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Hush, hush, sweeting. No, no, no, don't cry. All is well. Your . . . well, no, I shan't have you calling me father, as if I were that miserable old bastard. Papa? No?

Oh! Such wails, sweeting. Such lungs! You are all dry, and your wee tum is filled with sweet milk, so what you must want is a story. Yes, a story, sweeting. Shall your silly old Da tell you a story? That's a girl.

Very well . . . hmmm . . .

Ah! Do you see that there? Hmm? The banner hung above your cradle? It's quite pretty, isn't it, sweeting? Yes, that's right, follow Da's finger. That's my girl. Yes, you may have that finger if you like. Though I can't imagine it tastes of anything delectable.

Let me tell you about how you and that banner finally made your silly old Da feel like he was home.

You see, once upon a time—I like this phrase; don't you, dearest? I'd never heard it before I came here—once upon a time, there was a great knight and his steadfast sidekick. This story, however, is not about them. This story is about the knight's little brother, a scholar who escaped the world he was written for and came to a strange land I shall call . . . hmmm . . . what do you say, sweeting? The Overrealm?

Aye, I thought you'd like that. The Overrealm it is.

The scholar journeyed to the Overrealm with the damsel who had rescued him. It was difficult for him at first, because he was so used to being sure of his place, to being master of all knowledge. It grated on him terribly to feel so stupid. To not know the things everyone else did. To have to question, constantly, everything around him, and to beg for explanations like an ignorant farm boy.

He was homesick, you see. Terribly so.

He barely slept, and barely ate for his first few weeks in the Overrealm.

It was made harder, of course, by the the fact that the ties of love which bound the scholar and the damsel were still fragile and new. They loved each other, but they hadn't yet understood how deeply, nor how tightly. A tragedy had befallen them both, you see, and while the damsel was helping the scholar adjust to the strangeness of the Overrealm—oh, the smells, my sweeting, you cannot guess!—she herself was suffering with the memory of all that had befallen her.

Luckily, there are things here called therapists, a sort of doctor for the mind and spirit. The scholar is ever so pleased that the damsel began to see one, and is more pleased still that he has since been invited along so that they may all talk and work hard together. Mental health is as important as physical health, after all—that is what is believed in the Overrealm.

Eventually, the scholar and the damsel were able to reconcile the bad that had happened and build upon the good. And when you find your own love, sweeting, you will see that the building together part is the most important.

And then, my sweeting, good news! The scholar and his damsel were to be blessed with a child! Ah, a lovely and clever guess, my sweet girl, yes! That child was you!

Of course, yes, how clever you are. The scholar is indeed your Da, and the damsel your Ma. Quite sharp of you to pick that out.

Well then, let me see . . . what happened next? Well, there were forged IDs, and paperwork, and a wedding, and the scholar—I mean, your Da—he figured out that the way the Writer had written him was still in effect, even here in the Overrealm. His charm, his air of trustworthiness, and his ability to read body language prevailed, and very shortly, the scholar and the damsel were set up with employment, a home in a city named for a queen, and all the privileges which those expecting an heir are accorded by this world.

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