|ULTIMA VIII Books|
|This page contains the complete library of books and scrolls available in Ultima VIII. I count 69 texts, but I've also grouped many of the texts (such as spells) in larger categories, so depending on how you count, there are more. The last entry lists the taunts used by the Guardian.|
|THE OFFICIAL LOGBOOK OF CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
as recorded by Salkind, the Scheneshal of Tenebrae
during the reign of her ladyship Mordea.
The following is a list of the crimes of known enemies of the state, and of the swift and just punishments as decreed by her ladyship;
Armin; Guilty of inciting and spreading rebellious ideologies counter to the views of the state, inventing and proclaiming malicious slander against her ladyship, provoking treasonous acts in public, and assaulting the captain of the guard, highway robbery, and treachery. Punishment: Death by beheading.
Hermes; Writing many treasonous and slanderous articles against the government, participating in the forging of royal documents, arousing riots and melees and other civil disturbances, resisting formal arrest, and other vile and treacherous acts.
Brandem; Guilty of participating in public disturbances aimed at undermining the state, destruction of public property, making threats against prominent members of the community, plotting the assassination of her ladyship, baccaneering, and other vile acts of treachery. Punishment: 100 lashes, then death by beheading.
Dibeyer; Guilty of exciting the public to hysteria with controversial rhetoric banned by the state, calling unlawful gatherings and assembles, inciting the youth of Tenebrea to pillage and plunder their own town, damage to state property through the use of arson, committing statutory rape, public intoxication, striking a guardsman with a wooden club, wounding him, pillaging the poor, and an assortment of other treacherous acts. Punishment: Death by beheading. Also fined 250 coins.
Zoch; Guilty of following the rhetoric exposed by Dibeyer, sales of weapons without a permit from the state, passing counterfeit coins, defrauding widows of their inheritance, public intoxication, poaching on the grounds of the palace, brigandage, and many other acts treacherous in nature. Punishment: Fined, flogged, then Death by beheading.
Toran; Guilty of inciting and spreading ideologies contrary to the state, participating in public disturbances aimed at undermining the government, swindling the public through the sales of fake gems, privateering, purloining, pilfering, pick pocketing, and an assortment of other acts of treachery, too many to mention here. Punishment: Death by beheading.
Bentic; Guilty of researching into forbidden subjects, disobeying royal orders to cease all probings into such studies, speading malicous lies slanderous to Lady Mordea, inventing stories found defamatory to the well-being of the Tempestry, the pilfering of books from the state's library, and acts of treachery too treacherous in nature that they may not be listed here. The confiscated research is secured in the dungeon evidence chamber for further review to determine the presence of additional conspirators. Punishment: Death by beheading.
In my investigations of the royal bloodline I have uncovered many facts---facts have lead me to more questions. Keldan the farmer, son of Treal. Forced to marry Lord Kean's daughter, Celidia. Why would royalty want such a simple man? Keldan and Ariel... Did Celidia ever know? If so, when did she find out? And how? Ariel had a child, a son. Did Keldan send her away to protect them from Celidia, or did Celidia order it?
Celidia demanded a child. Mordea is born with the powers of Tempestry. Yet Lord Kean was no Tempest, nor was his wife... But where is Keldan and Ariel's son? Both mother and child sent to live with the fishermen... Devon knows not his own father... Could Devon be a Tempest?!!? If so, by his being the first birth, his powers would be stronger than Mordea's! I must investigate this further, though if Mordea should uncover my quest, my life will be forfeit...
by Meltzars the Troll
The state of my people leaves me distraught. Even the name Troll is an insult humans hurl at each other, while in my time the name Troll was noble and respected. What factors led my people down this path of twisted barbarisim I will endeavour to discover. Since I was laid low by the sleeping disease contracted in my studies of the arcane, there were no efforts to revive me, and now I see why. All trolls with any mystic skills are gone!Indeed it seems that only the ignorant buffoons remain, and are breeding our society into mindless brutes.
After I awakened, I was shocked to see Trolls dressed in no more than rags, and even more suprised at the garbled, vile insults they hurled at me. After they drove me from their shelter (imagine Trolls living in caves like beasts) I encountered a group of our old allies, the Humans. Upon sighting me, they drew weapons and charged! My suprise was equalled by theirs when I turned and ran, believing these to be bandits or raiders. It seems that a Troll who thinks of self preservation is alien to them.
My own clothes are torn and tattered, and it shames me to wear them, but it seems Trolls no longer harvest the silk of the kith. If only I had learned to use the loom in my youth I would spin my own cloth. I also hunger for fine wine and breads, but it seems my fellows have resorted to stealing toraxes from humans and eating them raw. One of the Trolls I currently reside with brought in a Human child, and was going to eat him! I would stand for no more, and blasted the Troll with a spell of light. The others huddled away from me and stared with fear and hatred.I will carry the injured child back to the gates of the human city. When the guards see my act of goodwill, they will hear me out, and perhaps I will find allies among them.
EXPEDITION JOURNAL, BOOK II
Day Seventeen... It's been about four days since Salem received the fatal blow, and some strange events have happened. Three children entered the camp before midnight, claiming to be childhood friends of his. When she saw them, Iane let out a fearsome scream and collapsed, and the little strangers made a hasty retreat into the night. How could children be childhood friends of a man in his late thirties?
Day Eighteen... This morning around breakfast, Iane explained that the childhood companions were only illusions that Salem used to create to entertain himself, and if the illusions still existed, then Salem must still be alive. We will seek advice when we return to Tenebrae.
Day Nineteen... After a rugged day of travel yesterday, we all expected a much needed and well deserved rest in Tenebrae, but it was not to be. As soon as the door to our leased cabin was opened, those three children were lurking about inside. Still they pleaded for us to rescue Salem, and we had decided to let them stay with us and investigate their claims in the morning. The fact that they knew our destination before we did unnerves me to no end. There was no sleep to be had with the mournful gaze of the oldest child (who calls himself Collin) watching me all night.
Day Twenty... Today we went on a wild chase with the fire brigade as they attempted to douse several fires that started simultaneously around Tenebrae when a shower of flaming stones rained from the sky. Ianes skirts caught fire, and she raised quite a stir when she lept into the Tempest's fountain to douse them, and discovered it was stocked with snapping eels!
Day Twenty-One... We have spent the day on the road, following the directions of Collin. He has offered no information about Salem's condition other than he needs help. After what I saw happen to him, there is no way he could be alive. What kind of help does a dead person need? I guess we will find out tomorrow.
Day Twenty-Two... The black shadow of the keep still falls over us as the sun rises on the other side. The silence and cold here is not natural, and Warwick is convinced we are being watched from the twisted spires. I am going to carry my speaking stone into the place, and it will recognize Salem without error.
DE-VENOMING THE KITH
Removing the venom sacs from a kith should only be done to an animal between the ages of four to six days. Sedate the kith by allowing it to inhale the vapors of boiling kalas leaves and mushroom spores. Do not breathe these vapors or intense headaches and dizzyness will occur. Once the animal is sedated, roll it over onto its back and locate the bony plate at the base of the mandible. Insert a wedge or pick into the seam at the base of this plate, and press firmly until the plate begins to slide. It will still be attached to the abdomen by several fiberous bands.
Lay the plate back over the abdomen and locate a pale membrane near the base of the mandible. Make an incision diagonally across the membrane and wedge it open. Inside there is a purple muscle. Slide this muscle towards the Kith's head, and underneath is a green or yellow gland with two tubes leading into the throat. Wrap the gland in a heavy cloth, and clamp off the larger of the tubes as close to the gland as possible. Cut the tube just behind the clamp, and firmly squeeze the gland until any venom in it has been forced down the remaining tube. Cut the second tube and lift out the empty gland.
Now stitch together the ends of the tubes, and fill the cavity with the boiled kalas leaves. Slide the muscle back in place, and stitch the membrane closed. Repeat the process at the base of the second mandible. When both glands have been removed, lay the plate back over the exposed area, and bind to the kiths's body with cord or bandages until it re-attaches. Note: Some kith have no venom sac on the right side of the head. If the gland is not visible after opening the cavity, it may be one of these animals, but search the area throughly before closing the cavity.
THE BEAUTY OF RHIAN
Her luminous candle guides my way in the darkness, warm and soft, my heart sings when bathed in her light. The gentle whisper of love calls out a name, Rhian. And my heart answers it.Melody is her voice, whispering softly to my soul, a gentle chime of love. While I live, Rhian is my life.
THE VOICES OF MARY
I wake in the night and the rooms are all dead,
I follow a dream; she still echoes in my head,
The new girl is twitching, asleep on the floor,
I move through dark rooms, and pass through the door,
Out in the chill, I follow the walk,
The spirits aren't speaking, so there's no need to talk,
The moon has arisen, to flower over the world,
While tendrils of mist snake out, and slowly unfurl,
There's a sign by the sea that doesn't make sense,
And out past the jetty wait sirens, horny and tense,
Briefly, through windows in the pale glass waves,
I see lost faces, ruined heroes in watery graves,
I know what comes next, because I've read all my lines,
I've been over my part, millions of times,
As the waters roll in and I'm swallowed by sea,
I can hear Mary whisper, calling to me,
'Come on, baby,' from somewhere she cries,
'I want you to love me like spiders love flies'
EYE OF THE BOULDER, THE RUNES OF THE MYTH DRAINER
My love, my life, my doom! I began my search for the Eye shortly after my nineteenth year, while still in training with the Necromancers. Had I known at that young age what would befall me upon the completion of my undertaking, I would have spent my days differently, seeking companionship over mystic power; warm love rather than cold stone. But my desire for the Eye was all consuming.
It is said to have been found at the heart of an otherworldly chunk of rock, perhaps a part of some ancient tool or weapon, that fell from the sky during a time when godlike beings fought for dominance of this world and the worlds beyond. The Eye was later sundered into half a dozen finely chiseled runestones by the Leechlord, referred to in some texts as 'the Drainer of Myths'. The subsequent details concerning the runestones and their uses became the events of legend, as Tempests and heroes fought for possession of the pieces of the Eye.
Though it took many years, it was I who finally managed to collect all the pieces. And with each part of the Eye that I added to my collection, my power grew, enabling me to recover successive pieces with greater ease. Obsessively, I laid the groundwork during those years of searching, preparing for the time when I could finally reintegrate the six disc-like pieces of the Eye. On the day of completion, once I had enacted the last of the rituals, my primary apprentice and I fitted the Eye directly into the freshly carved socket at the base of my skull, linking the mystic stone's energies with those of my own nervous system.
Only then did I learn that the Eye's sorcerous operations were antithetical to my own. Immediately, its dire effects became apparent. My memory and other mental faculties grew weaker, the images I beheld lost resolution, and the sounds around me began to seem like bland reproductions. I left my hidden tower, staggering forward at a gruelling pace, one step at a time. And since then, the events of my days have seemed the tired tellings of a poor storyteller, and all I have wanted is release.I am ashamed to have wasted so much time and so many of my resources upon such a disappointing thing. I sought nothing less than the Ultimate, but instead received only a pale reflection, a hint of what could have been.
I recomend the new young guard Grommet for a commendation for bravery. As a troll, larger than most, marched directly and purposefully toward our station, we prepared to destroy it from a safe distance with firegems. Before we attacked, Grommet saw that it carried in it's arms a little girl. We hesitated in our attack, and he charged out and met the beast with his sword drawn.In the ensuing battle the troll was driven to it's knees, and as it begged for it's life, Grommet slew the creature. Some of Grommets blows flew a little awry, and the little girl was mortally injured by one of them. She was only a peasant however, and of no import. Grommet will make a fine addition to the officers ranks.
THE SAGA OF BONE CRUSHER
And so it was in the early days of Pagan that the Titan of Earth, Lithos, declared that all who lived upon his lands should pay homage to him. With his mighty earthquakes, he demanded that the people of Tenebrae bow to him, lest he shake their houses down around them.'But mighty Lithos,'said the Lord Elsmil, the Tempest, 'we are under the guidance of Hydros. From her we receive the rain for the crops and the fish for our table. We can not bow to you.' This greatly angered Lithos and to punish the people of Tenebrae, he sent a great army of undead skeletons to slaughter them. Lord Elsmil, went to Hydros.
