dragon's gate PLAY NOW  | · |  HOME  | · |  CONTACT PAGE  | · |  SITE MAP 

How To Play
Message Boards
• Aradath Holidays
• Event Protocal
• Festivals
• Gladiator Games
The Manual
• Elders and Guides
• Policies
• Combat / Healing / Death
• Notes on Advancement
• Concept of Role-Play
• Gaming Hints
• Geography
• Time & Death
• Commonsense Guide
• Races
• Characteristics
• Classes
• Religion
• Magick
• Skills
• Business
• Getting Around
• Credits
• Appendix
The Library
• History and Lore
• Poems & Songs
• Art Work
• Newspapers
• Quests
• Character Bios
• Compositions
• Adjectives
• Currency
• Gems
• Hunting
Character Support
• Contact PAge
• Wedding & Party & Festivals
• Housing
• Liaisons
• Merchants
• Newspapers
• Lords of Chaos
• Player Pictures
• Message Boards
• Links
• Guide Application
• The Wizard
• Other Front Ends
• Rules of Conduct
• Event Guidelines
• Returning Player Policy
dgate history and lore


The Journal of Medares ...

Journal of Medares Greymist

Tolian and I arrived in Spur last night as night fell, our arrival coinciding with the culmination of a necromantic event. As is my custom, I've described the events without bias or personal feeling for the Great Library in the lore crystal. I now purge myself of my personal feelings here in this journal in hopes they will not taint any further observations of the phenomena and events in the coming days.


I am certain Tolian already feels we should do more than observe this time, and in the solitude of the early morn I wrestle with my own feelings of doubt about standing aside to let such malevolence blossom in the world. I fear the people of this city don't know the peril that awaits them should the necromancer finish all the spell's rituals. Some have guessed as I have that a muatana-al is behind this, the evidence all but confirms the necromancer is a nightwalker.


How the necromancer learned the lost arts of the necromantic arcana of this magnitude both puzzles me and fills me with dread. I feel a most unscholarly desire to prune this branch of knowledge before it can grow and spread. The hints I have gleaned from Aldwick's Tome on Necromantic Spells indicate the rituals will grow more complex and bloody before they reach their apex and unleash the culmination of so much dark, negative energy to feed on the city. I cringe when I postulate what that energy's purpose or effect might be.


Dare I interfere and risk losing the opportunity to record the event for study?


Dare I stand by and watch this diabolic symphony reach its soul-rending crescendo?


These are the voices that war in my soul as I watch and record this day. At times of self-doubt like this I wonder if finding solace in a God-being as Tolian does is the wiser course.


Journal of Medares Greymist


Recording my observations in the lore crystal was more difficult than usual tonight. I am not sure if it is my irritation at finding the casting site disturbed once again, or the doubts that linger about interfering in the process. I found myself gazing out the window at the stars overhead lost in contemplation instead of setting my observances into the matrix of the crystal. I finally used Lorymun's mental exercises to clear my thoughts long enough to record the elements of the casting and the addendum of my personal conclusions based on the data observed.


Now in this waning hour when the candle has burned low and the moon slowly slides below the horizon, the doubts return. I keep hearing the secian who found the first site discovered asking me to help, and the quiet sigh when I stated my duty is to observe and record. What is the Sage's true duty? To unflinchingly record a horror such as this for future study or to destroy the necromancer and the knowledge he holds and hope it never surfaces again?


If I chose to oppose the necromancer, is the knowledge I have enough? Would my ignorance of some rudimentary foundation of necromancy cause me to make things worse? Can I meddle with forces I do not fully understand? I am reminded of Teshi's essay on the use of Unmagick and his theory that the runemages of the City-state of Penthania faced the dilemma of allowing their society to die or use Unmagick and face the unknown consequences of their actions. I wonder if they would rethink their choice now, and if I will be regretting mine in the years to come.


The other voice of doubt argues that I need to be dispassionate and objective in my observations, that the knowledge that can be gained far outweighs the brief moments of pain and suffering this town will face. Isn't this what the Sage's duty is? To protect and preserve all knowledge, regardless of the cost to those around them? How much knowledge is lost to the mists of time that we could benefit from or build on to find greater discoveries?


My mind wars with my heart in this, I close this entry with a last thought for myself to ponder. Do we serve the advancement of knowledge or do we use knowledge to advance ourselves?


Journal of Medares Greymist

It has been two days since the last casting and all is quiet. Has the necromancer finished his casting? If so, what was his intent? What pattern can be discerned from the sites? Stars and runes, how can I reach a proper conclusion from the evidence when the evidence is taken by gawking bystanders and souvenir hunters? I can see them years from now brandishing one of the ceremonial bone daggers before their incredulous progeny speaking of how they slew the evil necromancer and took this trophy to prove their bravery. The story will of course grow more fantastic with each retelling until historians look back upon this age and conclude Spur was overrun with necromancers. That is, until the surprising coincidence of innumerable heroes sprung up to eradicate any trace of them except for one or more individuals who continued to evade capture while practicing their dark arts under the noses of such bold heroes as "Symher the Stout".


I fear my irritation is getting the better of me this eve. I can't blame the people of this city, the ones I have spoken to have done their best to keep the other unwitting ones from disturbing the sites before they can be observed. Some believe they are helping by taking the items and seeking to find a safe place to examine them since the sites tend to be crawling with the animated corpses and various other undead. They do not understand that the importance is the arrangement of the items, not the items themselves. Tis rather like a dagger thrust into the body. The workmanship of the dagger is not what immediately determines if the wound is fatal, rather where it is sheathed in the body.


I have been anxious this eve, each loud noise or sudden movement brings me to my feet calling for Tolian. He invariably arrives to inform me it was just a dog braying at the moon or a group of inebriated tavern goers listing off to their next destination. Several times over the past few days Tolian and I have discussed the possibility that this knowledge is far too terrible to preserve. That we should act to foil the necromancer's ultimate goal. At times I am nearly swayed by Tolian's arguments, at times he is nearly won over to my view. The puzzling thing is neither of us argues for one side exclusively. I have observed we each change our thoughts on the matter almost hourly. I can only conclude he is undergoing the same war with his conscience that I have recorded in my past few journal entries.


