One PCB to Ruler Them All…

It was at the mouth of the Thornwattle Caves that Greylon found the ruler.  He was chasing a rabbit through the forest when he stepped outside the Beckinswallow limits and stumbled upon the abandoned mine.  He remembered stories from his childhood about a Martlenancer emerging from the caves and putting an end to the region’s flourishing ruler economy.  He thought little of it now.

Greylon was an adventurous sort and he wandered curiously into the cave.  In the old days, it was a metric mine.  Meter sticks used to get pulled out of the ground with the same abundance as mattleberries in the summoning season.  Now, pickaxes and pulleys lay strewn about, a thick layer of dust covering them like a velvet coat.  “There’s no Martlenancer here any more,” Greylon said aloud, as he picked up an axe and struck a boulder.  The sound echoed through the cave and he raised the pickaxe again.

Just then, he saw something, hidden deep within the rock.  It was a ruler, black as burley brew, with gold etchings on each side.

1554iso ORIG

The sight of it made his insides stir.  He could hardly move – an unknown force overtaking him like one he’d never felt.  It drove him, then, to raise the axe and free the black ruler when he heard a ‘HUMMMMMMM.’

The nursery rhyme ran through his head:

With the lingering hum
The Martlenancer doth come

He grabbed the ruler quickly, feeling its power in his hands, then darted from the broken boulder.  Suddenly, out of the cave came a Martlenancer, its face obscured by the thick film of mist it slithered through.  Greylon gripped the ruler, knowing there was no use running.  In desperation, he raised the black ruler toward the Martlenancer, hoping something, anything could save him.  A glow emanated from behind the ruler.

1554 side ORIG 097

 …and the Martlenancer suddenly dissolved, forming a puddle on the ruler mine floor. The hum disappeared.  Greylon was alone.  He looked down at the ruler in his hands.  It was a 6” PCB, gold plated, with spaces for small components and 0.1CM marks on each side.

On the back, it read in gold “One PCB to RULER them all.”  There was a hum in the distance and he knew, just then, that he couldn’t stay in the Beckinswallow for long.

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