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dgate history and lore

:: The Ancient History of Aradath ::
:: The Chronicles of Pel ::
:: The Tale of the Octogon ::
:: The Burning of Treehaven, Secian View ::
:: The Burning of Treehaven, Frontacian View ::


The Chronicles of Pell ...

From the plain towers of Penthania, I looked out the eastern window and saw a group of travelers coming towards the city from the north, across the great wastes. Five years had passed since the unmagick was unleashed on the lands, five years since these horrible wastes have turned inhospitable to even the most basic of wildlife. It had been five years since a traveler last came to our city.

Five years ago to this day, the council met to decide upon the use of the unmagick, an ability we did not understand, a force of which I did not approve. I alone defied the council and said the effects would be too disastrous, too devastating, and my skin of gemstone alone is enough to prove my argument correct. The council, fearing I would spout my resentment upon the streets and bring about an uprising, had me locked in the tower under careful watch, "for my own safety".

Who could these travelers be, who come to us through the wastelands? From the tower I could tell the travelers were tiny, their heads didn't even reach to the guards' knees. One of the travelers removed his hood, and golden hair billowed in the wind. It had been five years since I last saw hair at all, and it was a magnificent sight to behold again. I had almost forgotten it ever existed.

Those who guarded the gates stood around befuddled, unsure of what to do. If humor were logical, I might have found the situation amusing.

I decided I must meet these visitors. Outside contact had been so long denied to all of us, but for me, it appeared to be the only escape from a living prison. I could see the remorse for our great misdeed on the face of everyone of our race, which we now call Penthanian, even though we now base our lives on logical action in all steps, showing little emotion for life or existence. Emotionless logic was our way when we released the unmagick to destroy the Arcanians, and it has been our way ever since.

The outside door opened slowly to my knocks. The will to hurry or slow down seems to be lost to our race, now we only have movements timed with logical perfection. A gem-bodied guard with an emotionless, lost looking face asked me what I wanted. I explained that I wished to go the city for the day and try to become a better member of society. The guard didn't expect one of our race to bend the truth and for some reason let me pass. I hurried down the steps from the tower, much to the dismay of those I passed, who took their steps as slowly as if they were their last.

I slowed down to catch my breath as I reached the bottom of the stairs, paused for a moment at the door, then stepped into the city streets and made my way to the front gate to meet the strangers. Here and there, a Penthanian with a bit of resistance to the change in them glanced at me curiously. One or two seemed to recognize me briefly before turning away and moving onward at a slightly quicker pace. I hurried to the main gates and stopped to gaze at the amazing sight before me. Tiny beings, beings that brought a cry of beauty to my supposedly dry, emotionless heart, fluttered in the cool wasteland breezes. Their golden hair sparkled in the sun, their deep caring eyes looked at everything with love and tenderness, and their thin wings glittered like the skin on my body.

My observation from the tower window was correct. Of the five who stand before me, not one stood over a foot and a half in height. A single guard remained at the gate, looking at me as if I might be able to offer up some advice as to what he should do with these strange beings. He informed me that the other guards had left to seek out the High Magus, and would return shortly with him to deal with the matter. I approached the small beings, which in turn seemed to approach me, though it was hard to be sure with the way they seemed to float in the breeze.

I asked of them in our native Penthanian tongue what race they were, but they simply smiled and chattered amongst themselves in some other foreign tongue. I asked again, this time in the Frontacian tongue of which we were once born. The largest of the beings, wearing small golden robes, flittered closer to me and responded in perfect Frontacian, "We are Secians shiny one, and what in the name of the heavens are you?" I informed them I was a Penthanian, the word still does not entirely have meaning for me, and they chattered amongst themselves again quickly in a high toned, wonderful sounding language. The one in the golden robes turned back to me and said, "We have come from the city of Secia, seeking those Frontacians of Penthania in hopes of learning what has happened to us and our home".

