Who is Zugg?

I don't remember much of my earlier life. Most of what I know was told to me by my life companion Aurora. Here is her story of how she found me...

First Contact

Hi! My name is Aurora. We may have meet on one of my many adventures -- I get around. In case you don't know me, I am a human, female, paladin. I spend most of my time on honorable quests throughout the realms of the universe. One quest stands out in my mind. It was the quest on which I first met Zugg.

One day, many years ago, I was travelling alone through a realm called Branland of the Elvro Empire. I had never been through this area before and was looking for some lodging and employment. Some locals directed me to the castle of King Glomka, who was said to be looking for a brave adventurer such as myself. Following the river of gold through the Al-Holb mountains, I finally came upon the village of Rosenbury, constructed outside the royal castle. After securing a room for the week, I crossed the moat and entered the castle to visit with the king.

The King was very distraut. It seemed that his court mystic, Gondar, has taken off in search of Grameel, an evil sorceror that has taken up residence in the ancient caverns of Mount Normit. The King offered a reward of 20 million gold for the return of Gondar, who had been missing for more than a week.

Well, I won't bore you with the details of what followed. After rallying a party at the local pub, we started our trek through Mount Normit. What we didn't know was that Grameel had turned Prince Zorton to his side. Our unfounded trust in Zorton lead us to be imprisoned in the Dungeon of Horrors, located in the catacombs beneath the royal castle.

After several days in the Dungeon, and nearing death, we were finally rescued by the galant Knight Sir Rossi. In our escape from the Dungeon, however, we became lost. We finally came upon Laplos, the Keeper of the Dungeon.

Laplos was a disgusting man. This brute stood about seven feet tall, weighing about 300 pounds. He was all muscle and took pride in torturing the prisoners and criminals of the Dungeon. You could smell him coming from miles away. The worst part about him was that he enjoyed his job of torturing. However, we discovered another being even more disturbing...

You see, Laplos also had a...well...a pet would be the best word for it: Zugg the Thing. I've never seen a creature like this before in my life. At the time I didn't even know if Zugg was a he. Zugg was only about four feet tall, and shaped somewhat like a ball. He was covered with a thick gray fur, covering a skin tougher than steel. He has long, powerful arms, longer than his body is tall. Thus, his arms often drag along the floor as he walks. He has short but wide, stubby legs that are also powerful. Because of his unusual shape, Zugg tends to jump, using his strong arms, much like a gorilla.

Above his spherical body is a short head, supported by a non-existent neck. His head just seems molded to his body, covered with the same gray hair. He has a large mouth, large enough to swallow practically anything he wants to (although I found out later that it gives him a wonderfully broad smile). He has small, beady eyes, buried behind more fur, making it hard for him to see. However, he has a well-developed sixth sense. This sixth sense, combined with his strong arms and legs actually make him quite dexterous. His ears are pointed and stick straight up on the sides of his head.

Zugg wasn't very intelligent when we meet. If fact, he couldn't talk, only grunt in a code only understood by Laplos. As I said, Zugg seemed most like an odd pet that Laplos had found somewhere deep in the ancient tunnels of the Dungeon. Laplos never said...he never had a chance.

You see, in our escape from the Dungeon, we weren't too interested in being tortured, so we kind of had to kill Laplos. Don't feel sorry for him...he wasn't worth it. Anyway, after dispatching this vile man, Zugg hopped over to us and stared at the corpse on the floor with his beady eyes. We were prepared for anything and came close to dispatching Zugg as well. However, when Zugg looked up from the corpse and stared into my eyes, I felt a strange sensation. Almost an attraction. At the time, given the looks and smell of Zugg, this thought would have caused most people to lose their lunch. Perhaps it was Zugg's sixth sense in touch with my own. For whatever reason, I lowered my halberd and smiled. Zugg grunted. He started hopping away, waiting for us now and then so that we would follow him.

Zugg lead us through a dark and twisting maze of passages, finally emerging behind a waterfall deep in the heart of the mountains. As we exited the Dungeon, we expected Zugg to stay behind, but he started to follow us. In fact, he was very persistent. All attempts to leave him behind were futile. When it came time to split up and go our seperate ways again, Zugg stayed with me, and has been with me ever since...well, almost.

Oh yes, in case you were wondering, we did finally find Gondar and Grameel. The evil prince was killed, Gondar was restored to the King, and Grameel was never seen again. After a fierce magical battle between Gondar and Grameel, Grameel simply disappeared. Zugg was quite a help during this quest, proving to be an accomplished fighter. Zugg and I have served each other well over the years on many, many adventures.

Zugg Today

That's a synopsis of a journal that Aurora left me. After rescuing me from the Dungeon of Horrors, she took me with her on her adventures, and over the years she civilized me. She taught me how to talk, write, and read. Today I can pass myself off as a dwarf to most people. The body shape and hairstyles aren't that different. We lived like brother and sister for many years, and had many more fun adventures.

What happened next is difficult to write about. We were near the end of one of our quests and were battling another evil sorceror (isn't that always the case?). Aurora and I were both badly injured. Our friend Morlock was with us, and was using his magical skills to battle the evil Heron. I was almost unconcious when I witnessed the most terrible sight I have ever known. After a flash of mystic energy when it looked like we would finally defeat Heron, he simply dissappeared! Just like what had happened with Grameel those many years before. However, the most terrible was yet to follow. An instant after Heron disappeared, Aurora disappeared as well. Morlock and I were left alone in the darkness and the howling wind. My life long companion was gone.

Morlock managed to get us back to town and we eventually recovered from our battle. However, the scar on my heart was too much too bear. I left Morlock and began wandering the realms on my own, in constant search for Aurora.

Since then I have had my own share of adventures. And yes, I have even loved a few others. However, I still hold a special place in my heart for Aurora. I am reconciled to the fact that I will probably never see her again. However, there is still hope, and I still wander.

My searches have brought me in contact with many interesting places. I ran into an interesting group known as the Smoke Jaguars in a realm called Dark Castle. This place truely was dark, and I barely made my escape before the raving hordes were able to kill me. I next travelled to a place called Highlands. This was a much friendlier realm, so it seemed. It was only when I tried to join a local guild called the Troops of Doom that I discovered the band of assassins that prey on unsuspecting guild members. Upon leaving this guild, I was able to relax a bit, but the experience served to dampen my spirits for this place.

Lately my search has brought me to a realm known as Mirkwood. This is a very interesting area, unlike any other I have encountered. So far it seems to be the most friendly and peaceful of the bunch. I'll have to spend more time uncovering the secrets of this place. Until I can find out what happened to Aurora that night long ago, I think I'll be staying here for a while.

Stay tuned...I'll keep you up to date on my adventures.

Ok, well, that was cool. But what is the real story?