documents part 2

Torax Scroll
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.

Catacomb Scroll
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

Catacomb Scroll
Mental note:
Fix floors (those water puddles weaken mortar)
Clean cobwebs
Remove all trash (have Pedert take all food out)
Have Jaynela write letter to Sysaphus
Talk to Vugrinec about bandage wearing in public.

Potions
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

Magic Armour
…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…’

Earthen Magic
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.

Killer Jokes
by Trixter
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.
Chapter One:
Exploding Books
(Heh, heh…)

Ear of Arricorn: Vol. III
by Kram
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
by Kram
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
by Kram
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
by Sladek
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
by Brogdan
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. Rem*ember, 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.

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
(False history)
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
by Galious
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
Extinguish
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
Ignite
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
Endure Heat
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
Flash
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
Flame Bolt
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
Fire Shield
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
Create Fire
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
Explosion
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
Summon Daemon
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
Banish Daemon
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
Conflagration
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
by Mythran
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
by Mythran
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

BALDWIN’S BIG BOOK OF BAKING

Though some might scoff at the idea, the making of breads, pastries, pies, and cakes is one of the highest callings in life. Study this book carefully, and someday you may be prepared to take on this awesome responsibility.

HUBERT’S HAIR RAISING ADVENTURE

Written and illustrated by Bill Pete
Hubert the Lion was haughty and vain,
And especially proud of his elegant mane.
But conceit of this sort is not proper at all,
And Hubert the Lion was due for a fall.

LOGBOOK OF THE EMPIRE

This book appears to be the log of a ship called “The Empire.” The last entry speaks of the burying of a great treasure, and of the growing discontentment of the crew. There’s a hastily scrawled note at the end, in different handwriting, that says “Captain Hawkins won’t be makin’ no more log entries.”

YE LOST ART OF BALLOONING

Back in the days of the Avatar’s Quest, rumors spread of a strange sight in the skies. A tinker from the town of Minoc, claimed to have rediscovered the lost art of ballooning. According to ancient lore, this was a mystical practice that allowed one to soar through the air, higher than the birds themselves. No records have been found of the rituals used to perform this feat, but several farmers from the area still tell tales of strange sights. A strange sphere was seen, way up in the sky, and the voices of men could be heard drifting down from it. The apparition drifted up into the clouds and was lost to sight. This took place years ago, and naught has been heard of the mystic art of ballooning since that time.

A TREATISE ON THE LORE OF GARGOYLES
by Norlick the Elder

Though gargoyles are considered by most to be mere legend, no records exist documenting the origins of the gargoyle “statues” that adorn many castles. Even the towering stone guardians of the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom have many of the physical characteristics of the “legendary” gargoyle. Nobody seems to know where they came from either. Despite the lack of hard evidence, there have been a fair number of unconfirmed reports of sightings of live gargoyles.It is the opinion of this author that daemons are a form of gargoyle. As many reliable encounters with daemons have been documented in various scholarly works, perhaps this is the best source of further information on the subject of gargoyles.

TANGLED TALES

Once upon a time, in a strange land far away, there was a wizard’s apprentice. His master, Eldritch, sent him on three quests, knowing he would learn his lessons best with the real world as his classroom. He encountered many strange and wonderful things. Ghouls and griffins stood in his way, and ghosts and giants as well. But he also found new friends, and brave adventurers to help him. He rode on a flying carpet, and on the back of a giant turtle.

Finally, after exploring an abandoned mine, a pyramid, and a castle in the clouds, he finished his third quest. He had learned so much on his journeys that his master rewarded him well, and declared him a wizard in his own right. He soon opened a school of his own, and as the years passed, and students came and went, his beard grew long with years.

KNIGHTS OF LEGEND, VOLUME I

Once, in the kingdom of Ashtalarea, there was a great war. For a time it seemed the forces of evil would triumph, but through the valiant efforts of Seggallion, the greatest knight in the land, the forces of the dark lord Pildar were finally driven back and defeated. All was well for a time, but years later Pildar had grown powerful again. From his dark tower he wove his evil schemes, and managed to capture the Duke, and the great knight Seggallion as well. With his greatest foe out of the way, he was prepared once more to set out on a campaign of conquest. In those troubled times, a party of great heroes arose. After many perilous adventures they finally won their way to Seggallion’s prison and set him free. They then set forth to discover what had become of the Duke…

THE FIRST AGE OF DARKNESS

Early in the reign of Lord British there came unto the land of Britannia a powerful wizard named Mondain. He brang forth many creatures of great evil, using the power of his magic to control them. And there was great suffering throughout the land. It was in these days that the Avatar first came unto our realm, to vanquish Mondain and liberate our people.

THE SECOND AGE OF DARKNESS

After Mondain’s passing, Minax the enchantress brought forth terrors to menace the populace. She had been apprentice to Mondain. Perhaps more than that, if the moaning and wailing that echoed through the halls outside their shared bedchamber bore any meaning. She established a reign of death and destruction, her magic fueled by the strength of her passion. Again it was only the return of the Avatar that put an end to the oppression. Minax was vanquished, as Mondain before her.

THE THIRD AGE OF DARKNESS

Once Minax was gone, peace reigned for twenty years. And then the last of Mondain’s legacy became known. For he and Minax had together produced an unholy creation known only as Exodus. For many years it had stayed hidden, patiently gathering information to heighten its powers. Finally it chose to exploit the results of its diligence. Creating a mighty castle to reside in, Exodus brought forth a third plague of monsters, and nowhere in Britannia was safe from its relentless evil. This was the greatest challenge yet for our hero from another world; yet once again the Avatar proved triumphant. And with the defeat of Exodus, a new era of prosperity began.

THE QUEST OF THE AVATAR

In days not long past, the Council of Wizards erected shrines to the eight virtues, that people throughout the land might meditate upon them. It was through studying the eight virtues and the three underlying principles that the great hero, who had defeated the Triad of Evil, started down the path that led to Avatarhood.

For verily it is known that the three principles are Truth, Love and Courage;
And that from Truth arises Honesty;
And from Love arises Compassion;
And from Courage arises Valour;
And that Truth comingled with Love gives rise to Justice;
And Love comingled with Courage gives rise to Sacrifice;
And Courage comingled with Truth gives rise to Honor;
And Truth, Love and Courage all united create Spirituality;
And the absence of all three principles leads to the vice of pride, which leads us to think of the virtue that is its opposite, that of Humility.

And on the quest to become the embodiment of the eight virtues, the Avatar recovered the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, and discovered that the one underlying concept that leads to the three principles which lead to the eight virtues is Infinity. Ponder this well, oh seeker!

WARRIORS OF DESTINY

After the shining example set by the Avatar, Britannia seemed all set to enter a golden age of peace and plenty. And then a great tragedy took place. Lord British, the beloved ruler who united the land of Britannia, and saw it through some of the hardest times in its history, was lost. He had gone on an expedition to explore the newly discovered underworld, and never returned. Many thought him dead. Lord Blackthorn took control in his absence, declaring martial law to maintain order. It was also around this time that the three shadowlords appeared at Stonegate. They were powerful, evil creatures, who could warp the minds of men and turn them away from the three principles. ’Tis said they could draw on “the power of the vortex” to transport themselves instantly anywhere in the realm. It was a dark time. The Avatar was summoned back to Britannia, and ultimately managed to rescue Lord British before the collapse of the Underworld, restoring him to his rightful place on the throne.

WINDWALKER

In exotic Khantun, there was a benevolent Emperor known as Chao Ti. He ruled wisely and well until his Warlord, Zhurong, acquired an elixir from the evil alchemist Shen Jang to put the Emperor into a coma. Evil spirits from the Astral Plane took over shrines throughout the land, and it was a dark time. But a young student, after completing his studies of the martial arts in a small monastery, managed to liberate the shrines, defeat the warlord, and cure the Emperor with the Elixir of Immortality. Long will his name be honored in Khantun.

THE CAVERNS OF FREITAG

A great dragon named Freitag came unto the Mystic Isles, and there was much fear and anguish amongst the populace. One day the warrior Gertan set forth to beard the dragon in her lair, a vast series of caverns inhabited by strange creatures. He drove Freitag away from the land, and there was much rejoicing.

SNILWIT’S BIG BOOK OF BOARDGAME STRATEGY

Chess: Try to control the middle of the board with your knights, bishops, and pawns.
Nine Men’s Morris: Don’t let any of your pieces get trapped in the corners.
Draughts: Keep your pieces along the sides of the board, where they can’t be captured.

OF DREAMS AND VISIONS

Some say that in our dreams our astral selves journey to other realms of existence. Others say that imps and daemons create dreams to disturb our sleep. Now let the truth be known! Dreams are messages from the spirit world. Someday we will learn to decipher them, and benefit greatly thereby.

CROSSBOW MARKSMANSHIP BY IOLO FITZOWEN

There is a zen to shooting well. Become one with your crossbow. Clear your mind of all thoughts save that of flying with the bolt to strike the target, and you will not miss.

DILZAL’S ALMANAC OF GOOD ADVICE

Gambling is the surest way of getting nothing for something.
Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
Never play backgammon with a centaur.

PLANT LORE

Mistletoe is easiest to find in the spring. Cut the sprigs with your left hand for greatest effectiveness. Hibiscus leaves can be used to make a tea which is excellent for sore throats. Never step on a dandelion, for it will anger any leprechaun who sees you do so.

THE WIZARD OF OZ
by Frank L. Baum

A little girl named Dorothy, from the far off land of Kansas was carried to the realm of Oz by a tornado. And her little dog, too! She met three faithful companions, who vowed to help her find a way home. There was a scarecrow, who was on a quest for truth, a man of tin, who was questing for love, and a lion, who quested for courage. Before their quest was done, little Dorothy slew the wicked witch, freeing the land from her evil influence. Her friends completed their quests, and she returned home to Kansas.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND
by Lewis Carroll

Alice saw a peculiar white rabbit one day. It was looking at its pocket watch and worrying about how late it was. Alice chased it down a rabbit hole, and fell a very long way. She found herself in a strange land. She went to a tea party there, with a mad hatter and a dormouse. She also met a strange caterpillar, and a cat that could vanish, with its grin dissappearing last. The queen of hearts yelled “Off with her head!” and her guards ran up to grab Alice – but then she awakened, and realized it had all been a dream.

THE LOST BOOK OF MANTRAS

Ahm Kim Rum Bem Mu Dim Sum Kyo Ra Lox Nid Pey Beh Un Or Us Cah Biff Pow Ohm Summ Bang Lis Zowie Om Cow Frem Ort Lum Spam Mho Yum Tea Meow

KODEKS RIT
The Book of Ritual

< vervid ben kua i, naksatilor, skri kuo i porle kodeks uide terreg ew estade kalle ante tim benommani: ku auks lorrelinlem i beninle vorteks lorrel, o kua i le vid kodeks kuater lem terinit anporle. i inle vorteks kuad re inbet grav ok orblap ew trakpor vorteks destrak termur. estatim i perle lorrel re inuislor kodeks ad kuad. vorteks tanle uide terailem, uislor inle ailemde, ew kodeks porle des re perle bende pa uide zenmur. >

(Translation)
Heed well as I, Naxatilor, write of how I brought the Codex to our land and thereby ushered in the time of prosperity: With the help of the Lensmaker I crafted the Vortex Lens, by which I could see the Codex where it originally rested. I created the Vortex Cube to focus the power of the Moonstones and draw the Vortex down to the world. Then I used the lens to form an image of the Codex upon the cube. The Vortex touched our plane, the image became solid, and the Codex was brought down to be used properly by our race!

KODEKS DESTERMUR
The Book of The Underworld

<alt>

(Translation)
Deep below the land there is another land. In that land live many strange creatures. The most interesting of these creatures look something like our wingless ones. These daemons, however, are pale and soft. Some say that these daemons from the underworld can speak. And, to be sure, they make sounds that are similar to our language. But as everyone knows, no creature without wings is truly intelligent. Fables of talking daemons must be discredited.

KODEKS BENMONTAS
The Book of Administration

<dur>

(Translation)
For countless ages, we winged ones have led the wingless ones. This is right and proper. But we must always remember that they are no less valuable than we. A body with no head cannot move. But neither can a body with no legs. All must function in unity if anything is to be achieved. So guide the wingless ones, and keep them from paths of error. But guide them with respect.

KODEKS BENOMMANI
The Book of Prosperity

<vas>

(Translation)
Long ago, the great seer Naxatilor summoned the Codex into the world. Thus began the great time of prosperity. The Codex was placed within the Temple of Singularity, there to be viewed by those requiring its knowledge. The seers of the land, led by Naxatilor, protected the Codex with a forcefield. Only those upon sacred quests for wisdom are allowed to reach and read the Codex. Within the Codex is written the one right and true answer to any problem. One has but to reach the Codex, read it, and interpret its advice properly. With perfect wisdom and infallible knowledge, all that remains is to have the control, passion and diligence required to follow the proper course. These are the underpinnings of our society, and so our race is able to use the Codex wisely and well. This is the reason why the Codex exists: to lead the gargoyle race to ultimate prosperity.

KODEKS XEN
The Book of Family

<kuatim>

(Translation)
When a child hatches from his egg, he is born without wings. But even from birth one can tell whether a child will grow up to be a winged or a wingless one. The wingless ones cannot speak, and lack the intelligence of the winged ones. They must be guided. The winged ones are few, but they are entrusted with the intelligence and wisdom of the race. They must guide. Both winged and wingless ones spring from the same eggs, and both belong to the same family. All function as a single whole, to better maintain the struggle for survival in our world.

KODEKS KIR
The Book of Circles

<tu>

(Translation)
All begins with the three principles: Control, Passion and Diligence. From Control springs Direction. From Passion springs Feeling. From Diligence springs Persistence. But these three virtues are no more important than the other five: Control combines with Passion to give Balance. Passion combines with Diligence to yield Achievement. And Diligence joins with Control to provide Precision. The absence of Control, Passion and Diligence is Chaos. Thus the absence of the principles points toward the seventh virtue, Order. The three principles unify to form Singularity. This is the eighth virtue, but it is also the first, because within Singularity can be found all the principles, and thus all the virtues. A circle has no end. It continues forever, with all parts equally important in the success of the whole. Our society is the same. It too continues forever, with all members (and all virtues) equal parts of the unified whole.

PLANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A HOT AIR BALLOON

First you must have a wicker balloon basket made, large enough to carry several passengers. Then you’ll need a big iron cauldron, to hold a fire to generate the hot air. Next you must have a huge bag sewn out of silk, to hold the hot air in. Lastly, get enough rope to tie the balloon securely to the basket. Once you’ve gathered all of these together, use these plans to assemble them. When flying your balloon, you’ll find that a ship’s anchor makes the best ballast, and is also useful for stopping the balloon where and when you wish.

THE BOOK OF SPIRITUALITY

In your travels through life, remember always that Spirituality embodies the sum of all virtues. Chant the mantra “om” as you meditate on Spirituality, and all will become clear to you.

Lord Yun’s Diary
“My son seems utterly disinterested in the temple, and I worry that he pays no attention to the lessons I try to impart. They key, of course, remains in knowing that the seasons which most affect a forest are summer and winter, and the colors associated with these two seasons. If I am right and my lessons fly from his head as quickly as they can, then I fear for his safety should he attempt the ritual incorrectly. These furnaces are an ancient magic, and ancient magics draw dark attentions.”

Another note, entered a bit later, reads, “As I feared, my son pays little heed. Perhaps I will install something to remind him. Violet is not our family color, but I hope it can be a potent reminder.”

Ritual of Binding

The ability to bind a spirit is one of the great honors that the Water Dragon has bestowed upon us. Therefore, we must always remember to treat this gift with the proper respect. When you bind a spirit, you become the guardian of that spirit. It is as though the spirit is your child. Though it is your duty to return the spirit to the Water Dragon for her judgment, until you give the spirit over to her, you are fully responsible for that spirit.

Since the spirit will obey your every command, you must always have the best interests of the spirit in mind while it is under your control. You must never command a spirit to do anything that might affect the Water Dragon’s judgment of that spirit later on. And though it is the most common rule when binding spirits, I will repeat it again: Under no circumstances will you ever bind the spirit of a living person. Such acts are punishable by death and judgment at the hands of the Water Dragon herself.

Physical Universe

Philosopher’s views
Though Scholar Shao Shiang has raised several interesting points in his rebuttal to my treatise on the physical world, his lack of respect for the divine is of greater concern than his lack of understanding of the physical world around him. I agree that there are many aspects to our world that cannot be explained by divine influence alone. We learn and continue to thrive at the mercy of the celestial beings. Without their guidance, and indeed, their blessing, we would quickly discover that research and understanding of our physical world alone are not nearly enough for us to survive.

Scholars theory

To suggest that I, of all people, do not understand the significance or the importance of the celestial beings is preposterous. I pay my tributes at the temple because I honor those who gave us our minds and our curiosity. Philosopher Jiang ignores the crux of the problem by hiding behind his arguments of divine belief. The scholars have made some recent discoveries, such as the way in which clouds are formed. But the philosophers, lead by Jiang, dismiss these theories without even hearing them out. How can we progress as a society if we refuse to accept new ideas and new concepts? The philosophers would have us cling to our traditions, even at the cost of our own prosperity.

Rebuttal
Scholar Shao Shiang has once again missed the central point of the philosopher’s argument. We do not wish to stall development, nor do we seek to stop people from learning. Philosophers see the work of the divine in the physical world and oppose those who defy tradition only because they find those customs inconvenient or outdated. Learning and respect for the past need not be mutually exclusive; we seek only to learn in a way that does not dishonor the celestial beings that give us our very lives.

Final Word
The World that we live in is not as simplistic as Philosopher Jiang would suggest in his treatise on the physical universe. His hypotheses regarding divine regulation of weather and seasons, though interesting, is nothing more than children’s tales made overly complicated. Recent research, led by Scholar Dongow, has proven that our seasons and weather are much more than the careless whims of distant celestial beings. Our universe is made up of very real, very tangible components that can be carefully quantified and qualified.

The Nature of the Spirit
ankind has long known that we are not alone in this world. Descended from heaven, risen from the ground, present all around us are spirits. These beings often go unseen, but when they choose to interact with us, the effect is usually profound. But what are these beings? Are they people who have died? Are they servants created at the beginning of the world by the Great Dragon? Are they something else entirely? Or are they all of the above?

In my research I have managed to find and communicate with a number of them. I contacted some through priests or relatives, when it was a spirit returned from the dead. But other encounters were much stranger.

One encounter brought vividly to mind was deep in a mine along the ridges near the Land of Howling Spirits. I was searching for a spirit I had seen the previous day, a spirit of moss and fungus that dwelt in this abandoned mine. Years earlier the mines were so prosperous that several communities depended on them for their livelihood, but collapses, fires, and unexplained disappearances in the mines led people to become more and more fearful of them. A local monk ventured in one night after hearing a disturbance, and he was never seen again. Thereafter, miners repeatedly reported hearing screams in the deepest tunnels in the voice of that young monk.
The folktales surrounding the disappearance of the monk did not disturb me. The mines had been inactive for a century or more, and the surrounding villages had long since decayed. Any spirit that fed upon humans or human emotion or pain would have left in search of easier prey. Or so I had thought.

As I searched for the moss spirit that had brought me to the depths of that mine, I began to wonder if the legends were true after all. If the spirit or whatever it was that had driven away the miners could reside there still. In my mind, I began to hear the whispers in the dark and the screams and cries of those who lost their lives ages ago.

It is said in the journals of the lost monks of the Jinzhi sect that there are spirits of every desire. By summoning that desire within themselves, men can commune with the spirit, summoning it to them. I can’t imagine what kind of spirit must have been summoned in the dank of that mine. Darkness on all sides, only the slight flickering of that lamp. A great unknowable fear welled up within me. Those ancient monks knew too much, I think. They communed with their own dark desires too often. In that place, I, too, faced my fears. The circumstance and research that led me to that point scarcely prepared me for what I faced. The Dweller in the Depths spoke to me.

It is clear to me now what manner of creatures these spirits are, and it is also clear what their goals are. For all that their lies portray them to be, the Celestial Bureaucracy is nothing more than the subjugation of man by the eternal beings of that court. The Dweller has shown me many things, many dark and terrible truths I could not have seen before, but which are clear to me now.

When I return, I know what they will say. The Emperor, the one closest to heaven, is their tool, their puppet. I know they will send him against me, fearing the power of my knowledge. Oh yes, I know. They will burn my works, but I must make copies, as the Dweller said, spreading my dark knowledge far enough that it will never be destroyed.

Remember this, reader: To a spirit, any spirit, the life of a human is worthless. We are tools and toys for their amusement alone.

Music and Arts

Music and the other arts are vital parts of life in the Jade Empire. As with any truly civilized people, even the common man can enjoy the benefits of music in his daily life. Only the music of the Jade Empire itself truly satiates this primal urge. The lesser, more savage peoples that surround us know nothing of true culture, and their primitive beatings and wailing cannot touch the soul as truly as have the masterpieces of Water Swallow or the heart-wrenching tragedy of Falling Star. For this reason, if not others, it is our duty as a cultured people to bring civilization and joy of the arts to those less advanced and gifted societies.

Master Black Leopard

By the time Zou How was twenty, he had already mastered his new style. Rather than leave his small home, he decided to start a school and have the students come to him. Word slowly spread throughout the south of a new master teaching a unique style. In time, the school became one of the most powerful in all the south, and Zou How soon became known as Master Black Leopard. Though he gained many eager students, Zou How never gave away all the secrets of Black Leopard Style, believing instead that his students should create for themselves a new style out of the basics, just as he had. Black Leopard Style died with Master Black Leopard, and no one since has been able to learn its deepest secrets.

Martial Arts

The pride, perfection, and achievement of an individual are represented in many ways: the honing of the mind, civic achievements and glory gained for the Empire, the development of the spirit and one’s inner energies, and the training of the body. Through the body the practitioner imposes his will upon himself and, through that, upon the universe. Through use of his body, the martial artist achieves transcendence and strength, overcoming all obstacles, both physical and spiritual.

Mantra of Inspiration

An ancient text penned by some of the first Spirit Monks, this book has taught you how to properly focus upon the Mantra of Inspiration.

“Understanding the totality of being is the only goal worth achieving, and yet it is a goal that cannot be fulfilled in any life. Still, in the striving can be found deep inspirations, and those can aid you in your search. In this paradox, the never-ending journey is made possible.

Think upon what you have read here, and take your lessons to the meditation wheels of Divine Harmony in the temple’s hallway. They will help you to find the next step upon the unending path."

The Cannibal Cookbook
Valued Customer:

While we appreciate your business, the staff of the Heart of the Empire politely requests that you keep your nose out of ours. To assure that you will no longer wish to pry into our recipes, please enjoy this excerpt recently unearthed in the south.

Leg of Lam

This hearty meal was first discovered after Yu Lam the Hunter stumbled upon our community. For five to ten people, use just one leg (the other can be pickled for later or roasted slowly and smoked to preserve it). For larger groups, use both legs of an adult male or female. Boil the legs in a large pot for two hours with the following ingredients: twenty gallons of fresh water, three tablespoons of salt, half a cup of rosemary, three cups of spiced wine (summer wine is best if you can get it), three bags of onions, four whole garlic cloves, and a dash of ginger. When the legs have about half an hour left, add some skinned potatoes and leeks. Can be served on the bone or in steaks.

Diary of a Dice Collector
Diary of a Dice Collector
Anonymous
“Summer, 1263. A dwarven regiment of the Mahakam Volunteer Army is stationed near my estate. The officers spend their days playing dice poker. It seems an interesting game.

Autumn, 1263. The dwarves have marched south toward a great battle with Nilfgaard. Dear old Molnar gave me a set of dice. I think he meant to compensate me for all the games I lost.

Winter, 1264. My trip to Vizima was worthwhile — I won a decent sum at the inn. It’s a pity the locals don’t want to play me anymore. I must learn to lose a bit more often.

Spring, 1264. The jade dice cost me a fortune, but my collection would be incomplete without them. Every now and again I manage to convince someone to play a round with me, but I feel I must move to the city again.

Autumn, 1264. What rotten luck! I had to sell father’s estate. As soon as I start winning again, I’ll buy it back.

Spring, 1265. I was told a band of deserters stalks the area. I doubt the poor village or my humble abode holds anything of value around. There’s nothing of value around here… Maybe they would fancy a game of dice poker?"

Disenchanting a Striga
Anonymous
“The witcher then said to King Foltest: “Pay me, Sire, and I will find your daughter in the dark tomb. I will restore her human form if I can, and if I cannot then I will not hesitate to kill the princess.”

The king understood this was his only chance and so placed his daughter’s fate in the witcher’s hands.

The conjurer struggled with the striga for hours. He warded her off with silver and magic arts. He grappled with the beast and did not let her wound him, but avoided causing serious harm to her as well.

Finally, he locked himself in the crypt, sealed the entrance with magic and waited until dawn.

Witchers possess great knowledge about monsters and know that the rooster’s morning call is enough to disenchant a cursed creature."

The Double Cross of Alzur
An edition censored by the Brotherhood
“I was vested with the thankless responsibility of preparing a new edition of the incomplete tome of Alzur (some of its pages have been torn out), which describes the methods of creating monstrous beasts. Whoever remembers the koshchey or the viy of Maribor knows the evil the book has caused, especially the Double Cross of Alzur described therein. The following edition provides information on creatures such as the frightener or the koshchey, but does not contain the secrets of creating these beasts.

To ensure safety, I would nevertheless suggest that readers never utter any formulae outloud and speak all vowels while inhaling."

Forensic Medicine
Milo Vanderbeck
“Before beginning an autopsy, we must gather as much information as possible to help us interpret any marks we discover on the body. It is good to know who the victim was and in what setting the corpse was found. Witnesses should be questioned and experts consulted.

A well conducted autopsy gives almost as much information as talking to the victim. We can learn when death occurred, its circumstances, and what happened to the body afterwards. We may also learn about the murderer, any objects used in the murder and the manner of their use.

A corpse cut with a scalpel is like an open book. Whoever examines the details and carefully tests every hypothesis will understand it."

The Nature of Ultima Orcs

A Short Treatise on the Evolution of the Orcish Species in Sosaria

The Orcish Species consists of three subspecies; the most common, Orcius Orcius, is also known as the commmon Orc; next is the more evolved Orcius Goblinus, or Goblin; finally there is the now rare Orcius Trollus, know called the Troll or Bridge Troll.

Orcius Orcius was the first created by the evil wizard Mondain during the First Age of Darkness as a cross between a human and a dog. These vile creatures bred rapidly and could be easily created by sorcerous means. Orcs comprised the bulk of Mondain’s army, and after his defeat most of the Orcs flocked to the banner of his consort Minax, once she had herself mastered the art of creating these mockeries of life. Building upon the “success” of the Orcs, Mondain further corrupted and mutated these creatures into Orcius Golbinus, a stronger and somewhat more intelligent version of their Orcish cousins. Goblins were capable of simple speech, and were capable of rational, though evil-minded, thought. They took considerably more effort to create than orcs, however, so they were seen in fewer numbers. Finally Mondain created the Orcius Trollus, or Troll. This was by far the most difficult and straining to create, as can be gleaned from the sorceror’s journals. Though more stupid than even the Orcs, Trolls posessed the strength of ten men, and had skin tougher than iron.

The existance of Goblins and Trolls on other planes of existance has led some to specualte that perhaps Mondain learned the secret of their creation from one of his otherworldly contacts, and the Orc was his first, flawed attempt at creating goblins. However they were created, they played a major role in the Age of Darkness and the reign of the Triad of Evil. After Mondain’s death, the Orcs fled to the dungeons until Minax proved herself as their master by mastering the creation of Orcs herself. However the complete and utter defeat of the Dark Enchantress almost brought about the end of the Orcs as well, countless numbers being lost in time. With the Orcs all but vanquished peace seemed near, but then the Hellspawn Exodus appeared, whose sheer magical power approached that of his ‘father’ but who was much more methodical and efficient, bringing all of the Orcish populations higher than they had ever been.

At first these creatures were held together by magic, but after they were separated from their Dark Masters, subsequent generations became less and less bound by the magic until they were at last a natural creature. When still magically bound, that is up to the destruction of Exodus, they were susceptible to dispelling magiks such as the priest spell ‘Repond’ used greatly during the Third Age of Darkness.

Exodus was the last of the great powers to create these monstrosities, as did Mondain and Minax before him. After his destruction at the hands of the Hero, the Orcs, Goblins, and Trolls, deprived of leadership, took refuge in the dark recesses of the dungeons, or formed roving bands of marauders that waylaid travellers in the uncharted wilderness. Eventually they became naturalized, and the Orcs and Trolls reverted to a more animal state, appearing more as ravenous dogs than magical beasts. The Goblins, retaining much of their intelligence, fled underground, and besides their role in the failed Stygian Abyss colony, and occasional sightings in the sewers, they are rarely seen today. The Trolls, hunted by increasingly brave knights, withdrew to the deeper parts of the earth as well, though some began to congregate beneath bridges, suprising unwary travellers and extracting payment from them. By the end of the Age of the False Prophet, the common Orc was all but extinct, shunning light entirely, and their cousins the Trolls fared little better. Only the brute strength of the Troll has kept it alive, and some have found employment as hired muscle among the shadier humans. Some still haunt the bridges and dungeons, but the Trolls seem to be slowly going the way of their brethren.

All of this is not so throught the multiverse, as recent expeditions by the Avatar and the companions have proved. Goblins seem to be found in much greater numbers than in Brittania, especially in the Serpent Isle, which was once, before the death of Mondain, attached to our own continent of Brittania. One interesting point is that the Serpent Isle seems totally devoid of Orcs, once the most populous of the Orcish Species. The explanation is that they were also the most reliant upon their masters, as can be seen by examining their current status in Brittania. Without the presence of Minax and Exodus, who appeared in Brittania but not the Serpent Isle, the Orcs there would most certainly die out.

Other, seemingly unconnected planes, share a common tie, Goblins, and to some extent Trolls. Information gathered from the Avatar after his journies through the Blackrock Gem have revealed a huge number of diverse realities that contain Goblins, strengthening the theory stated above that Mondain obtained the formulae for the creation of the Goblins from sorcerors in other worlds. In addition, it seems the name of our late resident archmage, Mondain, is known in other worlds as well.

The Ophidians

The Ophidian culture started in the Lands of Danger and Despair shortly after the sundering of the continents after Mondain’s defeat at the hands of the Hero. One of the kings of the land, Shamino, was stranded in the Lands of Lord British, and the other, the King of the White Dragon, went insane and killed himself and his subjects.

It was at this time that the Great Serpents contacted the remaining people from the Void. They told the people that if they followed the Great Serpents, they would prosper. The newly named Ophidians quickly built their culture around the Great Serpents and their virtues. They established cities and shrines throughout the renamed Serpent Isle, most of them beneath the huge mountain ranges of Skullcrusher and Spinebreaker, though some were built upon the existing cities. Blackrock was a small, but important part of the Ophidian culture, as it was used in many of the holy items made for use in the shrines, and were imbued with certain magical properties.

The Ophidians were split into three factions, one following the tenets of the Serpent of Order, another following the Serpent of Chaos, and the third following the Great Earth Serpent of Balance. This last group was but few, yet they managed to keep the two opposing philosophies of Chaos and Order at peace with one another, ruled by their respective Hierophants, or leaders, but all being subject to the Great Hierophant of Balance, who in turn communicated the will of the Serpent of Balance.

The Ophidians lived in peace for many years, though the exact length is unknown because of time differences between our Britannia and the Serpent Isle. They had many accomplishments, one being the Serpent Gates, or Dark Path as it was later called. The Serpent Gates allowed instantaneous travel between many of the Ophidian holy places and cities. Another, perhaps the most spectacular of them all, was the Wall of Lights. Three of these magical Walls were made, and they allowed the Hierophants of Chaos, Order, and Balance to enter the Void and commune with their benefactors the Great Serpents.

All of this peace and prosperity was not to last, however, as the Hell-Spawn Exodus, during the Third Age of Darkness, pulled the Great Earth Serpent from the Void in order to protect his castle from assault. The Great Earth Serpent was eventually freed by the Hero, but when he returned he found the Ophidian culture and cities destroyed. During the Great Earth Serpent’s long absence, the rival Serpents of Chaos and Order used their followers to wage war against each other in what became the War of Imbalance. During this war, the cities were destroyed and most of the people killed, and eventually Order prevailed. The Chaos Serpent was split into the three Banes, and entrapped by the servants of Order. Having nowhere to live, the remaining servants of Order fled through the Wall of Lights. To where they fled is a mystery, and none but the Order Serpent itself may know. But the Order Serpent’s victory was short-lived, as he was alone in the Void, without followers, he went slowly insane. This is what greeted the Serpent of Balance upon his return. The ruins of the Ophidians lay forgotten until the arrival of the settlers, led by Erstam the mage, that fled from Britannia and the rule of Lord British. Yet these people did little to study or preserve the remains of the ancient culture. Upon the arrival of the Avatar, the Hero from Another World, the Ophidian cities and shrines were once again discovered by the Avatar and his Companions. Through the efforts of the Hero from Another World, the Serpents were restored to their place in the Void, yet the Ophidians still lay in their mountain tombs, but their souls now rested in the Void.

Stonegate

The following is a passage taken from The History of Stonegate by Shazle, and is known to be a reliable source on such matters:

“The story of Stonegate Castle is, indeed, an interesting one. At one time the keep was occupied by the Shadowlords, during Lord British’s disappearance and Blackthorn’s evil rule. However, once the Avatar returned our noble monarch to his throne, eliminating the Shadowlords from Britannia, a family of cyclops made the castle their home.”

Ed. Note: This was the castle in which the Vortex Cube was hidden in before its recovery by the Avatar during the Age of the False Prophet

“Not more than three decades from then the walls were abandoned. This lasted but for a short time, however, for a small colony of wingless gargoyles found refuge within the confines of the keep. Three years later they were driven out by Lord Vemelon of Jhelom , who chose to retain the castle for his own purposes For several generations ownership was passed down the Vemelon line until one day the very mountains nearby opened up”

Ed. Note: It is unknown what caused this, although it has been speculated that the first appearance of the Guardian may have caused this, though evidence tends to show that it was merely a mundane earthquake

“and the swamps engulfed the castle. Now, rumors purport that a colony of trolls have taken up residence amongst the ruins, along with an ancient wizard, but no one has ever confirmed their existence”

Ed. Note: While it has still never been confirmed, the remains of ritual sacrificing tools in the area could indicate that a wizard did indeed at one time make his abode within the ruins of Stonegate, however if such a wizard did exist, he was gone long before the Avatar and his companions arrived to retrieve the Magebane, which was among the ruins.

Shamino

Shamino, one of the Avatar’s most trusted companions, has lived long in Britannia, and Sosaria before it. Before the time of Mondain he was a ranger, wandering the forests of Sosaria in search of adventure. It was he who found young British when he arrived through a moongate into our world. It was he who taught and raised our Lord British in the ways of magic and the customs of our land. But eventually Lord British went on to seek his own way, and Shamino went his, again traveling throughout the land.

But with the rise of Mondain, Shamino was forced to stay close to cities, and he found himself at the Castle of the White Dragon. This is where he met Beatrix, princess and daughter of the King of the White Dragon, and fell in love with her. The King was overjoyed and arranged for them to be married. He built Shamino a castle, to the north of his own, and made preparations for the wedding, which was to be a year hence.

But one day, sixth months before his wedding, while Lord Shamino was seeing court, the Hero entered, who had been summoned to the land by Lord British to aid in the fight against Mondain. But as a Lord of the Realm it was his duty to test the Hero, so he sent the Hero into one of the nearby dungeons to slay the vile creatures that had come out of it of late. When the Hero had accomplished this task Shamino put all of he resources of his castle at the Hero’s disposal. But when the Hero had gone the vile creatures of Mondain, Orcs, Goblins, and worse, began to attack the settlements even harder than before. Shamino decided to travel to the lands of his friend Lord British to seek his aid in the fight against then Goblins. He promised to return within the month, with reinforcements to drive the Goblins from the lands. But before he could return, the Hero slew the evil wizard Mondain and shattered the Gem of Immortality, causing the four continents of Sosaria to be sundered, leaving Shamino stranded in the Lands of Lord British, unable to return to his castle and Beatrix.

Here he remained, helping his long-time friend Lord British against the daemons that plagued the land during the Second Age of Darkness in the reign of Minax. But when the Isle of Fire arose out of the sea, and the Hell-Spawn Exodus began his assault, Shamino volunteered to explore the Castle Death, in the hope of finding a weakness in Exodus or his plans. It is not known exactly what transpired within the walls of that castle, only that Shamino barely escaped with his life, and rendered temporarily insane by his horrible experience.

When he regained his sanity at last, he went to West Montor to recuperate with his friend Sentri. There he stayed until the destruction of Exodus, and the great cataclysms that took place afterwards.

When Lord British created the Virtues and established the eight cities of Britannia, Shamino took up the life of a ranger once again. He roamed throughout Spiritwood and the Deep Forest, and when he did settle, it was in Skara Brae, but only for a short time. He was at peace, yet he was restless.

Then Lord British called forth the Hero for a fourth time, this time to become an Avatar, an embodiment of the Eight Virtues. Shamino joined the Hero in his quest, following into deep dungeons, dark forests, high mountains, and to the last Altar of Virtue at the bottom of the Abyss.

After the Avatar returned to his world, and the Codex was raised, Shamino returned to his wandering ways once again, until the disappearance of Lord British, and the emergence of the Shadowlords. When he and the other companions became wanted criminals by order of Blackthorne, Shamino and the others commissioned the royal coin maker to mint a magical coin with which they summoned the Avatar. Shamino was the first to greet him when he arrived, but at that moment the Shadowlords arrived and struck Shamino down. It took Shamino a long time to fully recover, but he accompanied the Avatar on his quest to destroy the Shadowlords and rescue Lord British.

Shamino became more involved with the court after Lord British was rescued and the Avatar returned to Earth, though he still spent much of his time in the wilderness. But when the Avatar was in danger, Shamino, along with his friends Dupre and Iolo, rescued the Avatar from the clutches of the Gargoyles, and accompanied him on his quest to save Britannia, and the Gargoyles as well.

During the two-hundred years of the Avatar’s absence, Shamino eventually settled down in Britain, where he fell in love with an actress by the name of Amber. But when the call to adventure sounded, and the Avatar returned, Shamino was quick to join him as they uncovered the devious plots of the Fellowship and the Guardian. During the Guardian’s attempted invasion of the land while the Avatar and many others were trapped under the Blackrock Gem that surrounded Castle British, Shamino helped to repel the assault.

In his latest journey, he accompanied the Avatar, Iolo, and Dupre on their quest to find Gwenno and the fiend Batlin. It was here that he was possessed by the Chaos Bane, Anarchy. He was finally exorcised of the Bane by the Avatar, but not before he brought about the destruction of the city of Moonshade, though this was not done of his own free will. He and Iolo were left behind when the Avatar was teleported into the void and captured by the Guardian.

