Nope, you're right. The series was originally published in 1997 to 2012 as a bunch of short stories. Some with as few as 750 words, many around 2,000 words, some reaching 5,000 words, and a few as much as 7,000 words. Most of the stories were around 3,000 words long. About 130 of the stories went up on fanfic.net, though there were around 500 stories actually written.
Usually I would write a story each day or two and publish it (largely unedited) online with-in an hour of it's having been written. Often what you saw was me writing for an hour or two, then publishing it. In most cases, the end result was not “complete”. Usually they could not even be considered a full chapter, let alone a full story, often they were scenes and snippets.
Also, as Quaraun was a player character I played in Dungeons and Dragons game sessions, I kept notes of all the games, and wrote additional stories(which are being published for the first time in this series) based off those game sessions.
If you are reading this book, you likely found it via something somehow related to DnD and know what a game session is like, but for those who are unfamiliar with it: Each player announces what their character is going to do, then rolls the dice to find out how well they succeeded. On the other side of the game table is the Dungeon Master with a chart.
The DM looks at the dice roll, looks up the number on his chart and announced: “Here's what happened.” Our game group was run by a DM who loved his charts and had lots of them. Each character ended up having their own specially made charts. Quaraun's character had a chart designed to make sure his spells failed epically.
Because everything that happened in a Dungeons and Dragons game is determined by the roll of the dice, you never know what it going to happen next and anything can and does happen, especially if using the SpellJammer setting. This results in a lot of absolutly random stories that were created literally on the roll of the dice. And these stories are found translated into the Quaraun books as well.
The books you are reading now, are made by taking all of those many hundreds of stories, scenes, chapters, snippets, and game session notes and compiling them together, while adding even more stories, scenes, chapters, snippets, and game session notes in between them to bridge the gaps and string them all together.
What this means is that unlike a traditional novel, these stories were NOT written as a single novel beginning to end, indeed, some parts of a story were written 10, 15, or 20 years prior to other parts of it. Yes, that also means some sections of this book were written when I was just 14 years old, while others were not written until I was in my 30s, meaning you'll notice a difference because of that as well.
Could I have smoothed them out and made them flow one segment to the next better? Yes, but I didn't. Why? Well, as the title states, Quaraun is insane. His mind is seriously warped and broken. He's struggling to fit in and he knows he can't. He's struggling to hold on to reality, but he knows he fast losing touch with it. He thinks he's knows what is going on around him, but he can't be sure and it frightens him.
Quaraun's perception of life is disjointed, fragmented, and at times missing glaring bits of information. He blacks out sections of time and can not remember how he got from point A to point B. You'll see him talking to his friends in one scene and then the very next scene, on the other side of town doing something else with someone else, and no scene in between to explain how or why this happened. It is because you the reader are seeing the world EXACTLY as Quaraun sees it and he's missing time. He does not know why suddenly he's in a tavern in the next town when the last thing he remembered, he was in a battlefield. Because Quaraun does not know, neither does the reader.
Quaraun has a medical condition, known as Catalepsy. He passes out frequently and goes into trance-like states. Many scenes begin or end with Quaraun either just waking up from a cataleptic trance or just passing out and going into one. In most cases, the story stops when Quaraun passes out and picks up the next time he has full conscious awareness of what is going on around him.
Only if something that the reader actually needs to know, happens while Quaraun is unconscious, does the scene continue forward, now in another character's perspective (usually Unicorn's). If there is nothing of plot importance happening while Quaraun is passed out, then the story simply jumps ahead to the next point something does happen.
Because the stories are told mostly from Quaraun's (very questionable) point of view, I did not even out the gaps completely, leaving them disjointed in many places, because the reader is seeing the world through Quaraun's eyes and if you read the much older Twighlight Manor series from the 1970s/1980s, you know Quaraun is a patient of White Rock Asylum of the Criminally Insane (known as Sunta aka the boy in the attic, in the TM Series because no one knew his real name) and much of what you are seeing in the Quaraun series is him retelling his version of the truth, which may or may not be what actually happened to him.
