2020-12-31 15:46:12 UTC
: Lenard W. Lakofka (born 1944), usually credited as Len Lakofka,
: was a Dungeons & Dragons writer and long-time friend of D&D creator
: Gary Gygax. Lakofka is best known for the L-series AD&D adventure
: modules, and as the namesake of the character Leomund. Lakofka died
: on the morning of Oct 23, 2020.
Leomund at the Edge of Forever
By Drew Griffiths
Edited by Thomas Kelly
They all had felt the summons. Whether they wanted to or not, one by
one, it compelled them to make their way to that place gods alone could
go. They arrived in a colossal room without walls, with views through
windows where there were no windows. One among them looked out on a
solitary pathway, into a void where no god dared go.
Phaulkon, Master of Birds and Wind Archer looked to red-bearded Kord.
He saw his own heartbreak reflected back in Kords face. Nearby, one of
the gods softly wept, perhaps Lydia, goddess of music and daylight. It
took a moment for Phaulkon to noticeWee Jas, mistress of magic and
steward of the dead, had managed to remain absent. A brief moment for
hope? But then Lendor appeared before his progeny. It is time, the
god of time announced.
No! a hollow voice echoed back from planes beyond the room but not
beyond the enveloping void.
Wee Jas, it is time insisted Lendor. He looked to Phaulkon. Stop
Phaulkon might have feigned innocence or denied his complicity, but he
knew that this was a contest he could not win. He bowed his head,
Sorry father, its not just me; we are all involved.
I know, Lendor gazed upon each of the gods in turn. I didnt want
this either, but its time.
Norebo, lord of chance, suggested, Could we not just re-roll the
Lydia began to weep again, her sobs like soft music.
Ugly Syrul the deceiver spoke, Why even bother to tell him the truth?
Who would blame us for lying? Perhaps he will believe, and thats all
That was the moment Wee Jas arrived to appear before Lendor. He will
know the truth, like we all know the truth. Somewhere out beyond the
limits of our sight, a piece of him has already slipped away. We all
know this. I have been seeking it, but even with all of your help, that
which would make him whole again is gone. It is too late.
Then it is time, and no time remains, the god of time grew stern.
Whoever conceals him, release and reveal him now, or I will!
Wee Jas vainly resisted his will, fought back tears that fell from her
eyes. They streaked down her beautiful face and struck the floor. A
mist arose and swirled around the immortals. It coalesced into a
ghostly, elderly man. He looked frail, confused, disoriented in the
midst of the gods.
Lendor approached the old man. Leomund, do you know why you are here?
The old man raised his head to gaze into the eyes of the god of time.
Leomund immediately recognized the god he had served so long and began
to weep with a brief moment of joy. He was surprised to see the sorrows
of his own heart etched into the features of Lendors immortal face.
Do all the gods ordinarily assemble to greet a soul when we die?
No, Lendor replied. Only for you.
Oh, I see. The old man nodded sagaciously, as if pondering the deeper
meaning. Is this where I am to spend eternity?
Phaulkon stepped towards Leomund, Is that what you desire?
You have other choices you might want to consider, Leomund, Lendor
The old man searched the faces of the gods for some explanation, I
Wee Jas spoke, Can you not feel it Leomund?
Leomund locked eyes with her teary gaze, Is this not how all souls
Wee Jas trembled as if she might break, as if they all could break. She
held herself firm. What do you remember? she asked.
Confusion clouded his mind. Remember what exactly? His death? Well that
was had to be what happened, but had he not died before? Had he not
been brought back to life though powerful dweomercraft or the power of
the gods themselves? Why should things be different this time? But it
felt very differentas if a part of him was missing, lost somehow. He
looked down at his own body and took note of his wispy wraithlike form.
It was as if he was not completely there. As he stared at his
insubstantial self, Wee Jas drew close and took his hands in hers.
Immediately he began to feel more substantial, but at the same moment,
Wee Jas herself began to fade, to disperse, to take shape into him.
No! Stop! shouted Leomund, pulling his hands free from the goddess.
He stepped back from her and stared, fearfully, into the dismayed faces
of the many gods. Lendor merely looked on sadly.
Realization dawned slowly. Its not that I have died, is it. But
somewhere else, maybe not in this universe, but in some other universe,
the other me that I had always known to be there, a piece that perhaps
all the gods here knew as well, is gone. Thats why all the gods gaze
upon me so piteously! They too have lost some irretrievable piece of
What are you said there were other choices? Leomund stuttered. He
asked Lendor directly.
You have the choice to live on, on Oerth. If that is your wish. Live
as an immortal in that world. But you will forever be without the part
of you that has already vanished. Or, if you desire it, ascend to
become a god. Wee Jas herself was willing to make that sacrifice for
you. Transcend what you are now, and seek what is lost. But without
promise you will find him or fill what is missing, or you could
Stop, protested Wee Jas. Phaulkon stepped forward to comfort her, but
she pulled away from the offer of his feathered embrace. You cant let
him take the path into the void. He will be then gone forever!
At last Leomund could fully see where he stood, in a room without
walls, facing a pathway made of steps that he could not really see but
knew to be there, leading away into the impenetrable blackness. What
is at the end of the path?
Nobody knows, Lendor admitted.
Will I find that part of me that is already gone?
I dont know. None of us know. Perhaps.
Leomund knew at once what choice he must make, and in that instant, all
the gods knew it too. It was as if it had always meant to be this way.
It was time. Not the time of his choosing. But time, just the same. He
looked back over his shoulder. All the gods were behind him now, bowing
to himbowing to a mortal man. He stepped onto the path and was gone.
One by one, the gods vanished from the room at the edge of forever,
until only Lendor remained, keeping vigil, staring into the void for
the remainder of time.