The candle burns low and my mind grows weary. I close this entry with a thought that I found while reading Gydeone's Meditations. "If you truly wish to understand something, try to change it." I wonder if I can apply a modified form of the axiom to my troubles here. "If you truly wish to learn something, oppose it."


If this is true, is the best way to discover the knowledge behind necromancy for me to play foil to the necromancer?


Journal of Medares Greymist


Tolian is finishing setting his experiences of this eve in the lore crystal as I sit to pen this entry in my journal. His spirit seems high considering he was singled out by the necromancer and mesmerized. I watched in horror as the muatana-al appeared to feed on Tolian while he was frozen by the foul creature's gaze. A kindly secian managed to staunch the wound, I am uncertain if there was any permanent damage to Tolian as can be the case with a muatana-al slaking their 'hunger' with the life force of another. Which brings me to ponder the spell once again. I made the offhanded comment at the third site that the muatana-al might be making a cup of tea with his spell since the necromancer is using arts I was lead to believe were long lost. Perhaps my moment of levity is closer to the mark than my serious attempts at divining the goal of the spell. Is it possible the spell will give the muatana-al the ability to feed upon those within the confines of the spell whenever the hunger comes over him? Thus giving him a nearly endless supply of ready food. I shudder to think which theorem is correct, the results are all dire.


Once again the denizens of the city pleaded with me to stop the necromancer, but the circumstances of this new casting add strength to my thought I must not interfere. The new site is beyond the walls of Spur, in an ancient burial mound belonging to the aboriginal culture of the Rijom. A fascinating place actually, one that probably needs more research into the reasoning and the culture that built it. I was astonished to see the workmanship and artistry of the carvings from a culture some call 'primitive'. Now I am not certain of the depiction of the Rijom displayed in Cardyl's People of the Plains. But I digress from the topic at hand, as I am wont to do at times.


The new site is in a location that does not fit the pattern I thought the necromancer is following. This illustrates just how little is known for certain on the subject of necromancy on a grand scale. This confirmation of our ignorance in high necromantic matters convinces me that interfering or impeding the progression of the necromancer's spell could have cataclysmic consequences that could make the casting of Unmagick pale in comparison. Perhaps Unmagick is the result of interfering in magicks like this when one is ignorant of the patterns and fundamentals of the arcana. Another matter for study at a later time, though Unmagick is a widely studied topic even if this could be a fresh perspective. I will suggest the hypothesis to Sage Korundyl when I am next in the White Forest.


Tolian has taken a strange liking to the people of this city, even after two ruffians threatened him after speaking to him at the third site. Seems they believed we are the ones behind the necromancy. But that is Tolian's way, his religion leaves little room for hatred or detachment. I grudgingly admit his faith seems to give him a comfort and a shelter from troubled thoughts this journal can't always provide me. Not for the first time I have considered and discarded the idea of learning more about religion from more than a scholarly viewpoint.


The flame of the candle is sputtering now, the light it provides soon to disappear and be replaced by the quiet darkness of the night. I can't help but wonder if it is an allegory for the life of this city, or the flame of knowledge tied to necromancy.


I close this entry with this thought: Which flame do I let die, life or knowledge?


Journal of Medares Greymist


Tolian has been asleep for some time now, the 'observation' of the secians healing their tree tired him greatly. I know he is becoming attached to the people of this town, though I had not thought he would go so far as to interfere with the natural progression of events. The secians would have healed their tree eventually, so I can't fault him too much. At least the boy had the wits to record the event, truly fascinating. A tree that is linked empathetically to the secians that live in the vicinity, truly an astounding find!


I was able to study a new site, but as the fates would have it the site was disturbed before I could arrive. I was able to discover a new development. There are at least two necromancers in the city, the evidence still remaining at the site all but confirms this. The art of necromancy is steeped in rituals and proscribed formulated actions, at the second site the corpse had been disemboweled with an incision going diagonally from the lower left of the abdomen to the upper right of the abdomen while at the new site the cut was done horizontally from the lower right to the lower left. A minor detail at first glance, until one recalls Merrin's paper on necromancy.


I quote a passage here, "A necromantic casting is a study in organized chaos. Every last detail and nuance of the ritual is vital to the final outcome of the spell. Each new point on the compass of the spell must follow the patterns of the previous one. More components can be added, but they must expand on the pattern in a progressive way, not redefine it or change it. For example, a common necromantic component is the candle. At the first point of the compass two candles may be placed at opposing corners of the body used as the energy for the spell. In the successive points of the spell more candles may be placed but they must follow the pattern set by the placement of the first two candles and form a 'box' around the body. Any deviation from the pattern established in the first ritual will disrupt the final casting of the spell, much as metal will disrupt a runespell if the caster wears it."


This seems to fit the deviation of the pattern we noticed with the Rijom site. A site so far removed from the one in Moonglum's crypt is beyond the scope of any necromantic rite to my knowledge, such as it is concerning necromancy. Two other citizens of this city have encountered the muatana-al that fed on Tolian, a draco and a fir elf. I was unable to get any details from the draco, but the muatana-al apparently fed twice on the fir elf named Grath. The necromancer managed to escape when two former knights of the city came to his rescue.


The new site is by something known as Kane's Tower. A go-blin-al appears to be the first to have arrived on the scene, as I walked into the room he was drinking from the hollow mandrake grail of blood. A curious thing happened, it seems the grail still held some power or the go-blin-al reacts very strangely to blood. He went into convulsions and bled freely from his nose. The most curious thing was as gruesome as the sight was to behold, the go-blin-al seemed to revel in what was happening to him. But he does bear the mark of Taath, followers of that religion tend to enjoy inflicting and receiving pain.


A new spell scroll was found at the site, a spell of seeking. It seems the muatana-al are here searching for something, as there are at least two separate circles being drawn I conclude the necromancers are not in league with each other. Further study in this area is needed before a final conclusion is reached. I speculate they are searching for either a book or some artifact connected to necromancy, though there is not enough evidence to make more than an educated guess.


