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Book One: An Abbey of DoubtersEdit

Chapter OneEdit

Wide-eyed, the Dibbuns listened to the elder as he concludeded the tale.

"Bisky and Spingo and Dwink and Perrit were married as soon as they were old enough to do so. Rorgus and Zaran married, and had a son named Rorzan. The hollow of the Doomwytes became a lovely pond, and even now we can stand before it and imagine the days of old."

The Dibbuns all began talking at once. "Werr it a troo story Bruvver Dirran?"

"What happen to Bosie?"

"Can we go to the pond?"

Brother Durran shook his head. "No, it's just a myth! None of that really happened. It's fiction."

"Wot's fiction?"

"A story invented for curious Dibbuns. Now it's time to sleep!"

After the Dibbuns were all tucked in, Brother Durran slipped out into the dark hall, careful not to wake the Dibbuns. "For shame, Brother Durran," a gentle voice scolded, "Why did you tell them that?"

The Brother turned quickly in the hall, startled. His gaze fell on a slightly built young mouse with quick dark eyes. Emanon, the Abbey Enigma. He was kind and gentle, intelligent and clever, but he had some rather unusual ideas. Not to mention his leg.

"Because it's true. Everybeast knows that Martin the Warrior was just a myth. And all this talk of there being other species besides us mice- Pshaw! Giants called Badgers in a fanciful fortress with aides of big rabbits, creatures that can fly through the earth like birds, barbarians that swing through the leaves, even creatures that ride the waves! These are all fanciful tales!"

Emanon's voice was quiet, but there was a hint of brightsteel in every word. "Just because we haven't seen these creatures for ourselves does not mean they exist. Who knows? Maybe, outside the beaten path, they lurk. Maybe they think we are myths. Var'ryn alone-"

"Emanon!" The Brother's voice was sharp, not so much at the myths as the name of Var'ryn. "You are a novice. You have yet to learn what we the Elders have passed down for thousands of seasons since the Great War!" He closed his eyes and took a breath. "You are young, and still foolish. With time, your wisdom will come. Now I am to hear no more talk of 'squiddels' 'molars' or 'hodders', am I clear?"

Emanon did not meet the elder's stern eyes. "You are clear, Brother."

"Good lad. Now catch some sleep." He turned and swiftly ambled into the dormitories.

On impulse, Emanon went as swiftly ashe could to the top of the bell tower, where the Roshan Bell awaited. Many intricate carvings covered it- carvings of the Great War a thousand seasons ago. He scanned it intently, searching. Not one creature that was not a mouse was shown. Because they didn't exist?

NO! If he confessed that they didn't exist, it meant that all the stories he had heard as a Dibbun were untrue. And he lived for the stories. The stories kept him alive. With out warning, he leg gave out, and he collasped on the balcolny. As a child, he had run away from Stonewall when he heard them say that the tales were untrue. He didn't remember what but something had attacked him. And would have, but something else intervened. The first voice, harsh and evil. The second voice, high pitched and with a strange accent.

He had survived the attack, but his leg had been badly damaged in the fight. As a result, he had a permanent limp, and it gave out on his several times a day.

Maybe it was better this way. This way, he could get away with things the Dibbuns couldn't.

And yet, some nights he heard a flute in his dream and felt that he was to be a part of something greater.

Only Var'ryn knew what it was.

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