Notes From The Author
1] Concerning the SOURCES of these tales.
A Grim Future? is largely concerned with the events of our world (Terra) that occurred long before we (mankind) as a people began to keep an accurate account of things. It centers around the many happenings that took place on the large continent of TerrVerde (modern day North America) during the unknown ages of Terra. Since the eras discussed herein were periods of history that have long been lost to ‘modern man’ I was forced to rely on the writings, poetry and documents of the people who lived during this time. The source document I relied on the most was a diary penned by the title character – none other than Death himself — who along with his diary, gave me unprecedented access to interview him whenever I had questions. Since he was (and still is) the only person alive who actually witnessed the events of this book AND is willing to talk about them, I’m grateful to have had the pleasure of working with him on this project. (And I will add that he’s definitely not the terrible person we’ve all assumed him to be from his reputation — at least not anymore).
In addition to Death’s diary, I was also given two additional source documents that have proved incredibly helpful. These are the voluminous Amorosi History of the Ages and the legendary Kroniklz of Chaldea of the Drokka. I used them to cross-reference facts against Death’s version of events, as well as to fill in any minor missing gaps in the stories when needed. I’m pleased to report that all of the sources seemed to confirm the details of each other; for whilst each was unique in its own right — regarding authorship and time(s) written — even still, the fact that they shared many common themes regarding major world events added credence to their words, and gave me much relief regarding my own attempts to accurately report on these times.
As a side note, you may wonder how I gained access to ancient tomes that have so long been lost to this world — I can advise you that the Amorosi and Drokka texts did not come from Death — thus removing the possibility that he forged them as a means of backing up his own records. Instead they came from another source — an Illuminati so renowned he is beyond reproach — but that is a tale for another time.
And speaking of Time…
2] Concerning the Measurement of TIME.
Although I relied on Death’s Diary for much of the source material of these books, the fact is that I used multiple other sources to compile the events of this history. Unfortunately none of the source documents were congruent when it came to a measurement of time – particularly relating to the events prior to about 10,000 BC. Although Death was adamant that his version was the truth, because there was such a wide variation (and because the other source documents seemed credible to me), I did not feel comfortable completely discounting the other timelines. So, for the time being, I have chosen not to detail specific dates for events prior to 10,000 BC. After this date, there is more symmetry in the records. For the purposes of our books, I’ve chosen to list dates in the style of the Amorosi timeline – which, in spite of my partnership with Death, is actually my preferred measuring stick for time. Please forgive me this little amusement. Meanwhile, I am also in the process of trying to equate these various timelines in the content of our modern measurement of time (aka BC/AD). Once I have something presentable I will share it with you. It’s a monumental task so if anyone is interested in helping, please let me know.
3] Concerning The Peoples of the World, Language, POV, etc.
Because of the complexity of this tale and the fact that it spans numerous books, for your assistance I have included a set of glossaries under the Reference Tab on the menu bar. I encourage you to refer to these appendices for those words and characters that may be foreign to you or which you might forget as you read along. I hope you find those references helpful. As you will see however, by the very fact that I have had to include such glossaries, it is certain that you will run across more than a few terms that are unfamiliar to you. Now, granted it would have been possible for me to translate all of these words into our own modern language, however I felt that to do so would have been shortchanging you, the reader, on a crucial part of the “atmosphere” of these times. Therefore, whenever possible I have tried to leave many of these colorful original words intact.
In addition, since this book is divided into a multitude of chapters, and since each section usually centers around the events concerning one main race or deity at a time, while writing about that person(s), I have tried to do so from THEIR particular point of view; in other words, when writing about the Drokka, I name the gods and other races in the Drokka tongue of Nort (for example, God Himself was called “He Who Has No Name”). If the chapter centers around the Amorosi, then those same subjects are spoken about in the Amorosi language (where, for example, God is called “El-Aba”). And so forth. I realize that this will undoubtedly make things a little tricky for you at first, but I hope that, in the end, you will see the value of this decision. For, by remaining as “true” as possible to the original context, I believe that you will get a better feel for the fascinating depth of the texture of our world as it once was. In the end, my belief is that this technique will ultimately add to your enjoyment and understanding. And, to assist you in keeping track of the similarities and differences among the many languages used, I have included in the Reference area a page entitled, The Major Tongues of TerrVerde. Please refer to it while you read.
All that being said, you should note that when the characters actually spoke to one another of the same race, it should be obvious to you that they solely used their own native tongues (Amorosi, Nort, Gut, etc), yet I have translated most of their actual spoken words into our own modern language. I hope you will forgive me for that, as for the sake of sheer readability, I simply saw no other way. Only when I was unable to decipher a particular word’s meaning, or when a character spoke an exclamation, did I leave their dialogue intact – again, in order to preserve the true flavor of those instances.
4] Concerning One Final Note – The Truth
As a fan of the fantasy “fiction” genre myself, I am especially proud to be able to add some validation to the ideas of great writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, Dennis McKiernan, David and Leigh Eddings, and many others. For, according to my research, their works, which dealt with seemingly “made-up” creatures like elves, dwarves, little people, trolls, etc. apparently actually were based on some historical FACTS. Does that mean there are ‘elves, dwarves, etc’ in this tale? Yes and No. If you are looking for a story that features specific races of humanoids called “elves, dwarves, etc” then I’m sorry to disappoint you but you won’t find them here. However, I would be remiss if I overlooked the obvious – there are certain races of mankind that at the time of our story did resemble what you might know from other tales as ‘elves, dwarves, etc.’ So hopefully that give you some hope regardless of what side of the fence you sit on.
Meanwhile I realize that stories that feature these mythical peoples seem so cliché nowadays, but, my response to that is that it gives me great pleasure to be able to point out that the very reason these ideas appear now so “overused” is simply because they are quite true! As a result, I am certain that when you read the coming pages in this book, you will find many similarities to species of creatures with which you are already familiar — assuming you have read some of the masterworks of this field. Here I feel I must express my gratitude to those writers who went before me — for they have made my job that much easier with you.
In any event, please understand that I am attempting to relate to you a true history of our own world, and therefore while you might be familiar with the “inhabitants” of this story already, I am quite sure that you will not already know everything there is to know. However, please understand that I do not know everything either, so if there should come a time when you, the reader, might happen upon a fact which concerns the lore of Terra, I implore you with all my heart…please contact me ASAP! I would be most grateful to your kindness, for thereby can I add that information to my own ever-growing Kroniklz.
If I had to venture a guess, I would say that, even now, you probably DO know more than you think. For as you will soon see, many of our modern societal gods, heroes, and general mythos can be found lurking in their original forms somewhere in these pages – or subsequent future accounts. Ever since I first met Kane and discovered the truth about Terra, I have been continually fascinated and ever amazed to learn how much of our own modern mythology has actually been based upon legends from these long forgotten times. Without all that much effort, I have been able to discover references to these elden days in the historical, “fact-based” records of such great civilizations as Babylon, Greece, Rome, Egypt, Carthage, India, Peru, and the Norsemen — to name just a few. I have therefore been utterly captivated to read and see again and again how many of these ancient figures have truly influenced our late age. It is a proof positive that the greatest of tales truly do live on forever. For in many cases – as you yourself will quickly find out – somehow these personages have survived even to this very day!
These then are some examples of that which Time has not forgotten, and no, Percy Bysche Shelley’s Ozimandius is not to be found here…