The True Life of Tom
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Tomas Kincaid went to bed that night after a tiring day at New London High School. When his large 6'3 215 pound frame finally collapsed onto the bed and he closed his sea green eyes, Tomas did not know it would be the last time he would see his soft queen sized bed for a long time.
Tomas vaguely remembered a dream with elves, strange multi-armed and legged people, and castles with dungeons. That was the last thing he remembered before being partially awaken on a bed of straw with a blanket above and below his body. He tried to tell himself that it was a very realistic dream and then reached out to grasp a hand full of the bed's straw.
"Well it is nice to see you have finally deemed yourself to wake." said a voice filled with mirth.
When Tomas finally opened his eyes, he immediately closed them again because he could not believe what he saw. A tall man looking to be no older than 30 years old stood in front of the bed. He was totally dressed in shades of green and surrounded by a bright green halo. His skin was a very light shade of green and behind his head were several floating roulette wheels of different sizes. The wheels were rotating under their own power.
The brief glimpse of the man also revealed that he was smiling at him with a slightly amused but very caring face. That brief glimpse was enough for Tomas to reopen his eyes. When he did open his eyes, the green halo had been reduced in intensity and all but one of the roulette wheels had disappeared. Tomas was slightly relieved to see the man was still smiling.
"I shall introduce myself and then I would ask that you do the same." The man said with a growing smile. "I am known as The Green Man: god of games and chance, and the patron of he who found and saved you."
Tomas looked at the man with disbelief but with what he had seen he did not discount it either. "I am Tomas Kincaid—Tom to my friends."
The Green Man looked at him and then cocked his head waiting. He was waiting for more information from this confusing teen. Nothing he had said gave an indication of what magics had brought this teen to their world.
"What?" Tom asked.
"I seek more information from you. Did you magic yourself to our fair world? Did someone else magic you here?"
"I know nothing about magic. I don't really even believe in real magic." Tom said in exasperation. "I am just a junior in high school with a C average who went to bed last night in my own bed in my parent's house. I am not anyone special." he began to rant. "I am now on a lump of straw in a room somewhere, I have no clue where, talking to a green god."
The Green Man's ever present smile faltered as he evaluated the boy's words. He thought of all the possibilities that could have brought the teen to his planet, Coppella. If it was not by magic from the boy or from others on the boy's planet then that meant someone or something of Coppella brought him here. The only things that could have done this were either a powerful sorcerer, a wizard, an ancient prophecy, or worst of all it could have been one of the other gods.
The Green Man's smile returned with an additional gleam. "Well Master Tom, as it seems that you are to be at least a resident of this fair land, I offer you five spins on my wheels of fortune." He offered with a cheesy grin.
In that instant all of his roulette wheels returned to sight. "Understand my young friend that the wheels are not just for riches and jewels, it does not always give good fortune."
"Does it matter which I choose?" Tom asked.
The Green Man smiled and nodded his head. "Totally they average out to 50/50 good and evil, but some wheels have greater amounts of one over the other and others are the reverse." He then smirked and revealed a secret: "Only one of them is equal in both."
Tom smiled at that and realized he had begun to like the ornery god. He then reasoned that with five wheels anything was possible. Without any more consideration Tom grasped the smallest wheel and spun it.
When the wheel stopped, a symbol that Tom did not recognize lit up. "Double your next spin." the Green Man announced.
Tom then spun the second smallest wheel and then it stopped on another symbol. "Dual professions," the Green Man continued: "Archery and thrown artillerist." A bow and quiver of arrows appeared behind Tom on the floor. They were then followed by two bundles of throwing knives.
Tom spun the middle wheel not realizing it was the wheel that was 75% evil. When the wheel ceased to move, the symbol flashed darkly. The Green Man blanched and then immediately smiled: "I'll tell you what I am going to do, I will take this spin for you and allow you to take two more from any other wheel after you finish the remaining spins, or you may choose to keep this spin."
"Okay." was the only response Tom gave.
Tom then reached for the next largest wheel and gave it a spin. It landed on a symbol that flashed with a red light. The Green Man quickly said: "One spin on the Dark Wheel of Dismay."