Ether

Not to be confused with the Ethereal Void, the Ether is the source of magic that permeates anything and everything on every world. The Ether has no source, rather it is its own source, being infinite in nature. It can best be described as an unending sea of ghostlike waves, that eddy and shift in a way that is totally unpredictable. Those who are attuned to the Ether, commonly called mages, can draw these swirling etherwaves into the Material World and shape them into spells.

Some misguided individuals have been lead to believe that the Ether exists in concentric circles, numbering only eight. This, however, is untrue, as the potential power of magic is as limitless as the Ether itself, but the Human mind’s need for organization has structured our known spells in such a way they may appear so at first glance.

Certain things can disrupt, or otherwise effect the flow of Ether. One of these is blackrock, which has the unique characteristic of extending into the Ether, slowing, and even blocking the flow of Ether around it. Another implementation of blackrock, combined with powerful magics, can create a “Zigzag” or “Jagged” Ether wave, instead of the normal rounded kind, perverting the Ether around it. These “Jagged” waves, while they can still be used by mages, unless protected against can cause serious harm to the mind. One such implementation was the Tetrahedron Generator, created by the Guardian in his first attempt to conquer Britannia.

Dupre

Dupre, knighted by Lord British during the Avatar’s two-hundred year absence, was one of the most valorous and honorable knights of the realm. First entering our realm at the end of the Second Age of Darkness, Dupre has since been a defender of the land and a fixture at local drinking establishments.

During the time of Exodus, Dupre made his home in Britain, venturing outside its steadfast walls often to do battle the vile minions of evil that plagued the land.

After the fall of Exodus, when Lord British created the Eight Virtues and founded the Eight Cities of Virtue, Dupre quickly adopted the way of the honorable Paladin. He made his abode in Trinsic, until the day when the Hero, striving to become the Avatar, arrived in Trinsic, and enlisted Dupre’s aid in his quest. Dupre traveled with the Hero on his quest, until they parted upon the Hero entering the chamber of the Codex.

Dupre continued to live in Trinsic until the arrival of the Shadowlords, when he was driven into hiding at Bordermarch Keep. He aided the other Companions in summoning the Avatar, and when he arrived, Dupre gladly joined his friend in his quest to defeat the Shadowlords and rescue Lord British.

Until the Avatar’s next visit to Britannia, Dupre spent most of his time in Serpent’s Hold and Trinsic. But when Nystul sensed that the Avatar was in peril, Dupre, Shamino, and Iolo rescued their friend from the Gargoyles. Dupre helped the Avatar save Britannia and the Gargoyles during this Age of the False Prophet.

During the Avatar’s long absence, Dupre was knighted by Lord British, and became Sir Dupre. He also went on a tour of all the drinking establishments of Britannia, while doing a survey for Brommers. Dupre was in Jhelom when he joined the Avatar once again, to stop the Fellowship and the Guardian, and save Britannia.

In his final adventure, the noble Sir Dupre ventured to the Serpent Isle, with Iolo, Shamino, and the Avatar, in a quest to stop the fiend Batlin and find Iolo’s wife, Gwenno. When Batlin was killed, and the Banes of Chaos released, Dupre was possessed by the Wantonness Bane, which destroyed the town of Monitor, and most of its inhabitants. When he was finally exorcised of the Bane by the Avatar, Dupre was heavy with the guilt of all the deaths that he had caused while under the Bane’s control. But when the ashes of a hero were needed to reunite the Chaos Serpent, Sir Dupre gave his life, so that the Avatar could complete his quest, and Dupre was made one with the Serpent of Chaos. This was the end of a truly noble Knight of Britannia.

Britain

Britain, the capital of Brittana and one of the oldest cities in Britannia, having been founded well before the First Age of Darkness. It did not become the City of Compassion, however, until after the destruction of Exodus, when Lord British declared the Eight Virtues.

Once located south of Castle British, the thriving city has literally grown up around the Castle, bordering almost all of Brittany Bay. Its largest growth spurt was seen during the period of peace and prosperity after the raising of the Codex, up until the disappearance of Lord British and the arrival of the Shadowlords. during this time the areas surrounding the Castle were considered separate villages in their own right, being North, East, and West Brittany. This, however, did not last for long, and the City of Britain eventually assimilated these small, rural areas. If its expansion does not slow, it is likely that Britain will absorb the farming communtiy of Paws in the near future.

Britain is certainly the largest of all the cities in Brittania, and it is home to almost every kind of shop imaginable, including the Farmer’s Market and the world famous Iolo’s Bows. Also in Britain is the Bard’s Conservatory and the Wayfarer’s Inn, both of which have played prominent roles in the Avatar’s journies. Lying on the road between Minoc and Trinsic, Britain attracts many merchants to the area, and it is those merchants who eventually settled down there, building their shops and spurring Britain’s growth.

Before it was disbanded after the destruction of the Black Gate, the Fellowship, led by the sage Batlin, was based in Britain. The Royal Mint, before it was transplaced with an odd lighthouse that was recently discovered to be from the Serpent Isle, was based in Britain. The Royal Theatre, founded by Raymundo of Britain, is located in Britain as well. The Royal Museum, once called Lord British’s Museum of Oddities, is yet another famous building within the confines of Britain.

Britain is becoming increasingly more important in the national politics of Brittania, and with the disbanding of Yew, it now plays an even more prominent role in Brittanian society.

Blackrock

Blackrock, the unbreakable, jet black mineral that is found only in the deepest of mines. Numerous experiments have been performed with this newly discovered mineral, including those by Rudyom of Cove, and others.

Blackrock is indestructible by any normal means, though by the use of a relatively minor spell, a small amount of the substance can be made malleable for a short time. Because of another of its peculiar properties, blackrock played an important role in the Avatar’s last quest in Britannia. Blackrock seems to slow, and block when used in large quantities, the flow of the Ether around it. (For a more detailed look at how the Ether works see: The Ether) This was useful in blocking the harmful ether waves created by the Tetrahedron Generator, so that the Avatar was able to converse more easily with the mage Penumbra. Horance the Liche also used blackrock in the construction of his dark tower, making him immune to the detrimental effects of the Tetrahedron Generator that incapacitated so many mages of the time.

Blackrock also has other, not yet fully explored characteristics, one of which deals with teleportation, as seen with the Black Gate, and the smaller blackrock gem within the castle sewers during the Guardians first invasion. When imbued with powerful magics of some kind, blackrock seems to aid the process of inter-dimensional travel. This magic is beyond even the powers of even our most powerful mages, though perhaps someday its secrets will be discovered.

Blackrock, while widely known in intellectual circles, is far from common, and is in fact the rarest known mineral, surpassing even gold. Known deposits have been located in both the Minoc and Vesper mines, first mined by the Fellowship for use in creating the Black Gate. This mineral is not limited to our own world, either. According to the Avatar’s companions in the Serpent isle, the Ophidians used blackrock in the construction of their holy objects. Also, found among the Avatar’s journal entries from the time of the Guardian’s first invasion, blackrock was used in many of the planes that he traveled to.

Zerrikanian Insects and Other Vermin
by Marco Knopf
“Zerrikania, home of the venomous basilisk, has given birth to other equally hideous creatures. Among them are spotted spiders so huge that they trap elephants in their webs and the no-less terrifying tse tse flies. The flies are especially repulsive, laying their eggs in the human body, the resulting larvae maturing within the host’s head. The victim’s brain serves as sustenance and when the larvae turn into adult flies, they leave the body through the eye sockets, now void of the previously devoured eyes. These and other vermin are born in the far land of Zerrikania. Thank the gods that similar filth has not infested the Northern Kingdoms.”

Transmutations and Metamorphoses
by Adalbertus Aloysius Kalkstein
“To follow the example of the sorcerer from the tower, we first need to classify substances, diving them into superior and inferior varieties. Only the former can be described by the theory of interdependence presented here.

Inferior substances do not produce a chain of quasi-life structures, for their nature is substandard in quality and they cannot exist independently. However, it has been proven that they are paradoxically essential for the chain to exist in spite of their inferiority. The hypothesis of interdependence assumes that the chain of quasi-life must contain one substance of each superior element. Nonetheless, the chain’s structure, proposed by Raffard the White, has one too few paces for them, namely only five. If the chain were transposed and then transmuted, the problem would easily be solved. Alas, the first operation cannot be performed without damage to the chain’s integrity. The only solution is to use a so-called reversed transmutation, which will eventually cause the chain to rotate. As a result of rotation all six superior substances will constantly leave and join the chain without destroying it. From the holistic point of view, there will always be six superior substances occupying five places. The ingenuity of this solution lies in the chain having all the qualities of the three inferior substances. Thus the paradox of interdependence, or as some say coexistence, is no longer a problem.

Unfortunately, since none of the modern works describe how to perform reverse transmutation, the problem of animating the inanimate remains unresolved."

The Story of Lara Dorren and Cragen of Lod
as told by humans
“The queen said: “Don’t plead for mercy, but beg those whom you harmed with your sorcery. You had the courage to commit evil deeds, be brave now, when justice is near. It is not in my power to pardon your sins.” The witch sniggered like a cat in response, her wicked eyes glimmered. “My doom is near,” she shouted, “but yours is not far either, my queen. At the hour of your terrible death you will remember Lara Dorren and her curse. And know that the curse will touch all your descendants over the next ten generations.” Yet, realizing that the queen was fearless at heart, the evil elven witch stopped swearing and threatening with curses, and began whining like a bitch, begging for mercy and help…"

orceresses and Sorcerers
by Marcus Marcellinus
“The Brotherhood of Sorcerers ceased to exist after the revolt on Thanedd Island, when some of the mages were accused of serving Nilfgaard and were arrested or killed. All the important sorcerers were there for a meeting due to transpire on the following day. Neutral mages also perished during the fighting. Among them was Hen Gedymdeith, who remembered the beginnings of human colonization.

Soon after, Tissaia de Vries committed suicide. Her death marked the end of the Brotherhood and the advent of a new order.

After the revolt on Thanedd Island some of the surviving sorceresses grew in prominence. Philippa Eilhart consolidated her position at Redania’s court, while the elf Francesca Findabair, queen of the Valley of Flowers, expanded her involvement in human affairs. Triss Merigold, a younger sorceress representing Foltest’s interests, also joined in shaping the new order."
Shadow People, or the story of His Majesty’s Secret Service
by Oribasius Giafranco Paolo Reuven
“Redania’s political situation was best grasped by Sigismund Dijkstra, who could accurately foresee the future and would have assessed present events level-headedly.

Dijikstra knew the kings of the North were weak and that actual power rested with the sorceresses. He assumed that a counterbalance for their magic could only be provided by a strong religious cult offering an ideology that would appeal to the masses and possessing real armed forces.

The chief of Redanian intelligence supported the newly-formed Order of the Flaming Rose, but disagreed with the concept of establishing its main commandery within Redanian territory. Dijikstra is reported to have said: "It’s good to have fanatics and sorceress-scarers on one’s side, but it’s even better when they live beyond one’s borders.

Fundamentalists always cause trouble, so it’s best to transfer this trouble to somebody else. Like the Temerians, for instance. And if we need fanatics, if we need to unleash them against the sorceresses or Nilfgaard, we’ll just whistle. They will not be far — just beyond the border." Time will tell how much truth there was in these words."

The Rivian Pogrom
Anonymous, based on eyewitness accounts
“After the war, the people of Rivia were unhappy. Poverty was the plight of many and most believed the kings and magnates had betrayed them during the peace talks by not exacting reparations from Nilfgaard. A scapegoat was needed and as usual it was the changelings — nonhumans and witches.

A mere spark was required to send a furious crowd into the streets. Anyone who seemed different was targeted. Dwarves, elves and those accused of using spells were all murdered. People also used the situation to settle old scores, loot and rape. I admit shamefully that few were brave enough to stand in defense of the persecuted. Among those few was the famous Geralt of Rivia, who in seeking to protect his friends was struck with a pitchfork and died. There would have been more victims if not for the intervention of Triss Merigold. The sorceress sent a powerful hailstorm down on the crowd. Only that powerful spell could stop the rioting. What happened to the body of Geralt of Rivia and those who stood by his side, I do not know."

Recent History
Anonymous
“Field Marshal Coehoorn’s strategy failed when his flanking maneuver was stopped by the heroic Viziman infantry led by Governor Bronibor, though they paid dearly for their heroism in blood. While the Vizimans resisted, Nilfgaard’s left flank crumbled — some began to flee while others banded into small groups to defend themselves as they were surrounded. The same soon happened on the right, where the tenacity of the dwarves and mercenaries finally broke Nilfgaard’s momentum. A loud cry of triumph rose on the battlefield as the hearts of the royal knights filled with new courage. Nilfgaardian spirits fell, the men’s hands went limp, and our warriors began cutting them down.

And Field Marshal Menno Coehoorn realized that the battle was lost as he saw his men being killed and dispersed all around. His officers and knights came to him leading a fresh horse, urging him to flee, to save his life. But the Nilfgaardian marshal’s heart was fearless. “It wouldn’t be right”, he said, refusing the reins. “It wouldn’t be right to run like a coward from the field on which, under my orders, so many good men have fallen for the emperor.”

The Kingdom of Temeria
by Marco Knopf
“Temeria, the jewel of the North, has silver lilies on a black background as its emblem. The kingdom, always powerful, has gained even more prominence in recent years under the wise rule of the good King Foltest. Redania lies to the north, across the Pontar river, while mountain ranges can be found to the south and east. One of them is Mahakam, a stronghold of dwarves and gnomes, past which the lands of Lyria and Aedirn lie. The capital of Temeria is Vizima, located on the shores of Lake Vizima. Maribor is the realm’s second largest city.”

Fairytales and Stories
by Flourens Delannoy
“Then the fairy said to the witcher: “I will tell you what to do: put on a pair of iron shoes, pick up an iron staff. Walk in the iron shoes to the end of the world, pat the ground before you with the staff, and sprinkle it with tears. Walk through fire and water, do not stop, do not look back. And when your shoes wear out, and when the iron staff shatters, when the wind and the heat dry your eyes so that you cannot shed another tear, then you will have reached the world’s end, and you will have found what you seek what you love. Perhaps.”

And so the witcher walked through fire and water without looking back. But he took neither the iron shoes nor the staff. He took only his witcher’s sword. He did not heed the words of the fairy. And that’s a good thing, because she was an evil fairy."

The Secret Gates
by Ransant Alvaro
Old men say that long, long ago a mage lived in the swamp. He spent his days and nights pouring over his books and pipettes. They say he was seeking a stone that turns lead into gold and springs water into moonshine; in other words, a stone that sublimates all matter.

The Gods were not pleased because his pride would reach where no mortal should. Thus, one night a terrible storm struck the mage’s tower down. However, he built a new one and cast spells to tame the storm. This tower stood until another dark night, the earth itself moved and toppled it. Yet he built a new one and cast spells to bind the earth itself.

And so neither heaven nor earth could harm the mage. Then one day, he disappeared. Some say he took on an apprentice and this brought him to his doom, others claim a woman was his undoing, yet others that his own creations turned against the mage. In any case, the tower stands locked and guards its secrets, and what lurks inside, nobody knows.

Ain Soph Aur
“Ten wordly elements, ten corner stones. All emerged from these ten. Seeker, lift your eyes, search your past and you shall find.

He who knows your course holds Wisdom and will share it when asked.

Another has gained uncountable riches, yet has Compassion in his heart.

Your heart, in turn, does not harbor Love, but it is with one who knows mercy, one able to love.

Once blind, now plunge into your mind, your memory. Dark and dangerous is the path from enslavement to the promised Kingdom.

A goddess thrice over — Virgin, Mother, Old Woman. Three faces, three graces: Understanding, Power, Glory. Achievable through sacrifice and prayer.

The Foundation lies in the deep. Be not tempted by the errant fires. Defeat death and you will be rewarded.

Victory is gained only by fighting its sentry.

He who leads through labyrinthine mysteries will offer you the Crown of consciousness.

At your path’s end, Awareness will be yours, you will comprehend. What is locked will open before you.

The ten names are: Wisdom — Chocc’mah, Understanding — Veen’ah, Love — Kezath, Compassion — Tipperath, Power — Ghe’vrath, Victory — Neh’tza, Glory — ‘Oth, Foundation — Y’esath, Kingdom — Maal’kad, Crown — Keth’aar."

The Rivian Pogrom
Anonymous, based on eyewitness accounts
“After the war, the people of Rivia were unhappy. Poverty was the plight of many and most believed the kings and magnates had betrayed them during the peace talks by not exacting reparations from Nilfgaard. A scapegoat was needed and as usual it was the changelings — nonhumans and witches.

A mere spark was required to send a furious crowd into the streets. Anyone who seemed different was targeted. Dwarves, elves and those accused of using spells were all murdered. People also used the situation to settle old scores, loot and rape. I admit shamefully that few were brave enough to stand in defense of the persecuted. Among those few was the famous Geralt of Rivia, who in seeking to protect his friends was struck with a pitchfork and died. There would have been more victims if not for the intervention of Triss Merigold. The sorceress sent a powerful hailstorm down on the crowd. Only that powerful spell could stop the rioting. What happened to the body of Geralt of Rivia and those who stood by his side, I do not know."

An Invitation to Magic
by Anabelle Radfind
“Magic is an incarnation of Chaos, a key which opens forbidden doors to nightmares, to the powers of pure Evil capable of annihilating the entire world. Do you not fear magic? Do you still want to tame it, to wield it?

Know then that magic is a talent given only to the chosen few. Have you found this talent within you? Do you want to tap into this source?

Know then that years of intensive study await you. You must gain extensive knowledge and constantly sharpen your mind. Creative magic is not witcher Signs and parlor tricks. Magic is an Art.

Once you learn to control the Art, you will gain power over fire, water, earth and air. Power over people’s minds. Power over yourself."

A Hog Named Henselt
King Henselt is like a hog in countless ways. Firstly, his appetite is unlimited: just as a hog sinks its teeth into all things edible, lecherously licking its chops, so Henselt bites at his neighbors. Swine pay no mind to the freshness of their fodder, pouncing upon carrion with reckless abandon. And Henselt ventures into Aedirn – a realm orphaned of its ruler and gravely weakened like a dying man. A hog’s eyes remain fixed on the ground beneath its trotters, and Henselt is likewise short-sighted, failing to foresee the consequences of his deeds. Driven by his hog-like desire to stuff himself, he now leads his army and realm to destruction. It is no wonder, then, that some have appeared who seek to slay the crowned swine of the North one by one.
A new order must arise in the Northern Kingdoms. A wave of turmoil has passed through Aedirn and Temeria, and now it rushes towards Kaedwen.
A swell murky with blood rises in its wake.
Once it reaches Henselt’s realm, we shall not speak of regicide, but of the simple slaughter of a pig.

… Yet Henselt courts the Imperial envoy like a cheap whore who has singled out a burgher with a full pouch at the brothel. Keep in mind that a whore can let anyone she wishes plough her. Her arse – her choice. The King owes us more. His arse belongs to all of us and its name is Kaedwen. Dare we allow a Nilfgaardian prick to plough our country? As my friend who is a witcher says, “If that’s what the world needs to be saved, perhaps it would be better that it perish.”

Dragons were once commonplace, their rule over the continent absolute. Dragon fire was the bane of cities, and dragon appetites were a constant threat to the first colonizers. Mages stood against these creatures, witchers were created to fight them. Today dragons are nearly extinct. There are occasional sightings of forktails and slyzards, but these creatures are to dragons as stray cats are to tigers. Dragons were brought to the brink of extinction by professional hunters like the famed Crinfrid Reavers. Alchemy ingredients from the dragon’s body are among the most expensive and highly sought after by mages. The beast’s roasted tail is considered a true delicacy.

Alchemical Wedding

Witchers are famous for brewing potions that give them supernatural abilities in combat. To brew them, they harvest alchemy ingredients from roadside shrubs and from the corpses of monsters they kill. Each ingredient contains one of the following basic substances: aether, caelum, fulgur, hydragenum, quebrith, rebis, sol, vermilion or vitriol. Alchemy formulae describe the proportions of these substances which must be mixed to obtain the desired potion. To make a potion while meditating, the witcher must have both a formula and the ingredients it requires.
In addition to potions, witchers can also prepare oils that they apply to blades to poison opponents or irritate their wounds, and bombs which can be cast to wound or kill many foes at once.
Potions have a delayed effect, so they should be consumed before a fight, while meditating. Oils can only be applied to sword blades in the Inventory panel. Bombs should also be prepared in advance and placed in the “Pocket” slots.

Ambassador Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen’s first letter to the Emperor
To His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Nilgaard Emhyr var Emreis – private and confidential
Your Imperial Majesty! I hasten to report that the sorcerer Vanhemar has indeed proven right for the role assigned to him. He keeps his apprentice Cynthia on a short leash and displays nothing approaching excessive ambition. I believe him to be of unquestionable loyalty, and his abilities are more than adequate to server Your Imperial Majesty’s objectives. The summit will be the final test. We will see how he behaves there, and if he proves more capable of resisting temptation than his female colleagues did. Please convey my kindest regards to Your Consort.
Your Imperial Majesty’s Ever Faithful Servant,
Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen

Ambassador Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen’s second letter to the Emperor
To His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Nilfgaard Emhyr var Emreis – private and confidential
Your Imperial Majesty! After visiting Foltest (may he rest in peace), as planned I am now the guest of Henselt , whom I aim to present Your Imperial Majesty’s offer. Kaedwen is a quarrelsome nation with an unreliable king and a wild nobility. Sympathies and allegiances shift time and again. Manipulating them takes no real skill. I note that Renuald aep Matsen has also taken up station in the barbarous North. I would take this occasion to express my doubt that sending him was necessary. Your Imperial Majesty knows that I do not trust the man and suspect he is hiding something from me.
Your Imperial Majesty’s Ever Faithful Servant,
Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen

Ambassador Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen’s third letter to the Emperor
To His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Nilfgaard Emhyr var Emreis – private and confidential
Your Imperial Majesty! As Your Imperial Majesty foresaw, my negotiations with Henselt proved an uphill battle. He rejected Your Imperial Majesty’s proposition. Furthermore, I believe the so-called Lodge will soon cease to serve our aims. For now, the headstrong sorceresses are mitigated by the actions of witcher Geralt , but in my opinion he knows too much already and will need to be eliminated soon. Upon the conclusion of the summit in Loc Muinne, I will immediately inform Your Imperial Majesty of the summit’s results and of the circumstances of the witcher’s death.
Your Imperial Majesty’s Ever Faithful Servant,
Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen

Ancient Text
The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex. Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister.

The Arachas

Arachnids are lone hunters — they patiently wait for their prey to kill it with one swift strike when it appears. The same is true for the arachas, a huge creature that took a liking of the riverside forest, becoming its undisputed king. A ruler who does not tolerate other hunters on its territory. Including witchers.

Arrest warrant: Geralt of Rivia
It is hereby made known to all that the witcher named Geralt, a native of Rivia, has committed the high crime of regicide in slaying Foltest, King of Temeria. As a murderer and traitor, Geralt of Rivia has been sentenced to die by fire. A generous reward is offered for his capture and delivery to the proper authorities. He who delivers the criminal’s head shall receive one-half of said reward. Those providing reliable and confirmed information as to the criminal’s whereabouts shall also receive remuneration. Beware! The witcher is armed and dangerous!

The Art of Magic

The Power the sorcerers can command is commonly called magic. In the opinion of a certain sorceress I’m acquainted with, magic is chaos, an art and a science, a curse, a blessing and progress. However poetic it may sound, it is hard to find a better simile. Everything depends on the person that uses that Power, of course. Still, it is a fact that it can be used to achieve things not possible to normal humans. The witchers’ Signs are also a form of magic, but sorcerers look at them with disdain, since they cannot be compared to the forces the sorcerers themselves command. Without magic our world would certainly be less interesting, and many beautiful things would be forgotten.

Balins journal

Foreman Balin’s journal – the first fragment
Work is going as planned. It seems our yield will be even greater than anticipated. Moreover, I believe we can squeeze much more from this mine. We’ll delve deeper, bring up more wealth and Vergen will regain its past significance.

Foreman Balin’s journal – the second fragment
This morning we discovered small slits in the tunnel walls. The cracks don’t seem to be dangerous, but I ordered additional wooden supports placed just to be sure. Rudolph Ferdinand is spluttering, I think he does not enjoy the temperature at this depth. Old Nain Zammenhof claims to hear knocking, I bet he has finally flipped for good. I think we’re getting close to a large lode and I’ve sent for a geologist.

Foreman Balin’s journal – the third fragment
Monsters! Monsters everywhere! The legends were true – it’s Durin’s Bane! Too deep we delved and awoke a nameless fear. This is all my fault, so I must try to stop the beasts myself. Fly, you fools!

Foreman Balin’s journal – the final fragment
I, Balin Fergusson, record these words in the event I should die, for I wish to be recognized by name. It is the fourth day since I hid in this branch of the shaft. Separated from the monsters by traps, I am safe, but how long will I survive without water? I have the key to the storeroom and can think of nothing else than to sneak there quietly to get provisions. Reason, however, tells me the storeroom is too far and I won’t be able to make it. The monsters are trying to reach me again, so I have to wait anyway. Later, when I’m desperate, who knows?

Beings Elemental Earth

The earth elemental is the younger brother of the legendary d’ao, the genie capable of creating earthquakes and flattening mountains. Younger means less powerful, but also more mischievous. Felling trees, toppling the walls of buildings and crushing people into a pulp number among this creature’s pranks. Of course, it performs only those its master wishes it to.

Beings of Elemental Fire
Fire elementals, like post-Conjunction creatures, hail from another reality and are aliens in our world. Philosophers claim they experience no emotions and do not think the way trolls and other, more familiar creatures think. Controlled completely by magic, a fire elemental obediently carries out its summoning mage’s orders. If its master is a passionate smoker, the elemental will provide fire to light his or her pipe, and if its master is threatened, the elemental will incinerate any and all foes.

To His Excellency Dethmold of Ban Ard – private and confidential
I wish to apologize for the behavior of my mother once more. The hag has been mad since I can remember and I always wondered how she managed to acquire enough wealth to buy the house and guarantee my office in Flotsam. I hope His Highness’s emissary was not permanently disturbed by her excesses. I solemnly swear that the red hot circlet was just a foolish jest. Furthermore, I confirm that I will use my position and office according to His Royal Highness’s wishes, as was agreed at the meeting. As a patriot, I wholeheartedly agree with Your Excellence’s opinion: Flotsam cannot allow chaos and lawlessness – plagues inseparable from interregnum – to rule it’s streets. The King is dead, long live the King!
Bernard Loredo, Flotsam Garrison commander

Blood Elves

Elves, or Aen Seidhe, as they call themselves, are a folk known for their beauty and longevity. Their sages, scholars and artists were at the fore of their fields, creating real, breathtaking masterpieces. The glory of this Elder Race is long gone, however. After a series of bloody conflicts with humans their cities were ruined, and the elves themselves were forced to retreat to the east, into unapproachable mountains, or to recognize human domination and accept their lot. Years of wars, persecution and mutual enmity created a rift between our races. Many elves saw a chance of winning freedom in the last war against Nilfgaard, so they took up arms, creating the partisan groups of Scoia’tael. Though they managed to secure the creation of the partially independent realm of Dol Blathanna, some feel they were deceived and still wage war on humans.

Bruxae Eulogist of Death
The bruxa is a higher vampire, that is, a post-Conjunction creature, an intruder in our world. She assumes the form of a beautiful woman, then turns terrifying when she grows hungry and attacks. As befits a vampire, the bruxa drinks blood. The victim of a bruxa is often both her lover and her chief source of sustenance.

Captain’s log of the Petra Silie
[…]The expedition to Loc Muinne has proven a success that will doubtlessly please both King Foltest, who so generously backed our expedition, as well as the university. Oswen seems exceptionally pleased. I have never before seen a sorcerer jumping for joy. […]
[…] Oswen tried to get the crew to mutiny, offering them the valuables we had discovered, in order to keep the artifacts for himself. Fortunately Foltest’s marines remained loyal. Passing Vergen, there was a battle in which we sunk the Daerdin. We had to flee though, continually attacked by the harpies summoned by Oswen’s spell.[…]
[…] Oswen’s spell still has the power to attract monsters, even though the sorcerer now lies at the bottom of the river. The soldiers bravely repel the monstrosities that harass us. I’m almost finished with my report for Oxenfurt, which sums up the results of our research and marks the location of the Daerdin’s resting place. We’re almost home. […]

The Conclave of Mages
The Conclave was, next to the Supreme Council of sorcerers, one of the two main bodies ruling the magicians. The most powerful sorcerers of their times sat on it. One of it’s (sic) duties was regulating the standards and rules of using magic – the ban on necromancy was one of it’s (sic) edicts. Before the Thanedd rebellion , a large part of the Conclave conspired with Nilfgaard . During those events most of it’s (sic) members died, the sole survivor being Francesca Findabair . After the coup the Conclave was not reactivated, thus many mages do not respect the restrictions it had created.

Dandelion’s Poetry
Dandelion
1.
If you wish, my love, at my side to repose…
My heart would inquire of your hands pale and fine, if they’d grasp it gently, to hold like a rose…
Or grasp me elsewhere and leave me satisfied?
2.
If you wish, my love, at my side to repose…
We’d admire our virtues, me yours, and you mine. I could pet your cheeks, you might twiddle my nose…
Or treat it as a morsel upon which to dine?
3.
If our bodies could a song compose…
My heart would inquire of your hands pale and fine, if they’d grasp it gently, to hold like a rose…
Or treat it as a morsel upon which to dine?

Dearhenna’s memoirs
I find the study of bacteria interesting, but focusing on a single subject affects me poorly. I am also plagued by a lack of company. Not of other people, who are almost always troublesome ignoramuses, but of someone with whom I could converse at my level.
I decided to work on one of the golems and attempt to expand its ability to think and converse. The latter proved simple, yet time will tell if having it memorize poems and philosophical treatises was a good idea. For now, I play at riddles with it.
Codifying on a single tablet the ability to think properly and logically was the true challenge. I am still having trouble simulating common sense — all my attempts thus far have ended in semantic overload. I am, however, certain that logical axioms will suffice as the most basic rules of thinking.

Letter of safe passage for Dmitri
To all unit commanders and officers:
The bearer of this document, a man named Dmitri, is acting under orders from Commandant Bernard Loredo. He should not be hindered in any way. In the event of his violation of Temerian law, punishment should not be exacted, though the deed should be reported immediately to the Commandant.
By order of Bernard Loredo, Commandant of Flotsam and its garrison,
Louis Merse

Do it yourself

Witchers can enhance their weaponry through crafting. Crafting an item – be it a sword, armor, armor enhancement or a rune to be branded on a blade – requires a diagram and the components it lists. Diagrams can be bought from merchants or obtained as a reward from appreciative employers. Components can be cut from the corpses of defeated foes, though some may also be found lying around among everyday items. Having collected all the necessary elements, a witcher must find and pay a craftsman to produce a given item in his workshop.

Drowners: A Textbook for Initiates of the Order of the Flaming Rose

Sometimes drowned men return as monsters to haunt the living. Tormented by their own deaths, they seek to murder others. They prefer to draw their prey under water. As their victims drown, they tear them into shreds and consume them like soggy biscuits. Such creatures are called drowners. They are numerous on the banks of the Pontar, as this large river, with regular shipping and riverside villages, provides them with ample sustenance.

The Dun Banner

The Dun Banner rose to fame during the last wars with Nilfgaard. A Kaedweni light cavalry regiment, initially it patrolled the area around Ban Gleán. Called to the front, it proved its mettle during the incursion into Upper Aedirn, but it was the chroniclers of the Battle of Brenna who made the unit famous. Because history likes to repeat itself, several years later the Dun Banner once gain led Henselt’s foray into Aedirn. This time, it suffered a crushing defeat, at the hand of an ostensible ally, no less – the sorceress Sabrina Glevissig. Decimated beyond resurrection, the unit was never reformed, and its characteristic cloaks and beaver-skin caps, which once bred terror in the hearts of Kaedwen’s foes, became a thing of the past, though they remain identifying marks by which the unit’s few surviving former members recognize one another.

The Duties and Goals of the Lodge

The actions of this secret organization, which united sorceresses from the Northern Kingdoms and Nilfgaard , were revealed relatively late. The ten-member Lodge had been envisioned as a successor to the Conclave and the Supreme Council of Sorcerers . It was supposed to focus on the interests of magic and protect the world from the cataclysm that would result from the disappearance of the Art . However, at the time this story was unfolding, not many knew the organization even existed. Apart from the sorceresses belonging to it, of course.

Feudal Society and its enemies

Scoia’tael is a name used by the rebels fighting for nonhuman freedom. In the common tongue it means"squirrels". As some would have it, it is because of squirrel tails that adorn the rebels’ caps, or from the forest board they had to survive on. Scoia’tael formed units over a score strong, consisting mainly of elves, yet sometimes dwarves and halflings joined too. During the last war against Nilfgaard, the Scoia’tael fought on the side of the Empire, making diversions and great damage beyond our lines. Despite the provisions of the Peace of Cintra, many did not disarm and continued to fight, especially when it turned out that Nilfgaard sacrificed them in the name of peace and gave the units’ leaders to the Nordlings to be executed.

Notes on the Kayran

Síle de Tansarville’s Notes on the Kayran
It is beyond any doubt the same creature as that mentioned in accounts of old (the local bookseller’s offer was surprisingly broad).
I have investigated it as thoroughly as possible from afar. The monster is larger than I thought, and I will probably be unable to slay it on my own. More research might help, but there is no time.
Might a witcher suffice?

From the Annals of Mahakaman

Dwarves are one of the Elder Races. Stocky and bearded, with strongly built bodies and low voices, they are distinguished for their height, which is lower than human. Of simple and direct manners, they are sometimes seen as grumpy, unkind and greedy. I have to stress that my own opinion of the dwarfs (sic) is by no means similar to the latter part. I only cite it here to present the views of other people – even if they are dull-minded, hate-blinded buffoons. Mahakam is the dwarves’ mountainous homeland, famed for it’s numerous mines where precious stones and ores are mined. Many dwarves also live in human cities, for that race usually adapts to new neighbors easily, something that cannot be, unfortunately, said about a large part of humanity. Despite vexations, persecution, and even bloody pogroms, the coexistence with dwarves goes a lot better than with elves. Their flair for trade and craft makes them excellent merchants, bankers, smiths and armorers.

Gargoyles, Gutters, Splutters – Maintenance and Repair

Theorists of magic still argue about how gargoyles should be classified. This author favors the school which claims they are a type of golem. For gargoyles are nothing more than fancy sculptures brought to life by magic and ordered to perform menial duties. They can complete only the most rudimentary tasks, so they are often found guarding a territory, even if their creator turned to dust long ago.
He who seeks to deactivate the creatures permanently must first locate the place from which they are controlled, Once there, he extinguish the magic runes that control the constructs’ will.

Book of Lebioda

Once a disciple of his said to the prophet Lebioda: “Teach me, master, how should I proceed? My neighbor desires my favorite dog. Should I give him my dog, my heart shall break from grief. Yet should I deny him the dog, I shall be unhappy, for I shall harm my neighbor with my refusal. What should I do?”

The Grand Triple

Great Melitele is, among others, the patron of love, marriage, fertility, nature and abundance. Her cult came to be through the blending of those beliefs many different races and cultures held about these aspects of life. Melitele’s popularity never waned, and the phenomenon is explained in various ways. I think the causes are prosaic myself. The Cult of Melitele is a predominantly woman cult, and the goddess is, among others, the protector of women in childbirth. A delivering woman has to scream and, apart from the usual yells and empty promises that she will never give herself to another mangy man again, the woman has to call some deity for help, and Melitele fits the bill perfectly. Because women were deliverying, deliver and will be delivering, the goddess Melitele does not have to worry about a lowering of the number of worshippers.

The Great Books of Herbs

Witchers possess extensive knowledge of herbs as they use them to brew potions. Useful plants can be found almost anywhere. Of course, herbs are more plentiful wherever the vegetation is lush.
Quantities of harvested herbs increase as abilities from the Alchemist path are acquired. The witcher’s medallion is also very helpful. Using it reveals all useful herbs in the vicinity.

Harpies, Daughters of the Gale

There are many species of harpy, and all are kleptomaniacs, though some steal dreams instead of trinkets. They especially like dreams laden with strong emotions, such as nightmares that recur every night. The victims lose their dreams – which can actually be a blessing where nightmares are concerned – and the harpies encase them in crystals, creating items that strongly radiate magic. Mages desire the dreams these creatures steal. They are even known to breed harpies on perches with a view towards filching their booty at daybreak. Yet it is rare for a dream or nightmare to be powerful enough, or to come from a powerful enough creature, to satisfy the desires of a mage. He who would destroy a harpy;s nest perched atop a rocky ledge must set a special, glistening explosive trap. When the harpy snatches its loot, the charge is detonated, and anything that survives the explosion is dealt with by gravity – the eternal foe of all avian creatures.

History of the Council of Magic

The Supreme Council of sorcerers consisted of talented mages, most of whom also were advisors to rulers of Northern kingdoms. Philippa Eilhart and Carduin of Lan Exeter were, among others, it’s (sic) members. Though only one member of the Council turned out to be a Nilfgaardian supporter during the Thanedd rebellion, a large part of it’s (sic) members were neutral mages, and that caused a split in the body. Though most of the Council’s members survived these events, the loss of importance and the kings’ support resulted in disbanding the association, and sorcerers lost most of their previous influence in the North.

Horror of War: Rotfiends

Given that they are necrophages, rotfiends feed on carrion and human corpses, but this does not mean they do not attack the living. They appear on battlefields, near cities afflicted by plague, or around villages touched by famine. See a rotfiend and you can be sure there are many more in the area. They appear of a sudden, and disappear even more quickly if threatened, so exterminating them is difficult. Trapping rotfiends makes little or no sense. Instead, they are best dealt with by cutting off their food supply, that is, burning all corpses in the area. Corpses must be incinerated rather than buried, for rotfiends are avid and skilful diggers. Without sustenance, the beasts will leave in search of new feeding grounds.

Hospital Files I-IV

Medical record of patient no.14
The woman manifests strong symptoms of schizophrenia. To avoid marring her beauty, I decided not to employ the standard therapy, the red-hot circlet, but instead to increase her herb dosages. As she was prone to having fits of aggression, I have had the patient chained. The pictures she has painted on the walls should be analyzed.

Medical record of patient no.19
The eldest of our residents, this patient has been with us longer than any other. Cold-water therapy has failed in his case, and there seems to be no promise of improvement. I have had him chained and reduced his food rations to weaken the strength of the illness and limit his self-destructive tendencies. I have begun to employ herbs.

Medical record of patient no.71
The patient has contracted Dysentery. There is no hope for him now. I had him isolated and ordered that prayers be said for him. I also increased the dosages of his herbs. They seem to have some healing properties, but incidentally also loosen tongues.

