A Light in the Dark

In the name of Merlai, what is that!?
I'm running out of time

The negotiations were going well enough with Elta and Jern, but something was off. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something wasn’t right. They kept calling me Ameira. It wasn’t right but I couldn’t figure out what they should call me. I was missing Christoph, as he had retired earlier claiming fatigue. What had that man done to make him so tired and leave me to be diplomatic.

My thoughts were interrupted by Phearya’s abrupt arrival and declaration that this isn’t real. Before I could ask her to explain she slapped Jern across his bearded face! I demanded that she reframe herself and explain while Jern got up and very humanly left in a huff. Pheraya dropped a tome on the table and flipped it to a page, with inscriptions and runes. She told me she’s not a mage, she can’t read this, but I could. I asked her why to which she stated I’m not a queen and Jern isn’t a king.

There’s a forest! There’s fog.

I moved quickly to catch up to Jern. He’s not with the real Elta. I’ve met her. There’s the sense of danger but it’s fleeting. I saved Elta from a hanging with help. I burned down the town. Well part of it. This isn’t Elta. She declared it didn’t happen. I grabbed Jern by the arm to get him away from the false image. He tried to resist but relented when I released him. This is urgent. I still can’t say the whys, but I knew by instinct. I showed him the book that Pheraya couldn’t read yet I could. Finally we began moving quickly to the armoury. I’m talking to him about his annoying hammer with the licorice addiction and asked him if he liked licorice. He hates the stuff. Then why did he have a pouch full? Finally something came of our conversation, the licorice was in his hand.

In the armoury I locked Elta out. I focused on this not being real. Jern had a harder time with it. We argued and he steeled himself as she cried out in pain and agony, her demands of being let in changed to begging. I have become hard as I forced him to endure the sounds from his wife.

The room darkened, fog rolled in, and the walls changed. They were rubbery.

And no Christoph.

Jern attacked it and his hammer got stuck. Pulling it free he swore, Pheraya couldn’t make heads or tails of this thing that we’re in. I believed we were in something’s stomach. It was trying to eat us. Where’s the throat? Does it have more than one stomach? I heard a sucking noise and directed Jern to it. He attacked it and the hammer was sucked through. Was this the way out? Should we let him go? Or keep him here? Pheraya yelled at me to assist her in keeping Jern here. I moved to do so.

Ishnafeyra! Are you in there?

It rang true. That is me! That’s the name I choose when I became an adult officially. Yes? I asked back. I’m in here!

Who is out there? Who is alive? Everyone from before and before is dead. From Strom, from the resistance. All dead. So who defies the gods?

Do you have the dwarf? I ask, still holding onto him.

He’s stuck, is the reply. Please be friend not foe.

I shoved the dwarf and pulled my sister off balance. I pushed him again and looked around again for Christoph and shoved my sister next. I still don’t see him. Did he get eaten or managed to escape?

I could hear a raucous outside. Cries of push! Push! Push! You’re doing great! Like some great mother was labouring. A cold hand grabbed my wrist and another my arm and then with several great heaves I was tumbling out, covered in stinking slime. I flicked it off of my arms, how I wish I could cast Clean. There was a short being, a short elf? Jumping around like a dancing imp. The voice that was encouraging the ‘births’ of us is owned by the black shrouded being. Daniel is its name.

There’s a tall Brokki as well, not the source of cold hands as his armour was covered in spikes. Clarence is what Jern called him.

The one that got us out, who knows my name, was standing aside showing fangs at the dwarf. His eyes are glowing red, skin is more pale than I recall. He’s feral.

Uncle Pronkar! I couldn’t contain myself. A friend and family has appeared! Help!

I rushed to him and glomped him tightly. He smelled of weapons oil, leather, and steel. I missed him. But I was a fool. A bloody fool! He is a feral vampire, who is fool enough to believe that Lorelei chose to take up ranks with the Kabal after fighting them alongside my parents and the rest of Strom. He doesn’t care about the state of things or bringing back certain gods. Nothing. He arrogantly believes the Kabal will do naught against him as he preys upon their scared sheeple. Sure… They have a powerful necromancer as their leader.