That wheel immediately disappeared and a dark wheel larger than the biggest wheel appeared. The dark wheel began turning backwards from all the others. When it stopped the symbol flashed and the green man announced: "Insectoid armor of darkness". With a bright flash Tom was then covered with black insect armor, his arms and legs were now the size and shape of gigantic ant appendages. A black helmet with antenna appeared behind him.
Tom looked confused as the wheel disappeared and was replaced by the original wheel. He then reached out to the largest wheel and spun it. When it stopped and the symbol glowed bright yellow, the Green Man announced: "Racial hatred – Gnoll."
The wheels all began to spin on their own. The only wheel that did not spin was the center wheel which remained stationary. Tom selected the wheels on either side of the center wheel; he spun them at the same time. "The next to the smallest wheel stopped first and the Green Man announced: "Ring of Chameleon Cloak." A ring immediately appeared on Tom's left hand index finger.
The next to the largest wheel finally stopped and the Green Man revealed: "Ghost profession." He then paused and smiling said: "Templar of the Green Man." In an instant a belt appeared around Tom's waist. It held a battle axe on the left side and a war hammer on the right side. A small wheel appeared behind Tom's head. The black armor then gained a greenish tint.
Tom then looked at the Green Man with confusion. "I am so confused." he said softly. "What does all this mean?" he sighed and then pointed at the wheel behind himself, along with the armor and all the weapons."
"This is an untamed world with gods and goddesses. You are here now and must be prepared to protect yourself and of course find out what brought you here." the Green Man explained. "Before their birth, each and every soul on this planet must spin the same five wheels you did and receive from them what may come for better or worse."
"I have made it so each item and situation will activate when you touch or deal with it for the first time. You will have full understanding of it for someone your age." the Green Man continued. "As a Templar you will have a priest to help you on your way." He then waved to the door which opened instantly.
A young man dressed in a light green robe entered the room. A slightly larger wheel than the one behind Tom's head was behind the head of the young man. He appeared to be slightly older than Tom and smiled with relief when he saw that he was awake.
"This is Eldon, one of my priests for the last 6 years." the Green Man announced. "He is the one who found your sleeping body on the side of the road. He is to be your guide, priest, and ..." he discontinued his explanation with a large grin. The Green Man intentionally left something out and it was not lost on either Tom or Eldon.
The Green Man then turned to Eldon. "This young man is Tom and he has wheeled up an interesting life. First and foremost he is now one of my Templers, plus a bowyer and a thrown artillerist."
With those words Eldon knew that the boy would have weapons knowledge of a total of four weapons: two for being a bowyer and thrown artillerist and two more for being a Templar. Eldon looked beyond the strange clothing of the boy and saw that he was even more handsome than he thought as he brought him here to the Lazy Boar Inn. He also understood that everything else about the youth would be found out as they traveled.
The Green man smiled broadly and then said: "I will take my leave of you now that things have come full circle and you are now in the care of your savior." He then winked at both Tom and Eldon. "Remember, effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." He disappeared watching Tom's surprised face.
Eldon realized that he must begin training Tom about the world of Coppella. He began by explaining where they were. "This is a cheap room at the Lazy Boar Inn. We are on the second floor and there is a kitchen and public hall on the first floor." He then smiled lopsidedly: "The food is not the greatest but it is filling."
"Outside is the village of Gar'out, a Metamen run village." When Eldon noticed the confused look on Tom's face, he nodded and explained: "In the ancient times of the Coppella, the Ancient Masters took some people and worked their foul magics on them. Now all these years later their offspring are born with as few arms as two and as many as seven, with legs as few as two and as many as three sets. Other than that, they look as any man or woman."
"Where is the odd arm located?" Tom asked in confusion.
"The arm can be on the center of the chest, on the back, on the neck or under one of the other sets." Eldon explained. "The appearance of the parents does not mean the child's number of arms or legs is going to be the same as either parent."
"What kind of people are they?" Tom queried.