'Please,' he begged her. 'The people of your city are being slain by the minions of your brother, Lithos. We must have your help.' Hydros heard the plea of her Tempest and gave to him a mighty hammer. 'You shall have this weapon called Bone Crusher and with it defeat the minions of Lithos.' she said. When Lord Elsmil arrived back at the battle, it was going poorly for the Tenebraens. They were fighting bravely, but were outnumbered two to one by the undead. Lord Elsmil let out a mighty roar and waded into the carnage wielding the mighty Bone Crusher. The skeletons fell before him like trees and the tide of the battle was turned. By evening the last of the skeletons were being hunted down in the woods and the town of Tenebrae was saved.
However, Lord Elsmil was missing. The Tenebraens began to look for him. They finally found his crushed body on the battle field, but the wonderous Bone Crusher was nowhere to bee seen.They looked for it for many days and nights, but did not find it. Though several of the searchers found the prints of bony feet in the soft dirt of the western forest. By the looks of the prints, they said, the skeletons were dragging something heavy behind them. A few of the searchers even say they caught a glimpse of bony white and the glint of light off something gold. To this day, intrepid treasure hunters continue to look for the hammer called Bone Crusher.
ENEMIES OF TENEBRAE
compiled by The Royal Seneschal, His Eminence, Salkind
The following is a list of those citizens and former citizens of Tenebrae who are suspected to be involved in dealings or activities that may be construed to be dangerous or otherwise damaging to the City/State of Tenebrae.
These people are to be considered dangerous and will be constantly watched for suspicious activity.
SPELLBOOKS OF THEURGY
The Spell of Divination
The divination spell is a most practical spell. It allows the caster to know his exact location, the time of day, the day of the week, and the current month. The Focus necessary for casting this spell resembles a sextant. The spell also has a vocal aspect. The words that must be uttered at the moment of casting are 'In Wis.'
The Spell of Healing Touch
This is the least powerful of the healing spells of Stratos and one of the first usually learned by Adepts. The Focus necessary to cast this spell represents a pointing hand. The words that must be uttered at the moment of casting are 'In Mani.'
The Spell of Aerial Servant
One of the more impressive of the Theurgic spells, Aerial Servant is also one of the most versatile. Upon casting of the Aerial Servant spell, a whirling being of Air is called into existance. This being will accept the Theurgist's directives to manipulate or move any object. One of the more interesting aspects of this spell is that the Aerial Servant is able to move objects through another solid object, such as a door or wall. The Focus used to represent this spell represents an Arm Band and the casting words are 'Kal Ort Xen.'
The Spell of Reveal
This spell is a dissipation spell, meaning that it will actually dispell another type of magic, specifically the spell of invisibility. When the Theurgist casts this spell, a wave of energy moves away from the caster in ever increasing concentric circles. These energy waves will dispell all forms of invisibility. The Focus used for this spell is an open eye and the casting words are 'Ort Lor.'
The Spell of Restoration
One of the most powerful spells available to the Theurgist, this spell restores the recipient to full health, providing the recipient is still alive upon the beginning of the casting. It will eliminate wounds and maimings and will cure disease. This spell is one that the Theurgist will find in great demand. The Focus for this spell resembles an open hand. The words which must be uttered upon casting the spell are 'Vas In Mani.'
The Spell of Fade From Sight
This spell is another very versatile spell as it allows the caster to become invisible to the sight of nearly all mortal beings. The Focus representing this spell is a closed eye. The words to be spoken during the casting are 'Quas An Lor.'
The Spell of Air Walk
The Air Walk spell is the most highly valued spell a Theurgist can learn, for it is only through the use of this spell that a Theurgist can reach Stratos and hear the Mystic Voice. When this spell is cast, the Theurgist is capable of jumping quite a great distance with the aid of the surrounding air. It is interesting to note, that the first time a Theurgist experiences this spell is when he has completed the Tests and seeks Stratos for the first time. If Stratos is pleased with the Theurgist, then she will grant the spell without the use of a Focus. From that point on, however, the Theurgist must have the Focus representing wings to cast this spell. Words of power must also be spoken. For this spell those words are 'Vas Hur Por.'
The Spell of Hear Truth
A useful spell for any number of reasons. This spell allows the Theurgist to hear both what the speaker is saying and what the truth is. If the speaker is, indeed, speaking untruthfully, the truth will come to the caster as if carried on a breeze. The Focus for this spell resembles a chain. The words spoken upon casting are 'An Quas Lor.'
The Spell of Intervention
A powerful spell, upon casting the spell of Intervention, the Theurgist calls into being a wall of Air that blocks all damaging forces. While this spell will protect the caster from all blows and striking attacks, it will not protect the caster from immersion in lava or drowning in Water. The Focus for this spell resembles a fist and the words used are 'In Sanct An Jux.'
The Spell of Resurrection
As told to Cyrrus by Stellos
In all my time as the leader of the Theurgists on Argentrock Isle, I hold dearest to my heart the time I received the Spell of Resurrection from the Mystic Voice that is our dear Stratos.I was no more than 60 when Kalen brought the body of his beloved to me. She had been dead for a number of days, and I knew there was not much I could do. However, I saw the love that burned in Kalen's eyes and knew I had to try. I took the body of the woman to Windy Point and begged Stratos to return the spirit to the body. Stratos told me that the price would be high. I agreed to it, without hesitation.
At that point began the journey I will never forget. My spirit left my body and I began to fly. Oh, the glorious freedom, to fly above the clouds and soar the open skies. As I flew higher, the winds became stronger, soon it was a battle just to continue, but I struggled onward. Suddenly, before my eyes there was a shimmering cloud. It was on the edge of the sky and the Ethereal Void. Undaunted, I flew into the cloud, and what did I behold but a brilliant ball of fire and light. Stratos whispered to me that I beheld what hadn't been seen by a Pagan in years...something called the sun.
At that moment, my body back on the ground opened its mouth and breathed the Breath of Life into the body of Keldan's betrothed. The next thing I new, I was surrounded by darkness and back in my body. I asked what had happened and why it was so dark. At that, Keldan began to weep. It was then I knew that in viewing this wonderful sun, I had lost my sight. But I know it was a small price to pay, for Keldan's betrothed put her soft hand in mine and thanked me for returning her to Keldan. This is a price I would ask no other to pay and therefore, there is no focus or words of power for it.
JOURNAL OF VERAS THE HEALER
My dearest Prevan, I regret to tell you that I will not be home from this visit as soon as I had thought. My healing services will be needed here for some time as a terrible thing has happened to this small village. Two nights ago, as I had just finished my evening rituals, I heard a horrible commotion from the town square. I ran out to see what the trouble was, only to find the town overrun by trolls. The trolls had come in search of their favorite meal, human children.
From house to house they went, ripping doors off and brushing aside the men as if they were no more than flies. Mothers wailed as babes were torn from their breasts and fathers cried in anguish as one by one their children were eaten alive. The bloody procession went on and on, and I fear the screams and sobs will ring in my darkest dreams forever.And then, a miracle occured. From the final house, came not a cry of torment, but one of victory. We raced down the street to the house. We found the inside strewn with the bodies of the trolls and there in the middle stood Nehdra, a young woman who had just given birth a few days before. She had her newborn clutched in one arm, in the other was a magnificent golden sword.
She told us that as the trolls burst in, she had grabbed the only weapon she had, a knitting needle, and had cried out to Stratos to protect her child. Instantly, in answer to her plea, the great Stratos turned the needle into a magnificent sword. She said the sword fairly danced in her hand, slaying the trolls left and right until none were left alive.While I can find some solace in the miracle Stratos performed, I am afraid the task ahead of me is almost overwhelming. I do what I can to ease the hurts, but wounds of the mind Stratos gives no power to heal.
I will stay until I have done all I can, then I will carry the sword, now called 'Nehdra's Needle' to Argentrock Isle. There I will prepare a small shrine for it in the catacombs beneath the monastery.I do miss you, my love, and ask that you watch over our dear little Stellos until I can return. It is sad his mother must be away from him so soon after his birth, but I must serve where I am needed. I am sure you understand. All my love, Veras
THE CHRONICLE OF PAGAN
A treatise on the Glorious History of this Foremost Society
There is little in the world more refreshing to me than knowledge. I remember in my youth hearing tales of legendary times, unexplored places and fantastic beasts. I constantly pestered my parents and instructors with an endless number of questions. How does this work? Why did they act in such a manner? Where can I find these plants? My thirst for information was -- nay, still is -- insatiable. I spent hours at a time investigating all I could about my surroundings. Unfortunately, as I realized early in life, I lacked much in the way of physical prowess, making exploration difficult.
Imagine my pleasure when I discovered that not only did life itself teach me things great and wonderous, but the myriad ancient tomes could offer nearly as much. It was then that I elected to dedicate this humble life to filling my mind and library with all the knowledge I could. Thus, I humbly add these words to the collection of wisdom that already fills the multitude of bookshelves throughout the land. I hope my work may someday imbue curiosity into the hearts of others.
SCROLL OF DISPELLING MAGICAL PORTALS.
This scroll has been constructed to unravel the countermagics used to to seal portals. Do not store in damp areas.
DETECTION SCROLL OF TRAPPED CHESTS.
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Using this scroll will forewarn you of all trap laden chests.
DESTRUCTION SCROLL OF TRAPS IN CHESTS.
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will destroy traps within all nearby chests. Beware! You do so at your own risk!
SCROLL OF HEALING
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will improve the quality of your health, and heal many of your minor wounds. Use only as directed.
SCROLL OF RESTORATION
Enchanted by Varkus
Caster! Casting this scroll will restore you to full health, and heal your major wounds. Beware! If you are already at prime health, this powerful magic may weaken you. Use only as directed.
SCROLL OF INVISIBILITY
Enchanted by Magethief Vermin
In casting this scroll my friend you will become as clear as the wind itself. Mind that you practice stealth, for any noises you make may give you away. Mind to that you act quickly, lest this magic wear away while you are about your devious acts. Vermin.
SCROLL OF REVISIBILITY
Enchanted by Magethief Vermin
Casting this scroll my friend will reveal any hidden treasure around you. Mind you though, do not cast this while you thieve, for you too will be revealed. Vermin.
LOGBOOKS IN THE PIT OF EARTH
I can go no further. These blasted magical walls have taken my strength, and I am afraid, my life. Too late have I discovered a way to detect the walls without cost to myself.These humble mushrooms that litter the floor awake the wall's power when tossed at them! Alas, I can only eat these mushrooms. Perhaps they may bring me strength to escape this cavern... I lie here awaiting the end. I know now that I will never see Lithos, curse these frail bones of mine. My strength is not great enough to withstand these tests. My only hope is that my twin brother will make it though without me. My hopes and spirit rest with him... Should anyone find this note, please tell him of my passing. Thank you, Bryan
I lie here awaiting the end. I know now that I will never see Lithos, curse these frail bones of mine. My strength is not great enough to withstand these tests. My only hope is that my twin brother will make it though without me. My hopes and spirit rest with him... Should anyone find this note, please tell him of my passing. Thank you, Bruce
Have trust in things you cannot see
For in the smallest you must believe.
Cast stone into flame and you shall find
All your doubts left behind
Cross the impossible to the great beyond
And only 'til then can you carry on.
This Scroll, while in possession of one (1) Toliver P. Barkley, and only for the period between the first (1st) day of the second (2nd) month of the year, to the third (3rd) week of the seventh (7th) month of the year, for two (2) years, (and two years only) marks the ownership of one (1) medium sized, three (3) year old, four (4) footed, six (6) foot long, single-minded, smelly torax, that is known in these parts as George.
Dear Sir- It has come to my attention that the floors of your bloody catacombs have proven to be rather faulty if not downright dangerous. Why, when I was there just two days past, visiting my one and only beautiful daughter, who lies interred there, my lovely wife, Forencia, fell through the floor to her death! I can only recommend that you close the catacombs until the floors can be made safer, for I truly would have to hunt you down and indeed cease your beating heart should another of my kin fall to their death. Yours Truly, Sysaphus
Fix floors (those water puddles weaken mortar)
Remove all trash (have Pedert take all food out)
Have Jaynela write letter to Sysaphus
Talk to Vugrinec about bandage wearing in public.