Slowly it dawned on me that our actions five years past had been far worse then even I had warned. We had believed that only Arcania and the valleys around it had been transformed by the unmagick, but we were horribly wrong. I did not even need to ask, for I knew that these who called themselves Secians were really from the far northern city state of Secia as they claimed, and had been transformed by the unmagick as well.

It was then I realized that these Secians had made a mistake in coming here. The High Magus would be furious to learn the decisions of his council had caused even more suffering then he was aware of. Could it be possible that we changed the entire world? Regardless, these Secians would be made to disappear before society could be disrupted by their influence. I quickly explained to the Secians that they were in grave danger, and asked them to leave with me from the city and travel to any place, anywhere but here. The Secians talked amongst themselves; the concept of danger seemed almost foreign to them as they gazed excitedly at the city while they talked. I gave thanks to my ancestors that my people had become so slow and monotonous in their movement; in the old days, the High Magus would have easily been upon us by now. Finally, the Secian in the golden robes waved off the others and turned to me, saying in a firm tone: "The world is not what it once was, and all beings are not what they once were, we love and trust all, and put our love and trust into you that perhaps we are not as welcome here as we would like to think". At this point he turned to the other Secians, who all turned their gazes away. "We will leave the city with you for three days, to listen and learn from you of what has happened. When that time is done, should we find reason, we all shall return to the city together to spread understanding and peace to the people of the city" he finished and smiled to me with a childlike innocence on his face.

"Understanding" - could the poor innocent one say anything worse? Such a word would start riots, cause chaos and uproot what the High Magus had spent five years attempting to build and control. I quickly hurried them out of the city and we made our way towards the wastes below. The lone guard stood still watching our movements without a flicker of emotion upon his face. Whether he knew the Frontacian tongue or simply chose to pretend the entire situation was not occurring, I cannot to this day say for sure.

Down from the hills we traveled, myself slowly floating behind the fluttering Secians as I rode a spell of flight behind them. They seemed like the fairies of myth, the way they glittered in the air, extremely happy and content, as if they didn't know they were flying through a vast wasteland of death. I noticed they would constantly turn back to me and look at my skin with a disturbing look in their eyes, a lust if one could call it that, though I knew I had nothing to fear from them. As we reached the lower lands, I could see distant Arcania, the land of those we now call Arachnians, who suffered the most from our destructive magick.

The Secians continued to talk among themselves as they continued towards some predetermined point. As we continued on, a large stone outcropping came into view in the distance. The Secians explained to me they had stayed there the night before, and found it quite comfortable.

Upon reaching the outcropping, I ended my flight spell and landed gently on the ground. It was growing dark, and the Secians landed around me and began to remove tiny blankets and other supplies from their bags. In the center of the stone pile, covered by a large stone that jutted out above the rest, was a burnt-out fire pit. The Secians removed a number of wooden sticks from their bags and placed them on the pit, then lit them with a dart of fire.

Once we had settled down around the fire, the Secians asked me to explain what had happened to the world to change things so much. I sighed deeply, knowing this would only be the first of many times I would tell the tale, and then slowly began to relate the details as they came to my mind from the past.

Approximately ten years ago, our kingdom of Penthania was jealous of the realm below us. The realm was called Arcania, and those who lived there were the most powerful users of magick in the world. A number of our land attempted to steal a set of magickal volumes from them so we might have the skills on magick on the level of theirs. The Arcanians, ordinarily peaceful people, were furious at us for breaking the peace we all lived in, and destroyed those who attempted the raid. The Arcanians declared war on Penthania and for four and a half years our two realms would battle with magicks the likes of which the world may never see again.