Appendix to medical record of patient no.14
The patient’s drawings seem to confirm the diagnosis of schizophrenia. The cruelty in them undoubtedly stems from childhood events. A strong trauma (to be confirmed) coupled with a dominating mother have warped this poor creature’s mind. The patient will receive treatment. I have decided to increase the dosage of her herb mixture. In addition to its healing properties, the concoction seems to force patients to reveal the truth about themselves. And the truth frees us.

How to Kill A Bullvore

The bullvore can be compared to a heap of muscles constrained by a sack of hard, elastic skin. It’s head is that of a buffalo’s, yet it’s mouth is filled with sharp teeth adapted to rending flesh. Bullvores are post-conjuction beasts. The visible mark of Chaos are the horns and vestigial hands the creature barely moves, growing all over its body.
This monster does not like the company of its own kind. One might even say it is like a poet in that it is an individualist. Much like an artist, it likes to show off before its lessers, thus it is at times accompanied by smaller, weaker beasts like nekkers and rotfiends. Bullvores are prone to giving peculiar displays wherein they kill their retinue in a fanciful manner, for example, by spitting acid on rotfiends that, in turn, explode.
As they are slow creatures, the strong style should be used when fighting bullvores. Their skin is tough, so they easily shrug off weaker blows, apart from which they heal as quickly as trolls do. A bullvore can kill slower opponents with the sheer momentum of its terrible charge. One should wait for this attack and dodge it, as immediately after it rushes forth and misses, the bullvore will be stunned and thus defenseless. The bullvore uses a terrifying weapon against swifter foes: it vomits filth that is both caustic and poisonous, so its foe both chokes on the venom and dissolves into a puddle.
The bullvore is a necrophage, so it should be fought using a blade coated with Necrophage Oil. This coating aggravates the beast’s wounds and gives the witcher a huge advantage. There’s no point in preparing common poisons or oils that increase bleeding, as the creature is immune to both.

The Immortelle or the Dwarven Herb

The dwarven immortelle
The dwarven immortelle is called the devil’s tail by the dwarves themselves, and Feainne Ichaer, that is the sun’s blood, by the elves. The plant has powerful medicinal properties, but is relatively unknown and extremely rare. According to elven legend, an archer once managed to pierce the sun with an arrow. The sun’s blood dripped from the sky, sinking into the ground so deeply that it penetrated ancient hollows in the rock. This herb may today be found in places where the blood settled. That account may or may not be apocryphal, but it’s a fact that the immortelle is sought after as an ingredient for antidotes and beauty elixirs. It grows in caves and old mines, for it does not require sunlight, and that’s why it is described as “dwarven.”

Journal from the Eyla Tarn

Captain’s journal from the Eyla Tarn
To the Supreme Council of Mages:
The research and exploration conducted in Loc Muinne has produced surprisingly good results. Our discoveries went well beyond simple valuables and historic items. Namely, we unearthed a relic that belonged to a member of the first Conclave. The fools accompanying me on this journey have no notion of the significance of this find. The item is simply too important to land in a dark storeroom of the Faculty of History. As a spiritual successor (sic) of the first mages, I hereby claim ownership of it – in my own name as well as yours. The find is bound to cause a fuss, thus I request your support and the appropriate lobbying at Foltest’s court.
Oswen

The Kayran

The kayran stands apart among all creatures, large and small, beautiful and horrible: it is unique, not alike any other being. Doubtless it is a post-conjunction creature that appeared in our reality in the time when worlds intermingled. It made its home in the waters of the Pontar, where it lives to this day. Over the ages, the chronicles mention several instances of the kayran appearing on the river’s surface in various places. There is no certainty if these mentions apply to one and the same creature slowly moving up and down the river, or perhaps to the original creature’s progeny seen here and there.

Legend of Blaspheme

Legend of the Blasphemer
A long time ago the dragon Ostreverg ravaged and plundered the sacred Temple of Freya on the Skellige Islands. Three brothers, the sons of a jarl, vowed to recover the goddess’ relics. The priestesses granted them diagrams of three ancient suits of armor so that they would be able to face the dragon’s formidable fangs and devastating breath of fire. The smith Sigurd Ironlord forged the sacred armor for them.
[…] Once the brothers defeated the dragon, they were amazed at the size of its hoard. According to the vow they had made, all of it would belong to the goddess. The youngest brother, however, decided to keep the most valuable relic for himself. He shattered Freya’s statue and took the sapphire set in it, called the Eye of the Goddess. They say that he then got drunk and gave it away as payment for love in one of the dens of pleasure in Cintra.
[…] The priestesses cursed the youngest brother, and from then on he would be known only as the Blasphemer. As the curse was worded, he would live as long as he wore his complete outfit. The prophecy was fulfilled when the Blasphemer was crossing the Pontar on horseback, searching for a sorcerer who could lift the curse. They say that he spotted a silver fish beneath the surface. When he reached for it, his gauntlet slid off his hand. The youngest brother never reached the Pontar’s other bank, yet his belongings were not lost. Rumor has it that the diagrams of the Blasphemer’s Outfit, which remains cursed, can be found in one of the many backwater towns that lie along the Pontar.

Legend of the Oathbreaker
A long time ago the dragon Ostreverg ravaged and plundered the sacred Temple of Freya on the Skellige Islands. Three brothers, the sons of a jarl, vowed to recover the goddess’ relics. The priestesses granted them diagrams of three ancient suits of armor so that they would be able to face the dragon’s formidable fangs and devastating breath of fire. The smith Sigurd Ironlord forged the sacred armor for them.
[…] They say the eldest brother did not take part in slaying the dragon. He fled in terror when he saw the beast, leaving his brothers to perish in the flames. Since he was the first to take the oath before the priestesses and the one to convince his brothers to do the same, he became known as the Oathbreaker. Like the two other brothers, he was cursed. As the anathema was worded, he would live as long as he wore his complete outfit.
[…] The Oathbreaker died at the hands of the middle brother. A coward, he was fleeing his would-be murderer and removed his boots to sneak away unnoticed. The prophecy was fulfilled when he was pierced with a sword as he sought refuge in the waters of the Pontar. They say someone on the Aedirnian bank of the river found his possessions, including the diagrams of the Oathbreaker’s Outfit, which remains cursed.

Legend of the Kinslayer
A long time ago the dragon Ostreverg ravaged and plundered the sacred Temple of Freya on the Skellige Islands. Three brothers, the sons of a jarl, vowed to recover the goddess’ relics. The priestesses granted them diagrams of three ancient suits of armor so that they would be able to face the dragon’s formidable fangs and devastating breath of fire. The smith Sigurd Ironlord forged the sacred armor for them.
[…] The second oldest brother ultimately slew the dragon. He deemed it unjust that his elder brother, who had proved himself a coward and fled the beast, would inherit their father’s title and lands. Thus, he pursued his brother to strip him of his birthright. Since he could not force the Oathbreaker to renounce his claim, he killed his brother with his sacred blade. This deed brought a curse down upon him, and he became known as the Kinslayer. As the anathema was worded, he would live as long as he wore his complete outfit.
[…] The Kinslayer traveled to Loc Muinne, for a sorcerer who claimed he could lift the curse had summoned him there. In fact, the mage had lied – he merely wished to unlock the secrets of the wondrous armor. He asked the Kinslayer for his sword, and when the brother parted with his blade, the prophecy was fulfilled. The diagrams of the Kinslayer’s Outfit remain hidden amidst the ruins of Loc Muinne to this day.

The story of the one known as the White Rose of Shaerrawedd is both sad and tragic. Over two hundred years ago Aelirenn led elven youth into a hopeless fight against humans. This heroic dash could end in only one way. they died for freedom, for stone and marble of their cities… and for Aelirenn. Just as she promised, they died with dignity, heroism, honor, yet elves could not raise (sic) again after that defeat. However she remains a symbol of fighting for freedom to this day, and elven insurgents go to battle with her name on their lips.

Lure of the Temptress

The succubus, often mistakenly believed to be a higher vampire, is a post-conjunction creature. Therefore a visitor from another world, trapped in our reality. The beast has the form of a comely female with hooves instead of feet. However, her partial animal appearance has no meaning for the youths the monster entices like a consummate temptress. Those seduced by a succubus lose their heads, as if it was a woman, and the beast accepts all attentions, leading the young men to ruin, draining their life force.
One seduced by a succubus becomes melancholic, loses appetite and all interest in the world. Bereft of strength, he moons around with a pale face and sighs heavily. He also reeks of sulfur, as the smell permeates him when he mates with the beastie. To cure him of this fatal addiction, one should acquaint him with pleasant, dowered lassies and treat him to cold decoctions.

Magic and Power

Sorcerer’ is the name customarily applied to male persons capable of commanding the Power, though it is but one of the many terms or phrases, most of them highly unflattering, to have been used over the ages. These terms have ranged from the rather respectful title of “Wise One” to the somewhat less specific “bloody son of a bitch – the plague take’im.” As for women of this persuasion – that is, sorceresses – they have been called everything from “archmistress” to a colloquial expression I will not repeat out of regard for the language and respect for the female gender. The command of the Power these mages possess sets them above mere mortals – which can be good or bad. From the dawn of time, history remembers mages either as pure-intentioned and courageous heroes or as rogues bereft of reverence and faith. Human memory tends to remember the latter for longer, which may be why common folk mostly hold people of this profession in contempt.

Margot’s farewell letter

Margot’s farewell letter
I see there’s no hope for me now. I will soon hear the tramp of booted feet upon the stairs, then fists in armored gauntlets will bang on my door. I admit that I was Iorveth’s informer, but I will not divulge the name of my courier. Bernard Loredo is a loathsome hog and I’d hoped someone would slaughter him like the pig he is.
I admit, I wished death upon all the odious specimens that visited the brothel to satiate their lusts, who then returned home to beat their wives and guzzle beer. I hate this place and I’m happy to leave it, though in a way different to what I imagined. You, who read this letter, know that I don’t care about Scoia’tael ideals. I just want your death.
Margot

Letter from Margot to Iorveth
Contrary to your claims, Einar Gausel is no collaborator. He yields to Loredo only as much as it is necessary, and is never servile. Louis Merse, however, should be a target. He’s kin of some sort to the commander, brought here from gods know where, and has become the most important cog in the bureaucratic machine. He dances to that old bag Clovisse’s tune. You should get her too. I have a personal score to settle with her. Those from Lobinden are all right, don’t touch them. I suggest you make contact with Anezka. People have grown used to her trips into the forest. She could carry messages and nobody would notice. I think she might be a witch, at the very least she helps my girls whenever they get into trouble. someone will try to lynch her sooner or later, so you may offer her protection in exchange for her aid. And I’ve no idea what to think about Malena […]

Margot’s notes
[…] I don’t like that sorceress at all. All female mages put on airs and smell of bitchiness, but this one is evidently up to something. It’s clear she’s not just after coin, as she’s pitting people against each other as if they were toys. Does she suspect me of spying? If it’s true that sorceresses can read minds, I must be wary. Were my collusion with the Scoia’tael to be revealed, I would rather off myself than suffer in Loredo’s gaol. […]

Marshall Milan Raupenneck

Not much apart from memories of its former glory remain of Loc Muinne, an elven city situated along the upper reaches of the Pontar , amidst the peaks of the Blue Mountains . It must at one time have been a breathtaking sight, emerging from the morning mists… Today only white ruins mark where it once proudly stood. Centuries ago it was here that the sorcerer Geoffrey Monck brought with him the Sources , a group of human children with a gift for the Power, to hand them over to the elven Sages for training. He managed to overcome the distrust of this Elder Race, and it seemed that a path to coexistence and cooperation between humans and elves had been opened. Yet history took an altogether different course. A few years later Redanian armies massacred Loc Muinne’s population, killing all the elves, regardless of gender or age. Thus began a war that ended with Aelirenn’s uprising and the massacre at Shaerrawedd, after which most of the surviving elves retreated east into the inaccessible Blue Mountains.

More than Aretuza

Among Kaedweni cities, Ban Ard certainly deserves a mention, for it is famous for the school for young adepts of the magical arts. Many eminent sorcerers of our times were taught there. Ban Ard also provides an armored banner, a formation highly esteemed in the Kaedweni army.

Nekkers in the Mist

Imagine a drowner that burrows tunnels, climbs trees, is more vicious than usual, and when ambushing its prey, it does so with many of its kin. Now you have a good Idea of what a nekker is. These primitive creatures are the bane of the wilderness – the inhabitants of forest villages fear them, and animals give their nests a wide berth. Nekkers are social creatures, gathering in something akin to tribes, for they can only repel the attacks of stronger assailants en masse.
Witchers can use their full range of skills and techniques when fighting nekkers. Signs, bombs, poisons and oils that augment bleeding are all extremely effective against the beasts. Nekker nests are best destroyed with Grapeshot bombs.

The Nilfgaardian Provinces

he Empire of Nilfgaard is the largest state in the known world, its rule extending over a more than a dozen provinces. It has conquered all the realms south of the Amell Mountains and united them under one crown. Black Imperial standards adorned with the golden sun flutter over buildings and outposts from the Yaruga River in the north to Vicovaro in the south and the mountain massif of Tir Tochair in the east. The Empire’s mighty armies lie in wait, ready to bring death at their ruler’s command or to die eagerly in his name. The Black Ones’ continued march northward was last stopped several years ago, through the united effort of the Northern Kingdoms and the sacrifice of much blood at Brenna . Yet peering across the Yaruga on a bright day, one still can see their dark cloaks and the sun glancing off the points of their lances.

Of Trolls and Trolling

According to legend, trolls were born of the Earth and their body is made of rock. They fear and despise sunlight, which kills them by turning them into inanimate stone, so they only prowl at night. So much for legends. What is the reality? Well, as always, the truth is far more mundane. Trolls are living creatures like you and me, and they prefer day to night, for they are so clumsy they stumble over stones in the dark, spilling the vodka they cherish so much. Their skin is indeed hard as stone, but beneath it there are muscles and a heart that pumps blood. Given that they bleed, they can be killed.

A Valiant Knight:

Lord Farrara, valiant warrior,

Destroyer of Enfamanir, Duke of the Hylarans,

Protector of the Ring of Keozai,

Discoverer of the island of Meropis…

Were he only to meet a better end.

The Ardent Lover:

So brief his term among our Court,

And so virile his living,

He is fervor embodied, he is vitality,

He rescued Princess Luna to take as his own,

King of Strand, Prince of Passion.

A Ruined Fae:

So simply Famor, so formidably Bloody Bones,

Once companions to Ysa, now enemy to the Court.

Once lover of Aera, then bringer of death.

Now forever in decay, forever cursed,

Never to enter the Great Cycle, forever alone.

The Contest:

Such antipathy between them, Farrara and Famor,

Farrara filled with life in bloom,

And the Bloody Bones with rot and scorn.

How terrible is their grapple,

When they both meet their ends.

Noble in Sacrifice:

Lord Farrara, love of Summer, but more a lover of Luna,

His sacrifice so unexpected, yet so fitting,

Forfeiting himself so that she may survive,

His cycle is ended, and so weep the maidens,

For the most august lover, most exalted hero.

The Lord of the Desert:

He only needed one name, the Carver,

like the Wind or the Lightning or the Dawn.

With his presence, a new age began.

The Kings of the South stood.

They were the Lords of the Desert Sea.

The Labors Begin:

First, he made the river in the arc of the great Snaketail.

When that grew tedious, he turned his attention to the cliffs, the dunes, the depths.

A Careful Hand:

The Carver made by the morning what takes the Cycle centuries to shape.

He bored holes in the Red Marches and chiseled the spine in the Alserund.

Echoes rang through the canyons of Menetyre.

He gouged the Hollowlands and then left it barren.

A Rest:

Finally, the Carver rested.

He grew a mountain crowned with clouds by the river,

and leaned against its side to sleep.

Ages passed and the sand settled into his work, and all the lands was still.

The Whispers of Dust:

That day, the Carver woke to find his touch run dry,

the wellspring of his power dead as dust at the source.

He heard then the first whisper, the first mention, “Mortals.”

A Canneroc Primer

A is for Arsenic, foul plant of the wood,

B is for Bridges, that guard us all well,

C is for Caution, which always is good,

D is for Danger, for here spiders dwell,

E is for Everyone in out dark dell,

F is for Fangs, which bite us and burn,

G is for Gold, from fresh silk we sell,

H is for Hunt, to kill what we earn.

I is for Ingress, which spiders all learn,

J is for Jelly-legs, just after a bite,

K is for Kill, to each spider its turn,

L is for Legs, eight prowling at Night.

M is for Maw, with teeth pure glowing white,

N is for Nightfall, the spider’s best friend.

O is for Openings, which lead to our plight

P is for Poison, which no one can mend.

Q is for Queasy, the poison’s quick end,

R is for Running, though none can escape,

S is for Silently, to corpses they tend,

T is for Terrible, hard-biting gape.

U is for Union, of horror and shape,

V is for Vexing, impossible pace,

W is for Webs, the gossamer cape,

X is for eXpeling the beasts from this place.

Y is for You — young reader, take note

Z for your Zeal of the lessons we wrote

Chapter I

Yolvan is a curious island of normalcy in the heart of Dalentarth. Bordered by the enigmantic Odarath, the notorious Webwood, and the enchanted Glendara, Yolvan is known primarily as the bastion of “natural” creatures in these lands. And while bears, wolves, and antelope are certainly to be found here, the area is not as devoid of more magical forms of life. In fact, it is sometimes a common occurrence to see sprites attacking packs of wolves, or bears doing battle with the odd troll that has stumbled into their den. This dichotomy is even more apparent when one considers the fact that the Warsworn keep a base in a stronghold here, within eyeshot of the mystical fae institution known as the House of Ballads. And, while interactions (if any) between the two groups are often genial enough, it is curious to note the tension between the natural and unnatural in Yolvan.

The area is actually rather small — which some have attributed to the spread of the more magical forests, exacerbated by what many perceive to be a rise in magic — but noticeable for the sudden drop of the tree-line. There are large expanses of ruins, similar to those found in Lorca-Rane, but whose origins remain rather mysterious. They do not resemble fae architecture, or Erathi, or those of the stronghold in the region. But they are known to house a few secrets to be uncovered by those brave enough to explore them.

Alas, what more can be said of Yolvan? This small beat in the rhythm of the forest, this footnote in the annals of Dalentarth. Too small to care deeply of, too large to ignore, too normal to pique curiosity, but too mysterious to inspire boredom. For many, it is but a means of traveling from one magical wood to the next. But for the worldlier traveler, it is a destination in and of itself.

A Final Word

To my successor,

If you are reading this, then I have failed where you have succeeded. You now bear the ring of my rank and office, and you have earned it.

I knew the moment your initiation ritual was begun that Sydanus had awakened. From that moment it was only a matter of time before she rose again. I regret not being able to prepare you better for what was to be, but if my estimation regarding your potential was in any way accurate, you will have made your way on your own.

My legacy is now yours. You have inherited along with the order a world which finds itself ever on the brink of change. The time of man approaches, and with it, a great and terrible freedom. Do your best to guide the Scholia Arcana, that she may guide the world through the perils that are to come.

Lyria willing, with our aid the mortal races will not lead themselves to ruin.

Jubal Caledus, Archsage

PS Along with this letter and ring, Savant Methneen will also provide you a key. It will open my chambers, which are now yours. Use what treasures lie within with wisdom and intelligence, and the fates themselves will favor you.

Good luck.

Petitions Heard Before Lord Gravehal

Here, by order of Ansgar Solsvard, Second Lord of Gravehal, are listed the hearing of petitions.

Starg Njolf was first before the throne, humbly asking his lordship to dispatch an annoying nest of Isle Varalins’ indigenous pests. The scavs, he claims, have repeatedly overrun his crops and even carried off some of the smaller livestock. His lordship pledged, upon the throne, to “crack their shells upon mine own knee and drink whatever evil pours forth from within to rid you of their pestilence.”

The hearing of petitions was interrupted by the arrival of a trio of candidates sent by Emberdeep for his lordship’s approval. During the gathering of the small council one month past, Lord Gravehal ordered the gallery (illegible) with the finest (illegible) and sent orders to the Obsidian Isles to find one fit for the task.

Lady Gravehal continues to implore his lordship to put the room above the great hall to a more practical use, but he was as ever unmoved.

Last before his lordship, a self-styled “poet,” recently arrived on the orders of the council in Emberdeep. He presented the council’s edict that Isle Varalin be celebrated in flattering verse, designed to appeal to the lower and merchant classes to enthrall them into settling upon our new Dvergan realm. Lord Gravehal has little patience for the soft-handed messenger, but granted him hospitality for two months’ time to scribble whatever gruel his Obsidian Island patrons desired. His lordship further recommended that Emberdeep consider burning the ships of these settlers upon their arrival lest they attempt to return upon seeing the truth gilded by the poet’s stories.

All further business concerned the night’s wedding feast. Hence Lord Gravehal left these matters in the able hands of Lady Gravehal. As this business concerns not matters of the realm, they need not to be recorded here.

A Tattered Journal

Day 7

Keska betrayed me. Thought the girl wanted that foolish cult destroyed, but it turns out she was just bait. Why can’t I ever resist a pretty pair of legs?

Tatteredjournalpages
Damned fools keep chanting and smearing that foul smelling sap all over their faces. Canneroc hired me to kill this cult, but I’ve only become another tender morsel for its dark tree god. Some bounty hunter I’ve turned out to be.

They have others, people and creatures, penned like cattle in cages. Think we’re food, but for what?

I need to get out of here.

Day 11

Ceremony last night. Or day? I can’t tell.

Everyone chanting, holding hands. Something was killed – couldn’t make out what from my cage. Scream sounded human, mostly.

There was a thunderclap, I think, then every torch in the place went dark. Lots of screams. Wet sounds, smacks and swallows. Smell of blood.

Been quiet for awhile. Not sure what’s happening. They forgot about me, I bet.

Day 13

She came near. I think it was her, Keska.

Hair was white, though.

Legs… too long. Her voice, like teeth scraping on bone. Her eyes so bright.

I think she’s… becoming… something else. Something different. And I think she ate the others.

Am I next?

Day 21

No sign. No food. Drinking sap that drips from the dark above.

Her voice is everywhere. She hunts in the cave, eating with think wet gulps. Think she forgot me. And my cage.

I’m glad it’s dark. Can’t see. Don’t want to see.

Soon I’ll be thin enough to fit between the bars, and then I’ll escape.

Adessa
Chapter I: Preliminary Plans

When I first looked upon the site, it was but a crater with a glimpse of oppotuntiy for greatness. From the nearby quarries of Apotyre, veins of white stone – rare for Detyre – were unearthed, and from that was born my masterpiece. The city would be a shining jewel among the red rocks, a rose in the desert.

It all started here, in this simple library. Once a fortress, a place for study, it has since become so much more. All tales begin and end in these halls of knowledge. Including, reader, a tale that starts with you.

My city is my labor of love, and one that seeks to know it as I knew it will be rewarded. There is a prize, hidden in plain sight for any curious enough to find, if the searcher will but walk from the birth of this city to its end.

First I build the Livrarium. And once it was completed, I turned to the Praetorian Garrison, to protect and uphold the thruths we houseed in these Isles.
Chapter II: The Garrison

There are many whom in the ease of silent quorums, hold that the presence of a Praetorian Garrison is an afront to the principles Adessa was built for. To them, I say that the gates of knowledge must be fortified.

What we have in the Livrarium, what we hope to display with the prosperity of our new city requires protection. It requires support. The Garrison is not a house of war, or suppression or conflict. It is an instrument that our society can call upon to further our knowledge.

The structure is as important to the city as the Livrarium, as melancholia is the sanguine in the body. Without it, our precious balance is upset.

Once I have completed work on the Garrison, I moved on to the construction of the Adessa Laboratories.

Chapter III: The Laboratories

But though or city was born as a place to protect the knowledge that our great race had amassed in all its history, I was determined to enusre that our accunulation of knowledge woulkd proceed, if not grow, once the city had been completed. And so I began construction of the Laboratories.

How curious it was to put up the halls and doorways, with the thought that this skeletal structure might one day house the minds that put an end to war, or make travel between great distances instantaneous, or make the moon shine as bright as the desert sun. It was humbling, yet affirmed my resolve to construct a space of timeless experimentation.

It is in this building that I have sheltered the creativity and ingenuity of our race, the qualities that set us apart from others. Only on completing it did I know we would need as grand a building to foster our diplomacy, and so I set to work on creating the Domus Politica.
Chapter IV: The Domus Politica

What bounty is there in gifts that are not shared? How are we to know we are graced if none are there to grace us?

Diplomacy has always been the way of my people, to bear treaties ad words instead of swords. As we progress in the studies of magic and philosophy, should we not endeavour to share these gifts with races less apt and forward-thinking than us?

An so I had them construct the Domus Politica — a place centered not on focusing our ingenuitiy inwards, but out. A home of scribes and letters, where truces and compromises reign.

The city was taking shape, and our prosperity was already becoming due. And woth that, it became clear of the need of a way to manage the trade and assets we had constructed here. And so work began on the Grand Bursar’s.

..minutia.

And like all things that my race has put its mind to, the Bursar’s has performed admiably. We were quickly seen by merchants as far as Rathir as stable means of housing investments. And our bankers were quick to revolutionize the financial structures previously employed by our society.

Chapter VI: The Arcadium

Every city must have a market, and Adessa is no different.

But rather than something tawdry, dirty, and bustling, I vowed that for the crafts we gnomes excell at – gemcraft, potionswork, book writing— we would hoiuse them in a building that befits their grace and honor.

And so I was determined to make the Arcadium a house of trade without parallel, a home to all the grandeur you might find elsewhere in the city.

Once these buildings were underway, I felt confident to begin working on my next jewel for this crown: the Basilica Gnostra.

With our needs to I could see that the Bursar’s would only serve half of our needs. Which led to the construction of the Arcadium.

Chapter VII: The Basilica Gnostra

What can be said about the Basilica Gnostra that could do it justice?

I raised the walls and created the ceiling, sure enough, but the shell pales in comparison to its contents. This is the true culmination of efforts, where we distill experimentes and crafts and labors into theorems, laws and axioms. There is where the divine transformation from experience into knowledge truly occurs.

It is the portion of this city that I am proud of. That, and the grandness of the Forum.
Chapter VIII: The Forum

The Forum would be the last of the building I would leave to my beloved city, and woe fills me for being too infirm to see to its completion.

But here, in time, will be a center for all gnomes to have a voice, to hear the words of the just and kind Templars. Here will be the central pin that holds the city together— its heart, its soul.

I weep to think I will no longer sketch the plans and detail the stones that will form this city. But for you, dear reader, who has been fit to follw me throughout my journey in making this city, I leave a simple gift:

There is a book hidden in the stacks of the Livrarium, dedicated to those that wish to master the art oft speech. Learn its teachings, and use the skill to spread word of my marvelous city after I have passed.

— Galenum Hegem

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

Even lost amongst these wretched lands we can still find peace, eh? And we’ve earned it. Those red brutes were no match for our savagery. What’s that? Bolgens? Who cares what they’re called, as long as we can kill them. Yes, I know their master still lives, but were you going to face that monstrosity? Easily twice the size of man, and ferocious. Not I, we did well to fall back before him. He’s not our quarry, and I’ll leave the more foolish to meddle with that thing.

To my favorite Docent

I must offer my apologies for not being present upon your return to the Rathir chapterhouse. Continued ponderings regarding the intricasies of the magics involved in the Sun Stone artifact you recovered have compelled me to attempt an experiment of sorts.

Should you receive this missive in time, please consider yourself welcome to join me. I will be found atop the spire of Creathnach Thintri — Skycrown mountain, as it is called. It shouldn’t be difficult to find, as it is the only mountain in all of Erathell.

Savant Aethan Engar

PS Consider the copper ring accompanying this letter an official symbol of your promotion to the rank of Adept. Congratulations!

The Withering War

In 1230 BE, King Ysa rose to power in Dalentarth. In his early years, Ysa traveled widely throughout Alfaria and Fortenmar, posing as a Hironar. Oh His return to the west, he accumulated a large following as a war leader and loremaster, and he soon embarked on a campaign to conquer and unify the widely scattered local groups of Fae. After successfully conquering Dalentarth, he reorganized these local clans into three Great Houses of the modern Seelie Court, and brought civilization and Fae culture to the western Faelandsh.

Rport to Rathir

Take heed, intrepid travelers, seasoned adventurers, and brave men and women of Amalur! A fiend is lose in the frostbreak sea! Dead Kel has returned, and his crew of hanged men trail a bloody wake!

Will you let this stand?!

The Alfar merchant navy seeks daunteless souls in their pursuit of the pirate king! Do not delay! Draw your swords! Raise your sails! set a course for glory!

Visit Rathir today!

Aloren’s Journal

Sodding fools. Bertran thought he could just watch Cassera die and still think he was innocent. That he could go back. I tried to tell him. And he just wouldn’t listen.

I couldn’t have him bring others after me. I had to kill him. Now, I can just get out of this damn wood and find a place to lay low. Maybe Canneroc… .

An Investment
V.
Allow me to express my deepest regrest for the Forum’s verdict and your imminent sentence. Believe me that I argued most stridently on your behalf – and not merely because I had invested in the work of you and your colleague, Mr Hugues. I think we both agree that in pursuit of science, we must forgive minor missteps when they are followed by great leaps. But alas, my colleagues still hold quite provincial views on the subject of necromancy, and so your fate was sealed.
But perhaps there is another way.
Tomorrow morning, your executioner will arive to escort you from your cell. But after a small donation, I have seen to it that you shall be delivered not to your eternal rest, but to a discrete caravan outside of Adessa. From there, a moderate price has seen to it that you (and certain sets of your notes (salvaged from the evidence against you)) shall be delivered to Klurikon, where a truly monumental price has been paid to construct a new laboratory for your work in a discrete location.
I trust you appreciate the depth of my investment in your work. Just as I trust that it shall return a grand dividend to your one and only investor.
- O.

An Odd Patronage

Archsage Ephraim has taken me into his confidence once more, though I do not know why. Where I to appraise my skills honestly, I have only a tolerable competency (and interest) in gemcraft and alchemy. I’ve found some small enjoyment in the art of creating and dispelling wards. But there is only one application of the craft that I truly find myself attracted to and the master of: battle magic. At first, it was no small shame of mine that, unlike the scholastic brethren I trained with for the majority of my life, I did not wish to live my life always in the library. My father, from what little I recall of him, lived part of his life as a warrior, and I suppose that blood was passed down to me. But still, what use would I be as an apprentice to the Archsage of our order? Should that rank not go to a better-rounded student of magic? I know little of the Archsage’s duties – indeed, I believe it was my inquiries regarding this ignorance that first brought myself to Archsage Ephraim’s attention – but should they not act as custodian to the whole business of the order, and not merely one part of it? There are many better candidates amongst my peers (who, upon noticing Archsage Ephraim’s increased attention to myself, have made similar claims in less-polite terms) to be fostered by one as the Archsage. I do not wish a chain of ink and parchment on myself. As long as magic changes, there will always be battles to be fought with it.

Ancient Journal

The Twenty-Second Day

The magic of this place is wild, ungoverned, and wary. For twenty-two days I’ve walked this Blackened Hall. Stones with long memory mock my plight. I fear I’ve lost the light f day. Why was I such a fool? Why listen to tales of treasure when I could be happy with a merchant’s wages? I hope this dungeon won’t be my final resting place, but the twisting walls would have me believe otherwise.

The Twenty-Eighth Day

It has been two fortnights now. These myopic creatures do their best to waste me, while the walls guide me deeper through the pitch. I can only continue, and hope my salvation lies ahead, and not behind.

The Thirty-Ninth Day

Thirty-nine days enshrouded in the earth. Voices eclipse my thoughts and guide me on. Songs like half-remembered music, a language long forgotten. I hear their tune and call them friend.

Day ?

The count is lost. The chorus now enshrouds me completely, a magic so sublime to blaspheme other thought. Beneath the hymn I hear a rumbling from the fathoms. It sings abrading notes from a cursed lyre.

Anonymous Journal

Day 20 Finally made it to this forest, don’t like it, trees everywhere to hide enemies, will have to tell Holgar. It’s hard to see what’s a shadow and what’s a creature. Tomorrow I reach Gorhart, the last stop before the Fae lands. The trip so far has been uneventful, should be able to find work amongst these folk.

Day 25 Found work. Guarding a trader between this village and a gnome tower, his name is Wallis. Quiet town, isolated. He is afraid of the pixies hiding in the bushes. Not surprising, coming from someone who lives in the “village of cowards.” Probably afraid he’ll end up like Alden Gorhart’s father, eaten by a barghest.

Day 27 Saw something entering an overgrown thicket on the way to Arden’s, and I thought I glimpsed something shining in there, treasure perhaps? I wouldn’t be so lucky, but I’ll go see what I can find tomorrow.

Aodh: The Mythos of Mayhem By Valfillian Carr

Introduction

Fire; that essence which invigorates the imagination of the mind, yet stifles the growth of the natural. It is both a weapon and a tool, a source of fascination to all people. Who can help but be mesmerized by the intricacies within a dancing flame? From this single element sparks the spirit of life. For ages, few have understood its potential, and fewer still have mastered the art of controlling tis starved nature. Yet there is a place in the Faelands, where it is not only studied, but worshipped; for within Aodh, there exists an especial connection to this otherworldly power. Indisputably, Aodh is the prime nexus of the living flame.

In this volume, I will give a brief history of the legendary sanctum and elucidate the mystery surrounding this ruin.

Part 1 – The Mythos

The beginnings of Aodh are shrouded by the darkness of ages past. According to legend, the temple was a place of communion with Vraekor, the God of Fire. Before the coming of the Architect, the Sidhe was a panoply of disparate elemental energies. When the Architect first came upon the Sidhe, he was nearly consumed by a magical, wild inferno. He sought to quell the raging fire, and diverted the waters of the Sidhe so that they would fall upon the inferno. With the flames extinguished, he could see the inferno was actually a sanctum of fire. The tale ends with the Architect then turning to shape the rest of the SIdhe.

The earliest recorded mention of Aodh comes from the histories of the Durek-Alfar War. According to the Dokkalfar historian Ormend, during the Durek invasion of Alfar lands, a portion of the Durek army came across a “glowing temple carved from stone at the foot of a waterfall.” The Durek contingent, being a “warlike and foolhardy tribe” entered and disappeared within the depths of the temple. It is possible that the glowing temple in question was any number of ruins found throughout Dalentarth, however, earlier, when writing of the Durek army’s route, Ormend describes their trespassing of a sacred Fae place: “an enormous tree, unlike any others found within the enchanted Fae forest.” This would be Caer Nyralim of the Ring of Keozai, found in the Sidhe, and well within half a league of Aodh.

The next possible mention of Aodh is found in Fae lore, through a verse in the Withering War:

“… and Ysa planted the Gardens after the Storm, and Nurtured the Court of Summer by the Ruins of Fire.”

Here we find a reference to “the Ruins of Fire” near Ysa and the Court of Summer. When taken figuratively, it is an obvious reference to the lands destroyed during the Withering War, however, if a literal interpretation is made, then this must be a direct reference to Aodh. The only other eligible “ruins” near Ysa are either lost to us completely, or Arduath and Rundamir. Both Arduath and Rundamir are more distinctly hollows of Fae design, rather than a set of ruins. Neither have any connection with fire, nor any known history of being burned during the events of the Withering War. Therefore, this phrase must be in reference to Aodh.

Aewald, in her works on the Withering War, explains that it occurred shortly after the Order of Ash established the universal principles of magic. Already, then, is Aodh known as a ruin, rather than intact. This further supports the theory that Aodh is centuries older than most ruins found within Dalentarth proper. Given that Ormend specifically describes Aodh as a temple, rather than a ruin, we can surmise the timeline for Aodh’s ruination to be sometime between the Durek-Alfar War and the formation of the Almain kingdom some 1100 years later.

Arcaneid

The ancient inscriptions in this book seem to fade and crawl before your eyes. The only portion that remains clear and legible is the following: City, slumber, dark and still
Until awakened to my will
Silver circle emerald flame
What has slept shall rise again

A strange symbol seems to follow this words… but then, perhaps it is not a symbol at all.

Assistant Notes

Now we’re all left at the hands of V. I Thought we were doing something noble, here, but instead I find the work getting grislier by the day. The bodies are lining the hallways, now, and there’s more than we can clean up by ourselves. Even the incinerator’s only half-working.

And in spite of all our problems, one of the other assistants still thinks they have time for morbid jokes. I found some of the blodies had moved again. I don’t know where this fool, whoever he is, is finding the time to move around some rotten corpses when we’re as busy as we are.

I mean, it’s not like they can move themselves… .

Bertan Journals

Cassera died. Killed by Brownies. Aloren was sad at first. Fancied her, I think. Then he said that it was her fault that we got caught, said she hadn’t researched the ward enough.

Aloren and I had never seen a spell like it. And when it went off in our faces, the whole Chapter House knew what was happening.

We fled to the Sidhe. But as we left, Aloren said it was Cassera’s fault that we were stuck in the wilds with nothing to our name. Then he started calling me dead weight. Said he’d fix me if I couldn’t keep up.

Black Arick VII
Chapter VII. The Caeled Coast

The two warriors faced each other beneath the verdant boughs of the Green Coast— two dark shades in a vast oean of shadow— as the tips of their war flames curled up to snap at the starts like hatchlings yearning for their mother’s feed. Around and round the figures turned, blades aglow in the firelight, eyes white with mutual contempt, until the roar for the Red Beast split asunder the silence of the twilight, as the cries of a wee babe drives its mother to fear. The ground shuddered beneath the weight of Chernobog’s anger as he set forth on a path to strike down Our Hero and demand his death in good order, for there was no surrender in the eye of the bolgan, and their victories are washed only in the sweet red tang of blood.
The Spritely One froze in his stance, shield raised to meet the approaching fiend. There was not time for escape, or even for the most hushed of utterance to flee his quivering lips— for the beast was upon him. In all the minutes of his lifetime, never had Our Hero considered the prospect of defeat — nay, such judgement was folly — but as the mighty beast descended on as the storm clouds hang endlessly above the sodden soldier, it seemed that the end of Black Arick had finally come.

Or had it? for beyond the veil of mistake and regret, and far greater than any ..

Black Arick XI

Black Arick and the Hanged Men – Chapter XI. Dead Kel

“Black Arick raised his bright blade and held it to the villain’s throat, perspiration dampening his palms with a sickly sweat. The wound in his side bled freely now, tainting the waves with its bitter tang, and the sharks tore through each other to reach it, engulfed in the delicious gore. Yet, the Spritely One was not afraid, for in his heart he hid the lovely Mya, and no gnashing teeth or bandit’s blade could ever reach her stowed away in that protected chamber, the room within his heart.

