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The Wizard Determines to Leave the Camp of Rascogne de Sevigneois, Explaining to Shelyid the Continuing Necessity To Consult the Witch Magrit That He Might Determine the Identity of His Enemies, the Uncovering of These Dastards Being Essential to the Thwarting of Their Scheme to Thwart the Thaumaturge in His Efforts to Uncover the True Meaning of the Dream of the (Now Deceased) King of Goimr, the Discovery of This True Meaning, In Its Turn, Being Essential to the Mage's Determination to Forestall the Catastrophe Which Even Now Looms Over All of Civilization, Even as the Mighty and Forward Rushing Tidal Wave Looms Over the Sleeping and Unaware Inhabitants of the Island Paradise. The Dwarf Argues With the Wizard, Announcing That He Has Discovered in His Runtish Soul the Burning Desire to Become a Highwayman. Indeed, the Gnome Cavorts About in a Most Unseemly and Ridiculous Manner, Displaying With a Small Poignard the Novice's Skill He Has Learned in Swordplay From the Rascally Rascogne, Who Has, The Mage Now Discovers To His Great Displeasure, Been Usurping the Wizard's Monopoly Over the Dwarf's Education. After a Most Disgraceful Scene, the Proper Relation Between Master and Servant is Restored. Our Heroes Depart, Shelyid Blubbering Great Tears at His Parting From the Highwayman and La Contessa. An Adventurous Trek Through the Mountains, Northward Toward the Still Distant City of Prygg. Several Days Into Their Journey, They Rest For the Night in a Great Cave. Alas, the Cave is Inhabited By Trolls, Which Pounce on the Dwarf Whilst the Wizard Is Absent, Searching for Fell Herbs on the Mountainside Below. Hearing the Alarum, Zulkeh Races to the Scene. He Is Trampled By Trolls Fleeing the Cave in Utter Terror. Entering the Cave, Zulkeh is Presented With a Mystery. Nothing is Within the Cave to Have Caused This Unwonted Troll Stampede Save the Swooned Form of Shelyid, Clutching in His Little Hand the Dagger Given Him by Rascogne. The Wizard Revives His Apprentice and Discusses the Paradox. Shelyid Proudly Proclaims the Trolls Fled From the Most Fearsome Manner In Which He Displayed His Poignard. The Mage Disputes This Absurd Claim, Recounting for the Gnome's Edification The Slavering Fury Of Trolls And These Monsters' Utter Disregard For Pain and Wounds. The Wizard Ponders on This New Paradox Long Into the Night, Taking the Opportunity to Educate the Dwarf Not Only On Trolls But On All Other Manner of Fearsome and Unnatural Monsters, Among Which He Touches Upon, If Only In Passing, Such Creatures As Vampires, Ghouls, Ghasts, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Orcs, Wargs, Werewolves, Ettins, Not To Mention the Divers and Sundry Breeds of Demons, Daemons, Devils and Demodands. Shelyid, Most Unlike Himself, Cannot Sleep. The Next Morning, the Journey Continues. The Crest of the Mountains is Reached. Below Lies the Land of Pryggia, Upon Whose Northern Coast Lies the Less Distant Than Before City of Prygg Itself. Atop the Mountain, Our Heroes Encounter the Legendary Sage of the Mountains. He Summons Shelyid to His Cave. Shelyid Approaches the Entrance. From Within, Unseen in the Darkness, the Sage Whispers the Secret of Life. So Eager Is the Dwarf to Impart This Secret To His Master That In His Haste He Slips On the Rocks and Falls On His Head. Shelyid Cannot Remember the Secret of Life! The Wizard Is Most Displeased. He Rebukes the Dwarf Soundly, Indeed, Very Soundly, Indeed, Not To Put a Gloss On the Matter, Supremely Soundly—Alas, To No Avail. Our Heroes Begin Their Descent From the Mountains Into Pryggia. Along the Way They—

It was even at this moment that the lunatick Alfred CCLVII was seized and deported. A crash program to train his young successor was immediately set under way, but this youth, valiant though his efforts and great though his innate talents, was not deemed capable of taking the Pen of Pens in foreleg until the arrival of our heroes in Prygg itself.

To that narrative we will turn in due time, but first we will seek to supplement our knowledge of the preceding portion of our tale through the introduction of material hitherto most secret, obtained only, as I said before, by hidden methods which remain to this day the closely-guarded privilege of my clan.

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