"I wear the chain I forged in life," replied
the Ghost. "I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my
own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.”
― A Christmas Carol
The boy grew up shunned by the village, as one ought to be, born of such a foul union, and largely unloved by a mother that treated him with a rough hand and a sharp tongue. She loved none but herself, the gossips claimed; was vain, vainglorious, and haughty before her fall; and contrary to her fair face, had always been petulant, prone to fits of spite and rage, which she hitherto, inevitably, took out on the boy.
She never named the boy, not to his or anyone else's knowledge, and eventually sold him to a gypsy troupe, where he was whipping boy, gopher and scullion. He scavenged his food and took what he could when no one was looking, until Ariistuun Foyle, headman of the troupe took note of it and began to teach him more "tricks." Ariistuun's wife, Dika, adopted him, named him and taught him how to play the chalumeaux and lyre, to sing, to act, and to deceive.
Aloysius had found a home; and a friend in Nunamnir, his twin in spirit, if not in aspect, so alike that one was never far from the other. And he fell in love with Nayda Hobbs, a minstrel girl. Her father Djordji did not approve of the match.
The troupe came to a bad end when a local lord caught one of them flirting with his daughter, and another picking the pocket of a courtesan. He killed the flirter, arrested the pick-pocket, and ordered the rest of them rounded up.
They fled. Most were slain. But not Aloysius, who, fleet of foot and kin to shadow, slipped away, but not before he spent more time than was wise in search of Ariistuun and Dika and Nayda, and indeed Djodji; not to mention Nunamnir.
Aloysius waited for them at the rendezvous, but none arrived.
Aloysius seethes with rage, for the orcs, for his hamlet, for the lord who "killed" his family.
One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.