Dy’Neren

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  • #30118
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    *
    The tome is bound in black leather, though time had rubbed off the glossy sheen of the hide to a dull gray. Its dark shape was perhaps the only thing that caused it to be seen, no more than a shadow under the layer of light snow. Lifting it, you brush off the cold wet layer of flakes, letting the rising morning sun illuminate the décor of the book

    Metal bindings of silver, crafted to shapes of half-withered fey dancing among twisted trees, brace the edges of the covers. It does not bear a title, alone for a single arcane rune impressed into the dark surface, and as you rotate the article within you hands for any clue of its origin, a trio of letters catches your eye. They have been scratched into the binding itself, barely visible from the wear that the surface had endured. “KDN”.

    The only thing that holds it shut is an ebon ribbon, now soaked through and bobbing in the wind. It comes undone with a simple pull, and the hinges in the covers seem to spring open in your hands. The words within, scribed on simple vellum with a flowing script natural only to a studied scholar, are crisp and clear, contrasting with the worn state of the book itself. Although you perhaps not will it, your eyes fall to the top of the page, and the sense of the text melts itself into your mind.
    *

    #36400
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 1 ~

    This tome that you now hold within your hands, be your possession of it by my will or not, has been chosen as a host for my thought. It is the vessel where I have decided to place the murk that rests now only within my mind; a chest of the metaphysical and of the absurd. It holds what is, what was, what may have been, and what will become.

    The reason for why I have come to write here is in the entirety unclear to me myself. Perhaps it will show itself with time. If I may fall to the dangers that these lands present, I wish that this may survive for the eyes of another, as it is a form of soft comfort that perhaps I will not be forgotten. If, as unlikely as it my seem, I live on to taste the winds of change and future, then perhaps looking back over these words will remind me of who I was, and then of what I have become.

    This time seems as good as any other to start such a ritual of placing my mind to vellum, as it is now that I feel like a real, tangible change has happened in my life. The chains that bound me for my youth have been severed, and I now step back into life, given the choice to cleave a path of my own. Of the trials and tasks that now lay behind me I will only make brief mention, as I feel optimistic enough that the dwellings of my past have been put into the earth for good. From this point on, I will try to see to the now and to the future, which despite its obvious shadows seems to hold warming light.

    For now, I feel that such a depiction of the contents will suffice. A simple journal it may be, it seems so much more simply because it is mine. Perhaps on some day far off in the future a fledgling scholar, much as I have been only a few years past, will lift it from a library shelf and search for secrets that I may bury here. The secrets that he will find will not be ones of eldritch power, of arcane mastery, or of alchemical process. They will be much more profound, I hope, and perhaps then, by seeing a passage of time through my eyes, he will come to learn more of himself. It just may be, if it was I reading this and what will be here in my days of scholarly pursuit, that I would have come to find reason much sooner… even without the presence of premonition.”

    #36401
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 2 ~

    Looking over this town, the town of Foothold, I cannot help but notice how things have changed since I have last been in these snows. Visibly, little is different, if anything at all, however the air itself seems to hold a disparity. There is a feeling of change, so viscous now that your skin can almost feel it. Although the land seems placid now, half-asleep in the cold morning light, the sense of desperation, and perhaps of hope, hangs over those walking in the snows beneath as clearly as the sun above. Perhaps it was not the change in my surroundings, but within myself, that allows for me take grasp of this sensation. It is alien to me nevertheless, and despite having little to be sickened by myself, the pressure of this awareness causes me to share this feeling every short once in a while.

    Opinvu, a halfling that I’ve known since my very first days in the north, was first to take notice of my return. That was for the best, perhaps, as it has made me optimistic towards what my being here held. He told of the troubles that have fallen the north, a medley involving ancient gods and rising temples, champions of evil, and incursions from beyond the grave. For some reason, maybe it was the way that he had put these things into perspective, they cause me little distress. It feels as if the battle against these beings will not be one that I fight, despite the common sense that tells me that unless I take to outright negligence and avoidance, I will at one point or another be exchanging spellfire with some common foe. The actual responsibility to wage this war, as fortune (or misfortune, if you will) had it, fell upon to Spana with the crafting of some Spear of Power.

