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Netheril : Age of Magic

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Author Topic: The Library  (Read 13239 times)

Rainman

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Re: The Library
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2018, 09:49:02 am »
The Birth of the Outer Ring

Spoiler



The Birth of the Outer Ring

While natural life as it is commonly known exists solely within the cluster of inner worlds protected by its sphere of elemental chaos, it is not the only place of habitable worlds. The outer ring of this dimension bears limitless realms divided into sector clusters. In these regions the natural laws pertinent to the inner worlds fail to exist. Among the outer ring thought and reality are often one and the same and intelligence is elevated to an entirely different plateau.

When the multiverse of this dimension was formed it was originally barren. A realm of unshaped thought in dreamlike transience awaiting minds to shape it. Lacking of complete existence it was without matter until passing friction briefly sparking against another dimension. With it the barren reality became spawned and populated with lifeless realms and uncountable celestial bodies. Energy was introduced and in chaotic flux, but with it came the first consciousness from a dimension beyond.

What more primitive arcanists describe as the 'seed of evil' which spawned the Abyss, the first of the cosmic sectors to rise into formation, was torn fragments of conscious thought from beyond. These thoughts became self-aware and began to shape the balance of the dimension in the formation of its first realmsector. As thought grew so too did it spawn consciousness from matter and the first of the Obyrinth were brought into being as the first lifeforms of this dimension.

Not a native aspect of their resident dimension the Obyrinth were unable to settle, yet they did still. In some examples the dimensional interference was so severe that native features (and later beings) would cease to exist if in proximity to the Obyrinth. The most popular example is the consciousness known as Pale Night whose being is in such stark rejection of reality that if unshrouded it may unmake the dimension around it. As the Obyrinth grew and adapted to this realmsector they chose to inhabit the natural energies released from the sudden injection of matter began to stabilize, forming other worlds along the outer ring and congregating to the inner sphere.

The first thoughts, the 'seeds of evil', began to explore the new dimension they had come to inhabit. Their growing minds were expanding each in different directions. It is so that they each came to inhabit 16 different realmsectors across the outer regions of the dimension, creating multitudes of verses within each. Each consciousness began to develop their own lifeforms and worlds developed impacted by their psycic presence. In time the realmsectors would become populated enough that the edge of thought between each would bear friction, and with friction conflict. All 16 realmsectors would develop tangible barriers blocking away the unique thought patterns of their realm from the neighbors beside, thus segmenting the entirety of the Outer Ring.

The elemental energies spawned from the sudden explosion of matter and thought had by now interlaced into a complex balance of power which proved hostile to the first thoughts. Their creations however, native born beings of the newly populated dimension, were more resilient. While the inner world contents remained a mystery it was soon discovered that an alien, aberrant form of thought had developed within this region. Native to the dimension these thoughts were the first of their kind, and they were numerous, queer, and completely unknown. The 16 creator consciousnesses coveted them to assimilate into their web and began to compete for the new power source of fresh minds.

Complete war began to rage as the Outer Ring churned in violence of competition. Creatures spawned of them would seek ways to journey to the inner worlds and spread the influence of their creator thoughts by their presence. They would seek to shape and mold minds to the thought-patterns of their creators. The alien beings would in their own curiosity for knowledge travel too to the Outer Ring and note its utterly foreign topography and mentally morphic properties, though few would know why.

To learn of the Outer Ring it must be known, not understood, that it is a place not fully material. The worlds of this ring are equal part thought as matter, imbued with the consciousness from beyond which dictates the rules of existence within their realmsector. At the edge of reality their morphic nature is incomprehensible to inner world beings, though possible by the more powerful when visiting a realmsector of a consciousness similar to their own. It must be known that the air, the soil, the creatures and all matter and immater itself in these places are all thread as parts of one single consciousness of one of the minds which first aligned the Outer Ring, whose thought-waves continue to exist through their manifest creation.

It is theorized that destroying the barrier between two realmsectors would create an imbalance in the Outer Ring. The merging of two thoughts, as potent as they come, might create an imbalance that would eventually lead to the destabilization of the fragile ring and set the multiverse into a clashing spiral. Other theories state that the Outer Ring itself is growing at a continual rate and perpetually expanding and may at some point drift too far to feed from the inner worlds, forcing a new development in the mental alignments.

The only beings which remain with knowledge from the first thoughts of creation are the Obyrinth, of which few remain and are destined to loss. Any knowledge of the first thoughts of the dimension we live in must rest with them, and they exist only within the Abyss- a realmspace which rejects and actively battles the oppression of the dimension it had first invaded and occupied.


Composed by Valistrae Torina'issa
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 10:28:16 am by Rainman »
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Re: The Library
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2018, 10:02:54 am »
Metals and Alloys

Spoiler

Iron.

Iron is often regarded as the most basic of metals. Indeed, this metal is found most often and is loved by smelters and smiths for simplicity of processing, strength and ease of making alloys.

Iron ore can differ significantly. The quantity and composition of impurities can easily determine the place of extraction of iron ore and significantly affect the price, as well as priceless for geological exploration. For example… The region around the Hadrian is unique in that the quality and composition of the ore found in it is approximately the same even in places of extraction with considerable distance from each other. Along with the formations of the lava cave, a shallow bedding of valuable ores and precious stones to the surface, and the close proximity of the passages to Underdark, this indicates a geological anomaly. Perhaps it is caused by a small thickness of a tectonic plate in this region, or points to its volcanic origin or a destructive earthquakes in the past. Of course, I'm not a professional geologist and my knowledge is derived from the general dwarven education and training courses of my order. Nevertheless, they are sufficient for basic analysis and geological exploration. For further study you need a specialist.

Iron ore also has a unique ability to retain energies, including planar ones. Many attribute this property to magnetism, but research in this area is still underway. Unfortunately, I would not be able to disclose their results even if I had this knowledge. Curious is the fact that planetouched iron subjected to processing preserves and even enhances the qualities obtained. But previously processed can not acquire them naturally and is only amenable to enchantment. The most striking example is the shadow iron that is common in this region, but other varieties exist. Despite the ease with which iron can be turned into alloys, this does not apply to the planetouched ore. The purity of the metal is extremely important for the retention of unusual qualities and any of its violations can lead to their loss or even cause harmful effects due to the energy outburst.

It is a mistake to assume that iron does not possess miraculous properties by itself. Processed at low temperatures, it retains quality unpleasant and even destructive for creatures of Fey origin and is called "Cold Iron". Unfortunately, such a blade is hardly suitable for long-term use as the main weapon.

Speaking of alloys. Most iron alloys are called steel. Some steel is not afraid of rust, some better hold the cutting edge, or more flexible. There is no ideal steel, it's all matter of purpose. In fact, most of the so-called iron weapons produced in the surrounding lands to some extent is steel. Otherwise, it would be barely fit for long heated battle. Among steel, of course, there are no stronger varieties than dwarven. Almost every clan has its own secrets of steel making and their features are different. For example - darksteel, extremely hard steel only produced by the clan Ironstar. If you have an opportunity to buy genuine darksteel weapon from an Ironstar dwarf, well… don’t think twice.

Truly, iron is wondrous metal, often underappreciated.


Arandur.

Knowledgeable dwarf can not talk about steel and not mention arandur. True, this metal is almost unknown to other races and is rare, but its existence is not a secret. Raised from the lava depths, it is found only in igneous rock. Blue-green streaked metal, it turns silver-blue after processing. Arandur by its qualities resembles steel. Not afraid of rust, moderately flexible, but its main feature is the retaining cutting edge. As if this metal becomes stronger becoming thinner. Arandur weapons is rare but fully deserve to be called “Keen”. Rare adventurers become happy owners of such weapons, and they wonder why they do not have to sharpen it. Because it’s not steel, lads and lasses.


Bronze.

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. Copper itself mostly used for coins, but bronze has much more practical applications. It is even easier to process than iron, so it serves as a material for household items and furniture. Its color pleases the eye, it looks good with wood and over the years is covered with a noble patina that only add to the item value. Less well-known use of bronze is to cover the steel tools with a thin layer of it. This prevents sparks, reducing the threat of fire in dry places or places with explosive gas emissions.