From my experiments I have found that potions act in the following manner:
Yellow: Heals, but only in small measures.
Red: Also heals, but beware! Its strength will do damage to those not in need of its power.
Orange: restores Mana in times of need.
Green: Its taste is quite revolting!
Blue: Provides restful slumber.
Purple: Provides protection in combat. Very useful against undead.
Black: Causes drinker to be invisible.
LETTER TO MORDEA
Most Honorable Lady Mordea, I have heard that the Skull of Quakes has been removed from the Upper Catacombs. I had believed that it would be safe within the Catacombs, for it is the only place it is used. Pray tell me, my Lady, what do you suggest I do about this situation? I have heard rumors that it presently may be within the Shrine, but I have grave doubts about it. I await your swift answer and am assured of your graciousness in this matter. Lieutenant Vittek
LETTER FROM MORDEA
Lieutenant Vittek- See that you meet me at the Docks as soon as you can. I have a solution to the missing Skull of Quakes dilemma. -Mordea
...I have barely the strength to write, my heart pounds and my legs can no longer hold me. I fear the desire to possess such wonderous magic has consumed my very soul for I have pursued it until I have not the strength to stand. Even now, as I lay here gasping my final breath, the armor taunts me, coming just close enough for me to see its beauty and then dancing away from my grasp.If I only had a magical way to capture this armor, like how the Theurgists use their magic to move items from afar! A way in which one might retrieve it using hands of magic rather than flesh. To the finder of this note, I wish you luck, for the treasure which shines before you has been naught but a curse of death for me. - Graner the Warrior
THE MAGIC OF LOTHIAN
My time above this ground draws nigh. My dearest lord, the Mountain King calls me, and I must go. Soon I shall shed this mortal coil and join Lithos for life ever lasting. Yet before I go I must fulfill my final charge as Necromancer. My final duty is this, my spell. The spell which shall by my addition to the magic of the Earthen Power, may Lithos be praised. For time immorial, students of the power of Earth shall this spell learn.
From my undead lips shall they hear how to coax the Lord of all Earth to shake His mighty body and make all fall before the user of Earthen Magic. To call Quakes; combine the sacred reagents of bone, wood, dirt, and blackmoor. Invoke the power of magic upon these reagents when enclosed within a bag. Then will you be enabled to call upon the power of Lithos. This then is my final act as Necromancer. I await the call of the Mountain King. Lothian, Necromancer.
JOURNEYS THROUGH HELL
This journal belongs to Robin Dudley
Day 1: Dear E- I have found my journey to be one of great suffering although I have only been at it such a short time.
Day 2: My darling- I am constantly lost and without friends in this land of nightmares. I do not know if I will live to see you again, my love.
Day 3: Madam- Perhaps Dr. Dee was correct. I should have listened to his sound advice, for I am now so terribly lonely and wish with all my heart to be with you again.
Day 4: I can barely scare up enough courage to stop my vigil of self preservation long enough to share my experiences with you.
Day 5: There is no hope in sight. I am tired and I do not know if I can outlast this trial. I have been fighting for days now...If only there were some reprieve from this torment. I simply cannot bear it any more. I do not think that I shall feel worthy of writing to you for a few days.
Day 13: Luck has finally discovered me. At last, I have an answer to the one way I can rid myself of this Hell! I know of a bridge to a veritable paradise, yea, an oasis! in this desert of heat and flame.
Day 14: Odd, but I cannot quite get this strange apparatus to work properly. I came across it in my travels, and after much searching, I believe that it must have something to do with several odd spheres that I have in my possession. I don't know if I will ever figure it out. Ha, silly me, to doubt my abilities when I am so very close to freedom! Today, victory over 'their' Pyros. Tomorrow, freedom, and back to you, sweet Temperance!
GOLD: VALUABLE COMMODITY OR WORTHLESS TRASH?
By Okapi the Elder
It is oft said that there is no other material as precious as gold. Perhaps one reason that we feel this way is that it gleams and shines like the sun that rises to greet us every morn. However, this is not the only reason we value gold so much. Indeed, there are several reasons other than its beauty that makes it so worthy of praise. Its malleability, conductivity and resistance to corrosion are among the chief reasons we adore this metal. One very reliable method of extracting this ore from the land is mining. This requires the digging of long, often deep and dangerous shafts within the land. This is often accompanied by the use of explosives that ease the difficulties associated with the removal process.
Another method, although not as high-yielding as mining, but much safer, is panning. Panning is done with a shallow pan, and requires, more than anything, patience. Many of the area streams and brooks abound with gold nuggets and dust, and by filling the pan with silt and washing the silt from the pan, one will find only the heaviest of objects left. And, with the gentile graces of Amoras, those heaviest of objects will turn out to be gold. The process is time consuming, but relaxing and profitable. Gold has enjoyed a popularity that no other mineral ever has, and will most likely continue to be highly valuable.
Besides being the basis for our monetary system, it can be found in jewelry and sculpture, and used for filling decaying teeth, and even as everyday plaques.
MY RIVAL, MY LOVE - PART I
A Shadowy Jester Book, By Elise
It all started when I met the one and only man who had the ability to make me question what I once regarded to be sound ideals. I never was a religious person; perhaps that was due to the fact that I was never an insecure person. I have always believed that people that are insecure turn to their gods for guidance, love, and protection. I never needed that. Never, that is, until Alain walked into my life.
I had been sewing a new gown for the season party when I realized I had broken my last needle. I had no choice but to find the tailor and purchase new needles from him. I had never been to his shop, and felt nervous about going there. We were rivals for I, too, made my living sewing clothing. When I got to his shop, I found the door pulled closed, but not latched. I let myself in and looked around. There was no one present. I took advantage of the moment and looked at what could very easily put me out of business. I knew that the only way to save my job, my LIFE!, was to destroy all of his work, thereby bringing all of his customers to me.
As I proceeded to rip seams and remove buttons, I heard what I thought to be a door creaking. I turned around, and there he was, shining in all his glory. Lighting up the room with his golden blond hair, momentarily, I forgot where I was and what I was doing. I quickly dropped the gown I was demolishing and stood there slack- jawed. 'Just what do you think you are doing?!' he melodically asked. 'I purchased this gown, and it was delivered to me in this state of disrepair,' I answered, frightened by the look on his face. 'Oh, no you did not purchase that gown, nor was it delivered to you in any state of repair or disrepair! I know who you are! You are Elise, the Seamstress, and I will not allow you in my shop! GET OUT!'
He was beyond anger. I had never known anyone to act so irrationally over a silly piece of fabric, so I placed it down upon the table before me. 'Do you really think that I am a Seamstress? How silly!' I was doing my best to convince him that I was not who he had accused me of being. 'I just came to your shop to look at your fashions, and perhaps employ you to sew a new gown for the season party.' I knew it wouldn't work, but I had no other choice but to flatter him. 'I don't believe you,' he said, staring deeply into my eyes. 'The reason I don't believe you is because I have watched you from afar, with joy in my heart and loathing in my soul. How can I love a woman whose very existence is my downfall?'
His eyes were pleading now. 'I have looked upon you forever, it seems, and fought with myself constantly over my predicament.' He was coming closer to me now, and I could smell his manly scent. 'I didn't know how I should ever hope to meet you and then walk away, back to my own life without you...' He reached out to touch my arm and I pulled away, fearful of what his touch might do to me. Already I was heady with the excitement he was stirring in my empty soul. I was willing to do anything to keep him here before me, but I was fearful, for he was my rival, and I could not allow myself to love my fiercest competitor.
'I must be going now,' a tiny, quivering voice said. Was that me? I had thought I was a far stronger person than what I was experiencing. I had once been so aware of my emotions and in control of my feelings, that the way I was feeling and reacting to him was completely alien to me. I looked at him, knowing that his feelings for me mirrored those burgeoning in me. He took me in his arms and his silken lips touched my forehead. 'I knew you would come here tonight,' his deep voice revealed. 'I wanted you to come here, and I knew that the only way to get you to do that was to bring about the breaking of your one and only needle,' he confessed.
'But how did you...' 'I went to your house earlier today, when you were at the weaver's. I knew that the only way to get you to come here would be dishonest, but I no longer cared. I scored your needle so deeply that it would break when you set out to use it. Please forgive me, but it was the only way.' 'Oh, Alain, I forgive you! Please, please, don't regret what you have done, for it has brought me to you...'
Beware unto any who may read this tome: The power of the Mountain King is great, and the dread sovereign of all clay and Earth is to be feared and respected. Therefore, as you read the words of might contained within these pages, know that the power that the Mountain King will grant to you is great. Use the power that you learn here wisely and remember: The Mountain King can take from you anything that He has given you. Do not abuse that which you learn while in the service of mighty Lithos.
The first spell that the student of Earthen Magic must learn is the Open Ground spell. The use of this spell will open the sacred clay of our father, and allow you to enter therein. The reagents needed for this spell are Blood and Blackmoor. Speak the words Des Por Ylem to create your magic token, then shall you be allowed to envelop yourself in the arms of the Mountain King.
The second spell that student must learn is Death Speak. This must be, for the student must first learn from the long dead Necromancers of old. From their dead lips shall come words of knowledge and power. So that the student may speak to his dead tutors, the student must know Death Speak. The reagents needed for Death Speak are but Blood and Bone. Use these reagents together with the words Kal Wis Corp and the student shall then be able to learn from the Ancient Necromancers.
DISPELLING MYTHS: THE TRUTH ABOUT MAGIC
Many are the rumors of the magical and the supernatural which exist outside of the Titanic magic. Now, of course any reasonable person knows that any such thing is nonsense. Any thinking person must know that the Titans are the only magic in the world. However, in the interest of fairness, for any who may doubt that the True Magic is held only by the Titans, I have investigated three well known reported cases of magical ocurrences that fall outside of the Titanic influence.
The first episode of magic which I investigated was an occurence in which a woman who lives outside of Tenebrae who claimed to know something about a ghost who had some magic capabilities. The woman's name is Kilandra and she makes her living as a fisherwoman. Let me assure all that this woman knows nothing of the supernatural. In fact, Kilandra knows virtually nothing at all. Quite frankly, I found this woman to be completely mad. She would ramble on constantly about her daughter to the point where I began to believe that her daughter does not even exist. All of the outlandish stories about her daughter could not apply to just one person. Therefore, in my expert opinion, the daughter is purely fictional. Anything else that Kilandra had to talk about where things that the fish told her. Therefore, it is perfectly clear that this woman is completely mad and anything that she has to say can not be believed.
The second event which many people have reported as magical are the mysterious Lights of the Plateau. Very few people have even reported having seen these, yet the lights have lived on in Pagan lore for a very long time. Many people believe that these lights are some sort of magic which is generated some unknown force of nature. Others believe these lights to be some sort of magical energy which is created by the hermit that lives upon the plateau. Such opinions are, of course the result of people spreading unsubstantiated rumors without looking into basic facts. I have disproven the myth that these lights even exist by doing what others simply would do: I took the leisurely stroll up to the Plateau and investigated things myself.
I walked up to the Plateau which, by the way, is a lovely walk that I recommend everyone to at least once. Once at the Plateau, I met with the old hermit who lives there. Now, I must say that this was the most difficult part of my investigation. This old man, Mythran is his name, was a gruff, unfriendly fellow. This Mythran has nothing to do but lay about all day long, yet getting him to answer my questions was like pulling teeth from a troll. He spoke to me in short, sharp sentences which he virtually spit into my face. And the worst thing of all is that this silly old man thought that he knew more of the world than I did! Well, I did manage to get Mythran to assure me that there were no magical lights that danced about upon the Plateau. I am sure that he would not lie to -me- as I am employed by the Lady Mordea and therefore carry Her influence.
The third instance of magic which I have disproven beyond the shadow of a doubt is the alleged existance of a magical axe called Deceiver. This axe is supposed to be found on a small island off of Stone Cove. The island, which can not be seen by land, is supposed to be reached by stones which rise above the water, only to sink again in a matter of moments. As I had no intention of going through those awful catacombs, I sailed to Stone Cove to investigate. I can assure one and all that there is no island off of Stone Cove and there certainly is no magical axe. Nor did I see any rising and sinking stones.
