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Old 01-08-2015, 09:34 PM   #1
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How did you get into literature?

So, when did you stop reading comic books and comic strips and got into "real" books? As in novels. Most likely from reading a book or two that you happened to like a lot, I'm guessing. But how long have you been reading books for leisure on a regular basis? And how did it all begin?

I was one of those kids who hated books without pictures. School made reading a chore and I didn't care much for the books I read for class. This turns off a lot of people from reading. Schools shoving books down kids' throats doesn't really help turning them into readers, from my experience. Ask your former HS and college/university classmates how many books they read a year. Most will probably tell you they haven't picked up a fiction book since their student years... unless they're English majors or something, obviously.

Having family members that love reading might help I suppose, but my mom mostly reads "whodunnit" crime books. Not a fan of that genre.

I started to get interested in reading books back in 2011, I think. Only truly began reading several a year in 2012. Only reason I don't read more fiction is due to all the reading I have to do for university. So it's mostly reserved for summer break.

So, what's your story?
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:49 PM   #2
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It was around 1990 and I was a first grader. I was wanting to read some chapter books and the library for the blind just happened to have the original movie novelization of TMNT in braille. So I checked it out, devoured it in a weekend or so, and there ya go. I guess it was the junior novel by B.B. Hiller. It's been ages though. So I'm not sure if the author wrote two versions or what. But yeah, TMNT was my first chapter book.
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Old 01-08-2015, 09:51 PM   #3
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It was around 1990 and I was a first grader. I was wanting to read some chapter books and the library for the blind just happened to have the original movie novelization of TMNT in braille. So I checked it out, devoured it in a weekend or so, and there ya go. I guess it was the junior novel by B.B. Hiller. It's been ages though. So I'm not sure if the author wrote two versions or what. But yeah, TMNT was my first chapter book.
You're blind? Damn, that sucks.

Is it hard to find books in braille?
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:24 PM   #4
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lol Aw it's cool. If you're born with it, it's pretty much as natural as breathing. Oh heck yeah, braille is super expensive, but I subscribe to a site called bookshare.org which gets permission from a tun of authors to upload their books in order to listen to them via a screen reader or read them via refreshable braille display. Authors get a large percentage of the profits, I think. I pay about $50 a year to be a member, but it's worth it since I enjoy reading so much. Kinda like Kindle, I guess. Oh, and braille books are friggin huge. A single novel may take up 3 or 4 books. Stephen King is more like 12. It's also very expensive to produce, costing around $30 to $50 per novel. Well, at least it did when I was a kid. Now I just save a book to flashdrive, read it, and have tuns of shelf space for action figures and vehicles in the bargain. I also love audible.com. I get my book fix either way.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:27 PM   #5
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I've always loved reading. It was a hobby that was encouraged in my house by my mother (though she got annoyed with it when I was in my teens because I never wanted to go out and socialize - she used to say "You can't go through your whole life with your nose stuck in a book!").

But yeah. I pretty much spent the majority of my lunch hours at school in the library. There was a library within walking distance of my house as well... so I've never really not been a reader. It's one of my favorite pastimes - I never leave the house without having a book with me in my bag, just in case.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:30 PM   #6
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I did the whole thing a little backwards I suppose. During highschool and college I took various literature courses purely out of interest. I've always enjoyed everything from Shakespeare to old sci-fi stories. I didn't start getting into comics or following the turtles until my late 20s. In all honesty, the "real" literature and art is what got me interested in the stories of TMNT. Of course it helped that as a kid I watched the show and played with the toys.
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Old 01-08-2015, 10:37 PM   #7
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I just got interested right around first grade, much like blindturtle02 did. My step-mom gave away most of my "kid books" because I was "too old to be keeping them." *However she let me keep my Dr. Seuss books. Go figure.* My first fave book was Charlotte's Web. It has illustrations inside but they aren't on every page. Read other novels since.

And I still read comic books and comic strips too.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:04 PM   #8
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I just got interested right around first grade, much like blindturtle02 did. My step-mom gave away most of my "kid books" because I was "too old to be keeping them." *However she let me keep my Dr. Seuss books. Go figure.* My first fave book was Charlotte's Web. It has illustrations inside but they aren't on every page. Read other novels since.