The Arcanians were the greatest magick users in the world at the time, and we knew from the start that we had little chance against them. After four and a half years of defeat after defeat, the High Magus went into the great libraries of Telfast to study, and did not come out for six months. When he finally returned he called a council meeting. All of the council members including myself were there. We all knew the High Magus would present us with some sort of hope, he had to. We sat in our seats in the council chamber and applauded our leader as he entered through the golden doors of rule, he stood tall and proud upon the podium, a massive tome with red-trimmed binding in his hands. He called out to us all for silence, then spoke words that will stay with me for the rest of my life, as my heart crumbled when he pronounced them upon us. "My friends, before us stands the future, and in its path stand those from below us in the valleys, those who rival the will of the Gods and wish to bring destruction upon us all. I have studied the tomes of Telfast, and found within them a spell of tremendous power, a spell of unmagick, a spell that will leave the Arcanians without the ability to use their magick. They will live, and thus we will do the Gods' will bringing peace upon all, but they will be powerless to attack us any further." Wild applause filled the council chamber after the High Magus' words, but I knew better, I saw the look in his eyes of concern and worry, he was not telling us all he knew about this unmagick.

The Secians look confused after I said this; they glanced at one another and shook their heads with puzzled frowns. I waited patiently, and finally the smallest of them spoke up and said, "But that would be not telling the truth". I thought for a moment on the strange thing the Secian had said, did they expect the truth from everyone? The one in the golden robes recognized the confusion upon my face now, and with an intelligent glint in his eyes, explained to me that those of his race could no longer make up stories, the truth was all they knew. I wondered what other wonders I would learn of these people, they seemed completely innocent in a world of devastation and destruction. Perhaps that was part of it; it seemed to me the unmagick had added the traits of each touched by it that they held at the time of its unleashing. Those from Penthania were emotionless and uncaring about others, the Arcanian's furious and hateful as there magick was torn away, and these of Secia, totally innocent of the event, had become the innocent unassuming people. I cleared my throat softly and continued with the tale.

The applause came to an end in the council hall and one hand arose quickly into the air - my own. The High Magus nodded to me and I stood, hundreds of eyes turned upon me, like the many eyes of a spider turning upon its prey. I called out, "High Magus, this new unmagick, while sounding quite wonderful in concept, brings to mind a few specific questions. How do we control such a powerful force from affecting us and those around us? How will it affect the land if the very magick is torn from it?" and finally, perhaps the greatest mistake I have made in my life, I raised the question, "And how are you sure you know that it does what you say?"

An oppressive complete and utter stunned silence filled the council. Had someone stirred, I believe the very Gods may have struck them down from above for interrupting the event. The High Magus glared at me with a hate in his eyes I have only once seen before, from a lone Psycian slave brought to Penthania by the Empire in the early days of our city state's founding just a few months after the destruction of Psycia. The utter disgust was clear to all in his response to me, though he never once looked at me again from that point on. "Fellow Frontacians, we are the rulers of these lands, no matter what claim others lay upon it. We are the greatest mages in the world, regardless of what the Arcanians believe. We must once and for all use this power to remove the hate and envy of us from their blood so that they might live as the docile servants they should be. Do not question that which the great Telfast created and that which I have mastered and understood. We shall all combine our skills and create this spell for the good of humanity, we do not act in evil, there will be no repercussions."

At this point, I fully realized these fairy-like Secians were not only innocent to the cares of the world, but also tremendously intelligent. Each of them nodded with every word of my tale, a look of complete understanding not only of our fates and those of Arcania, but of their own fates as well. Tears ran down their eyes in pity for all involved, they spoke words of comfort and forgiveness for all, even the High Magus whose own ego and fears overshadowed reason in his actions. I gave them a moment to recover before I continued on.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the vote stood three hundred and twelve to one in favor of the unmagick; I alone stood against it. The High Magus ordered me locked in the towers so that I would not interfere with the event, though he told the council it was for my own safety. One day later, exactly five years from this day, the High Magus gathered our people in the city center bearing the tomes of Telfast. Every resident of the city lined the streets to help in the magick, only I from my vantage point of the towers was not allowed to participate. For hours they chanted and cast, and many passed out upon the city streets from exhaustion. Finally, as the sun reached its zenith, waves of energy formed around the city. Blinding auras of blue and white exploded and raced around the city, hundreds fell exhausted to the ground, until finally with an incredible tremor that rocked the entire city, the waves of energy shot into the distance and began to change all they touched. Our city began to warp, the bright color becoming bland and pale. Our skins began to meld with the gems on our foreheads until our people looked like giant gemstones. (The Secians seemed quite excited by this idea, though it was truly terrible and gruesome). My mind began to change as well. Fear, love and caring floated to the back of my mind, and logic and planning moved to the fore. I resisted these changes, refused them, and kept with me some of the emotions that precious few others would hold. Worst affected was the land outside of the city. Once lush and beautiful, it had changed. The valleys below, home of the Arcanians, had become a vast wasteland. Not a living creature or plant could be seen in any direction, only death and emptiness stretched as far as eyes could see. From my vantage point in the tower I was the first to know what we had done, the waves of energy continued on into the distance far past the range of the eye; where and if they ever stopped we will likely never know.