So why did he help? Because I summoned him when I called out for him. The battle of the gods was still going on. But why did he help? And what in the Seventh Pit of Hell was that?! Not even Pronkar knew. He left us, after Jern gave him words about a missing friend whom Pronkar turned. What the Hell? 90 years ago he made a spawn? I needed to clear my head, and meet with the new arrivals, the magi, either blood or book I know not, is Daniel. The Brokki looks like a shield mauler, I hated fighting those… He used to be a house guard and was going to bring Daniel in. If there’s wanted cards for him, then he’s on a quest. I will watch him. Magical items are limited on them, perhaps I’ll study them later to ensure no communication items are upon them.

Another bit of information that Pronkar didn’t want to part but did after my pressing: my siblings were divied up amongst the Lords like battle prizes. Aunt Lorelei took Pheraya. My sister who is with me now was taken. No one ever escapes…. Is she an agent or is Pronkar mistaken. I need to clear my head.

He believed that Lorelei gifted me a mercy by banishing me. Right, becoming a fighting pit slave is better. Well better than a pleasure slave at least, but damnit it’s not a mercy. Death is.

I got the group back onto track, we had to move quickly least the battle ends. Daniel declared he is on board with bringing back the fire God, after I told him a short version of the plan. Then he asked if I had a list. Given the company, I shrugged and said yes. In for an ounce, in for a pound. Clarence apparently now watches over Daniel to ensure he doesn’t burn everything down. Smart.

The group trudged forward, and Daniel sprinted off. I separated under guise of watching the flanks and took wing to watch over the small one. He’s shorter than Havaan. Is he a dusky skinned elf too? We talked, then I sent him back to the group. He came back and we talked some more then I sent him back. This time I heard yelling. In the forest with things trying to kill us or eat us, someone is yelling and making more noise than the armoured dwarf. I swiftly flew back then shifted my form to land before the group and scold the loud one.

We moved again until weariness started to take us over. We devised a watch order, the two warriors and I. Clarence actually used his shields to give us a wall though the spaces between were a little wide….

I reveried to try and think what to do and reexamine the ritual I was creating. Jern woke me for my watch and I took out the golem heart after his snores were steady. I asked Arisa to scout around as I began to examine it….

Only to hear a snap of a branch as something approaches. I put the heart away and pulled my scimitar out trying to figure out what’s coming. Nothing good of course.

I enlarged the fire and called an alert as a skeleton form came in. I asked for it to not be a Morgh, I got my wish, but it was worse. It was a Spawn of Kyuss, Kyuss being the worms that created it. I shout again and toss fire at it. I inform all of it’s strengths, no known weakness and the dangers of the worms. And that they can use tactics. Intelligent undead, how horrible when it’s not an ally.

Two more come and they surround Clarence, after smacking Daniel out of the way. Oddly, Clarence placed Daniel behind him…. I wasn’t expecting that. Jern moved in to help as did I, moving the fire and attacking one of them. There’s screams and Clarence has to stop fighting to rip worms out of him. I don’t know where my sister is.

After I drop mine, I saw a green worm crawling in a cut that Clarence had made in an attempt to get it out or kill it. Not thinking I coated my hand in fire and struck at it in bill strike, perhaps injuring him but I got the bugger out and cooked it.

I kept the second one coated in fire as I suggested Clarence use a knife rather than his sword to get at the worms. Daniel was scrambling all over the spiked armour attempting to help.

Finally when all three were dead, I looked for my sister while stuffing a cure light potion into Clarence’s mouth. Behind him was my sister, passed out and bleeding. I freaked believing she had worms crawling in her to only realise her wounds matched Clarence’s. All of them. I poured a cure serious down her gullet noting how few potions I have.

Once she came to she began fixing herself, and I was both angry and relieved. This is the second time she over extended herself.