And I still read comic books and comic strips too.
Charlotte's Web was actually the second novel I read after TMNT. That old 70s film based on the book was what got me interested.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:30 PM   #9
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I just got interested right around first grade, much like blindturtle02 did. My step-mom gave away most of my "kid books" because I was "too old to be keeping them." *However she let me keep my Dr. Seuss books. Go figure.* My first fave book was Charlotte's Web. It has illustrations inside but they aren't on every page. Read other novels since.

And I still read comic books and comic strips too.

Hey! That was one of my first "real" books, too! My mom had a copy (probably similar to yours) that she gave to me, and it was my favorite book as a kid. I sent it as a gift to my daughter in Iowa when she was old enough for it a few years ago- it still has the faceplate with my mom's and my names on it, and even has our old address from the house I grew up in on the inside cover. So she'll always have something personal of mine. She's the third generation of our family to have that copy, and I hope she treasures it as much as I did.


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Charlotte's Web was actually the second novel I read after TMNT. That old 70s film based on the book was what got me interested.

I was a lot like you, BT. my mom taught me to read at a very young age, so I was already way ahead of the rest of the kids in kindergarten and first grade when they started out with the beginning readers books. I always wanted to skip ahead to harder books, but they would never let me. But later I started reading stuff on my own, and my mom had an entire room full of books for me to go through. I ended up reading most of them before I was even in fifth grade! She's the one I credit with(blame?) my love of reading and learning in general, but I started with novels and literature LONG before I got into comics.

Truth be told, instead of going from comics to Shakespeare and Dumas, I went the other way around. I was reading classic, serious literature when I was still in elementary school, like the Sherlock Holmes collection, Jules Verne, and Edgar Allan Poe. Didn't even get into comics more than as a casual, occasional thing until very late in 2001, when I read the 9-11 tribute issue of Amazing Spider-Man in a TPB. I was so moved by it that I almost cried, and actually DID cry at the issue in the same volume where Peter's Aunt May finally learned his secret and confronted him about it. I'd never even known comic could be so serious and mature until then. My mom DID give me a few of her old comics when I was little, but there were only about five or six, and I was never really into them much- except the graphic novel version of The Secret of NIMH movie. That was another of my favorites growing up. So I guess I'm just really lucky that I have had a chance to read all across the spectrum throughout my life.
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Old 01-08-2015, 11:46 PM   #10
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School made reading a chore and I didn't care much for the books I read for class. This turns off a lot of people from reading. Schools shoving books down kids' throats doesn't really help turning them into readers, from my experience. Ask your former HS and college/university classmates how many books they read a year. Most will probably tell you they haven't picked up a fiction book since their student years... unless they're English majors or something, obviously.
I kind of agree with you there. I didn't really enjoy most of the books that I was made to read in school. In fact, I didn't really read much from the books I was made to read during school. It was different when I had to read books for the summer though. Even so, I think what helped me keep a somewhat substantial interest in reading was how my third and fourth grade teachers read parts of books to us near the end of class. I remember my fourth grade teacher reading Sideways Stories from Wayside School with us, and the variety of characters really interested me. I bought a copy of it when I was in sixth grade as well as its sequel, and got the third installment when I was a freshman in college. I still have all three books to this day.

I also remember when they had that thing in schools where you could order books from some company. Every now and then, the teacher would give us this flyer and they'd have all these books that you can buy. I always took advantage of that and I still have a few of those books.

There would also be times where I'd receive books as gifts, and I'd read them if I found them interested enough. Some I didn't get around to reading until much later, but I still found them to be good books.

You say that assigned reading from schools tends to turn kids off to reading, but there's one book in particular that I was made to read that's still a classic to me. It's S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders. My high school assigned books to read for the summer, and that was one of the books I was made to read during the summer before I started my freshman year. I've heard of the book before then, and it was the first book out of the four that were assigned to me, and it really drew me in. I actually still have my copy. There's this other book that I was made to read the summer between my sophomore and junior years. It was also a good book, but my cousin lost it somewhere in her house when I lent it to her, and I unfortunately don't remember its title. It was one of many books I lent to her, and she lost them all. To make matters worse, some of them were gifts.

