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Fiends was the name used by outlanders - particularly by the populace of the neighboring Kingdom of Farrog - for the inhabitants of the Empire of Nightmaria. Nightmaria followed a strict policy of isolationism - with all of its well-guarded borders closed to outsiders[1] - and, as a result, little was actually known about its people. Since the little that was assumed to be true of the Nightmarians was negative in the extreme, nonresidents felt that "Fiends" was an appropriate name for what they had come to believe were "unhuman lizard people"[2] of unsettling "hideousness". As it happened, the only 'Fiend' directly known - as such - to the Farrogese was the Nightmarian Ambassador to Farrog, Ophal D'Neeth Flatroq. The Ambassador's unique appearance and behaviors were certainly unpleasant enough to make almost anyone's "skin crawl and creep".[3]

In The Fiends of NightmariaEdit

As it turned out, "Fiends" was not the actual name that the Nightmarians used to refer to themselves. Instead, the actual spelling of their name was "Fi(r)ends". The initial mishearing of the pronunciation of this name in the past was responsible for the almost universal belief that "Fiend" was correct, particularly since the Nightmarians - if anything - encouraged this misunderstanding so as to increase their "dread reputation". The goal of this being to dissuade "unwanted foreigners" from even wanting to enter their territory - which was, as it happened, the same reason why they had named their Empire, "Nightmaria".[4][5]

Ambassador Ophal had been born with birth defects that, amongst other things, made it impossible for him to speak clearly. Thus, when the Ambassador tried to tell the new king of Farrog, Bauchelain the First, that the correct name of his people was "Firend", it came out sounding like "Firrwend" or "Firrrwend"[6] - leading King Bauchelain to incorrectly think that "Firrwend" was, in fact, the way the word was spelled/pronounced.[7]

Notes and referencesEdit

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