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The Caves

Everyone who found The Caves lost something different in passing through them.  It was a curious and magical place, a test of mettle, yet no matter what happened therein, it was guaranteed that you came out irrevocably changed.  You could only find the caves when they decided to call especially to you, that’s when they would allow you to find them.  On the flip side, you would keep ending up standing before the entrance to the caves, no matter how far or fast you ran.  So it was best to just go through them when they presented themselves to you.

There once was a knight that lost the use of his legs on his journey through the caves.  He went on to be one of the most celebrated, fair, and wise judges in all the history of the lands.  Perhaps he had to lose his physical ambulatory ability to free his mind to ponder the decisions yet to be made.  Frabious lost his renowned locks, for who knows what reason, bald forever in but an instant.  That hair was simultaneously the envy and the fantasy of every woman in the kingdom, and he wasn’t known for his discretion, so perhaps a great war was prevented by the loss of his hair.  Captain Truncheon lost his sense of humor, then went on a police brutality spree, the likes of which have not been seen since as he died trying to simultaneously kick a beggar, bludgeon a crooked merchant, lasso a thief, and hang a clergyman from a pub sign for preaching religious lies without a license.  Maybe he did some good on the way out, or maybe he was just a mad dog that the fates needed to put down.

As for the Lady Jenevieve, destined to become most celebrated heroine in all the land, she ended up losing all of her shortcomings in her journey through the caves.  She still does not speak of what happened in the caves where she became utterly perfect in an instant, always with the right words on her tongue, the perfect spells at the ready, the right expression and manner for every social occasion.  She was the secret wild fantasy of every man who ever met her thereafter, and it drove the man that had professed his love for her before her change completely mad.  As a result, that man set forth on the path to become the broken, demented sorcerer that terrorizes all the known lands to this day.

Who can say what the gods intended by bringing these events to pass.  We are subject to their benevolence as well their capricious and punishing whims, and it seems we can only try to seize and assemble pieces of our own destinies from the wreckage left by players much larger than ourselves.