Silver.

Not much can be said about silver, as this metal is widely known and everyone has to deal with it. Appreciated for its beauty, it’s also known to be harmful for shapechangers like werebeasts and for vampyres. Maybe there’s more creatures vulnerable to silver, who knows? Of course, do not expect that your enemy will crumble to dust from one touch to a silver necklace. Correctly made weapons and armor of silver, that's what can give you an advantage. Silver holds well the enchantments, especially those that protect against electricity (everyone seen amulets that protect you from electricity, very practical item to have). Under the influence of strong enchantment, silver becomes stronger and not much inferior to steel.
The so-called alchemical silver is the way to put silver on steel. Thus, we get a weapon that is destructive for some beings without extremely expensive enchantments to increase the strength of silver.

As a side note, use garlic in battle with a vampire, for a short time it will make it difficult for the monster to evade your attacks. Belladonna leaves will help you to avoid werewolf attacks much easier for a short time.


Electrum.

Electrum is a naturally occurring silver-gold alloy that usually worth half the price of equal piece of pure gold. Not much can be said about it except that electrum-plated steel is used to produce Storm Stars. Invention of Netheril empire, these morning stars allow user to hurl lightning at his enemies. Unfortunately those items is very rare and I do not know who has the secret of their creation.


Gold.

Gold is loved by everyone. Soft and easy to shape. One can judge the welfare of a region  that stamping it’s own gold coins through calculating the content of pure gold in them. In addition to its undoubted economic utility, gold is widely used in jewelry and alchemy. A vessel of gold, albeit expensive, can hold acid without fear of being shattered. Enchanters love gold for its unprecedented ability to hold spells, especially protecting against acid and fire. Most of the magic jewelry is made of gold. There are even armor made of enchanted gold. Enchantments on them are powerful, but the cost and, most importantly, the weight of such armor make it hardly practical for a warrior.


Platinum.

Platinum is costly silver-like metal sometimes used as a currency to reduce the weight of gold in large transactions. From platinum, jewelry for the nobility is often made. The remaining qualities of platinum hardly deserve to be remembered, since other metals exceed it in certain properties at a much lower cost.


Mithral.

Mithral (or Mithril) is favorite of elves and armored spellcasters. Lighter than other metals, while maintaining strength and flexibility. Cleaner than even silver and platinum. Mithral ore is rare, but easily distinguishable as this metal naturally tends to purity and almost does not contain defects. The smelting of mithral is not much different from the smelting of steel, although the temperature of the smelter should be higher than usual. The real difficulty lies in its forging. This metal remembers its previous form and seeks to return to it until you "persuade" it to keep the new form. In other words, you need to apply the right amount of force to the right parts of the workpiece while you keep it hot, for a long time. It is painful to admit, but in the mithril forging, the elves have reached great heights than dwarves. Do not get it wrong, we are able to make many products from this metal. Just elves make them thinner and somehow manage to apply a pattern to them.
Some bards believe that a mixture of mithril and steel can create adamantine. The only thing you can achieve in this way is to make the dwarven blacksmith laugh before losing consciousness.


Adamantium.

Adamantium is a tricky beast. Adamantium is correct name since adamantine is the name of alloy. But since the difference is not obvious, it's easier to just use both names as you like and just clarify whether you're talking about a pure metal or alloy.

Adamantium ore can be found only in places of combined geological and magical anomaly known as earth nodes. Similar anomalies of a different nature exist in the underdark. I do not know their names, but the vile drows use them to protect themselves from magical influence from outside, which greatly complicates the battles. Rarely you can find small quantities of metal in the meteorites. For those who have not received special training it is extremely difficult to distinguish adamantium from ordinary stone.

Adamantium ore is hard to process since when it reaches a certain extremely high temperature, it very quickly passes into a liquid state and also freezes as quickly. The task is complicated by the fact that this ore contains a lot of impurities with a close melting point. If you fail to divide them, then the processed batch of ore will be simply ruined. Masters alchemists are able to process this metal in small quantities. Drow handle it in large quantities, but their methods are imperfect and they support the quality of metal with their foul magic. Such items is not very valuable since they will degrade under the sunlight. You can process a large number of high quality ingots only in specially equipped dwarven smelteries, which are rare even in the dwarven mainland since ore itself is found not so often.

Adamantine is an alloy of adamantium that looks jet-black but have a green sheen under the light produced by natural fire, or purple-white sheen under the magical light. Using this property to distinguish authentic adamantine from forgery. Adamantine is known for its strength and ability to remain undamaged under horrendous strikes. Adamantine weapons are equal to enchanted weapons and therefore able to penetrate through some kinds of magic shields. From here went the manner of comparing the fists of the most experienced monks to adamantine.

Many people consider adamantine to be the strongest of metals. This is a mistake, and I will write about the next metal to dispel this myth. Obdurium is a pale violet metal which is harder than even adamantine. This incredibly rare metal represents the pinnacle of non-magical metal strength. It is also extraordinarily expensive. I will be honest with you, I have never seen a product from this metal in my life, since it is stored in the most intimate dwarven treasures. I've heard of humans with a couple of items made from obdurium, but I do not know whether this is a simple rumor or truth.

Star Metal.

Very rare and incredibly expensive, this metal is not found in the bowels of the earth. No, the only way to find it is to find a fallen meteorite, which is not necessarily will be composed of the star metal. When falling most of the metal burns out, so the pieces usually reach the ground in size not larger than the thumb. Among already rare star metal meteorites, pieces of the size of a fist are even rarer, and those that are the size of a head can be counted on the finger of one hand and entered legends. Fortunately, its main application (not counting the jewelry) is the addition in small quantities to common metals. Star metal improves the quality of almost any alloy, its strength, sharpness, flexibility and the ability to keep the enchantment. High-ranking officers, champions and nobles sometimes possess such a weapon since its price is much higher than usual.


Of course, there are many other less well-known metals and alloys that I would like to talk about. But this booklet is brief and is devoted only to the metals and alloys that most of you, with some degree of probability, will use or discuss.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 10:09:12 am by Rainman »
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Re: The Library
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2018, 10:11:41 am »
Moral Dilemmas (Part 1)

Spoiler
Moral Dilemmas (Part 1)

By Celebrithrade Dedralein

***

The following is the first book in a series penned by Celebrithrade Dedralein, Loremaster and Cultural Protector of the Tel Quessir. In her writing, she discusses her views on morality in today’s ever-evolving world, as well as dissecting some moral decisions that she has faced during her many travels.

***

I should first start off by saying by saying that the thoughts that I write within these pages are purely my own, and they are by no means gospel. I am a mere mortal, just as anyone else is who may be reading this, and so I won’t pretend to be perfect or all-knowing. These are just what I have come to think and see during my short 100 year life.

Now that I’ve disclosed a bit of myself, I would next like to explain my -general- view on morality and moral dilemmas before I get into a specific scenario.

In my opinion, morality is subjective. That is to say there is no “true” moral compass that exists that can serve as a guide to all peoples due to our inherent differences in nature and cultural practices. This idea is perpetuated due to the differences between the different races and even the sub groups within said races. What is morally acceptable for an elf is quite different than what is morally acceptable in human society.

Take for example the issue of slavery. In the Tel-Quessir Empire, slavery would be considered a heinous act and as such would never be tolerated. The thought of coercing and threatening another living creature to do your bidding against your will for their entire life goes against many of our core values. This is because we, as elves, place a high importance on the values of harmony, freedom, and other such things.

In human society, however, slavery is widely accepted. This is because humans, as ambitious species, place a high importance on driving their production, war efforts, and furthering their own power. Even though most humans would likely find the act of enslaving the other to be of questionable moral ground, they tolerate it because, in their minds, the end result of furthering their power vis-a-vis their adversaries is worth the potential sorrow and pain experienced by their slaves.

There are many other areas of morality that different peoples disagree on, some far more complex than the example I gave, but I believe this is example is adequate enough for now. However, there is another topic I wish to discuss before I detail my own experiences, and that is the question of whether moral values must remain as -absolute- pillars within a society, or if they are -arbitrary- standards that may be changed from one situation to the next.

