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Nemesis bulletin boards: Story bulletin board, note 8

Merlin's story. (Poe, Jun 3 1993, 46)
Recently I had a chat with Merlin the mage about his past and wound up learning
something far more interesting. This is a somewhat sloppy retelling.

Poe says: Merlin, tell me about yourself...
Merlin says: well, I expect you know more about me than I do, but what would you
like to know?
Poe says: What did you do before you became a wizard? Or, were you always one?
Merlin says: ha, no.. I wasn't always a wizard. It's a long story, are you sure
you want to know?
Poe says: Yes, of course, please tell me.
Merlin says: Ok, well here it is...

				The tale of Merlin
	When I was a boy, I wasn't a wizard. In fact, there were very few of
them around and they were scary secretive men with funny looking hats, or so
it seemed to me at the time. My father was lord of a small keep in the north,
and as a land-owning knight he expected me to become one. So my days were 
filled with battle training, and my nights were devoted to courtly things. But,
my mind was never on my studies... it always wandered. I was never good at any
of my endeavours, and I was looked down upon by my father for this. I was not
the only son, my younger brother showed far more talent at things than I, and
I felt sorry for him that he would not be heir to the lands. I did not want
them, but as oldest son I was to inherit them. Instead I ran away, and this is
where my life began.
	For a long time I wandered from place to place, doing odd work for bread
and board. I was walking past a small in when I heard music. Being curious and
tired I decided to go inside and have a look... Inside the inn there was a big
crowd gathered around the fireplace, intently watching and listening to a man.
But this was no ordinary man, he wore a patchwork cloak of many colors, and
carried with him a strange bell-shaped instrument. While the people, and I too,
watched, he told.. no, SANG a story about kings and hero's, villian and hoards
of treasure. Needless to say I was enthalled in the telling. I decided then and
there that I wanted to be like him. So after he was done for the night I went
towards him and asked to be his apprentice. Well, he didn't say yes at first 
but I was a presistant bugger and I finally won through. He taught me much, and
inducted me into the ways of the bards. I learned that being a bard wasn't just
about singing and telling stories. It was about learning, and bards were always
on a constant quest to learn. Eventually he and I parted ways and I was hired
to a court in the eastern lands to entertain the king and sing of his glories
in battle. 
	The king and I became fast friends and he even went as far as to dub
me a knight of the realm, although only in name. He did not grant me any land.
I was kept busy as the king was always at war with invaders and nearby estates.
He never suffered defeat until the druids arrived. Ah, it pains me to speak of
them even now... they were vile. They came to the castle demanding that we
convert to their beliefs, that we become Snake worshippers. Ha, Snake, who 
would worship IT, we said and laughed at these envoys who had such a strange
hissing way of speech. The next morning they attacked and layed seige to the
keep. We killed them by the dozens and they kept coming... there were hoards
of them. We knew we couldn't last this way so my lord mounted an attack and
drove the invaders back to a river where they made a stand and my master fell
from his horse... What I saw then drove me to madness... A druid impaled my
master with his pointed 'snake staff' and then, this is most revolting, cut
my lord's manhood from his body and ate it. Blood dripping from his mouth, he
turned to face me and stared coldly into my eyes, slowly licking clean his
lips with his notched tongue. I ran into the woods, completely terrified.
	I spent many years alone in the woods in a cave. I had become less of
a man and more of an animal. I hunted at night, and slept in the day. Never,
did I see another human being unless it was from a distance, and when I did
I kept out of sight. But I never forgot the druid and his bloody fanged mouth.
During my time in the cave I thought about many things, and tried to reason
why things were the way they were. Of course I never came up with an answer.
I did find however that as I explored myself, I grew. I didn't grow in a 
physical way, but a spiritual one. I found I could extend my senses. Hear things
from a distance, see things that I wouldn't normally see, and smell things that
I couldn't smell before. But that wasn't the whole of it. I could reach out
with my mind and touch things, influence them, change them. I could make a deer
fall asleep. I could make a wolf forget that I was there. All the time I was in
the forest cave I learned. I think it would have made my bard master proud.
	After a time I came out of the forest and used my powers. People called
me a wizard and were afraid of me, like I was afraid of wizards as a child. I
felt more alone then, than I did in the forest. Yet I stayed in the world of
men and met a boy named Arthur. I assume that you know the rest of the story.

---

Poe says: wow, that was great, you should write a book.
Merlin says: I did, but that's been ages ago and time wears down all things.
Poe says: just how old ARE you?
Merlin says: You should know better than to ask that. 
Merlin winks.

---
>>-Poe-> Chris.



The board contains 9 notes:
  1. Poe on Magic (Poe, Apr 20 1993, 46)
  2. Poe on The Astronomy Of Nemesis (Poe, Apr 20 1993, 46)
  3. Saucery! (Poe, Apr 27 1993, 46)
  4. Remarks on the history of Nemesis' Astronomy (Reyalpeht, Jun 1 1993, 24)
  5. A discovery concerning astronomy (Poe, Jun 1 1993, 46)
  6. Another piece of history (Junky, Jun 2 1993, 60)
  7. Current theories (Reyalpeht, Jun 3 1993, 24)
  8. Merlin's story. (Poe, Jun 3 1993, 46)
  9. Tapp (Poe, Oct 26 1993, 46)

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