The thickly built human (male, according to Styment the Guide’s learned opinion) staggered out of the Chamber of Miracles, looked around blearily, and eventually managed to focus both eyes on Stymentat the same time.
Time for the speech. “Greetings, O Great One, and welcome to the world of Adadrizel. You have been Chosen by the Great God Amazuzu to be the Champion of our Age. My name is Styment, and it is my duty, and my pleasure, to be your guide as you assume the mantle of the One Who Saves Us and lead us unto victory over the forces of Slamma the Vile! ”
“Uh huh. ” said the human, weaving unsteadily.
“You are no doubt disoriented from your journey from the Other Realm!” said Styment. “Please, sit, and collect thyself,. for the road ahead is long and it is a poor traveler indeed who grows weary when the roadside is soft!”.
“Yeah okay. ” said the human, who sat down heavily upon the cool stone bench, and rubbed his forehead in an attempt to clear his mind.
Eventually, he said “Dude…. are you some kind of…. ”
“Lizzard? ” said Styment. The Scrolls of Welcome had prepared him for question. “Yes, I am. I think I most closely resemble a beast from your realm known as a croc-o-dial?”
The human peered down at the sleek reptilian creature and said “I guess so, yeah, Or a caymin. Ours don’t wear clothes and read, though. :Last time I checked. ”
The Scrolls had mentioned this possibility, too. “I understand that, Great One. However, unlike your mindless beast, we Hyptillians are creatures of learning and understanding, much like you, and-”
“Wait!” said the human, suddenly fully awake and alert. “What did you just say? ”
Styment repressed the urge to cower at the enormous being”s loud, commanding voice. It was one thing to read about the towering might of the humans and quite another to experience it in person.
“I said that we Hyptillians are-” began Styment.
“That’s what I thought you said!” said the human in a voice so strong it made Styment want to wedge himself into a crack in the rocks. “Amd what did you call yourself?”
“My name, ” said Syment somewhat primly, “is Styment the Guide, and if you-”
“You mean, you’re Styment the Sixteenth…. no. Seventeenth of the Order for Guides, the third born child of House Tzo’s third clutch, and the current occupant of the House of Green Glory in Aspenvale?”
“Um…. yes?” said Styment. The Scrolls had said the hero would be “possessed of strange knowings” but he’d always assumed those knowings would be otherwordly.
“And you’re here to help the Hero of the Age… who is me… tap into the Deep Magics and unleash the hidden powers that are my birthright?” said the human.
“Er, yes. ” said Styment. Now it was if the human was reading off the Scrolls himself.
“And I am really standing in front of the Chamber of Miracles, just outside Aspenvale, in the duchy of Duower. in the fief of Tolard the Red, which is part of the Prvince of Alran which is part of the great Tovian Empire?”
“Yes… sir. ” said Styment. He’d never been so scarewd and confused in his life. This was not at all how the Scrolls said it would be. ”
“And I am really the Champion of the Age, Hero of the Forest Peoples, and Wielder of the Great Sword Slizen?” said the human.
“Yes!” said a trembling Styment.
The human leapt to his feet, raised his fist to the sky, and at the top of his lung, shouted “ALL FUCKING RIGHT! ”
Styment silmultaneously wet himself and passed out.
“Dude, I am really, really sorry. ” said the human as he crouched over a prone Styment and fanned him with a leaf.
“It is…. me…. who should apologize, my Hero… ” hissed Styment weakly. “I should have… I mean, the Scrolls said to be ready for… ”
“Nah dude. It’s all my fault. Everyone knows Hyptillians are super sensitive to sound, and kind of… um, high strung. ” said the human.
“Stilll, I should not have… succumbed to the… the… ” said Styment.
“Shh. ” said the human. “Don’t talk. Just relax and sip your Tormac Tea amd relax. ”
Styment dutifully took another sip of the thick orange liquid in his cup. The tea really was exactly what he needed right now, and the human had brewed it perfectly. It was rich and delicious and he could feel his fluids replenishing.
Here he was, the one who dared call himself Styment, the occupier of one of the Forest Peoples’ most prestigious roles, whose wisdom was called upon by the leaders of all of the Peoples’ leqaders and who was so beloved and respected that a single word from him could topple nations, and where had all that led?
To him laying helplessly on his back on a broad flat rock with the very Hero he was supposed to be Guiding tending ot him like he was fresh from the egg.
It was the most degrading, humiliating, and emasculating failures in the entire history of the Peoples of the Forest.
So why did it make Styment so… happy?
Stment sghed into his tea. Nature writhes, as the old saying went, and just when you think you have glimpsed its belly, it rolls over and flicks its tail.
“Well…. look, I am going to check out the area. ” said the human. “Are you going to be okay on your own for a while?
Styment nodded weakly. A strange warmth was flooding his senses, and it seemed to want him to do something.
“Great! I won’t be long. ” said the human. ” I just want to see if the maps in the back of the books are accurate. ”
Some vestige of his trainign stirred in Styment., and he summoned all of his remaining energies to say “By…. by what name shall we know you, Great One?”
“My name? ” said the human. “Oh, I’m Steve. Steve Abracian. ”
But there was nobody there to hear it, because Styment was already asleep.