If we return to the view of elven slavery, we can see there is a bit of room for discussion here as well. While some might argue that slavery, in every instance, is wrong and must not be practiced, there are others who would say “well, in -some- cases, slavery may be a necessary evil to accomplish a greater good.” One such situation could be interrogating information out of an orc captive. Some elves would view that such practices are evil and should not be practiced, and others would say that due to the orc being an enemy and unfit to receive normal rights deemed worthy by the elves, then using evil tactics on the prisoner is justifiable in the name of greater good.

I could talk in circles on these subjects for some time, but I will refrain from doing so. They are merely present in my writing here to give general examples of my scenarios to come.

So, then I suppose I should give my first moral dilemma and how I faced it, no?

As those who know me well may have realized, I pride myself on doing good things for people. I make every effort I can to assist those that need my help, no matter how big or small the problem. And no matter how unworthy someone may seem, I will always give at least one chance for redemption. I’m the type of person who would rather be harmed by being too trusting than harming others by being untrusting, if that makes sense. Though, I will say that my patience for such things has grown shorter as time goes on…

At any rate, my first great moral dilemma came on my very first adventure outside of Nualla’n. A group of giants had just attacked Hadrian, and the many adventurers of the town set out to attack them where they lived. I got wrapped up in the situation one way or another, and decided to accompany them and aid them in any way I could. Which, at the time, was solely through my healing magics and inspirational voice.

As we pressed inward toward the giant’s throne room, the fighting became more and more fierce. However, one warrior in particular, Sir Kroznaks of the Swords of the Lady, continued to preach camaraderie and standing together to face the threats. His effort was quite admirable, both in terms of his leadership, as well as his fighting prowess.

However, when it came down to it, his words were not enough to persuade the others to follow his lead.

During the battle in the throne room, many were killed… Myself included. The fact that I’m alive again to write this is quite miraculous indeed. There were 11 of us who died that day, and just as many who were barely able to escape to regroup and make one last desperate attempt to finish off the enemy.

As I lay dying, I felt as if I was moving toward a place I don’t know, like I was floating in an endless sea of black. But while I was in this space, a sinister force reached out to me from the great beyond… It promised to return me to life, as well as give me power, wealth, and fame that I could have never dreamed of otherwise. The only condition that the being asked was that I turn on those who were coming to rescue me.

As such, I was faced with my great first moral dilemma… Should I accept this offer, or not? Keep in mind again that I seek to do the most good that I can, as my primary objective.

Obviously, I would have no such opportunities to do anything good whilst dead. Should I be able to return to life, I would once again have the ability to give my help to others, and may very well be better equipped to do so, if what the entity offered was true.

However… accepting such a deal from one who was so evil I could feel it from his very words was likely to be more complicated than it would seem. There would be almost nothing from stopping the entity from changing the terms of the agreement to fit his will as soon as I became willing.

Furthermore, turning on those that were willing to fight and die alongside me… Such an evil act would not be justifiable in my mind. While some acts can be partaken in without changing your character, an act of such betrayal with murderous intent would have no doubt changed the very core of my being. So, even with the threat of being unable to do more good whilst dead, there now existed the threat that I would become tainted and evil, and would therefore be a net detriment to the side of good.

And so I, like the 10 others, had to make the choice: return to life under the being’s conditions, or remain dead. My answer was quick: I denied this offer.

But… I was the only one.

The other 10 each accepted. The evil entity, frustrated at my adamant refusal, saw it fit to punish me beyond suffering in death… It made me watch as the betrayers turned on the rescuers who came for them. In my 100 year existence, that was the most tragic and saddening event I had ever witnessed. To see that 10 others so quickly betrayed their friends… It was an eye opening experience.

The rescuers defeated them, of course. Some were killed, others were disarmed and allowed to leave… But the emotional damage still lingers to this day.

As for me, I was revived in another manner… A divine entity took pity on me, and rewarded me for my devotion to serving the principles of good, under the condition that I continue to bring him and my people honor and glory.

So, even though I seemingly only had -one- option available to return to life, I refused to give in to despair and desperation, and another path revealed itself to me. My point is this: even in situations where it would seem you only have -one- option, or two bad options, you need not make the choice in that instance. Perhaps, if you try hard enough, another, better option will make itself available. Beware of the so called -deals- you are offered… for those that offer them likely only do so knowing there will be no way you can escape them.
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Re: The Library
« Reply #18 on: July 15, 2018, 10:15:09 am »
THE ENCHANTED QUILL

Spoiler
THE ENCHANTED QUILL

An elven man on horseback fell fast asleep while riding, and so his horse began grazing in a meadow. A crow flew down from a tree and pecked the horse so that it reared up suddenly and woke the rider up. "Why did you peck at my horse?" the rider asked angrily.

"So that you would finally wake up!" the crow said. "You've been asleep for three years now!" The rider looked at his surroundings, which were quite different than he remembered, and realized that the crow had spoken the truth.

"Tell me, how can I thank you?"

"By giving me one of your three sisters in marriage. Take this picture of me with you." The crow gave the rider a portrait of himself and flew off into the distance. The rider could feel a curious magic from within this portrait, but to repay his debt, the held onto it as he ventured back home.

When the man returned home on horseback, he told his sisters about the crow and its request, and then he showed them the portrait of the bird. The eldest of the three sisters wrinkled her nose, the second shrieked, "No way!" and the youngest just blushed. She took the portrait and went to her room.

The next day a splendid carriage drawn by four horses appeared. The sisters were filled with curiosity, for they imagined a noble might be calling, and they raced to the door. A black crow stepped out of the carriage, and two of the sisters went right back in the house. Only the youngest of the three invited him in. Still, the crow asked all three sisters to visit his manor.

Together they traveled through a dark, gloomy forest. They were all convinced that they must be traveling on the road to the underdark. After a while it grew light, and the path took them through a forest of blossom trees and then on to a beautiful castle. The crow said to the two sisters: "Just watch out, and don't get too curious about things." The two sisters tiptoed toward the door and peeked through the keyhole. They saw a handsome young man sitting at a table, having a cozy conversation with their sister.

All at once, everything changed: The castle and the carriage disappeared, and the three young women were standing under a fir tree. The crow was up in the branches, scolding them: "Now only the youngest can save me. She must walk to the city in rags and accept whatever work she is offered."

And so the youngest walked to the city in rags and was about to be turned back by the constable when a tailor appeared to ask if she could do some cooking and cleaning for the prince living there. She assured the tailor, somewhat haltingly, that she could do all those things, and he walked over with her to the place where she would be employed.

Before long it became obvious that she had none of the skills she claimed to have. The food was constantly burned; the silver was dirtier than ever. Gardeners, huntsmen, and servants all made fun of her, insulting her and calling her names. She wept bitter tears. Suddenly the crow appeared at the window, turned his wing to her, and said: "Pull out one of my feathers, and if you use it to write down a wish, the wish will come true." With a heavy heart she pulled a feather out. Before the noonday meal, she wrote down the names of the very finest dishes with the quill. The food appeared on the table in bowls that sparkled and glowed.

The prince and the princess were thrilled, and the servant girl was given beautiful garments to wear. She had such an exquisite face and figure that the caretaker was soon enamored of her and wanted her to be his. He tiptoed to her room and peeked in. When she didn't order him to leave, he ran over to her. "Shut the door!" she said. And just as he was turning around, she wrote with her quill: "Let him spend all night opening and closing the door." And that is exactly what happened. In the morning the caretaker, deeply humiliated, could be seen slinking away.

The next evening the huntsman came to the girl's room while she was lying in bed. He bent over to take his boots off. She wrote: "Let him spend all night taking his boots off and putting them back on." And that's exactly what he did. At daybreak, he left in a huff. On the third morning one of the servants appeared. He had a strange neck, twisted from constantly watching doves, and the fool looked deep into her eyes. While he was asking for her favors, he suddenly remembered that he had left the door to the dovecote open and asked if he could go back to close it. The girl nodded with a laugh and wrote down the words: "Let him spend all night opening and closing the door to the dovecote."