Of course, the stones were the only plausible part of this ridiculous story. I did think it quite possible for The Lurker to create just such a thing so that She may amuse Herself. So there you have it, dear reader. Irrefutible proof that there is no magic in the world other than that which the Titans have chosen to create. I realize that this book may take a little bit of fantasy out of some people's daily lives, but if we are to better serve our Lady, we must all live in the here and now.
SCROLLS FOUND ON THE QUEST FOR SLAYER
Well have ye done to reach this far. Behind me lies the entrance way of the Slayer's chamber. But for the last time, be ye warned: Many are those who have tred this ground before ye. Many have come seeking the Slayer, and jealous are they of others who seek what they prize. Go ye now into the chamber, for theSlayer beckons. The Slayer, whose fine oaken body be so strong as to withstand the Titanic forces that would try to tame it. Ye have come seeking this treasure. Ye have now gotten what ye have sought. Be careful that it does not kill ye, for the Slayer will not travel with ye unless it deems ye worthy.
Feel good for having found me yet more trouble does lie ahead. Now ye do truly enter the resting place of the Slayer. Soon will ye be within reach of the Slayer. The Slayer, whose cruel head does strike fear within the hearts of those who oppose it. Be ye not be there yet. Quick and nimble must be the person commands the force of the Slayer. Look again for one of my line. Should ye find my cousin, then ye should learn where the Slayer awaits.
If ye have found me then first ye must have found my brother. Well ye have done to come this far but farther ye must go. Now that ye have heard the call of the Slayer ye can not resist its siren song. Many have been mastered by the Slayer's awesome might, but none ever master the Slayer completely. So, clever must ye be to hold the Slayer as thine ally. Strength alone shan't bind it to thy will. And just when ye think ye have the thing mastered, it fools ye again. Leaving ye twisting in the dark grasping for thy wits. Up ahead ye shall find diverging path. In one branch will ye find another in my family tree. In the other branch will ye find a hard road empty of all but pain. Remember what we have told ye of wisdom, most especially if ye choose the wrong branch.
If ye be strong of arm, swift of leg, and valorous of heart; then read on But, if ye not be all these things; shrink away from what is contained within me. For the knowledge which lies within my family does contain such power as to burn ye into cinders if ye be not worthy. If you have ever doubted thy strength, go now and look no further. For if ye be false, the slayer shall devour all thy blood in one clean lick. But if ye be truly worthy, the Slayer shall come forth with ye in fierce tempest and like a Jove shall it strike down thine enemies. Now ye have been warned. If you wish to take up the quest to find the Slayer, then proceed. Tread ye upon the path that was brought ye this far and look for my twin. Find the one who is identical to me, and he shall lead ye further.
MORIENS: NECROMANCER, PROPHET, HERO
Let none doubt that no greater hero did ever walk the lands of Pagan than the Immortal Moriens. Moriens did earn the title of Immortal as he still walks at the right hand of the Mountain King. Dead in body but not in spirit, Moriens legacy of greatness and heroism will live on into eternity. Many young children who have not yet learned of Moriens true wonderment do often look with innocent, upturned eyes and ask with voices filled with awe of the great man of which they've heard their playmates speak. Then do the parents sit down with their children and tell them the story of the greatest of all magic users: The first Necromancer.
Moriens greatness became obvious when he was still but a young boy. At the age of seven he slew a Troll that did threaten his father. Although the troll was terrible and large, and armed with a deadly club, Moriens stood unafraid. The blessed child Moriens stood, with a sharp stone in hand and hurled the stone with a very great force. The stone struck the troll in the eye and landed with such force that the troll did fall dead, and Moriens father was saved.
The great feats of Moriens did not end with his victory over the troll. When Moriens was just begining to grow into manhood, a strange man did come into his village. This stranger did speak well and claim to be a prophet. Many people did come to hear this man speak for he did offer salvation to those who would follow him. But Moriens, in his great wisdom did see the man for a charleton and rebuked him. When the others heard Moriens, they too saw that the man was a false prophet and did stone him to death. Such was the greatness of Moriens.
But the greatest story of Moriens' greatness is the the story of the pact which Moriens made with the Mountain King. Great is the power of the Earth Titan and terribly did He shake the ground. For, unbeknownst to mortal men, the Mountain King did have a great hunger for human flesh. Therefore, Lithos would tear open the land and in would spill his victims. Moriens knew of Lithos' longing, for Moriens was wiser than any other. Without fear, Moriens did tread beneath the ground, to find the Mountain King.
In the City of the Dead, Moriens did confront the great and mighty Mountain King. Lithos shook the ground yet still was Moriens unafraid. When Lithos asked why Moriens should come before a Titan, Moriens told Lithos that he knew of the Titan's hunger. Therefore did Moriens offer a bargain with the Mountain King. Should Lithos spare the people above the ground and let them live to old age, Moriens himself would insure that upon death, all of the remains would be offered unto Lithos. If this bargain should be kept, promised Moriens, the almighty Titan would have his fill and the people above the ground could then live unafraid.
Lithos, being most impressed with this fearless mortal which stood before him, did agree that such a bargain would be a good thing. Then did Moriens promise that he personally would inter all of the dead, giving over their bodies to Lithos. So impressed by Moriens courage and self sacrifice was Lithos that He did give His Necromancer His greatest prize, The Heart of the Earth. This treasure, which is the largest diamond shaped object in the world, is made of a pure and lovely black rock. So rare is this black rock that there are only five pieces of it in the entire world. And so proud was Moriens of his treasure that he did vow to never give it up, but to carry the Heart of Earth into the City of the Dead and hold it for Eternity.
Countless are the stories of Moriens greatness and power, truly too many for this tome to contain. But to tell any more of Moriens glory would be immodest and unworthy of such a noble man. This then ends this incomplete life story of Moriens: Necromancer, Prophet, Hero. So written by my hand in the Great Tomb, completed at the time of Bloodwatch, Moriens, Necromancer.
Welcome reader and learn the age old art of practical jokes. I, Trixter have studied long and hard from the tomes of the ancient masters to achieve the knowledge and wisdom that I may now impart on you, the novice.
EAR OF ARRICORN: VOL. III
The lone stranger slowly rode into the desolate village on the back of his mammoth, white hordax. As he dismounted his beast, he threw the leathery reins over the closest tie rod, then slowly strode to the double doors of the tavern.Though the tavern roared with the laughter of drunken herdsmen, the jovial spirit quickly flattened like fresh manure thrown against a wall. Everyone turned as the caped stranger entered the smoke filled hovel. The darkly robed individual motioned with two fingers for the stiffest grog. The tavern master quickly obeyed, pouring the thick brew with shaky hands.The women folk left, claiming they needed to visit the house of fecal waste.
'ShadowLander!' called a nasal tinged voice from the rear of the room, 'Your type are not welcomed in this acre of the world.' Shortly, a path cleared between the ShadowLander and the owner of the high pitched voice. The voice belonged a squat little Nobbit. He sat with a crooked smile on his smiling face while his hand played with the handle of his jeweled dagger-like sword. On his throat, just above his massive goiter, he openly wore a staff shaped tattoo. Only true herdsmen wore these. A hush fell over the tavern. No one dared to draw breath.
EAR OF ARRICORN: Vol. IV
The lone stranger turned towards the herdsman, still quaffing his grog. A bloodshot eye stared out from under his dark mask. A nervous twitch pulled at the muscle of his leathery cheek. 'Ha!' laughed the herdsman as he waddled up to the bar, 'I do not believe the tall tales told of the ShadowLanders'. I believe them to be lies! I think they have less than half the warrior's blood that flows through my little toe!' The Nobbit snorted at his own remark, but looked disappointed when the others did not laugh with him. He turned back and stared at the stranger straight in the knee. 'For those who do not believe this, I will prove it by shedding some yellow DarkLander blood!'
Quickly, he drew his great dagger-like sword. Before the Nobbit could strike, the stranger grabbed the herdsman by the tattoo, and easily lifted him into the air. As the Nobbit began to open his mouth to cry out, the DarkLander shoved his massive fist down the herdsman's gullet. The stranger took a quick pull, and turned the Nobbit in-side-out. He dropped the bloody mess on the bar. Upon seeing this, some one gave the ancient herdsman warning cry; 'Let us move the flock out of here!' The tavern was instantly cleared.
EAR OF ARRICORN: VOL. VI
The lone stranger dismounted from his mammoth hordax, shaking the heavy drops from his cloak. The cave he had entered was small, its capacity barely providing shelter for his beast from the deluge that poured from the angry sky outside. He ventured deeper into the cavern to find room enough to remove his rain soaked garments. Stepping through a stony portal, he found himself suddenly bathed in the warm glow of a tallow fed lantern. Upon his entry into the cave seven pairs of shocked eyes turned in his direction.
'Argh! A thief is here to take our gems!' cried one of the little men as he thrust his shovel in the stranger's direction. 'You try it, and I'll cut your eyes out and feed them to the snails!' 'Hold your blade, you grumpy old fool!' called one of the others, 'this nice man might be here to help us.' 'Nice man?' retorted the other, 'If you were not such a dopey twit you would recognize him as a ShadowLander. He helps no one but himself.' 'What shall we do, Doc?' call one of the others, too bashful to show his face in the light. The small man who appeared to be in charge stepped forward to size up the stranger. 'Well, judging from all that trouble we had with that female a while back, I'd say we could save ourselves a pack of trouble and just put a pick up side his head right now!'
Suddenly, six shadowy figures leapt forwards. In a flash, the lone stranger's dark blade appeared in his hands. Quietly, it whistled through calm air, practicing its deadly craft. In the blink of an eye, six small heads fell cleft from six small frames. The last midget, the one slowest in wit, made a tasty morsel for the stranger's hordax...
THE BIG BOOK OF ADVENTURE
Recorded on these pages are tips I have found while on my adventures. Read well, fellow quester, for your life may well be saved by recalling these in your time of need.
Puzzles: You will be in luck if such puzzles are played with levers. These are usually not harmful, and require little time, if you watch your surroundings for clues. Center levers usually reset the puzzle. Traps: If there is a chest sitting innocently in the open, touch it not! Especially if it has many corpses around it! These are the other dolts who fell for it.
Chests of Loot: Rarely do chests have anything in them. Open them at your risk. It will serve you well to carry a magic scroll to check for traps within these!
Tricks of the Trixter: Judge them by their cover, for they read differently than other books...
Mazes: Always mark your path! Use rocks or wood. Never bread crumbs! Beware of treasure! It is there to lead you from the path!
Spell Chits: Always read the text on the outside of these scrolls to identify them. Once you have opened them, their magic will immediately be released upon reading.
BROGDAN'S HELPFUL GUIDE TO MUSHROOMS
Though many forms of vegetation disappeared after our sun ceased its cycling and our world entered into a state of eternal twilight, many plants, especially mushrooms, have adjusted to the lower levels of sunlight. Mushrooms have prospered and have become the dominant form of vegetation on our landscape. These range from the man-sized Monster Brown Cap all the way down to the finger-sized yellow and red Silent Sleeper. Most mushrooms are edible. Mushrooms like the fist-sized Blue Bulgie and the Green Capper are delicious with any meal, though sometimes they may be confused by the less experienced for the blue and green form of Daemon's Paw which can cause rashes, blisters, and general bladder distress.
A helpful mushroom known for its healing properties is the yellow and green Adventure's Friend, found in the wild. When consumed these mushroom tend to restore health, as well as give the consumer a general feeling of euphoria. Known to keep monsters at bay is the Stench Mushroom. Applying small quantities of this mushroom to your skin in guaranteed to ward away most creatures, except for those who are undead, who seem quite attracted to its pungent odor. The only way the smell of the mushroom can be removed once it is applied is by bathing in juice of the ammatto plant.
A mushroom that you should generally stay away from is the Fire Mushroom. This little mushroom is usually high in sulfous ash and tends to explodes when stepped on. Since never has there been found a mushroom that is instantly lethal it is safe to say that you may experiment with any of the ones you find in the wild. Remember, the mushroom is our friend.
STORIES TO MAKE CHILDREN SLEEP
by Brother Grim
Jelly was a lad who was so hard to please,
nothing would he eat, except for plates full of cheese!
His obsession was strange and no one knew why.
He swore cheese was his meal till the day that he died.