I have been avoiding the question of involvement or neutrality today as best I can, though I find it invading my thoughts when I least expect it. My mind still wars with my heart in this, though my soul is strangely quiet. Logic dictates that I not interfere in powers and magicks I don't fully understand, but my instincts tell me to stop this before it reaches culmination. Thankfully, Tolian is asleep. The time he has spent with the secians has awakened his kindred spirit of peace, he desires for us to help these people stop the necromancers. I have compromised with him and agreed to use my knowledge to find some way to shield them from the full force of the unleashed spell. But now that we know there are two or more necromantic circles being drawn, will any effort to protect the city enough? Is the wisest course of action inaction?


My candle and my quill are both nearly spent. I close this entry with another thought from Gydeone's Meditations: "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be discovered."


Is it the lost knowledge of necromancy or the life of this city?


Journal of Medares Greymist


The necromancers struck within moments of each other earlier tonight. The events foreshadowed by thick mists that hampered vision. Strange green and black points of light moved like fireflies through the mists. What little information that is left to us on necromantic events seems to indicate these 'lights' are the souls of the dead within the city. The coloring seems to indicate which necromancer 'owns' the soul. Green for the Molochian, black for the Taathian. Green and black lightning struck various parts of the city, I can only speculate that the spells being cast by the necromancers are at war with each other.


I have given up hope of finding an undisturbed site, there are far too many people in this city for them all to be warned not to touch anything. I must redouble my research efforts and hope I stumble upon some overlooked scrap of information or divine some clue from an obscure passage in some dusty tome if I am to make sense of the evidence I see before me. The townsfolk all have their own theories, they range from the comical to the chilling. I dare not speculate on them too much, I must remain focused on the event and the facts surrounding it. I cannot lose my objectivity in this, the price is too great. The risk unthinkable.


Or is it?


It isn't just the town now, if the knowledge of the BloodCall conjuration is correct Tolian and I are at risk. My life is a small price to pay as I near the end of my book of days, but Tolian's life has many chapters yet to scribe. I spent most of the night searching for the leylines to anchor my protective spells to in hopes of blunting or canceling out the worst effects of the necromantic circles being drawn around this city and its soul. Even this is more action than a Sage should take and may bring disasters untold.


Perhaps I grow less rigid in my older days, or perhaps Tolian's gentle soul is rubbing off on me. It would not be the first time a Sage has learned from the Apprentice. I can only hope my actions will be enough and will not bring this town to greater ruin.


In the silence of this dark hour before sunrise I am alone with my thoughts. My mind keeps dredging up memories from when I was a young, headstrong apprentice to the Sage Kahlil. The memory that haunts me this night is of the debate he had with the Sage and Mystic Mandevu about knowledge and its purpose. Kahlil spoke at great length, letting the candles burn low as he enthralled his rapt audience with his persuasive arguments and eloquence. When Mandevu took her place at the podium, she took a sip of water and spoke but a few words:


'Knowledge is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must act.'


She then snuffed the candles and left the podium, leaving us in stunned silence. At the time this seemed a poor rebuttal to my master's well-thought out argument.


The words echo differently in my soul as I watch dawn's first blush paint the sky.


Perhaps I have finally found wisdom.


Journal of Medares Greymist


After yesterday's discoveries, Tolian and I have some clues we can use to possibly learn more about the Molochian necromancer's motives and castings. She seems to be quite mad judging by the glimpse into her thoughts she has given us. The expressions 'Day of Long Shadows' and 'Lost Day' might appear in other tomes documented by the Great Library. I've sent word to my colleagues to research any occurrence of these terms in any works involving Moloch or Necromancy. I hope they will give me some divination into the spell the Molochian is weaving.


Some of the townsfolk seem to think Tolian and possibly myself are in danger, that the necromancer sees Tolian as someone who might persuade me to oppose the necromancers and thus a danger to them. A curious theory based on the symbology of an insane mind, but I will take what precautions I can.


The other clues culled from the writings of the female muatana-al are most intriguing. A crystal 'key' to Moloch's 'prison' seems to be the item the Molochian is seeking, if so one can only deduce the Taathian necromancer is seeking it to prevent it from being used. If that is the Taathian necromancer's goal, which is uncertain since we have no insight into the Taathian muatana-al. It could merely be coincidence that brought them both here at the same time. There just isn't enough known about necromancy for me to do more than guess based on the circumstances and evidence before me.


I now scribe a copy of the muatana-al’s writing here for further study:


Master waits in his cell, his hunger unslaked for an age. The crystal key to his prison is near, it sings its song of pain in my blood. Close.. so close.. must find it before the lost day dawns.. the voices of the rabbits I have caged cry out for release or mercy.. the taste of them, oh the intoxication of their blood!


The Putrid Vulture scavenges the rabbits from my traps, becoming drunk on their blood seasoned by fear.. let him gorge, I will uncover the shard soon.. then I shall sate my appetite with the sweet blood of the rabbits and the vulture at the side of Master.


The time grows near, even now the veil between worlds grows thin and begins to part, the time of Blood draws nigh...


Cursed ball of flame! The day of Long Shadows dawns soon!


The pain of anticipation sustains me, it keeps the bane at bay.. for now..


The Hierophant wavers, his aging mind muddled and cloaked by self-doubt and confusion.. The Hermit grows into the thorn, sustained and strengthened by the dove's coo that echoes in the halls of his soul... Master whispers, "Silence the dove.."


From thought to deed, word to action... The Master wills, so it is done..


Some of the townsfolk accuse me of being just as evil as the necromancers for not attempting to stop this. Or they attempt to use guilt to sway me from my duty as a Sage. They don't seem to understand the danger in meddling with magickal forces one doesn't understand. It seems they would rather see devastation on a scale never dreamed of rather than allow the necromancers to finish their castings. I am a Sage, not a necromancer. Even if I weren't bound by my oath and duty, I know better than to interfere in magicks I don't understand. They can't seem to understand I am doing everything my oath and knowledge allows me to do.