I try to find good books to read, but it can be hard. You usually have to go by recommendations from others. I bought a copy of The Casual Vacancy since I read all the Harry Potter books, but I didn't like that one too tough. It was a struggle for me to read since the characters didn't interest me at all. I really wanted to finish it anyway, but after a while, I decided I had enough, and looked it up on Wikipedia to see what happens to all the characters. So now I'm considering getting a library card so I can rent books from the library. Then I can see if I might enjoy them enough to own my own copy.
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Old 01-09-2015, 12:46 AM   #11
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In many cases it does. After all, who likes being forced to read books they don't like? But I'm sure some people got into literature thanks to a particular teacher they had who might have influenced them. But most of the time, their passion for books seems to be rooted in their parents having vast collections of books and getting them to read since they're small.

Although despite not being into "heavy literature" and novels in general, I did like and read a lot of comic strips, Disney comic books and Franco-Belgian comic books as a kid. Also, it's funny how I had such an aversion to books without pictures for so long when I was that kid who wrote the longest compositions in class and enjoyed reading long articles on magazines and newspapers.

A bad book or two can turn off someone from further readings. And even if you're interested in becoming an avid reader, it's hard to know where to start, since going to a bookstore without having the faint idea what you're looking for can be quite overwhelming.

Try to stick to genres and themes you like. Also, if you like a certain author, try to find authors similar to that one.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:59 AM   #12
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Oh my gosh, Storm Eagle - I love The Outsiders.

I think there's some sort of rule that schools generally have to assign quite boring books - I know I never got anything that I particularly enjoyed other than George Orwell's Animal Farm. Other than that, it was just the rote sort of stuff - To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, that kind of thing. I actually got assigned To Kill A Mockingbird twice - once at two of the different high-schools I went to; I asked the teacher to give me something different the second time just so I didn't have to write another assignment on it.

I don't care how old I get; I still enjoy reading children's books like Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables. It's like revisiting an old friend.

Duckie, have you ever read any of the Sevenwaters novels by Juliet Marillier?
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:21 AM   #13
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For those of you that did read Charlotte's Web, kudos. And I totally understand if you cried for Charlotte.
I need to buy another copy of the book because I read mine until it fell apart.

I also wanna replace my Memoirs of a Geisha book because it also is a paper back and I still read what's left of it.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:30 AM   #14
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Oh heck yeah, I cried for that spider. I'm not going to lie about that. I've been an avid reader of Star Wars novels for years now and I also cried when they killed off Chewie, but I'm glad that's just EU stuff. Whenever I've had braille anything, I've worn it out. That's why I like dots that pop up on a tactile display better. Ya can't wear those out. At least I don't think you can.

Yeah I was reading a tun in elementary as well. I was the kid who liked being assigned books outside of class, but I wasn't a Martin Prince kind of kid who would remind the teacher about tests and such. I didn't want my head and my butt to change places.

I still remember going into book stores and seeing most of the audiobooks abridged, which was always disappointing. They tell you they don't cut much out, but they left ya with around 100 pages of a 400/500 page novel when they got through with it. It's awesome to be reading books in their entirety these days.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:59 PM   #15
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A bad book or two can turn off someone from further readings. And even if you're interested in becoming an avid reader, it's hard to know where to start, since going to a bookstore without having the faint idea what you're looking for can be quite overwhelming.

Try to stick to genres and themes you like. Also, if you like a certain author, try to find authors similar to that one.
Someone told me yesterday that he doesn't read much because he finds most books to be boring, although he enjoys fantasy books such as the Harry Potter series. I told him that perhaps he just hasn't read the right books. It's like playing video games and watching movies. There will be those that you like, and those you don't.

You mentioned something about reading non-picture books. I think the first children's book I've read that lacks pictures was Sixth Grade Secrets. It's from the author of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, and that's Louis Sachar. I read Sixth Grade Secrets for pleasure when I was in the fourth grade.

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Oh my gosh, Storm Eagle - I love The Outsiders.