    The practice of crafting a great weapon to fight a fell enemy is nothing new when placed in content with mythos and folklore, but this is perhaps the first time that such an event had occurred in the proximity of my presence. Despite the scarcity of the creation of artifacts, I almost feel surprised that the spear itself does not strike my interest. Instead my mind is perplexed on its supposed wielder. I’ve been informed that she had changed somehow, become more reclusive… I’ve yet to judge that for myself, as now my only memories of her were those of hope and serenity in the days of my own darkness.

    At the time of my finding of my Master’s phylactery, she really was my only reason for returning to these frost-covered lands, or at the least, a prominent part of it all. Markshire was my only home away from home, where I had found some resemblance of a life worth living. Friends have been made here, perhaps at a lesser count than enemies, but I had a standing… a past here. And I had shared my time with her, hoped for a serene future, and perhaps even tasted the love that is spoken of so dearly in the musings of romantic bards. Stepping from the twisted hull of rock, the crater that now remains of my Master’s abode, I felt that despite my untimely and unplanned hiatus, the past that I have carved into the northern ice may yet still hold to it a future.”

    #36402
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 3 ~

    I hold no love for the gods.

    Their power and might, perhaps even wisdom, demand respect, and that I can offer. Love, even a mild amiability, and a willingness to serve is what of them I must deny. This feeling I hold against none of them in particular… it is a reasoning with which I see their whole collective. They may bring healing, hope, and feasting, but do they not also have their counterparts? Those that sow illness, despair, and famine?

    I have not yet experienced a land where the deities have not yet walked, and perhaps I find it too easy to nail the problems of the world to their backs, but without that experience, a point still persists. Take the current problems that I have heard now plaguing Markshire… If you gaze at the Thirteen, you will find them a fellowship of champions who seek to raise a long-dead god. Without the quest for deific resurrection, this issue would have not existed, and such a trial would not face the world as it is. Even the ages-old problem of giants descending from the mountains to crush the civilization below has such ties. Every tome that I have read refers to a diety, such as Thrym, bolstering them on their quest for depredation. And if the gods of man act out to help the people under their guidance, it seems only to offset the aid that the darker gods are offering their minions.

    People can create all the conflict they need for themselves. As the ages old saying goes, “power corrupts”, and power is there to be found wherever society, anarchy, and magic have taken hold. Rogues, mad mages, and warlords are the least of people’s worries when the gods take to meddling in their material playground, however. Power corrupts, but absolute power… corrupts everything else.”

    #36403
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 4 ~

    The theme with which I seem to tie her in my mind today is perhaps irony. Of Spana, I speak.

    The first place where I have seen it today was in her reaction to me. Or, better said, my reaction to her reaction. For a while, I have felt that the emotion with which she would greet my return, after my disappearing so without warning many moons past, would at worst be hatred, anger, disgust. I at the time did not think that antipathy would be the response, and even if I did, imagining that such would be strangely worse than outright abhorrence was not something that would have crossed my mind.

    The reason for why an emotionless response is worse than one of odium may be because by now I am used to dealing with hostility. The superstitions of these lands, much like those in many others, hold necromancy as a form of sacrilege. Whether such an act truly holds some influence on the souls in the afterlife or it is just another belief based on the misunderstanding of a god (or perhaps simply another of the gods’ tests of faith) I do not know. What I am aware of is that when I plead guilty to the accusations of raising the dead, I have made an enemy within the church, and all of those who turn to the gods for answers to their ailing. Coming from my previous life as a scribe within a crypt filled with the waking dead, I did not see, and still do not, a moral dilemma within the art of corpseweaving. Despite my attempts to appease the local customs and use the corpses of those who would be seen as malefactors (and in turn awaiting no honor in the afterlife) the religious doctrine has had its toll. Even associating yourself with those who reside after natural death seems to be ground on which you may be killed. And even if a person may not find what you did despicable, public opinion of you would change their perspective nevertheless.