“Do you yield?” cried our hero exhorting his plea loudly as to counter the deafening tumult of the sea’s mighty crash. Beneath them, the deck of the ship pitched and rolled as a barghest in deep slumber, its planks awash with a briny bubble that sent flecks of foam high in the air and choked the senses with its salty spray.

The hero, his companions, the pirate crew and even the lowly prisoners and slaves shackled fast in the black maw of the ship’s great, dank hold, held their breaths as Black Arick’s words rose up above them, taking flight like a sea bird borne for shore. They waited, watching the bodies of the dead wash back and forth across the decks as the mighty winds and waves of the Frostbreak spun the ship as a small boy might push a stick down a stream, tossing it with the utmost disregard and violence. So too did the lost souls of the Stormbreaker twist through the growing storm.

The villain released a vile chuckle. “I will not yield,” he spoke, his words like the gray engraving on a headstone. “Dead Kel” does not yield."

Bloody Journal

1st Entry

Today a new boy moved to town, by the name of Fenvar. His father is the new village blacksmith.

2nd Entry

I think Fenvar noticed me today. He smiled, but I lacked he[sic] courage to smile back.

3rd Entry

I waited outside the blacksmith’s shop all evening, waiting for Fenvar to emerge. When he saw me, he said hello.

4th Entry

I finally mustered the courage to introduce myself to Fenvar. He told me my hair was pretty.

5th Entry

Fenvar walked me home tonight. We held hands the whole way.

6th Entry

Fenvar took me on a picnic today. We kissed for the first time.

7th Entry

Fenvar and I have been courting for a month. I think it is time to tell Mother.

8th Entry

We did something bad today. Fenvar and I snuck off to the fields and made love. When we came home, we found the entire village slaughtered. Could this be our fault!? Punishment for our crime?

9th Entry

Fenvar comforted me, assuring me we were not to blame. He held me all night, but I fear whatever attacked the village will return.

10th Entry

I found a note today in the mayor’s house. It said, “The Tyrgash are upon us.” We must leave now! (The rest of the journal is saturated with dried blood)

Book of Persuasion
.. progressions of postulates and conclusions of discourses. And., perhaps most importantly, there exist people over whom fact holds no meaning. It is in these times that a knwowlöedge od rhetoric — of stance, elocution and dramatization — can reoign.

Another oft-given reason for the avoidance of studying rhetoric, made by the scribes and aides of the Domus Politica, is the insistence that knowledge of rhethoric might somehow corrupt or otherwise pollute the moral fiber of the one that employs it. Surely, such detractors suggest, that just as martial or financial power stokes the flame of ambition in those who wield it, so coukd power of influence wielded by a rthethorican give way to equally rampant ambition.

Against such claims I can only stand with mouth agape.

Rhetoroic is a product of our enlightened minds - to compare it with martial authoritarianism or the practice of ursury, to present it as merely another avenue for one being to express dominance over another, is wholly absurd. True, rhetoric is am means to an end. But to achieve mastery over rhetoric, one must open one’s mind to a corpus of the finest works these lands have to offer- “The Missgivings,” by Ballarde Oreigh, Deacnus Kerrine’s “Twenty-Five-and-One Supports,” — and internalize them. To excel at rhetoric is to be worldly, one must examine issues from all sides. (And to those that are easily persuaded by even an amateur, I might argue that they are asking to be taking advantage of!)

In light of such a testament, then — in the understanding that rhetoric requires such a breadth of knowledge — how can my opponents presume to know that rhetoric will yield to corruption? How can a mind that has seen so much, studied great works and diversified their perception to such ends, fall to base temptation? Is the pursuit of rhetorical ability not, in its own way, a quest for self-enlightenment? And under such a view, how could we ever assume that such a person could succumb?

Brother Padric’s Travel Notes

Day 8… Splitrock Depths feels like a winding maze as I travel deeper into the cave. I have been attacked a few times already, but was able to narrowly escape.

Day 16… I feel that I am closer to finding the hidden exit. I terribly miss my companions from St. Eadric’s and wonder if I made the right choice doing this.

Day 81… I am cold, and beginning to run low on supplies. I will not return until I have found the treasure I seek… I will show Brother Holt he can be proud of me… that my search was not in vain. I will make all the monks so proud….

Cassera’s Journey

The plan’s laid out. Aloren and Bertran are on board. All we have to do is wait until nightfall, and then we’ll make off with Quintis’ gem.

Should be a simple matter of waiting for the gnome to go to sleep, dispelling the chest and getting the gem. Then, it’s off to the west. Fence the gem, split the gold and we’ll live like kings.

A History of Gnome Exploitation in Apotyre by Odwald Bynothas

Introduction

When I see about the monumental task of chronicling the tragic history of Apotyre, a windswept, burnt, and desolate land, one of broken backs and broken hearts, I knew that the tale ahead of me was not one of lords and ladies, king and queens. No. The story of Apotyre is a tale told in the trenches, excavated from the deepest mines where the shadows never sleep and the men are buried with their pickaxes beside them. It is a story as harsh as the land that spawned it.

Chapter 1: Hail, Tyrenium!

Tyrenium! Its fine violet splendor is familiar to us all, sparkling from the fine picture frames and jewelry boxes of our homes, glowing in the amulets and statuary of Adessa’s great halls. What many forget is that the ore known to the men who mine it as “violet flash” is a recent discovery. Less than a century has passed since the first scholars of the ancient gnome Academy led their exploration crews to the vast wastes of Apotyre, following an unseen magical aura to an overlook of the Snaketail River. Much has been made of the importance of tyrenium in the construction of Adessa, but since its discovery, the precious purple ore has become even more synonymous with the philosophical notions – of beauty over substance, price over true worth, and most importantly, the plight of the poor against the powerful. Every piece of tyrenium carries with it a legacy of agony that began in the sands of Apotyre. The first ever mention of tyrenium was in the published works of Scholar Joson, a quiet, headstrong gnome who would go on to sit on the founding council of Adessa’s own Basilica Gnostrum, and who acted as the inaugural research fellow for Motus Mining Interests. In his description of the first wells dug in the region of Apotyre, Joson makes serveral passing remarks about a “pleasant reflective stone — perhaps a metal — that appears to glitter like the scales of a snake.” He was of course referring to unrefined tyrenium, also known as trec, which in the early days of Adessa’s creation was disposed of in large, poisonous drainage pits in efforts to reach deeper for the graystone that was sought for basic masonry and construction. Not even the gnomes of the Academy could have guessed that this useless byproduct would turn the world on its ear, and go on to become the most precious natural resource in known history. The great Tyrenium boom was about to begin…

Castellan Shane’s Missive

All Warsworn who wish to find themselves welcome in Helmgard Keep need remember just few things.

Appearance is the first weapon! Keep armor shined, weapons sharp, your person well groomed, stand up tall and proud. Every moment you are a banner for the Warsworn. We do not want banners tattered or stained.

By the same token, behavior even suggestive of dishonor or dishonesty will be met with stern discipline. Justice reigns where we go, and our reputation goes before us!

Grian Brighthelm

Castellan Shane’s Missive

All Warsworn who wish to find themselves welcome in Helmgard Keep need remember just few things.

Appearance is the first weapon! Keep armor shined, weapons sharp, your person well groomed, stand up tall and proud. Every moment you are a banner for the Warsworn. We do not want banners tattered or stained.

By the same token, behavior even suggestive of dishonor or dishonesty will be met with stern discipline. Justice reigns where we go, and our reputation goes before us!

Grian Brighthelm

Compendium of the Peoples of Amalur by Lexius the Old

Chapter 1 – The Almain

Almain History

The Almain are a nation of humans whose beginnings are tied with the rise of the warlord Balforth Almere. otherwise known as Almere the Bold, or King Almere. Under his banner the humans of the Alfar lands created a civilization and rose to prominence roughly around 177 BA (Before Arcana). The nation is centered around Port Myria and the lands south and west of Dalentarth. For a complete history, read The Rise of the Almain by Zeriah Carreten.

Almain Appearance

The Almain people vary biologically more than any other people of the Faelands, ranging from darker skinned than Dokkalfar, to as pale as Varani, and from dearly Gnome height to nearly as tall as Jottun. The majority of Almain in the Faelands emigrated from Port Myria and are typically of a bronze-colored complexion, with brown hair and eyes. As immigrants, Almain clothing is usually of a simple nature, favoring basic colors and little adornment. However, ceremonial and religious garb can be as ornate as that of the Alfar. Clothing is usually made from leather, furs, and fabrics such as cotton or wool.

Almain Society

Almain society is structured on order and a rigid work ethic. Codes and doctrines of regularized life can be found everywhere in Almain homelands, and settlers are no exception. The Almain people worship Mitharu more often than other deities, and laws are usually based on the teachings of the Voice of Three, Saints Odwig, Eadric, and Hadwin. Almain traditionally followed a feudal system under King Almere’s rule, and continue to do so with dogmatic distinction between the nobles and commoners. Although there are many Almain merchants, they are not as entrepreneurial as the Varani, and serve as local suppliers more than as a class unto themselves. The Almain are considered a humble people by the Varani, and xenophobic and small-minded by the Alfar. They regard the Fae with a great distrust and suspicion, as Fae are alien to the tenets of Mitharu.

Chapter 5 – The Dokkalfar

Dokkalfar History

The Dokkalfar are an ancient race of people, whose vast history can be traced to the very beginnings of Amalur. Like all Alfar, their ancestral home is a frozen forest known as Glen Suthain. The Dokkalfar split from their wintry cousins, the Ljosalfar (see Chapter 8), although the reasons why are unclear. Some scholars point to the coincidence of the Durek-Alfar war as the impetus behind the separation. While many Ljosalfar remained in the cold north, the Dokkalfar settled in other parts of the lands known as Alfaria. The largest group of Dokkalfar settled in the Plains of Erathell, where they built the city of Rathir as the center of their civilization. For a more complete history of the Dokkalfar, read the Llyfarstair by Ormend of Rathir. The Founding of Rathir by Crinneus is also an excellent reference on the subject.

Dokkalfar Appearance

The Dokkalfar are in general identical to the Ljosalfar (see Chapter 8) in appearance except for a darker coloration of their skin. On average, they stand at 2 m tall, and weigh between 160 – 170 lbs. Scholars debate the origin of their naturally “athletic” biology, but most Dokkalfar conform to a slimmer body type.

Typically, temporary accents to hair, face and clothing are worn to fit the situation or guest, and much of their garments are considered “seductive” or “disarming” by Almain, Ljosalfar, or even Varani standards.

Dokkalfar Society

The Dokkalfar worship Lyria, the goddess of magic. Their society is organized around their religion, and as a race, the Dokkalfar hold many ceremonies to honor their goddess. The government of Rathir is led by the priests and priestesses of their religion, known as the Sons or Daughters of Lyria. The Dokkalfar are matriarchal, with leaders of government and commerce being largely female.

Ljosalfar history

The Ljosalfar, like their Dokkalfar cousins, are descended from the same original Alfar people who came from Icenwreth, the cold and inhospitable lands north across the sea. The Alfar settled in what is called Glen Suthain, and the Ljosalfar established civilization in the heart of that country. The Dokkalfar looked beyond the cold chill of Glen Suthain and encouraged expansion into other parts of the world. The more conservative Ljosalfar instead preferred the natural beauty of the forests they found in Glen Suthain. The Alfar lived side by side for many years, and watched as the other races began to build their small civilizations. The elves, especially the Ljosalfar, came to love the frozen lands that surrounded them. They first build Fierol, and later a city named Tolyndrae to the east of Glen Suthain. The Ljosalfar only entered the Faelands with the Dokkalfar, remaining an unique relationship despite their philosophical differences.

Ljosalfar Appearance

Ljosalfar are taller than most humans with pale, silky skin and light hair. They appear lithe, but are not a frail race by any means. The Ljosalfar have very strong ties to nature, and as such they tend to embrace the colours that are dominant in their surroundings: whites, blues, pinks and yellows. Ljosalfar nobles and merchants also employ regal colors and hues in their clothing. The Ljosalfar do not wear clothing especially suited to the cold of their homeland, having become naturally acclimated to the weather and using magic to supplement their resistance to extreme temperatures.

Ljosalfar Society

The Alfar people are closely attuned to the magical forces of the world, and the Ljosalfar are no exception. Some of the most powerful mages in Amalur were Ljosalfar, and it was indeed the Ljosalfar who first taught humans to wield the arcae at the beginnings of this Age of Arcana. Similar to the Almain, the Ljosalfar value order and structure and have appropriately regimented societies. Chief among Ljosalfar values is the idea of Justice, and the worship of Ynadon, their god of justice. For example, the Ljosalfar order known as the Justicars are a group of travelling judicial monks who resolve disputes and pass judgement on legal matters. For details on the Justicars and the Ljosalfar religion, the prime work is known as the High Law. The Ljosalfar are distinct from the Dokkalfar in that while they worship and appreciate Lyria as a Goddess of Magic and Luck, they do not see either as an end unto themselves. Both are means to achieve a just and right state. The religious leader of the Ljosalfar is called the Scion, a female child of the royal line who is raised and protected by the Justicars.

Dedicated to the service of Ynadon, she is viewed as living incarnation of the blind impartiality of justice and serves as the equivalent of the high priestess of the Justicars.

Chapter 14 – The Varani

Varani History

These people are said to have descended in common with the Almain, and long ago migrated north and away from the fertile lands of southern Alfaria. The word Varani is derived from the Jottun word for traveler or trader, and despite many attempts by Almain, Alfar and others to bring the Varani’ under their influence, they have remained independent from any government. It is said that the desire to avoid governance is what drove the Varani away from the human kingdoms of the Almain and Bassawin. As Such, the ’Varani are to be found inhabiting islands off the coast as much as the coast itself.

Varani Appearance

The Varani are similar to Almain in average size, and are typically more fair-skinned and fair-haired. They often feature elaborate tattoos or jewelry to accent their otherwise practical cold-weather clothing. Their garments are made to withstand the rigors of sea travel, as well as the cold of the Icebrine Coast, from whence they originate. Jewelry is usually made from gold, and nobles often wear silks or pelts as well. The influence of other cultures can easily be seen in their manner of dress, including the rich colors of the Alfar. Varani men usually groom long beards and sometimes braid them, and the Varani women traditionally plait their hair.

Varani Society

The Varani are a mostly nomadic, seafaring people found along the Icebrine Coast and other lands along the northern coast. They have small settlements that serve as trading outposts, but are merchant sailors more than farmers or fishermen. Varani society is a non-gender-based meritocracy. All roles aboard ship are valued, and while they may not all be equal, they are not without their place and purpose. The Varani believe that anyone who is cunning, and able to hold his or her own deserves a place aboard a ship. The Varani are not as religious as the Almain, but they are considered very superstitious. The use charms and amulets to ward off evil. While there is no unifying religion, the Varani are sensitive to signs and omens, and they have a strong concept of Luck. Most of their superstitions involve the sea, which they regard with respect.

Confession of Mayor Wesley Taklari

Before my fate goes black, before the folds of death envelop me, I wish to confess one last act, one that puts all my others to shame. When the Gnomes at Motus Mining attempted to test the new sluice mechanism, much of the contaminants they were hopig to divert from the run-off ended up in the river.
The Snaketail River is a water source for many citizens of this burnt land, and I cannot rest knowing I am responsible for their deaths. I needed aid in covering up this tragedy, may I be damned. I found this aid from the Travelers, on in partucular in the name of Lina Ardeen. With Lina’s help, I was able to keep the public ignorant, although Motus did learn of these actions and plan their abrupt exit. I cannot continue with this on my conscience. I cannot. I have been a tool of the Gnomes. And I am forever marked as such. – Mayor Wesley Taklari

Courdan’s Letter

..There is a better pragmatism to our policy than others need admit.

If you should find yourselves at a triumphant end of hostilities against your foes, know that we have anticipated such an opportunity. We seek an armistice, a peace to bring prosperity to us both.

Know that we are open and willing for all negotioations…

Crumpled Note
To my son :

I have revealed in the art of battle all my life. I have given you, my son, and all mortals of Amalur, the means to continue my celebration until the winds grind this Arena to dust. If you are reading this, then I have been granted my first and only defeat in the Arena; it is my hope that it was at your hands — that this place, and the championship, stayed in the family.

The Dark Empyrean

The Fall of the Dark Empyrean

And so it came to pass that in the years of strife, when the tyrant Queen Sydanus had sown the fields of Erathell thigh-deep with blood, three unlikely souls found the way out of the dark.

The first was a man named Elodan Bloodgood. A Varani shaper, he came to Erathell from far to the North, searching the world for the knowledge of stone. After refusing to build a temple in Sydanus’ name, he was cast into prison.

The second was a Gnome named Marus Torix. A gifted gnosicant, he had long ago left the safety and comfort of his libraries to travel the world, to learn of things with his own eyes. For teaching a doctrine different from the unquestioning worship of Sydanus and her regime, he, too, was cast into prison.

The third was born deep within the dungeons of Rathir, a young Alfar girl named Eleanor Brea who grew to maturity blinded by the darkness that was her only home.

Upon Eleanor Brea’s ascendance to adulthood deep within the dark of Sydanus’ prisons, the gifts of elemental magics came to her. In fury, the girl burned the dungeon to the ground.

Guided by Master Torix and Bloodgood, she learned to wield her gift and, together, the three of them dared to fight against the tyrant queen.

Word spread quickly of a new group of masters, mages, and artisans who would teach any willing to learn. In time, others courageous enough to challenge Sydanus’ might came forward, and what had started with a resistance of three quickly became ten, then a hundred, then a thousand.

Terrible battles of magic were waged. Thousands perished; entire cities were scoured from the face of the world, and untold horrors were birthed as each side tried desperately to craft the means of their victory.

Ciara Sydanus sought the destruction of their enemies by any method — no sacrifice was to great, no atrocity too horrid. The darkest and the foulest of arts were pursued, and the cost to the populace was unrivaled by that of anyone’s memory.

But the light of the three refused to be extinguished. The strength of Master Bloodgod, the wisdom and his skill, set the form and foundation of their hope. The brilliance of Master Torix, his knowledge and his insight, unlocked the chains of their bondage. And the passion of Mistress Brea, her spirit and her fury, lit the way to freedom.

What none could do alone, these three achieved together. After seven years of rebellion, they defeated Sydanus high upon the heights of the spire of Rathir.

Different paths had led each into the chains of slavery. But it was there that each found strength from the other, and together, found their freedom. And so it was that the Scholia Arcana came to be.

Death Notice: Astley Golgoti

Dear Ms. Golgoti, We regret to inform you that your son Astley Golgoti was killed in battle outside FireTrench when an enemy force ambushed his unit. Sincerely, General Tilera, Alfar Army.

Dear Ms. Wulflac,

We regret to inform you that your husband Camden Wulflac was killed in battle while serving on the walls of Mel Senshir.

Sincerely,

General Tilera, Alfar Army

Death Notice: Ina Sawerth

Dear Mstr. Golgoti, We regret to inform you that your ward Ina Sawerth was killed in an attack during Varlaine’s march into Klurikon. Sincerely, General Tilera, Alfar Army.

Death Notice: Frea Almar

Dear Mstr. Almar, We regret to inform you that your cousin Frea Almar was was killed in battle outside FireTrench when an enemy force ambushed his unit. Sincerely, General Tilera, Alfar Army.

Denric Journal

…little in the way of food and water left, I’m licking rocks for what gritty moisture kisses their face and eating what lichens I can pry off the rock. Bitter at first, but after a few they begin very much so to taste like – how should I put it? – like smiles and blood and yelling and smoke and dung. I think I’ll have some more. What is this cave, anyways? Braziers and column seem to be of some importance. Haven’t seen their work before. I feel like a child next to them. Was this once a hall for giants, or have I grown shorter? Perhaps I should stop eating quite so much lichen.

Day XVII

Thought of going to thank the ettin that drove me into this cave. It’s quite spacious in here, though I’ve been in long enough that I am unsure that I can find a way back out again. I’ve had a good go of chasing what lamplights I can see. They wouldn’t steer me wrong, would they? Of course not. It’s so dark in this place. Like night, once it’s been boiled down and poured over pitch. Light is good, though. It’s warm and tells me where to go.

Left leg isn’t looking so good. But it drags rather well. Who in the blazes put a cliff in the middle in this place? Had no conception of the structure from the start, it seems to me. Poor savages, whoever they were. Probably had to stand on chairs to get anything done in this place.

Leg is pretty much ueless for walking now. But what sights! Could Mitharu have left a glorious temple such as this? Ceilings so high they cannot be seen, a statue of a strange sort that I could not understand it. I even – I even cannot describe what I have seen in the views beyond this chamber.

But for a fleeting moment, I have seen true glory – a city of such shimmering beauty that I cannot find its like in anything I have seen before. Mitharu could never be contented with a city on the hill while this one gently floats upon nothing, lording over the earthly dominions below.

And what else, but its inhabitants! At first I thought the statues moved, and walked, and even perhaps spoke, but I was far and hidden and could not hear. They were giant, as tall as two men, and fierce besides. They had the strength of a Jottun, and such speed – a terrible fate awaits those that give them cause to malice!

If this was a true report or merely a vision brought to me by my god, I could not tell. But I must spread the word of this discovery the world must know of this strange south land, of giants and cities built upon stones that are not there.

Diary of Myfa Rhonwen

How I managed to get stuck on this godsforsaken island I will never know. I’m miserable here, forced to do the bidding of a small-minded fool. At this rate I’m not sure if I will ever get back to the life I deserve.

Alder prattled on and on about Akara again last night. I sat there and smiled, pretending to be interested in his god. I’ve got news for you Alder, Akara doesn’t give a damn about you. If anything, this Akara is probably laughing at seeing these little simpletons dance around trying to keep him happy.

I suppose Paddy is okay. We are quite good friends, he’s just a little obsessed with that keep. To be honest, living at the keep would be something more befitting my station, I just don’t know if we’ll ever be able to chase off the monsters there.

Zefwyn could probably help us out, but all he cares about are his shipwrecks. I swear sometimes I think he’s more comfortable around dead bodies than live ones. At least he has the right idea though, trying to make something out of this life.

Cillian on the other hand… well in another life the two of us would probably be close. It’s not that we haven’t spent a few nights sleeping under the same tent, it’s just that we’re from two different worlds. Still, he’ll do for now.

I can only hope that one day I’ll be able to travel the world again and be received at the finest courts in the land. Although even that may be impossible, after the debacle I made between us and the Tuatha. I severely misjudged Gadflow.

Perhaps it would be better for me to spend some time in a different part of the world. Just one that is hopefully more civilized. Until then, suffer this island I must.

Writ of Trade

Brad and Cergren Traders

Cora Banick of Didenhil

Witness agreement of one hundred and twenty fine steel daggers, thirty varied potions all of high quality, and eighty-five children’s playthings, cleverly whittled and stained. Payment shall be granted at twenty gold per dagger, one hundred gold per potion, and three gold per plaything.

Experiment Disposal

Secrecy is still important in our work, requiring specialized disposal of our unfortunate failures. Piling remains have become a concern in the lower caverns, so an incinerator has been added to deal with the wastes.

This should make disposal work slightly less horrible, although you should avoid drinking water from downstream of the ash dumps. Hardly a fitting rest for the poor things, but if it’s any consolation, these weren’t their original bodies in the first place.

-Fomorous Hugues

God Storm? The Musings of Dulstan

Thereafter, Lord Ysa ruled for many years in peace in Dalentarth until the Fae groups of eastern Klurikon organized under the Great Warlord, Ohn, raided Erathell, and then attacked Dalentarth. Lord Ohn despised the Seelie Fae, and named himself and his followers the ‘Unseelie Fae’. All the magical energies of the Fae were directed to this single, desperate undertaking of total war, neglecting the Land and its bounty, and laying waste to fields and forests. For the first time, the entire Fae race faced misery and starvation, and thus this was called the Withering War. The more warlike Fae of the east defeated the weaker, peace-loving, Fae of the west in every encounter until Lord Ysa lured the Fae armies of Lord Ohn into the plains.

Guian -

I hope this finds you in good spirits. I take some risk to my person in contacting you, but I have an item of business that is pertinent to your research in the field of decorprealicative magics.

I have had an object in my posession which I have long puzzled over: it is a small box, of unknown material, and hollow. I know it’s hollow because there is something rattling inside of it. However, there is no seam or hole to grant me passage to its mysterious contents. I know your arrivus engine was never built to selectovely decorpreate materials, but I think it’s the only way to reach my quarry.

Regards,

Eloren

A letter from Diodores to the Ettin

Brothers and sisters, I write to you in the name of Ethene. Blessed be her name and the names of her followers.

You know her ways, for we are both children of the Ouranos. Our wisdom comes from the skies, our strength from the earth below. Ethene’s way is the way of our people. We are as the hills and mountains themselves, as wise as the oldest things of this worlds.

You would quarrel with your brethren, but you no longer wage war against the others. This is good, and Ethene’s way. Dies the mountain regard the pebble? No, for in its magnificience it does not need the pebble. So too do the ettin not need the empty words of the Jottun.

Ethene has shown us the glory that awaits your people. You can share in her gifts if you but follow her path. Do the ettin not know the way of Ethene? Certainly they do, for it way her divine understanding that gifted the ettin with twice the wisdom of a single giant. Indeed, twice the wisdom and twice the ability to speak her words and praise her name. Blessed be the ettin, for there are truly two of Ethene’s gifts in one body.

A Letter from Diodores to the trolls

Brothers and sisters, I write to you in the name of Ethene. Blessed be her name and the names of her followers.

O great Trolls of the mountains, you who shake the ground beneath your feet, who fear nothing save the wrath ofd Naros, who crush rock and crumble stone, I offer wisdom.

What wisdom? It is the gift of Ethene, the Goddess of the morning sun, who enlightens the world from the highest of thrones. She is the wisest counsel to Naros, who heeds her call, yes, even Naros. Even the densest of rocks yields to the chisel, and so should you, too, Trolls of the mountains, yield to the mind of the great goddess.

A Letter from Diodores to the Jottun

Brothers and sisters, i write to you in the name of Ethene. Blessed be her name and the names of her followers.

Brethren of the hills, may the serenity of Ethene shine down upon you. You are as beloved by her as you the Kollossae, for as you serve us, so do you serve the blessed goddess. It is the right and humble way, and how much more noble is it to possess the strength and will that you possess, and yet exercise the proper judgment in its use. This understanding comes from Her, as does all knowledge. So you see that you are blessed with might, and the knowledge of its proper employment.

Explorer’s Journal

Entry I

Heurix was right to say the place was mad. How could this place have been built? I would have figured that two hundred masons might have built this place. But it was only three. Siblings, I was told, from the Rotelos clan.

I’ve looked at the opening chamber and I’m alreday dumbfounded. Three masons built this complex, beginning their carvings soon after we came to this new land. Madness ran in the Rotelos line, and to think that all of that generation would feel the call of insanity so greatly… it is upsetting.

But they have died in the completion of these halls. I aim to survey them… and, perhaps more importantly, reclaim the treasure said to be stored here.

Entry II

It seems that in their labors the Rotelos were paranoid. No sooner did I descend the stasirs to try and get at the treasure they have sequestered here than I see the mighty cage come down. Seems I won’t be getting the treasure of Nerotelos as easily as I had hoped.
However, it does not seem as though the treasure is locked from me forever. There looks to be three components of the lock, color-coded in a hue that matches each of the three major wings. It should be as simple as finding the necessary mechanisms to undo the constituent portions of the lock. I’ll start with violet first.

Entry III

I had expected some rough work, dark hallways… but what is this structure that’s been built here? Laden with vicious traps and poor lightning – it seems more like a work of a Deinir than a Kollossae. I’m only happy that I’ve managed to get as far as I have. But these mechanisms are already far beyond the complexity I was expecting. What have the Rotelos fashioned here?

Entry IV

A riddle of many doors. Were the Rotelos masons mad to be driven to this? Or were they bored? I’ve been standing at these levers for what feels like hours, pulling the combinations that have sprung to my mind to find a way forward. I have slowly begun to learn that instead of wonder I should be gripped with annoyance and fear at the sight of the Rotelos’ great works.

Entry V

I am lucky enough to have undone the violet cage, though the process in doing so took far longer than I thought it would. What had begun as the endeavor of few hours has devolved into days of work. Already I am growing concerned that I lack the necessary supplies to make the rest of the journey, and I dare not try to rest within these halls. But the treasure calls to me still. I will not let the ghosts of madness best me. I am a mason in my own right – any great work the Rotelos clan seeks to throw at me I am capable of besting.

Entry VI

A room of stairs? O was glad I did not need to fear the traps of the violet wing, but I now fear that the Rotelos clan designed this place to share the madness which they themselves were afflicted with. Which part leads to my destination? Would that I had chalk, or wax, some means of marking these walls. But the supplies I have left to my name are needed. I have made three tries of these stairs already… I suppose I must stop writing to try once more..

Entry VIII

And now the emerald wing. I’ve bested the mazes and the traps and the door. There cannot be something more challenging than the summation of all that I have faced already.

With my convition steeled, I must take a moment to compliment the Rotelos clan on its fine work. Though lesser beasts have taken up occupancy in these halls, they have not suffered much in the form of decay and desctruction as other catacombs have. Would that the Rotelos had the sense to apply themselves to the good of the city and the Kollossae people- we might have more wonders to show to this world, instead of a puzzling crypt with a vindictive purpose.

Entry VIII

I take back all I have just written. The Rotelos were mad, and deserve the burning embrace of Telogrus.

Entry IX

It seems that I’ve made it as far as I can. Can’t seem to stop the blood. Curse these madmen. Curse this monument to their insanity.

Entry VIII

I take back all I have just written. The Rotelos were mad, and deserve the burning embrace of Telogrus.

Entry IX

It seems that I’ve made it as far as I can. Can’t seem to stop the blood. Curse these madmen. Curse this monument to their insanity.

Entry VIII

I take back all I have just written. The Rotelos were mad, and deserve the burning embrace of Telogrus.

Entry IX

It seems that I’ve made it as far as I can. Can’t seem to stop the blood. Curse these madmen. Curse this monument to their insanity.

Famed Mages of the Scholia Arcana

Part 1: The Early Years

Though the philosophy of the Scholia Arcana demands its adherents to sacrifice any form of personal gain for the sake of advancing the study of magic, there are not a few moments in history where extremely talented (or notorious) mages of the order have secured a position in the collective memory of Amalur. It goes without saying that the founding members, Elodan Bloodgood, Marus Torix, and Eleanor Brea are among this number, but there are yet others who, in their own way, have heralded themselves into the annals of legend.

Where better to start than with Evren the Burnheart? During the early years of the order, our ranks were dominated by the Alfar, whose affinities for magic seemed limitless. Very rarely did we have humans — save, of course, the founding members — who had the magical capacity to withstand the rigors of initiation. When Evren — a small, almost sickly Almain appeared in Rathir, it seemed the only way he would have gained admission into Scholia was by pity of his examiners.

Not so, it was found, for within minutes of his arrival, he demonstrated for us an application of fire magic that had never been witnessed before. It was almost as if he pulled a star from the sky, and slammed it into the earth with meteoric force. The plants and soil that had once been there had been turned to glass and cinders under such heat. In time we learned that, though powerful, his skills were nearly uncontrollable, for they were innate. Eventually, we learned from his powers a new, more potent form of fire magic than was previously thought possible, and taught Evren the serenity needed to quell the raging fires within him.

Then there was the Siren. A Traveler with no name and no stories of her past save for a knowing smile. That the order discovered her existence is a miracle in and of itself — allegedly, she was utilizing her comeliness in a less-than savory manner in a small village in the Icebrine. By chance, she met an initiate of our order who (in what must have been a sudden burst of uncharacteristic indiscretion) accepted her proposal. A small song from her lips, and he realized she was using some form of magic to charm him into thinking she had earned her coin. It took some convincing, but she agreed to some sessions of tutelage with the Scholia. But to this day, we still cannot truly fathom the sing-song spells she wove with her voice….

But the Scholia is remembered for its… more peculiar members as well. Fruntbert the Miasmic was touted as a powerful mage long before he came to our order, though, none could say why. He submitted himself to the Trial of Initiation, and though he passed with some success, there was much confusion as to whether his reputation was deserved. When asked, he affirmed that it was, and offered to prove it – by engaging at flatulence so powerful as to propel him from Pryderi all the way to the Scholia Arcana Courtyard! Surely, not the magic we had anticipated, but from Evren to Frunbert, these great heroes have demonstrated magic’s mutability and variety of forms.

Farewell

From the beginning, we were wrong. And only now, well into the second decade of the conflict, have we begun to understand the mistakes we have made.
We lived in harmony among the Fae, in a world awakened to new magic. Perhaps we should have foreseen what might be born on this rising tide. What force might awaken. A force powerful enough to twist even the eternal and immutable Fae folk.
But Gadflow, the new king of the Winter Court, surprised us all. Singular among his people, he was all other Fae were not: aggressive, ambitious, visionary. He had powers like none we had ever seen- terrible and deadly.
Gadflow and his followers, the „Tuatha Deohn“, believed that a new god was born in the East, beneath Galdflow’s crystalline fortress of Amethyn. In the name of that god, they marched to war against the young races of Amalur. Against a mortal army, no matter the power of their god, we might have been victorious. But the Fae are creatures of magic, not bound by the laws of life and death. Each Tuatha fallen on the battlefield would soon rise again, for the Fae do not know death as we do. How could we stand against such a force? For ten years, the war raged. For ten years, the armies of men and Alfar fought and died. But as our numbers dwindled, we new that it was only a matter of time. Our fate had been written. At least, that is what we believed.
Until you died…
How could we have known that this would be the beginning? I wonder now if we should have foreseen this outcome. But who knew what Fate would bring? I would have liked to have delivered this message in person, to see you one final time. That, however, would have been.. complicated. The order to which I belong had other plans, were you ever to leave the crystalline fortress. When it comes to you, though, it seems no fate is written in stone. It was only through my assurances that your silence could be counted upon, that either of us still draws breath. I trust you will not make of me a liar.
Were stories of what we have seen begin to surface in the inns and taverns of Amalur, I would be asked to seek you out. And, as we both know, the next time you die, there will be no return. But let us not speak of this. Your life is your own. Go now, and see what Fate may bring you.. or what Fate you may bring. Perhaps, one day, in happier times, you and I will meet again. Until that day, I remain,

Yours, Alyn Shir

Finding the Aster Inheritance

“This birthright of Aster must be shared, my sons. Only by using your amulets together to bring back the togetherness of our family will you be able to form the key to claim what is now yours.”

This statement finally makes sense to me.

Both of the Aster Twins’ amulets must be brought together by the graveside of their father, Enton Aster. I have had many troubles searching for these amulets, but it is clear to me now that they were buried with the Aster Twins long ago.

The only way for me to obtain the inheritance is to find the graves of Bodan and Heric Aster to retrieve each brother’s amulet.

oundation Report

Sector 1 – Sound Foundations.
Sector 2 – Minor leakage, otherwise sound.
Sector 3 – Rats nesting, otherwise sound.
Sector 4 – Sound Foundations.
Sector 5 – Area mostly detached and floated away. Structural integrity not compromised.
Sector 6 – Minor leakage, otherwise sound.
Sector 7 – Sound Foundations.
Sector 8 – Massive water buildup. Emergency rerouting of cistern flow required.
Sector 9 – Wall has fallen away. Evdence of sprites, but none immediately present. Masons should be dispatched, but structural integrity not compromised. Nice view.

The Crows vs. The Varani Marauders

Jokull Fangard : 5,000 – The Crows

Tyr Magnus : 30,000 – The Marauders

Torvald Grimshaw : 10,000 – The Marauders

Sigurd Palina : 10,000 – The Marauders

Petra Ragnulf : 10,000 – The Marauders

The Crows vs. The Mad Men

Jokull Fangard : 30,000 – The Crows

Arnora Runhildur : 1,000 – The Mad Men

Tyr Magnus : 100,000 – The Mad Men

Torvald Grimshaw : 100,000 – The Mad Men

Sigurd Palina : 100,000 – The Mad Men

Petra Ragnulf : 100,000 – The Mad Men

The Vipers vs. The Ravens

Franz Englehart : 20,000 – The Vipers

Alard Aedic : 1,000 – The Ravens

Adrian Agni : 10,000 – The Vipers

The Wolf Pack vs. The Varani Pikemen

Tyr Magnus : 30,000 – The Wolf Pack

Rugni Sigmund : 1,000 – The Varani Pikemen

Toma Rogn : 3,000 – The Wolf Pack

Adrian Agni : 10,000 – The Wolf Pack

The Crows vs. Trolls (Exhibition)

Tyr Magnus : 500,000 – Trolls

Jokull Fangard : 500,000 – The Crows

Gnome Nursery Rhyme

Laz and Raz, the brothers Grumble, as transcribed by Phinneas Callidus

Laz and Raz, the brothers Grumble,

Parents each, and neither humble.

They had no mind, the Sons of Laz,

No body to find, the Maids of Raz.

What each one wants, the other has.

“We work together” they often mumble,

“But hate each other!” the brothers grumble.

Both lines born with such a plight,

Combined to wield lordly might,

But battled at the merest slight.

Their conflicts caused them both to tumble,

Heed this from The Brothers’ Grumble.

Letter to Avery Egest, 1

Avery,

I came to Gorhart to look after your kin. Rikka is as wonderful as you described. Yet she is a shadow.

She misses you, my friend. As do we all. I will watch over her since you cannot. And I will visit you often. This war be damned.

Who would have guessed I would come to a mission, and trade a prison for a cloister? If only we had both escaped. Alas, the bars were too strong, the Tuatha too cruel.

Your brother in arms,

Mason

Letter to Avery Egest, 2

Avery,

I worry about Rikka. We of the Order should not visit the village often. Father says it is a distraction, a “swamp of murky morality.” But I can’t stay way. I care too much.

Your widow’s sorrow deepens. She has come to close her shop at odd hours, to retreat to the darkness of her upstairs bedroom. I see the glimmer you loved so, but it fades.

She is lonely, without your or her children. She is so delicate, so beautiful of heart. I try to console her, but it leaves me shaken. I will continue to watch over her in your absence, dear friend. You have my word.

Your brother in arms,

Mason

Letter to Avery, Egest

Avery,

Mitharu has made it known to me. I must leave St. Odwig’s mission, and Odarath. You see, I am in love, and that love is forbidden. Not only does my Order frown upon such earthly concerns, but such an act would dishonor you, as well. “Why?” you may ask. I cannot love this woman because it is Rikka. It is your wife.

So I am taking leave of the mission, abandoning my post as Alms Master. Perhaps one day I will return, but not in disgrace. I cannot do that to you, or to Rikka, or to my master, Mitharu.

Farewell, my friend and brother. Rest in good peace. Soft peace. Peace without further pain.

Your brother in arms forever,

Mason

Gwalchmai’s Good

Recird of stores and trades, Year 245

Major trades:

2,445 barrels f pickled, brined, and jellied fish sold a profits of 7 gold per. 905 yards of fine hempen rope bought at 2 gold per yard below market. 55 casks Fieriol wines, pale and mulberry traded for 118 crates of smoked aurochs meat.

