Foreword - The Magnificent Adventure
The Library of the Elsewhere Mansion is filled with tomes of grand adventures, epic tales of action, bloodshed, and magicks most fierce. I have added to some of these tales, either through direct involvement in the events recorded, or (and sometimes and) as the recorder. For the most part, I am the passive observer of these great events.
As the Page of the Elsewhere Incorporate’s Chronicler, I assist in the recording of the tales of the Dreamers of the Elsewhere Incorporate. Alan T. Tryth gives me free reign in choosing my subjects. Even in that capacity, I am often forced to mediate which stories are ‘good’ enough for recording.
Some stories start strong and simply fizzle into nothing. It’s a sad fact that sometimes an assignment simply doesn’t go anywhere, or involved a delay during which there is little of importance to record. Take for instance the still-active Therem assignment currently on hold for another nine-hundred and eighty-three years due to an annoyingly slow-fruiting shrub.
Sometimes, there’s simply nothing to say. While there is the occasional short story or anecdote worth recording, writing anything longer about the Dreamers faffing around the Elsewhere would make for a dull book. Think about it; would you really like to read three-hundred or more pages of Two getting drunk and passing out in the Bar? I’d imagine not.
Sometimes Dreamers specifically request to have an assignment stay ‘off the record’. Perhaps it ended in failure, or they did things they’d rather not have analyzed too quickly. For the most part, we respect such requests. In the rare case that it becomes a conflict of interest, Alan takes it upon himself to record the tale. These books end up in Alan’s personal library, and are used only as resources for other works.
Of the many reasons a story involving a member of the Elsewhere Incorporate might go unrecorded, there is one that has no merit: because the story isn’t important enough in the grand scheme of things. It’s easy to see why some might feel that reason has merit seeing as the Elsewhere Library contains tails involving threats to planets, galaxies, even the entire universe (universes even if you count the J-27 section), but the truth is that the ‘importance’ of a story is entirely subjective.
The Elsewhere uses the term ‘Bigby’ (short for big bad) for villains like Terael, Mephistopheles, Ackibar (the sorceress or the necromancer, whichever you prefer), but what of the enemies that have no name or body? What of addiction, depression, loneliness and abuse? Triumph over these fiends is every bit as incredible, every bit as important to those affected by them as any demon, nightmare, or mad mage/scientist.
Do stories even need a bigby? What about journeys of self-discovery, exploration, and wonderment? Not all life is conflict, and not all conflict is life-or-death. It’s trite, I know, but sometimes a tale is more about the journey than the destination. The experiences we have through this crazy story we call life, the awkward situations and the funny coincidences and the embarrassing accidents ... these things can shape a person more than any demon or nightmare.
No story is more or less important than any other because ultimately every story whether dull or exciting, conclusive or fizzle, recorded on paper or simply kept in memory is significant to someone. To say otherwise is an insult to the wild menagerie that is life, and that is something that neither I nor Alan T. Tryth would ever deign to do.
-Alice P. Linnelle
Page of the Elsewhere Incorporate