Compared to the Introduction, the Prologue is actually kind of short, so I thought I’d let my Dad take a few paragraphs to talk about his experience writing this book. So without further ado, my father (who, let me add, actually talks like this in real life), author M. Francis Smith.
As a child of a scientist working in the aerospace industry who spent his own working career representing the sciences to the food manufacturing industry, I frequently took personal refuge in fantasy where I felt most alive. I followed my daughters’ literary efforts with a proper (if distant) proprietary interest until my retirement, at which time I settled into a quiet rut and waited for the three score and ten years allotted to my mortal life to run its course, doing little and feeling even less as my world, once alive with vibrant color, faded into a uniform gray. Concerned that their “Dude” was doddering his way into an early grave, my daughters arrived at my home one day to challenge me to write the story that had been noodling about the gray cells since my early twenties. It seems they had kept the early draft I had thrown out years before and wanted to see it finished.
Twin specters of hope and despair immediately arose before me. Was there life after retirement? I didn’t know and had almost quit caring. More importantly, did I dare to enter into competition with my erudite and accomplished Das in their own field of expertise: writing? Under the influence of their encouragement, I dared try. Out came my musher’s whip and I began again to flog my neglected gray cells into directed activity once again. To my astonishment, over the course of the next two years and in the months following, I slowly woke up to find that there is more to life than waiting to die! Akin to the experience of crawling out of a bottle of 100 proof to discover that the world outside is a wonderful place to live and play, I rediscovered the excitement and joy of living.
The characters in these tales and the world they inhabit should be familiar. They are you and I and the world we live in seen through the lens of wonder and magic. There are some who would have you believe that wonder and magic are dead, killed by the light of the magnetic resonance imaging, mathematical models and computer algorithms of modern science. Pity them and let those who are dead bury their dead. For whatever others may tell you, wonder and magic are not dead, nor will they be so long as one person believes in them, as I do.
Welcome to my world.
I am Ittalee, High Priestess of Elianna. I write in the beginning of the Fourth Age—the Age of Humanity. The Elves, children of Eliard and Vinnien and first of all the children of the Lesser Gods, fled this earth at the end of the Third Age. It is written that their grief at the passing of the Diguenmol, the second of the sapient races, children of Givvek and Mahesha whom Sargon mostly destroyed before his Fall, was so great that they could no longer endure the earth they and their friends, the Diggers, had labored so hard to beautify, abandoning it to the remaining rational races.
Dwarfkind, the creation of the Gods Dwollen and Enlenut, were a secretive race who shunned the Overearth and scorned their own Gods, angered that their span of years should be less than that accorded to Elf and Diguenmol. But whether they finally destroyed each other in their lust for wealth and power, were destroyed by the last great Dragon, Death, or simply wandered beyond the knowledge of men cannot now be said with certainty.
Pasha, seeing the grief Sargon’s lust for dominion brought to the intelligent races who inhabited the land realms, created the Piscenes and granted them dominion over the realms under the waters. They left no records of their own and Humans wrote of them not at all, access to their world being forbidden. Only the Elves wrote of them that their memory not pass entirely from history, but of their end none can now say.
Giants were the last of the intelligent races created, children of Givvek and Mahesha whom they created to console themselves for the loss of the Diguenmol, but what has become of them no record of Humankind extant tells. Men feared them, and what they fear they destroy. In this, perhaps, they succeeded, for the race of giants is no more to be found upon the earth.
To me has fallen the task of compiling and abridging the records of the fall of Sargon. The undertaking of lifetimes, it cannot be completed in mine, for Calentron itself could not suffice to hold all the volumes written to detail the events of this struggle. Nor has the struggle ended. Indeed it cannot, so long as the influence of the Rebel God remains.
May the Ferryman have mercy upon all the rightful children of the Gods.
Next week, the book begins!