I must not allow the discourtesy of some to affect my judgment or cloud my thinking with emotions. Logic tells me there is too much to be learned here, that the townsfolk only see the evil in necromancy. Think of it! With this knowledge we can speak with the dead, gain wisdom of lost knowledge or renew relationships with departed loved ones or acquaintances. So many tantalizing hints have been gleaned from what little we know about necromancy. Yes, at first glance the process seems inhumane and cruel, but it is a tool and like any tool it is the intents of the wielder that make it evil or good. We only have the evidence of the muatana-al necromancers to judge this by. Until we know more, how can we condemn anything?


The voice of my heart tells me to find some way to stop this insanity, but offers no insight into how I might succeed. I know what these muatana-al do is reprehensible; they cause pain, anguish and untold suffering with their cruelty. Magick that thrives on blood and pain seems to be exactly the type of thing we Sages would guard against, as such knowledge can only serve to destroy. But how can one stop what one does not understand?


In reading some of the tomes in the Sage's library here in Spur, I stumbled across this quote in a tome written by the monk Irragan.


"What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world endures and is immortal."


What should I do for others? Preserve the knowledge of necromancy or act to save this town? These two ideas still wrestle for dominance in my soul, which shall guide me in the end?


Journal of Medares Greymist


It has been an eventful fortnight. The necromancers have only struck once that we know of, but I have learned more about necromancy in the past few days than I thought possible in my journey back to the Great Library. The knowledge is there, if one has the key to seeing the pieces of the puzzle. I still don't know enough to say what the ultimate goal of the necromancers is or how exactly they are going about achieving it, but I believe I know enough to strengthen my protective spells around the city and its people. Tolian has been wandering off into the city on his own, I believe he has either discovered something or is searching for information that he could use to persuade me to actively oppose the necromancers.


I fear this could be dangerous, the necromancers have sanene apprentices that are about the city at times and while Tolian is a pacifistic Rinannian that will not protect him if the sanene decide he is an obstacle to their master's plans.


The two new sites were almost completely looted by the time I saw them, but I returned from the Great Library after both rituals were complete. I was somewhat surprised to learn the necromancers seem to have taken offense with their sites being looted. At the Molochian site, an arachnian who has been known to loot the sites learned the price of his greed when the necromancer caused one of the items he took to take his life. Reports of eyewitnesses say the dagger glowed, screamed and shrieked as it killed the arachnian as noxious green smoke rose from his carapace. Perhaps this will do what all my requests for leaving the sites undisturbed couldn't.


It seems the muatana-als are not stopping at feeding now, reports say they have been killing their victims now. There is no indication of why they have gone from feeding to killing, though I don't believe it has anything to do with the necromantic events beyond being a display of their mastery over the 'rabbits'.


In my studies I learned there was a runemage who resided in this city long ago who dabbled in nearly every form and art of magick. His house still stands here, and it is filled with undead, laboratories and sites for arcane rituals. Eventually the people of the city rose up and wrecked his house, but it is possible he hid some of his most valuable tomes and scrolls away and they remain undiscovered as of yet. Xavier Savortigne's work might prove to be the window to what the necromancers are doing and seeking within this city. It does seem telling that the first site we know of was found in the Savortigne Mansion.


My instincts tell me whatever we find in the Mansion is not the ultimate goal of the necromancers, but what else could they seek here?


My journey back to the Great Library did nothing to calm my troubled mind. Every volume I read to soothe my disquiet and warring thoughts seems to make my dilemma worse. Two quotes keep running through my thoughts as I write, the first from Mafouz, a sanene vivisectionist, taken from his tome 'Virtue and Chaos: Observations.'


"Knowledge enables our minds to have the same power as tools give our hands; not merely to grasp the world, but to transform it."


Both sides that war within me take comfort from this, my logic and desire to preserve knowledge seizes this as proof that my duty is to unflinchingly record all knowledge rather than let it be lost in the time it is needed.


My emotions and compassion argue that this quote is all I need to convince myself to oppose the necromancers. That I should use the knowledge I have gathered in my lifetime to pluck the savage vine of necromancy from the Tree of Knowledge.


I then turned to the psycian mystic Ithryn and his book 'Lessons of the Soul':


"The doubt of an earnest, thoughtful, patient and laborious mind is worthy of respect. In such doubt may be found indeed more faith than in half the religions."


But where can I find my faith?


Journal of Medares Greymist
Addendum: Findings


On my journey back to the Great Library, I learned there is much more knowledge on necromancy in our tomes than I or any other Sage was aware of. By using the phrases 'Day of Long Shadows' and 'Lost Day' along with the writings of Moloch's imprisonment I've been able to sift a few glints of insight and knowledge of necromancy and what may drive the muatana.


It seems necromancy was an offshoot of magick and worship of Moloch by some of his more extremely fanatical followers who called themselves 'The Scions'. Like all magicks, it has been appropriated by many other religions and creeds and mutated to fit their needs. The interesting thing about these fanatics is their belief in the 'holiest of holy days' for Moloch. 'A Day of Long Shadows' or a 'Lost Day' that happens once every millennium. It seems to be some super-eclipse, which would tie in nicely with the faith of the Lord of Death. Ancient aboriginal cultures used to believe an eclipse was the death of the Sun, which was also seen as the ultimate source of life. One can see how this primitive belief was pirated into the fanatical views of the Scions. I have requested the librarians research the patterns of eclipses further in an attempt to find data on when we might expect the next Day of Long Shadows.


It seems Moloch didn't go to his prison without putting up a fight or setting in motion plans for his escape. Some accounts of the time say Moloch cursed those who were instrumental in his downfall, though I have not yet uncovered any reference to what the curse was or who was cursed. Some speculation states that Moloch was a victim to what the muatana-al call 'Cheathru', the plotting and positioning for power by the great houses of their people. It seems this city has been a victim of 'Cheathru' recently when the Taathian temple was destroyed and the faiths of the Lords of Chaos given freedom to worship openly.


It also seems the greatest necromancer broke from the Scions and sought to set himself up as a deity. His name and his fate seem to be lost in the mists of time however.


More research and observation is needed in all these matters.


Scribed this day, the twelfth day of the eleventh month in the year of three hundred eight by Sage Medares Greymist.


