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NOD

Nod


In a dark room in a huge stone tower at the top
of a hill by a small village, a wizard is hard at
work. The man is obviously a wizard, who else would
own a tower or be standing in a smoke filled room
walking clockwise around a poorly sculpted but
obviously human figure made of mud and leaves with
perfectly carved azure for eyes? He is just large
enough that grey robes can't fully hide his stomach.
His eyes are bright green wells of light, he is
chanting quietly to the figure. Producing a small
vile of gold liquid from an unseen pocket and gently
pouring the contents onto the chest of the mud man.
As the last drop of the liquid lands, the wizard
utters the last word of his incantation. His eyes
widen as he notices the liquid bubbling on the mud
chest of his creation. The explosion is deafening in
the room and unheard in the village. There is no
trace of the wizard in the room except a shadow on the
far wall.
An hour later, when the dust settled, there was a man
lying on the floor of the room in the same place and
position that the mud and leaf figure was not too long
ago. He sat up and looked at himself. His skin was
light brown, his hair was a perfect forest green and
his eyes, like navy blue cat eyes, scanned his
surroundings. He was scared, there was basic
knowledge in his head, but he didn't put it there.
Not long ago, he hadn't existed and now he sat there,
in a blackened wizard's lab, naked and alone. He knew
he could speak, but there was nobody to speak to.
There was only one logical conclusion...
He was a wizard.
He stood and began sifting through the charred
remains of the room. He thought to himself <How did I
survive this?> He picked up a piece of melted glass
<I'm the only thing left in one piece in this room>.
He looked down at himself <I must work out a lot,
that's not very wizard-like.>
He took some experimental steps and found that he was
in no pain at all he walked out of the room and into
the hall. He began to explore the tower, it seemed
that none of the other rooms were even scathed by the
explosion it was amazing how many rooms were
completely empty. Finally he came across what must be
his bedroom, there was a huge four poster bed with
black satin sheets atop a deep feather mattress.
There was one window in the room, it took up the
whole westernmost wall with a beautifully crafted
stained glass tapestry depicting a battle between two
wizards and their minions. A doorway sized piece,
slid to his left as he approached it. There was a
balcony that overlooked a perfectly manicured garden.
Further away there was a valley, and about a mile away
another hill and atop it, the remains of another
tower. It had collapsed to one side. With his
exceptional vision, he could clearly see that the
tower had been destroyed years ago. This was obvious
because of the moss that grew on some of the fallen
stones.
He looked around the room a bit more. He opened up a
finely crafted chest at the foot of the bed. It was
filled to the top with neatly folded and pressed
wizard robes. He took the top one out and held it up.
It was dark grey with silver trim around the cuffs,
collar and bottom. It was as smooth and light as fine
silk but was as thick as heavy wool. Finally
realizing how cold it was in the tower, He put it on.
It was tight around his neck, but he just assumed that
it was supposed to feel like that.
When he returned to his exploration, he stumbled
across the library. It was a huge room, at least
forty feet tall, filled with shelves packed with
books. There were three ladders on wheels set up
alongside the walls.
<I've got to start somewhere> he thought as he picked
up a book on the far left of the bottommost shelf.
He realized quickly that he couldn't read, but he
tried anyway. He poured over the books for hours
teaching himself to read. Finally, after six hours of
study, the words came to him like a bolt of lightning.

When he had his epiphany he was reading a book of
advanced dream spells entitled "NOD" .
Finally, for the first time in his moments long
existence, the man spoke. "Until I learn who I really
am, I will be known as Nod." His voice was soft and
even, the kind of voice that a tree might have.
Nod found himself suddenly overtaken by hunger and
began searching for the tower's kitchen. He found
something better. From the ceiling of the magically
cooled cellar hung about six or seven sides of beef on
large meat hooks. The cold didn't bother him at all,
especially with the robes to keep his body heat in.
He unconsciously grabbed the closest side and hefted
it over his shoulder.
Back in the library, Nod continued reading with a
book in one hand and a piece of meat in the other.
The uncooked meat didn't bother him at all, what did
was the fact that he was unknowingly cutting the meat
into chewable pieces with small claws that were
protruding from his fingertips. <Is this normal?> he
flexed his fingers, making the claws slip back into
his fingers and out again. <If I didn't know I had
these, I wouldn't be able to see where they come
from>.
The days went by, for the most part, one after the
other (except for the week/Month in which Nod studied
Time magick). He didn't need sleep for a full week
after his awakening. When he ran out of food, nod
hunted for cows in the village at the bottom of the
hill. Occasionally, when the need for variety struck
him, he caught fish in the river. While he couldn't
swim, he could hold his breath indefinitely and walk
on the bottom of the river allowing him to grab the
fish as they passed by. They never even bothered to
avoid him, it was as if they never even knew he was
there.
6 years passed, cows disappeared from farms,
fishermen caught less, and Nod spent every free moment
he had studying every book in his library. Nod was
enraged when he finished the last book. Until this
point Nod's existence was based entirely upon the
books at his fingertips. The knowledge came easy and
the magick within them was never beyond his grasp. He
searched every square inch of the tower and found
nothing to tell him about his past.
"How could I not keep a journal? Aren't wizards
supposed to keep records??" He screamed at the
towering shelves of the library. He picked up the
huge oak desk chair with one hand and flung it at the
door where it shattered both the chair and the door.
He interlinked his fists and brought them down on the
ancient oak desk which splintered in almost complete
silence. He came to his senses and sat down in front
of the dashed desk with his eyes shut. An hour later,
when he opened his eyes, the first thing he saw was
the huge bloodstained splinter in his right hand. The
second was a black book partially exposed in the
wreckage of the desk.
The title said "The Journal of Mortimer Frandz" in
slightly worn out gold lettering. The book had
obviously been modified several times by an
inexperienced bookbinder to allow for more pages.
While the front and back covers were beautifully
crafted and gently worn with age, the spine was a
patchwork of various qualities of leather with large,
obvious stitches. When he tried to open it, all of his
strength failed him, the book was magickally sealed.
His picture perfect memory recalled a dispel magick
incantation. He cast the spell and began to read,
still sitting on the floor.
Three hours later, Nod sat back "this can't be me, I
can't possibly be this evil." He looked down at his
robes. "NOOO!!" He tore them off as his rage overtook
him once again. This time, the very stones of the
tower felt his pain as he rampaged through the wizard
stronghold. Three hours later he found himself
breaking through his bedroom wall into a room that he
had never known existed before. The walls were
decorated with stuffed heads of creatures both
magickal and mundane. Above the door hung a plain but
masterfully crafted dagger, it's blade was of the
finest steel anywhere on earth and there was a small
fork at the end of the blade starting less than a
quarter inch from the tip. The central item was a
huge oil painting of a fat man in grey robes holding a
small fireball in one hand and the head of a blond man
in the other. The gold plaque under it read "The
Destruction Of Thomas The White At The Hands Of
Mortimer Frandz."
Nod Wept, It was a horrible past, but at least for a
short while he had one.
The next morning the tower was a pile of rubble.
Most of the villagers didn't notice and all of those
who did didn't really care. All that is, except one
Nicholas Benson who woke up to find that he was short
one set of clothes and his best pair of boots, his
door looked as if it had been sliced through as if it
were made of cheese and not half inch thick pine. Nod
walked away from the village and towards a new life
or, perhaps a new insight.

Avalon Publication(August 2001)