I looked over everyone and decided they’ll be fine. I looked at my sister and told her we need to talk. I took her by her arm still vexed about her nearly dying.

We walked a ways then I demanded that she explain herself. About the lack of self healing that she can do, what happened regarding the resistance, who attacked, how she was captured. All of it. The anger of what has transpired, her attempts of suicide now twice, her refusal to talk, Pronkar’s refusal to help.

We argued and I attempted to barter. She tells me what happened and I tell her about where I was. No dice. I tried reasoning, but damage was already done. I told her she can keep her pain then. I spun off and walked away to cool off and give her space.

I still love my sister, I want to still trust her, I want to help her. She’s was never the hard one, she was sweet, shy, hated being alone. I miss her.

There’s an explosion and what sounds like a tree falling. I shift my shape and fly towards the sound and then begin tracking her moving away from the group. I followed her and gave her space. But she kept going farther away, so I finally landed before her and switched back to human form.

You really shouldn’t be walking around by yourself in this forest, I tell her. She snarled at me for how I treated her, I deserved that. I pointed out that I am worried about her, how she’s changed. She pointed out that I changed too. I told her I had to.

Some of the facts and questions they raise:

  • Aunt Lorelei was the one to attack the resistance and it was a total disaster. Elta had been there… As had the Princess of Mysel. Are they still alive?
  • She had brought her army and they were well trained, an assumption as many of the members were very well trained, and in the time we had been there we had been working on teamwork and fighting alongside each other.
  • Pheraya had lost consciousness and awoke in a soul gem. For 7 years she was stuck alone in there. A girl afraid of being alone forced to stay in solitude. Complete torture in the purest form for her.
  • She didn’t know that our brothers were also taken, much less given over to the others. I hope to the Gods above and below Rajin isn’t with his father.
  • 2 years ago she was taken out of her gem by man she knows not and put into her body. Is it her body, or was she put into an empty shell like our father when the Kabal stole him from his realm? Who is this man? Did he release others? Can he be an ally?
  • Did they programme her with any conditional orders? Can I trust her? Screw it. I’ll cross that bridge when it comes.
  • She’s been hiding for these last 2 years. Surviving. Barely.

I had to embrace her, hug her tight. I wrapped my wings around her and held her tight as she cried. I have heard crying helps sometimes, unfortunately I didn’t have the luxury of showing that weakness.

I sat her down and kept an arm around her shoulders as I shifted back to human. And I began to tell her about what had happened to me from spotting Lorelei’s coach and being unable to hide or get away she banished me. That I wound up on the Fire Plane where it’s so hot it’s hard for even me to breath. The air jets, toxic fumes, electrical storms made it impossible to fly. I succumbed to a poisonous gas pocket that didn’t realise that I was in Tilburg began to black out.

I awoke shackled and chained in a cart handled by Salamanders that took a bunch of us to the Brass City, where the Efreet rule.

  • I barely described the Hell I went through on the auction block. I told her it took a while as I refused to ‘behave and be meek’. I’m my mother’s daughter. But eventually an Efreet with a gladiatoral stable bought me.
  • He managed to get my scimitar which he eventually fused into my leg. He kept a spell lock on it to keep me from drawing it outside of the pits. Training was horrible, the food barely edible. I lost a lot of weight, to the point that my muscles were very much visible.
  • Training was worse than the food or the bare cell. He tried to break me and I refused. I took many lashes. I had made a friend early on, but I had to kill her in my third match. Either one of us kills the other or the archer kills us both. Anyone who tried to get close was set up to die. I stopped befriending strangers and kept to myself.
  • The bastard had attempted to use a brand to mark me but that proved useless, so he had me tied up and unable to move when he had his mark tattooed upon me. I tried cutting it out, scrubbing it, changing forms, yet it remained.
  • I couldn’t tell her everything. I won all of my matches against non champions. They were always to the death. I couldn’t tell her how the personal champions of each stable that I fought toyed with me before incapacitating me. Those matches were specifically for when I was rebellious. I skimmed over the visits by the wealthy, simply, I didn’t always win.
  • My escape was pure fluke. Something happened and I took advantage of it. I had my armour, my weapon, a few items that I accumulated for my fight wins. I fled through the market and stole what I needed to get out.
  • I fled across the plane to where the Shadow Plane touched and pushed my way through. I flew as fast as I could seeking the land of Vrynith Kareel. There are many places in the Material Plane, and it took me a long time to find the continent. Worse something that doesn’t sleep began to chase me. It popped into existence and moved closer to me daily.
  • I was chased into a mountain range and caught in a box cannon. When I flew it knocked me down. When I tried to climb it plucked me off. It was about to get me when Nameless took me and placed me near Pheraya.

