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Deconstructing Astinus

by Simon Lipscomb

Astinus, the "Great Historian" of Palanthus has been called immortal, even the avatar of Gilean, but the truth is sadly more mundane. It is well known that those portions of Astinus' "Iconochronos" that cover the Age of Dreams (that time that covers the reign of Silvanos) is adapted from the Lifesong Scroll of Quivalen Soth, itself a collection of older sagas and poems compiled by the elven minstrel. If Astinus is, as is claimed by his librarians, all-seeing and everlasting, why could he have not written them himself?

Because "Astinus" is not one person, but a long line of people. The character of Astinus is a fiction, a role filled by a succession of Palanthine librarians in order to maintain the illusion of an immortal, divinely talented historian and to lend powerful weight to their own version of historical events. Rather than omnipresence, "Astinus" gathers his "infallible" information via a vast network of gossip-collectors and spies.

Remember this next time "Astinus" is quoted as the last authority on matters historical.

Note: The fact that this particular document was written by Marcus Corvinus, Head Librarian of the Solanthus Library 350A.C. should alert the reader that it's contents may not be entirely subjective. SL.

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