I think there's some sort of rule that schools generally have to assign quite boring books - I know I never got anything that I particularly enjoyed other than George Orwell's Animal Farm. Other than that, it was just the rote sort of stuff - To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, that kind of thing. I actually got assigned To Kill A Mockingbird twice - once at two of the different high-schools I went to; I asked the teacher to give me something different the second time just so I didn't have to write another assignment on it.

I don't care how old I get; I still enjoy reading children's books like Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables. It's like revisiting an old friend.

Duckie, have you ever read any of the Sevenwaters novels by Juliet Marillier?
Have you ever read That Was Then, This is Now? That's the sequel to The Outsiders. It's not as good, but you should still try it out.

Someone also told me yesterday that children's books are the best, although she's actually the second person to ever tell me that.
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Old 01-09-2015, 07:37 PM   #16
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Oh my gosh, Storm Eagle - I love The Outsiders.

I think there's some sort of rule that schools generally have to assign quite boring books - I know I never got anything that I particularly enjoyed other than George Orwell's Animal Farm. Other than that, it was just the rote sort of stuff - To Kill A Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, that kind of thing. I actually got assigned To Kill A Mockingbird twice - once at two of the different high-schools I went to; I asked the teacher to give me something different the second time just so I didn't have to write another assignment on it.

I don't care how old I get; I still enjoy reading children's books like Black Beauty and Anne of Green Gables. It's like revisiting an old friend.

Duckie, have you ever read any of the Sevenwaters novels by Juliet Marillier?

I never cared for most of those, either. Animal Farm seemed too preachy to me, but I LOVED Lord of the Flies. Alas, Babylon was pretty good, too, but I didn't start getting into really interesting books in school until my Junior year of high school, when our theme for the year was archetypes and the "dark side of man", and we dug into classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, Jeckel/Hyde, and Dorian Grey. We also got to read some Grimm Fairy Tales in their ORIGINAL versions, among other dark and macabre stuff. THAT was a fun year.

No, penny, I've not heard of those, and I never got into Anne of Green Gables, either, TBH. I loved Black Beauty, Misty of Chincoteague, and Walter Farley's Black Stallion series, though. One of my other favorites was Big Red, which was a novel about Man O' War, and another called King of the Wind, about one of the three ancestor Arabians from which the Thoroughbred race breed originated. Obviously, I loved horse stories as a kid.


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Oh heck yeah, I cried for that spider. I'm not going to lie about that. I've been an avid reader of Star Wars novels for years now and I also cried when they killed off Chewie, but I'm glad that's just EU stuff.

Ah, yeah- I actually cried and then put the book down when I read that part in Vector Prime! Shame on (my then fave) author R A Salvatore for killing off the Wookie! I never could finish that book after that, and it kind of killed any interest in the SW EU I had. I mean, sure it was a heroic death, but ya just DON'T kill off the walking carpet!! I've heard he even got death threats in his mail for that, and he fully admits to getting lots of hate mail- and that he's almost as well known for killing Chewie as he is for creating my favorite fantasy character of Drizzt Do' Urden!
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:32 PM   #17
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Goosebumps books. Those were great.
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:39 PM   #18
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I've always been weird when it came to books.

When I was very young, around 2 or 3, I would memorize my Little Golden Books by listening to mom read them, then soon after really could read them. From there, I graduated up to result the old World Books, Encyclopedia Britannica, and my favorite: The American Medical Association's Home Medical Encyclopedia!!

Yeah, my mom was thoroughly surprised when I proudly exclaimed, "So that's where I came from!" as I read about pregnancy and such.

Anyhoo, I don't believe I read a "proper" novel until 6th grade, when I read a Goosebumps book.

It's a hobby in which interest, like the tide, ebbs in my life. I love sci-fi and thought provoking stories, along with high adventure tripe and crime/mystery/suspense.

Like I said: weird. I am a Pisces, however...
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Old 01-09-2015, 08:56 PM   #19
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Someone told me yesterday that he doesn't read much because he finds most books to be boring, although he enjoys fantasy books such as the Harry Potter series. I told him that perhaps he just hasn't read the right books. It's like playing video games and watching movies. There will be those that you like, and those you don't.

...

Have you ever read That Was Then, This is Now? That's the sequel to The Outsiders. It's not as good, but you should still try it out.