That's how she got the suitors off her back. But they were determined to have their revenge, and they made three whips that they planned to use on the cook. When she caught on, she wrote down the following words: "Let them whip each other with those devilish switches!" And that's exactly what happened. The prince and the princess tried to help them, but they ended up receiving more lashes than anyone else.

The time had come. The crow arrived, and now he had turned into a prince. He rode with the beautiful cook to his magnificent castle they lived happily ever after.
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Re: The Library
« Reply #19 on: July 15, 2018, 10:19:16 am »
Snake Queen

Spoiler

**The following is a compilation of poems written by admirers of a certain Elven Woman… whom they now refer to as the “Snake Queen”**

Oh majesty
my queen
chain breaker
Demon Slayer
Oh Corellon almighty
give her strength
give her power
let her shine brighter
Our lovely
Queen of Snakes

***

The beautiful Snake Queen
Graceful, misunderstood, too often
unseen
She lacks vanity although she is
pure perfection
She slithers across the room
Regal in her being
The most beautiful mark upon this land
The beautiful Snake Queen displays
strength.
perseverance.
class.
When you lay your eyes upon her you will
know that you are in the presence of royalty
Of greatness
The beautiful Snake Queen is art
Flawless and everlasting
She...she is forever

***

As I first laid eyes upon her. I realized I was in the presence of a queen. Her very essence sent a surge through my spine godly enough for her royalty.   And as I learned to walk as a knight
As I learned to talk as a knight
As I learned to act like a knight.
The Snake Queen’s gaze never broke that of the ceaseless horizon
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Re: The Library
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2018, 10:22:06 am »
The Founding of Nualla’n

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The Founding of Nualla’n
Celebrithrade Dedralein
** Written in Elvish **

It has come to my attention that up to this point, no written history exists explicitly outlining the founding of the great city of Nualla’n. This is likely due to the humble beginnings of the city, as well as the perceived “unimportance” of the city’s rise at the time of the decline of the elven kingdoms and empires of old. There is, however, an extensive oral history that has been passed down by the oldest families of the city,

Nualla’n, in its inception, was not designed to be a grand city as it now stands today. Rather, it was established by a small colony of moon elves from the kingdom of Orishaar, near the border with the sun elves of Aryvandaar, and also not far from the border with the dark elf kingdom of Ilythiir.

The location was initially chosen by the moon elves due to the luscious forestry that surrounded the small lake and its many waterfalls. For a long time, this little place didn’t have an official name… In time, more travellers from the other two kingdoms would happen upon this small village. Some would leave and tell others about this wonderful little spot of paradise, while others would stay there entirely. With such a mixture of the elven races, which to this point mostly kept to their own respective kingdoms, a name was finally given: Nualla’n, the city of the elves, for even though it belonged to the kingdom of Orishaar, it was still considered a place that was accepting of all the elven races.

The village would continue to grow into a town, and then eventually into a city as the years continued on. Eventually, it became a city that was known far and wide throughout elvenkind. At least, until the start of the Crown Wars.

Even during these periods of conflict between the kingdoms of the elves, Nualla’n saw naught of battle or bloodshed. The armies of the respective kingdoms considered Nualla’n a safe haven of sorts, and it was taboo to venture close to it with an army. Or rather, this belief held true for a few thousand years, until the bloodshed of the Fourth Crown War.

It was in this war that the armies of Aryvandaar and Orishaar, growing increasingly desperate against the might of Ilythiir, were forced into occupying the city with what forces they had left. The situation was becoming quite dire… If a drastic plan wasn’t put forth, then they may very well find themselves in a situation with no prospect of victory.

It was here that Lillian Dedralein, youngest daughter of the Dedralein family, assisted Corellon with the famous “Ritual of Banishment” by sacrificing herself to be a conduit for his power. The ritual was meant to only banish the army of Ilythiir to the underdark… However, the result ended with the kingdom of Ilythiir being banished to the underdark instead, thus bringing an end to the Fourth Crown War.

And so Nualla’n once again found itself returned to its tranquil state… And as years passed and two more Crown Wars began and ended, the elves found themselves fallen from their past glory, all but destroying what semblance of empire they had. The races that used to make up elvenkind were no more; the elves of sun, moon, dark, sylvan, and others, either left the Eastern Forest for faraway lands, the Isle of Evermeet, or migrated away from Faerun to go to the Celestial Sea…

The elves that remained, however, would eventually rise again over time. The new breed of elf, far more mixed than their ancestors, would need a place that would be a common and accepted seat of power. And what better place than the city of Nualla’n, the place always known to be a home to all kinds of elves to be the birthplace and centerpiece of the new Tel-Quessir empire?
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Re: The Library
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2018, 10:46:55 am »
An Enchanting Encounter

Spoiler

From Celebrithrade Dedralein
In Elvish

***
For many years, almost as long as I can remember, I have always gone and sung to the flowers in the grove near Nualla’n. Though I first did so out of pure enjoyment as I frolicked through the fields, as I became older and more gifted, I couldn’t help but feel that they were… Reacting. They would shake and curl in a most delightful manner, as if they themselves were dancing to my tunes.

Years after I took note of this change, I also began to notice that they were growing more abundantly, and much more vibrantly than they had before. Some of that was no doubt due to the guardians of the forest providing for their well being, but I couldn't help but feel a small sense of pride in myself, like a mother who has coddled her young and watched them grow to new heights of beauty.

And so I continued to sing, and sing and sing… And they danced with me…

Until just last night.

I was out near my favorite spot in the whole world… For weeks, I had felt a wide array of emotions, from stress to relieved, hope to despair, among many others. No matter what I’m feeling though, this place always soothes me in a way that nowhere else can. I feel calm, clear of mind, and focused.

And so I went there, after having been through one of the most terrifying ordeals of my life… Finally, a small chance at relaxation, a time for me to finish my secret project. I gathered my materials and set them out on the table, ready to get to work. It was a daunting task, but one that I was very much forward to work on.

However… I didn’t even get started.

As I looked up from my piles of materials, I noticed a most stunning sight… A beautiful Dryad, barely clothed by leaves. Her body radiated an aura from a body that had to have been handcrafted by the gods themselves, for I have never seen such wonderful and awesome sight before. She stood there, watching me curiously…

“I have been watching you, beautiful elf girl.”
« Last Edit: July 15, 2018, 10:50:42 am by Rainman »
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Re: The Library
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2018, 10:50:23 am »
The Little Elf Girl

Spoiler
Celebrithrade Dedralein
*In Elvish*

***
The following is a folk tale that has been passed down in my family for generations. While my family normally devotes ourselves to only puting “critical” facets of our lore into writing, I find it desirable to add this to our written collection as well. This was my favorite bedtime story to hear from my mother before bed...

***

The story begins a long, long time ago with a young elf girl sitting underneath a blossom tree atop the hill overlooking her home. One day, this girl spotted a small azul fairy nearby, unable to fly due to an injured wing.

"What's your name, little one? Are you lost?" the girl asked the fairy.

"I'm called Aquaglow, and I'm waiting for my mommy. She's coming for me from up there!" said the fairy as it motioned up toward starlit sky.

"Why don’t I wait with you?" the little elf girl asked Aquaglow. “That way, neither of us will be lonely.”

At nightfall, the little elf girl brought out the quilt her mother made her and gazed into the sky by the fairy’s side. They watched and scanned, but they saw out of the ordinary. Minutes turned into hours, hours turned into days, but still the sky revealed nothing.

Finally, the little girl sighed and turned to Aquaglow, "If we stay out here much longer, my family is going to start getting suspicious." She furrowed her brow as she pondered a new plan. "Why don't we go out and find your mommy ourselves?"

Aquaglow was pleased by the idea, and so he and the little elf girl set off into the depths of the forest under the starry sky.

Days passed with no sight of the fairy’s mother. Instead, trees extended for as far as the eye could see, making it near impossible to get a glimpse of the sky. "If I had known it was going to take this long, I would have packed more food," said the little elf girl, above the rumble of her belly.