Journal of Medares Greymist


A prodigious discovery was made! Tolian and a group of townsfolk found Xavier Savortigne's vault and a tome on necromancy was stored within for safekeeping. Truly a wondrous book, in just a handful of pages what we know of necromancy has been increased tenfold if not more. As always, the discovery did not come without cost, it seems one of the sanene apprentices of the necromancers arrived shortly after Tolian and his party. He attempted to steal the book from Tolian, but in his haste removed Tolian's amulet instead. The others with my apprentice managed to run the sanene off before more harm could be done. They also had to contend with Xavier's shade, who wasn't willing to give his books up freely. He summoned a host of wretches, but Tolian and his friends ran from the vault rather than risk losing the book.


After studying the tome briefly, I gathered a few interesting insights into the possible motives of the necromancers. I am almost certain the Molochian necromancer is looking for the BloodWell, a crystal created by the necromancer Cizin. It would seem to be the 'crystal key' she spoke of. Just how she plans to use it to free him is a mystery still.


Xavier's tomes offered no insight into the motivations of the Taathian necromancer, it seems he must be here simply to foil the Molochian but that theory just doesn't ring true. He may be seeking the BloodWell too, though my instincts tell me he searches for something else.


While some of the magick arcana in the necromantic tome chill me to my soul, some would seem to have relatively benign effects such as speaking with the dead or placing a body in a death-like state until awakened by some predetermined signal. While blood or some detritus is needed for any necromantic spells, the amounts are rather minute compared to the darker arts of necromancy. But I can't escape the thought that these magicks could be replicated via less unsavory means.


The book is desired by both the Molochians and the Taathians, I have had members of both temples try to gain the tome from me before I have finished my study of it, though their motives may be nothing more than curiosity. Only time will tell.


The necromancers continue to instill fear and uneasiness in the populace, the lair of the Taathian was discovered to the south of the city in some underwater cave. Reports say he trapped a score or so of people within his lair while he met with some of Taath's faithful. The townsfolk not aligned with either temple grow suspicious and wary of the designs of the necromancers; they begin to see plots and schemes in every shadow. They also begin to see Tolian as a possible savior, the person who will put an end to this. If I appear in the city without Tolian, inevitably several people will whisper or send mental queries about my apprentice's well-being and whereabouts. A strange twist in events to be certain.


In the pale light of the waning moon and the skittering shadows cast by the flickering candlelight, the conflict within me wages war anew. The knowledge I have gained from Xavier's tome adds weight to both voices. The horrors I see in some of the grand necromantic rituals feed the growing dread and revulsion within me, the voice of my conscience calling for me to take a stand against this palpatable evil. The knowledge we could learn from our dead ancestors could be invaluable, so much has been lost in the ravages of war and the cataclysm of Unmagick. Being able to place a sick or injured being in a state of suspended animation until they could be treated and cured would be a gift to many I should think. Isn't it said we have to learn to take the bad with the good?


I am reminded of something my mother once told me as a child, "When the wind blows out the candle, you can either savor the breeze or curse the darkness."


If I listen to logic and do nothing but observe, how will I react when the wind of necromancy extinguishes the flame of life in this city?


If I listen to my conscience and snuff the flame of necromancy, will I curse the darkness of lost knowledge or revel in the breath of life in the city?


Journal of Medares Greymist


It has been six days since The Day of Long Shadows. Six days since Cizin's laboratory was opened and Veradona's plans foiled. Six days since Tolian's death at the hands of Veradona. Six days since I've started to question my own beliefs. The grief I feel for Tolian's death isn't the only emotion clouding my thoughts, there is a bitter anger within me for the initial dismissal of Tolian's death by some of the townsfolk.  Perhaps they have become too accustomed to death here, it is new to me. They spoke to me of having his death 'mean' something, to not let it be for naught by helping them rid the world of the two necromancers. Is that what Tolian's life is reduced to now? A reason to kill? Shouldn't the life he lived and beliefs he held dear matter more than the manner of his death? Shouldn't his vow of peace be what he is remembered by, not for his use as a battle cry? Thankfully the sympathy and concern for Tolian's death shown me by the secians Oake and Aliyah reminded the other townsfolk  of the need to respect the fallen, or at least shamed them into acknowledging it. I fear the brusque nature they showed at first caught me off-guard, I lashed out in anger at their callused treatment of death and inability to let me grieve.


I am ill-equipped to wrestle with these thoughts, I've never mourned for anyone or anything other than lost knowledge in my life, my dedication to knowledge and its preservation has left me little time for religious philosophy or thoughts. Even more I envy Tolian the serenity his faith gave him. The sense of loss I feel is magnified by the knowledge Tolian believed I would save him, that my magick would protect him. His last words show his faith in my abilities and his Goddess never wavered. But my abilities were not enough to save his life. I watched helplessly as Veradona took his life with the bone kris.


The next few moments are not clear in my mind's eye, rather they are a disjointed chaotic jumble of images and feelings. Veradona and I struggled over the body of Cizin as the creations of Cizin sought to end both our lives. During the fight, Vladimyr stole into the room and took Cizin's book of spells, cackling as he summoned animated corpses to help Cizin's reavers and spiders kill Veradona and I as the Taathian made his escape. The creatures and Veradona proved to be too much for me, my body soon failed me. As I lay there in between life and true death, Spurians finally won through the press of Cizin's creatures to deal with Veradona. In the confusion, she was unable to spare time to pluck the BloodWell from Cizin's skeletal clutches before the spectral reaver's claws aided somewhat by several Spurians took her life for a day. She still lives, but it was sufficient to foil her plans on the Day of Long Shadows. I fear for the townsfolk who gave into the impulse to take her belongings however, muatana are as covetous and territorial as imperials when it comes to their belongings it seems.


Vladimyr appears to have used his new-found knowledge to forge an alliance with the Lord of Deception judging by the display I witnessed near his lair in the southlands. He seems to be summoning the creations of Soros from the underworld, and I believe he has a need for the BloodWell for whatever he is planning, the images we saw in his fountain of blood seem to point to his targeting me since I possess the crystal now.


In going through Tolian's things, I came across a final entry in his journal, I've scribed a copy of it here in mine to remember him by:


31st day of the 11th month of the year 308..