His father, a strong man who was hearty and pink,
was at his wits end, and driven to drink.
He would stay at the tavern, and tell of his woe,
on cheap tankards of grog his money he'd blow.
'My son, a good lad, though a little bit chunky,
has turned into a ravenous limburger junky!'
'All my land and my house and the coins in my purse,
I will give to the man who can remove this foul curse!'
The old man's plea went out and was told near and far,
it was whispered by gossips, and made light of in the bar.
But one day into town strolled a strange little fellow,
his robes were all tattered, and his skin a sickly yellow.
'I can cure your boy!' he told the ripe drunken sod,
'I will make him good as new, this lad you call Todd.'
The father cried, 'His names not Todd! It's Jelly, you snot!
But go on and give it a try... Give it your best shot.'
But before he started, the mage asked for first,
for a small taste of grog, to quell a quick thirst.
After slamming four tankards he got back to work,
though his eyes did spin, and his hands did jerk.
With the boy before him, the mage reared back,
while clutching his reagents in a small toad sack.
He sent out flames of red, green and blue
that engulfed the boy, hiding him from all's view.
When the flames died away, as well as the stench,
To the father's red eyes, his boy-Was a wench!
'Oh no!' he cried, and he cursed this new fate,
'My hard working boy now looks like dungeon bait!'
'How could you do this, you dottering old fool!
Did you sleep every day while in wizardry school?'
With the excitement now over, the father settled down,
upon the nearest table, his head he did pound.
Suddenly, a dark robed figure entered into the grog joint,
and at the old mage a withered finger he did point.
Then with a flash of yellow, the mage disappeared,
Everyone dove for cover, for spellcasters they now feared.
With an incantation shouted by the figure in black
the young boy named Jelly quickly transmuted back.
As he left the place everyone heard the words of the monk,
'Never let a bad spell caster cast spells, especially drunk!'
To this very day the young boy they call Jelly,
continues to stuff away cheese in his portly pot belly.
But his father is content, and he will always smile,
'This beats worrying about a daughter by a country mile.'
'Tis not that I don't want a girl,' claims the tired old father,
'But when a boy is young, he is less of a bother.'
'A young boy you must check up on every time and again,
'But! With a young girl, you must watch all the young men...
ADVENTURE QUARTERLY VOL. IX
Dear Adventurer! Within these pages lies your path to unimaginable wealth and power. All you must do to gain such is to read and learn of the strange and exotic places that hold the keys to your wildest dreams. Enter into a realm where money, power, and pleasure await you. All you must have to gain them is the courage and the heart for adventure!
The Forgotten Riches of Knarl
Some say it is an island, while others swear that it deep within the earth. All agree though that the way to Knarl lies somewhere within the lower catacombs, though the way was lost due to a great earthquake. Many generations ago, back before the sun circled over head, there was a passage that led to this place. Traders flocked to and fro, for this was a place of great wealth. It is said the great weapon forges of Knarl created many of the magical weapons that we have today, explaining why we have very few in these times.
Other riches lie in the forms of spells. Knarl was known to have had a great library in which many of the great spellcasters of the day went to study and record their findings. Some say that the magethief Vermin and the enchanter Varkus studied there in their youth. Some say it was not an earthquake what shut the passage from our world to Knarl, but that it was sealed by magic! There is rumor that a sect was forming at the library, a sect of monks known as the Dark Brothers. It is said that these monks wished to keep the secrets and the treasures of Knarl to themselves.
Though this is only a rumor, many of the old books and the tales handed down from father to son mention 'the Brother's Below.' Is this a reference to the Dark Brothers?It is said that the way to this magical place lies deep within the heart of the Catacombs. Only there will you find the way to both riches, glory, and power. For he who is of sound heart and of steady sword will be the one to find the passage to Knarl.
ADVENTURE QUARTERLY VOL. XII
Dear Adventurer! Within these pages lies your path to imaginable wealth and power. All you must do to gain such is to read and learn of the strange and exotic places that hold the keys to your wildest dreams. Enter into a realm where money, power, and pleasure await you. All you must have to gain them is the courage and the heart for adventure!
The Ship of Doom
Many tales have been handed down from generation to generation about a mighty ship that sailed from the port of Tenebrae. It is said that this ship was so big that it actually dwarfed the palace of the Tempest and needed a crew of hundreds! Many years ago, a bitter winter buried the city up to its roof tops in ice, threatening to destroy all the food supplies, and to freeze to death all the town's inhabitants. Since no one could explain the reason for the foul winter, it was decided that a great ship be sent to find and appease whatever was causing this disaster. The ship was to sail to a distant shore, carrying the wealth of all the citizens in hopes of rescuing the city and its inhabitants.
This ship it is said departed laden with the wealth of the city just before the water around the port of Tenebrae froze solid. Because the sea was freezing in its wake, no ships could be sent to follow. It sailed away into a dark and forbidding twilight. The ship never did return, and most think that it went to the bottom of the sea. But some say that it found a distant shore and completed its mission, pointing to the fact that the winter storms faded away days after the ship's departure, never to return either.
Some old timers say that the ship still sails upon the sea, frozen in a huge block of ice, its riches and crew a silent offering to whatever sent the wintry storms.Though most will tell you this is a myth, some of the older ones will swear that the story of the ship is true. To whoever is of sound heart and steady of sword, the riches, and the dangers, await you in the hull of a frozen ship. A ship that has sailed off into, the zone of twilight.
Bloodwatch: Nothing to report.
Firstebb: Nothing to report.
DayTide: Nothing to report.
Threemoons: Nothing to report.
Lastebb: More of the same.
Eventide: Take a guess...
Bloodwatch: Nothing to report.
Firstebb: Flogged some peasants.
DayTide: Broke up a fight. Probably broke the sod's nose.
Threemoons: Nothing to report.
Lastebb: Helped peasant remember where he hid his taxes. Heh, heh...
Eventide: Guard changed.
Bloodwatch: Ate doughnuts. Stale.
Firstebb: Helped peasants pay taxes.
DayTide: Guard Changed.
Threemoons: Arrested somebody. Forget what for...
Lastebb: Ate doughnuts. Still Stale.
Eventide: Nothing to report.
Bloodwatch: Guard changed.
Firstebb: Helped take children on tour of the dungeon.
DayTide: Ate doughnuts. Stale.
Threemoons: Arrested peasant. Resisted arrest. Had to use force.
Lastebb: Nothing to report.
Eventide: Caught kids throwing rocks. None of them damaged too terrible...
SONG OF FRED
There once was a story 'bout a demon named Fred...
Poor demonic force barely kept his minions fed...
Then one day while killin Pagan fools...
Up from the depths came some grumbling ghouls...
Growling that is, smellin bad, lookin mean...
THE CHEESY BOOK
One day a man named Jely came across a piece of cheese. At first, he knew not what to make of this piece of aged milk. So he pondered over it for some time. He then gave it a sniff. Mmmm, delightful it was. The scent was quite pleasing, somewhat like a strained fart. But a dark thought grew in the back of Jely's head. 'What whould it taste like.' he thought. Never is anything as bad tasting as it smells. 'CHOMP! Mmmmm' It tasted very good. Then Jely noticed the heat began to rise. 'Whew! Damn hot today.' Jely began to sweat. The moral of the story... Eat Cheese and Perspire!
HISTORY OF PAGAN
Long ago, before the time in which the Titans came to the world, there were people who were vile and unclean. These people called themselves Zealans and they worshipped their own emotions and therefore tried to make themselves as gods. Then came a man named Kalen who saw that such behaviour was false and an affront to nature. Kalen preached to the people that they should not set themselves above the natural forces who are eternal and more powerful than man.
In time, people began to see the wisdom in Kalen's words and followed his teachings. These people called themselves Pagans and they turned aside from the worship of emotions. In time, those who followed the old worship of emotions, those who were called Zealans began to hate the Pagans. For the Pagans, the practitioners of the one true church had begun to grow strong in their numbers. The Zealans feared that the Pagans would overwhelm them. Then did the Zealans persecute the Pagans.
Though persecuted, the Pagans continued to spread the word of the power of the natural forces, and the divinity therein. Because of the danger of being killed or enslaved by Zealans, the Pagans were driven out of the cities and into the wilderness. Kalen then took his followers up to the peak of the great mountain, Morgaelin. There they built a great altar where they could worship the forces of nature in peace. The construction of the altar took a very long time, for it was built from a sacred black stone that is very rare.
Not long after the altar was built, the Zealans attacked the Pagans so that the true religion would be driven out of the world. However, the natural divinities saw that that their children were being assailed and were saddened. In the ensuing battle, the Zealan soldiers drove the Pagans before them and seemed to the peaceful to be unstoppable. But in one great act of blasphemy, the Zealans destroyed the Holy Altar which the Pagans had built. In one great blast of foul magic, the altar was shattered. Its many pieces were scattered about the mountain top.
Seeing such blasphemy, the natural divinities came down from the heavens and destroyed the Zealan army. After the battle, the natural divinities saw that what had once been a place of holy worship had now been defiled by Zealan hatred. Therefore, the natural divinities destroyed the top of the mountain, and exposed a seething volcano. When the natural divinities saw that Kalen had been killed and that the Pagans had no leader, they decided to liven up the world. The divinities then manifested themselves as the Titans of the elements and poured out their wrath upon the Zealans. When the Pagans lost their way and did not give proper thanks and worship to the Titans, they too received the Titans' wrath.
THE HISTORY OF NECROMANCY
So that none may forget the origins of the Necromantic order I, Galious do now put pen to paper, and hereby record the acts of Moriens the Necromancer. Before the time of the Necromancers, the Titans wreaked havoc upon the world as was their want. The people suffered and many were killed at the hands of the immortal Titans. The most terrible and powerful of all of the Titans was Lithos, the Titan of Earth, called The Mountain King. Lithos shook the world and destroyed all that man built. He ripped open the ground and into His maw the people did tumble and satisfy The Mountain King's hunger. The people lived in darkness and were afraid of the Titans. Therefore, none dared to confront Them.
Then one day, a very brave and wise man named Moriens came forth. 'Why does the Mountain King kill our people?' asked Moriens. No one could answer Moriens' question, so Moriens sought out the Mountain King to find out why He did loose His wrath upon the land. Long did Moriens seek the mighty Titan and did finally meet the Lord of Earth in the Hall of the Mountain King. There, in the Mountain King's hall did Lithos, the Lord of the Netherworld, tell Moriens of the people's failure to properly worship the greatest of all Titans. Then did Lithos command Moriens to return to his surface world and from that day on, Moriens was to offer up the dead to Lithos, so that the Mountain King might be served as befits a mighty Titan.
Moriens returned to his surface world and carried Lithos' message to the people. Since that day, the people of the world may choose to worship which ever Titan they so desire while they live upon the surface of the world. Yet when they enter the grave, all become Lithos' subject for the rest of eternity. The people accepted Lithos' command, and the Earth Titan did cease to ravage the land and the people who did live upon His back. The Mountain King did make Moriens His Necromancer and thus did teach Moriens the magic and the power of the Necromancer.
Long did the wise and brave Moriens serve Lithos. But, as is the way for all mortals, Moriens did grow old and sick. Knowing that he too must enter into the grave and join his lord in the Netherworld, Moriens consulted Lithos on who should follow him as the Necromancer. The Lord of Earth did instruct His servant to find a suitable and worthy person to follow in Moriens' path and to become Moriens' successor when Moriens did die. Thereby did Galious of Tenebrae become the first Scion in the Necromantic line.
Before Moriens' death, the Mountain King chose to reward Moriens for his service. Lithos taught the Necromancer the Ceremony of Eternity, by which, the Necromancer would be allowed passage into Hall of Eternity, and sit at the right hand of the Titan and counsel his eternal Lord. Then, Moriens did return to the surface for the last time. He did teach me the Ceremony of Eterity and I, in turn did send him to the Mountain King.
This is so done and written by my hand upon my day of confirmation by Lithos, Lord of the Netherworld, the Mountain King, mightiest of all Titans. -Galious of Tenebrae, Necromancer.
ON SORCEROUS WAYS...