Major Losses

766 Barrels of Boot blacking to the Alfar Army at 4 gold less than paid. 3 bottles Maybrin wine to visitiong dignitary. Twelve fine lacquered cabinets that were damaged traveling through Kandrian. 50 bear pelts, which turned out to be of inferior quality.

Research

I have come to the conclusiom that life is what we make it. There is a collective consciousness that pervades us all. This determines us. This makes the moments of life interminable. There are few things that tap into this. This pen is so like many things, and yet it seems sharper, distinct. My script is angular, and it is the proper utensil to use for this task. Is it so, or do I make it so?

There is no answer to this. I know that there is only the complication of the question; this question, and others that have come to me while living here in Idylla, among the Kollossae. Everything is fabricated, from the pillars to the clothing. There are impedoments to impedoments, and every night among the heavens only follows a day amidst clouds.

I tire of this place and these people, this life and these ways. Were it only the troubles of a complicated life, I could perhaps bear it. But it is more than that. It is the uncertainty of this existence, the tenuous grasp of the real. There is nothing tangible, only imagined tangible, and there is no way to separate my thoughts and feelings from what they inhere.

And the Kollossae never question this. They instead heap praise upon the uncertain, foppish rulers and the imaginary figures of their religion. We have lost the stone that is our nature, and have become deliberate and foolish creatures. Our nature is hidden behind a vel of philosophy and fashion, politics and law. It does not need to be this way.

Take, for example, the Jottun. Their way is direct. Their existence is simple. Theirs is the truth if ever there be any. Rather than live with my hands in the sky, I will join them with my feet on the earth.

An Account of Idylla Rising

From the Journal of Kleitos, historian.

I am writing from Idylla’s heart. The “Concourse,” the masons call it. The wind blows bizarrely today, hammering downward on us, snuffing out nearly all of the braziers sitting in the open air, and I must press my parchment against a tablet to write comfortably. Moods are high, and all I meet today greet me with great zeal, for they know that this gale is not a natural ocurrence. Arkes, our revered Primos, and his protégé, Anokatos, have cast the spell that propels our grand city ever higher into the heavens. I am among the few citizens who chose to stay in our homes to experience the rising as it occurs. After many years of braving the dangers of the Teeth of Naros beneath us, our mission is nearing its end.’

We continue to ascend, and as the Teeth below grow ever more diminutive, I see the sparks of a new spell that the Primos is casting, which light the maw of the caldera in brillian gleams. As grand as Idylla has become, the Hyperian shall be tremendous in comparison. And it rises next.

Jenniker’s Journal

Confound it! This research seems doomed from the beginning. The Cranalt Artifact is most assuredly of Niskaric origin, but it seems the local wildlife has gotten to it before I could. To make things worse, it seems the artifact has begun leaking a combination of various magics into the river and afflicting the nearby farm. From what I understand, the device requires a Gem Lattice, a Belt of Fluidity and a Mana Pendulum before I might be able to alter what configuration of maics it pours into the river — and hopefully, simply deactive the artifact entirely. The necessary parts are likely still in Cranalt, since these beast rarely venture out of doors. It is only a matter of tracking them down… Of course, once it is repaired, I must find the right magic configuration to use: Sanguine for optimism, Phlegmatic for reservedness and Melancholic for pessimism… a bias in any these three would have interesting results, assuredly… but potentially disastrous ones as well.

Journal of the Master Builder
The Rise of Gravehal

First Entry: Lord Slosvard has given me liberty to build a keep of Emberdeep and to make this new settlement the envy of the Dvergan people. I do not intent to disappoint him. As is our tradion, the foundation of this keep shall be build from the very ships that brought us hence. Their masts will support the ceiling of the Great Hall, the sails shall be the canopies of our courtyard.

Second Entry: The forest itself seems to oppose us. We cannot build fast enough to to[sic] keep apace with its growth. Every morning, it has reclaimed nearly all that was done they day prior. I need more men.

Third Entry: I believe I, at last, have enough strong backs to make some headway against this island wilderness. I’ve never seen such trees as these. They seem to visibly grow in a moment, leaning not towards the sun, but solely towards our keep, so bent do they seem on its destruction.

Fourth Entry: This island has never seen the likes of a Dvergan builder and what he can do with an army of strong Dvergan men and slaves from distant lands. Our work might have failed without these first batches of slaves brought here by Lord Gravehal for the slave colony he builds in the harbor on the western coast. Once I am done with whatever is left of this batch, Lord Gravehal believes he can make this place center of the Frostbreak Sea slave trade.

Fifth Entry: The island trembles under the points of our shovels and the speed of our axes, though it seems to fight back with all its might. It unnerves me to imagine what force opposes me, but I am no less determined to conquer it. Even Lord Gravehal himself, at his advanced age, lends his strong back to the effort. Every day he doffs his finery and toils for hours, shirtless in the frigid air.

Sixth Entry: Lord Gravehal has died. With hammer raised high above his head, he thundered down upon the high wall of the tower, driving in one final nail for the day. The scaffold, it was slippery this day, and his lordship lost his footing and fell to the frozen ground. Lady Gravehal has ordered what she calls “our folly” abandoned, and we immediately set sail for Emberdeep.

Seventh Entry: Lord Gravenhal’s only son, Ansgar Solsvard, heir to Gravenhal has sworn that we shall never abandon his father’s keep and it be completed in his memory. Lady Gravehal has no choice but to comply. Work resumes.

Eighth Entry: It is done. The throne room is a sight to behold, outshining any in Emberdeep. The master of the keep’s throne looks down upon the long table, beside staircases winding awesomely and mysteriously to the gallery above. The wood within has been polished to an ethereal shine and the rugs upon the floor are of the softest wool imaginable, shorn from this island’s many creatures. Outside, the courtyard bustles in the shadow of the wall and its massive carvings. Stalls line the yard selling all manner of wares from across the sea, before the backdrop of the keep, in the center, and the library and the household of his lordship’s bride-to-be, Lady on either side. Her chambers would be considered a palace in any other place. Crawling as it will be with filthy animals, is a jewel of its kind, functional and perfectly suited to its purpose, if I may say.

My finest work is at last complete an arrangements can now be made for the wedding and the opening of the mighty keep of Gravehal. Never was there a finer wedding gift bestowed, nor testament to the glory and stubbornness of the Dvergan people.

Journal of Scribe Pearse

The Wedding Day

It was a glorious day.

Lir took his new bride, Aife, to hand and led her through the Halls to their own chamber in the deep. The runes of the mystical Erathir were her eyes, and the echoes through the hall her laughter. Great is our new queen, Aife. She seems to have endured herself to us all. And such wonders she makes! Why, I saw her take the grand corridor and set it with enchanted flames, using only a wave or her hand…

Kallas

On the History and Nature of the Fae

In the famous God Storm, or Withering War, Lord Ysa took up the ancient, cursed Talisman of Fate, a powerful but treacherous magical artifact of the Heroic Age Seelie clan champions, and came upon Lord Ohn and his warband in the fogs and quicksands of the shadowy plains. Lord Ysa, Lord Ohn, and their warbands fought for hours in confusion until most of their supporters were dead and both Ysa and Ohn were terribly wounded. At Last, Ysa took a mortal wound, and Ohm, thinking himself the victor, left Ysa alone to die. But the gravely wounded Ysa gave his page the Talisman of Fate, and sent him after Ohn.

Kandrian Trade Writ

Writ of Trade

Brad and Cergen Traders

Lord Kandrian of Kandrian Keep

Witness agreement of four hunder and forty-three guardsmans’ pikes to Lord Kandrian of the Erathell Plains in exchange for fifty rounds of Kandri cheese, twelve casks of wine, and such gold as accounts the difference in trade.

Kollossae History, I

The Mairu The road walked by my peokple has been long and fraught with peril, but if we had forgotten where we came from, what sense of accomplishment would we feel when we reached our final, glorious destination?
What is the point of progress without the context of its origin? It falls to me to paint the portrait of my race as we were, as we have become, and as we will continue. May the gods guide my stylus.

Laz Remains

The Well does a passable job of recreating a subject’s flesh and sinew, but i’m having a monstrous time properly catching the departed’s essence! Early successes back in Saltwell are proving difficult to reproduce, although I can’t be sure if it’s a result of more powerful magical sources or any of t he dozens of other problems that came with the shoddy construction of this damned tower!

Our best results come out as littel more than Sons of Laz (yes, like in the old rhyme). These ex-soldiers shamble and moan much like other unfortunates who have born that crude epithet, but rather than a result of inebriation or insanity, these half-dead beasts simply don’t have a functional mind in their skull. Or perhaps they’re missing a soul in their hearts. Or spleens, or wherever the damned things are supposed to be. Further testing is required.

At least they keep the locals away, and they feed themselves — often on each other.

The Journal of Lerkara Fel

This cursed village is so caught up in the Tuatha at their door, they have become blind to the monster within their midst! An entire family has been slaughtered, several more individuals gone missing, and untold travelers pulled from the roads… and they do nothing…

Attempted to gain an audience with Lord Kandrian today, again. Was refused at the gate, again. Idiots.

This case continues to surprise. No clue is consistent — some of the wounds appear to be from tooth, or claw, but blood spray on the walls of the victims’ home could have been made from a large blade, such as a greatsword. Numerous individuals have gone missing, but only two corpses have ever been found. Where are the others?

Patrick Morkan knows more than he is telling. If I can just get into his basement, perhaps I can uncover something more. At least the innkeeper, Master Dace, has been helpful in providing me with supplies and directions regarding the local area.

A place he mentioned to me over dinner toight — the cave of Tulan — I think I will search there tomorrow. It might be connected to an old network of passageways that lead underneath the town. Perhaps I will find evidence of whatever is taking these villagers there.

Letter from Feride Ouet

You have come to Adessam and for that I am gladdened.

I am Feride Ouet, head scholar of Adessa’s Laboratories. I am on the brink of a significant accomplishment in my research. However, it would take one in your position to complete it.

I am not without means of compensating you. I can also help provide you access to parts of the city.

I await you in the Laboratories. Please visit me when you are able.

Regards,
Feride

Savant Engar,

Preliminary reports concerning villagers disappearing under strange circumstances were not exaggerated. Several victims have been taken from their homes; signs of violence point to a predator of enormous strength. Little effort has been made to conceal signs of struggle, but there is virtually no trail leading back to a den.

Of particular interest to me is a gentleman by the name of Patrick Morkan. I have interviewed everyone in town, and he is the only one who exhibits no concern over the disappearances. It is a tenuous lead, but it is all I currently have. I’ll write you again when I know more.

Adept Lerkara Fel

Letter from Lord Erran Gastyr

My Dearest Wilda,
Please forgive me for what I have done. Of only you knew how much this revelation haunts me, how my evenings are lit by the somber light of my shame. You deserve better. But I am a man of office, and I cannot recognize your little Brun as one of my kin. It is not to be, as we are not to be. But you do forever occupy a place in my heart, and to show you affection, please accept the gift of land, gold, and the title. They are little comfort in this lonely time, but they are all a coward can provide. Forever your lord,
Erran

Letter to the Archsage of the Scolia Arcana
Your Grace

I had been told that the Dverga were a coarse and artless people, incapable of imagining let alone creating true beauty. One need but look upon the miraculous thing they have erected at the center of this inhospitable island wilderness to call into question all assumptions and prejudice. The keep they have carved out of the woods is an awesome sight. Both improbably and impractically tall, it is visible from the sea when approaching on a sufficiently clear day. Towering above the tree line, it creates the convincing illusion that it is an outgrowth of the forest that surrounds it. It is as if the island itself had constructed it.

Maybe the sublimity of the Dvergan style has eluded me until now, or maybe their distinctive favor of dark woods and maritime motifs has never before had such a proper backdrop. Regardless, I hope my words properly conjure for you the sight I have beheld.

Most impressive of all and his lordship tells me his reason for inviting me here is the keep’s library. Eagerly did he show me the cavernous room’s high airy ceilings and cleverly louvered windows that flood the reading room with light while never subjecting any scholar within to the direct glare of the sun. But it was the collection he had begun to amass that fascinated me most. Already, I attest he has assembled the most complete collection of ancient Erathi texts and epic poems. Moreover, the island’s curious propensity for attracting shipwrecks has delivered unto it most diverse examples of writings from around the kingdoms. I cannot claim to have ever encountered a single familiar volume.

His lordship does, true to his claim, seem dedicated to the preservation and restoration of these books and making them available to any who care to visit his newly tamed realm. I urge the Archsage hence, to visit at the first opportunity.

Letter to Bridgette
Bridgette

I know what you must be feeling, because I felt it, too. Becoming the Scion is greater than any responsibility on this earth. You must be prepared to face your own weaknesses, and to overcome them. Akara’s vessel cannot be a broken one.

But take heart, Bridgette. You and I have known each other for many years, and I can think of no one more deserving of such an honor. Akara will take the strength that you already possess and multiply it a hundred fold. He is waiting for you, as he waited for me so many years ago.

It is right to be afraid, for you are facing the might of a god. But be glad, too. The Scion does great things.

Whatever happens, do not change. It is vital to the Scion’s duties that you retain your sense of wonder, your willingness to feel, and your love of the common man and woman. You will lead them now, as I make my exit. I know that I leave them in capable hands.

Yours,
Pima

To Delf
I want to thank you, not for leaving, of course, but for making it so easy for me to find you. It was also thoughtful to keep Ugnar so close by. I owe you a debt of gratitude. I must repay you—in fact I insist upon it! Come and find me, or I will come to you.

-Red

To Ancient of War, Tine Delfric,

Tine, I am well aware that many Warsworn are called for in Klurikon, where the war still rages. I am sure you are called to send more Pledgeshields than you can provide, and that the honor (and profit) to be gained there is great. However, it has been two seasons that I have written you begging for ONE seasoned Pledgeshield. Of all the number sent east each day, you do not have two worthy fighters for Ironfast?

With all respect and Sworn to War,

Castellan Oda Celfred

To Ancient of War, Tine Delfric,

Ancient Delfric, I have received your letter. I will wait. Send a Pledgeshield when you are able. But do not forget the threats that slumber in Detyre. Warsworn honor must be upheld here, as well.

With all respect and Sworn to War,

Castellan Oda Celfred

To my Galataea

It has finally happened! Idylla has been raised high into the clouds above. This is truly a sign from the Gods- that they are pleased with our work, my work, building this perfect city. Yet I did this not fot the Gods alone, but for you, my one true love. How you would so love this city in the sky. Do not think that the city being raised will end my visits. I will come see you again as soon as things settle up here.

Second letter:
To my love, Galataea

The city is coming along nicely. It is finally begining to look like the place the Gods intenedn for our people to be. With every strike of my hammer and chisel to this stone, I imagine the place we once dreamed of living. I only wish you were here to see all of its beauty. It is everything you had hoped it would be and more. The Gods will be proud of this city once it is completed. Sadness fills me to know that we will not be together in this perfect city, but if all goes well then perhaps I can find a way to bring you to the city.

Letter to Lord Cras Arne

To Mr. Britt Hagni, Your cottage is funished and ready for habitation. We have also reviewed yourt request for storage space to accomodate the unmarked crates you had transported from Rathir, and we shall be in touch regarding their deastination. It should not be more than a few weeks. Thank you again for choosing Emaire. We look forward to seeing you around town and welcoming you into our community. Han and Orcha Tetran, Owners, Blue Bear Tavern.

To Mayor Eswin Ealfhelm

I hope you are faring well after your arrival in Whitestone. Don’t be fooled by the dust and the heat. Apotyre can be quite beautiful, especially in the evenings when the stars show their faces, peeking from behind the smoke of Adessa’s fires. You won’t find a better view of the heavens anywhere.

My sister Cenda suggested that I write to you on behalf of your family, the Grastars. We are a clan of proud, simple people, miners by trade, originating from the western land of Myria where our family supported Almere in his unification of the Almain tribes. It has always been our way to fight for what we believe, and to labor hard for the roof above our head, the clothes that keep us warm, and the meals that fill our bellies. It is not our way to take our blessings for granted. But I can stay silent no longer.

My daughter Tine is dying. Mother says it’s the water in the Snaketail, but the gnomes assured us that it was clean. Their scholars tested it time and again. Still my little girl coughs blood. It is terrible to hear, Mr. Ealfhelmn, a wet cough that shades the sun and turns the blood to ice. I can barely bear to hear it. Sometimes, when the night falls and the fits take my Tine, I slip outside to marvel at the stars, and to wish myself far away from this desert death. All of my life I’ve embraced the rolling dunes in Apotyre. Now I see only graves waiting to be dug.

You are the mayor of Whitestoine, the leader of our people here in Apotyre. Can you not demand that the gnomes take responsibility fpr the pain they’ve wrought upon us, their willing servants? They will not listen to us. They have ignored our pleas for aid. My father has even travelled to Adessa and confronted the Templars at the Basilica Gnostra, to no avail. They turned him away, claiming that the secrets of their people could not be shared. Of course the same secrets may be killing us.

Please, Mayor Eswin, if you have any compassion you will seek me out. Or better yet you go straight to the source of our agony, and get the truth from the scholars of Motus Mining Interests, those responsible for the disaster that has befallen us all. As the old Apotyre saying goes: “Our bones are stone, our hearts the sun; we may be born of the dark halls, but we rise into light.”
Thank you for reading this and Mitharu bless you.

Your friend, Heste Grastar

Dear Mayor If you know what’s good for you, you’ll release the boy Steg from that pen in the center of Whitestone. You don’t want any trouble from the Darkvari family. From what I understand, you’ve got enough snakes to wrangle. Take my advice and let the boy go. It’d be a pity to get that fine white throat cut.

Grund Darkvari

Letter to Nette

In my final moments I think of nothing else. We are together.

I had such plans for us. I have the key, you see, the key to Gravehal Keep, most prized of domiciles, the jewel in the Dvergan crown. I came upon it in my explorations, deep in the standing waters of Undersea Fasting.

It is such an unassuming thing. We could have returned to Gallows End and lived like Templars, our every whim within reach. Alas, it is not to be, and the key will do me no good when I am dead. I left it with the archiect[sic], the one in the village. He is one of us, and I truly believe that he will do great things.

It could have been ours, but so many things were taken from us. What is one more?

Live on dear Nette,

-Ares

Orwin

I know how you can get back at the scum that betrayed you to the City Watch. There are still riches to be had if you clear your name. Return to Rathir and I’ll show you. When you get here, stay in the Quays, and I’ll come to you.

To Ugnar

You filthy coward. I knew you were a traitor the moment I saw you. The only reason I let you join is to have that much more fun killing you when you ran like the scum that you are. Kill the others, or you’re going to make me very happy.

Red

Dear Prickly Bear

You’ve been away too long, my love. The cold sheets betray you.

You are a scamp, are you not, slipping from my chambers before the cock crowed and denying my desire its due? I should have known better than to give you the key to my cottage. We can agree that it opened far more than my front door, and that the squeak of the lock won’t be fleeing these ears any time soon. My bedposts left quite a scar on the plaster, to be sure. I view the as trophies, I do.

And here you are far from me, so far in fact that I can’t feel the scraggly daggers of your beard against my neck, or hear the purr of your breath as it escapes your perfect lips. Yes, I could find one to fill your many spaces, but alas, none can, Your name is the only scream I wish to utter in these vast, dark Rathir nights.

Does your fluffed and rigid master know of your sweetness, of the nights spent serenading me from my window on Wending, or the poems composed beneath the bough of Star Thistle deep in Twilight Garden? My guess is that he does not! You are but a hired blade to him. It is a pity, my love, for your are not a weapon but the very salve that cradles the wound of my loneliness. Every time I ache, I cry your name.

Hurry home, Prickly bear. My sheets grow cold, and my bedposts miss their clatter.

Clena

Dear Varik

Don’t worry about me. I am in good hands. The Ynrics are a riotous lot, but no more than any of the rest of us. They still have some honor, despite their recent villainy. It’s a shame they’ve had to fall so far simply to stay alive. Isn’t that the way of Apotyre?

I will be in touch, my friend. If anyone asks about me, send them away from the Quarry, even our allies. I can’t risk having that snake Eswin discover my location. Unchecked, he will stop at nothing to crush all of Whitestone under his well manicured thumb. City-dwellers.. What was that old joke? "How can you tell if a man’s a noble? Check his

Be well, Varik. You will be hearing from me soon.

Your friend, A.S

The Life of Tine Delfric

How many accolades and honors have been piled upon the life of the Warsworn Order’s presiding ancient, Tine Delfric?
In his youth he was famed not only for his fearlessness and daring exploits, but for his measured hand. Garreth Rill, the mad Fae Forsythe, and Sisterhood of Smoke are but three of the enemies of order and law that he vanquished.
But Ancient Delfric truly proved himself many years after any of these victories, when Ancient-of-War Auldstone died, and two figures rose to fight for leadership of the order. In th end neither Kreka Wavecrest nor Trilling Frost would become the next Ancient-of-War. Because Tine Delfric stood and spoke when none others dared, the cowardly corruption of Frost was shone to all, and the other Castellans were forced to swallow their pride and accept the Varani Kreka as Helmgard’s Castellan. The twenty years following was known as the time of the triumvirate, when the three Castellans ruled in accord.
At the end of the twenty years, strife again threatened the Warsworn: now Tine himself contended against Kreka for Ancient of War. But, as Lupoku intervened, the menace of Lackor The Bull arose in Dalentarth. It took the entire order to bring him and his enchanted army to justice; when the day was done, impulsive Kreka had taken a mortal wound, while Tine’s careful tactics had run Lackor into a tight place from which there was no escape. On her deathbed, Kreka blessed Tine’s promotion, and he has guided us through readiness and war since that day.

Pamphlet on Linguistics

A preliminary analysis of the resulsts from my Banelous potion expemiments has provided me woth a fasconating bas from which to draw new hypotheses on the nature of libguisitics and the mind’s ability to comprehend various tongues. And, perhaps most importantly, my analysis has demonstrated the need for additional data, which would require further funding and support from my kind benefactors in the Basilica Gnostra.

For those Scholars who are not aware oft he nature of my research, I offer a modest summary: my Babelous Potion is intended to grant its users bother complete comprehension and generation of foreign languages by means of balancing the mind’s humours. My test subjects are inoculated with a version of the potion, an are subject to a brief examination: they are surveyed in an number of tongues and then required to answer in the language of the questions.

Oddly enough, while my current formula for the Babelous Potion has successfully granted my patient’s linguistic comprehension, it has yielded mixed results in term of language generation. These results are usually triggered in a three-stage process.

In the beginning of the process, most subjects described their ability to speak almost being inverted- though they sought to generate one sound, their mouth made the opposite. Clearly the humeral mix was somehow substituting the opposite of every letter the patient tried to say.

In the middle stage of the process, where the potion was strongest, subjects reported success in generating the sound they were thinking, but in a different order than how they thought them. Their mouths jumbled up the answers they meant to give.

And, in the final stage, when the potion was beginning to wear off, my subjects reported that the previous two phenomena – the substitution of every sound’s opposite and the jumbling of sounds – were somehow presenting themselves simultaneously.

If only I could find a mind that could untangle these processes while under the effects of the potion, I could get somewhere….

Liturgy of the Word

Primos: Glory to Ethene, the mother and protector of Idylla, who watches over us and guides us with her wisdom. It is by your power Ethene, that we live above the savagery of the highest mountains, and the drudgeries of the darkest valleys. We cherish your gift and make all of our city your monument.
Congregation: Guide us and protect us, Ethene. Primos: Glory to Ethene, the source of all inspiration, for in her we find everlasting beauty. Her love shines upon us and fills us with her majesty. Our expressions reflect your greatness, Ethene, abnd our works are tribute to your endless magnificience. Only throough her do we create. Primos: We bring these before you, o Ethene, and herald your wisdom to all, so that your beauty shines in the heavens, and your words ring throughout the land.

Llyferion III

Hymnal

Lyria and Lunala

Lyria and Lunala did bathe in star-filled night

Lyria in all her glory, seen in Lunala’s light

The waters of the cosmos shine upon the goddess’ shapes

And nebulae about their ankles lie in fallen drapes

he lesser goddess, pale and brightm smiles on her friend

Whose beauty all revelaed to see is grace that knows no end

Such eternal beauty, not meant for mortal sight

Lyria in all her glory, seen in Lunala’s light

The Durek Axe

The Durek Axe that fell upon

The Alfar people’s heart

Though Durek arm hat died anon

Still severed us apart

The Durek Axe divides us from

Our Goddess’ sublime grace

And knowledge of our destiny

And knowledge of our place

The Durek Axe drove Dokkalfar

And Ljosalfar to Part

Made two of one and sent them far

Though still they share one heart

[refrain]

Made two of them and sent them far

Though still they share one (broken) heart

Hymn to dawn

Oh when the night did end

And Tirin rose

And Tirin rose

And Tirin rose

To Greet the dawn

She stood upon Tywili pool and saw that we were home

To arms she raised, her voice it rose

And this she sang to us

Night has lifted, dawn has come, and

This place shall be home

Shall be home

Shall be our home.

The Memoirs of Tyr Magnius

I ahve been Champion for years now. There are none in this land wit the skill or cunning to unseat me and despite thew are raging in these lands, mine is a history that holds great portent. I have taken the rubble of a ruined Fae House, sculpted it into a mortal-made wonder of Detyre. And with it I’ve climbed out of the hole of poverty that my father so gleefully dug for me. To know Tyr Magnus, we must begin with the progenitor: Hroth Magnus Amalur does not know Hroth Magnus, the mercenary, nor Hroth Magnus, the father. But he was both, before he defeated the Fae Engard to become the first mortal. Champion. When I was a child, he and I traveled across Amalur, in pursuit of battle. He sought opponents who could show him fighting technique he had never seen so that he could devise ways to defeat them. He was fascinated with the motions and methods of combat. Together we would visit a number of locales mostly taverns, where guards and other militias spent their off duty hours. My father would enrage the patrons with glib words such that they would attack him, and he would attack them in turn; always, he defeated them with ease. On the rare instance that his opponents managed to actually strike him, he would nod to me as as he grappled with his aggressors, intoning "Now we are learning, Tyr- And it was true. None could ever strike him in the same fashion again. After a time, it appears no guard or militia man could defeat my father, and he took on mercenary work seeking further competition….
Unlike other Varani of his ilk, my father was not fond of mercenary life. At least, not the parts that did not involve fighting his bounties. When he caught them, against the wishes of his contradictions, he offered them their freedom if they could best him in a duel. None ever could. Word spread, and his infamy attracted the attention of weaponmaster and storied warriors. In this way, he learned the weaponed and unweaoned combat of many peoples, including both varieties of Alfar and the Alamain. Years passed and though his technique improved, he gained no reputation as a mercenary. Father would sooner allow a captive to roam free if there was anything to be learned from sparring him. And as such, we languished, financially, in the years before he was Champion. And so we come to the House of Valor. My father’s obsession brought him to Detyre, to seek out the Fae of Valor, who battle for battle’s sake. Convincing them to allow a mortal to join their tournament was not difficult. Hroth Magnus was the first mortal to ask if he could so. And the hundreds of years of experience the Fae held over his father were meaningless before his sheer force of will. Their champion, Engard fell, and father reigned for many decades. The House of Valor now belonged to the mortals. Soon, it would belong to me.

To Whomever Found This Note

If you are reading this, then I’m getting sent to the gallows, and you’ve come for my riches.

I had no friends in life, no family, no loved ones. Which means you’re either a leech looking to strike it rich off of my efforts, or you’re just some person that likes running around caves and reading things.

Either way, I am excited to inform you of this: there is no hoard. There is no gold or gems, only brass and cheap beads. You’ve gotten this far, and it was all for nothing.

I wish I could see the look on your face. It will give me something to smile about when I’m wearing a noose.

- Maun

To the Office of the Primos
The masonry company hereby requests an escort of city guard to accompany us on a routine maintenance of the sewer systems. “The Stowaway”, as the masons have taken to calling it, has reappeared in the upper levels. As much as we would relish retribution against it for assaults against various mason crews, we have our matters of engineering to attend to. A single guard unit should suffice to drive it off. Perhaps, one day, the Primos would see it worthy to bestow us with the aid we require to remove the Stowaway permanently. It would appear that none are willing to accept the task at the city board fot the Stowaway’s defeat.

To the Office of the Primos
It appears certain ares of the sewers have grown thick with wildlife, in some cases severely hindering the progression of routine maintenance. I realize that tasks for the Primos have engrossed the guard crews, but the efficiency of the masonry division would be greatly increased if we had the ability to work unhindered by sprites and the Pteryx menaces. What’s worse is the sprites are very obviously hoarding valuables from aboveground, and we can only stop so many of them. We humbly request a more formidable guard presence in the sewers.

Might Proves Virtue: A Scholarly Thesis

These are uncertain times, Kollossae magic has proven ineffective in the raising of the Hyperian. Citizens of Idylla have left the city to re-enter the wild, like the Mairu, disenchanted as they are with life here. The political and social enemies of the Lykeios are emerging once again, claiming to be “casual observers” who ask why it is necessary to maintain an academy such as ours in Idylla. There are many among the nobles and the guards who relish the idea of turning our humble school into another shimmering tower or a barracks for the military. They think only of elevating the city, always conceiving taller buildings, instead of elevating their cultivation and their way of thinking. Every day, I strive to convince them of the error of their ways, and my arguments fall to ears deafened by foolishness. If I cannot convince them, I must convince you, dear reader, that institutions such as the Lykeios are necessary for the continued evolution of our people, especially in the light of our failing at the Hyperian. We cannot lift the Hyperian if we are not enlightened, and we require the Lykeios, along with the study of theology through debate, to attain enlightenment.
But how, you ask? With a single rule: Every debate that takes place in the Lykeios is unified by the agreement that might proves virtue, and, as all know, the virtuous are correct. The purpose of the debates then, is to present social arguments and let the virtuous resolve them. The two debaters articulate their points, they discuss the opposing views in light of each other, along with tangential proofs, and then, the exclamation point, the great finish, wherein they determine the victor, is decided as a Kollossae decides all things: with power. Every debate thus exists as a microcosm of a Kollossae life, discovering the dangers of the world, ruminating on how to overcome, and then battling them until one either falls or truimphs. The Lykeios debate is an elegant convention, and I implore you to experience it before it is too late. In our waning influence, the Lykeios may soon be reduced to a government building or a misshapen hut to house soldiers.

Morning debates are about to begin, and so I must conclude by imploring you, dear reader: when next you hear some poor fool disparaging the Lykeios, think of what it is that makes you who you are, that allows you to be counted among the lineage of the great Hero himself. It is not your might, as the Mairu had might to spare, but it is your cultivation, your virtue, that makes you so. By disparaging the Lykeios, they decry what it means to truly be Kollossae.

Missives of Sable

Being arrived most recently, it was discovered by my master already a most peculiar trophy within one of the fallen fortresses of these godless demons. It is a tome, bound in a leather or shide that even our learned men do not recognize. It will not open, despite our strongest efforts. What secrets do the heathens seal within such a text?
(The rest of the book details the journeys of Templar Sable, during some martial campaign in a strange desert kingdom)

Random messages

To whoever finds this letter…

I hope fortune has landed you a better fate in this life. Had I not been the irrational youth that I was, perhaps I would never have found myself trapped on this cursed island. Aspirations of wealth and glory do not compare to the comforts of home. That is the truth. May you heed my lessons of hindsight.

-Avery

To Avery:

Should this bottle somehow find you again, I ask you, had you remained confined to the comforts of your former life, would you be just as unhappy? By leaving home, have you not discovered that your home is precious?

Take this opportunity to explore the island, discover its secrets and cherish what it can teach you! Or, perhaps, you’re simply doomed to be the unhappy sort, regardless of the possibilities life reveals to you. Which life would you prefer?

-Briar

Briar:

How you returned this bottle to me I cannot fathom. This island will not even let my thoughts escape!

Yet for all my frustrations, your words give me pause. Maybe being shipwrecked on this island has more meaning than I initially saw. While I was contemplating your message I wandered from my camp and found what looks to be an old harbor, possibly of Dvergan make. You may be right, and that there is something for me to learn here after all.

-Avery

Avery,

It makes me glad to know that your aversion toward the island is fadingand that my words have been of some comfort to you. Sometimes it is the difficult road we must take to find the answers we did not even know to ask.

I find that sunsets above the sky always bring me the most comfort when I am lost.

-Briar

Dear Briar,

I understand now. You are stuck here, too, aren’t you? It makes sense, why these bottles find their way back to me time and again.

I did not fully understand the mystery of your words, not until I wandered up to the mountain peak. I did not dare to make the descent as the day grew late, and dangerous creatures lurk in every shadow. You were right, the sunset is most beautiful from atop these ruins. Tell me, where can I find you?

-Yours, Avery

Sweet Avery,

You are wise to be cautious of these creatures, and just as clever to decipher the truth behind my words. It seems my loneliness was too plain. I suppose you have taught me something about myself as well.

I would come to you, but I have found myself preoccupied with helping the newest victims of that damned pirate. They labor just south of the old keep. Find me there.

-Briar

Dearest Briar,

Your words have given me great peace and understanding over the last few months, and my thoughts of you have kept me from madness. Yet now I have to wonder. Is it too late? Has this island already driven me to delirium?

Please tell me where I can find you. I will remain here with the others and do what I can to help. Please, do not delay. I will wait.

-Yours, Avery

Briar,

I have waited for you here since the day you sent me to find you. While I cannot fathom if you were ever real, a figment of my desperate mind or some godly force, I thank you for showing me my path, difficult as it has been.

The years have grown upon me, but I am content, and I have found peace here on this island I once thought my prison. Soon I shall make my final ascent to the mountain peak and watch the sunset one last time.

Would that I find you there, I would find true solace.

-Avery

Mitharu

The Word of Mitharu according to St. Odwig

In the beginning, the world was shrouded in darkness. Out of this nothingness, arose Mitharu, who brought forth the firmament and the celestial heavens, and drew the Arcane Veil from teh world. Mitharu was Order, and gave unto the world a great and wondrous design. Ages of this perfection passed, but there was still darkness, and out of the random places of darkness left the in the world, Chaos arose. Mitharu called this Telogrus, a foul and ruined thing. The children of Telogrus destroyed the firmament and seared the earth. Again everything was plunged into darkness, but Mitharu hid us from the devastation. Deep within the bosom of the earth, we were nurtured by Mitharu’s divine guidance. Even in the darkest corners of the world, we were illuminated by the surety of order. When the proper time came, Mitharu’s children themselves led us from this darkness and into the glory of Mitharu’s world anew, reborn, and made to grow into perfection.

The Word of Mitharu according to St. Hadwyn

And thus, the world was perfectly in Mitharu’s image. There are the seasons, which Mitharu causes so that all things are balanced. There is the earth and sky, which are separated in the same balance by the day and the night. The sea and the land are again the same difference in the balance of the world with the ebb and flow of the tide. There are the beasts of Mitharu’s making, the plants which feed the beasts of the world, and which feed upon the world itself. And finally, there are the remnants of Mitharu’s hands, the shards of our world. Here, the work of Mitharu is visible to those who would welcome the Great Order of the World into his or her life. It is like a miniscule version of the world itself. There is nothing as ordered as the line of lights of a flawless gem, it is the divine shape of Mitharu.

The Word of Mitharu according to St. Eadric

And thusly ordered, Mitharu said unto the people, “Behold the way of the world. There are cycles within the Great Cycle, and as I give order and structure to this world, so too, do you; for I have gifted unto you the knowledge of the great pattern of Fate. You shall know of your mortality, and understand what makes the seasons to pass and the fire to burn. I give unto you the ability to create, as I have created, and to understand the mechanisms of your world, as I understand all things. You shall all be as creators of your own world, and therefore, my children, you are all as I am. Remember then, these words as I speak to them through the voice of the three. You are all ordered as such. Embrace and follow the plan.”

Motus Momenium
Interactions with Civilians

This is a reminder for all employees of Motus Mining Interests that any and all dealing wth non-personnel are to be avoided at all costs. Due to the high incidence of solicitation and erroneous damages claims made by such people, all interactions between Motus Mining personnel and non-personnel will be intermediated by Branch Heads.

Exit Report

It is done. Snaketail Grotto has been closed. The bodies have been buried. All obvious traces of the refinement unit disaster have been covered and sealed. If the goods are good, no one will ever question our intentions here. Motus Mining built Whitestone, and Apotyre. We will forever be servants of the people. But the time has come to move on. All operations are henceforth being moved to new sites in Hollowlands.

Accident Report

It happened last night, before the evening meal and before the briefing by the Scholars Jolienne and Imas. The experimental refinement unit in Snaketail Grotto has suffered a stress fracture in its base. The foundation split, causing a large amount of waste to spill into the underground lake beneath. This lake feeds right into the Snaketail River. I don’t believe there is any cause for concern, but I shall keep informed of any developments.

Administrative Memorandum

It’s too late. Nothing can be done. Even now, as laborers work to control the seepage, the damage is far beyond what we can contain. The refinement unit is spilling raw, unrefined tyranium into the water supply of Apotyre, and even the village of Whitestone. Twenty deaths have been reported so far, mostly Almain and Varani workers. I fear we may need to abandone the experiment… and possibly the whole operation.

Administrative Memorandum

The Snaketail is death, A single day of drinking water from the river will result in boils. That is how it begins: large reddish boils that explode on contact. Then the goiters begin to grow, and the lesions that seep endlessly. By the third day, when the subject develops a wet cough and his eyes bleed, it is far to late. We have buried more than one hundred miners, along with their families. Men, women and children. I wish no ill will toward the people of Apotyre, but this incident must be contained. It may injure the larger reputation of Motus Mining Interests and all of its operations across Amalur.

Menetyre

Three possible veins in the area. Difficult to assess the ease of ore excavation, due to the overwhelming presence of Jottun in the area. Warsworn Keep might pacify hostiles, but would require additional funding from Motus – possibly keeping them on retainer. Not cost effective.

Motus Mining Interests is now hiring all able-bodied and experienced hewers, groovers, pit men, pit brow lasses, and bankmen for continuing operations in Detyre. If you are in receipt of this letter, then it means you have been selected as a potential employee, and are considered eligible to work for Motus Mining Interests under a provisional contract immediately. Please bring this letter with you to the nearest representative, who will direct you accordingly.

Motus Mining Interests

Motus Report IV

Examined the output of the dig over the last month measuring the bulk of ore that was successfully mined compared to the rock that needed to be removed to obtain it. In general, yields were one part ore for every ten of refuse.

The ratio speaks for itself- the minerals are nearly jumping out of the rock!

Motus Report VI

Quality (Poor) Examined the output of the dig over the last month, measuring the bulk of ore that was successfully mined compared to the rock needed to be removed to obtain it.