She was surprised that Nameless had done that. He’s changed, which I already knew. But I still trust him. He got me on the path of where we are.

We discussed what he told me, about needing blood to get Pyrico back. As I looked at it, it does make sense. She was in the process of giving me heck for creating and combining a ritual. We needed stealth, as Christoph had pointed out.

That was when a voice interrupted us. It was male, deep, and had the snapping of fire. I grabbed Pheraya and moved her behind me as I did not know if the voice was aloud or in my head. I walked backwards looking for the source.

‘You should learn how to mask your presence.’

He walked out from behind a tree, an Efreet, well dressed but in a style they do not favour. I tensed, an enemy here. Judging him, I know I won’t win against him. I told my sister to run, which predictably she said no. What a fool. He was talking and slowly approached as we backed away.

I barely remember the conversation as I was more focused on how to ensure Pheraya doesn’t become a slave. Foolish girl.

The Efreet claims he engineered the conditions for my escape confident that I would take advantage of it. He apparently not only won much wealth from betting on me but also attempted to buy me from the bastard. He warned that my former master is determined to reclaim his escaped property and is now moving to find where I crossed over to the Prime. Great. As if I’m not under pressure already.

Next point of interest, he wants a place on the Prime to call his. Sure, let me get that for you. I told him he’ll have to work for it. Apparently he dabbles in information. Well that could be useful. I want to know each of the lords’ weakness. I have brothers to rescue after all. He tells us that Vrelix has an Advisor from on of the Infernal realms, either Hell or Abyss. He’s not sure which one, but he plans on looking into it.

It’s in his interest that we win, and I don’t get captured. No idea why. He overheard my sister’s protest of creating a complex ritual by modifying a couple of additional rituals…. And so offered to look over what I’ve had planned. That took a lot for me to not only approach him but to give him my book with all the notes. My notes apparently were on track til I added in the stealth. He made some comments and then with flourish wrote a new ritual schematic complete with inscriptions and blended the cloaking in smoothly. Honestly, it was brilliant but I’m not going to tell an enemy that til he’s proven himself a friend. I snatched the book away and in the typical attitude of his species he asked if there was anything else.

Well I asked if the antiscrying magic was still in tact. Yes.
How is the bastard going to find me? He’s following your presence and using items. Great… My father’s ring that he gave to my mother. The necklace Phearon had given me years ago was taken when I was captured.
You said I need to mask my presence. How? For one, stop burning everything. For the second you’ll have to figure it out yourself. How useful….
We are short on goods…. Especially items of magic. Two of my companions were wounded, and may have contracted a disease… He is already offering up a large sack which I carefully take and peer inside. I can see several potions and easily identify the healing ones. This is good.

He made an off comment about me self healing which I snerked at. All you have to do is trust the flames. That stops me and before I can look at him, he’s gone. No one in the realm of fire knows what I really am. I kept my appearance human. A secret friend even confirmed that I didn’t lose my form when I fall unconscious. He had been concerned about that after I had let him in on my secret….

How does this Efreet know? And what does he know? Does he know of my lineage? Is he one of the fire allies mother had been hoping to call in.

Too many questions!

Hurry, I told Pheraya. If the bastard is crossing where I landed we have a few weeks maybe before all Hell breaks loose. The bastard will aim to kill and enslave those with me. My only hope, ironically, is that the Kabal harry them. A hunting party will make a much bigger splash than 1 entity entering.