At this, Aquaglow burst into a fit of laughter as the girl began to pout. "As long as I have Fae Dust, I'll be fine," said Aquaglow. "Would you like some? It’s veeeeery tasty!"
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Re: The Library
« Reply #23 on: July 16, 2018, 12:37:30 am »
Ballad of Skaarbrand’s Folly

Spoiler
Ballad of Skaarbrand’s Folly
By Celebrithrade Dedralein

Far beyond the plains, and O’er the many hills,
Howl, howl the battle cry of Skaarbrand!
Their motto was revenge - “our kin we shall avenge!”
Howl, howl the battle cry of Skaarbrand!
Call forth the demons! Summoned from abyss!
Down with the humans, dwarves and Tel-Quessir!
We’ll rally ‘round Skaarbrand, we’ll rally to the end,
Howl, howl the battle cry of Skaarbrand!

They then went forth, summoned their many allies,
Shout, shout the allies of the Fire Paw!
Their motto was resistance - “To humans we’ll not yield!”
Shout, shout the allies of the Fire Paw!
Fight them in life! Feed them in death!
Down with the humans, dwarves and Tel-Quessir!
We’ll rally ‘round Skaarbrand, we’ll rally to the end,
Shout, shout the allies of the Fire Paw!

They cut down the farmers, their mothers and their kids,
Scream, scream the victims of the Fire Paw!
Their motto was despair - “we must abandon all our hope”
Scream, scream the victims of the Fire Paw!
Feeding the bloodlust, and demons of abyss
Doomed to oblivion, their souls fo’er amiss,
Will no one save us? Will no one come to aid?
Scream, scream the victims of the Fire Paw!

Hearing their pleas, feeling their rage,
Charge, charge the adventurers of Hadrian!
Their motto was muddled - for all seemed to disagree,
Charge, charge the adventurers of Hadrian!
Fighting disjointed, efforts thrown in chaos,
Cooperation became a second thought
I know what’s best! How dare you doubt me!
Charge, charge the adventurers of Hadrian!

For many days passed, the continued blood shed,
Shout, shout the allies of Fire Paw!
Their motto was slaughter - “Our demons we shall feed!”
Shout, shout the allies of Fire Paw!
Stronger they grew, the demons and their crimes
Though the worse it became, the more united their enemy
Will nobody stop us? Our victory is assured!
Shout, shout the allies of Fire Paw!

Too many victims, too many sins,
Sing, sing the Loremaster of Tel-Quessir
Her motto was judgement - “They’ll pay for each their sins”
Sing, sing the Loremaster of Tel-Quessir
Raiding the monsters, leading the charge,
Hoping to spark an allied front
We must not falter! We shall not yield!
Sing, sing the Loremaster of Tel-Quessir.

Powering the wards, expelling their magics,
Cast, cast the wizards of the Guild
Their motto was knowledge - “We’ll uncover their secrets”
Cast, cast the wizards of the Guild
Quietly they stood, quietly they watched
Aiding their allies, with enchantments and more spells
Learning their enemies peculiar use of rites
Cast, cast the wizards of the Guild

Construct the outposts, man our stations men!
Yell, yell the legions of Duakarrus
Their motto was battle - “we’ll drive back the dogs”
Yell, yell the legions of Dukarrus
Steadfast they stood, at home and on the roads
Protecting farmers, their families all the while
Push them back men! We’ll break each their ranks!
Yell, yell the legions of Dukarrus

Securing their relics, studying their artifacts
Scour, scour the protectors of Skettus
Their motto was retrieving - “Ancient items they’ll not use”
Scour, scour the protectors of Skettus
Promptly they set out, stealthily they tred,
Hunting down their weapons that aided in their crimes
Securing them each, locking in their vaults,
Scour, scour the protectors of Skettus

Supplying the efforts, assisting capturing of foes,
Clank, clank the Traders of Rischotti
Their motto was commerce - “We’ll supply our forces true”
Clank, clank the Traders of Rischotti
Swiftly they helped out, with slavers and provisions
Handing out their potions, weapons and steel cages
Come at us dogs! We’ll bring you to heel!
Clank, clank the Traders of Rischotti

Dying on the plains, bleeding in the swamps,
Cry, cry the allies of the Fire Paw
Their motto was desperate - “This is the only chance we have!”
Cry, cry the allies of the Fire Paw
Depending on their demons, trusting in their leader,
Yet something wasn’t right - the demons came in weak
Their sacrifice in vain, the hopes went down the drain,
Cry, cry the allies of the Fire Paw

The battle finally over, the battle finally one
Silence, silence o’er all Hadrian
Their motto was victory - “The war was finally won”
Silence, silence o’er all Hadrian
Once they were disjointed, now they stood as one
The gambit of the soul rite had thankfully paid off
Foes lay wasted, Skaarbrand’s soul banished e’er’more
Silence, silence o’er all Hadrian
Build it and they will come.

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Re: The Library
« Reply #24 on: September 23, 2018, 01:04:59 am »
A Summoner's Guide - Volume 1

Spoiler
I freely admit that mind tends to wander to what is nearest, as opposed to most needed, when it comes to summoning aid. Be they animals, elementals or otherwise. It requires less focus and allows us to maintain a more powerful grip on those binded to cause. However, a child said something to me recently that revealed a misunderstanding in what the power of conjuration is actually capable of. When I asked a common man, this same misunderstanding revealed itself.

"It allows people to summon animals" said the boy.

"It allows Arcanists to summon monsters" said the man.

It is true, the power to create allows us to make rift and portal for these creatures on a whim; the very same magic tethering presence, keeping them loyal and directed to our peril. In one simple spell, an in-between is created; an anchor gives it longevity; a binding gives it safety. The last of which is of particular importance and separates the weak from the strong; one can not bind something they are too weak to make such to. Or too many, for that matter. Those that do risk bringing foes, not allies, to whatever peril plagues them.



There is, however, another means to make ally; beyond drawing from what already is, one can create or conjure, you see, rather than relying on what the realms offer for company. Many Netherese do this regularly, animating objects such as lanterns or farming tools to do their work in their stead. The process is not particularly difficult to understand; an object is infused with energy channeled by its creator to whatever purpose it was deigned for. Although it takes ample energy and catalyst to see an object (like a golem) permanently animated, it is both feasible and easy to see a more fleeting animation of an object so long as the caster can channel enough energy to animate it to begin with.


Less known perhaps is the potential to animate more than just objects, however. Plants, for instance, can grow and even move more than they ever could on their own. Their growth can accelerate beyond belief, just as their movements and actions, to, be binded to their creator's will. I myself believe no garden is truly complete without a few roots feeling for the trodding feet of intruders as mistress rests. Yet there is even more you can breath life into, including other powers or elements beyond the life you give. A marriage, for instance, between this power and fire could very well give a simple campfire the power to move on its own as a whole. The same could be said of a rock; a puddle of water; even something as simple as a gust in the wind. All can be given life and purpose; however fleeting.


If you are wondering if this power can interact with only the world itself, then you are not looking within; or between the lines. The Weave, itself, can be given new shape and form just as well when the power to create meets other expressions of the Lady's Gift. Illusions given personality. The spirits of the dead, unlife. Even raw, destructive power itself can take a life of its own if you can imagine such spectacle. This is to say nothing else of possibilities that escape imagination.



The power to create is the power to give life to the world around you; even beyond what is simply physical. It is a beautiful, even intimate bond between creator and creation that can and should be explored to its fullest boundaries. There are, however, those who would rather see mettle proven at their aid than risk uncertainty in their own creations. This is a topic that will be met in the next text, as it is very much closer to the traditional idea of 'summoning' creatures to one's cause, as opposed to creating one's own. For now, it is better served for me to warn you the perils of creation.

First and foremost, never overspend yourself when you are channeling power to a creation. Even though you may not need to make anchor for any rift or tear, you will still need power to make binding. Your creation is alive; it must understand who you are and what its purpose is; why it must fulfill that function. This all must be bound in an instant during creation and can take a powerful toll that only heightens, not lessens, as you infuse more power. If you fail in this, then the creation you give life can very much end up turning on you out of confusion or, worse, resentment. Second, remember always that this is fleeting life. There are ways to see them made more permanent, but they shall not be discussed in this text. Maintaining and keeping that life from ebbing free of your creations will require practice and focus (not so differently than it would the rifts and bindings from creatures summoned to your side). Otherwise, always go into a fight or trial remembering that you are on time bought in measure of your own power.