Someone also told me yesterday that children's books are the best, although she's actually the second person to ever tell me that.
I wasn't huge on That Was Then, This is Now... or Rumble Fish. I thought that Tex was probably Hinton's strongest novel other than The Outsiders.

I definitely don't understand people who say books are boring - like... how can you say that? Have you read every book? I firmly believe that there's a book out there for everyone. You just have to keep trying til you find the right one that unlocks your love of reading.

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No, penny, I've not heard of those, and I never got into Anne of Green Gables, either, TBH. I loved Black Beauty, Misty of Chincoteague, and Walter Farley's Black Stallion series, though. One of my other favorites was Big Red, which was a novel about Man O' War, and another called King of the Wind, about one of the three ancestor Arabians from which the Thoroughbred race breed originated. Obviously, I loved horse stories as a kid.
You may want to check out the Sevenwaters series - it's basically a Celtic retelling of the fairytale The Six Swans... it's a really good read, IMO. What do you think of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series?

I was obsessed with books about horses as well. If it had a horse in it, I read it. Oh god, I just remembered... I had like the entire collection of the original The Saddle Club books as well. And I was so crazy about The Silver Brumby series... I don't know if The Silver Brumby is really well-known overseas, but they're an Australian series (they also did a movie starring Russell Crowe which totally sucked).

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Goosebumps books. Those were great.
Hells yeah - The Werewolf of Fever Swamp was always my fave!
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Old 01-10-2015, 12:56 AM   #20
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Sounds interesting, and I do love all things Celtic. As for Bradley, I've only read a few of her books. I never go around to the Avalon books, though my mom has some of them. I was quite fond of her Sword and Sorceress anthology series for a few years. Had some great aspiring authors in those.

TBH, my interest in fantasy has been on the wane for a couple of years, as I've mostly been rekindling my love for TMNT, and working on some of my own projects. I DO have a fantasy series I've been working on, set in my own fantasy/game world based within the D&D cosmology/multiverse. It's about a young dark elf who becomes a bard and escapes his homeland in search of a new life and an elusive piece of music said to have been used by the gods to create the world. He's also been blessed by the goddess he follows, a deity of music, dance, and swordsmanship, as well as being a minor moon goddess. I've mostly been concentrating on the third book, which is really where most of the main action takes place- the first and second ones are sort of about how he got to where he is.

Having left home at a young age due to some horrible events in his past, he is basically an outcast and enemy in the eyes of most of the people he meets, due to his heritage. Along the way, he gets framed for murder, narrowly escapes his sadistic sister who is hunting him down to drag him back home, meets a pair of twins who are the children of an elf/dragon mix (and promptly falls in love with one of them), and gets chased by bounty-hunters, local authorities, and the above twins, and even fakes his own death. Basically it's a fun adventure romp with some dark undertones and a lot of hack-n-slash and magic. The half-dragon twins are an odd pair, too, as the female is a sorceress and bard herself, while her brother is a holy knight of one of the chief gods- who happens to HATE dark elves. His sister falls for the bard, which irks him to no end.

The second book is about his childhood and adolescent years, and is much darker and more graphic. The kid gets routinely neglected or verbally abused and even hit by his fanatically evil high priestess mother, ignored by his pirate-king father, tormented by his half sister (the same one who tries to take him back in the aforementioned tale) and abused on SEVERAL levels by his tutors. And then goes off to a military academy as part of being groomed to take his place at his father's side as future king of their society, only to end up being treated as a piece of meat by every noble-blooded female who so much as looks his way because males are considered "beneath" the women in their clergy-run society. (There's a simmering civil war between his father's faction which is currently in greater power, and the female dominant clergy of their evil spider goddess, but he's stuck in the middle, since the old rules of the clerics still mostly hold sway.) And he's in love with his surrogate mother, an elven slave woman belonging to his father, which makes their being together a BIG no-no.

As for the first book, it's all about the father of the main "hero", and how he came to be where he was, a la Darth Vader. He was born and raised as a "light elf", but committed some heinous crimes that led to his being cursed and banished to become a "dark elf" or drow. Sort of a prequel to the main storyline.
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