What do I tell the others? The dwarf and Christoph I owe an explanation to, wait Christoph is missing. The other two…. I’m not sure of. I’ll have to ask for Jern’s input. But the plan must be spoken so if I’m gone they’ll continue. They must!

  • Call back Pyrico. Free the elves from their statis around their village. Secure this forest as a home base for the resistance. No scrying means no direct teleportation. If possible see if Warmonger is interested in fighting Kastral to give Pryrico time to recover and fix his forest. Maybe awaken Merlai a little. The Earth Mother has been far too quiet.
  • We need to figure out where ALL the local mines are. Elta should be in one and we need her for the next step: liberating the dwarves and convincing them that the forest is safe for them. And to work with the local elves. I’ll need Jern to help me with this. Dwarves were sent off to mines and forges nine years ago. I’m certain they are still there.
  • The other Elemental Lords need to be awoken. I don’t have a plan for that yet. We need to CAREFULLY recruit people.

But somehow I doubt I’ll be around for that. The bastard is coming. To the now, not 7 years ago. Did I lose track of time while a slave? I know it was months on the Shadow Plane. And both Shadow and Fire Planes are 1:1 ratio in time. The fact that I slowed down in aging after I reached puberty doesn’t help, it is possible that 9 years passed and I only aged a little. Was I in statis when the Salamanders caught me? I know I spent a lot of time healing after many of my boughts and lost track of days. Gah! Too much to think.

Must focus. We have to move. And I need to talk to Jern.

And I must see that my sister goes through the rite before we call to Pyrico. I must also write down the rituals for sacred space and memory of the line. Just in case I die or am taken, she must know mother’s traditions.

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt. 10
In which Clarence acts as a Yoyo

Negotiations were going well until Emeira’s pet mage came in, started on a drug trip of some kind, and slapped me in the face. I excused myself to get some fresh air. Her majesty followed shortly after, tossed me a book full of glyphs and sigils I couldn’t make heads or tails. She beckoned me to return. Physically. We went into a room, Emeira locked out Elta. Helped me come to my senses. We discussed the real world some, and concluded that we needed to deny the reality we were stuck in. Elta began screaming in agony. Had to shore up my emotions to stop from going for her.

The room began growing dark and thick with mist. Someone called out that the room wasn’t real. Went and tried to push on it. It’s soft and spongy. Swung at it. My hammer got lodged. Pulled it out, and took another swing where sounds began to emerge. Couldn’t pull it out this time. Kept trying, but there was resistance. Voices from the other side got clearer. Someone was pulling on the hammer. Emeira pushed me into the wall. It was very uncomfortable. Got pulled through to cries of “pull!”

Pronkarr and Daniel were there as my head emerged from whatever it was that held us. Got out. Clarence arrived shortly after. Introductions. Emeira and Pronkarr started talking between the two of them while I explain what little I know of what’s going on.

Eventually got the chance to ask Pronkarr what the hell is going on, and where Maximus is. He offered disgustingly little insight into anything.

We took off for where ever the hell we’re going. Day passed. Set up camp.

Woke up to Skeletal ghouls attacking our camp. They focused in on Clarence who our combined efforts were barely able to keep alive. Every strike left disgusting little worms crawling in his skin, going for his head. Eventually we got them down, and found that Fifi had been pulling wounds onto herself as well. They were both bloody messes, and our resources are getting dangerously low. Let’s hope we can find ourselves the hell out of here soon.

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt 9.
In which we forget how to remember ourselves.

Continued on our way. Dragging FIFI along. Emeira began asking us how we are with magical theory. Explained my extensive background with such matters. She needs our assistance completing some kind of ritual for sake of summoning even More gods. Or perhaps drawing the attention of things that can capture gods. Either way. 50/50.

Apparently the god of the forest we’re in is one of Fire. The forest of a Fire god. Sounds like a healthy place to be.