Corodin of Argentrock
Foreword: Sorcery is the magic of Fire. Destruction is the Sorcerer's bailiwick. Being first and foremost an Adept Theurgist of the Order of Enlightenment, I find it hard to reconcile this power with my training as a healer. However, were it not for the Cabal's efforts, our island would have long since perished beneath the ash and lava pouring from the volcano. Some of my Acolytes feel that having this power gives us an elevated status. I cannot agree. Our power gives us the ability to fulfill a duty to our people. No more, no less.
The Pentacle: This is the first instrument we of the Cabal found to use in dealing with the Lord of Flame. It can contain and bind him if properly prepared and administered. Fire flows first through the medium of the pentacle, before being shaped by the Sorcerer. The lines of the pentacle serve different purposes in the web of an enchantment. The outer ring, called the periferon, is a barrier, or ward if you will, that allows a Sorcerer to conjure with safety. The lines of the interior are divided into two groups: the conducia that touch points on the periferon, and the inner pentagon, called the locus. The points where the conducia touch periferon each have a designation that relates to their distance from the volcano. The farthest point is called the aphelion, the middle two are mesostelae. Mesostel pa sits to the right of the aphelion, while mesostel ze is to the left. The final points, closest to the volcano are appropriately named perivolcanae. Perivolcan pa is on the right and perivolcan ze is on the left.
The Candle: The basis for the use of candles in Sorcery is merely to aid in focusing the Sorcerer's will upon the proper enchantment. A black candle incorporates ash with wax to temper the will with order, while red candles, use blood and wax to free the Sorcerer's imagination.
The Reagent: The relevance that reagents have to a spell are two-fold. They provide additional energies for the Sorcerer's use as well as assisting in the formation of the proper spell. Their portions and proximity to each of the candles around the periferon are extremely important and not to be tampered with. Experimentation is only to be attempted in the presence of a full complement of assisting Acoytes.
The Focus: A focus in Theurgy is a purified icon of the spell that the Theurgist concentrates upon to release his inner power. Not so in Sorcery. A focus is merely a receptacle of power. Great amounts of energy are spent to attune a spell to a focus and empower it, but once it is infused, only a minor exertion of willpower unleashes the charge of the spell. Depending upon the size, makeup, and configuration of the focus, as well as the energy of the caster, a number of these charges will be available upon a successful binding.
THE ART OF FLAME
by Maedron, First Acolyte of the Cabal
Fire is the crucible of Life. Before it, all impurities are burned away. All that remains is a pure, unclouded will. A Sorcerer should revel in this and know that power is his servant. The will of the Sorcerer is the crucible of the reagents. But I speak herein not of the reagents, but instead, of the foci of Sorcery.
The first focus we Sorcerers created was made by casting a metal disk with shavings of a black, rock-like substance. This substance was found to be throughout the island, and in fact, all of our foci use this substance, to a greater or lesser degree. The disk was then engraved with the pentagram, symbol of Fire. This dedicates it to our purposes. No Sorcerer should be without his symbol, as it is the outward token of our superiority. A note about the Sorcerer's pentagram symbol: It may cast several of the Ignite or Extinguish cantrips. Any other power, it may cast but once.
The symbol, while versatile, lacked power. So we crafted a wand. It was only stable with less of the blackrock, but a gem from the core of the volcano gave it the power necessary. These Fire gems focused the will of the Sorcerer's own inner Fire. Casting capacity of the Sorcerer's wand: It has the power to focus the Ignite and Extinguish spells in quantity, as well as the Flash and Flame Bolt spells to a slightly lesser degree.
In attempt to further increase the prowess of our spells, we created a rod, suffused with blackrock, with a Fire gem at either end, as well as the center. This focus allowed the casting of spells of defensive nature, in addition to those of the wand. Casting capacity of the Sorcerer's rod: This focus can cast the wand spells in greater measure, and is empowered to cast the Endure Heat, Fire Shield, and Armor of Flames spells.
Master Corodin, continued upon the work of the others by making another focus in a similar vein. It is formed mostly of solid blackrock, fused into the shape of a staff by the power of Pyros. At either end, it holds a Fire gem, capped within blackrock metal. Casting capacity of the Master's Staff: Unknown, but it can cast create Fire and cause explosions as well.
I myself, becoming consumed with the idea that a more efficient, more powerful focus was possible, crafted the most powerful focus of all. Using the bones of Pyros' daemonic servants, I made a fine powder. Then, mixing this powder with clay and the blood said deamon, I fashioned a small replica of its skull. With Fire gems as its eyes, and baked in the heat of lava, it hardened to the strength of good masonry. With this talisman, I was able to summon daemons to do my bidding, and banish them with mere words. The wielder of this focus should truly be considered the Master of the Enclave.
THE TONGUE OF FLAME
This object, named by Corodin, the first Master Sorcerer, has been handed down from Master to Master since the Binding of Pyros. It is the key to the power of the Sorcerers. If you are reading this book then most likely you are now the Master Sorcerer, having either outlived or killed the Master. As such, I admonish you to keep both this book and the Tongue always in a safe place, away from prying eyes. The Tongue was used in the Binding to house a portion of Pyros' being. This allows all Sorcerers to call upon His powers in the ways that we have defined as spells. The rituals involved are used to provide protection for the Sorcerer creating the enchantment.
Another power that the Tongue imparts to the one who wields it is the ability to amplify the power of spells and spell foci. Perhaps it's most important purpose is it's capability to summon forth and banish Pyros Himself. This is a truly dangerous excercise and requires four Acolytes, but the rewards can be great. His knowledge is often useful, and His power is seemingly limitless, as is His temper. Should He become free in this Ritual of Fire, as is quite possible, know that you have most likely doomed Morgaelin to a flaming death. A final warning, should the Tongue of Flame ever enter the Great Pentacle, the fate of all Pagans will be sealed. The Lord of Flame shall be rejoined with the power in the Tongue and as a result, He will be forever unbound.
Written by: Tordaem, Master of the Cabal
SPELLBOOKS OF SORCERY
By use of this spell, the caster attempts to douse a Fire. When focused upon the Sorcerer himself all fires within a certain range will be quenched, otherwise it will douse the fire upon which it is specifically focused.
Runes: - An Flam
Red Candles: - All black
Reagents: - Pumice at both Perivolcanae and the Aphelion
This invocation brings fire into existence upon a substance that will accept it. It can be used to light a single candle, or if the Sorcerer focuses the energy upon himself, it can light all within a range determined by the power of the Sorcerer.
Runes: - In Flam
Red Candles: - Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at the Aphelion - Pumice at both Perivolcanae
This spell creates a shimmering field around the Sorcerer that will allow him to touch any non-magical flame and remain unhurt. A Sorcerer with this spell active can even endure the heat of lava if it is solid enough to support his weight.
Runes: - Sanct Flam
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae
Reagents: - Obsidian at both Perivolcanae - Iron at the Aphelion
By means of this spell, the Sorcerer can move from one visible place to another without actually traversing the intervening space.
Runes: - Flam Por
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae and the Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at both Mesostelae - Pumice at the Aphelion
A bolt of flame is released when the Sorcerer invokes this spell, shooting forth, unerringly to the object of the Sorcerer's ire. Upon reaching its destination, it explodes, causing moderate damage to all things caught within its range.
Runes: - In Ort Flam
Red Candles: - Perivolcan Ze, Mesostel Pa, and the Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Pa - Pumice at Perivolcan Ze - Iron at Mesostel Ze
Flames circle the Sorcerer at the casting of this spell. Only creatures of Daemonic origin can cross this barrier. Not even the Sorcerer can cross this protective ward. Anyone foolish enough will be thrown back and burned in the bargain.
Runes: - In Flam An Por
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae and Mesostel Pa
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Pa - Obsidian at both Perivolcanae - Iron at the Aphelion
Fire erupts at the location or beneath the victim of the Sorcerers focused will. This fire remains for a time, then dissipates.
Runes: - In Flam Ylem
Red Candles: - Both Mesostelae
Reagents: - Ash at both Mesostelae - Pumice at Perivolcan Ze - Obsidian at Perivolcan Pa
Armor of Flames
The Sorcerer is bathed in a corona of flames that ward off Fire of a magical nature. These flames will protect the Sorcerer for a time, then vanish.
Runes: - Vas Sanct Flam
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae and Mesostel Ze
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Pa - Obsidian at both Perivolcanae - Iron at the Aphelion - Brimstone at Mesostel Ze
A bolt of flame is released when the Sorcerer invokes this spell, shooting forth, unerringly to the object of the Sorcerer's ire. Upon reaching its destination, it explodes, causing heavy damage to all things caught within its range.
Runes: - Vas Ort Flam
Red Candles: - Perivolcan Pa, Mesostel Ze, and the Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Ze - Pumice at Perivolcan Pa - Iron at Mesostel Pa - Brimstone at the Aphelion
This dangerous ritual of binding will summon a daemon to attack a foe of the Sorcerer's choosing. The danger of this spell lies in the fact that if no victim is specified, the daemon will attack the summoner.
Runes: - Kal Flam Corp Xen
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae, Mesostel Pa, and the Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Ze - Pumice at Mesostel Pa - Obsidian at both Perivolcanae - Daemon Bone at the Aphelion
This spell attempts to force a Daemon to return to the plane of Fire from which it was summoned. Although not always successful, this is a Sorcerer's best defense against these beasts.
Runes: - An Flam Corp Xen
Red Candles: - Both Perivolcanae, Mesostel Ze, and the Aphelion
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Pa - Pumice at Mesostel Ze - Iron at both Perivolcanae - Daemon Bone at the Aphelion
This summoning will temporarily bring into our realm a daemonic force of destructive nature. All foes, and indeed everything around, will feel its wrath while the Sorcerer will remain unharmed.
Runes: - Kal Vas Flam Corp Xen
Red Candles: - All red
Reagents: - Ash at Mesostel Ze - Pumice at Perivolcan Ze - Osidian at Perivolcan Pa - Iron at Mesostel Pa - Brimstone at the Aphelion - Daemon Bone at both Perivolcanae and the Aphelion
THE DESTRUCTION OF THE TEMPLE
by Nadayr of Tenebrae
The early days of the Great Temple were a dark time. The blood from the wars flowed freely as Pagan fought Zealan in the grand struggle of religious cleansing. Battles were planned and executed. Lives were lost all in the name of archaic beliefs. All the while, Pagans toiled daily to construct the Great Temple on the apex of Mount Morgaelin, as commanded by the benevolent being called the Guardian. The fear of the Destroyer was strong.
Years of sweat ultimately resulted the Temple's completion. There the Pagan leaders met to focus their energies into the worship of the Elementals. Tremendous magical forces were used to collect a strange black mineral and shape it into a large, dark obelisk. From inside the Temple, the followers channeled their thoughts through the obelisk to the four elements, giving them even greater power. Soon they had amassed enough energy to become the great Titans of Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.
The war continued, but now the Pagans had considerable assistance. Lithos moved the lands to trap the Zealans, while Hydros removed her waters from their reach. Pyros' fires raged and grew, fueled by the winds of Stratos. It was only a matter of attrition before the Zealans and their petty beliefs fell.Then came the Guardian's final words of warning: `Take your people and depart from the Temple. The Destroyer has come.'As the Pagans left the Temple, the red head of the Destroyer filled the darkened sky, its yellow orb-like eyes staring malevolently at the mountain top.
Then, out from those very eyes lightning shot out, striking the Temple. A few moments later and the great edifice was no more.The cry of shock was heard throughout the land. The Pagans pleaded for the aid of the Titans. They were not disappointed. The four Titans appeared to challenge the invader. The land was all but destroyed as rock, rain, wind, and fire hailed down from above. The battle was long and fierce.Finally, however, the Titans returned victorious. The land, though scarred from the terrible fight, was still theirs.There was nothing left of the Temple -- no ruins, no stones, no dust.
However, there are legends that claim the great obelisk was shattered into several fragments, spewn across the island when the mountain was hit by the Destroyer's bolts of lightning. The locations of the fragments are known only as rumors. Such stories indicate that each of the Titans possess one of the fragments, either as a source of power or to keep the other Titans in check (since the black stone seems to be an anathema to the Titans).
