(In a far-off realm, on a small, almost forgotten branch of the World Tree, Llew wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings.)
What is this place? The last thing I remember is being part of a party escorting Marta through the Wood to accomplish something or other. We had gotten to the graveyard…she was speaking some strange tongue… I looked at the book she was reading from…a page strayed and was blocking my view, so I reached up to hold it down…bright flash…falling…darkness enveloped me…then, a small, far off voice, heavy accent, fading into the distance. Can’t make out the words.
The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of a small room filled with shelves, upon which were rows and rows of books and glass jars and vials of all shapes and sizes, their contents a menagerie of colored liquids and strange items. Suddenly, I was aware of a small man with a thin, grizzled beard, dressed in a shabby brown robe and a floppy, pointed hat asking me how I felt. I slowly stood to my feet and replied, “I’m not sure. Ok, I guess.” “I’VE DONE IT!” he screamed. “I’ve given you the power to defeat the Gnarthak and rescue the princess! They said I was crazy, well I’ll show them who’s crazy!” “What are you talking about? What princess? What is a gnarthak? Where in blazes am I?” I said. But my questions fell on deaf ears. The old man was lost in his own revels, babbling on and descending into almost maniacal laughter. I decided I was going to find no answers here. I left to explore my surroundings, only to find that, whatever had happened, I had wound up in the shabbiest, dirtiest, most pitiful pile of rocks that had ever been mistaken for a castle. And everyone I met kept mistaking me for someone called Phil.
Something has gone terribly wrong, and I mean to find out what.