"Like most men some are good and some are evil. They also tend to be more structured and ritualistic in their society than not." Eldon began to explain "And everyone over the age of thirteen has a voice in their government."
"Gar'out is a medium sized village near the southern tip of the great continent of Coppella, the flying continent, which is named for our great goddess Copela." Eldon continued explaining.
"Do WHAT?" Tom asked in shock.
"This continent flies stationary one mile above and to the side of its sister continent of Copa." Eldon explained patiently.
"Damn!" Tom whispered.
"There are six known continents and a seventh that is long legendary." Eldon continued the lesson. "Copa, Coppella, and Shar are north of the middle of the world. Klaz is in the middle of the world and a hot place it is. Metz'ra is in the southern seas of the world as well as being behind and below the other continents. Burras is the last known continent and it is far to the south and as such very cold. Lastly is the legendary continent of Shulla whose location is unknown."
"Father Skye holds three lights of the day and four of the night." Eldon revealed.
Tom figured that meant there were three suns and four moons in the sky. He actually became excited at the prospect of seeing such a sight. Tom became anxious to see this new world.
"I am sure you are hungry and want to see this world for yourself." Eldon said with grin. "But I must tell you that after we eat, we must get you registered with the magistrate." Eldon then extended his hand toward Tom, who took it quickly.
When they exited the room, Eldon turned and with a twist of his hand reformed the flimsy wooden door into a heavy metal door with several locks. "We must protect your new property."
They went down the stairs slowly. Eldon stopped Tom before they arrived at the bottom of the stairs as he surveyed the occupants of the first floor. "I am not sure what creatures you have on your world, but we have many that you may find, scary, funny, or disturbing."
"Like what, Elves?" Tom asked being flippant.
"Yes, Elves be one of the races we shall cross paths with, but so are Taurians, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflines, Dragoons, and many other half breeds." Eldon explained oblivious of the true response Tom had given him.
"So you can understand the room is filled with a wide mixture of folk and my oldest friend just entered." Eldon explained. "His name is Tull'n he is a mix breed of very good report. His grandda was an Orc raider, taking Tull'n grandma as his prize. Tull'n's da was a great warrior priest of his Lordship, making a name for himself. Tull'n was born a season after his da Dala'x retired and his mam took him by the rings and bedded him."
Both Tom and Eldon smiled at each other with a light blush. "Orcas are not usually liked in the lands of man and only tolerated in the lands of Metamen. Tull'n looks more man than Orc, except his nose, scars, and that damnable nose ring." Eldon continued.
"This be my home village. If you need to avoid the look of any, look at me and smile." Eldon offered. "To stare is a great insult to all, but the elves—they is used to it."
A moment later they sat down at a bench table near to the person Tom suspected was the person Eldon was talking about. The person had almost no hair on his head, light green tint to his skin and an upturned nose with a large steel ring coming from it. He had to be over seven feet tall and had several nasty looking scars over the uncovered areas of his body.
Tom noted that his ears were slightly pointed and he had small tusk like teeth instead of canines. Just as Tom began to look away his eyes were focused on by the one he had been staring at. Tom blushed as he bowed his head, he did not want to offend anyone or anything in this strange world.
"You must be the one that my old Eldon found on the road?" Tom heard from a deep, sub-bass voice. The voice startled Tom as it was much closer than expected. "I be Tull'n Chanc or Tull'n Blackbringer, whoever you be asking." A large maul of a hand was extended toward him.
Tom reached and grasped the hand, noticing that the grip was strong but not overpowering. The hand was roughened by calluses, but not uncomfortable to touch. "I am Tom." he said softly.
"Good to meet you Tom." Tull'n said with a smile.
"Now that we be friends you can look at all o' me without the slys." Tull'n continued gently patting Tom on the back. He then sat down beside him, placing a log sized arm across his back.
Eldon looked at his oldest friend and began to laugh. Tull'n was very friendly and because of that he could scare Tom, if he was not careful. "Now Tull'n, don't be makin on the boy as he is too new to know your ways!"
