Others have noble histories. Others have great deeds in their past. Others have struggled valiantly against the evil machinations of the daemon who calls himself Emperor and have been banished for their troubles to this place of Exile. I have done none of these things and have been in the past of which I speak of no importance to any save myself. Why am I here? 'Tis a simple, unedifying tale, soon told.
I was born in the Far Isles, an archipelago, rich in natural beauty, that lies to the deep south. My home town, of which I think daily, is called Dunsver, on the island of Graeloch, at the eastern end of the Far Isles. My father Arlm Forktooth, Baronet Gralam, had no high honours and indeed very little of anything much. He is (or was, for I have not seen or spoken to him in recent times) a worthy man, paying his feudal service when required, but struggling to maintain the necessary equipage for knightly station. Though I have brought him little but grief, yet do I love him dearly. My mother I know not, as she died when I was very young. Her name was Aide Mac Fearson, and she was known far and wide, from Harkrip to Graeloch, for her great beauty and even greater kindness. She was an heiress in her own right, having title to the Estates of Dunmort, on the island of Skaeliss, the neighbour to Graeloch and only a short boat ride away.
It was my fortune (or perhaps misfortune) to be born the youngest son of four. Skirnir, the eldest, I never knew well. He was too much older than I, and the heir as well. Draupnir, the second son, was always hot-tempered, quick to cast blame, fierce and unyielding in his opinions, but of great kindness of heart nevertheless. We were very close, and I miss him a great deal. Gungnir, I fear, suffered a head injury in childhood and has never developed to the full his mental faculties. In short, he is an idiot, but a much-loved one.
Youngest sons are, as all know, of little or no value save in that they may be dedicated to the church to foster a heavenly benevolence. It becoming quickly clear that there existed no church in the Land willing to accept such a youth as I became, I found short shrift at the home manor. I was duly knighted by my father, and sent to make my own way in the world. I did not follow my knightly vows. I did not follow the knightly creed. Perhaps this is just as well, as there are many so-called knights who do nothing but bring shame and dishonour upon their profession by their brutal and cowardly behaviour. Be this as it may, to the great shame of my family I became instead a travelling jongleur, an entertainer, a bard if you will, singing tales of Courtly Love and Heroic Prowess to those who would not truly recognise such behaviour if their very lives depended upon it. I saw much in my travels; much of the degradation inherent in the human spirit, much of the low behaviour that so disgusts others of worth but was to me rather a source of interest and experimentation than otherwise. My specialty was the composition of lewd and scurrilous verses, aimed mostly at those whose pomposity made them the most perfect of targets.
I composed one scurrilous verse too many. The Lord Kaiser was not pleased with my poetic effort dedicated to his alchemical experimentations, and, being a most puissant Lord, was able quickly and immediately to effect my banishment to this island. My family, I think, was not entirely unhappy to get rid of this blot upon their escutcheon. And so, here I be.
The rest of my tale, gentle reader, you mostly know. Upon arrival here I thought to continue my merry way of japes and laughter, of low behaviour and loose morals. Of all places, this would be the greatest for such pleasantries, thought I.
And then I met the Fair Lady Babajaga. The result, judge for thyself.