Now that you more fully understand one expression of conjuration; the power to create life where once there was none; take moment to ponder on the simple joys and merits. If you can not see them, then stand invited to gander upon my next text where we shall speak of the Powers Beyond.
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Re: The Library
« Reply #25 on: September 23, 2018, 01:06:31 am »
A Summoner's Guide - Volume 2

Spoiler
In the last volume, we discussed the power of creation. While it should not be underestimated, nor should the ability to draw upon the Powers Beyond. There are many realms beyond our own that express an over-exegerrated part of our own realm. The elemental plane of earth, for instance (A place I had a most unpleasant visit towards) is made entirely of earth, dirt, minerals and whatever is squirming between. Others, such as the hells or the abyss, are home to some of the most powerful and nefarious entities that eclipse even the cruelties of men. While it is difficult to summon and bind these creatures, their power can not be denied. Nor the perils of those who reach beyond our sphere for unconventional allies.


As mentioned in my last text, when one is conjuring an ally, a binding must be made. An expression of thought and will made to ensure the creature serves you. Unlike the power of creation, however, that energy is now being spent 'finding' and 'rifting' the entity in question to your presence as opposed to 'creating' them with the infusion of the same energy. One might even stand to call it an anchor; though the magic that keeps them present is almost always fleeting save for the most powerful of bindings. Many of the same perils aforementioned apply here. Overexpend yourself and you will find friend turned foe, for example. What we will instead discuss are some of the known spheres of creation from which to draw upon.



There are four elemental planes that we are all familiar with. Air, earth, fire and water. No doubt some of you have come across the elementals that often dwell within them. But did you know there are other creatures as well? In the elemental plane of air, for instance, there are creatures of the winds; giant avians, for instance; as well as magical beasts who may appear as little more than gusts in the air. Or the great oceanic horrors lurking beneath the Great Sea. They are there and much easier to call upon than, say, elementals. The challenge is knowing what they are and how much power is necessary to summon and bind one. It is also entirely possible to draw upon the very raw stuff of these planes and infuse it into a creation of your own, such as a lump of metal. Although this may harken back to the power of creation, it stands something of a marriage between the topics as you are borrowing power from elsewhere as opposed to the Weave itself. Whether you seek the strength of the earth, the raw fury of fire, the awesome powers fleeting in the clouds, or looking to see a ship of raiders devoured whole in a river, remember always that many of these creatures can be difficult to direct or control. Your concern that your allies might get scorched from a stray stream of fire just won't make sense to a creature that bathes in the stuff.


There are other planes, of course. Each reflective of another element that is perhaps a bit less obvious at a glance. If you believe 'chaos' as a driving force in our world; unpredictable, uncontrollable, chance by its nature; then know there is such a realm known as 'Limbo'. Likewise, if you are looking for realm that stand in mirror of the ideas of 'good' or 'evil', then perhaps you would seek to draw from the seven heavens or the nightmarish abyss. So many are these realms, in fact, that it would be better served to refer you to a brilliant and fascinating individual, Valistrae, and her work on the Outer Ring. Know only that these spheres are filled with powerful, often intelligent yet also dangerous entities that may not even pay you heed if you do not mirror the nature of their worlds. Indeed, they may even perceive you as an enemy and attack you, regardless of binding. Do you really expect an angel to serve a murderer? Know also that unlike the more simplistic creatures in the elemental planes that many of these entities are actually seeking to reshape the world more to their image. Do not always trust those that seem to be under your control. That in itself is an illusion; even if the very nature of servitude is that of a pact. You would be better served, in fact, to see yourself as a door. Your willingness to bring them to our world, their key. As such, the term 'unleash' is perhaps more apt to describe what you are doing when bringing such denizens to Toril. Do not be surprised if they decide to bring friends.


The Powers Beyond are impressive. Many are capable of wielding magic, as you or I. Some have developed such a reputation by their very displays of power that we know of them even here, now, in our own realm; worlds apart. There is no denying that they can prove themselves to be some of the most powerful allies, or enemies, when given presence. But because of this they are also the most difficult to control. This is the most significant drawback of reaching so far beyond Toril and one I implore you to remember the next time you think about binding a demonic lord to your service. It can be done, but know your limits and become familiar with any hierarchies of such realms. Never forget these three simple steps:

Find.
Bind.
Summon.
Do not perform it in any other order.

Now that you know a bit more about the Powers Beyond (those we most often associate with conjuring), heart implores you to sit a moment. What do you want in the world? What do you believe in? How do you see yourself? What do you value? What you bring to this world is as much a reflection of who you are and what you cherish or strive for no less than what you might have otherwise used your power to create. Even the elemental planes can embody this (I did not draw a line between earth and strength for wordplay). How you want people to see you is perhaps less important how you wish to see the world. When you know the answer to this, you will know who to call upon at your side in the journey of life.

If you've come this far, I invite you to gander upon my final text that concerns the Powers That Be. It will be shorter than the others, but no less important.
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Re: The Library
« Reply #26 on: September 28, 2018, 11:46:11 am »
A Summoner's Guide - Volume 3

Spoiler
If you have read my prior work, then you should be familiar with the challenges, means and methods from which to conjure aid to your labors; especially in times of peril. The world is a dangerous and unforgiving place; beyond the frontiers of the empire are lands bereft of Netheril's majesty. They are lawless, cruel and injust; full of beasts, men and monsters who will not hesitate to strike you down or use you as sacrifice. The list of fates are long and dark, but so to are threats themselves. Yet, it is within your power; indeed, the very promise of Netheril; that even these ruthless perils can not only be staved in good company, but bend knee as well.


This final volume discusses the Powers That Be. That is to say, the denizens of our very world. What we can create is magnificent. What we can draw to our world has its own otherwordly awe as well. But there is no denying that some of the most dangerous enemies you could ever face do not lurk beyond the veil; they walk the very same soil as you. The predatory beasts of the wilds are but a few to name. Lions, tigers and bears. Even more passive creatures, such as the mighty elephants, can be bent to will. But there are many others. Spiders, insects, even the living dead who yet linger in our realm can be summoned to presence; so long as proper binding is made. Creatures soaring in the winds, or lurking in murky depths, to, can be brought to service as any other. This is to say nothing of the entities lurking in the bizzare, dark realm beneath the very earth.



All of it is possible, so long as you have an understanding of the creatures. When you can direct them to action even the most unruly beast can be made to serve. An animal wants food. An insect desires a nesting ground. A beholder (As I've learned from bonding with my own familiar) feels safer when it has control over everything around it. But wait, you might asking, if something as intelligent as this creature could be made to serve, then is it possible people could be made to service? Is it possible a binding can be made against something as strong-willed as your fellow men?


If you have paid heed to the recurring topic of 'affinity', then it does stand possible that such a feat may be within reach. It would demand impressive power; the kind I have only ever seen from an enchantress or mentalist. But if one has the power to dominate such a mind, reach and pull to presence, then it is indeed possible. As are countless marriages between the different threads of the Weave. That in itself may be the greatest takeaway from this volume.


Some of the most dangerous creatures in creation are those that walk, have walked, or will walk this world. As I said earlier, it is dangerous and cruel; but this only serves to ensure the strongest survive (Take pride you prosper in such a sphere, for it is a realm of ceaseless conflict). Like all others mentioned in the prior volumes, they to may be made to supplicant you as opposed to standing obstacles in life's journey. Familiarize yourself; know the horrors and wonders not-so distant from our walls. Pulling from the Powers That Be may be the easiest form of conjuration, as our world's denizens are both nearer and easier to understand, but it is by no means the most inferior. Indeed, your rival may be surprised when they find their demonic servants being impaled by tusk or claw.

While the same perils we've discussed time and again are no less prevalent, I would instead spend this time instead to implore you. Explore, enrich the empire with your discoveries. There are realms between realms and realms within realms; many of which we have never seen. Let no boundary go unbreached; see what you can accomplish with the Gift. What you can create, draw or even present and inspire your peers with may someday shape Netheril and the world itself in ways we can not even possibly imagine in this age. The only question you need to ask yourself now?

