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. In addition to everything else, he
wore thick, metal-rimmed eyeglasses.
All this, though, had a simple enough explanation:
Aril Witherwind was, by his own definition, an academic.
More particularly, he was one of the many itinerant
folklorists who appeared on Krynn just after the Cataclysm.
"The Cataclysm threatens to extinguish our rich past,"
he would explain in his gentle but enthusiastic voice to
whoever gave him a moment of time. "And if peace should
ever again come to Krynn, we will want to know something
of our traditions before everything was destroyed."
"But this is not the time to do it!" often came the curt
response from some fleeing traveler, sometimes with
everything he owned in a wagon or in a dogcart or even
upon his own back, his family often in tow.
"Ah, but this is exactly the time to do it," returned Aril
Witherwind automatically, "before too much is forgotten by
the current sweep of events."
"Well, good luck to you, then!" would as likely be the
answer as the party hurried off to some hopefully safer
comer of Krynn.
Undaunted, Aril Witherwind criss-crossed the
countryside, traversing shadowy valleys, sun-lit fields, and
sombre forests. He stopped at the occasional surviving inn,
passed through refugee encampments, and even marched
along with armies, all the time asking whomever he met if
he or she knew a story that he could put into his big black