The first story written by the second Chronicler, Lace, describes a single night she spent in the company of a time-traveling shapeshiftress, Zom Falbu. The painting below depicts Zom Falbu captured in mid-shift.
A single night spent in Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland listening to a time travelling shapeshiftress named Zom Falbu. There. I have written it down in purple ink on oat parchment. My formerly well-guarded secret now speaks in lines and wiggles. When Harpsandichord Lambsbottler travelled the rainbow and I became New Royal Chronicler of Fiddleeebod, there was no moment of doubt. Not a nince. I knew my first Chronicle would be the story of one long magic night spent in the company of Zom Falbu. It’s a story I locked away and never shared with any listening ear or reading eye until now. Now I tell it. Now I share it with you in your oddest of languages. I share it with you, the dangerously strange creatures down the well.
How did it start? Ah, yes. How many roads? I was born an Eastern Clover Roamer near the ruins of Tredgemont. My Moothoo and my Fith were called Feather and Rags. Daisydove Wingfeathers. Sadthimble Raggedboots. We roamed Clover from Sadlar’s to Skrabble to Longthin Lake and sold our fine stitchery at Honeygold, Clover Castle. I grew. I learned to weave and sew. I helped our miffen tend the herd of fleece. I rolled down hills and ate my fill of honey. I worked happily at my little shuttleloom. My thimble and needle and measuring tape all were precious to me. Mine. Ah, well. So and sa. The years. Roads. I found my name. Fuzzybug Lacejacket. Lace. A story. Another road. More years. Many. And then. And then the clans disappeared. Just gone poof. Gone. We hosted Rendezvous, and no one came. I was looking forward to once again telling my Naming Story. To seeing the others. Ah. Just there. Just that. No one came. We stood outside our creamy yellow yote, my Moothoo, my Fith, and I. We searched the horizon. Empty road. The silence. Did my Moothoo and my Fith lose heart then? They might have. After the failed Rendezvous and before a full bar year had passed, they travelled the rainbow road, first Fith, then Moothoo. Such. Such. So there was I, a lone roamer with only one hundred and fourteen bar years of life lived, roaming on my own. I abandoned the fleece at Longthin Lake. I left them there with our herd miffen, Galan. I left them. I did not look back. I walked away in my best wanderboots, starstitched with plumed tugs. Road. Roads. I went straight to Sadlar. I needed to see a friendly face. I stayed eight short bar years in the gardens. Well, then. I helped. I learned. Dig, prune, shape, rake. I crimped the hedges. I yearned. Road. I yearned to find another roamer. Mystery. Where had they gone? Was I alone? Travellers brought rumors of roamers lost in the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland. Drawn to the road, pulled, I left Sadlar with a shuttleloom on my back and a pack of mesh petals to munch on. Sadlar pointed west with a trembling claw. Tears dripped from his goggle eyes. I walked away. I left. I did not look back. Road. So and sa. I skirted Honeygold, Clover Castle. Hill and valley west. Green mounds. Honey huts. Dragon’s Deep Pool. Falls of Horn. Down the cliff. No fear of heights. Chack Tree Forest. Roads. Across the muddy skunch where the Greenwilla River sinks away. Into the desolation of the Woeful Wanderers’ Wasteland. At roamer pace I strode across the gray stubble. Rubble heaps. Dank reeds. Tuft grass. Gray. All gray. Cracked mud. Crumbling ridge. Night mist low to the ground. I dug in to make a shelter. I trumbled down to sleep. No sleep. I tossed. I turned. Stars. A dream? No. The creature loomed. Startling violet eyes.