Mysterious Isle: The Allure of Gallows End I

IX. The Naming

The island of Gallows End received its commonplace name from its most famous inhabitant: the seafaring marauder and pirate king Dead Kel, who claimed that he would only end his murderous spree when the Alfar Navy discovered the location of his secret lair and hanged him upon its towering cliffs, a testament to their strength. “I will never stop, not in life or death, and this world will burn far beyond my gallows end.”

In a symbolic gesture, Dead Kel even proceeded to erect his own gallows on a northern cape overlooking the sea. For several decades, the hangman’s noose sat in wait, proof of the pirate’s audacity, and his twisted humor. Dead Kel was eventually captured by his pursuers, and his great sloop Stormbringer brought low. Man and ship sunk to the bottom of the Forstbreak, trailed by the blackened corpses of his loyal Hanged Men.

None of the bodies were ever recovered or returned to Rathir for indentification. The reward for his capture or execution was never claimed.

To Anyone,

My Ewa is gone. Gone. Like a wave that breaks against the sea stones. There one instant and gone the next. She was a soldier, a brave soul. Now her bones rest where she fell in battle. But her spirit rests with me. I go now to join her, our souls ascending into the blue. Farewell. May the waves take me with them. – Eolfred

Naros Chronicle

Introduction

We were explorers from the Faelands, only three in number, but great in our potential… or so I thought. Cach Cranwyn, of the Cranwyn nobility, was our force of magic; Svceri Brond our eyes and ears, and I would protect us from whatever fearsome beasts we encountered. We needed only one more to help with the journey and we could finally be on our way to the fortune that awaited us in the Teeth of Naros.

You may ask “what are the Teeth of Naros?” and to which the only answer can be in this book. In these pages you will find the wonders of that mountain range; an amazing story of giants, gods, and monsters, and a savior who defied Fate. As I write these words I realize they may be mistaken for a work of fancy, however I assure you I relay the tale of these deeds as described to me by the savior himself.

We met by the shores of Ettinmere. Sveri and Cach mentioned a stranger might be joining us. I can still remember seeing him for the first time. No one would have guessed he could change Fate, much less that he would soon become am messenger of the gods. He entered our camp with little fanfare, and I could tell he was formidable, but the quiet sort; [a warrior born and bred. I recognized the reflection of countless battles in his stare.]/[a stealthy one. I could see why Sveri wanted him to come along.]/[not to be trifled with. Thankfully, he was not as prone to boasting of his magical prowess as Cach.]

After a few remaining preparations, we entered the Southern Passage.

A Difficult Start

The Southern Passage was treacherous. Cach fled after we found was al arge stone statue covered in blood (now, I know this was not statue, but a corpse of one of the Kollossae). Sveri was killed by a trap, and I was wounded in a battle with monsters I can finally put a name to, the pteryx. Our expedition was a disaster, and only the stranger remained.

We parted ways in the dark of the Southern Passage. In his generosity, he left me a healing potion (which, I am convinced to this very day, saved my life). As he searched for an exit, a sudden cave-in separated us, and I would not see him again for what seemed like a lifetime. I spent my time trying to survive in the Southern Passage while our fourth companion became Beckoned of Ethene.

A Strange Meeting

Venturing through the Southern Passage, he came across an ancient sanctum. An ensorcelled statue of a face being held aloft by two men watched over a glowing artifact set atop a pedestal. My one-time companion examined this artifact, and suddenly a voice spoke to him. It was a woman’s voice from the stone face, echoing with the tinges of magic.

“And so, after centuries, it has come to pass. The Cipher has reached thy hands. Beckoned. At last, my work can be completed.”

Apparently my one-time companion was interested, for he asked how he could help. The rest of the conversation was cryptic, and he was left wiht a message to “seek the Primos”. The mysterious voice then fell silent, and opened the way into the Teeth of Naros. The Beckoned took the Cipher and entered the strange new land.

First Impressions

Almost immediately upon setting foot into the wilds of the Teeth, the Beckoned was confronted by a giant woman seemingly made from stone. You may have been told stories of these men and women that live in the mountains and thought them children’s tales, but I assure you, a race of people as tall as Jottun yet as keen as the Alfar exist. They were neither Jottun nor ettin. They were the first living Kollossae any of the Faelands had ever known, and despite the wonders of Dalentarth, there is nothing like the sight of Idylla: the city made from gold and jewels floating among the clouds.

Her name was Secandra and she was captain of the Idylla guard. She was first wary of our hero, but a Jottun ambush forced the two of them into an alliance. Neither of them knew this alliance would change the fate of the Kollossae, yet the potential was clear from the very beginning. Secandra’s strength of will and our hero’s power over fate would one day complete the vision of Ethene.

The Jottun

Our hero soon learned of the Kollossae plight. In order to meet the Primos, he would have to repel the Jottun horde that endangered the people of Idylla. Much to the surprise of Secandra, our hero was able to kill the Jottun Warlord, effectively ending the Jottun threat. In yet another act of generosity, he convinced Secandra to let the remaining Jottun live, which unbeknownst to him then, would one day prove a boon.

Why did he want to spare the Jottun? It may have been mercy, or pity. I will not pretend to know the motivations of my one-time companion. From the moment I met him I knew there was something different about his character, but don’t trust me to name it. I am a man of action, not of words, and describing the thoughts of the Beckoned is beyond my ability.

Regardless of why, the Jottun knew they were spared, and recognized the Beckoned as their savior. Without the ruthless Kahrunk leading them, they began a new way of life, less intent on destroying the Kollossae, albeit still savage.

The Wreath of Absolution

So our hero ascended to Idylla, the magnificent city florating abive the mountaintops. He was taken to the Primos, where, for the first time in many years, the leader of the Kollossae people spoke. His name was Anokatos, and he immediately recognized our hero as Beckoned. He took this as a sign that his penance was over, and the first course of action was to create the Wreath of Absolution.

The wreath required the Beckoned to retrieve the circlet of Arkes, the former Primos, from a crypt below the city. Fetching a circlet from under-sewers does not sound like the work of a hero, and indeed it wasn’t meant to be. The circlet was needed immediately, and, as I understand it, the menial nature of the task was part of the point. Humility was needed for the Kollossae to atone for their sins.

After the circlet, the Beckoned travelled with the Primos to the wilds of the Teeth of Naros to hunt the Alpha pteryx. With the circlet and the vanes of the Alpha pteryx the Wreath of Absolution was complete, and Anokatos and the Beckoned would use the Cipher to open the door to the Hyperian, and then cause it to rise and join Idylla in the sky, thus completing the works of Ethene and bringing about the promised glory of the Kollossae.

The Beckoned accompanied Anokatos to the Hyperian complex. Secandra was summoned there as well, and once the ceremony to open the way to the Hyperian was complete, both of them were betrayed by Anokatos. They were able to escape, but only to find the city in peril and the promise of disaster rumnling throughout the land. Desperate, Secandra sugessted they search Nyxaros, the private retreat of Anokatos amidst the Teeth of Naros. It was there that they uncovered the truth.

Nyxaros

In secret, Anokatos had killed many of his rivals in his misguided quest to force the grace of Ethene upon his people. Anokatos learned the means to raise the Hyperian from the former Primos, Arkes, and enslaved JOttun to realize his will. Forced to choose between saving the slaves before they were executed, or finding “the Counsel” before he died, the Beckoned chose to find the Counsel.

They found Arkes weak and in chains. He spoke to the Beckoned of how Anokatos would bring ruin to the Kollossae if the Beckoned didn’t stop him. The Hyperian was the key to the salvation of the Kollossae, and only the Beckoned, free from the bonds of Fate, could help shape his people’s destiny.

The knowledge of how to enact this was known to Secandra if she could remember the last day that they spent together.

Nyxaros

Once in Nyxaros the voice of Ethene guided the Beckoned to the Silent Choir, the crazed disciples of Anokatos. Secandra and the Beckoned learned of the slavery, and of one called “the Counsel”, and in a hurried deliberation decided to free the slaves from their torment. The captives were Jottun, and freed from bondage, they gladly helped their saviors fight the Silent Choir while Secandra and the Beckoned sought “the Counsel”.

They discovered the Counsel was none other than Arkes, the former Primos, and just before he died, he told them the secret to stopping Anokatos. Arkes’ final words were for Secandra to remember his last day with her.

The Hyperian Rises

With Secandra’s aid, our hero was able to harness the Air and Earth Shrines and manifest the magic of the Cipher once more. Thus enchanted, the Beckoned and Secandra entered the Hyperian, were Anokatos waited for them.

He knew they would come, for his death was preordained, aas it were. In order to raise the Hyperian, the changing of the Kollossae’s fate was necessary, and only our hero could perform this action. As he killed Anokatos and shifted his fate, so too, did the fate of all his brethren change. The Kollosae were free from their barbaric past, and as a sign of this, the Hyperian ascended to Idylla.

The Beckoned and Secandra survived to lead the Kollossae and the city of Idylla to their promised glory.

So ends the tale of the Beckoned and the Hyperian.

I’ ve already received several complaints from the scholars in the Walls about losing the Sandstone Villa as new workspace. Apparently this guest (whoever it is) takes precedence. I find it hard to believe, especially with what happened to Allestar tower. But this is coming from high up. Not much for us to do regarding it.

-D.

V-

Bad news: for your crimes of necromancy and murder, the Forum has decreed that your punishment must be death. I, however am certain that your brain may be put to better use for society than as fertilizer. After all, what weight does a chasrge of murder carry when you may simply return that which was stolen.

I have prepared a new laboratory for you, where you will continue your work on the Well of Souls in parallel tou your former colleague. The secrecy of its location is of utmost importance: in Mel Senshir, you will receive another missive via C S – do not explain anything further to her, but feel free to examine her own research. You should find the passages on pain-thresholds most applicable to your own work.

I will provide materials and assistants as needed, and in return I expect regular progress reports and utmost discretion. F. H. will still continue his own work unawares – as a backup. Should he provide results before you do, I shall be quite cross, but my associates will recover his work for your more thorough application.

-O

To Britt Hagni

It has come to our attention that a number of funds have been appropriated in your name from various trade houses in the city of Rathir from the accounts of a merchant named Azo Raemund. Raemund has not been seen in Rathir for some time, and his payments for his properties and stock have not been submitted over the last few weeks. As his last known contact, we humbly request that, should you have contact with Raemund, you notify him of his outstanding debts to us. He must rectify them immediately or forfeit both his Rathir properties and stock.

We thank you for your compliance in this matter.

Rathir Customs House

To Templar Vinthur:

Uncle Vinthur, your techniques to cope with the strain of my predicament have not eased my troubles. Not the lung mechanics, nor the cranial venting, proved successful. My stress is such as to induce insomnia, irrational fears, and a tendency to weep at the slightest provocation.

No longer will I hold my tongue! The systematic persecution of Pepin Jamane continues unabated!

Below, listed in chronological order, are the crimes that have been permitted against me by the likes of my colleagues: Scholars Manoise, and her eminence Templar Tancese. They must not be excused because of their station, or because the Basilica Gnostra has deemed me unfit to testify. Please, dear uncle, hear me as I air my grievances:

-Scholar Carloman Manoise used the latest revision of my Tract on Murghan to stifle his wet cough. -Templar Tancese claimed that my work “had a bolgan’s stink about it.” -Scholar Louis Manoise smacked me upside the skull when I asked him for a hand disembarking from the dinghy. -I overheard the scholars Manoise discussing my sleep habits, and how they believe I’ve fathered several illegitimate boggart children. -Templar Tancese sent me to recover the Tome of Contrition because, as she puts it, “You are the definition of expendable.”

What next, you may ask? We shall see….

Omnibus Arcana

Welcome to the Scholia Arcana. You, like so many others before you, have assumed the monumental task of exploring the many facets of magic. This examination is normally given to initiates upon the first year of their studies. It is intended to serve as an introduction to our practices and methods concerning magic. The information contained within the Omnibus Arcana is sealed against unofficial usage, so rest assured that reading this will not result in your unofficial demise.

In the pages of this tome, you will embark upon an adventure of knowledge. Your quest is perhaps the greatest of all callings, the study of magic itself. The mages of our order have always been those ready to endure the rigors of research. This test will introduce the foundation of magical inquiry, a process which you will find integral to your studies during your time in the Scholia Arcana.

Now, to begin this examination, you must go to the Rathir Chapterhouse courtyard. There, you will find a statue of a woman. Go and observe the statue.

Lesson I

Eleanor Brea was one of the founders of our order. Sorceress Brea was born some 800 years ago into a life of bondage. She was blind, and Ljosalfar far from Glen Suthain. She suffered under rule of the dictator Ciara Sydanus, yet she, like you, possessed a natural talent for magic. Eleanor Brea harnessed this gift to not only escape slavery, but to ultimately free Erathell of Sydanus’ rule. She did this through discipline, through a determined commitment to learning the ways of the arcane. Eleanor Brea represents hope to our students.

The first lesson to learn from Eleanor is one for all of our order. Eleanor Brea was but one of the founders. Because she was the only one gifted with the use of magic, some consider her the true progenitor of the Scholia Arcana, but were it not for her allies, she would never have succeeded. The other statues in the courtyard represent the other two founders of the Scholia Arcana. Remember them well, for if it is your quest to become as great as Sorceress Brea herself, you will undoubtedly need the help of others.

The second lesson to learn from Eleanor Brea is at the heart of magical study. Eleanor Brea was among the first sorceress’ to standardize the use of elements in her spell-casting. Before her, magic was a mysterious and imperfect practice. Even the ancient Order of Ash, one of the oldest societies of magic users in all of Amalur, were as wild and ungoverned then as we are orderly and precise today.

The third and final lesson to learn here is that of discipline. Eleanor Brea was not born a usurper. She did not become one of the most powerful mages in all of the Faelands in the course of a day. It did not happen accidentally, but through years and years of intense practice. If it is your wish to become similarly proficient, you must devote yourself to learning as she did. This will require hours of reading each day. It will involve dangerous and sometimes terrifying experiences. It will test your will and patience as no other obstacle can. And should you be able to continue this regimen, you will undoubtedly become as great as Eleanor Brea herself.

Indeed, most applicants of the Scholia Arcana cannot face their potential; those that can rarely achieve it. Until now, none have been able to surpass their potential, but this may change with you.

For the next part of this lesson, you must go to the Rathir Bridge. Stand there and contemplate the bridge.

Lesson II

In the courtyard you learned the first three principles of method: unity, harmony, and discipline. These three tenants are at the foundation of every student’s education as much as the bridge is at the foundation of Rathir. The bridge is a legacy of permanence and dedication. Originally, the Alfar who settled the Tywili Coast would take a skiff or rowboat to reach the spire rock. This was a treacherous voyage that ended with as many boats smashed upon the rocks as there were safely harbored. This bridge was built very early on in Rathir’s construction through the combined effort of Dokkalfar settlers.

There are two lessons to be learned at the Rathir bridge. The first is an extenuation of the principle of unity, for here you can bear witness to what is possible when you work with others. The Rathir bridge is a symbol for the Dokkalfar people; one of perseverance and loyalty. The grandeur of Rathir is visible from afar, but once on the bridge you can truly see its magnificence. The construction of Rathir took many people working together in difficult conditions, and they were able to build one of the most elegant and elaborate cities known to Alfar. This is why the lesson of the Rathir bridge embodies the principle of proof. In all knowledge there is always proof of that knowledge. Look at the Rathir bridge and witness proof of Eleanor Brea’s Unity.

The second lesson is the principle of duality. This bridge is an exit and an entrance, both to Rathir and to the Tywili Coast. You decide which, and in your decision, you illuminate the other aspect of this lesson, choice. Your studies at the Scholia Arcana will be exacting. Your teachers will be austere in their technique. At times you will feel as if you have no autonomy to pursue your own interests, but this bridge represents that dichotomy. In one direction lies a historic city of knowledge, beauty and the arts. In the other direction lies the Tywili Coast, a blood-soaked, war-torn battlefield that was once a stretch of idyllic farms and fishing villages. Both paths lead to exploring the greater world beyond the Rathir gates. You are singular amongst our order, in that you have the ability to determine your own Fate. Take full advantage of your unique freedom by recognizing duality in all things.

When you are done meditating upon these lessons, proceed to the village of Mel Aglir, in Kandrian.

Lesson III

Mel Aglir sits at the heart of Kandrian, the land named after the family who has ruled for generations. The village is well defended from Tuatha raiders, bandits, and the wild Fae that roam the Plains of Erathell. There are many threats to Kandrian, and the kings and lords who rule here must always be ready for conflict.

The lesson to be learned in Mel Aglir is the principle of preparation. For centuries, Kandrian Keep has been a bastion of strength for the Alfar people Jocuri. The early Kings of Kandrian protected all of Erathell from the threats of Durek or Jottun invasion. Kandrian Keep was the only fortress to withstand Ciara Sydanus’ might. In times of crisis, the Kings of Kandrian would house the villagers within the walls of the keep. A Kandrian guard as well as a militia kept the peace throughout the villages and countryside. The people of Kandrian were always prepared, and thus able to survive.

The survival of Mel Aglir is a testament to the importance of preparation. Whereas the previous lessons facilitate success in the Scholia Arcana, this lesson will help you survive. Students of the Scholia Arcana are frequently and woefully unprepared to deal with magic. It is a volatile and hazardous force, and there is no room for imprudent experimentation in our order. Those who do not heed this lesson are liable to suffer, and unwittingly cause others to harm. Mel Aglir stands as a warning to any who would delve into the secrets of magic. Prepare appropriately, or suffer the consequences.

When you are ready, proceed to the Kandrian countryside.

Final Lesson

You have arrived at the final lesson forming the foundation of magical inquiry. Of everything that you will learn at Scholia Arcana, the most valuable lesson will be the principle of observation. The mastery of the elements, or the ability to invoke powerful sorcery is useless without an understanding of one’s surroundings. An environment is a complex system of interrelated attributes, and in order to function within one, you must be aware of the boundaries and rules of the system. Many of our order become myopic, closeted academicians, too concerned with their own learning to apply it to the world. Others haphazardly conduct their research in the hostile and unpredictable world. Both of these avenues end in a failure to face your potential, or to successfully achieve it.

All of the previous principles are useless without observation. Learn to regard your surrounding in many ways as possible. Explore, and consider the people around you. Mel Aglir is an example of preparation, but it also a lesson in observation. The village has dwindled since the beginning of the war. The young were enlisted, and many others moved to safer locales. The once serene farmland of Kandrian is now rife with bandits and monsters because Lord Kandrian hides in his keep like so many of our reclusive sages.

Similarly, the principle of duality inheres in observation. You have the freedom to control your Fate and your every decision is informed by your surroundings. Lord Kandrian refuses to fight the Tuatha, and he cannot make a wise judgement from behind stone walls. The battle you just faced is a direct result of Lord Kandrian’s poor understanding of the principle of duality, because of ignorance of the existing conditions.

Observation is the main tool with which we discover proof. It requires discipline in order to be effective. You may not be the most dutiful student of the principle of observation, but if you hadn’t been prepared for that battle, you would have perished. In order to be prepared, you must first have immersed yourself into your surroundings, and become aware of the dangers posed in this land.

To conclude this examination, return to Savant Idris Theonen. Your future may lay outside of the purview of the Scholia Arcana, however you will benefit from adhering to the methods of our order when you are tested.

Commentaries on the Practice of Alchemy

Foreword:

There exists no greater pleasure in this world than taking the components nature so generously provides and, with perspicacity and precision, mashing them together to form something greater in its wholeness than its component parts apart. After having spent over two decades of my life dedicated to the study and practice of Alchemy, I consider myself an expert. As such, I have endeavored within these pages to catalogue all that I have learned through years of study, hard work, and rigorous experimentation. Use its contents wisely.

Signed:

Oleander Sinclair

Savant of the Scholia Arcana

The book then goes on to list various alchemical recipes in meticulous detail.

Foreword

It is with a certain solemnity and starkness of spirit in which I undertake the endeavor; that is, the extrapolation of the fundamentals of alchemy. Never before has the thought of such an exhaustive and copmplete compendium on the subject been broached. It is a monumental task that some woukd argue borders on the appalling. To simply summarize the project laid out before us is an effort in and of itself, much less catalogue the entirety of Alchemy.

It is my sincere hope that with a rigorous and careful method I may avoid the treacherous pitfalls of so many other scholars attempting to adequately canvass the subject. I hope to represent, with a certainty and clarity heretofore unseen, the fundamental aspects of the field, but without sacrificing the elaborate discourse that is essential to so complex a subject. This guide will serve as not oanly an introduction to alchemical research, but as source of reference for all major procedures. The first four chapters will cover the necessities of an Alchemy lab, while the next five detail the elementary work of properly harvesting and storing reagents. Discussions on the philosophical underpinnings of our craft can be found throughout the text, so that theory is not lost amongst method.

In the final five chapters, I put forth a bold new technique for all processes involved in Alchemy. It is derived by myself throuigh several trial and error experiments over the course of five years, and promises to yield a whole host of discoveries through its exploration. I highly recommend reading the final section as you progess throughout the first two sections of the book. As always, I am deeply indebted to the Scholia Arcana and its members, especially my mentor and the font of all wisdom, Professor and Savant Tschuck. Withour them, none of this research would be possible. The libraries in Adessa also proved to be an invaluable source of information.

Finally, I would like to thank my patient and loving partner for being the athanor to my centrifuge.

Part the First

The chicken is the silent titan upon whose back Amalur sleeps. Universally adapted as a staple in any kitchen of means, the chicken has proven its ability to thrive anywhere with minimal tending. Why, then have so few of us learned folk devoted a tome, or even at least a passage or mention, to the noble animal?

I aim to correct that now. I will conduct an unflinching and holistic analysis of the jungle fowl commonly referred to as “chicken.” And, like any sane practitioner of science, I will begin my study with an anatomy of the graceful creature and its behavior.

The most prominent feature of the chicken is, of course, its comb. Colloquially known as a scab-ridge or mitharu’s mistake, this floppy mantle of flesh is actually referred to in learned circles as the grossia major (in roosters) and grossia minor (in hens). Many have puzzled over the purpose of these growths, with many attributing them to some tool for communication. But that makes little sense – do not chicks need to communicate? Why don’t they have little grossia majors and minors as well? No, the chicken’s comb is far more likely a vestigial rest used to be used in fending off predators and navigating their original habitats – oceans. Notice how the folds and contours of these growths resemble the fins of aquatic fauna? It is no coincidence.

There are not only physical characteristics that chickens are reputed for. The chickens – specifically, roosters – are reputed for the diligence they employ when signalling the start of the day. While the degree to which they participate in this behavior is somewhat exaggerated, these reports are based in truth. Roosters are eager to announce the start of every new day, but this behavior goes unexplained. Perhaps they are relishing the opportunity to mate for another day? Perhaps they have an affinity for Helius, god of the sun? In the end, it is unknown.

And the most valuable commodity of the chicken is, ofcourse, its eggs. They are a lifeblood for the peasants and nobleman of Amalur alike, for it is their nourishment that gets us through the days and evenings. But why do chicken lay eggs in such quantities? Is it to ensure that at least some offsprings survive? Instead, I believe that chickens have behaviorally altered their egg laying physiology, colloquially known as an ovipositor matricula, to produce a surplus of offspring as a means of raising their race’s global population. No doubt the beasts flourish in captivity, but they desire the freedom of their wild ancestors. It must be their hope, then, that drives them to flood the world with their kind, to the point where ownership becomes meaningless and they are set free.

On Drink and Excessive Carousing

PART VI

The righteous St. Hadwyn spoke of wine as his “little friend in the faith,” for it can serve to muster the courage and settle the stomach. It balances the humors in the same fashion as Mitharu’s order equilibrates the disarray of this mortal life, strengthening the sick of body, and calming the wounded spirit.

Yet many tragedies await the miserable wretches who expel temperance from conviviality, think excess in drinking to be the happiest life; for their life is nothing but disorientation, debauchery, nakedness, spewing, idleness, Hexes, and more drink. You may see such sluggards, half-naked, staggering, wearing horse bridles about their necks like the fineries of kings, vomiting on one another in the name of fellowship; and others, flush with the rose of their drunkenness, filthy, faces like the pale, bulbous countenance of fish, livid, and still seeking another flagon of ale to last them till the sunrise. It is well, dear brothers, to make our acquaintance with this portrait of mat at his most disabled, as to place ourselves at the greatest possible distance from it, and to frame ourselves as the beacon toward which these louts must stagger.

Mitharu has blessed us with one word to counter all such disability: Water

Water, it is the natural necessary beverage, and the gift of the Authority; therefore, water is the proper drink of society and of sobriety. As with all blessings in keeping with the Authority’s order, drink should be partaken of with the utmost temperance and moderation, to maintain one’s health, one’s good standing, and most importantly, one’s faith. I therefore advise those who have undertaken an ascetic life, and who are fond of water, the sweet juice of temperance, to turn their backs on consumption for the sake of intoxication, shunning the allure of the bottle, and instead quenching their thirst with the divine drink of wisdom.

It is proper, therefore, that young men avoid the flickering tongue of the chaos drink. For it is not right to pour into the flaming cauldron of humanity the fieriest of all liquids – wine — adding, as it were, fire to fire. The crackling blaze will ignite the youthful impulses of man’s worst desires. Beware the lusts of the flesh and the hot touch of fornication. Beware lusts for vicious violence and animalistic predation. Beware the roll of the dice and the forked tongue of the Hexes dealer. For it is from the goblet that fiery habits are kindled; and young men inflamed from within become prone to the indulgence of vicious propensities.

On the Medicinal Properties of Embereyes by Alanter Renalus.

1. Abstract

The essence of Eludus Senelos, known as Embereyes, is clearly of the Earth sphere. The plant is most commonly found among the ferns and tall grasses of Allestar Glade, although it can grow in caves or at the base of trees. A typical specimen will be of waist height and is brighter in color than the closely related Sweetrose. Of Embereyes, it can be surveyed that many do not react to the mixture of Frost elements that can often reduce herbs of this nature to a more potable constitution. In order to extract the essence of Embereyes, the plant must first be mashed into a thick pulp. Extracting the nature of said herb is a matter of combination with other similarly potent varieties of flora. These methods are carefully detailed in the works of Oleander Sinclair, Alchemist, as well as Scholars Nanne Hanri and Aura Hanri.

What, however, is the remedial property with which this herb can affect such a beneficial change to its imbibers? As I have previously suggested, the elemental nature of the family of plants found natively in the region of Allestar Glade and Odarath does not predict the quality of confluence with other bodies of the same elemental sphere. Similarly, method does not control the consistency of the essence. This is both useful and dangerous, as new formulae for its employment must carefully consider the outcome of negatively corresponding components. In such cases, it may just as likely produce a debilitating poison as a helpful tonic.

What derivatives of this herb, then, can be attributed to the elemental nature? Earth, being the most constant and dependable of elemental spheres cannot be the primary cause of this instability. In the following paper, I will argue that there is something more fundamental to the nature of Embereyes that determines its alchemical potential. Ultimately, I will propose a new theory for the medicinal properties of Embereyes, namely, that another agent is determining the volatility of resultant mixtures.

On Fae Vitality by Nemius Perigums

In my travels, I discovered a most unusual case. As I have clearly outlined previoudly, the density of Fae vital forces waxes and wanes from place to place within the Faelands. But in the planes and pools of Galafor, I found such free-floating abundance of these vital energies as I could hardly believe possible.

To rest the potential of the place, and to prove certain theories that had haunted my idle thoughts, I devised three urns and four specially prepared stones around the pillars of broad pool in Galafor. By placing one stone in each urn, certain symmetries were caused to act upon the forces of the place, and I summoned a boggart from thin air! Moreover, because of my devising, the little fellow was not hostile to me, and in fact quite loyal. I would like to have experimented some more, but the second combination I tried left me sick for some days, and I was forced to abandon my project for the healing springs of Ysa. This was quite sad, because I believe I had some inkling of a combination, using the fourth stone, which would grant the some potent beneficence gained from the wondrous Shrines found around the region. (These Shrines are another fascinating topic. Perhaps I shall assay a study of them at some point. But that is a matter for another day.)

On Gemstones

By Brother Gamian of St. Hadwyn’s Undying Mission

I ask you to consider what a gem is truly is. Order and clarity, exemplified. A conduit of might and light. What then is a shard? It can become a gem, but as yet, it is neither ordered, nor clear, nor powerful.

Think now how much mortal-kind are like unto gems and shards! Though we enter this world rough-hewn and of little worth, we may work hard, we may refine ourselves until we become shining conduits of Mitharu’s Light.

A lazy man or a woman of wayward habits is a thing of little force in the world. Ad best, they accomplish nothing; at worst, they do great harm. Surely Mitharu loves them not. but those who are dilligent, industrious, and clear of focus. It is they who achieve great things, bring honor and purity to the world. They are truly champions of the god of order.

Consider this, as well: how few of us are are perfect gems — by which I mean, saints — and yet, imperfect as we are, by way of the sage’s craft, we make perfect gems from shards. Truly this is Mitharu’s gift to we frail shards. And truly the practice of sagecraft is an excellent meditation on all these lessons.

On Not Fearing Chaos

“Order,” said he, the Authority, will bring you strength, for if you keep the teachings of Mitharu, you will be just in every action, and every one of your actions will be undisputable. This For fearing the Authority, you will be saved. But fear not the wickedness of the outside world; for by fearing Mitharu, you will have command over the forces that seize your strength and dim your daylight.

It is they who possess no true power who seek to be feared: the unnatural fae and the wild beasts of the wood, the godless alfar of the shadow cities; these are the dark souls that wish to conquer you. But they no power and thus should not be feared; but He in whom there is glorious power is truly to be feared, or every one that has power ought to be feared and he who has no power should be looked upon with disgust.

Fear, therefore, the deeds of the unclean, the strange and disorderly, the children of the chaos, for they are the wicked. For, fearing the Authority, you will not bask in these fires, but find relief from their terrible heat. Fear, then, Mitharu, and you will live to Him. All creation fears the Authority, but all creation does not keep His teachings, and thus only the righteous will know the comfort of a courageous soul.

The Memoirs of Patroick Morkan

One month has passed since my beloved Jane passed from this world. One month, and yet an eternity. I have changed so much.

It began as a night like any other. We had spent the evening reading by the fire, I a treatise on Alfar ward magic, she one of those romantic fictions I found so irritating and for which I often mercilessly teased her. It was a simple night, a night of which we had enjoyed a hundreds of times before. A night the likes of which we thought we would enjoy hundreds of times yet.

And yet … it was not meant to be. Sometime in the night, peacefully, her heart gave out. She died in quiet, and I awoke alone. What a moment that was for me. It was a moment of great pain, and grief, and then finally, of transformation. In that moment I was forced to confront the thirty-two yearts we had spent together. Thirty-two years of laughter and love, of humility and quiet and companionship.

I loved her so much.. I can see her face the day we met. I had been in Rathir, a young man still, studying for my entrance exams to the Scholia Arcana. My instructors called me gifted with regard to trasnformation and constructive magics – I thought I had a promising career ahead in the contemplative world of the arcane. I hoped to one day build great wonders.
That day I was running late to my initiation trial, so I cut across a lawn and through an alley I had never braved before. And standing there upon the street corner as I emerged was the loveliest of angels, selling flowers from a basket at her hip. She was from Emaire, I would later find out- she had made the trek with armful of irises in the hopes that she might see the big city and have a taste of some adventure.

I watched her momentarily, my initiation trial forgotten. Then with an uncharacteristic courage, I strode forward and solicited her attention for a moment. She undoubtledly found me gangly and unimpressive in my robes, but when I drew a violet flower from her bundle and asked her name, she grew quiet. “Jane,” she hesitantly whispered. I can still see her half smile, uncertain in the bright Rathir sunshine.

And with a flourish, I drew my ink-stained fingers up and down the flower stem, consuming the thing in a flash of fire. My hands flew apart as flames gently wafted upward, spelling out her name. Her eyes grew bright at the silly display for which my teachers would undoubtedly scold me, and as she began to ask how the trick was done, I pulled another iris from my sleeve, this one the color of a sunset, red and gold an blue, the color of flame itself.

“Then please accept this, dear Jane.” I paused, my breath shallow. “Its beauty, like yours, will never fade.” In retrospect, I was a horribly romantic youth.
And I never made it to my initation trial.
Do I regret the thirty-two years I spent with Jane? I dare not. But at the same time, I realize now that she only held me back from my full potential. For certain I continued to pursue my arcane crafts. But alone, a tinkerer and an enthusiast and a seller of trinkets, I could never reach my full potential. In that moment when she was gone, it was as if a part of me died with her, A part, I think, that had kept me in check. A part called restraint.
And what wonders I can work, now! At first my grief and my pain found outlet in the craft room, and I began to build bigger and more ambitious constructs- my spells more dangerous and more ambitious. But after only seven days did I begin to conceive the theretofore inconceivable- that I might use the growing magic within my person to reconstruct and reanimate my fallen wife.
Necromancy, my teachers would call it, among other less savory terms. It is a magic taboo, a forbidden art.. an art for which I found myself aptly suited. It was, of course, the gravest of mistakes. Jane’s soul is gone- her body, imbuued with a force born from my very misery and solitude, may walk and talk, may breathe and blink and eat, but it is not alive.
Perhaps that is as well. The magic grows within me, and reason wanes. I can feel myself slipping further each day, lost perhaps to my art, perhaps simply to melancholia. Boundaries are gone; sense has fled.
But at least my promise to Jane will remain- now, like the iris I gifted her that day so long ago, her beauty will never fade.

Owner’s Journal

Another day has gone past and the spiders have almost crossed the south bridge. Is this some kind of punishment for trying to profit off the Webwood? If so, it’s working. Half the town is rotting in the webs, and the other half is growing mad with fear. Well, Ive had enough of it. These fools can think it’s safer to hide behind their bridges and their barricades. I know that there’s only going to be one way off this island, soon enough — and that’s to be dragged by spiders.

But I’m not going to let that happen to me. At first light tomorrow, I’m striking north. With any luck, I’ll be in eyeshot of the Warsworn keep before the spiders even know I’m loose.

Peers of Eagonn
Chapter 2:

Being the History of Teodar and His Defeat of the Cultist of Khamazandu

There are evils in this world of such power, of whom even the bravest of Warsworn hold in fear. They are the Niskaru Lords, and have laid waste to entire civilizations; brought darkness upon the land as if wielding the very chaos of Telogrus themselves. Their touch means endless torment; their mere presence, death and corruption. It is not for mortals to contest the wills of Niskaru Lords. Even Eamonn and Caerwyn, of our order the greatest, never matched themselves against such a one. They are as gods, and only an immortal dare to face them in combat.

It is for this reason that in the days of the Firstsworn, one man chose to oppose the craven followers of the Niskaru Lords; Teodar, the First Champion of the Warsworn. He hunted the slaves of demon lords. Human, Alfar, Gnome; dedicated in body and mind to the spread of Telogrus’ influence. These disciples of Chaos invoke the demon names; they practice the vilest of magics, and the greatest of them all was the mad sorcerer known as Fahrlang, the Atassein.

The legends say Fahrlang came from the east, from the sundered steppes of Sindrildr. He bore a mighty chain around his neck, and walked with an oaken staff. He professed himself as a holy man in this guise, and came to the people in a gentle mien. He told them of a great power, capable of freeing them from their earthly constraints. He promised eternal life, and the power to transcend the mundane reality thrust upon them by the Great Cycle. Some believed him, and soon Fahrlang had gathered a host of devoted servants, the Fahrlangi. Elsewhere in the Faelands, Eagonn and the Firstsworn battled demons, unaware of the threat of Fahrlang and his followers. Their exploits are well known to all: how Edorias slew Torek’zor; how Lyana survived the demon walk; and how Argul repelled the host of Zandrokar. Fahrlang saw this chance to strike, and with his fanatical devotees, he began the spell that would summon the most terrible of demon lords, Khamazandu.

Teodar of the mountains, who often climbed their heights, came across the mage’s summoning. He spied the forces gathering, and knew that doom would soon be at hand. With a calm and steady mind, and a bravery of composure, descended the mountainside and went to Andurin, the great blacksmith of Detyre.

“O mighty Andurin, whose hammer never falters, whose anvil withstands the strongest of blows, I implore you now, for the sake of Amalur, throw down your earthly works and craft a hammer worthy of the dauntless Eagonn”

“If it is a hammer capable of defeating Fahrlang that you require, bring me the plans from Eamonn himself, for only his knowledge can defeat the power of the Niskaru.”

So Teodar retrieved the Sage’s knowledge, and thus did Anduri begin to craft the Mystic Hammer. While Andurin worked the anvil, and Vlaskar kept the forge, Teodar went to Eagonn, who battled demons on the battlefields of Erathell. Teodar knew no sleep nor pause until he was by Eagonn’s side. He told Eagonn of the threat, but Eagonn would not retreat from the battle.

“If I abandon the field we will lose this war, and the demon will destroy us all,” he said.

“I will lead the battle while you conquer this evil,” cried Teodar above the din of swords and demon howls.

This was Teodar’s last act as Firstsworn. He fell defending the Plains of Erathell, holding the Niskaru at bay so Eagonn could vanquish Fahrlang and his followers. Upon his grave, he was honored with the title of Leoden: the leader of the Firstsworn, a shining example of sacrifice for all those who are sworn to war.

Of all of Eagonn’s companions, the man known as Adorias was the most loyal. He served as a Amaldor to Eagonn for many years, and was a dependable and constant guardian of the High Commander. He was forever at the Eagonn side, ready to render his aid in every manner. His mind was keen and his intellect unmatched. He was skilled man at arms; as proficient with the instrument of war as any of Firstworn. He was a kind and gentle husband and father and a generous Lord of the Almain Court. HIs patience was renowned throughout the kingdom, and his feats of strength famous to all. Despite this Edorias was a good man and humble knight. He dutifully followed Mitharu’s path and broke his fast with prayer each morn. Edorias was the son of Graphelm of Ederton and Sylvia Arcolm. He was much like his father in countenance, and bore the dignity of his mother in his noble composure. At an early age he was named squire to the Lord Ecoas and was rewarded with Knighthood after but twenty winters. The most valiant warriors was not content with title, not fame or glory. He wished to combat the evils that plague our land, and so set forth to the Faelands to fight the Niskaru by the side of Eagonn. It is said that Edorias was not content in defeating weaker Niskaru, that he yearned for more. He studied the ways of the more powerful demons; those known by name, Torek’zor, Sadokar, Balor. Under the tutelage of Eamonn, he learned the weakness and vulnerabilities of these lieutenants of chaos, and trained his martial skill to combat them directly. He grappled the giants of the Volund Tundra and the beasts of Klurikon; he broke the Teeth of Naros, toppled the Mountains of Sotiris and bathed in the fires of Aodhn. It was in Eagonn’s defense that Edorias proved his might. The foul and wretched demon known a s Torek’Zor, surrounding by his menions, attacked the High Commander on the battlefield. Loyal Adorias, knowing full well the perils at hand, drove between his Lord and the Greater Niskaru. With tremendous swings of his blade, he slew the great beast. All that remained of Torek’Zor was ash, as it foul soul retreated into the ether of the Arcane Veil. For his gallantry, Edorias was named Amaldor, the steward and second Champion of the Warsworn, and the slayer the Greater Niskaru

Prayer Book

St. Eadric’s Prayer

Mitharu, your grace has made me your vessel

I was wrathful, but know I know forgiveness.

