From the tome of knowledge, written by Kheeran the Elder at the end of the Second Age...
In the beginning there was nothing, except for Gaethra, the Creator. It shaped the universe from
a tear, begotten when the First Dream ended. Based upon the five elemental principles it was formed and perfect
it was. Then Gaethra resumed its sleep and its dream.
Thus the First Age began. The world was a primeval and vibrant place, inhabited by the first four
races: the Drakelings, born from Fire, the Elves, begotten by Air, the Dwarves, shaped from Earth and Hurthlings, risen out of
Water. But the crowning piece of its creation was Man, derived from all four elements. Life was given by the fifth and strongest
element - Mana, the ambient magical energy of the Dream.
But, as things go, sleep is not always peaceful. Where there are dreams, there are nightmares and thus
eventually Gaethra experienced the First Nightmare and Chaos was born. A vibrant and ever-changing force, born from darkness,
Chaos only wants to change, corrupt and alter. From Fire, Orcs were created. Out of Earth Trolls were shaped. The Dark Elves were
formed from corrupted Air and the Ratlings, lifted from tainted Water. Thus the Second Age, the time of Chaos began. But Gaethra's
Dream proved to be stronger. The pure races united against the forces of Chaos and even the allies of Chaos, highly eligible
for change, switched sides and united against the dark force bent upon the complete destruction of the universe known to us all.
Chaos was defeated although a new overlord, Andor Drakon, once mortal, rose to power and swore vengeance.
Here, at the beginning of the Third Age, the Era of Peace and Tranquility, the text ends. For many generations the
world lived in peace and harmony, only disturbed by whatever petty struggles troubled the various races. Now, many centuries after
those ancient events, Chaos once more has gathered dark forces and tries its second incursion into the world. Dark times seem to be lying
ahead and sages even suspect that Gaethra might be awakening... whatever meaning this might have.
Others are disturbed by the very existence of Chaos... how did it come into being if everything is Gaethra's
dream? Just a passing nightmare? Or a sign of madness...?
Thomas Biskup recommends: Java Swing, 2nd Edition
"I heartily recommend this book to everyone who wants to build GUIs with Java and is trying to learn Swing. There are tons of great examples, everything is explained, but in nicely consumable bits and pieces and you really can get all the details - if you want. I learned Swing with the 1st edition of this book (and still use it as a reference for difficult programming questions concerning the JADE GUI), but the 2nd edition is even better from what looks in the store tell me. Maybe I'll buy it again. Note that this covers Swing up to JDK 1.4 (which is more than enough for a long time - the most recent new items do not require as much additional explaining, if you understand the basics)."
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