The Quaraun series picks up where the TM series ends. At the end, Emperor Blue of Planet Chrystonia, the current Grand High Emperor of the Triple Planets, makes a startling discovery while inspecting the Asylum one day. At the heart of the hospital is a section that was boarded up centuries ago. It was believed no one was in it, and for several hundred years, no one went down there. During the inspection, screams were heard from beyond the boarded up wall, and one cell was found to not be empty. A strange boy with long Elf-like ears, every inch of them full of gold rings, is discovered. The boy speaks a language no one knows and refuses to learn their language.
The Emperor (who has no children to heir his throne) takes the boy with him, adopting him. It is at first assumed the boy somehow got into the asylum and got trapped, but as the years go by, he never ages, and after 30 years, he still looks like a 15 year old boy, causing the Emperor to investigate not the boy, but rather the section of White Rock where he was found.
To the Emperor's horror he learns that that section of White Rock had been sealed off centuries ago, the same year Emperor Swanzen, the first Grand High Emperor went missing. He goes to Sir Roderic of the Twighlight Manor seeking the ancient Scrolls of Ongadada, taking the boy with him. There at the Twighlight Manor Roderic recognizes the boy as his grandfather, the builder of The Twighlight Manor, long believed to have died shortly after the Battle of Ogadada. (Yes, the spelling changes depending on who is talking about it).
Terror seizes the Chrystonite king when he realizes he has unlocked the ancient prison that has been created by the Phookas to contain the greatest evil the galaxy ever knew. And no one can explain how the boy survived being locked in that cell for 400 years without food or water. Blue contacts the Kat family of Planet Ptarmagin, hiring EelKat (yes the very same character -a black cat- I life act online via social networks) Spriggan, Bela, and Lynxiana to investigate. (All 84 of the talking cats from the Twighlight Manor series do appear in the Quaraun series as well, btw.
Many of the TM series characters appear in the Quaraun books.). They tell him the story of Liches, Necromancers, undead beasts, and monstrous brain sucking Jellyfish beasts that live in the oceans of Planet Diona and the reason why Gremlin sealed off the portals and made travel between planets, time, and dimensions a thing of the past. While the Kats' story is mentioned in passing and hinted too, the TM series never goes into any details beyound what was just said, leaving the reader to wonder – what happened?
With all the inhabited planets of 3 solar systems in mortal terror of the day when the Lich would wake up and being reunited with it's Master, Emperor Blue knows he must never let anyone know what he has done, and yet, Emperor Blue has trouble seeing this harmless, very frightened apparently ageless boy as anything even remotely matching any of the horrific stories history has passed down of the terrible King of the Burning Planet, who's name was erased from history to prevent anyone calling him back into existence. The most evil tyrant in history, turned out to be an immortal boy who did nothing but sit on the floor and gibber nonsense that no one could translate.
Not knowing his real name and fearing that his people would slaughter the seemingly harmless boy should they find out who he really was, Blue renames the boy Sunta (which means King of the Burning Sun) and sets out to find out what happened to the Liches and the infamous undead fire breathing horse the evil king was rumoured to travel with. The Twighlight Manor Series simply ends at that point, never giving any farther explanation of the ageless boy or his undead horse.
The Quaraun series picks up at that point...
In the year 2525, Quaraun is an ancient Elf, well over a thousand years old, the last pure blooded Elf, and has spent the last 400 years of his life straight jacketed in solitary confinement in White Rock, after having been tortured in White Rock's dungeon for several hundred years prior. Emperor Blue seeking to unlock the truth behind the bloodiest battle of The Great Chrystonite War, tries to get the Elf to talk, and when he finally does talk
the stories in the Quaraun series are the stories he tells.
And so, yes, the stories are often disjointed and seem unconnected, jumping here and there and back again. This is intended, because you are essentially sitting in the shoes of the listeners who are in a room listening to a mental patient trying to tell you how he came to be locked away in that cell for so many centuries.
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