I have truly grown to love this city, and this festival has been great fun. The people here are so kind. They always inquire about Master Medares when I am not with him, and offer any possible clues they think they have or suggestions about how to handle the necromancers. Their concern about my safety is overwhelming. The Secians are truly a joy to be around, and I find myself spending even more time then I should in their company and neglecting my studies too much. I promise to spend more time on my studies... after the festival is over.


Master Medares' heart seems to be softening as well. He is currently in the library of the Sage's guild here in Spur looking for a way into Cizin's lab. I know if anyone one can he will find a way to stop Veradona from bringing Moloch back to the realms. I think lately he has seen that simply observing isn't always enough. That sometimes we have to act, even if we are unsure of the outcome. Perhaps he might soon listen to the words of Rinanni, and find a place for Her in his life. Her love has always been such a comfort to me whenever I felt lonely. I know She led Master Medares to find me when I was alone without a family, to give me the chance to be a part of a family and to become a Sage. It's what I dream of... to be a Sage as wise as my master. I know how lucky I am to have a master such as him, one who treats me as a son, not a servant. I will make him proud of me.


Master Medares gave me permission to attend the costume ball tonight, and I must say I am very excited! I found the perfect costume!


Tolian Alron

Apprentice Sage to Medares Greymist


We name an individual who has lost his parents, an orphan; and a widower the man unfortunate enough to have lost his wife. But what name is there for the man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, with what title do we label him? Here every language I know is silent and holds its peace in impotence.


May the wings of Rinanni's dove speed your soul to Her, apprentice.


Journal of Medares Greymist


I have returned to Spur after a brief sabbatical to the Great Library where I placed the observations of Tolian and I into the Great Archive. Tolian's work on the symbiotic relationship the secians have with their tree near a great dragon's lair has earned much praise, history will remember Tolian as a Sage now, not just an apprentice. It is one of the last gifts I can give you, my friend.


It seems the necromancers still plague this city with their intrigues, Vladimyr has made a pact with the Lord of Deception for some unknown plot while Veradona seems set on regaining her purloined items and gaining revenge for her plans being foiled.


Vladimyr has stolen the White Dove of Rinanni from its hiding place in Rinanni's Spurian temple, it seems the muatana-al is attempting to follow in Soros the Conqueror's footsteps. His allegiance with the Lord of Deception has also drawn the ice devil Loa'Kass back into Spur. Evidence of him can be seen in the profusion of the color purple, which is his favorite hue. It seems he has deluded himself into thinking that the high priestess of the Rinannian temple here is his long lost love, Laurana, the khat'sara (lifemate) of Lord Ferdain the leuian who helped found the Pride here in Spur. She was the subject of one of the infamous bets between the Lord of Deception and Loa'Kass. But I digress into another history lesson..


Vladimyr now has the Dove, which will protect him from the meddling of the Gods. Since he is mortal, in the sense that all beings including dragons are mortal because they can suffer the final death either due to injury or time, I am not certain just how he plans to use it to his advantage as it will not protect him from the citizens. Though the Lord of Deception can, if he could gain his full freedom from the underworld. The townsfolk I spoke with were set on getting the Golden Dragon of Sa to combat the power of the Dove, though at this juncture it is really not necessary. Since the Dragon is in the possession of Sa and Sa is silent, I feel the danger that would require it to be put into play again has not reached that point. If the Lord of Deception returns to our world fully with the Dove in his possession, then perhaps all of us should bend knee and pray to Sa.


One of the reasons I returned to Spur, no drawn back to this town, is to help put an end to the nightmarish plots of these necromancers. I no longer feel the conflict between my duty and this city now. I know now that knowledge is to be used for the greater good, not preserved for some future time. I will do what I can to silence this cacophony of darkness.


I've found a kind of peace since Tolian's death, partially due to the ceremony the Rinannians had to celebrate his life and partially due to the kindling of anger within me. As the leuian warrior-sage Jerralt said in his tome, "History of Battle":


"Anger is necessary in the world. Evil prospers among us because the world isn't angry enough."


This evil will prosper no more.


Journal of Medares Greymist


I find my emotions over the banishment of Vladimyr to the torment of the Underworld to be conflicting. While the knowledge that Loa'Kass now owns the White Dove of Rinanni fills me with worry, the knowledge that one of the pair of necromancers will never practice their dark magicks again gives me hope. But one remains free to walk the night and take more innocent lives, no one is safe until her life no longer touches this plane.


Loa'Kass and the Lord of Deception will continue to have animosity and plot against each other, the theft of the White Dove is just another round in their eons-long chess game. It would seem Spur has escaped the immediate threat of the Dove being in the possession of the Lord of Deception, Loa'Kass is more intent on wooing 'Laurana' who he identifies as the high priestess Tygerlili. I can only guess what he will do with the dove, the Lord of Deception has lost his chance to break out of the Underworld for now.


From what I can gather, Vladimyr was using the Lord of Deception for his own purposes and had unknown designs for the use of the Dove. I can't say if the theft of the Dove is what revealed Vladimyr's duplicity to the Lord of Deception or the attempts to recover the Dove from the ice devil but whatever the cause I am grateful for it.


My new apprentice, Athyn, was shocked when I gave Cizin's book to the muatana-al Lilly in exchange for a Fang of Rhangkhorre. He could not understand why I would willingly give up the trove of knowledge surely contained in the pages of the book. But, as I have learned at great cost, the duty of a Sage is to use knowledge to preserve life. If that means burying or erasing some discoveries, so be it. It will take time to teach this to Athyn, though he seems to be quick to learn.


Athyn seems to have taken to the people of this city as Tolian did, and he's also seemed to develop an affinity with the secians. It is difficult not to be drawn to the secians, their caring nature seems to be a balm for the soul. Athyn's mind is still too cluttered with the strict teachings of the Library, it will take some time to break him of the rote procedures and lessons the Library uses to train a potential Sage's mind for cataloging observations and information for future recall.


I have spent much of the past few days examining the Fang of Rhangkhorre, wondering if I can summon up the courage to use it or if there is another way to put this at an end. Will I become the evil I seek to destroy or is it justice to bring her the same end she inflicted on so many others? Where does true evil lie, in the act or in the motive behind the act? Is my life to be labeled by the outcome of one act or the sum of all my days?


