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If I were to tell you about all of the king's eccentricities, I would never get around to the story. I could describe the way he had the shrubs at the palace trimmed to look like overweight chickens, or his request that the theater in the city of Radil produce a three hour musical glorifying banana pudding (a rather entertaining play, I might add), or any of the other insane things he had done. But it was common knowledge to half the world that Orvan the Wise and Powerful was now a man who wore a crown made of turkey bones and insisted on calling everyone "Bucky."

There was much speculation about how Orvan got that way. Some said that he had been cursed or poisoned by an enemy (he did have a lot of them) or that he had taken to eating the mushrooms that grew in the palace courtyard. Some said that it was dementia brought on by old age, but King Orvan was barely fifty. No one could ask him if something had happened to him because he insisted that he was not crazy. "One day," he said, "history will look back on me as the wisest king who ever lived!" As a writer of history, let me tell you that had it not been for the events I am about to transcribe, that would most certainly not have been the case.

In light of Orvan's growing insanity there was much wonder about the special mission he had announced. He was going to select his greatest warrior for what he called a glorious quest. Most of his warriors did not want to go on a mission that, if recent history was any indication, would probably involve silky pants, banana pudding, and hunting down an elusive singing dung beetle who held the secret of life. Many good men were lost on that noble mission, and many others just never came back to Dargod, hoping to find a king who was less likely to send them to war with the elves at the advice of Burgy.

The warrior that Orvan chose for this special mission was a man named Javan who was actually one of the greatest warriors in the history of Dargod. Javan was told to meet the king "in the courtyard of the palace at 2:30 in the morning on the second Wednesday of the third month on the ninth year after the fourth anniversary of the birth of Burgy." It took poor Javan a few days of investigation and calculation to realize that Orvan had meant that Wednesday and he was almost late getting there. Javan was also told to bring his three best warriors with him, but they were to wait outside the palace gate while Javan was given the mission.

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