Who will you keep as company until Journey's End?


Build it and they will come.

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Re: The Library
« Reply #27 on: September 28, 2018, 11:50:35 am »
The Battle For Southbank

Spoiler
I pen these words now as a historical account of some of the various important events I have directly been involved with in Hadrian and the surrounding lands in the hope that a

more talented historian can make use of this for a more complete accounting of what has happened in this corner of the Empire. I have often considered where to start, as so many events in

have happened so swiftly, but given the current conflict against the forces of Roz’dha I believe the most appropriate place to begin is when Valstiir and Hadrian first realized the level of threat

Roz,dha represented.



        For several days, a red dot had appeared in the distant sky and appeared to get larger and larger with none in Hadrian or Valstiir being quite sure of what it was. Some believed it was a star

slowly falling from the sky, others believed it was massive dragon, I myself ignored the dot in the sky as I felt no need to concern myself with it unless it proved dangerous…It did.
   
The first sign of Roz’dha’s danger came when adventurers came to the Southbank after a disturbance where a small train of refugees claiming to be fleeing the calamity brought forth by the red

dot demanded to be let inside of Southbank for safety. Things became heated as the Dukarrus guards rightfully felt that letting even this small amount of refugees into Southbank would only

cause problems and possibly bring the same force that they were fleeing to Southbank’s gates. I arrived with several adventurers and attempted to moderate negotiation between the

adventurers and the guards, though what I remember most of the refugees was their claim that they started with nearly 500 and were now down to almost a dozen. Such a threat could not be

taken lightly and it disturbed me that none in the area seemed to have any idea of what was following them.
   


        The question was rendered academic as a circle of arcane energy appeared on the ground from which poured forth negative energy. The arcanist Cashand, being more experienced in necromancy

than I attempted to discern the cause and source of such a circle while I assisted as I could. Ultimately we could not find a way to immediately seal the portal, a problem that became far more

dangerous when an outpouring of powerful undead began appearing from it. Several vampires of considerable skill and wraths appeared, driving myself, the adventurers, and the Dukarrus

guards to their limits. Eventually, the foul creatures were slain with a combination of arcane magics and enchanted steel. The main issue was still the active portal though and still we had no idea

of how to close it.
   

        I find it difficult to accurately describe on paper what happened next, as while I can see it clearly in my mind’s eye the words are difficult to find. The portal closed itself after using the remainder

of its power to bring froth the single most powerful and horrific type of undead creature I have ever seen. It was known as a “Mass Grave”, a massive creature created by the fusing of hundreds

of thousands of corpses slain in pain and suffering, each component body retaining enough awareness to know what they had been forced to become. A chorus of voices screamed forth from the

beast, children begging to be saved, others begging for death, some begging not to be harmed. The creature had an aura of death and fear surrounding it like no other, spells were nearly useless

against the monstrosity. Most adventurers scattered, Dukarrus slammed the gates shut and hid behind them, ineffectively as the creature could have simply smashed through them like they

were twigs. In truth I believed that we would all be slain and added to the creature, suffering eternally as it made its way through Southbank.
   

        It was then that I witnessed one of the most heroic acts I have ever seen and am convinced ever will see. Knight Koznacks of the Swords of the Lady stood before the beast, braving the negative

energy washing over him and conquering the unnatural fear it exuded he stood tall before it, holding it in place and trading strikes with it. This was the moment that the battle turned, the

adventurers rallied upon seeing his bravery, warding’s against fear were cast and those that once fled turned and faced the creature together. The battle was fierce and more than a few lives

were lost, but in the end, Knight Koznacks slew the creature, its form falling back into negative energy.


         I say now that without Knight Koznack’s bravery at that point, all of Southbank and perhaps Hadrian would have fallen to the creature. This marked the first taste of Roz’dha’s power that

I know of and the first time I actively fought against his creatures, though not by any means
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Re: The Library
« Reply #28 on: December 14, 2018, 12:08:42 pm »
History of Conflict

Spoiler
Conflict of Two Archmages.

History of conflict.

Before start to speak about this important battle what happened on enclave Valstiir, it is important to first know history behind conflict of two Archmages. Conflict between two Archmages and enclaves, Roz'dha and Valstiir, have history of few months. Someone may say what this conflict have longer history behind. Truth is, what two Archmages was not able solve this conflict peacefully and in early days few small battles happened in lands of Lower Empire. Rumors says what main goal Archmage Roz'dha it is achieve divinity in other words to become god. Perhaps it is main reasons why Roz'dha fights with other enclaves and perhaps Valstiir was key person to achieve his goal.In majority, Roz'dha used necromancy school magic. Important to say, what Roz'dha not only achieved lichdom but also in past defeated one or more Archmages with their enclaves. Archmage Roz'dha have large experience in art of magic and perhaps Roz'dha may be one of skilled necromancer in Empire in our time. His army, his whole enclave was entirely based around negative energy and so Roz'dha army was mainly made from undeads. Though few veterans speaks what it was possible to encounter with demons and other outsiders from Abyss who was served to Archmage Roz'dha. And of course many armies of undeads was lead by powerful and intelligent undeads such as vampires, cursed warriors, wights and so on. Important to note, what in ranks of Roz'dha enclave there was also alive humans and beings. Mostly it was arcanists necromancers, servants and agents who was enslaved or was attracted by power and promises. Small conflicts and battles what was happening in Lower Empire between agents of two enclaves and their armies was slowly leading to culmination of whole conflict between two Archmages. Nor Roz'dha nor Valstiir not was stepping back and each Archmages was planning to win and slowly small fights between their agents was escalated to large battles between armies on grounds of Lower Empire. It was only question of time when main forces of Roz'dha will come to try claim and destroy Valstiir enclave.

Battle for Valstiir

Brilliant and Wise Valstiir was long preparing for what will come. All arcanists and citizens of Lower Empire was working all together as single tool in Valstiir's hands, following her orders without any words and hesitate. Valstiir was ready for final battle between two enclaves and she prepared not only defeat Roz'dha but and destroy his enclave. Risky but worth effort plan to destroy whole enclave by powerful sun-ray. It was not that easy to make and important part of this plan was to break inside Roz'dha enclave and place beacon for sun-ray. Magical staff what was trusted to one Arcanist.

Roz'dha enclave was slowly floating toward Valstiir enclave. Closer and closer. Air was foul and it had smell of rot and death. All noble houses, all arcanists and few brave adventurers was on streets of Valstiir enclave, prepared for last battle, prepared to give their own life to destroy army of lich and bring victory to Archmage Valstiir. Battle started unexpected too soon. Perhaps Archmage Valstiir not paid too much attention to it or her mind was busy with other non less important tasks or even it was work of traitors and Roz'dha agents, but Roz'dha first assault group was used Valstiir's portals in Lake District which not was closed or warded by magic. Small group was trying fight back against assaulting group of undeads and demons but it was not enough forces and more and more undeads was coming from portals. Valstiir small forces made retreat to Market District where was located main Valstiir's army and Valstiir herself. Roz'dha swiftly claimed Lake District and used portals as source for own army which was already walking in Valstiir streets. Roz'dha clearly had plans quickly end this battle, not trying give any time to his enemies to regroup. Roz'dha started send his main forces from Lake District right to Market District. But brave warriors of Valstiir repelled coming waves of undeads and demons again and again. It was single moment when Roz'dha forces stopped attacking and Valstiir used it as opportunity to create powerful portal spell what was able to bring single group on Roz'dha Enclave. Many brave warriors (and your author) walked forward to portal, promising what they will bring victory to Valstiir. As group of brave heroes teleported on other enclave, battles on Valstiir renewed and continues. Narrow streets of Valstiir was filled with blood and bone dust.Strong spells was casted from both sides and battles in different Valstiir districts did not stops. In same time group of brave heroes inside Roz'dha enclave was already making their own way to deeper parts of enclave. Most strongest undead guardians, demons, nightwalkers, arcanists was trying to stop them but brave heroes was continue their way. Even Archmage Roz'dha himself was trying corrupt and convince heroes change their sides promising to them immortality and endless power. But heroes refused offer of Archmage. Heroes was close to their final destination. Mythallar. Place where trusted Arcanist should put magical staff which would serve as beacon for powerful sun-ray. Mythallar was guarded by powerful vampire of giant size and strange outlook. No any spells or any sword was able to make deep cut to this creature. His wounds was regenerating with great speed and his hits was strong enough to left deadly wound without much efforts. But heroes acted swiftly, they disturbed vampire and arcanist used moment to put staff in Mythallar. After moment - large amount of magic was conjured on Valstiir enclave and it was sent toward Roz'dha enclave. It was enough to destroy whole enclave. Spells and magic of Roz'dha enclave begins slowly fade and large dark castles started slowly crumble. Vampire guardian not was defeated and heroes was in need to leave falling enclave before it was too late. Running long corridors and followed by giant vampire - heroes managed to escape in last moment. Roz'dha enclave was very close to Valstiir enclave and some parts was crushed against Old Quarters of Valstiir. Followed Vampire was turned to dust once it followed heroes outside of Enclave where he was burned by sun rays and spells from arcanists.
     With destruction enclave, remaining undead army on streets of Valstiir was destroyed too. And so heroes of Valstiir which names engraved on statue in Old Quarters was bring victory for Archmage. 