Tull'n looked at Eldon and smiled. He then gently squeezed Tom in a one armed hug. "I not be makin' on him now, my old Eldon, just bein comely and new'n."
Tom was now confused and pulled away from Tull'n slowly. He looked at both the slightly older men with a mixture of fear and confusion. He was not sure if they were talking about him being a meal, a slave, or something else. His worry was temporarily abated when a dwarven man walked up to them and asked: "What ye be have'n?" His accent was heavy but understandable.
Tull'n saw the confusion on his new young friend's eyes and was embarrassed by his own actions. "There be no worries Tom, not be any harm to you."
Eldon blushed slightly and looked at the dwarf server. "Two bowls of millet, ham, eggs, and morning grog." he ordered.
The dwarf nodded and disappeared back into the kitchen.
Eldon then turned back toward Tom and bowed his head slightly. "I need to explain things better to you Tom and I apologize for rudeness." he explained and then looked up at Tom. "Let's begin with Tull'n speech. It is a bit to get used to, slys means secretly. He was giving you permission to look at him if you wanted."
A glimmer of understanding could be seen in Tom's eyes.
"Makin' is a bit more embarrassing for me, but it means trying to bed with you."
Alarms went off on Tom's mind at that revelation: "YOU mean rape me!"
"No, no." Eldon hushed Tom.
"I no rape body. We be friends. We doing makin or we no doing makin, Tom be Tull'n friend." Tull'n interjected with fearful eyes.
"He is just interested in you both as a friend and potential bed partner, if you don't want one that is fine." Eldon expressed.
"When he said he was not makin on you, he meant that he was not thinking like that but was open to it." Eldon continued to explain. "Just bein comely and new'n means he was being friendly and getting to know you better."
"So he wants to fuck me?" Tom said in a bit of fear.
A deep raucous laugh echoed from Tull'n as he laughed in shock. "No, no my new Tom, be you doing the ruttin—me enjoy'n the rut, just liken with my old Eldon."
Both Tom and Eldon blushed at Tull'n's loud words. Eldon took over the explanation, just as the dwarf returned with their food. On a large tray were three wooden bowls, three plates and three large tankers. The bowls were filled with an oatmeal like millet, the plates held sliced ham and scrambled eggs, and the tankers were filled with a rum flavored beer called grog. The dwarf handed each of them their order, starting with Eldon, then Tull'n and finally Tom. They each began to eat as they continued to talk. Tom found the food to be filling but not the greatest in taste.
"Tull'n may be a big brute in appearance an in a fight, but in bed he is the one who receives not the one be doing the act." Eldon explained smiling, embarrassed, and turning redder as he spoke.
"But he is SO DAMN BIG!" Tom exclaimed in shock.
"I be a gelding from my fifth moon fall." Tull'n said with a slight amount of distress, his voice almost a whisper.
"Fifth moon fall?" Tom asked.
"Twice a year all four of the moons go beyond the horizon." Eldon explained. "This is called moon fall. He was two and half of a year, when he became sick and lost the ability to sire children of his own."
"Damn!" Tom exclaimed laying a hand on the large man's chest in an attempt to comfort him. "I am so sorry." He then leaned in showing Tull'n that everything was alright. He then had a thought and turned to face Eldon. "My old Eldon, my new Tom, we have been claimed haven't we?"
Tull'n and Eldon both began to laugh slightly. "Me, claim you as me new, until you be like my old Eldon." Tull'n tried to explain.
"He has claimed you as his friend, which includes the remaining desire to be bedded by you. He will not have anyone else `New' until he has been bedded by you or has seen you bed someone else." Eldon explained.
"That would mean he has had you before." Tom surmised.
"Me, old Eldon, bed many times over the great seasons." Tull'n said without concern.
Tom became comfortable with the two slightly older men as they ate and talked. He even leaned into Tull'n's chest as they chatted. He now felt more like he belonged with these two than anywhere back at home. It was explained to Tull'n what Eldon and Tom had to do with the rest of the day: meeting with the magistrate to register Tom, then going to the temple to thank the Green Man, and finally going to the newly built gambling hall to see how well things were going.
