In the distant past, not long after the discovery of dirt, before the buildings of kingdoms and the time of emperors and of war, the sun shone down on the village of Ayallon. It was a quiet, lonely place in those days.
Now, all those who lived in Ayallon made their homes around the tower of the Tuatha Mage. An Elf, he knew a hundred spells, breathing magic like air, speaking spells as words known since childhood. All feared his mighty curses and all envied his bright robes, glimmering in the suns light.
Every night, the Elf would look down on those who lived around his tower in the village and he would laugh -- for they were not but lowly Gnomes, creatures of soil and plants. They knew little spellcraft, focusing more on their crops, which they gave to the Elf in awe of his might. They were a simple people, slow to anger and lacking in pride or ambition.
The simplest, most unassuming of all the Gnomes was called Theodore. Old and quiet, he only claimed to know one spell, having spent y