    My second irony ties itself with both her antipathy, both towards me and to the rest of the world, and to dealings with the dead. In contrast to the others, once she learned about my necromantic practices, despite the repulsion she evoked as anyone of her background would, she did not classify me then and there as a despicable a vile creature as so many of the rest. She was much more empathetic, considerate, and forgiving. It is then odd how now, in her absence of feelings, she has become more of an undead as I have become more amongst the living. Such as many intelligent undead may, she blames her state and troubles on the rest of the world (and this may be rightfully so, as I do not see her as one to forsake emotion for a null reason), and although her physical state may suggest nothing less of life, an emotional death seems a death nevertheless.

    I must say that I have not dealt with pressures in the past any better than she does now. In the days of my first life up in Markshire, when the fear of losing her and the anger at the church and zealots converged, my mental state had been strained and tested. Although I attempted to hold a calm demeanor, within my mind were the thoughts that perhaps many had expected me to hold. I have mentioned earlier that power corrupts, and I have not been an exception to that rule. Grief and spite, under the duress of stress had caused me many a times to think of becoming the monster some had expected me to be. Delusions of grander, perhaps. Amassing a force of undead and embodying my will into malice, besieging the innocent in a childish attempt for vengeance. In comparison to that, her answer seems almost… graceful.

    If I can say one thing about myself to finish this entry, I can be quite persistent. If it be neither love nor hate nor nothing in between, I am sure that one thing that I can achieve on her emotional spectrum is annoyance. And as tiny a chink in the armor can be, it often does come to the suit’s undoing.”

    #36404
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 5 ~

    Process is a fickle thing.

    Sometimes, I think it the equivalent of hope. It ushers you along, offering you rationale to continue on fourth, yet it refuses to show you any true result. Until there is a product, a result, you don’t know the last note of the finale… whether or not the light at the end of the tunnel is the true gleam of day or a will-o-wisp of the metaphorical sense.

    Process seems to be the only thing that has yet come to me, thus far, though I try not to sound ungrateful. Things could have gotten much worse, clearly, but hope is a vile addiction all of its own.

    As I have taken to, I spent a good portion of my spare time either killing thought, or basking within it. In the past few hours, my conversation with Spana had urged me into a sort of self-experiment. In our dance of words, taken on a moon-lit road as snowflakes descended from the heavens, I could not help but listen to a few of the words that I myself had then said. Perhaps I had misunderstood her to some degree, and perhaps she I, but I find some interest in seeing if I myself can sway from surgical brutality.

    In my early days, it seemed the path of progression had been slay or be slain. ‘It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there’, as I had heard the phrase said, but at some point I have to think whether cannibalism is a path by which you have to marshal your whole life. I have the arcane power in myself to offer lethal defense when so needed, and my extra-dimensional vault holds enough wealth to keep me satiated for a lifetime. If I hold it to myself that there is hope to pry her from her choice of antipathy, it is possible (though I don’t truly don’t know the likelihood of it) that my homicidal reflex can be quelled as well. It will be an interesting week, perhaps month, I have to say, as I will try to prevent my training in evocation and necromancy into coming to use. I’ll offer myself the option of self-defense and perhaps one of those ‘valorous’ geases, but to simply destroy for its sake has no longer a wholly necessary point. Of course, I will not let this turn of events be known, if only to save face when I find my deplorable instincts too innate, but nevertheless, I imagine some would breathe a sigh of relief at this knowledge.

    Instead, I will follow Opinvu’s suggestion and try to further my skills of craftsmanship during my newfound time. Fortunately for me, and perhaps him, the technicality of destroying undead residing outside the realms of murder will allow me to continue to search for a few of the more sparse reagents.”

