December 2nd, 2001
The Reason Most Grandfathers Donít Tell Stories to Their Grandchildren
Anymore - By Kuzziqix
"Grandfather!" a small boy with red hair and a devilish smile screamed
with zeal. He ran towards the graying, yet still nimble, man seated in
a chair that had been passed down through the family for generations.
"Padakax!", the elderly gentleman yelled out with genuine enthusiasm as
he held out his hands to accept his grandsonís embrace.
"Tell me a story, Grandpa!" the boy said in a slightly less lively
"Very well, I will. But you have to promise not to fall asleep in the
middle of it. Or I will never tell that story again and you will never
know what happens next," the grandfather said in a stern manner.
"Oh gramps! That only happened twice," the young boy paused, "And only
because I was really tired when you came. I am up for a story today!"
"So you promise?", the elderly man asked, looking into his grandsonís
"Yeah gramps, I promise," the boy replied.
"All right then, letís see. Once upon a time, the land of Medievia was
inhabited solely by evil creatures and things that go bump in the
night. The gods were flesh and blood then, and took out their frustrations
on the poor defenseless creatures that inhabited the world. They were
mischievous and cruel, the gods were, or so some scurrilous sages tell
us. Then, in the cruelest joke of all, they created us in their image and
put us on this..."
"Grandpa?" the boy interrupted.
"...world. What is it Pad?" the grandfather said with disapproval, as
he hated being interrupted.
"You already told me this story," Padakax stated bluntly.
"I did? When was that?" the grandfather asked in honest ignorance.
"About three months ago. This is the one where the gods eventually
settle down and start to help the humans. The creation of the land, right?"
Pad said with a squeaky hiccup.
"So it is. Okay, let me think," he said as he furrowed his brow in
thought. "Have I told you the story of how Baenlyrs came to be?"
"No grandpa, but that sounds good," the boy said zealously, as if
suddenly the prospect of hearing this story brought instant joy to his life.
"Good! Letís see, how to start. Long ago in the land of Medievia, a
simple man became the king. His name was Darrius, and he was favored well
amongst the people. All the land praised his name, for he was good and
just. Yet for all his wondrous charm and wisdom, his life was
unfulfilled. For you see his wife, Queen Alaisia, was barren and unable to
conceive. He consulted with all of the wisest and noble clerics in the land,
hoping to find a way to make his wife fruitful. But to his dismay, his
effort was for naught.
"Seeking clarity, he climbed to the top of Mount Vryce, hoping to ask
the gods for an answer. While he was there, an evil witch..."
"Evil witch sounds good," the boy spat out with fervor.
"Are you going to let me tell this story or not?" the grandfather asked
as a look of disappointment and impatience overcame his face.
"Sorry grandpa," the boy replied.
"May I continue then?" the old man queried in disdain.
"Yes. Please do."
"Ok where was I. Oh yes. While he was there, an evil witch who lived on
the west face of the mountain approached him. She gave him a simple
apple and told him that if he fed it to his wife she would become pregnant
within a few days. Excitedly, he ran back to the castle and to his wife."
"So King Darrius actually listened to the witch?" the youth asked innocently.
"Yes, he did," the elder rejoined.
"Why would he do that. Didnít he know that she was an evil witch?,"
Padakax asked in simple naivety.
"Not all witches are evil. Take, for example, your mother. Do you think
your mother is evil?," the grandfather posed in order to prove his point.
"When she cooks those Lyryanothian mushrooms I hate, yes," the boy said
with a smirk.
"She only does that because she knows they are good for you," his
grandfather replied, vainly attempting to repair the damage he knew he had
"How can something so good for me taste so bad though?"
"Okay, do you want to hear the rest of the story or not?"
"Yes Gramps, I do."
"Then your mother isnít evil. Anyway, Darrius gave Alaisia the apple
and she ate it eagerly, wanting nothing but to please her husband. And
within a few days, her stomach was round and distended from pregnancy.
Knowing that something was wrong, he once again consulted upon the wise
men. They were perturbed that he would take advice from a witch, and
said that the child was ready to be born. Thus, they induced labor and the
child was born into this world.
"The boy was freakishly disfigured, having the upper body of a normal
human child and the lower torso of a snake. The wise men thought the
child was an abomination, and that he should be killed. But Darrius
refused their advice again, and decided instead to hide him away in the
mountains of Ruellia. For even though the child was a oddity of nature, he
was a part of him and he loved him.
"He named him Baen..." the grandfather began.
"What does Baen mean Grandpa?" the young boy interjected.
"Itís Trellorian for ímiracleí, Pad. Darrius visited his son every day
bringing food and water. He would stay for several hours each time,
talking to his son. Telling him stories, like I am doing with you right
now. The boy was a good child, despite his obvious physical deformities.
