“I present to the council Derrick Edward Johnson,” said Aboleth.
The use of his full name had a strange affect on Derrick; it left him reeling and dizzy. Nearly panicked, he almost missed the first question.
“When did you first use your magic?” asked the Grand Druid. This was the first Derrick had heard him speak and his voice was so gravely that any inflection was lost.
Clutching at the subject, Derrick said the first thing that came to mind. He’d, of course, used magic for the first time several lifetimes ago. “I suppose it was when I was a young cleric at the temple of Pelorus . . . ,” he started, but he was interrupted by a murmur around the gathering.
“You name a very old god, boy,” said one of the sitters.
Haltingly Derrick continued; he hated being the center of attention. “Yes, well, it was . . . a very long time ago. I don’t . . . remember . . . for sure, but I think I’ve lived five or six lives since then . . . . There might have been more; my memories are very confusing.”
A woman spoke up, disbelieving. “You’re claiming to remember several lives, any of which could have lasted a hundred years, using a round number. That’s hundreds of years.”
“I am, but it’s even longer than that; there was at least two elves as well . . . maybe three, I just don’t remember clearly enough.”
The woman scoffed. “The elves can live for up to eight hundred years, and you’re talking a possibility of three. Just how far back are you trying to make us believe you remember?”
Derrick’s voice was starting to tremble, but he clenched his hands into fists and tried to do the math. “Three elves - I think they lived full lives - that’s twenty-four hundred years. I think there was a halfling - that’s around two hundred years. I think there was a dwarf too - that’s four hundred years or so. And I think there were five or six humans, some were clerics, most were druids - say five hundred years. Altogether that’s thirty-five hundred years or so.”
“That’s nearly fifteen hundred years before Christianity,” said another sitter, incredulous at the very idea. “I suppose that’s not too far off from the time of Pelorus.”