I continued the story and finished the tale describing what we had found since the unmagick was done, the changes that had occurred, and most importantly the retreat of the newly dubbed Arachnians further to the north into the vast regions of that which we now called the Great Wastes. The Secians shared in my sadness and almost seemed to drain it from my very being into their own, they seemed truly overwhelmed that a people could do such a horrid thing. Strangely, they were also very ready to forgive and accept the changes for the best. The Secians explained to me that all life is sacred, and that all mistakes can be righted if one is pure and true. The way they spoke, I truly believed them. For a few moments they sat in silence as I stared up into the night sky, the stars sparkled brightly around a nearly full moon while I thought over everything that had occurred and what would become of me when all was finished. I brought my emotions under control, something my race would actually be proud of, and begged the Secians to tell me what had happened in their land so that I might know of what had become of their great land and people who were once my kin.

They told me of a warm summer afternoon, a soft cool breeze blowing through the plains of Secia, suddenly interrupted by a massive wave of energy exploding across the land. As it passed, the land around them began to grow larger and larger as it was torn into a giant wasteland. What had once been grassy hills were now rocky jagged peaks of mountains. Two of the younger Secians chuckled softly and shook their heads, knowing what came next in the tale. The one in the golden robes smiled and explained to me that they had thought the terrain had grown around them, but quickly realized that they had in fact shrunk. The gems in their heads were gone, and they felt an incredible longing to search out and recover gemstones like the ones they had lost. I learned of how their magick had faded slightly, to be replaced by a natural magick within them. Magickal flight with tiny wings, and a strange bond to all living things, especially the Dragon. The Secians told me they could no longer harm living creatures, and to do so caused them incredible pain. (They could apparently still destroy things like plants, magickal constructs and the undead without feeling this pain)

The Secians told me of their travel to Penthania while the rest of the race moved to a newly found island of Secia somewhere off the coast of Aradath. They told me of a run in with one of the Arachnians who was filled with hate and rage at their magick, but the Secians were able to calm the beast, give him food and sent him on his way. Such love for all living things, it is my assumption the Arachnian would have readily torn them to bits had they given it the chance, yet they did not even comprehend the danger, only caring to heal and see the Arachnian on its way. The Secians told me of the blasted wastes that covered every inch of the land they traveled, and the horrible death that was found in the wastes. Nothing other then the Arachnians lived within the wastes that they were able to find. They finished their tale with their arrival at Penthania and meeting me, each of them clapped loudly and seemed quite excited by all the information they had gathered this night. The one in the golden robes hushed the others and smiled to me saying, "Tomorrow we will leave to return to Secia, we have no place in this city, and from what I see you do not either. If you wish to come with us, you are more then welcome. We will leave in the morning, please have decided by then". The Secians were quickly asleep, but I would be awake all the night.

I would leave with the Secians in the morning and make the trek with them to the island of New Secia where I would live out the rest of my days. I had truly found the perfect race, almost always cheerful, they never told lies, they loved all living things (I would later learn all but the Muatana-al), and most importantly they cherished my gemstone skin. To this day, I have found no day where these Secians are not able to bring out the emotion deep within me, and I have never been happier, ever.


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