Every year on Baenís birthday, Darrius brought him wondrous gifts and
spoke at great length with his son. But he grew ill with remorse over
time for what he had done, for he noticed that every year on his
birthday, Baen lost some of his human torso to the snake-like extremity.
Thinking this was from lack of understanding to the human race, Darrius sent
many teachers and scholars of the arts to teach his son the ways of the
gods. Baen was a quick study, and particularly apt at the ways of the
Mage. But every year without fail, Baen lost some of his humanity.
"During this period another child was born to the house of Darrius, a
daughter with the same disfigurement as his son. Though Darrius loved
his wife still to this day, he had not conceived this child. After Baenís
birth, they had decided that should the witchís magic still be
overwhelming within her it would be in their best interest not to attempt to
conceive again. So in essence she was born without a father. He named her
Lyrea, and hid her away with his son."
"What does Lyrea mean, Grandfather?" the boy queried as he gave off a
"It is Medievian old proper speech for Ďdevil snakeí," the aged man
"So what does Lyryanoth mean?" the boy asked through a yawn.
"Lyryanoth is Medievian old proper speech for Ďsnake towní. That kind
of takes the mystery out of the name, doesnít it?" he replied with a
"So mom makes me eat snake mushrooms?" Pad asked suddenly wide-eyed.
"Thatís one way of looking at it. Another way would be that those
mushrooms are on the menu tonight. And for dessert, apple pie!" grandfather
said as he grinned evilly at Padakax.
"Iím not hungry anymore. Last thing I need is for snakes to jump out of
my belly!" Pad retorted adamantly.
"Wonderful! That means more pie for me. So let me finish the story
before it gets cold. Unlike her brother, Lyrea was a violent and hateful
person. Baen thought that maybe his camaraderie would soothe her fiery
spirit. So he, though almost fully serpent, went to calm his sister.
Instead, her way of behaving rubbed off and soon became his.
"Darrius, now in his old age, made his trips to the mountains of
Ruellia less and less frequently due to his failing health. Although it had
nothing to do with him, Baen saw this as a form of rejection. He had
grown used to having his father around, and to suddenly have that ripped
from him was painful to him. He became spiteful of his father, and
renounced him on his eighteenth birthday. As soon as the malicious words
crossed his mouth, Baen lost what remained of his humanity.
"Believing himself and sister free from his delusional torment, they
fled from the mountains of Ruellia. But his father still sought them out,
attempting to make reparations the lack of attention he had paid to his
first born son. Baen had once loved his father, but was now more animal
than he was ever man. His anger at his father became fear of him, and
from that fear became a fear of all humans.
"As the wheel of time spun, Darrius passed on and Baenís fear of all
humans became an intense emotional hatred towards all humans. His brain
long since shriveled, Baen became unable to speak the language of man.
The only knowledge he retained was that of the ways of magic, which had
became natural to him. Eventually, Baen fell in love with Lyrea..." he
"Icky! Love between brother and sister?" Pad broke in.
"You have to remember that though they were born of the same womb, they
were not in fact actually brother and sister in that sense. They were
born of magic, and magic alone."
"Itís still icky," the boy said in a candid fashion.
"Sometimes love can be convenient for the survival of a species, Pad.
It may be Ďickyí, but it is something you have to accept.
"At any rate, he took his sister far into the depths of the wilderness,
where it is presumed that the two of them still live today. And their
children, who wander the wilderness preying upon the humans of the
world, came to be known as Baenlyrs. A couple of other mutations have
happened within the line due to the relation of Baen and Lyrea, producing
casting snakes from the likes of moon serpents all the way up to the
twelve-feet tall forest snakes of Wittermark. But Baen is still the most
powerful of all of them. Most people think that to kill Baen and Lyrea
would undo the magic set upon them. Thus setting free the spirit of
Darrius, damned these one thousand years for giving the apple to Alaisia,"
grandfather said, ending the story on that note.
"So what happened to the witch?" the boy asked of sheer curiosity.
"Glad you asked, I almost left that out. She still lives to this day as
well. Wandering from city to city in disguise out of fear that she be
discovered. It is rumored that she and she alone knows the location of
Baenís secluded alcove. And should someone find her, she may divulge the
information in exchange for her life and a few coins," the grandfather
offered with a smile.
"Thank you for the story Grandpa. Now if you will excuse me, I am
sleepy and need to go to bed," Pad said with a large yawn as he slid down
his grandfatherís leg to the floor below.
"No dinner or dessert?" the grandfather posed as he reached mockingly
for the slice of apple pie his daughter had put on the table for Padakax
just five minutes ago.
"I think I can live without it tonight," was his simple reply as he
made his way to his bed.
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