    #36405
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 6 ~

    As the nights grow longer and daylight fails to keep as vigilant a post as before in the early autumn moons, my thoughts seem to dance back to the early days of my apprenticeship. It is interesting, the way one’s path unfolds in this life, and despite my taste for irony I lack the humor to truly appreciate my new reversal of roles.

    Perhaps thus is the fate of most wizards who manage to sink their nails into their own segment of power, at one point or another to seek (or be sought out by) an apprentice, one who hopes that the fortune and experience of the elder would perhaps rub off on them. Personally, as I awoke today, such a concept was the last thing on my mind, as I still see myself in youth. Becoming the mentor of another seems to be something that only aged arcanists resort to, when the frailty of their mortal bodies becomes outpaced by the tides of time and they seek an assistant with a strong back and focused mind to toil away at the more mundane chores of their profession.

    As nothing churns out into a stereotypical norm with me, I should have only expected that such an archetypal fate would evade me. My apprentice, a name I am hesitant to yet bestow, lacks the qualities previously mentioned. A focused mind is nothing I would accredit her with, and instinct tells me feats of endurance would be nothing that I should come to expect (In truth, I am willing to wager that at the first dapple of sweat, effort would be as good as extinguished). It is for these reasons that I am thankful that the contract between us in as unofficial as a binding between a mentor and pupil could be. It is rare at best that a wizard, a scientist in the realm of magic, would be brought to give instruction to a sorcerer, an undisciplined caste that carries the memory of magic in their bloodstream.

    Perhaps such an arrangement is best for both of us, then. This way, I need not assign scholarly and quasimagical tasks to provide a foundation to the roots of wizardry, something I doubt Maya would have the patience to deal with, meanwhile I get a chance to study the arts of sorcery, and see if my own skill can be supplemented by understanding the manner of the surprisingly ‘natural’ spellcasting.

    Then again, my patience may simply snap and I may roil off on a psychotic rampage. Only time will tell, I guess.“

    #36406
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 7 ~

    I presume it is only the question of time until one must ask themselves the query: “What is my lot in life? Throughout the years my form has been awash with countless experienced gathered up by my senses… the blood of my father and mother wrought the parchment that my portrait has been painted on, but to what avail? Am I just another in the endless cycle of life and death, and in the blink of a Fate’s eye I will be nothing more than bone and dust? What is the purpose in this transition-of-a-life in the mortal world?” It is long since that I have procured an answer to myself for the latter of the questions. Or, at the very least, it has been an elimination of a possible choice of answers: I am not here to pander to the will of the gods. What they scribe to be my purpose after they have enfettered my spirit will be up to them to decide, as I doubt I will have the power to rebel, but while I walk this frozen ground on my own accord I will heed no prophecies.

    Who am I, then, this wandering soul in a fleshy shell? What will I do with my hollow rebellion? In my retort, it would be nothing short of blind ignorance to forget my station as a weaver of spells. Yet, even amongst others of my kind, my role of a wizard floods a certain undeniable niche. This position is best explained by alluding to the infamous musing – “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for his life.” In mentioning those words, it would be a disservice not to throw in an additional piece of satire that my ears have happened upon during my travels: “…and if you teach a man of the gods, be assured that he will die praying for a fish.” I know not which philosopher’s lips have shared those past few syllables, but I must thank him for more than a single smile that I’ve experienced. However, I dance around the verdict I’ve attained. These men mentioned in the proverb could just as easily be replaced with the titles attributed to the castes of casters.

    The cleric and the druid, servants of the divines whether they pray from a stone temple or a grassy knoll, they have been given their fish. They are given their fish daily, and they dare not bite the hand that feeds them. The sorcerer, he has been given his fish at birth… it is a large fish, and it will satiate his hunger for as long as he lives, but he dares not guide his vessel into the vaulting waves of the sea. The fishermen on the ocean of magic is the wizard. When the gods fall as have the primordial giants before them, we will still cast our lines. When the dragons wither into the folds of time and their bloodlines run as thin as water, we will still heave our nets. Until the deeps of magic cease to exist, there will be ones who seek the deeps for answers.

