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Home: The Toast

You went to the beach once and now you can’t stop thinking about the Sea.

A dragon has ruined your life.

You long to go on an adventure, but only so long as the adventure is not in any way uncomfortable or inconvenient.

You find the sun disappointing and the moon insipid. When you were young, the world was lit only by the stars.

The people of your house are dead and you are living a desperate existence as an outlaw. The good news is soon you will find refuge in an Elven stronghold and earn the love of a beautiful elf-maiden. The bad news is the Elven stronghold will be destroyed by Orcs, and it will be mostly your fault.

You lost a hand while escaping from the realm of the Enemy.

A wizard has roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf.

You remember the first raindrop and the first acorn, but not where you left your boots.

You strike a bargain with an impossibly malevolent spider demon. This ends poorly for you.

Woe betide anyone who tries to fuck with your ponies.

You are so adventurous you once walked twelve miles to visit your cousins in a different village, then promptly returned home because the people there were strange and foreign.

You are easily distracted by a workplace crush and are terrible at your job. Unfortunately for everyone, your job is The Moon.

You were exceedingly clever once, but unfortunately none of your friends noticed as they were too busy being attacked by an octopus.

The owner of your local tavern knows you by name and also knows not to roll his eyes when you tell him stories about the tree people.

A foreign king takes you into his service, but does not take you seriously. You feel you must prove your worth by stabbing something terrifying.

You have been hired by a group of adventurers to work as a thief, even though your only professional experience is gentle meandering.

You have angered a tree. This ends poorly for you.

You have always wanted to meet elves, and when you finally do, they are intolerably silly.

A Dark Lord fancies your jewelry.

A mountain is out to get you.

You had to learn the hard way not to follow the lights in the marsh.

Your exhaustive knowledge of whimsical riddles has saved your life on multiple occasions.

The leading cause of death in your country is dragons. The second leading cause of death is ennui.

Your best friend is your gardener.

Your best friend was your cousin, until you murdered him over an old ring he found in the river. Now the old ring is your best friend. You hate it.

God’s grace descended upon you once, in the form of an gigantic, murderous war eagle.

You’ve come into possession of a magical object of world-imperiling demonic power, which you use primarily to avoid awkward small talk with your neighbors.

Orcs are chasing you, but this does not bother you nearly as much as the inadequate breakfast you had earlier today.

Your father is only capable of showing his love for you through fiery murder-suicide attempts.

You have earned the personal ire of a Witch-king. This ends poorly for you, and everyone in your country.

You once fulfilled an ancient prophecy and overturned gender expectations at the same time.

After careful consideration, you have decided not to become a Dark Lord.

You are a member of a wonderful fellowship of diverse people united by love and loyalty, but soon it must come to an end. And when the world you know begins to fade away, at long last you will go to the shore and board a ship, and take to the Sea.

InATolkienNovel_End

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Austin Gilkeson writes middle-grade witch fiction and lives with his wife and son in Chicago.

J. Longo is a freelance Illustrator & Storyboard Artist in Brooklyn, NY. His work can be seen at JLongoArt.com as well as on Instagram.

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