Monday, January 01, 1990

The Misbegotten

The ripper plague that ravaged Alyria as part of the Rape had dire consequences. Many of its victims were twisted by the plague in hideous ways. Some grew extra limbs. Others devolved into mindless beasts. Still others were mutilated in ways too horrible to describe. These roamed the wilderness and barren streets as the plague fires burned and the dragons wreaked havoc across the land.

Slowly they were pushed back.

Slowly they were destroyed or hounded into waste areas.

When the dragons were forced back, many thought that the threat was gone. Then the first malformed child was born. Something in the genetic code of the survivors had been injured or broken. While so many bore healthy children, a few bore freaks. The panic began. So often the children were abandoned, exposed to the elements. Other times mobs formed to force the parents to give up their misshapen child or bear the consequences. One village burned a family alive. They surrounded their house and threw on torches until it blazed. Someone stumbled out of the house, burning, begging, pleading, and they pushed him back into the house. The smoke of this ancient burning still rises.

This is the secret shame of so many on Alyria. The fear and hatred run deep. To this day the Misbegotten are banned from the Citadel upon pain of death. The High Lords demand it. The Keepers even require it. The streets still run red with the blood of the Misbegotten. That is why those who still retain their human faculties flock to the Web. Here they are welcome. Here they are accepted. Here they can retain a semblance of civilized living, without having to flee into the wilderness.

Oh yes, many Misbegotten live in the wilds outside the Citadel. Some live quietly, merely seeking to be left alone. But there are others. Misbegotten bandits raid villages, striking back at those who rejected them. Even worse are those that have lost their power of reasoning, becoming mere animals. Many stalk the night, running or loping or galloping, seeking man-flesh to eat or violence to assuage their terrible pain.

But is this not true of every man? For there are many who wear human faces that gaze at the world with bestial eyes, and some who walk as beasts who see with human eyes. Who is fit to judge such matters?