    So what is this lot in life, to be a fisherman until the hemp lines turn palms to leather and the salt nestles in the cracks of skin? Just as fish’s meat feeds the body, the quest for arcane knowledge feed our souls. The fisherman asks not “should I go out an fish today?”. He knows the answer: without the fish, he would starve. Likewise, without our never-ending quest for the secrets beneath the waves, our egos and spirits would grow hollow. That is our lot in life; that is the source of our meaning. To fish; to practice the art of casting lines beneath the waves; to discover new breeds of fish and to offer our catch to our coastal village of fellow fishermen. Why ask “but what of tomorrow?” when the ocean still teems with mystery?”

    #36407
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 8 ~

    The fiery light of the sun offered fourth a new land to me those many years past. As soon as I discontinued trashing violently on the ground, clutching my eyes within their sockets as they burned with my first memories of daylight, I was met with a world of vibrant greens and subtle blues, of alabaster clouds and of rich, auburn earth. There were no walls to constrain the paths my feet chose to take. There was no ceiling to shield the broad and magnificent skies from my sight. Indeed, although I think humorously of it now, in my naivety I regarded the vaulting heavens with a paralyzing horror. “What if gravity suddenly gave away? How far upwards could I fall, without the comforts of hewn stone above me? How can the avian beasts fly oh so bravely without fearing all this unsecured space above them?” Then, as I lurched from tree trunk to tree trunk, clasping tightly those pillars of nature to prevent myself from losing contact with the ground and being cast off into the dizzying space above, I learned something else. The man who walked alongside me, Eltias, another apprentice of the lich I called ‘Master’, shared a small but significant secret with me. He had learned it from the necromancer who introduced him into this world, who in turn had first heard it from the necromancer before him…

    He told me that I was evil.

    He was also evil. My Master was evil. The ghouls that prowled the depths of the crypt I had called home, they were evil. The wraiths and specters, and other lost souls who were denied an entrance into the afterlife, they were all evil as well. Those who raised me from childhood, fed me, clothed me, befriended me, and taught me all that I knew… were, undeniably as the matter of fact extended it, evil.

    To bestow vigor into a discarded shell of bone and meat once the soul no longer has a use for it is the vilest of crimes. A word that honors the living dead is heresy, and to exist past the point of frail, natural life is the darkest of sacrilegious acts. I bowed my head, still dazed by the onslaught of the midday sun. I bowed, understanding the meaning of the words, but confounded by their nature. But what did I know at the time? I was an insignificant droplet of water in the raging torrent of a river. Surely, this vast world, that watched the endless heavens and stared bravely into the burning light, knew better than I, the wretched mole.

    Eltias laughed. Although our nature was surely a crime, rogues could still thrive if they were cunning and tact. Better even, he was yearning to show me how. Perhaps I should have stayed truer to his lessons of subterfuge and silence. Perhaps half-hearted bluffs were not the way to contain the bursting seams of honesty’s allure. However, perhaps if I did not make the mistakes I did, I would have never really learned how evil I was.

    While basking in the rays of the sun, these days I glance back to my earlier rebellion with a remorseful eye. My geas, my manacles arcane, I was convinced they prevented a life of serene existence… but now that they are gone, where is this mystical serenity that I have sought? Men walk past me while bearing no fetters of enchantment coiled ‘round their necks, though their legs are still mired to the knees with misery. Was this enchantment my master has placed over my shoulders these many years back simply a feather in comparison to the iron spheres that many are chained with? Was my rebellion against him and the destruction of my home simply an ignorant spark of youthful bravado, bolstered by superstitious indoctrination of Markshire’s culture?

    If anything, one article to comfort these thoughts is a gem I now carry so close to my heart. As emeralds go, it is hardly a faultless example of their luster. However, it was vibrant enough to act as a Jar for the Soul. Of all necromantic charms that exist, one allows to catch a passing soul on its path from this world to the afterlife within such a receptacle, and it is this gem I had held when the broken pieces of my Masters phylactery littered the stone tiles at my feet.

