Chapter I

     The World of Affliction is its own realm of creatures so varying from one another that it is difficult for one to create a distinction between which is humanoid in structure and which is not. As these were only the first productions of the gods, a like-shape had not been determined, and the results were obvious. Here one could find beings with numerous limbs or no limbs, bodies resembling those of animals, bodies like no one has ever before seen, and for some their shapes were not permanent anyway.
     Throughout the years, the excess of free will each individual possessed also played a part in development. Not only did the output of free will determine their extraordinary powers and abilities, but it also had a factor in forming the personality of each individual. Those with certain extreme traits often set themselves apart from the others or used those abilities to establish themselves as authorities. Many followed these self-appointed rulers of the various lands of the Bane World for fear or protection, but equally many also lived in careless pacts governed by their own free will alone. In this way, the World of Affliction was divided between many kingdoms, although only few were considered as such anyway.
     Free will is put to use in many ways. There are the prophets, who use this energy to sense events and make predictions, and are some of the only inhabitants of this land who can remain calm most of the time. There are pacts which let their free will flow freely in jovial celebration, increasing their output and living life in constant bliss. There are some who are able to manipulate their own free will to move objects or create images, and such use of this energy allows them to be relatively calm as well. There are numerous more, but they will not be mentioned now, as to list them would take volumes.
     It was on this one day that the prophets unanimously sensed something. They had all been made uneasy by their recent visions, some of an intruder entering their world and others of a being rising to great power and causing harm to all those within the finite realm. For this reason, on an afternoon when the prophets all realized the momentary opening of the gate separating worlds, and the new presence of a being unlike the rest of their population, the prophets and their followers were all in sudden fear, fear of this unnamed transgressor.

     It so happened that this time when the worldly gate opened, it appeared twenty feet high above a field. Due to the extreme randomness of planar travel, the boy had not a clue as to in what kind of environment he would find himself, and thus expected anything. Still, to be shoved through to find himself in mid-air was quite unpredictable. Without any of the godly powers he had known for his entire existence, the boy plummeted straight downward, landing directly in front of a singing passerby.
     "Ouch! Pain! I felt pain! Dammit!" complained the once-deity.
     "H-who the hell are you?" stammered the local being.
     "Oof, well..." The boy thought about this new poser. In his former existence, there were no individual identities, only classification of status. He had only been known as a 'recent' due to the nature of his creation. "I've never been given my own name," was his reply.
     "So, now you come here to try to take mine!" accused the passerby. "You've got a lot of nerve, you know that? First you jump me from who-knows-where, then you try to steal my..."
     "Look..." interrupted the boy, standing up as he spoke.
     "Aaaahhh! Don't hurt me!" the man shrieked, collapsing before the youth. "I didn't mean anything by it, really! If you want my name, it's Anonymous. I'm Anonymous the Paranoiac. Now leave me alone!"
     "I didn't want to take your identity. I just arrived here and I wanted to know..."
     "You've never been to the Kingdom of the Psychos?" intermitted Anonymous. "Man, you have a lot to learn before you go traveling around here. Most of this land within twenty miles is owned by two brothers. See that castle up yonder?" Anonymous pointed to a large hill. There was no structure to be seen anywhere near it.
     "No, what castle...?" The boy stopped as his conversationalist sprinted off toward a heavily-wooded area. "Hey! Come back..." but he was talking to no one. The Paranoiac had departed.
     Hours passed as he followed a dirt path through the countryside. He began thinking about his situation, the absence of his powers and the frustration caused by his inability to control the environment around him as he was used to. His legs were tired and the shoes he happened to be wearing while he was made mortal were not suitable for this kind of traveling. On countless occasions he momentarily forgot and tried levitating, once falling flat upon his face. Undoubtedly, he knew that this would be the most humbling experience of his existence.
     During his trek, he took notice of the wildlife as he passed. The plants were mostly the same as those which grew on Earth, also given to the World of Affliction because they were vital to the life here as well. Interestingly enough, a few species of flower which had become extinct on Earth thrived here, away from the creatures whom had dined on them on the outside. "It looks like the Bane World isn't quite the barren wasteland we all thought of it," supposed the boy aloud.
     More interesting, however, was the fauna of this world. From the path he followed, the boy observed many strange creatures grazing in the field. One such animal resembled a cow but possessed four heads. The boy recalled one god having mentioned such a beast's existence when he had inquired about the four stomachs of Earth's cow. He sat awhile watching a herd of this mammal devour the grasses of the landscape.
     After a few minutes of this spectacle, he rose to continue his journey. He only took a few steps, however, when he heard a low-pitched shriek emanate from the herd. Turning, the boy was witness to the event of one of the behemoths being wrapped around by what appeared to be long, thick, hair-like vines. Soon, the entire creature was enveloped. The other cow-creatures inched away from the scene as the green mass of vines slowly became smaller. Finally, the vines receded, revealing the bones and sinews of the consumed beast. From there, a large, six-legged, bug-like creature about the size of a tortoise emerged onto the path and moved into the forest on the other side. The long, course, green hair on the animal's topside had easily allowed it to hide there in the grass.
     The boy observed all of this with amusement until the creature crossed over the path. He then realized that he himself was now quite mortal, and that this world was a very dangerous place. With this in mind, he hastened his steps. A few miles down this path, he could now see what looked like a kind of village, and not a moment too soon. This new mortal existence provided him with a hunger along with other human ailments to his body.

[Prolouge] [Chapter II]
Last page update: 10-10-98