I was weak, but now I know strength.

I was afraid, but now I know courage.

I was sorrowful, but now I know joy.

I was lonely, but now I know comfort.

I was lost in chaos, now I know order.

O great Authority, Empower me to sow your peace through patience;

to be shown mercy, and to show mercy;

to be loved, and to give love; to be healed and to heal.

For it is the only in your understanding that we shall find purpose,

and in surrendering that we shall find the Final Victory, Amen

Psalm to Fyragnos

Fyragnos, Fyragnos,
Bringer of flame, dealer of woes,
Servant of Belen, bring death to his foes,
Fyragnos, Fyragnos.

Fyragnos, Fyragnos,
Hero of the ancient prose,
Foretold is the day when yu arose,
Fyragnos, Fyragnos.

Fyragnos, Fyragnos,
Such death and chaos you’ll compose,
and plunge all into death’s great throes,
Fyragnos, Fyragnos.

Fyragnos, Fyragnos,
the dark apostle Belen chose,
Your slumbering draws to a close,
Fyragnos, Fyragnos.

Hymn of Penitence

2:3
O Ethene on high
We praise your name and sing your glory
O Ethene on high
Beloved goddess of wisdom
You are the heavenly goddess of our people
Ethene, the ancient and most wise of heavens above,
Ethene, the font of our greatness,
You are the might of the Kollossae
You are the holy thought
O Ethene on high
We bring you gifts of thanks
O Ethene on high
Our guide from ignorance
O Ethene on high
We praise your name and sing your glory

Hymn of Rememberance

2:4

The blessing of the goddess is wisdom sanctified.
We offer praise and thanks, Ethene,
To your hallowed name.
She came as flawless, majestic;
The priests were awestruck before her,
the serene, of alabaster skin,
Her utterance destroyed the crude altar.
She raised the pieces of stone into the air,
And all knew our destiny.
Her image guided us from Jentilak, the
giant lands,
From every direction the earth let loose a
trembling roar,
The Titans sung, and the goddess
beckoned,
And that is how we rid ourselves of
ignorance.

Hymn of Praise

Ethene, wise mother of titans
Instructor of Hyperia and bringer of
wisdom,
Driver of the Apotharni, and carver of
Teeth,
Who lives above all, glory to you!
Dwelling of resplendent stone,
Among the haughty hills and shaded
mountainside,
Only your word gives meaning to harmony.
You bring folly to evil, and sense to the
good.
Spare us your condemnation, and smite
us not
As our brutish cousins, the poor of
inspiration.
Our might is yours to command in every
cycle,
In light or shade, awake or in dreams,
Our eternal prayers are yours,
O goddess!

Reminder for Initiates

The following is a reminder for all clerical scholars and library guards seeking access to the Special Collection, they will need to light all the torches to unlock the chest. To do so, bear in mind the following passage, and all shall be made clear:
“I began to think, upon the completion of the vivisections for that day, that there was some other movement in the venial and arterial blood that had eluded the scrutinizing eye of my precedessors. I lacked the fine eye needed to prove my assumption; nevertheless, I felt overwhelmed by the fact that clearly the blood moved through the body, in a circle. Like fire, the warm life contained in our blood sweeps through our bodies in an endless loop; it is in this ring of life that our form show their true sacredness.”
The path to truth in all things is a ring, and from where you start, you must return to that point to proceed.

The Journal of Rikka Egest

The Fifteenth Day of Spring

Brother Mason has urged me to keep a journal, so that I may exorcise the ghosts that haunt me. He says that in writing down your thoughts, you thereby rid yourself of them and may find peace. I do not think that this will help at all, if “help” is what I need, but I will try my best, if for nothing else but to appease him.

It is hard to lose someone and have them in your memories, in the back of your mind. They linger there, and you feel their presence, even though they’re gone. It’s sad, obviously Rikka! but it’s a sadness that encompasses everything. I was watching Gizela today, the way she stands there, waiting for Camden to return, when we all know he won’t. I know her thoughts. It’s different when you are simply separated from your love. You can go about your day in a normal fashion, and sometimes you are overwhelmed by their absence. Sometimes you just want to feel them, something tangible, and you do what you can to teach patience to yourself. Brother Mason often says that Mitharu grants the greatest rewards to those who are patient, however, it is hard, and may Mitharu guide her when she finally knows the truth. Then, she will know a sadness that does not pay visits as a stranger, but as an unwelcome bedfellow, another shadow, a mold on your will, and a pall on your life.

The Twenty Third Day of Spring

Today I thought I heard children’s voices near the outskirts of town. I know it now for what it was, although I did not recognize it then, nor knew it for aught but children playing. No, it was nothing but the ghosts of my children calling to their mother. There are, of course, no other children in this forgotten place. Gorhart feels as barren as an empty room. It is lifeless here, for all of the magic and wonder of the Fae, even the people. They trudge towards their doom with a resigned melancholy. They are all hiding, or running from something or someone. They are tired, and waiting for Mitharu to end their petty pacing. It is a strange feeling to know grief as intimately as I do, and to see it in the eyes of so many. Even Brother Mason, the most vibrant shadow of our lonely town, hides a pain. Despite his best attempts to keep it hidden, I have often seen it. He is just like all of us, a toy of Fate’s cruel play. He will not speak to me about it. I fear it will consume him, and he will no longer be able to bring the joy and happiness to the people here that so desperately need it. He will be just another restless soul.

The Twenty Fifth Day of Spring

Ost Ordura is here again, and again I am reminded of war. Has it not taken enough from me already? Does it need to steal what little solace I can find here in this lost village? I have half a mind to run him out of town. I may do so today if he tests my patience. I would be doing Gizela a favor, no less. How he dares come here, after all of the trouble this war has cost, I cannot understand. I imagine someday the war itself will arrive at my door. Maybe this time it will claim my life instead of the ones I love. Brother Mason would not like to hear it, but sometimes I wish for that, and who doesn’t? To see Avery or Gref again? To hold my sons in my arms again? Better to be the one mourned than the one mourning.

Vekreth and Arylia

And so Vekreth, god of scorn, stole into the glade. From behind a tree, he beheld Arylia, goddess of love and beauty, in all her splendor. From that day he took ill, pining for her. “This foolish phase will fade away,” Belen said, “all things do.”

“You must conquer this weakness,” said Thyrdon, “all is struggle and victory.” But Arylia had seen Vekreth in the glade, though he had not known it. Long had his disdainful distance filled her heart with painful longing. Now she had cracked his shell. So she spoke to Lupoku, and Lupoku whispered in Mitharu’s ear, telling him the seven singing bells had fallen out of harmony. Mitharu, ever thick-witted, set out on the four-day journey to visit every bell. Unwatched, Arylia crept off to Vekreth, and there they unveiled to each other their holy, numinous ineffabilities, and so they were wed.

Love and hate are married to this day, and the fools who cling to Mitharu’s name rage at the holy union to this day, for truly, they’re sealed shut and their hearts are cold as stones.

The Teachings of St. Hadwyn

Live simple and without ambition, for in this there is order and clarity.

Make practice of that which orders the mind. Sweep if sweeping brings you peace. Perform alchemy if in it you find Mitharu.

Keep ever your toenails trim and your beard of a moderate length.

I pray on my beads every day, counting out the orders and the symmetries of Mitharu.

When I die, inter my remains within the earth, but do not bury my beads. All my prayer has gone into them. They are heavy with it. I wish them given to another. And when he dies, let him pass them on, as well.

Saltwell Lab Notes Day 233

My backers have finally agreed to my requests and have provided a piece of cystene prismere. I can’t imagine what they paid for this – or to whom! – but the results will surely be worth the bargain. With this, I should have more than enough power for a complete transfer.

If anything, there may be to much power. Must remember to stay shielded on the observation desk.

Journal of Father Etair

Saturday

A strange maiden arrived today from beyond the Sidhe. She had come about the crystal. I knew at once who she was, despite who she claimed to be. Hallam has filled my head with enough fae tales for me to recognize the Maid of Windemere.

If only I could have frozen the faces of my young charges as they watched this enchanted creature walk among them. Poor fools, they did not comprehend the danger they may face. The Maid is no mere woman, but a powerful magician who could kill any of us with the flick of her smallest finger.

I lied to her about the crystal. I had no choice. She must believe that I’m either too smart to surrender the crystal, or too stupid to have discovered it in the first place. But make no mistake. She will return, and when she does there must be no trace of what has transpired here.

I must dispose of the cursed thing as soon as possible. But where shall I do it? I beg you Mitharu, please gift me with the guidance to protect my sons, and to do the right thing.

Scaith Family Curse

(The majority of this book is so waterlogged and weathered that it is illegible. Only the last page can be deciphered).

I have researched what I can of this curse in the family’s tomes, but my answers are maddeningly inconclusive. Were we cursed, or was the progenitor of the line rightfully punished for his greed?

If only there was some escape! But even that is a bitter reward, for I were to escape the curse, they would only hunt more viciously the ones who bear the family’s blood.

Journal of Sigbert Sawerth

Summer, Day 6, Daybreak

Nothing today. My journey is young and the forest remains fairly hospitable to outsiders. Ignoring the warnings was a wise decision. There are no rivals. The search for Amman’s keys belongs to me, and me alone. It is only a matter of time. The statues of Amman litter the forest, taunting me. If I can just secure the keys, I will be able to open them and partake of their treasure. Soon.

Summer, Day 13, Dusk

Odarath is as beautiful as I have always heard, especially the perilous lands north of St. Odwig’s Perpetual Mission. I was almost struck down by a sprite! That is until a brave villager from Gorhart arrived on the scene to act as my savior. He introduced himself as Ugnar Odgray. Such an odd name, it could only belong to a Varani.

Summer, Day 67, Daybreak

I visited the House of Ballads grounds today! All of my adult life has been spent learning about these legendary figures, so even a slight glimpse was worth the trip. I am beginning to believe that one of Amman’s keys lies behind its high walls. If my scholarly work has been done correctly, the location of the keys will soon be known to me.

Summer, day 83, Dusk

I have done it! At long last, after years of searching in the annals of Adessa and scouring the fae lands, I have secured one of the five fabled keys of Amman!

Now only if I could find the other four…’

Day 1Edit
Garaner has us silkfarmers doing reports, now. Thinks that if we start collecting data about the silk harvests, we’ll be able to better predict the harvests in later seasons. What, does he think we’re gnomes or something? Sounds like one of them mining companies from out east. Well, I put my time in there, and I knew I’d rather spend my days avoiding becoming spider food than go back into those cramped tunnels.

Another thing I thought that was funny — “later seasons?” There are no seasons in this wood. We just harvest every damn day, until the silk runs out or people stop buying it. Summer and winter, rain or shine — as long as there’s silk in the trees, it’s harvest time.

I guess he can’t complain, since his coffers always end up full. And, just so Garaner knows, harvesting’s the same as it’s always been. Nothing ever changes in the Webwood, even if you stop to write it all down.

Day 5Edit
Got to wonder if Garaner has been praying a lot lately, because it seems the gods have been giving him everything he’s wanted.

I don’t know what happened, but it’s like the trees are just dropping the silk into our baskets. One day, everything was normal – the webs were plentiful, but not any different from a usual day – and then the next day the trees were so covered in web you could barely see the bark. I asked Clarent and Vess – and none of us have ever seen the Webwood just like this.

There’s more spiders, too. Must be where all the webs are coming from. At night, you can hear the spiders in the webs. There’s more of them, lately, and they’re chittering louder than usual. Must be where the silk’s coming from, I guess. It’s a bit eerie, but the spider’s haven’t given me too much trouble in the past, so I’m probably just upset over nothing.

Day 12Edit
Lost another silkfarmer to the Webwood today, and I almost didn’t go out this morning. Never knew the spiders to be so jumpy. Maybe we just got too complacent in the woods? I don’t know. I’ve also never seen them come so close to the village. But with so many of us sick with poison, there’s no one to harvest the silk, and so the price of it is going up. Garaner’s paying triple for anyone who’s willing to brave the forest of the silk. I can’t say no to that kind of money. I just need to be quick, and I’ll get out of it alive.

That’s the secret.

Final Words

I woke up on this island, vaguely remembering the ship I was on being ripped in two. It doesn’t appear that anyone else made it, but with Lyria’s belssing I hope that Priestess Jacinda found her way to safety as well.

I regonize this island as Gallows End, reportedly the hideout of Dead Kel. Hopefully I can find some safety before he and his hanged men find me.

-Sister Ceanna

Spagyric Musaeum

In my many years of study I have found that the natural ingrediends used in the practice of Alchemy, can as easily be categorized by their method of combinations as their essences. However, the task is not to be taken lightly. One wayward pinch of Cripplespore is enough to leave even the heartiest Jottun weak for days. For this reason, I am writing this book; so that future alchemists, apothecaries, healers and herbalists succeed in practicing this dangerous and mysterious art.

Whereas a complete and exhaustive list of recipes and reagents may be of interest to the novice, I instead will provide a more valuable knowledge: the manner in which the potions, elixirs, tonics, restoratives, physics and all other alchemical products are constructed. At first, this may seem elementary; the information can be divined by even the most inexperienced alchemist. However, there is a great lack of understanding by most practitioners of Alchemy at what exactly occurs during the process of creating a vial of magical liquid. Here, in abbreviated form, is that process.

First, the alchemist needs the proper tools, and the most vital of these can be found in the alchemy workbench. This space, and the accompanying equipment, is necessary for even the most minor of alchemical procedures. Fortunately, workbenches can be found throughout Amalur in almost every town and village.

Secondly, and just as crucial, the alchemist needs the reagents themselves. Reagent gathering is a skill and craft unto itself, and many a brave soul has focused on nothing but the harvesting of alchemical reagents from the plants of the Faelands. The variety of these plants can be found in the Cradle of Summer in the Plains of Erathell, however, the diverse flora of Dalentarth often yields a bountiful variety, and the deserts of Detyre can hide a cornucopia of minerals and flowers.

There are a great number of reagents, indeed, too many to list here. However, one commonly accepted principle is that every reagent worth harvesting carries within itself a prime essence. Take, for example, the Sativa Stalk. This tough, ubiquitous weed can be found throughout the Faelands, in the most extreme climates and conditions. It is required in many potions that involve affecting the corporeal aspects of the imbiber, and clearly is imbued with an essence of a physical nature. It is easily surmised that the harvested fibers of this weed possess an essence relating to the physical world.

Finally, the alchemist must possess the unique recipe, and appropriate experience required to handle the delicate and intricate nature of combining reagents. There are countless methods for mixing potions: boiling, mashing, calcination, sublimation, smoking, distillation, dilution, absorption, adsorption, ceration, chromatography, congelation and so forth. The brave may even experiment without a recipe, however it is a dangerous risk and is strongly discouraged except in cases of emergency.

While this is by no means, the entire body of knowledge of alchemical method, it is a solid foundation. Armed with this knowledge, you are now able to perform rudimentary alchemy. Only through your own dedication will you progress in this field. Good Luck, and may your potions always taste delicious.

Dispelling

The threads of Fate bring with the power of Lyria herself, and one such magic, that of warding, is closely attuned to our goddess. To ward an object is to grace the thing with a beauty and magnificence. Here glyphs are the seals of power: the soft curve of a line, the magnificent artistry of form visible in the vortexes of the spell. It moves with the grace and ease of water, the swiftness of the wind, and in the pattern of the Great Cycle itself.

If warding is a gift of beauty unto a thing, then Dispelling is the collection of this beauty unto oneself. To tap the glyphs of Fate is to subsume that magic in a display of arcane command. The simplest of wards carry direct, and steady, if mundane glyphs. Their connection to the Arcane Veil is severed easily; they are but single strands of decorative fabric in the weave of Fate. The greater wards, however, include the more exceptional glyphs, that are interwoven with each-other in an exquisite array. These delicate strands of Fate cannot be separated from the weave for long, and so the harnessing of these glyphs must be exercised as smoothly and swiftly as the wards themselves.

As the elegance of our goddess is captured in the ethereal glyphs, so too is the indelicate nature of our mortality captured in the dark sigils of our wards. No human or Alfar, gnome or giant, may leave wield the power of magic without the tarnish of their mundanity. The markings left behind are often dark sigils, and serve as a reminder to all who would covet Lyria’s majesty.

Tefroy Tarion’s Handbook

The shear line isn’t the culprit. It’s necessary evil for the pin-tumbler lock, despite what they say in Adessa. Neither is master keying any more to blame than a blacksmith is for sword breaking when used as a hammer. The true problems, as Crinneus points out, are the bittings.

Without a finer method of shaping keys, we’re stuck with crude assortments of pins, unable to employ the complexity and intricacy needed to foil would-be thieves. A practiced, steady hand will defeat even the most sophisticated lock.

Of course, working with such imprecise tools is a handicap for any craftsperson, but such is our plight. While we labor like brutes, the underhanded also struggle with their lockpicks. Most lockpicks will break under the slightest of duress. Some are reinforced to allow leeway, and I’ve even heard mention of a lockpick shaped from “prismere.” I know little of the material, but it is rumored to be able to force even the strongest pin configuration.

If this is the casem then it may be time to rethink the lock completely. Any fool with this sort of lockpick could open a masterfully crafted lock, perhaps even a magically reinforced one.

On Divine Work

I have seen the hand of Mitharu, and it is in the myriad of light and lines in a gem. There is a careful, ordered balance, such that the structure of the light itself is duplicated in the body of the gem. It is most wonderful, and unlike the imperfections of the plants and animals of this world. It is closest to the stars themselves, nay, even more ordered, as the sky, save for the constellations, is free of any pattern. The lines of a gem are the truest shape given form in the world, for they travel from point to point unbroken and without the slightest of deviation. Truly, these shards and gems are the work of Mitharu, and we are wise to seek the divine guidance of Order from them.

My work, then, is also the work of Mitharu, for the purification of the clouded shard is none other than the heralding of the glory and perfection of Order. The transformation of lambent shard to pristine gem is to bask in Mitharu’s guidance. Here, at the sagecrafter’s table I am one with Mitharu. It is an altar worthy of our communion, and it is written that one must pray to the Great Order of the World daily. For this reason, one must strive day and night to achieve the same perfection found in the harmonious jewels of Mitharu.

The creation of a gem requires diligence and patience. I will follow the seven tenants (sic) of Mitharu’s guidance

The color or brilliance of a gem may mask the most miniscule of flaws.
Craft the physical manifestation of the gem to match its essence.
A gem requires two shards to be realized: the essence, and its embodiment.
Gems may be placed into the tool and vestments of Order, to strengthen them.
The essence determines the magnitude of effect.
The physical form determines the type of effect.
Together, these properties determine the quality of gem, therefore where it can be placed.
​In Mitharu’s name, I bring order unto chaos, and shape the likeness of perfection.

- Hadwyn of Mitharu

The Star Camp book of Stealth

Crilgarin is watching the birds again. I know this because Grim is watching Crilgarin again. I know that because I’m watching Grim. I don’t know if he knows how many days he’s spent watvching her walk among the ancient trees and shadows of Dalentarth’s woods, but I know. I’ve been there every time, watching him crouch and stare at a woman counting birdsong.
I never held my heart as close as these moments. Breath stopped. Time seemend to be stilled. He might never know that I was here, that I watched him and I felt happier for it, and that makes me ashamed. Does Grim feel jealous of the birds that Crilgarin stalks the woods to find? From them, from her, from him, I’ve learned how to walk so no one notices. We each have a person we want to see us, more than anything else. But they don’t look our way. To them, we are invisible.

Book of Songs

The Widow and Halter Ninepins

By stoney brook did Halter sit to fish himself a luncheon

When Widow walked with spider guard and Halter bared his truncheon

“I’m Halter Ninepins, so I’m called,” He cried with shaky voice. “Face me and die, or leave me be,” He left her with the choice.

The Widow smiled the spider stayed She raised her hand to Halter.

“I seek a man To make me bride.” Her smile did not falter.

Songbookpages
Halter knew her legend well But struggled to refuse, Fair was she, but still his heart he could not bear to lose.

“I think you’ll find I’m not the man to take you to the altar.”

She smiled still. “Make me your bride.” Her smile did not falter.

He thought with speed, the cunning lad, And came upon an answer — “I’ll wed you yet,” he did begin, “If you can best a dancer.”

The Widow laughed with hungry eyes Her grin was all the wider.

“We are agreed. The dancer is?” Halt gestured to the spider.

He drew a flute and played a tune, and both began to dance. But eight legs bear more grace than two — The Widow stood no chance.

He reached the end, The Widow left Pursuant to the deal,

And Halt resumed his fishing rod Glad to not be the meal.

Regarding the Spiders

Hugues.

Per your request we’ve finally got the spider problem under control. Claude will try to take credit for an efficient cleansing with his Praetorians, but I feel he overstates his case and fails to recognize the value that my own quick-thinking and scholarly work provided to this successful operation.

While overseeing the spider-purge, I noticed that those guards who were affected by spider venom exhibited stiffness of joints and tightening of skin symptoms which suggest a possible solution for the internal cohesion problems of some of the Well’s creations. I would have studied these symptoms in more depth at the time, but the guards willfully and flagrantly disobeyed my orders to delay application of antitoxins.

As such, I request that we capture some of these spiders in order to harvest their venom and for future testing. Furthermore, I trust that these insubordinate guards will be punished immediately. For my steadfast pursuit of knowledge, I require no metal nor promotion. All I would ask is that you PLEASE reassign me off of subject disposal detail.

- Guran

Stonecandle Mining Log

Among meticulous entries of mining shifts and prismere loads extracted, a handful of personal entries stand out:

3rd Winter, 203: Survey Team Secundus has made a tremendous find – contradictory to our earlier surveys on record, the Stonecandle Caves in Allestar show signs of a rare seam of Prismere. Word and samples have been sent to the Forum in Adessa via secure messenger, and their answer is all but certain – buy the land, start the mines, and tell no one. With everyone focused on the war, nobody’ll notice another mine, and we should be able to make a killing.

1st Spring, 204: Templar Octienne not only demanded the establishment of Stonecandle Mine, but has also personally funded construction of a new laboratory in Allestar. This should prevent the nearby town from asking too many questions about the mine, although we still keep a second log, in case of prying eyes. Regrettably, this makes for lax reporting, at best. One can only hope that this will not reflect poorly in our reviews.

2nd Autumn, 207: A new scholar has arrived at Allestar Tower with much fanfare. Word from Octienne is that Fomorous Hugues’ research is too important to be interrupted by day-to-day matters – even though he won’t tell us what that research is, exactly. Meanwhile, kobolds continue to be a nuisance, ambushing our miners at the mouth of the cavern. We have too few praetorians to handle a pack of the beasts, and there’s no way I’m letting them station faer gorta down here. Bad enough chipping away in the dark without one of those crazy bone-men sneaking up on you.

1st Spring, 210: Early tunnels connecting the mines to Allestar Tower are complete. They’ll still need shoring up to be stable enough for use, but soon we’ll be able to move the prismere straight into the labs, without worrying about kobolds or curious outsiders. Just in time, too – there have been reports of soldiers lurking in the forest nearby. Don’t they know the war front is on the other side of the Faelands?

Volume VIII – Giant Spiders

How curious that there can be in this world a spider no bigger than the head of a pin, and one as large as an aurochs? The giant spider is a well-known creature in the lands of Amalur, and rightfully so — fast and graceful on eight legs, fangs full of poison, capable of shooting inescapable webs — for the spider is one of the deadliest predators one can regularly expect to encounter.

It is rather embarrassing, but for as many opportunities we have to study these creatures, we still have no idea why they are so large. Perhaps to avoid predation? The new, and most attractive, theory attributes their prodigious size to the recent growth of magic in Amalur. I am inclined to agree with this — simply because the weight of its exoskeleton would crush the beast if it left to ordinary physical forces.

The giant spider is also extraordinary because it can exhibit a wide array of predatory behavior, whereas most of its smaller relatives stick to a specific pattern of hunt. They can burrow very quickly underground, in order to ambush enemies by erupting from the soil – a behavior seen previously in the tarantulas of the Bassowin territory — as well as the typical poison-laced bite. But perhaps the most terrifying tool at there* disposal is actively shooting web silk at their foes. This is a much more developed form of hunting than simply waiting in a web for prey to come along… perhaps the increase in brain size has expanded their capacity to innovate on hunting instincts? I shall endeavor to examine this further….

Motus Mining Company Roparzh Judoc, lead excavator.

While the island of Gallows End is obviously imbued with magic, there are no native minerals worth the trouble of mining.

When our expedition first landed on the island, it was immediately obvious that it was filled with an abundance of natural resources. Upon further study however, we found that the trees were rotten and the stone unbreakable. The mission’s sorcerer found the root cause to be a cursed magic. We traced it back to the sources, an Erathi altar on top of the mountain, but we were unable to open the door.

The locals were of no help. Most of the mhave banded together and settled the southern coast, but they all seem to be trapped into some kind of religious zealotry, worshipping a god by the name of Akara. When we get back to Adessa we will have our researcher investigate ‘Akara’ further.

There was, on the other hand, plenty to salvage. Not only had the Dverga settled here at one po

int, but many of their ships have washed ashore. The salvage should at least pay for this expedition, but it’s not worth another trip back to collect the rest.

We found a large harbour on the west side of the island, of Dvergan construction. If perhaps one of the other nearby islands proves fruitful, we could perhaps use these docks as a resupply point. There is also a large Dvergan keep in the middle of the island, but it is in too much a state of disrepair to be useful.

As for the tales of Dead Kel, they seem to be false. We didn’t run into him or nay of his Hanged Men. There are quite a few faer gorta however, but they are a little different than the ones we see back home. They seem to be held together by roots, similar to larger ones we’ve found all over the island.

The wildlife of this island is quite dangerous. What looks like a large rock from a distance ends up being a deadly root golem upon closer inspection. We lost two men to these creatures. Additionally the caves and Dverga tunnels seem to be filled with scavs, which have already cost us one operation.

It is my recommendation that this island be removed from consideration for any new operation.

The Glorious Deeds of Grian Brighthelm

As Dorian of Ballegar of old, let it here be memoried, scribed, and sung: the heroic youth of Grian Brighthelm. Pledged of Shield and Sworn to War by none other than Delfric, sage of the order, young Grian set forth for the Plains to prove his worth and set right a world of wrongs.

In those first years he uncovered the plot of the spider-wights, defeated Ransevin upon Skycrown’s peak in single combat, and rescued the Maid of the Arne from Varani cutthrouts. As seen by all, he kissed her hand and bowed before Dolve Arne, and that she gave to him a locket of her hair.

Soon, Grian Brighthelm’s fame had spread so far and wide that six notorious brigands made a pact to join arms and do him in. I merchant cart was thieved most brazenly in open day upon the plains when Grian was known to be posted to that route. Just as the six cutthroats had hoped, Brighthelm tracked the trail and came to the secluded spot in Tala-Rane that they had planned. Mitharu smiled on Grian that day, however, for on his way he had crossed a hunting-party come from Rathir, and he bade them encircle the place as he walked in. When the Circle of Six stepped forth to accost Grian Brighthelm, no sooner than they had drawn their swords, than they did find a host or archers, pointing arrows at their backs. All were brought to Justice, and Grian Brighthelm was, within a year’s time, made Castellan in honor of his cunning, bravery, and wit.

The Adventure

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

“Listen my friends, we have set out to do what no mortals have ever done, find the Armor of Ohn. So, Artess, I know you do not wish to go, but tell me why, because if you say you are afraid, then know that we are all afraid, and that’s not a good enough reason to abandon your companions in their moment of truth. The dangers we have faced before, and I love you all as brothers and sisters. I would never imperil your lives, for anything. We will be cautious. I am told there are ways to defeat the Klurikon. And then we have what no mortals have dared to grasp, immortality. Think on it, think of the glory, and excitement that awaits us, and think of how this is your only chance at that glory, perhaps ever. You are only given one fate, accept it, embrace it. If you be so bold, meet me in a week’s time at….”

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

“Good, you have all made it. Let us go then, and be assured that if anyone is to suffer, it will not be any of you. I said I will not risk your lives, and I’ll hold true to that. You have honored me with your trust, and that is a bond I will not break. The details I will explain on our journey, but you know most of the tale already. The Armor of Ohn is guarded, the hazards along the way are numerous. We will pass through the places that have doomed fae and mortal alike, places even demons fear to tread, and we will triumph where others have fallen. Even this dawn is already a success, for you have dared to aspire to glories unknown to human or Alf, and act upon them.”

he Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

“See how this house of evils treat us? See its wickedness in every crooked shadow and wending path? So, we are lost amongst it, beguiled by the strangest of lands. We are no lesser for it. We are at least still healthy and hearty. Nay, we are stronger for enduring our hardships thus far. Do not despair, is our glory not the greater for it? When we passed their hideous tree we knew what was in store for us. Onward now….”

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

“We can halt here for the evening, and talk of strategy. Eventually, we will approach the Will O’Wisps. They are fae creatures, and the very sight of them can lead to our doom. It is said they will draw mortals into an unending labyrinth, and there they starve, forever following the blinking lights. They will surely lead us astray, as is most likely their very purpose, placed here to distract us from our goal. So I say we meet this challenge with our wits, rather than our brawn. Blindfold yourself and tie a rope so as not to be separated, I will walk among you fastened to this rope and Attan and Hercold you will keep me from the lure of the Will O’Wips. May Mitharu grant that I am able to keep my wits about and guide us past. If you feel me pull wantonly upon the rope, know that I am ensorcelled by their magics. Keep to the path as best as you can, and we will prevail.”

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

“My brave companions, we have witnessed the horrors of this place. Our fallen friends know it too well. This is why we came, to face these monsters and deal with them as heroes, which is what you are, all of you. Already we have finished more than most have started. We could turn back now and be the greatest mortals the faelands have ever known. These are true legends we are creating, each and every one of you. I hold it against no woman or man, Alf or human, should she or he wish to turn back now. Spinning Tom? I wish the fortunes and health of all the world unto you. For me, it is a disservice to our dead to turn back now, and it is in their name I must continue.”

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

She was an enchantress, there was nothing we could do. But you raise a good point, should we go on? We are few in number, and our supplies have dwindled. I say we send half of our party back for reinforcements and supplies, and the rest of us build defenses as best we can and await their return. This way, any who do not wish to return can merely ensure someone comes back in their stead.

The Words of Solen Reimgar as Chronicled by Parthalan

This land ist not evil, it is gorgeous, I should never have tried to wring its heart. I can’t bear to look, it is to godly, magnificient. This is the true world, away from those cowards, there are no cowards here. There is only the land, the water, the trees, the animal. I will stay here, I will wear the Armor of Ohn, not as conqueror or conquered but as nothing. I am like them, the mist, the dirt itself. Ah!"

The Barelegs Sisters

For a time, every man of Emberdeep was rapturously in love with one of the “Barelegs Sisters”: Astrid, Thora, and Helga. It was hard to argue – and many a dwarft lost life or limb trying – which of the three was the most beautiful and enchanting.

The place whence they came is not known, but it is generally believed that they ran away from home when very young. One can only speculate on the reason and whether they left by their own choice or by consequence of their beguiling effect (even as very young ladies). They thence moved from place to place, never staying long before wearing out their welcome or fleeing from a frothing manly mob and an enraged womanly populace.

Their time amongst the men of Emberdeep began when they were found floating aboard a raft by a Dverga ship. They were not, it is told, on board but a few minutes before their presence triggered something of a donnybrook. Such a ruckus would not be unexpected on a ship full of men long at sea, but this row was without equal. So irresistible were the sisters’s beauty and – to the diminutive Dverga – their novel tallness, that the crew took complete leave of their wits.

After a few days, the ship returned unexpectedly to Emberdeep whereupon the sisters were ordered ashore. Before the captain confined them to quarters (specifically, the captain’s own quarters) he gave them a choice: “go ashore or off the plank.” The sisters, who’d grown bored of their time at sea, gladly obliged.

In Emberdeep, the sisters caused a stir unmatched even by their previous exploits. Their towering height and preference for shortened dresses offered even the tallest man of Emberdeep an irresistible and heretofore unimagined view of their beauty. And the shorter men amongst them described an even more breathtaking vista.

Not only were the sisters beautiful and exotic, but each was capable of driving a man mad in her own way: Astrid for her blond hair and long legs, Thora for her sweet voice and laugh, and Helga for her way with a sword. The last is curious as it was fact often repeated of the youngest sister, but no one could ever recall seeing her handle a blade.

But, their stay was to be predictably brief. Beautiful women always inflame jealousy in both men and women, and the Barelegs Sisters were no exception. Once they began appearing in bedrooms all over the Obsidian Isle, the women of the great dwarven houses howled for their expulsion. But the Council – its members, to a man, smitten with the sisters – refused.

So it was, until all three sisters were discovered in the bedchambers of a Rathiri envoy. The envoy himself managed to flee, but the sisters were not so fortunate. A quickly staged trial found them giulty of disquieting of the peace and other moral outrages and sentenced them cast into the sea. Their pleas for mercy fell on deaf ears as each surrendered their breath to the deep.

To this day, Dvergan men take to the seas in secret hope of finding the sisters alive, well, and waiting aboard a flimsy raft, and those back home pine for the Barelegs Sisters return, even if for only one night.

The Bashful Peregrine

Hear ye, this tale of young Peregrine, the apprentice, and how ofttimes good things ensue through hard, diligent work, they can likewise come from being at the wrong place at the right time.

Since he was a small boy, Peregrine admired the mages of the Order of Fierol and desired nothing in the world more than to join them. So it was, whence he came of age, that he was apprenticed to Torin Frostbreaker.

After a few lessons, Peregrine’s mentor put a box before him and challenged him to open it. Peregrine puzzled over the plain-looking box. Its innocent appearance betrayed no clue of the wards that sealed it, so he he[sic] tried every counter-ward he knew. After a time, Torin Frostbreaker asked “Are you finished?”

“I am,” Peregrine said.

“And have you any mana reserve left or did you spent it all on this most tricky box?”

“I have none left, my Master,” the Apprentice replied.

“Then I am a barghest, come upon you, and you are dead because you failed to think. Sometimes a box is just a box, and precious magic is better saved for the monster in the darkness. I hope the rest of your training is not as trying as this.”

In his second week, Frostbreaker led Peregrine to a nearby cave and bid him enter it. Not wishing to repeat the mistake of the box, Peregrine decided to simply walk into the cave. He was thrown back with great violence, landing several yards away and coughing blood.

“Foolish boy! I bring you to a warded cave and you stroll into it without even the slightest use of magic. It is as if you grow worse with time rather than better. Now, let’s remove whatever curse your haste has given you.”

In his third week, Peregrine began to despair of ever becoming a mage, but was obliged to accompany Torin to a nearby healer’s cottage. Torin retired to the Master Healer’s chambers and Peregrine was left alone with one of her assistants. The assistant was quite beautiful and would smile warmly at Peregrine whenever he dared look upon her. She approached the young apprentice, touched him gently, and slowly brought her face to his as if to deliver a kiss. Peregrine, as bashful as he was young, flushed and fled the healer’s cottage.

After a few hours, the young man began to wonder after his master. When he made to return to the cottage, he found the door warded. For this he was prepared and he dispelled it with ease. “If only Master Frostbreaker could have seen that,” he thought.

He was less prepared for what lay beyond the door: his master, naked and magically chained to the wall, the healer and her assistant, naked as well and asleep at his feet.

“Come, help me boy!” barked Torin. “These are not healers at all, but witches. They poisoned me and cast wards to bind me to this wall. As I can tolerate most poisons, I remained alert enough to cast a sleep spell upon them. Now, free me!”

These wards were of a more difficult sort, but Peregrine was able to dispel them as well. His master was pleased.

“Master? How did the witches manage to poison you?”

“Suffice to say, a ’healer’s kiss’ is likely not what you’d think it to be. We shall never speak of this again.” Peregrine was too embarrassed to respond and preceded his master out of the cottage.

Torin eyed his apprentice warily, mistaking the boy’s bashfulness for cunning. “I suppose you have passed enough tests. When we get back to Fierol, I will personally see that you are made a mage by forhtnight’s end.”

And thus did the bashful Peregrine become the youngest Fieroli mage any could remember.

The Crymbil

The goblin races we now call Crymbil and Skratta were once a single unified race.

It is widely misapprehended among even our finest schoalrs that differences between the two were due entirely to the Crymbil)s enlightenment at the hands of the gnomes of Marthen Row. This is not so, and betrays an unfortunate gnomish superiority that mars much of our scholarship concerning the lower races.

In fact, the goblin schism occurred a few years prior to the Crymbil arrival in Marthen Row, the result of dedades – perhaps centuries – old cultural divergence within the race. Though it cannot be disputed that the Crymbil owe most, if not all, their grasp of the scientific method, literacy, and history to their time in Marthen Row, it was the development of a greater intelligence and civility that had led them to split from their more brutish cousins.

As for the gnomes of Marthen Row, this act of charity was to be their unmaking. It took the less civilized Skratta several decades to find what became of the departed Crymbil, but track them down they did. It is unclear if their tireless search was driven more by vengeance or the desire to reunite the race.

Marten Row was razed in the Skratta attack and no gnome was known to survive. The Crymbil, however, were able to escape in nearly full numbers, taking with them all they’d learned from our gnomish forebears along with, it is believed, a few gnomish relics of great historical value.

The Crymbil then fled to Thousand Eye Gorge, a dank and unwelcoming swamp, where they founded Marthenshire and lay the foundations for a new realm. There they fostered the skills learned from their benefactors and evolved into the exacting, inquisitive, and (dare I say) learned race we know them to be today.

Despite their race’s flowering in Martenshire, the threat of a new Skratta invasion looms large in the Crymbil mind, though it is widely known that the Skratta have since occupied themselves with other pursuits.

The Human Tale

Professor Eiowillyn was sore at me today, because my potion was able to cure the aurochs of cloverbloat and Valyon’s wasn’t. She said I had relied too much on luck to ensure my balances were correct and that Valyon’s reagents had wilted in the summer heat, but I know the real reason she’s mad is because her prized student isn’t as good as the human. The Alfar seem to have wielded magic since always, and humans have had to make do otherwise – but every day I fell stronger and stronger. The Alfar know I’m not the only human that can use magic to this degree, and they know it. They’re afraid that they’re going to lose the only thing that’s kept them lording over us for decades, and Professor Eiowillyn thinks that I’m the face of the coming change. She’s afraid of me. She should be. When I was less than two-and-five I burned my family’s woodshed to the ground with a thought. Some of her students had to train for years before they could make as much as a cinder. And even though I’m good at it, I’m not going to spend my life studying potioncraft and writing tomes. The heat from that fire still warms my hand. It’s a comfort. The only one I still have left.