As I gaze upon the terrible edges of the glass blade of the Fang, I feel the thrill of knowing Tolian's death can be avenged but also the terrible sadness at the loss of a friend such as Tolian. I also wonder what Tolian would think of the act I contemplate. Would he decry it or would he understand why I feel this must be done? His creed of peace gave him an inner strength I'm not certain I can ever find. I wonder again not for the first time if religion is something more than what it appears to be at first glance. Perhaps once one gets past all the posturing and outright hypocrisy inherent in the temples themselves to see the teachings of the deity and one begins to live a life by those ideals then true inner strength and faith is found.


Tolian, my friend, if only I could debate these things with you once again.


Journal of Medares Greymist


The celebration of Rinannimas in this town was quite delightful. I was asked to hold a scavenger hunt, most entertaining to see the citizens scurrying about and laughing while they competed instead of moving quickly from place to place in hopes of avoiding the necromancers and their foul creatures.  Athyn is turning out to be a most able apprentice, his assistance in passing out the dolls to the contestants was invaluable. I was amazed to see the amount of detail in his notes of the evening, it seems even when he was given a task his mind was still cataloging information and observing the activity around him. It reminds me so much of the way Tolian was when he first became my apprentice.


The festival gave me time to reflect on my plans; I grow ever more unsure of my intentions. Is revenge what will finally lay my guilt to rest? Is that the only reason I now hold this dagger, to assuage the guilt I have in not being able to protect Tolian?  Or is this truly an act of vengeance to end the terror of Veradona's madness? My life as a Sage has not prepared me for such thoughts of my own actions, only to interpret the acts of others in the eyes of history and the library of time. Perhaps sages shouldn't be so reserved and detached from their emotions. Perhaps this is the greatest gift Tolian could ever give me, my true soul.


I begin to think this dagger should be returned to the one who fashioned it. I've gone back and read some of my earlier journal entries, my memory for some things fails me these days. I am becoming like those who sought to use Tolian as a martyr, to use his death to engender more bloodshed. I'm certain he would not stand for it. And yet.. a part of me recalls how horrified he was by the evil tainting both necromancers. I must do something to put an end to this, but is killing her the only way? Ah, Tolian, would that you were here to help me struggle through this... perhaps a walk through the city will help ease my mind.


Journal of Medares Greymist


I've returned from my walk only to find my thoughts more troubled than before. While I was writing in my journal, Veradona attacked and fed on Athyn. The news caused a curtain of red to drape across my vision. I'd drawn the Fang without even noticing it until I could feel the strange, unpleasant tingling sensation of it in my hand. The dagger seems to yearn to be used, as if it hungers for a soul. I begin to wonder if any but a muatana-al could craft such a weapon.


The whispers of some of the townsfolk stain the memory of Tolian, and give me pause to reconsider my view of the city. They seek to drown me in guilt and remorse over my apprentice's death. For what purpose other than abject cruelty, I cannot fathom. If they were followers of the god Taath, perhaps. But it is almost uniformly those who follow no god, once again I am left wondering if choosing to remain unfettered by religion was the wise path to take.


I don't know if it's the proximity of the Fang, but I've grown quick to anger and short of patience with some in the city. I fear the nature of it may be tainting me, or perhaps it is the weight of my dilemma bringing my temper to the surface.


One dilemma is settled, I will put an end to the necromancer's feeding and preying upon this city. I have been trying to find some alternative to the Fang, but other methods leave too much to chance. I have no hopes of curing her possible insanity, as I am not even certain she is insane. I could try to kill her with my magick, but that only banishes her for a day and is an uncertain outcome at best. Sunlight is too risky, I'm not sure I could deceive her into thinking it is night and exposing her to the bane of the sun. Perhaps I will discover some other option besides the Fang. I pray to whatever gods I find one, I don't relish feeling the emotions of the dagger as it feeds upon her life.


Tolian, forgive me for what I must do.


> Journal of Medares Greymist


It is done. Veradona will work her evil on this city and world no longer. I nearly lost my life in the attempt, but I managed to put an end to this without using the Fang. Though there may be repercussions of what I did with the Fang, only time will tell. Much of what I planned I have kept secret until scribing this entry, I could not risk Veradona or others discovering what I had planned. To understand it fully, I must start some weeks ago when I purchased a house near Spur…


After Athyn and I moved into the house, I had my things from my tower in the White Forest brought to my new home. In one of my half-forgotten old trunks I stumbled upon one of my old research items- several pieces of dragonshard, the ancient eggshells of dragons from the eons-ago age before their current life-cycle of ‘staging’ came into existence. The crystalline material seems to have a propensity for ‘cleaning’ magickal energies focused through it. This amplifies magick, in much the same way the BloodWell amplified necromantic energy. I shaped several pieces into charms, two I used to help Fawnna and Loiosh when Fawnna became ‘infected’ with the accumulated pain and suffering of Veradona’s victims. While I was shaping them, the spark of an idea grew in the back of my mind. There is a spell used for opening rifts in our world to cross great distances.. perhaps with dragonshard I could open a rift to another plane. I fashioned an orb of dragonshard to use as my own focus and as a focal point to draw energy from Fawnna’s and Loiosh’s charms during the healing spell to help me gauge just how magick would react and how much energy the matrix of the ‘shard could withstand.


I was astonished at how much power was flowing through the orb during the spell with no sign of stress or backlash. It almost seemed to pull the magick from me once started rather than me channeling through it. The strangest feeling was the sensations from the streams of energy flowing between the secian and the drake through the orb, it was as if I was both Loiosh and Fawnna.. I could feel their lives and their great love for one another. The spell was not without cost, somehow it aged me. But it was a small price to pay to help Fawnna and Loiosh.


I’d fashioned a charm as a gift for Oake as well, she’s become an aspiring sage it seems. The final two pieces I used to create charms for Athyn and myself. I hoped they would be enough when the time came.