    This secret, dear Eltias, is dedicated to you.”

    #36408
    Rasbedian
    Member
    • Markshire PCs:

    “Entry 9 ~

    It would be a dire dishonesty to claim that the majority of surprises that waylay me along the path of my life are those of a pleasant nature, and it saddens me to admit such. However, in between this multitude of thistles that cling to my cloak, there is a small number of sweet clovers which become tangled among their mess. Its unfortunate that at times, it takes me quite a while to realize the significance of such certain small flowers.

    The most recent example is the one that comes the most readily to mind. A brief stretch of time ago, I participated in a contest of sorts. It was a hunt of crows and vultures, a search for tokens on the basis of riddles. At the end, with my body pierced by fatigue and my boots flushed with the agony of the feet they bound, I was offered a choice between a variety of containers, each concealing the gifts within. Between the crates and satchels, I spied a small box, crafted by a careful hand. It radiated a magical aura, which drew me to it, though the irony of the situation arises from the fact that the prize I now covet the most amongst those that I had found within it was the one most mundane. There were gemstones bound with arcane might, there was a loaf blessed by the gods, and the container itself was a masterwork example of magical construction. However, the potential of the lot was absent in comparison to that offered by the bloom of a single, golden flower.

    The bloom, more than a hand’s span in diameter, is flush with a circular grid-work of black seeds. Yellow petals, now dried with time, encircle this bed of potential life. Despite its entirely mundane nature, I had difficulty identifying the article. A majority of the botanical texts within the library seemed to lack its description, and hope was almost drained from me in the entirety when I at last came across a depiction of it in a particularly old tome. If the book is to be believed, I had been awarded with the flower of the sun.

    It seems necromancers are not the only ones considered to be dark-hearted by the local judges… the courtesy also extends to this certain example of flora. For what reasoning, dare I ask? The plant possesses none of the addictive properties of alcohol, where when the avid drinker decides to leave the bottle behind him, he is beset by physical sickness capable of even bringing death. When I chose to taste a few seeds from within the golden flower’s crown, no clouding of the mind beset me. To tempt the ruling even further, the flower is known to thrive in both frost and drought, making it ideal for the harsh climes that ravage these lands. The only necessity it requires for its growth is that of the sun’s presence. It seems the only issue arguing against its presence is man’s own foul nature. It is his own greed that had exiled the flower. I fear I may be personifying the bloom a minute sliver too much, but where is its fault that man himself is too flawed to coexist with what it comes to offer?

    Perhaps it simply is my yearning to find a fellow exile so readily, to find a brother rogue whose nature needs to be clouded in deceit for his own survival… even if I chose to find it within such a dubious symbol. Perhaps again, it is the manifestation of some of my own malicious nature that spurs the following agenda. The Fates had blessed me with seeds that still harbor life within them, and patches where the sun kisses the earth are not in that particularly hard to find. The sunflower is a plant blessed with fortitude, which makes my task all the easier. It is my hope that once the snows melt for the brief summers of this land, I can take my shovel into my hands once more, but instead of exhuming ancient bone, I will consecrate the earth with such a defiant blessing as this flower’s seed offers. As not to incite the inquisitor’s wrath, the first spots will need to be far from the eyes of man. Once ripe, however, my agenda will be merged with the efforts of the birds, and I will gather more such seed, and continue to spread the incursion from year to year. Elves are blessed with the longevity that would allow me to stride past the folds of ages, so if I hold to the determination of such an annual ritual, the decades of the future should see a return of this unjustly tried exile, for better or for worse.

    If the hands of the judges divine bring my death, and I will nevermore rise from the depths of Hel as my form dissolves into the earth, let it not be the proverbial daisies that rise fourth from my grave. Instead, if the Fates permit, let it be this solar flower that crawls fourth from the silt above me. Let their stalks rise high in mocking rebellion to the hollow ideals of the men who gaze upon them. Let this golden bloom be the eternal symbol of my mutiny.”

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