Journey of Scribe Pearse

Times Grow Darker

Times have grown stronger.

The Ever Glen, the beautiful magic wood granted to Lir by the Hironar, has grown corrupt. Where once I saw blossoms and bird I see dark weeds, choking roots and black thorns. It seems to move and shift, like a beast that stalks prey. The servants of Lir’s hall grow quiet, but not Aife. She roars and smiles and curses and laughs, talks to those we cannot see. Lir has not left his chambers in some time, but she will not grant us servants passage. Perhaps she is bearing the deaths of her step-children too heavily? One cannot know. But the hall is growing dim for not having seen its master…

Last Entry

There is a little time left.

A Demon! A temptress! Sent from the underworld of Amalur to tear down the great wonder Lir has built, a mortal target for the Niskaru to destroy. She is no human. She is no beauty. She is a liar. Lir is dead, and we are trapped within this palace, by maddning thorns and halls of flame. She hunts us one by one. I do not know why. She is a thing of rage. Some of the guard brought her down, but she simply rises from each death, flames burning brighter with anger. She cannot be killed. She will either hunt us to our deaths, or leave us to whither.

The Little Prince of Rathir

Long ago in Rathir, a boy named Aral was born to the great house Kandrian. Though he was beautiful and healthy, Lyria saw fit that he should be blind. His parents, who were proud, declared he would never know of his defect, and he never did, until the day he heard a lovely song. He found the singer, and laid his love before her. She was a serving girl, and she burst into tears. I am as ugly as my voice is beautiful, she cried. When he could not understand, she explained, and his parents pride was angered in his heart. He took his nightingale far to the south of Rathir, and built a stronghold there, a place of deep shadows and beautiful song. To this day, it is said, Kandrian is a place of loveliness, blindness and pride.

He has passed. After but a few weeks upon attaining the level of Savant, I was summoned to the chambers of the Archsage, deep in the cavern beneath our chapter house, and I found him on the floor, struggling for breath but otherwise still. Helped to his senses, he reveals that he was dying. And though Belen had reached out to take Ephraim, he had yet to draw him to death.

It was then that he laid everything bare – no truth was omitted, no lie spoken. The true purpose of our order, the true meaning of our values and studies were after all my life made plainly understood. And with that, he passed, pressing the band of cloth – the ring of the Archsage – into my hand. I was to take the reins, he said. For better or worse, it had to be me.

The Morning Prayer

Blessed be Mitharu, the great Order of the World, for in his presence we are forever. The Light of Peace, guide us. Warm us in the gentle cradle of your great embrace, Keep us from our thoughts of despair and burden. You, who are so mighty in your sovereign house, bless us with your interminable love. Grant us strength and courage in your most holy name to bear the hardships of the world. You who guard us with a mighty arm, hear our prayers.

We are your servants, mighty Lord, who praise none other but your name. We are your loyal flock who follow your guiding hand to sanctuary. Through your grace we are enlightened so we may better do your will. You alone rose to greet us, and free us from the darkness of our ways. As the morning sun sheds its bounty upon the land, so too, Lord, you illuminate our way. Blessed be Mitharu, the great Order of the World, for in his presence we are forever.

By Irena, Historian
Bravery is a topic often broached by the Kollossae in both fiction and popular culture: for instance, courage is a favorite topic of Master Onesimos of the Lykeios, Idylla’s academy of theology. Onesimos is a feared debater and often utilizes the topic in the discussions where he explains courage as the result of power. As I see it, playwright Straton’s “The Opponent” appears to be an examination of courage, as well, through a simple parable.
According to the playwright, courage is not a result of power, but the means to it. He seems to question the usefulness of strength if one lacks the bravery to use it. The protagonist of “The Opponent” is Theron, who wages war against a cunning antagonist called Taruk, a Niskaru Tyrant. As a Mairu, Theron is a savaege whose cares begin and end with battle, though he has moments of ingenuity that connect him to the Kollossae of today.
At the climax of “The Opponent”, we see Theron’s village in flames, decimated by Taruk, though not without a price: the Mairu appear to have beaten their aggressor. Taeruk is surrounded, and apparently, defeated, as the village leader stands over the Niskaru with a club leveled at the Tyrant’s skull. Unfortunately, Taruk has a final spell to cast, and with a click of his mandibles his form dissolves as he possesses one of the villagers the wife of the village leader. In that moment, it seems thr Mairu are utterly defeated. No one dares attack the wife of the village leader, and the night air fills with the shrill laughter od the possessed woman — laughter that turns into a cry of pain and terror as Theron strikes her down with a club of his own.
Instantly the Niskaru leaps into the body of a new host, and instantly Theron strikes him down. The vicious cycle continues until Theron is finally possessed, when he is the last Mairu standing. “I have you now,” Taruk gloats, speaking with Theron’s voice. But in reply, Theron raises his club, and readies to smash his own face. Taruk flees from the Mairu’s body in terror, taking corporeal form once more, and runs for a nearby river. Theron gives chase, and drowns the demon in the very river he sought to escape by.
In the epilogue, we learn that only to of the villagers are fatally wounded by Theron’s hand, and the rest will recover. It is obvious that Theron’s Mairu tendencies have saved the village. The play closes with an unspoken question: could a Kollossae do the same?

The Possession Begins

t has come. What Ephraim has warned me of, the fear that has plagued the mind of every Archsage of our order, has come to pass. She has awoken. She has found a way from her cell.

I thought when such a time came, it would prove to be a more marked event, that we would notice as the harbinger of her freedom. And though I had reports of an Initiate whose Trial killed some Savants and drove others to madness, she did not appear immediately.

And that was her greatest triumph. For all that we knew of her, we expected her appearance to be marked by cataclysm and chaos. The raging storm has no need of subtlety and cleverness, for with a whim its winds can rip flesh from bones and burn all in its path. But she knew we would gird ourselves for such assaults, and connived to overwhelm the strongest of our orders from the shadows. And now, there are two left: myself and the mind of the initiate who was present at her summoning.

Even now, I feel my mind beginning to falter. Aethan Engar must have fallen, and with him, there is but one left whom I can support in earnest to assume the mantle of Archsage. But I cannot falter yet. I will summon the once-was Initiate here, and with aid, wrest control of my mind free from the dark sorceress.

To have my mind be walked upon is… troubling. There are many things in here I wish no one to face or learn, for they are the things I had to rid myself of the Scholia Arcana. But if she is to be felled, I must be rid of her.

The Primer of Fire

It begins as it ends…in flame.

This is the primary tenet; that which burns, must burn. From fire all things came, and to fire all things must return. This is what it means to serve the Sun

He has gifted all of us with the spark. To incandesce, to be consumed… to be irretrievably bound within the present passion… to know, without equivocation. the clarity of hatred. To be lost, without salvation, to the ecstacy of grief.

From fire all things came, and to fire all things must return. Jubilate with me, my brothers, that the end is nigh.

The Ring Maker

There was once a ring maker of Glimwood skilled at the making of fine jewelry, he lacked knowledge of the art of spellbinding. Men from around the world had always come to Toal’s shop to buy the prettiest rings to please their wives and lovers, but business had been poor of lote. Jeweled rings had come into fashion and his clients went elsewhere for their trinkets of love. Ulliam knew little of spellbinding, but decided he had little choice but follow fashion wherever it led.

He began with small red and blue gems, which, as any spellbinding novice knows, are the most benign of jewels. Flush with success, he sought more exotic gems and, one day, found himself in possession of a stock of green jewels. Ignoratn to their ill effect on the wearer, Ulliam mounted them into rings. The effect, however, was small; a few were sickened, fewer still seriously.

When, however, he chose to add striking purple shards to his designs, the wearers were not stricken ill, they died. It took little time to guess at the cause of these deaths and an armed party soon arrived to confront the ring maker. Ulliam fell to his knees and swore that his rings were not to blame, so the leaders of his own village had him locked away for safekeeping until the charges could be proven.

A mage arrived to inspect the ring and there was no doubt in his learned mind. The town warden condemned the ring maker to death by the means of his victim’s choosing, as was custom. The husbands of the dead women selected one of Ulliam’s own rings as the instrument of execution and he died, painfully and loudly, within days.

Let the folly of Ulliam and his desire for glory and profit serve as lesson to those who would trifle with the magic of gems.

The Scholia Arcana
On the Founding of the Scholia Arcana

And so it came to pass that in the years of strife, when the tyrant Queen Sydanus had sown the fields of Erathell thigh-deep with blood, three unlikely souls found the way out of the dark.

The first was a man named Elodan Bloodgood. A Varani shaper, he came to Erathell from far to the North, searching the world for the knowledge of stone. After refusing to build a temple in Sydanus’ name, he was cast into prison.

The second was a Gnome named Marus Torix. A gifted gnosicant, he had long ago left the safety and comfort of his libraries to travel the world, to learn of things with his own eyes. For teaching a doctrine different from the unquestioning worship of Sydanus and her regime, he, too, was cast into prison.

The third was born deep within the dungeons of Rathir, a young Alfar girl named Eleanor Brea who grew to maturity blinded by the darkness that was her only home.

Upon Eleanor Brea’s ascendance to adulthood deep within the dark of Sydanus’ prisons, the gifts of elemental magics came to her. In fury, the girl burned the dungeon to the ground.

Guided by Master Torix and Bloodgood, she learned to wield her gift and, together, the three of them dared to fight against the tyrant queen.

Word spread quickly of a new group of masters, mages, and artisans who would teach any willing to learn. In time, others courageous enough to challenge Sydanus’ might came forward, and what had started with a resistance of three quickly became ten, then a hundred, then a thousand.

Terrible battles of magic were waged. Thousands perished; entire cities were scoured from the face of the world, and untold horrors were birthed as each side tried desperately to craft the means of their victory.

Ciara Sydanus sought the destruction of their enemies by any method — no sacrifice was to great, no atrocity too horrid. The darkest and the foulest of arts were pursued, and the cost to the populace was unrivaled by that of anyone’s memory.

But the light of the three refused to be extinguished. The strength of Master Bloodgod, the wisdom and his skill, set the form and foundation of their hope. The brilliance of Master Torix, his knowledge and his insight, unlocked the chains of their bondage. And the passion of Mistress Brea, her spirit and her fury, lit the way to freedom.

What none could do alone, these three achieved together. After seven years of rebellion, they defeated Sydanus high upon the heights of the spire of Rathir.

Different paths had led each into the chains of slavery. But it was there that each found strength from the other, and together, found their freedom. And so it was that the Scholia Arcana came to be.

The Seasteel Golems

Searching for a new home for the Dverga, King Maht sailed the Frostbreak Sea until he found the Obsidian Isle. Following the death of Prince Kaleva and the loss of his ship the Barufakir, the King decided that the dwarfs would permanently settle upon Obsidian Isle. To protect his own ship, the Naglfar, the king planned to transport it to the caldera at the top of Obsidian Isle. King Maht commissioned a group of Dvergan smiths and runebinders to create a host of golems that could carry the Naglfar to its chosen resting place. Once the ship was moved, the golems would protect it and keep it safe should it ever be needed again.

Using the newly discovered seasteel, the smiths and runebinders created thirteen golems. Once assembled, the golems were commanded to carry the great ship to the top of Obsidian Isle. OVer time, the golems became covered in snow and were eventually completed encased in ice. All that remains of them now are twelve great columns of dark ice beneath the ship. Ony the guardian key-golem, dubbed Heimdallyr by the King, was spared his fate. Instead, the greatest of the golems stood guard on the deck of the Naglfar to defend it against any incursion.

The Virtues of Seasteel

Seasteel is an enchanted metal that is prized for its utilitarian qualities, high tensile strength, and light weight. Obsidian Isle is the one place where seasteel is known to be found. Even then, seasteel can only be found in limited quantities, and only appears once a year upon the Obsidian Isle’s shores. Storms from a neighboring atoll precede the tide of seasteel’s arrival, which washes up in nuggets on the Isle’s beaches and is collected by hand.

In its natural state, seasteel appears as dull grey blobs, much like molten wax that has been dropped in cold water. Seasteel’s buoyancy is one of its most interesting qualities. While the buoyancy of the metal diminishes once it has been refined, it remains strong and very light. It is also resistant to corrosion, polishes to a mirror shine, and never tarnishes, making it desirable for nautical uses.

The first Dverga to settle on Obsidian Isle marveled at seasteel and learned to craft weapons and other tools from it. They saw it as one of the sea’s gifts to their race, and would rarely export it beyond the Isle’s shores. So valued was seasteel that it was prized more than gold, and greedily hoarded by the Foundry Guild in Emberdeep. The Dverga never speak of seasteel to outsiders, for fear that the other kingdoms would try to steal it from them.

The Wild Flame

Mommy isn’t crying the funny men with pointed ears are taking me, and mommy isn’t crying, but she looks like she will isn’t she sad? Why isn’t she being sad? she might be mad at me still for what I did to the woodshed but it wasn’t my fault I didn’t mean to I just got so scared when that dog got near me that I threw my hands up and then there was fire and heat and the woodshed was on fire and I didn’t know I didn’t want to make it but the dog caught fire too and I couldn’t stop itI couldonlystare andwatchaseverythingstarted toburnaroundme andIwassorryIwassosorry butitwasn’tenoughdaddyfoundme andhitmehardonceintheeye andonceintheback andItoldhimIsaiddaddyIdidn’tmeanto andhediditanywaysIwassosorry andhekepthittingmeuntilIstoppedcrying butmommyjuststoodthere andshewascryingbutitwasquiet anditwastoherself anditslikewatchinghernow asthey’retakingmeaway theyhavemebymyhand andthey’releadingmeaway andnoone’ssayinggoodbye andnoone’ssayingI’llmissyou andnoone’ssayingtheyloveme Iamputinthecareofstrangers andI’mgoingawayforever tolearnhowImadethingsburn andI’msorrymommy andI’msoverysorry.

The World I Left

and if she thought that leaving those flowers pressed in the tome would work, she was right. By the gods, I thought that years of books and tutelage and learning would be enough to prepare me for anything, for the world of troubles and problems that I might eventually have to solve, and they did not. Nothing could have prepared me for her, sitting on a hill and waiting for me as the sun came down, the wind teasing out the red-brown hair that flowed like wine and water, so long for it had never touched a blade in its life. She laughed and it smelled like apples smell, she smiled and it sounded like birds in spring. I only came to test her aptitude to spellcraft, and in those scant seconds before we spoke to one another I nearly fell so far into her eyes that I could not hope to escape. How could a force as strong as this exist? Am I just a fool, in a line of fools that spans the centuries? Disarmed though I was, I carried out my duty appointed task. She laughed and told me that she had no desire to lead a life of craft and books, and study, to forsake life as it is lived for life as it might be. And looking into her eyes, I could not come to find her at fault. There is a world out there that is different from one that we of the Scholia lead. I walked away from that world some time ago. And only once, when I met her, have I ever had cause to regret that decision.

Journal of Father Etair

Thursday

The strange crystal sits atop my desk. I cannot take my eyes from it. It is not out of adoration, or even fascination, but out of a tense, foreboding dread that never escapes me, not even as I lay in my bunk at night hoping that I have not doomed my young charges by bringing this cursed thing up from the underground.

Perhaps the most troubling development is how the crystal affects young Brother Wulf. This person sitting across the chamber from me is no longer my bright, friendly apprentice, but a heavy-eyed fanatic. The strange allure of the crystal has touched him on some spiritual level. He has not been to chapel in days. He has not bathed or eaten. He does not respond to his name, and when does take notice of the others around him, he does so with a gruff sneer. I grieve for him as one mourns the deceased. All day long he stares at the crystal, or plays to it with his whistle, making the swirling red surface flash. My prayers do nothing.

All my research, all of my training, none of it has provided the answers I seek. What is this strange substance and from where does it derives its magic? What created it and how did it come to be beneath our mission? Better yet, how I can I get dispose of it without hurting my dear friend? So many questions, but no answers come.

Perhaps tomorrow Mitharu will provide. He has yet to disappoint me.

Dear Sir or Madam

The free poeple of the Dokkalfar naion, aling with their valiant allies, fight the Tuatah in order for all to enjoy a safe and happy peace. As the war rages on, the call goes out to all courageous folk to jouin the ranks of the Dokkalfar army, wether you be willing to wield a blade, tend to the wounded, or otherwise support the cause. Under Lyrias’s grace, we will prevail!

Timos Discourse

By Irena, Historian It is a common saying that quantity does not necessarily mean quality. Such is the case with Playwright Straton’s newest production, which tells the tale of a wretched man, a Kollossae by the name of Timos, ion a play that lasts for over eleven hours. Timos, the eponymous character, struggles with mental illness — a madness that burdens his family, destroys his profession, and eventually claims his life.
I struggled to discern the message of the twelve-hour epic: was Timos’s sickness a metaphor for the coddling of the modern Kollossae in the midst of current conveniences? Was it commentary that the natural savagery of the Mairu still exists within us, to be battled on a daily basis? In the end, I could come to no conclusion. The message was lost in too many details.
The play is written in a moment-to-moment telling of the events, and takes place over the course of twelve hours, where we learn of Timos’ past as he expounds it in the present, about to be executed for crimes he committed under his derangement.
Inscrutable moments in the production were many. There was an instance when the narrative itself seemed to suffer a psychotic episode. Timos, whose madness has driven him to believe that he has become a Pteryx, removes all of his clothing, and proceeds to assault the town guards, the executioners, claiming that his majestic beak shall rip apart their entrails. At that moment, the torches dim, and the tragedian portraying Timos is replaced by an actual Pteryx, obviously captured from the Teeth of Naros itself. The fowl tragedian proceeded to attack his fellow actors along with members of the crowd who stood to close. In the end, the cast, with members of the audience and Straton himself, managed to slay the Pteryx. It way a rousing end to a rather drab experience, but again, it was completely devoid af meaningful narrative.
Of course, most of the audience enjoyed the performance, anyway. They were given the opportunity to participate in Pteryx slaying. But I fear Straton is losing his touch. It is clear now that he lacks the bold, confident direction that Andronikos provided his works.

To Brother Fallon

My Dear Brother Fallon,

I hope the autumn weather finds you well. You will be glad to know I have tried the combinations of herbs ad treesap as you suggested. The result was better by far.

I do sometimes stop to wonder, how like you and I are. Yet you are the trusted saint, and I the suspicioned witch. Your skills as an herbalist aside, I suppose that you give them order and assurance. I give truth of things to come, often a bitter drink even in the smallest doses.

Yours,

Luminitsa

My Dear Brother Fallon,

I would never deny you the right to truth. But the fact remains, I am not trusted as you are, even though who we are and what we do is not so very different.

Speaking of our work, there is troubling news from town. Boggarts are out in numbers, which of course means Blood Plague. If Astrid does not send for you in several days, you might make the trip yourself. The town will need the medicine. Every day, there are more of them right at our doors!

Yours,

Luminitsa

Regarding Your Letter

Dearest Ewa,

Thank you for your concern. I am well aware of the lack of learning in the newest members of our order. If nothing else, this should lend some credence to Rasp’s concerns, as it seems that more people are becoming attuned to magic, including those who have never had formal tutelage.

- Archsage Jubal Caledus

To Coriana

I love you, I will always love you. I write this now not in happiness, but knowing that I will never have your love in return. You chose your familiy over me, and while they may grow old and die, I know they will always be a part of you. I wish that it could be me instead.

I am writing this letter to you. It will be my letter, my gift, the thoughts and emotions of am man wholly devoted to you, once. I don’t know what I am now. But if I live to be as old as this desk, this chair, these halls, I will every day write to you. I will every day commit my thoughts to this page. Until my well runs dry, until my pen crumbles to dust, until either you are finally in my arms again, or I have died alone. I promise, I will write to you. I promise. I promise.I promise.I promise.

If I could talk to you now, or maybe if I could bear to approach you, I would ask you why. Not angrily. I’m not hateful. I simply want to know why. Why did you do it? Why did you leave me alone? Why? When did I harm you? I would expect the truth. Did you really think it was for the best? Do you not remember the time we spent together, and the happiness we shared? Were those not real to you? They seem as a dream to me, but I know you felt the same as I. I know you were scared. I was too, but not because I didn’t think it was right. It was right. It was our grearest chance at happiness in the world. The war, disease, poverty, slavery, torture would be bearable if I had you. I could endure all of that, if I had your love. Was it not the same for you? If it wasn’t, did you lie to me? Was it all a lie?

LOOK AT WHAT YOU’VE DONE TO ME. I HAVE DONE THIS TO MYSELF. I DON’T CARE ANYMORE. I DON’T CARE. THIS IS THEIR FAULT AND THEY WILL PAY. YOUR FAMILIY YES YOUR FAMILY THOSE PEOPLE THAT YOU PRETEND TO LOVE AND WHY? BECAUSE THEY GAVE BIRTH TO YOU? I WILL KILL THEM.

I will, in my sorrowful robes, bring Death.

Letter to Ansilla

Lady Ansilla,

You think you had the best of me with that little maneuver yesterday, but you are sadly mistaken. I offer my condolences to your family for producing such a miserable failure as yourself. It is in their best interests that you maintain what little dignity you have left and allow your almost as incompetent son succeed you.

Lord Gastyr

To Lady Ansilla

If you weren’t such a disgraceful and pathetic ruler of your own hearth, you wouldn’t have so much lawlessness amongst your property and have to accuse your betters of it. Just because you would stoop to such a level doesn’t mean that anyone else would.

Lord Gastyr

To Foolish Ansilla

Once again you prove the endless depths of your stupidity. You will pay for this trespass, I promise. There is nothing you should fear more than my reprisal. You have roused my ire for the last time, and now you and your damned family will pay. I would cures your house were it not so obviously doomed from your wretched misguidance.

The True Lord of Caeled Coast,
Gastyr

To Foolish Ansilla

Once again you prove the endless depths of your stupidity. You will pay for this trespass, I promise. There is nothing you should fear more than my reprisal. You have roused my ire for the last time, and now you and your damned family will pay. I would cures your house were it not so obviously doomed from your wretched misguidance.

The True Lord of Caeled Coast,
Gastyr

To Lord Gastyr

I assume in your juvenile sense of hunour you found that comedic. Let me educate you on the subtleties of warfare: what you did today is the equivalent of topping your wife; that is, easily accomplished. The next time you try such a feat, you should aspire to something noteworthy, a first for you, I’m sure.

Lady Ansilla

To the late Lord Gastyr,

As the ``almost as incompetent son,`` I will make sure my first order of business will be to repay you in kind for what you did to my mother. I hope one of your many bastard children can retain the tenous grasp of control you have on your land. It would be so boring otherwise.
Lord Ansilla

Good Luminitsa,

I am so glad my advice about the sap was of use. You flatter me, though. The idea for the poultice was yours to begin with. I hope you have not waited to share it with Astrid.

You may be right, that I bring order, but I hope I do not lie in my reassurance. Death itself is part of Mitharu’s order, and Fate is His plan yet unrealized.

Blessings in Mitharu,

Brother Fallon

Tome of Artifacts

Introduction

The Fae, as creatures of magic, have created a host of artifacts imbued with their essences. We provide this book as an index of these magical items, both for those interested in pursuing these treasures as well as those wishing to be entertained. This book is divided into three parts; covering trinkets of relatively minor magical power, relics of powerful magic, and finally cursed items. Where knowledge of the item is scant or limited, we try our best to direct the reader to other works on the subject. This book serves as the foundation for Encyclopedia Magicka, wherein we list the entirety of magical items known to all peoples of Amalur.

One observation that could be made upon reading this text is that there are only superficial differences between some of the items we categorize as of a lesser nature, and those of a greater one. The differences may appear slight to the layman’s eye, however, in our experiences the actual use of the item is closer to the broader category it resides in than not. There is a specific aspect of greater or lesser magical nature that separates these items. Where the effects of the item are unknown, we have estimated the nature of the item to the best of our abilities. In all cases, the magic of the Fae is an unpredictable force. We encourage those who would seek this magic to do so with the utmost caution.

Finally, we highly recommend avoiding the cursed artifacts at all cost. Usually, a curse placed upon an item will go into effect immediately upon receiving it. Most of them will imperil the very lives of any non-Fae victim, and almost all of them involve an intricate and complicated manner of removing the curse. Some of the fabled items found within the lesser or greater sections may in fact be cursed. Where possible, we have recorded the method of purifying the item or purging the curse from oneself.

Chapter IV: The Eye of Amman

The Eye of Amman is a cursed Fae artifact, said to bring an affliction of the elements upon its owner. It is a bright red jewel, and shines even in the darkest of places. It is approximately the size of an eye, hence its name. It exudes a slight warmth, and those in possession of the jewel have claimed they were irresistibly drawn to it. Indeed, some of the magic in this artifact may be enchanting the wearer, as is custom with many cursed items. According to popular myth, the Eye of Amman was placed in the Fae Hollow known as Syl by Amman as a cruel trick. Knowing that mortals would be drawn to the promise of riches, he crafted the gem to be remarkably brilliant. Then, he cursed the gem so that one could never get rid of it unless it was willingly taken from its owner. Finally, he set upon it a curse of elemental magic, such that fire, ice, and lightning would bring indescribable pain to any who wear the Eye. Or so the rumors proclaim. It is said that there is a way to cleanse the gem of its curse by bringing it back to the altar found in Syl. It is a dangerous journey, but we imagine it is one well worth the risk if the effects of the gem’s curse are real.

Tirin’s Rest: Village Charter

Priestess Aurela Corelon

It being one year since the War has left the Plains of Erathell, and our village during all the storm and fever having been spared entirely of harm, let it be hereby resolved:

We who dwell here so solemnly swear that it was Lyria and Lyria alone, Goddess of Fate, who spared our lives and livelihoods, and it is SHE we thank that we live and thrive today.

And I, Priestess Aurela Corelon, having heard the voice of my Goddess, Lady Lyria, call me unto service, shall serve this place as mayor and as guide. It is the wish of all and my humble duty to do so.

In honor of the blessings bestowed upon us, this village, once known as Ljosavik, shall now be known as Tirin’s Rest, for it was here that the Priestess Bayala Tirin made camp, on her way to Rathir, spreading word of Lyria’s greatness where she went.

We, the new people of new-named Tirin’s Rest, declare this Valley of Galafor to be the Valley of the Blessed. For those who Lyria did not love were cast out. While those who loved her dearly and wholly, she favored with safety and respite in times of war. From hence onward, none shall dwell in our valley who have not been similarly blessed. For it is a sacred place, and not be profaned by the common lot.

Voyage of the Barufakir

The Barufakir was one of the two royal ships of the Dverga fleet, captained by Prince Kaleva Maht. Its counterpart was the Naglfar, captained by Kaleva’s father, King Maht. While the King’s ship was blessed with the ability to safely navigate any seas, the Prince’s ship was imbued with great speed. They sailed together at the head of the fleet, searching for a new home for the Dverga in the lands called Grundholm.

One day, the fleet came across an island that looked to be suitable for settlement. The Naglfar, closer to shore, skirted the coast to determine the best place to land. The Barufakir, meanwhile, proceeded to scout the surrounding waters. In the sea east of the island, Kaleva and his crew encountered a violent tempest. Beyond the tempest, the Prince glimpsed what appeared to be an island. Undeterred by the storm, the reckless prince sailed onwards, believing the Barufakir’s speed would protect him.

As soon as the ship entered the periphery of the tempest, it was pulled fully into the swirling storm. The Dvergan crew of the Barufakir swept into the deadly waters by mighty waves, and the ship was dashed against the jagged reef surrounding the hidden island. Though he held on with all his strength, Kaleva was washed overboard as the Barufakir splintered beneath his feet. Knocked unconscious and nearly drowned, the Prince would not awaken for several days.

Prince Kaleva awoke famished and thirsty on the hidden island’s sandy beach. Beyond the shore lay the roiling tempest which churned endlessly and obscured the seas beyond it. The remains of the Barufakir, impaled upon the reefs and shoals within the storm, were slowly slipping beneath the water. Though he combed the sands for survivors, Kaleva only found the broken bodies of his crew. No one else had survived. After foraging for food, he consigned his dead crewmen to the depths and built himself a small shelter.

By the end of the first week, Prince Kaleva realized that he was not alone on the island.

Shieldring Keep: Mission Brief

We’ve been asked by concerned citizens in Gorhart and Didenhill to suppress a potential ettin War party from forming. Seems the two-headed brutes can become a sizeable threat when organized.

As best we can tell, the ettin are flocking to four prominent Shaman who are calling for a war: they go by Duxtir, Ansir, Merog, and Sul. Taking out all of them should stop this movement before it truly starts.

Killing four ettin is a hard enough task. Having an army of the bastards between you and them is worse. But times are hard and we need the coin. There’s a good chance that you won’t all make it back. But that was the oath you took, and this is the job we have.

May the gods help you.

Journal of Tyr Magnus

Word from the Gambling den has it that Jokull has been buying up valuables off the deceased gladiators. He’s working some scheme, I can feel it. What does he want woth Arda’s Greaves? They’re finely crafted, but he’s not going to turn a profit by selling them to another gladiator. Jokull bears watching.

Journal of Tyr Magnus

Father’s greatsword, the Gentleman’s Favor, has been stolen. Presumably when the retainers brought his body back to the Gladiator Pit- I should feed them to the Fae in Alserund for this. No doubt the sword will surface in the black market at some point, to be bought by some grubby Gambling Den patron.

Journal of Tyr Magnus

The beast tamers deliver yet another Fae beast from the Hollows of Alserund; the afternoon exhibition will we splendid – and I am reminded once again of my ingenuity in establishing Valor Arena as a place of business. It was a battle to bribe the vendors into moving their enterprises and their families to the desert; and it was a long and arduous task to carve the road through Alswerund, but now my Arena is the jewel of Detyre. The resulting revenue is reaching staggering heights.

Journal of Tyr Magnus

I’ve sold Hroth Magnus’ breastplate to Thora Woolstring, who will undoubtedly re-sell it for some degree of profit. With that, I have digested myself of father’s possessions, save for this grand Arena, which will soon become as unfamiliar to him as the concept of financial stability.

Dusk in a Basawin Harem

It was the end, then. NO longer would she linger in her lewd indulgences. The war had come, and taken the men and the women from the city. So suddenly was her life empty of interest, that there was no life, no joy. Her lovers were gone, or buried. No foreigners offered their dalliances, no moans accompanied her lonely dusks.

And so, like so many others before her, she fled the the city and traveled to the famed Harem of Fogun Hral, where every second was sheer bliss.

Osa’s Art Of Love, Part I

“First, you must hold him firmly, but gently. Show tenderness in your approach, and you will receive it in kind as well. Do not hesitate, but let your passion for him guide you. He will be quick to answer you in kind, as you know that he is eager to finally be with you. He is a handsome lad, and should you wish, I could show you what I teach, demonstrate on his body as I have done on yours.”

She hesitated momentarily. A flush of wanton craving flooded her thoughts, and before she could consider otherwise, she consented.

“Very well. Let us go then. And should you wish to participate, remember that this is first and foremost for your instruction.”

Knights of Pleasure

It was carnal, unabashed revelry. The streets teemed with sweat and alleys rang with laughter. Sighs escaped from every corner of the festive celebration. It was there that Darven first saw him.

Broad and swarthy, with a shining smile and an impish glint, he enchanted his onlookers with a grace that belied his muscular frame. The supple movement of his walk, the booming, husky voice, and the natural warmth of youth exuded a pure, unadulterated sensuality. Darven could not look away. His gaze was arrested by this godlike man, and as if his body moved of its own accord, Darven approached the handsome stranger directly. The stranger looked upon Darven with his vivacious mien, and suddenly the two embraced. It was at first combative: an overwhelming strength enveloping both of them. Darven struggled with him in a lascivious grapple, but soon the sounds of the street resumed their sounds of debauchery.

The Petals of Susanrus

GALT.- “Why have you come? I was quite clear in my intentions. Another flies the flag of my affections. You are too late.”

SUSNARUS.- “I will never be too late. You are heat of the sun as it withers the leaf. I shiver alone.”

GALT.- “Then what are we to do?”

SUSNARUS.- “What choice is left to us, but to give our passions agency?”

GALT, seizing her by the shoulders and piercing her lips with the sharp blade of his flickering tongue.- “You do not know of what I am capable. This awakening, this magical fire, it has cracked me open as the volcano ruptures. I am aflame.”

SUSNARUS, falling before him.- “Then burn!”

Susnarus had no choice but to struggle beneath his hulking form, writhing as he held her close to his chest and passed his warmth between them.

Youthful Darlings of Depravity

Chapter IV

The girl faithfully obeyed her mistress’s instructions, and her Alfar master was so delighted that he hastened at once to impart this good news to his friend, who begged that, since he had been concerned in the bargain, he should partake of the pleasure. This being agreed to, and the hour being come, the Alfar master went to bed, as he supposed, with the servant; but the mistress had taken her place, and received him, not as a wife, but as a bashful and frightened Almain maid; and she played her part so well that he never suspected anything. I cannot tell you which of the two felt the greater satisfaction, he in belief that he was cheating his wife, or she in belief that she was cheating her husband.

The Thigh Diaries

…where he could hold her under the starlit sky, there, under the eaves of whispering trees, the soft loam beneath them, he could be hers, and she could be his. And for one night of a passionate embrace, they where together.

She would always remember his arms holding her gently, but with the strength of his desire for her; his firm, calloused fingers so lustfully gripping her waist, his sweat dripping onto hers and mingling in the rhythmic crush of their bodies. His breath falling on her shoulder carrying the heat of a devotion, his devotion for her.

The straps to her dress had long been torn asunder and discarded to the surrounding grass. When they first embraced, she thought only for a moment of her belongings. They were shed slowly with anticipation gripping her stomach like another one of his fingers.

Four hours, only the panting and sighs of love broke the silence of the dew-filled field. As they lay with each-other he caressed the contours of her body, and she felt every moment of his touch as a lifetime of ecstacy…

The Lustful Elf

Soon a bell sounded, a tin ring, and through the threshold paraded an ensemble of the most fabulous young varani maidens Amalur could produce. Their effect on me was quite magical, so much beauty in fellowship together I could not begin to fantasize. So magnificently graceful did they appear as they gleefully pranced into the chamber, heels flying, exhibiting the most lascivious inclinations. So ripe their forms, so pure was the sky blossom whiteness of their necks and faces, shaded by avalanche of brown and blonde hair, which waved in the light like chains of woven embereyes, falling in many ringlets over their beautifully curved shoulders, whilst their eyes, half hid in the nest of flowery lashes, glowed with a hot, blatant immorality, made them look like Helois descended from the sund throne, rather than anything of our weak human creation.

Quintessence of Debauchery

Oh Lucinde, how you danced before, resting all my endeavours to further my cause, claiming that you, who I knew to be an adventurous little thing, would not consent to such naughtiness with the lords of the court about, and if we did not behave better they would certainly catch sight of our playthings and drag us from the Lunar Gardens.

I then set forth that we should prepare the bath so as we might clean ourselves, dirty as we were. “First my tunic and my trousers, and then yours.” You simply smiled, dear Lucinde. “Then, at my word, we shall throw them from the balcony together.” You giggled, your sweet shame overshadowing your hunger for such a joyful tryst. But I overruled your ojections and stripped to my undergaments, crossing the balcony to commence unlacing your gown till nothing was left on you but the sweet covering that Lyria gave you, my lovely Lucinde.

Then, together, we let our vestments fly.

Della and Her Desire

Going that morning to my brother Aedwald’s chamber to rouse him for the evening prayer, on opening the door, I was perfectly amazed at the sight before me. There lay Aed on his bedroll, in the arms of the dokkalfar dancing girl, Della, a most dark and gingerly lass. When I entered the room my brother was lying beside Della, clasping her tightly in his arms and moaning, and from the motions of their bodies, I perceived that they were taking part in an activity that was altogether satisfactor; and so focused, and engrossed were they, with this licentious affair, that they did not even notice my presence.

I cleared me throat in the small of the room, but the noises of employment drowned out my timid attempt at engagement. Who was this swarthy, zestful lad, and what had he done with my brother?

Are you Sworn to War?

For all those skilled in the weapons of war, or adept in the strategy of warfare, there is a place for you. Bring this letter to the nearest Warsworn Keep, and find the honor, glory, fame, and riches known only to the members of this mighty company. Become sworn to war, and discover your true greatness.

The Warsworn Order

Well Progress Log

Experiments are now successfully recreating bodies 97.5% of the time – any missing limbs or extra fingers are now probably how the original subject looked, rather than a magical flux on our end. However, full revivification still eludes us. Even with increased testing, products are nothing more than inert lumps of skin and bone – although the occasional spasm or twitch does allow hope of full success in the future.

I know some of you complain that we should use cadavers and skip the corpse recreation altogether, but you must know we’d never be allowed to experiment with a subject’s actual body. We may be working to recreate life, but that hardly allows us to desecrate the dead. Any further complaints can be brought to me directly.

-Fomorous Hugues

The Talisman of Fate

Later, the body of Lord Ohn was discovered, dead, naked, stripped of his potent enchanted armor and weapons. Lord Ysa survived the battle, only to die a few days later after declaring victory in the Gardens of the Seelie, which were later named the Garden of Ysa. Before his death, Lord Ysa ordered the plains searched for the page and the Talisman of Fate, but neither were ever found.

Zefwyn’s Log

Alfar Warship III

This wreck was in pieces, hard to tell it was even a ship once. The captain was still alive, at least for a bit. Apparently they were on leave from Mel Senshir, headed back to Rathir. They never made it back, but at least they won’t have to fight anymore.

Red Legion Sloop II

The Red Legion aren’t the feared pirates they once were, but they still frequent the Frostbreak Sea. It appears this one had been attacked by a Dvergan Raider, as the wood was scorched by dwarven fire. There were no survivors.

Marsariol Circus Ship I

I’d only seen these ships in person as a boy, but for some reason this circus ship wandered this far north. The bright colors painted onto its wood gave it away. There were no survivors, but there was a case of wine, which I’ve hidden safely away for future use.

Gnomish Trireme II

Another scholar ship washed ashore. Whatever they were hoping to research will just have to remain a mystery a little bit longer. I found piles upon piles of notes and books, but nothing valuable. I’ve been using the paper to keep my fire going these last few nights.

Almain Sojourner I

When i found the wreck there were a dozen survivors, but Dead Kel got the jump on me. I narrowly escaped with my life, but can’t say the same for the settlers.

Arcane Carrack I

It’s always a bit dangerous sifting through the wreck of a mage ship. Magical traps abound. Fortunately I didn’t lose any fingers, and I did manage to find a nice wand. I think I’ll see if I can’t trade it to someone in Cape Solace for something more useful.

Dvergan Raider III

This wreck had actually been here quite awhile. Might even have been around from the time the Dverga settled the island. Plenty of seasteel aboard, which I can give to Paddy in case he ever does manage to reclaim that keep.

documents part 2

Imperial Dreams EvilElitest