more as the great city it once was." "sorry buddy, I don't really feel like it. Hey, why don't the others on Prisintieth take back the city?" "well, when they lost the capital, they elected a new city as capital, until such time as plans could be made for retaking Sanityville. And then the officials of the new capital, Ordercay, decided they wanted to remain capital city, and so they've kept plans for taking back the city from ever getting off the ground. At least, that's what I've heard. I think. And since then, apparently, people have stopped caring and just left things as they are." "okay, whatever. Well, listen, Stater, tell ya what I'll do. I'll see if I can't find this drow Taragor for ya, or some friend or descendant of his or something. I'll hand ya over to him, and he can deal with taking back Sanityville, if he wants." "okay," said the sword. And WatM's ship started looking for the drow or somebuddy like that.