A small Kobalt read the sign. "This is the Enchanted Forest. Welcome. Do not wish for too much."
He had a quest. He would be brave. His grandfather was his Ancestor. His grandfather had a plan.
He touched his lucky hat. Then he waited. He used his training to clear his mind.
After one hour, a man appeared, sitting on the sign. The man wore a gold brooch. Yarnspinner.
The small Kobalt bowed. "Thank you, my lord."
Yarnspinner looked at him. "Why do you wait? You could go in any time."
The Kobalt said, "I am not sure you can grant my wish."
Yarnspinner looked into his mind. "That is a very strange wish! Why do you want to see when any of your Superfamily dies?"
The Kobalt said, "My lord, Kobalts are small. I am small for a Kobalt. The world has many dangers. Seeing how they die will be sad. But as a warning it might keep me alive."
Yarnspinner was quiet for a while. "I can grant your wish. I think it is a small gain, overall. Go down the path past the sign. An adventure is waiting for you in the forest."
The small Kobalt bowed again. A small gain meant the adventure in the forest would be less dangerous. Perhaps he would live.
He did live. He finished his adventure in the Enchanted Forest. He earned his wish.
Many years passed. Yarnspinner forgot about the small Kobalt. Forgetting can be dangerous.
Near the Enchanted Forest was a town named Arlinac Town. People who want to quest in the Enchanted Forest visited there first. They bought things that might help them on the quest. People who finished their quest returned there to rest and celebrate.
Now people of all races live in Arlinac Town. But during the Age of Escapades it was a Dweorg town.
A Dweorg town! Dweorgs like to live underground. But the Dweorgs in that area also wanted one town above ground, at the sea. They wanted their own port. A haven for boats would help them buy and sell things.
In those days that land had many monsters. Arlinac Town had tall walls to keep it safe. The town's guard would keep watch for visiting boats from the sea, or monsters from the land.
One day, the Dweorgs standing guard on the walls of Arlinac Town were amazed. They saw an entire Superfamily of Kobalts march toward their town. A Kobalt army! The guards blew horns. "Alarm! Alarm!"
The Kobalt army stopped outside of the town. They were too far away to be attacked by bows or catapults. Then eight Kobalts came forward with a large cart full of books. The leader held a white flag of peace.
Ten Dweorgs came from Arlinac Town to meet them.
The Kobalts said, "We go to the Enchanted Forest. We may all die. These books hold the stories of our Superfamily. Would you guard them for us? If we all die, would you read them so we are not forgotten?"
The Dweorgs agreed. They took the cart full of books into Arlinac Town.
The Kobalt army turned and marched to the Enchanted Forest.
Yarnspinner was waiting for them. "What is this?" he asked.
One Kobalt came forward. He was old. He was the Ancestor of those Kobalts. "My lord, we wish to quest in the Enchanted Forest. The first Kobalt to pass the quest will become the fifth Power."
Yarnspinner stared at the Kobalts. "I do not have the authority to grant that reward."
"I do," said the Creator, who now felt very near. "The Kobalts may try."
Everyone bowed very low to the Creator.
The Creator recited a limerick that made everyone laugh for a long time. Then he spoke to Yarnspinner.
Yarnspinner frowned. "This wish is too big! The quest will be too hard! They will all die!"
The Kobalt Ancestor said, "Maybe. But maybe not. All your adventures can be finished. Even the hardest is possible. There are 512 of us. Perhaps one will finish the quest. We want a Power that understands Kobalts. We want to try. We are ready to die."
Yarnspinner wept. Then he made the adventure. It was huge. It was confusing. It was deadly. When it was ready (which only took a moment) he said, "Go down the path past the sign. An adventure is waiting for you in the forest."
The Kobalts held their crossbows in the air and shouted a great shout. They beat their fists against their armor and shouted another great shout. They took off their hats, gave the hats one last kiss, and put their hats back on. Then they ran down the path.
One of the Kobalts had been in the Enchanted Forest before. That was many years ago. He was still a small Kobalt. He was not a great warrior. He was not the most brave, or strong, or clever. But he saw every time one of the others died. He was warned and knew about the monsters and traps and dangers.
He will never talk about the adventure, except to say three things. He did finish. He was crying when he finished. None of the others lived.
When he came out of the Enchanted Forest, both the Creator and Yarnspinner were waiting. They did not say anything. Saying "Congratulations" would have been wrong.
Finally, the Creator asked, "Are you ready?"
The small Kobalt said, "Yes."
The Creator asked, "What kind of Power will you be?"
The small Kobalt said, "I will help small people have adventures. Small people also need to prove themselves. I will oversee little quests with little rewards. I will give people hard challenges in comfortable places with no risk. I will make tricky puzzles that give people little spells. Small quests and spells will let small people have more magic in their lives."
The Creator said, "You will be named Futhorc, for you think about Kobalts and runes. Let us go to my home to talk more."
Yarnspinner shook Futhorc's hand, one Power to another Power.