The first fragment, called the Heart of Earth, fell to Lithos, who keeps it in the fabled Pit of Death. Hydros set hers, the Tear of the Seas, on the floor of the ocean in a deep undersea city. The third fragment, the Breath of Air, is said to be on the island of Stratos' followers. A fourth fragment fell to the lands that became the cemetery, though many years later it was given to the first five Sorcerers and used to bind the Titan of Fire to their will.
There is considerable speculation about a fifth fragment. Apparently the tip of the great obelisk was seen hurling through the air almost entirely intact. However, no one ever saw the item land, so its location remains a mystery.Were all of the fragments to be gathered together and taken to an area near the location of the ancient Temple, it might be possible to recreate the effects of the obelisk. Of course, it to would still be necessary to fabricate a magical field of some sort to channel the energy from whatever source first gave the obelisk power.
SPELLBOOKS OF THAUMATURGY
Confusion Blast - In Quas Wis
With these words the caster releases a wave of etheric emanations that cause all opponents to forget not only the current combat in which they are involved, but also any hostile dispositions towards the caster. The necessary components are the spellbook and the following reagents: Eye of Newt, Bat Wing, Serpent Scale, Obsidian, and Brimstone.
Meteor Shower - Kal Des Flam Ylem
By intoning these words the caster calls down from the sky great flaming boulders, as if the material was spewn from the lip of a volcano. The necessary components are the spellbook and the following reagents: Ash, Dirt, Serpent Scale, Brimstone, and Blackmoor.
Summon Creature - Kal Xen
Speaking these words of power calls a creature to arrive and defend the caster. What creature appears is determined not so much by the caster's wishes, but by the caster's power and the proximity of the summoned creature. The necessary components are the spellbook and the following reagents: Bat Wing, Pumice, Obsidian, Bone.
Call Destruction - Kal Vas Grav Por
From the utterance of these words comes the power to call down from the sky great bolts of lightning which cascade about the caster and strike down his or her foes. Note that the resultant fiery explosions will unerringly hit visible targets, but will not be able to affect invisible targets. The necessary components are the spellbook and the following reagents: Serpent Scale, Dragon Blood, Ash, Pig Iron, and Executioner's Hood.
Devastation - In Vas Ort Corp
Warning... This power contained within the words of this spell render it worthy of its name. The very nature of the energies released is designed to disrupt the very fabric of living existence on a plane, thus annihilating all life save that of the mage who casts this spell. To know this spell, obviously formulated by a violently deranged wizard bent on world domination, is a tremendous responsibility, for invoking the words is a constant temptation for any experimenter. Fortunately, no one who knows the spell has yet shirked that responsibility, as far as I can tell...
The necessary components are the spellbook, a hatred for all things living, and the following reagents: Bat Wing, Serpent Scale, Dragon Blood, Pig Iron, Executioner's Hood, Blackmoor, Brimstone.
Ethereal Travel - Ort Grav Por
Invoking this powerful ritual permits the caster to traverse the interdimensional realm known as the Ether. A mage's first few castings of this spell will prove awkward, for inexperienced mages will have difficulty determining their destination. With time, however, the mage will be able to dictate an arrival point and appear there. Note that this spell should not be confused with a spell of teleportation, for the former permits travel only between dimensions, while the latter permits travel only within a dimension.
The necessary components for this spell are hard to specify, for they seem to change depending on both the casting location and the destination. Usually the components include material native to one or both of the dimensions. In general, setting five pieces of the material -- no piece smaller than a man's head -- on the ground in the form of a pentacle and concentrating on one of the chunks, all while speaking the words of power, should permit the dimensional gate to transport the caster.Note: I suspect the material of the initial gate created in the ancient temple of the first Pagans would suffice while in this dimension, though the location of any of the fragments as well as the destination is a mystery to me. - Mythran
THE REAGENTS OF THAUMATURGY
Reading through the many tomes of Thaumaturgy, the perceptive student is likely to notice something unusual about a few of the reagents. While a novice to any school of magic will find the names of most reagents unrecognizable, the reagents of Thaumaturgy are confusing for a simple reason. A universal collection of words and rituals must also have a universal set of material reagents, components that cannot be limited to a single dimension.Thus, the unusual reagents.
The casual reader will focus on the obvious questions: What are these creatures? A Dragon? A Newt? How many wings does one of these bats have? However, the trained mage will know that such details are irrelevant. Since magic is simply the manifestation of the caster's will rewriting the present, it stands to reason that the methods for bringing this will to the surface are not limited by the caster's plane of existence, dispelling magic notwithstanding.
Therefore, as it is possible to cast spells through a variety of means, the physical representation of the components are not relevant, assuming they enable access to the necessary energies. In such an instance, the thorn of a rose may very well be a reasonable substitute for the scales of a serpent.
THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE ZEALAN DEITIES
by Yradan the Scholar
Throughout the ages our people have looked beyond themselves to find the answers to the many mysteries of life. Today we know that the Titans, masters of the four elements, control our destinies and direct the many forces that affect our lives. However, such was not always the case.
Our Zealan forebears know not of the power of the Titans. Instead they worshipped the common emotions. Not realizing that feelings are popular sensations experienced by all people, the Zealans elevated the three primary emotions -- love, hate, and apathy -- to the ranks of deities.The goddess of love they named Amoras, giving her the powers of nurturing happiness. To the one called Odion the Zealans attributed the emotions of hate and grief, giving him the role of warrior and protector. To stand between them, our ancestors assigned the role of arbiter and balance to Apathas, ruler of indifference.
Even older texts indicate that the Zealans initially believed in not three, but six such deities! In addition to the rulers of love, hate, and apathy, Felicitar controlled joy, Doloras ruled grief, and Timyra was the patron of fear. Though anthropomorphic in nature, some of them had animalistic features, such as Doloras and his torax head. Through time, however, the Zealans found it difficult and inconvenient to pay homage to so many gods and goddesses, so they elected to combine the aspects into three.
A confusing aspect of the Zealan gods serves to display the fickle nature of our ancestors' beliefs. The Zealans believed that, while the deities ruled the emotions, they were also subject to them. The more Zealans who experience a particular feeling, the stronger that deity's power grew. Conversly, discarded emotions, however temporary, meant a weakened deity, forcing some to enter near-catatonic states until they gained enough followers to re-emerge. Thus, an improbable cycle took place. As Odion planted the seed of hate within one of his subjects, and as that seed grew and took root in other warriors, Odion would become more powerful, spreading the hatred even further.
Though most Zealans believed they had contact with their gods through their thoughts and emotions, only the priests and a select few were allowed to speak directly to them. The Zealans constructed great mountain-side temples housing gaudy shrines to the three or six patrons. Several labyrinths were excavated and filled with deadly traps. Secret passages were made for the priests to enter, while the few Zealans who dared to seek an audience with the gods were forced to overcome the foils of the dungeons. Many died trying, few succeeded.
Once before the Zealan deities, the worshipper still had to present one of the ancient seals before gaining permission to speak. These seals were round shields of wrought metal, embossed into a triad of sections, one depicting a reddish scimitar, another showing an open palm displaying a heart, and the third revealing an image of balanced scales. Having passed through the test of the great shrines and offered the appropriate icon, a Zealan follower would then be allowed to pray for a boon from one or all of the gods. Regardless of whether the plea was heeded, considerable sacrifices of animals and valuables were required. Rarely did these acts lead to any benefit, though some stories claim that the legendary Khumash-Gor first conferred with his patrons before he was able to unify the warring tribes.
There is much to be learned from studying the mythology of the past. Although we know today that the powers of the Titans are -- unlike the deities of our forbears -- quite real, we can learn much about the violent and emotional personalities of our ancestors.
THE FINAL SUNLIGHT
by Nolandru the blind idiot of Tenebrae
The final moments of sunlight were glorious moments, ones we would have cherished had we known they were to be our last. The war against our very kindred seemed never ending, day after day of bloodshed. In their eyes burned the hatred of intolerance. And these flames kindled the fire of violence. After a while, it became easy to forget the faces of those you had slain -- a sister with one chop, an uncle with another. Yet still they came, outraged that we dared to listen to the voice of warning.
By the time the Destroyer came we were ready. Not for the Destroyer, but for an end to the fighting. Too many had not heeded, so we thought. Too many refused to acknowledge the might of the Titans. We were doomed to devastation, but with the doom came the sickening thought of peace and silence. In the end, we wondered, would Pagan and Zealan know one from the other as lifeless corpses filling the pyres, the result of the Destroyer's carnage.But then came the Titans.
First rose Lithos, the Mountain King. Then came Stratos, the Mystic Voice, and her sister Hydros, the Lurker. Finally, the blazing image of Pyros, Lord of Flame, appeared to challenge the Destroyer. On the ground, both Pagan and Zealan alike ceased battle, awed by the presence of the these Titanic Elements. The sky became a whirlwind of smoke and dust and hail as the Titans joined forces to and began to rise up.As the battle was fought above, the very lands upon which we stood were rended piece from piece. Mountains shifted, rose, and spewed fiery death. Wind ripped through buildings and torrents of water cascaded over the walls of the cities.
The very enemies who stood against each other, bared fangs and flashing eyes, were unable to face off, blinded by the smoke, tumbled by the quakes, scorched by the searing flames. There was naught but chaos.And when the fight ended and the Destroyer vanquished, there was naught but ruin. The quakes ceased, the wind slowed, the waters calmed, and the smoke cleared. Pagan again saw Pagan. Despite the recent tumult, the moment was one of serenity. But the sun was no more.There is no knowledge of where the light of the sky has gone. There is no true night, but there is no true day. And the Titans, demanding ever-increasing sacrifices in payment for their deed, offer no answers.
THE OBJECTIVE HISTORY OF PAGAN
Ages ago, in what is called First Epoch, there was considerably more land upon which mankind could walk. The Zealans, forebears to the Pagans, worshipped three who ruled the emotions. Amoras, beautiful and spirited, was the goddess of love and joy. Her counterpart was angry Odion, ruler of war, hate, and grief. Between them stood Apathas, he who controlled indifference, representing both the balance and absence of his two comrades.According to legend, these three gods and goddesses were responsible for bringing the emotions to light in their followers, though sometimes I think it was the people's emotions that resulted in the appearance of these Ancient Ones, as they are now called.
Though the Zealans were not known for valuing peace between their various tribes, one leader did step forward to unite them for some time. He was known as Khumash-Gor, and was considered a great warrior. He brought his people together by conquering most of the other tribes and then integrating them into his own. The unified community grew and prospered under his rule, until he was assassinated several decades into his reign.After the death of Khumash-Gor, the Zealans fell again into quarrelling tribes. However, not until the coming of the Titans was their culture ever truly threatened.
Many centuries after the fall of Khumash-Gor, a strange entity known only as The Guardian began to speak in the minds of several of the people. At first those who claimed to hear the unusual voice were ridiculed, but when the message began to foretell danger, others found a reason to listen.The words of warning from the mysterious Guardian came much as a shock to the Zealans and to the Ancient Ones. No one had ever heard of the champion of evil called the Destroyer, nor were they certain of his designs upon the world. However, the few people who learned of the Destroyer spread their message quickly. They constructed the Great Temple and the black obelisk, while the Ancient Ones commanded those who still obeyed to wage war against this new religion.
The followers of the new order became known as Pagans. As they were directed, they began to concentrate their worship, through the black obelisk, choosing the very elements of earth, water, air, and fire as the objects of this worship. Soon the elements began to form into actual beings of tremendous power. When the Destroyer finally appeared, the four beings, the four Titans as we call them today, rose up to fight it.During the terrible battle, the world was ravaged as the skies darkened overhead, the lands were torn apart by earthquakes and liquid fire, and the seas overcome by raging storms. The battle was long, but the Titans emerged victorious -- the Destroyer was no more. However, the world still lay in ruin.
The few people who remained gathered on this isle, which they named after the island's volcano, Morgaelin.It was a dismal time. The Titans began to fight among themselves for power. The wars between the few surviving Zealans and the Pagans continued. It was apparent that something had to be done, yet the question of what filled everyone's mind.After the defeat of the Destroyer, the people were faced with a great many problems. The wars between the Pagans and the Zealans were costing many lives, while the bickering Titans seemed almost worse than the Destroyer threat they had so mightily eliminated.
