Reality is the working title of a low fantasy deconstructive parody of high fantasy and history written by Fleeing Hobbit.Reality is the primary setting, not the main story. The title comes from the main dimension of the story, a rather unassuming sort of place with, as usual humans. Most of the stories are based around a central continent known by most people as The North, or The Northern Land or something similar, primarily due to a universal lack of creativity amongst geographers. In The North, three large civilizations remain, Cerpens, a large, nominally theocratic city state hugging the northern mountains for their fertile land and regular rainfall. Across a massive expanse of uninhabited grassland known to most as The Great Wastes and sandy desert is the cosmopolitan city state of Rbna, grasping whatever water they can get from underground aquifers. These two cities are the last great remnants of the Sine Nomine empire, which expanded from the Border Mountains, on the isthmus dividing The North from The South to the northern Mountains of Fog. Beyond the northern mountains lies the powerful but unstable nation of Tibla. Ravaged by near perpetual civil war, Tibla has never fully realized its potential. Strange things happen in Reality. Dwarfs, men gone mad with the ability to create unreal objects, burrow into the earth in search of the elusive Netherworld, corrupting the lands around them yielding strange and sometimes terrible results. Every so often, the Fairies of the Netherworld, or the Gods in Heaven break through the dementional boundaries and wreak havoc and theological zeal in Reality. But stories are of men, not of lands. This is the first story that Fleeing Hobbit has thought of
Hero's Journey (Working Title)
This is the story of a man named Boris. Boris is an innkeeper, of the Snake's/Camel's Head who has the unfortunate difficulty of being the only inn on the only road between Cerpens and Rbna. This is made even more difficult as tensions between the Cerpentians and Rbnans are always high ever since the Schism a thousand years before. Boris and his late father were able to keep the peace for nearly sixty years, the longest period of peace since the Schism. However, when a stoat named Slick, desperate to sell shoddy real estate on the boondocks of Cerpens, takes Boris away, war breaks out again. The Snake's/Camel's Head is destroyed in the fighting and all Boris wants to do is restore his livelihood. With a drunken, crocodilian, Tiblan mercenary (Jim) and what can only be described as a magic book (Vici Pedes lit. "I conquered the feet) they set off to rescue the disenfranchised Cerpentian princess Turia from the clutches of a dragon inhabited fortress. All the while the Vici Pedes constantly works towards its own goal of fulfilling a prophecy which only it seemed to know about before. The three heroes, Boris, Slick and Jim find themselves to be somewhat ill suited for heroing though. After their first encounter with the dragon, they run and hide in a cellar for three weeks, only slaying it though sheer luck. When they encounter Princess Turia, they discover that she did not in fact want to be rescued, as the castle and the dragon were the only things preventing Cerpentian assassins from killing her, and thus the last of the royal blood. While the latter is of no concern to her, the death of the dragon made her realize it was only a matter of time and joined the three heroes before the assassins caught wind of the news.
Meanwhile, a secondary plotline follows the troubles of Marco and Muhammad the respective lieutenants of the Cerpentian Don and Rbnan Caliph. Marco and Muhammad are wary of the respective holy wars, citing increased prosperity and regional stability in the past time. Nevertheless, the leaders support the popular wars, but are constantly pressed to revise the scripture because of Marco and Muhammad's nagging.When the three heroes arrive at Cerpens, they are surprised to find that it is under siege by the Rbnans, who were able to march right up to the city after the Cerpentian army got lost in the desert in a hasty advance. The three heroes successfully sneak past the Rbnan blockade, but are caught by the Cerpentian secret police, known as the Excavators. The chief inspector of the Excavators, leader of the Coup that ousted Turia's family and Macro's direct superior Malo suspects that they are Rbnan spies who brought Turia back to disrupt the defenses with a counterrevolution. Malo continues to hold Turia prisoner, but stages a jailbreak for the three heroes. Malo's plan is for the three to receive some false intelligence which he believes will break the siege, saying that the Cerpentian army is ravaging the Rbnan lands. The three completely bypass this setup instead trying to think of a way to save Turia. The Vici Pedes prompts them to recover a magic sword deep in the dwarf-corrupted forest of the Grosswald. The three heroes, using dwarfish assistance, finally reach the Grosswald, and are promptly captured by the Barbarians, a staunchly anti-human race of mutants. The chief of the barbarian tribe orders Boris to be put to death, but Slick interrupts the execution, hawking a glittery prop axe to the chief. Using what Slick describes as "advanced marketing techniques" (lying) he not only saves Boris, but also barters the magic sword from the chief's possession. Unfortunately, the sword is accidentally dropped into a treacherous ravine when crossing over the mountains and decide that there is not enough time to try and find it and go without it.
In Cerpens, the siege has taken its toll, and the Don, after much convincing, decides to try and negotiate a truce with the Rbnans. Malo, being fiercely patriotic, murders the Don an claims the title for himself. He forces a massive overhaul of Cerpetian Scripture, resulting in an unstable reality. He finally meets with the Caliph, pretending to be submissive for long enough to assassinate him too. He captures the Grand Imam of Rbna and forces him to change the Rbnan verses. As the Imam is reciting the new verses, reality finally breaks. The Grand Imam is possessed by the oft spoken of Doomlord of Darkness, the evil god of Chaos alluded to in Cerpetian and Rbnan scripture. Malo, Turia, Marco and Muhammad are spared by the Doomlord, who says that it was them who let him through to reality. The Rbnan and Cerptentian armies are transformed into horrible Abominations, creatures of unreality and chaos whom, if gazed upon may drive one insane, or give one a terrible migraine. Malo, all ready mentally unstable, is driven insane by the Abominations and tries to murder Turia. The Doomlord kills Malo, as he wishes to use Turia for a dark ritual, which he feels particularly inclined to do, for no readily apparent reason. The Doomlord slowly begins to transform into "A horrible, horned, dog faced demon, with fiery eyes, terrible leathery wings, goat legs and blood of brimstone." The Doomlord mostly leaves Marco, Muhammad and Turia to their own devices, and Marco and Turia, despite the horrors, fall in love. Muhammad spends his time reflecting on the state of the world and decides that the religious violence must stop immediately and vows to bring his word to the faithful. Having reasons to live, they begin to hatch an escape plan. Marco and Muhammad are ordered to be the ones to kill Turia. Turia, still resentful of her rescue, suggests that they use the Three Heroes as a distraction as they escape. Unfortunately, the Three Heroes are nowhere to be found and escape seem seems hopeless.
On the evening of the ritual, the Three Heroes arrive to the desolate and deserted Cerpens. Luckily Muhammad, who is saying his final prayers finds them and tells them of the daring escape, leaving out the part where they die being a diversion for himself, Marco and Turia. The Three Heroes loose their courage, and dispare at their inability to be heroes. After drowning their sorrows in alcohol, Boris decides to damn it all and goes alone to rescue Turia. Slick and Jim soon join him and they march to the cathedral where the ritual is being carried out. The Doomlord immediately recognizes the Three Heroes, remembering the alleged prophecy from the Vici Pedes. The Doomlord and his army try to slay the Three Heroes. Marco, Muhammad and Turia escape during the fighting and Boris kills the Doomlord. The Three Heroes fight their way to the highest bell tower and sound the bells, calling all the abominations to them, so Marco, Muhammad and Turia can escape.