I did not come to this world willingly.

The one who brought me here was the Lich of Oz.

This is my story.


All around me was a clear blue sky. The sun was bright.

The sound of crisp wind filled my ears.

I was falling.

Still hundreds of feet left in the air.

Surely I would die when my body contacted the ground below.

Moments before, I was in the royal chamber of the Lich of Oz.

“I shall grant you a morsel of power… a flickering of mine.”

That’s what the (very short) Lich of Oz said to me.

The Lich grunted and wheezed as he lifted a heavy book from a hidden place behind a curtain, and carried it to his chair made of twisting, gnarled roots. He flipped through the pages with his bony finger. A wicked grin was on his skull face. He twisted and animated it unnaturally to have more expression than a normal corpse could have.

“Now, which thread shall it be?” The Lich pondered to himself as he mimed wetting the tip of his dead finger between page flips with a phantom tongue. “The thunderous strength of a lion? The indomitable will of an iron golem? The bewildering guile of a tinder man? The wild wickedness of a witching curse?”

The Lich glared at me. His skull made the expression of deep thought. The pinpoints of red light he had for eyes squinted flat and raked me from top to bottom.

I admit I was unremarkable.

Just another plain boy. Living the safe life in my hometown. A nobody.

I liked to read. My grandfather was a book merchant, and when he died, he left his library for my mother. When my mother died, I was alone in a big house full of books and enough money to not need to do anything. So I read. Every day was the same.

Sad thing is that’s all I remember about my former life. Allowing the days and years to go by. Doing nothing. Reading about the world and experiencing none of it.

Most of my previous life is a blur to me now. The same loop over and over again. Nothing stood out to me.

Maybe because I did nothing worth doing.

I don’t even remember my original name.

I remember dying.

The town I lived in was very small. We got deliveries of necessities, along with special deliveries, to the single merchant once a week.

My neighbor was struck by a sudden terrible illness. A girl about my age. I knew her as an acquaintance. She was a kind girl. She needed medicine urgently. There was no one else who could go. It had to be me. Taking the normal way would cost too much time. I’d need to climb over the hills to reach the nearest doctor.

I didn’t have a horse. Why would I need a horse? Everything I needed was within comfortable walking distance. I never went anywhere.

Everyone else was too poor for a horse.

Everyone else was also very old. Only I and the girl were the young ones. Most of the others were called for the war. But my neighbor was frail. And I was rich.

The rattle should have been a warning to me. But I didn’t know better. I had no one watching out for me.

One wrong step, and I was bit.

My blood coagulated, and that was it.

My soul, which I wasn’t even sure was something that existed prior to my death, detached from my mortal vessel. I could see my pathetic body from above. Such a waste, and now I was filled with regret.

Before I could think my regret over and go on to the afterlife, the Lich of Oz appeared, much to my surprise, and he snatched my soul into a bottle. His was a body of bones, wearing a fine blue hooded robe which covered up his short legs and short arms. The Lich left as quickly as he came, spryly jumping through a fresh portal he manifested with a snap of his bone fingers.

I thought he might have been the grim reaper.

When I came to I had a body again, but it didn’t feel like my body. I was in his dungeon, chained up to a wall. Other people were there with me. My eyes were only open for a moment before I passed out. I thought I might die again there in that depressing stench of a place.

I woke up to the Lich cackling.

The others were gone from the dungeon.

I was unchained, and the way out was open.

I left the dungeon and sought the laughing. I felt compelled to.

I was within an ancient castle. It had everything I thought a castle would have. Eerie paintings. Countless suits of armor. Both of those felt like they had eyes on me as I walked through rooms and hallways covered with high quality rugs. I liked good rugs too. The Lich had good taste.

Soon I found the source of the cackling and watched from a hidden darkness. The royal chamber of the Lich. Filled with old things, cobwebs, piles of neglected pure gold objects of various extravagant styles.

“In 2,700 years of your world’s time there will be an extraordinary invention… the printing press! For the fourth time!!!” The Lich of Oz said. He was busy impressing his guests.

The others were there with him. Two girls, and a boy.

One girl spoke. I would find out later that her name in this world was Gertrude. “Who even are you?”

The Lich grinned widely at the girl. “My name… hmm… my name is not important… but if you must know it… my name is… Razzmuss-Zazzmuss-” He grinned even wider, and held a long pause, as if he was waiting for them to say the rest of his name along with him “-Theodore!” He said with an exhausted wheeze of dying air.

Razzmuss-Zazzmuss-Theodore was not the actual name of the Lich of Oz. I wouldn’t learn his true name until much later on.

“Razzmuss-Zazzmuss-Theodore?” Gertrude repeated. Her face showed distress and concern. She held a fist up to her heart with her other hand holding the fist.

“Yes, exactly! The greatest Lich to ever live! You must have heard of me then? Hehe. Ah, the tales they must tell. The great and wonderful… and terrible!… Razz-muss-Zazz-muss!! … Theodore!!! Hehehehe.”

“I don’t understand a word you are saying.” Said the other girl. Her name was Harriet. She and Gertrude were about the same height. They both wore plain dresses made of a single piece of cloth. Harriet’s was deep blue while Gertrude had a light yellow dress. Both were horribly filthy likely from their time in the dungeon. “You speak strange.” The girl continued. “Theodore? More like Theobore.”

“How dare you.” The Lich growled lowly. He snapped his fingers on both hands and summed Lich fire. Harriet burned away where she stood. A billow of undead flame blew in a shock-wave away from where Harriet once stood. Spontaneous and total combustion. All the Lich’s fire had left was a small pile of ash which floated away into the wind of the castle.

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