Diane Duane

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Diane Duane was born on the 18th day of May in 1592, a Year of the Fruitbat, on the upper east side of Nieuw Amsterdam, a small town in France. The daughter of a nameless renegade Time Lord and a lost (or at least severely misplaced) Princess of the Bourbons named Beorthild (or Brunnhild or Beohrtnoth or possibly Babs. Orthography is such a bitch...), Diane's childhood was a series of unfortunate events. While being pursued across the land by their sworn enemies, the Nibelungs (or Cybermen), in order to save the innocent babe's life, her distraught parents were forced to set her adrift in a small floating cot woven of bulrushes (or Kevlar) in hopes that she would be found by some kindly soul and raised in a peaceful environment, unaware of her true heritage.

But alas, this was not to be. Her floating cradle (or coracle or curragh or croghan or whatever it was) fetched up outside the waterside cottage of the crotchety but brilliant Wayland Smith, farrier to the Gods, swordsmith to the gentry, friend to those who need a friend, enemy to those who require an enemy...oh, you get the drift. The kindly but pissed-off Wayland, knowing a sure source of child labor when he saw one, lifted the icky cradle from the waters and took in the somewhat damp and whining child he found therein. He swore to the Gods that he would raise her as his own (his own what has not been determined), and either turn her into the greatest swordswoman the world had ever seen, or a crack typist.

Twenty years of training proved nothing much more than that Wayland's padawan apprentice was good with knives but not much of a typist, since all of this happened long before liquid paper, (though after carbon paper ((not that carbon paper did anyone much good out in the wilds of Burgund (((or Barbuda or Bermuda or Bay Shore or wherever the heck they were))). It would not be until Leonard of Quirm invented his far-famed computing machine and licensed its look-and-feel aspects to Steve Jobs that Diane's mighty destiny as a typist would be fulfilled.

There came a day when Wayland's hopeless apprentice looked up into the sky and saw something fly over, glinting bright in the westering sun. "O foster-father," she is reported to have said, "what be that shiny thing up there, O? A dragon, surely?" "It's a 747, ye daft bit," quoth the feisty Wayland. (Or Weyland or Winston, or possibly Winchester.)

Nonetheless Diane's heart was filled instantly with the desire of dragons, and the thought of what she might do with one were she but left alone with it for long enough (for she had heard the thing about dragons and maidens, you betcha). So she took her foster-father's best Ginsu knife and went down into his forge with it. Long nights and days she whacked at it with her side-da's magic hammer Mjollnir (or Milhaus), until the neighbors all around put their heads out their windows by morning and eve and cried, "Would you ever shut up that noise, ye daft bit?" Yet she paid them never a mind, but greatly she whacked upon the sturdy stainless until great fierceness was beat into it and a spirit of fire unquenchable, yea even as of Habanero chiles. (That's enough similes. Ed.)

And when the blade was done she split her foster-father's anvil with it (because this is traditional), causing a tear to come to his ancient eye at the thought of what the properties wrangler was going to have to say to him when he came around to collect on Saturday. And he said unto her foster-daughter, "Now get out there and kill something. And bring back a loaf of bread and a quart of milk, when you're done. Oh yeah, and a lottery ticket."

So with high heart and great hopes, Diane went out into the world in search of her true destiny. Many strange tales are told of her time with the Cat People of Opar, of her adventure with the

(here the account is missing some pages...)

...took the surname or sobriquet Duane (or Dunne or Dubhain or Dwayneor Dwan or Dewan (beware noisy music) or Dewars or Dingdong or possibly Morwood), which is as much as to say in the ancient tongue, "I have stumbled in the dark and struck my foot against a stone", or in the tongues of Men of the Lesser Days, "@#$%^&%$$##!!." And then she ...

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