Foremost on the minds of the Pagans was how to handle the Titans -- no simple task, I assure you. Knowing they could not best the four, nor wanting to since they considered the Titans their saviors, the elders elected instead to bargain with the elementals. They built four areas and made them sacred to the Titans, one for each.A man named Moriens went to the Hall of the Mountain King, the sanctuary of Lithos. He spoke to Lithos and begged for the quakes to end. Lithos agreed, but demanded that he receive a boon in exchange. He bade that the people would be given to him upon their deaths to serve him eternally in his Pit of Death.
The idea of burial was first introduced as a means for the people to be conveyed to Lithos. Both sides accepted the pact, with Moriens granted the magical powers necessary to honor the Pagan half of the bargain. But as Moriens began to feel the effects of aging, another pact was formed, whereby Moriens could pass on his abilities to subsequent Necromancers -- the term given to the mages responsible for sending the dead to Lithos.
Much time passed before Hydros could be placated. The hero and Necromancer Kalen found love with his Apprentice. Yet the Lurker, displeased that, unlike her brother Titan, Lithos, she had not the worship of the people, chose to take from Kalen his beloved. The angry Kalen sought the assistance of his patron, who was quite willing to assist in vengeance. Lithos told of a substance called Blackrock which could be used to seal Hydros within her Temple, for Hydros could not use her waves to wear down the mineral.Using his Necromantic powers, Kalen reshaped the Blackrock around the Temple and trapped Hydros inside.
Preparing to use the substance to completely remove all traces of water around the Titan, Kalen was stopped by the Lurker's pleas. In exchange for her life, Hydros agreed to return the body of Kalen's betrothed and confer some of the powers of Tempestry, the magic of storms and water, upon Kalen and all of his descendants. In addition, offered the Titan, she would end the torrential rains. Trapped even still in the defiled Temple of Flowing Waters, Hydros remains appeased.
More years passed and a wise man named Stellos was contacted by Stratos, Titan of Air, in the form of a mystic voice. She gave him the power to heal the sick and wounded. Kalen learned of Stellos' abilities and visited the elderly man. He brought with him the hopes of returning life to his beloved. Stellos spoke with Stratos and was told that much time had passed since the spirit was with the body. Only a great cost could she be resurrected. A giving man, Stellos agreed to pay the unknown fee.
He sent his spirit deep into the realm of Air and saw many unusual things. Finally, as the wizened man came upon a great brilliance, his body's mouth opened on the ground below breathed life into Kalen's beloved. He returned to his material form only to learn that he had forever lost his vision. So thankful was Kalen that he called upon the ground to form the foundation for a building, which Stellos opened as a place of study for those who wished to learn the tenets of Air.In addition, Stratos granted one further boon to the kind and gentle Stellos -- that of immortality! To this day, Stellos aids and teaches the magic of Theurgy upon the formation at Argentrock Isle.
Centuries after the great miracle of Stellos, five Theurgists sought to quell the raging fires of Pyros, Titan of Fire. They took their knowledge of history -- never forget the value of studying the past, my friend -- and speculated that Blackrock might be used against Pyros as well as Hydros. They set about gathering as much of the dark material that they could, as well as collecting knowledge about the magics necessary to shape it. Drawing a pentagram upon the ground, the five began to call upon the Lord of Flame as ready to offer a sacrifice.
When Pyros appeared, however, they instead used a large chunk of Blackrock to bind him within. Trapped within the fragment, Pyros was unable to hurl fire from the great volcano, and to this day must perform the minor requests of those who possess the Blackrock. I am saddened to say that the Sorcerers, as they are now called, are misunderstood and feared -- nay, loathed -- by most Pagans. Considering the dangerous tasks performed by their predecessors, it is a pity that such people would be hated so. Ah, the effects of ignorance...
RAISING YOUR CHILDREN CORRECTLY
It is important to keep in mind Stratos' teachings while raising your child. When you are angry at some small transgression your child has committed, remember that Stratos says there are no bad children, merely high-spirited or rebellious ones. Sooner or later all children will return to their home. And they should always be welcomed back, for all children are, indeed, precious. As there are no bad children, then it follows that a child who performs an act with which you disagree should be taught the wrong of the action, rather than receive punishment. As Stratos says, spare the rod and speak with the child. An unhappy child, however, requires different care, for what are words when sadness fills the heart. Take time to offer comfort and soothing immediatly, for a sad child makes a sad world.
FINDING THE WISDOM OF STRATOS
The wisdom of Stratos is not difficult to find. It will come to any who follow the ways of the Great Air Titan. You need only find a quiet place to relax and open your mind. I have found that a breezy evening on my porch is the perfect place for me to seek respite from the day. Once there, I merely close my eyes and breath deeply of the sweet air, the gift of Stratos, and allow the glory of Stratos to soothe my weary mind. I seek Stratos in this way for several reasons. Stratos is a quiet Titan. She cares not for gain and glory for herself, rather, she cares only for what is good for her children. She abhors production and pomp. While the other Titans may encourage their children to stand out from the crowds and boast loudly of their accomplishments, Stratos prefers her children do her bidding in a quiet, unassuming manner.
PARABLES FROM THE TEACHINGS OF STRATOS, VOL. I
The way of Stratos is the way of truth. There are none that can deny this. Above all, the follower of Stratos loves the way of truth and will seek it above all else in companions. Beware the way of lies and falsehoods. It's path is broad and its lure is sweet. The way of truth is the harder road, its brambles will tear at your heart. You may feel you are ready for this hardship, but it will strike you close to your heart.
Once a follower of Stratos was called before the town magistrate to give testimony against a thief who had stolen bread. When the thief entered the room and was unmasked, the Acolyte was horrified to find it was her brother. She felt she had to lie and claim no knowledge of the theft, for to tell the truth would cost her brother his right hand. Her false words bought her brother his freedom, yet the child of Stratos still felt a heavy heart. Not more than three days later her brother was slain while trying to steal more food. Had she only reached to Stratos for guidance and found the strength to speak the truth before the magistrate, her brother would have lost only his hand, not his life. Truth is the only way of Stratos.
PARABLES FROM THE TEACHINGS OF STRATOS, VOL. II
The way of Stratos is never easy, for the trait Stratos requires most above all in her followers is honesty. A great battle was raging and the king was gravely wounded. A follower of Stratos was called to administer healing. On the way to the king's tent the Acolyte saw the battle was going quite badly for the king's men. When the Acolyte arrived at the king's side, the king was already breathing his last. There was little the Acolyte could do. In a whisper the king asked how his troops fared. With little hesitation the Acolyte told him it was going badly. The king gripped the Acolyte's arm and thanked him for speaking honestly, for though lies would have given him strength for the moment, the truth made him stronger for a lifetime. Thus we see that the way of truth may not be the easiest, but it is the best.
A LETTER TO NEW ACOLYTES
Dear New Acolyte: It is with great gladness I welcome you to the family of Stratos. She has welcomed you home and has given you the greatest power of all, the power to heal. This gift is not without price, however, and it is important that you learn the responsibilites that come with the power. The first lesson you must learn is the lesson of impartiality. The gift of healing is given to all who need it, without favoritism, malice, or greed. Should you come across a battle field, your first duty is to the injured. If you hesitate even one moment, even to see the outcome of the battle or determine which side is 'correct', then you are failing in your calling as an Acolyte of Stratos.
While there is great joy in the gift of healing, there can also be great cost. For to bring a life back from the edge of the Pit of Death will cost you more than your energy, or a spell of healing. Stratos will give you the power to restore life, but you, in turn, must give her your sight. This is the greatest cost, but I think it is a fair one, for what value does a single sense hold when compared to whole of the body and spirit. All these things you must keep close to you heart, for you are about to embark upon one of the most fulfilling callings known, an Acolyte of Stratos. - Stellos
THE WARRIOR AND THE ACOLYTE
Good reader, I wish to tell you a story I heard about a warrior named Yevaud. He was a mighty fighter and was never bested in battle. Challengers came from across the land and they all fell before him. One day an Acolyte of Stratos was healing the wounds Yevaud had inflicted upon a challenger. As the Acolyte worked, Yevaud approached. 'You there,' Yevaud said. 'You will surely agree that there is no one better than I.' The Acolyte looked up at the warrior. 'That is not true.' 'What?!' roared the big man. 'This is one who is better than you,' the Acolyte said. 'Who?! Who is better than me?' he bellowed. 'Meet me here tomorrow and I will make him known to you,' said the Acolyte.
When the next day came, Yevaud arrived at the appointed spot. He found the Acolyte sitting beneath a tree. 'I am here. Lead me to the upstart,' Yevaud said. The Acolyte got to his feet. 'Follow me and I will take you where you may find him. Yevaud followed the Acolyte as they walked toward the mountains. When they reached the sheer face of the cliffs, the Acolyte pointed to a cavern opening. 'In there you will find one who is better than you.' said the Acolyte. Yevaud drew his mighty sword and bravely entered the cave. All was silent for a moment, then a horrible bellowing was heard and the buzzing of many Mandril.
A short while later, Yevaud emerged from the cavern. He was exhausted and bloody. 'Acolyte!' he cried. 'There were only Mandril in that cave!' 'Yes,' the Acolyte answered. 'Those mandril have been plaguing this area for quite some time. Why, just last week they killed a small child.' 'But you said in there I would find one who was better than I!' said the fighter. 'There was, for by killing those Mandril, you used your sword for a good purpose rather than destruction. Therefore, the man who walked out of the cave was a better man than the one who walked into the cave.' And that is my story, friend. For you see, weapons destroy, but wit builds.
THE MYSTERIES OF LITHOS
The mysteries of the Mountain King are great and varied. How can one fathom the power of a force which is at once a living thing and the very surface of one's world? The human mind is simply not capable of dealing with scope that is the Mountain King.However limited we are in our capabilities of fathoming the Mountain King, we must, in order to better serve His needs, attempt to do so. The more that we learn of Lithos, the better we are able to serve Him and interpret His word. Therefore, it is a sacred duty of the Necromancer to study our lord. The more knowledge of the Mountain King that we are able to accumulate, the greater His glory will appear to us.
Having stated the need for learning not only from, but -of- Lithos, I now add this warning: Be cautious and show restraint in your research. Lithos is the greatest power known to Pagan kind, and as such can be fickle. Know that there are some secrets which the Mounain King wishes to keep. Delving into these areas can result into great disaster for a student whos zeal or ambition over rides his good judgement and devotion to Lithos. A student of the mysteries of Lithos could very well be studying an aspect of Lithos' mysteries which the Mountain King wishes to remain secret and not even know it. Should such a situation occur, the Mountain King shall issue a gentle warning to the student. A small quake or landslide in the student's vicinity while he is studying should alert the student that his research is to be abandoned at once. Following such a warning, the student is subject to the wrath of the Mountain King.
There are, of course, some subjects which we now know are forbidden to study. One such subject is the Heart of Earth. Little is known about this holy artifact other than its resting place, the Pit of Death, and that Lithos gaurds this treasure very jealously. Any student of the mysteries of Lithos must know that the Heart of Earth must not be disturbed or studied further. Delving into this subject would only serve to bring wrath of the Mountain down upon the unwise student.
This does end Volume One of the Mysteries of Lithos. Vintros, Necromancer
SAYINGS OF THE GUARDIAN
I -really- do appreciate your plight, Avatar.
Ah, Avatar, the thrill of conquest is so... invigorating.
Enjoying your stay on Pagan, Avatar?
Hark! Is that the sweet song of lamentation I hear?
I do so enjoy the cries of torment.
Yes, Avatar, seek a way home.
There is no escape from -this- prison!
Hurry, Avatar. After all, you have only -all- -of- -eternity- to complete your tasks.
Nystul sends his best, Avatar...
You should hear the pleas for help, Avatar.
At this very moment, Britannia burns.
One world lies in ruin, nothing more than a charred shell. The other will soon follow.
Perhaps I should destroy you now.
Care you no more for your own world, Avatar?
Will your precious Earth fall so easily?
Soon I shall be able to call Britannia mine. It seems, Avatar, that you are missed here.
Why, I believe I hear Lord British crying out for you now...
Your treasured Britannia succumbs easily. Soon -all- the land will be mine.
Ouch! -That- must have hurt, Avatar!
Do not go near -that-, Avatar.
he he he he
Feel my wrath!
Let the darkness come for you, Avatar.
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