I threw myself into my plan, I’d decided that poetic justice would be to take Veradona to her master’s realm. During this time I came to notice the fang, Forlorn, had taken on a ‘life’ or personality of its own. When I would concentrate intently or find my mind wandering for a short time, I could hear the dagger whispering in my mind. It desperately wished to be free. To feed upon a soul. Many wonders were promised to me if I would but use the Fang, but they only served to strengthen my resolve to find some other way than Forlorn to end this. I’m afraid the spells I used to keep the Fang’s powers from disturbing me and of learning the nature of the charms I’d made taxed me greatly. In conjunction with the efforts of fashioning the spell I required, the wards nearly sapped my will and energy completely. It grew even worse when Oake decided to take the Fang as her own burden rather than see me suffer under the weight of it. Eventually she returned Forlorn to Lilly, someone I still mean to have a long conversation with to discern just exactly what the Fang of Rhangkhorre became when it grew ‘sentient’ but that is speculation for another entry..


All my hopes for my plan were nearly shattered when I discovered the spell I intended to use would send both the caster and another. I would be trapped in Moloch’s Prison for all eternity with Veradona and the Lord of Death unless I could find a way to escape. Even if there was no way back, I realized my life was a small price to pay to end the madness of Veradona and necromancy. With further study, I found a possible way back. But I could not open the passage from Moloch’s Plane. Which left me with another puzzle, I couldn’t reveal my plans to another so how would I get the passage open? I decided to use the charms and my orb, to leave some clues and hope they would be enough.


During the Dance of the Windfaeries, I gathered some of the silvery moonbeams that danced with the faeries to weave the magick of Nature’s renewal within my orb, then channeled some of it into each of the charms. I prepared star charts highlighting constellations representative of the shapes I’d used for the charms. As I had no more use for the books unearthed from Xavier’s tomb, I did as promised and donated them to the local Sage’s Guild. But I enchanted the bookcase to act as a conduit for the spell to open the passage back from Moloch’s plane. The final steps were to leave a hopefully not too cryptic riddle and to plant the seeds of hope within the charms themselves. I’d completed my tasks none too soon, the strain of my efforts caused me to loose consciousness while observing Rinanni’s Eye through my telescope. It was then Veradona struck..


She kidnapped the Knight Stanrar’s wife, Alynia the high priestess of Unknown and Athyn. I’m afraid I went a little mad at that point, I began calling Athyn Tolian and I demanded Lilly return Forlorn. I was able to track Athyn through the charm luckily, as Veradona had moved her lair to the former Circle of Honor’s Tower. Within the lower level, she had constructed a shrine to Moloch. We arrived too late to save Alynia, Veradona slew her within a second or two of our arrival inside the new prison cell she had made. No one could open the door, it seemed the lock was too complex for Lilly to open quickly. Stanrar was beside himself yelling for someone to open the door. Mala the leuian, Xirawyn the monitanian, Oake and Lilly all did their best to open the door. Oake pleaded with me to not use the Fang, but in my lost state I had every intention of using it. I know not where the knowledge of the spell came from exactly and I am uncertain if I could ever cast it again.. as best I can tell Forlorn instructed me how to use magick to walk through the cell door. So I did.


Veradona was torturing Athyn, preparing to feed upon him as well when I stepped through. When I readied Forlorn, my mind became clear again. I was once again myself. I sheathed Forlorn and readied the orb and the BloodWell. During the invokation of my spell, I smashed the BloodWell with the orb, both to harness the energies within and to destroy an artifact of evil. Veradona struggled mightily to free herself of the spell, she used everything within her power to destroy me before the casting was finished. But it was to no avail, when the spell faded we were no longer on this plane.


I was shocked to see the change in Veradona. Where I thought she would rejoice in being on her Master’s plane, she seemed to be frozen in abject terror. She turned on me and demanded to know how to get out before Moloch came to destroy her. She’d been one of the muatana-al instrumental in plotting to entrap Moloch within this prison. But the Lord of Chaos managed to curse her and a few others to find a way to release him. The curse eventually drove her mad as it ran roughshod over her own free will. I almost pity her. Almost..


I left her as quickly as I could. How long would it take for the clues I left to be uncovered? Would they ever be solved? Would they be in time..


The Prison is an inhospitable world. A roiling black miasma of clinging mists fills the air, making every breath seem as if the air was a burning liquid snaking into your lungs. The ground is sere and barren. The rocks more like jagged pieces of steel, as if the area was once the site of a mighty battle and only the shattered remains of the blades are left. The creatures seem to be dredged from the worst nightmares of a devout Taathian. Strange spider-like larvae creatures called ‘skitterlings’, the bane scarabs they grow up to be.. and others I cannot describe.. In my flight across the barren landscape, I did notice what appeared to be a small town or village in the distance. But I’m afraid I had no time to investigate. I found a curious smooth circular rock atop a small hill to make my stand against the skitterlings that pursued me. I stuck the blade of Forlorn into the ground and planted the tip of my staff in the center of the rock. I wove a ward using Forlorn as the lynch pin. When the first wave of skitterlings flowed up the sides of the hill and met the ward, the spell unleashed Forlorn’s will upon them. Brilliant reddish-black tendrils of magick surged through the first ranks of the skitterlings, the alien screams of pain and death wails created a discordant aria. I had little time to revel in my accomplishment as the rest of the skitterlings slithered over the barrier of their dead and dying kin. I used every rune and weave at my disposal while praying under my breath for the portal to open soon. I would not survive the onslaught much longer.. both my runes and my strength were fading..


Then out of nowhere Oake appeared. They had discovered the clues and deciphered them! She saw the peril we were in almost immediately and yelled for help. Soon more Spurians began pouring through the rent between the planes.. Sir Stanrar, Lord Meqetlh, Regent Kyrinne, Mala, Noctorus, Leyara, Athyn, Fawnna, and Loiosh all arrived and helped turn the tide of the skitterlings long enough for us all to make our escape.


Rest peacefully Tolian. Veradona walks our world no more.


Something came through the portal not of our world. A shadow appeared above Oake’s head after we were through and there have been small incursions of skitterlings and bane scarabs.. it seems we have rid ourselves of one peril and gained another. Only time will tell…


Go Play! Go Play! Go Play!