From memories of one hero.

I grew up in Valstiir, but I left the floating city when my family cast me out for reasons which are not relevant here.  In the following months, I settled below and divided my time between Hadrian and Southbank.  I rarely returned to Valstiir apart from the occasional visit to the Church of Tyche which is one of the few places there I have fond memories of.
     When the threat of Rozdha rose once more, I was conflicted.  I had little affection left for the enclave above or the family that had disowned me.  It was tempting to simply let matters happen as they will.  But my best friend, the elf Allania, had been bestowed with something that was both a great boon and a terrible burden- a helmet of Amaunator that many believed could turn the tide against the undead villain.  I forced myself to board that airship with the sole intention of supporting my friend.
      We assembled near the solar collectors of Valstiir, machinery that I could not ever hope to understand.  My intention of standing by Allania’s side were quickly ended… we were all separated into groups with varying missions.  Allania would be on the front line, away from me.  I saw another friend, the halfling Bosco Fries, join a group that was infiltrating Rozdha’s enclave.  He wished me godspeed as he departed.  It was the last time I ever saw him.  The group I was assigned to was ordered by Lord Dukkarus to protect Archmage Valstiir as she performed a ritual.  Stronkonov was leading this party, and someone gave me the simple orders “protect the Archmage, and stay close to Stronkonov”.
    We repelled the first few waves of undead horrors with relative ease.  I fired bolt after bolt into their masses and sang my songs and cast my spells to inspire my fellow defenders.  Stronkonov was an unyielding wall of muscle.  The Archmage worked with incredible discipline, seemingly oblivious to the swirling violence so close to her person.  I saw Will Rogers leading the line of defenders close to us, shouting orders as he cut through the enemy.  At one point a wounded bone giant managed to smash through the line and approach the Archmage.  By some miracle I was able to finish the battered monster off with my spear and a song of curse before it could reach the Archmage.
     In a lull in the fighting, I was tasked with helping to clear the street of the shattered undead corpses so we had room to fight.  We had just barely finished that when the assault began again.  Yet another horde of shambling monsters of splintered bone and rotting flesh hurled themselves upon us.  This time, our line began to creak and  Will Rogers ordered a retreat to the council district.  My blood was up.  I was fighting harder and better than I ever had before, and in my youthful arrogance I thought I could cover the retreat.  But it was too chaotic.  Warriors far greater than I fled past me, and I did not realise the danger I was in until my retreat had been blocked by a mass of festering walking corpses.
With any hope of reaching the council district now lost to me, my thoughts turned to self-preservation.  I remembered the streets well enough to flee down some narrow alleyways and lose the bulk of my lumbering pursuers.  I found an unlocked door and hurled myself through it.  As the monsters attempted to pound their way in I piled up every scrap of furniture I could to make a barricade.  With time to think now, I despaired at my foolishness.  I could not help my friends or the other defenders, trapped as I was.  My exhaustion suddenly dawned on me and I slumped against my barricade, dozing off despite the noises of the walking corpses attempting to claw their way inside.
      When I awoke the city was almost silent.  I slipped out of my improvised sanctuary and found the undead that had trapped me had been slain, presumably by adventurers or the town watch.  As I staggered towards the airship back to Hadrian it was clear that Rozdha had been defeated and Valstiir had survived.  From the people I passed I heard the most startling tales.  A servant of Amaunator had manifested and fought alongside my friend Allania.  Rozdha’s enclave had fallen and crashed to the earth below.  But it was not until I arrived back in Hadrian that I saw Allania again and knew that she had survived, and I learned the tragic news that Bosco had not.  He would have been proud of me if he’d seen me fight… he told me once “you are more powerful than you think.  If someone comes at you, you put them in the ground”.   After surviving the battle of Valstiir, I am actually starting to believe in myself.


Epilogue.

It is known what Archmage Roz'dha not was presenting on his own enclave. Perhaps he was prepared for his defeat and it is question of time when Roz'dha will gather new forces in attempts to claim enclave of other Archmage and try ascend to Divinity.

Sharifa Mel'Amen, Morgaine Pritchard
Build it and they will come.

ElvenStarr

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Re: The Library
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2019, 12:53:48 pm »
The Boatman

Spoiler
The Boatman

The Western Swamps are home to a large population of giant frogs.  Their presence allowed a thriving trade in their meaty legs and rubbery hides to grow in Hadrian.  Although distasteful work, hunting frogs could be quite lucrative and many adventurers have made their start doing just that.  The best time to hunt giant frogs is on nights with a bright moon, because the creatures gather to spawn then. 

Unfortunately those nights are no longer as profitable or safe as they once were.  In recent months on such nights many frog hunters swear they have seen a figure plying an overturned boat in the distance.  Something about the figure is eerie enough that none have dared approach them.  Sightings of ‘The Boatman’ invariably coincide with a hunter or two being found drowned in the muck the following day.  Before long the hunters became very wary going out on the best hunting nights, and the frog population steadily increased.  Even bounties for frog legs offered by the Frog and Toad Tavern only curtailed this growth slightly. 

Being superstitious folk, the remaining frog hunters tell many tales about who or what The Boatman is.  Some say he is a sorcerer or necromancer who is hiding in the swamps from the 14th Legion.  Others say he is one of the Moanderite cultists who pass through the swamps on their way to the crypts.  But the most popular story is that The Boatman is the what remains of a young frog hunter named Jacin Vortigern.

According to this tale, Jacin was a young frog hunter who was eager but tragically inept.  Raised near the swamps by his frog hunter mother, Jacin was ungainly, not very bright, and never got the hang of essential skills such as swimming, boating or using a spear.  Nevertheless, Ms Vortigern loved her boy and encouraged him to follow the family trade. 

Sadly the other hunters found Jacin an irresistible target for pranks and mockery.  Knowing he was squeamish, they left his moored boat full of frog entrails.  They delighted in stealing his attempted kills since the clumsy young man took at least a dozen throws to spear his his prey.  Then one night, a few of the hunters swam up to his boat, and tipped it over.  Jacin was a feeble swimmer, and while the hunters laughed at his thrashing, he swiftly drowned in the deep sludge. 

Hurriedly the guilty hunters told his mother that Jacin must have drowned on his own and they had found him floating in the water.  Ms Vortigern went mad with grief, tore out great chunks of her hair and ran into the deep swamps, howling with despair.  The Boatman was sighted for the very first time the next night the moon shone bright and clear.  The men who tipped over Jacin’s boat were the first to be found dead the next day, apparently drowned in the muddy swamp waters.  But clearly that revenge was not enough for Jacin, and the deaths have continued. Some say The Boatman is his ghost, others say it is his walking corpse.  Either way, a sighting of him means someone will be found dead the next morning.

Whatever the truth, now on nights when the moon is full and bright the frog hunters lock themselves in their cabins.  They peer tentatively through gaps in their shuttered and locked windows, fearing to see the boogieman that torments them so. All the while, the giant frogs grow steadily in numbers and croak in triumph.



« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 01:02:13 pm by Rainman »