Tull'n decided to remain beside them in their activities. He even helped Tom stand up from the hard wooden bench. Tull'n appeared to be extremely smitten by Tom, at least in Eldon's eyes. It tickled him that they bonded so strongly after the adverse reaction Tom originally had.
When they left the confines of the Inn and walked outside the first thing Tom noticed was the sky was not the blue that he associated with home but a lighter, almost baby blue color. The second thing was that the sky held two of the three suns burning in the sky and three of the moons.
The village was much larger than Tom had expected while he could see both ends of the village from where he stood. Eldon took the lead as he led them toward the magistrate's office. As they approached the building that housed the offices of the magistrate, Tom began to feel fear at the sight of the well fortified building. It was then that he realized the office was also the village jail.
Tom was further surprised when the town guard began to emerge from the building to start the day shift protecting the village. Each and every guard was tall, huge, and in Tom's mind deformed. The first guard was well over eight feet tall. He was obviously VERY muscular—the deformations were his legs and arms. The man had a total of 6 legs and five arms. The four extra legs were behind the regular pair and were also paired up. Two of the extra arms were under the regular pair. The fifth arm was in the center of his chest and appeared to have a left hand.
Eldon noticed Tom's reaction and with a smile explained: "Most of the village's guards and the magistrate are Metamen, they all have extra arms, legs or both. It seems to be random on how many arms or legs they can have. Even if both parents have the exact same number of limbs, this does not guaranteed that their children will be the same or that siblings will be identical to each other."
"The magistrate has five children and every one of them has a different number of arms and legs. None of them has the same number as their father or even their mother." Eldon continued to explain as they stopped at the only door to the building.
"Yeah, every one of thim young'ens gots more arms than me." said a massive metaman who had stepped in to the doorway. He had three arms and four legs. "This must be our sleeper boy?" he then said with a smile.
"That he is, Dom." Eldon said with a smile. "This is Tom, by the way." he explained.
Dom the magistrate reached out his center arm which had a right hand attached and shook hands with a surprised Tom. "Well now, Tom, we need to make sure you is prop'rly registered." He then led them into the building and toward his office.
Over the next fifteen minutes, Dom explained to Tom the reason for registration. "It be so we can call on ya if we need someone with ya skills and if'n we be needing a militia. If'n turn out ta be a bad boy, tis makes it easy ta get at `cha."
At that moment a young teen metaman walked into the room. He had four arms and two legs but the facial features showed that he was related to the magistrate. "This here be my youn'gest boy, The'o."
The Magistrate then turned to the boy and gruffly asked: "What'ca do now, boy!"
Looking at the magistrate with a mixture of hate and respect, the boy bowed his head and said: "Gul'f says I was stealing from the Green temple, but I weren't pop."
The Magistrate glared at the boy and then looked despondently at Eldon. "I am sorry for his actions." he said directing it to Eldon.
A prickly feeling was felt by both Eldon and Tom at the same time. It appeared that something was not right. "Look at me The'o and speak the truth." Eldon commanded.
The boy's eyes met Eldon's, glanced at his father, then Tull'n and lastly Tom.
"Did you steal from the Green Man's temple?" Eldon said with a passive voice.
"No, I didn't." The'o answered returning his gaze to Eldon's eyes. The prickly feeling faded from both Eldon and Tom.
"But you know who did?" Eldon asked.
"I am not sure but I think so." The'o responded: "Jax Ralian."
The feeling faded completely from both Eldon and Tom. "That is your real thief Magistrate." Tom said with clarity.
The magistrate stared at Tom for a brief moment in disbelief.
"He is the Green Man's Templar after all." Eldon explained to the magistrate. It explained in those few words that it was an ability that Priest and Templar's shared.
"Well that mays be true, but the boy is a thief and a layabout." the magistrate began. "He be on his last chance, but I is tired of `em. I f'n yous wants him, take `em as a temple slave."
"No!" Eldon answered forcefully in hopes to force the magistrate to reconsider.
"Then he be out of me house, NOW!" The magistrate counted.
"I will take him then." Tom shouted in fear.