More theological discussion was had. Much surprise that I don’t know much about magic or meditation. She wants to bring down the sun too.

Shit started to get dark. Then we were being charged by the head of a big dark unicorn. Split up and tried to get it’s attention. I guess it’s coming for Fifi?

What the fuck have the fates gotten me into.

Castal appeared in front of us. Barely managed to dodge out of the way as lightning slammed to the earth behind me. I guess Warmonger’s here again? Their battle is giving the earth seizures, making my feet go numb. Not a lot of purchase to be found that isn’t shaking right now. Just kept running as directed.

Well, maybe not so as directed, as Emeira had to keep coming down and putting me back on course. Trees.

Eventually met up with the other pair. Apparently Fifi is now awake. So That’s a thing.
Kristoff started dogging behind. Made a solid recommendation for a new exercise regime. It was not well received.

He starts pulling stuff out of his pockets. Underwear, Manacles, I stopped paying attention pretty quick.

After a bit I guess we found a safe distance from the battle of gods, as Emeira brought our congregation to a light jog. Our new aim is to keep going the exact same way we were before, but slightly to the left. I guess that will fool the god that’s hunting us.

I’ll keep my hammer and shield at the ready.

Discussions of unconscious snuggling and weasel locations. I continue on my way.

Lots of discussion over who can find the best nuts?

Warmonger and the Unicorn are still having it out back there.

Evening comes. Emeira tries to teach me ritual symbols. Would probably be a lot of great information for a clan runesmith. I am not that. However, surrounded by mist, I certainly didn’t have anything else to focus on during my watch.

Woke up alongside my wife, Elta. Morning comes way too soon after an evening of anniversary. No matter what year it is. Too bad This morning came the day of our visit with Emeira and Kristoff.

Splashed the cobwebs out of my head, got dressed, and we took off.

Pleasantries were had. Breakfast. We go hunting.

As we were about to take down our first boar for the day, Emeira had it dead to rights, but hesitated. I saw this, and that the boar had her between it’s tusks. Made my move and pinned it’s skull to the ground.

Questioned her about the hesitation. She was feeling off. Unusual. Sent the boar back with a couple of the guards, and the two of us went off after another.

Got back with much bigger prey this time. Went back to the castle. Eme and Kris went off for a bit of chat.

Explained the situation to Elta. The 4 of us all went off to determine what the issue was with that weird boar.

We came upon the court magician. Fifi. Didn’t recall her being there. She called Emeira “Your Majesty” This seemed odd coming from Emeira’s sister. Had sudden flashes of remembrance. Us meeting each other in the forest, Fifi was there with us. The others didn’t remember any of that. Whatever imaginings were roaming throughout my head quickly faded, and no longer wrested my belief in reality, once I found my way to the nearest watercloset and made sick.

Cleaned up, went back, and met up with the group. Apologised for my foolishness, and we continued with our day.

Business went well. The meal was delightful. The dancing afterwards apparently didn’t go so well, as Emeira and Kristoff stopped half way through and took off. Went over to make sure everything was alright. Emi was having one of those memory spells as well. Starting to have recollections of the forest I was confused about earlier. We went for the court magician again.

More of those false memories started to come back. More and more. Piling up as Emeira and I keep finding things we remember in common. We’ve come to the conclusion that we’re suffering some kind of shared hallucination or dream. We need to get ourselves out.

What by all that is sacred is going on?!
Thank you Warmonger!

We have been walking for a few hours, our discussion going on in a circle, unlike our travels.

We discuss what I am planning. The ritual that I’m trying to put together to bring forth Pyrico if possible. Or send us hurling to get him out if I’m off. I hope I’m not off on the sigils and words needed.

The circles must be perfect. The sigils, runes, and words perfect. The intent perfect. The offerings shall be as close to perfect as possible.

I hope that Pheraya has salt. Or that there’s salt in the bag of holding that I took. Salt is great for the outer ring to keep out unwanted things. Otherwise it’ll be a lot of charcoal.

But yes, I began talking about how to raise energy to the men. I might as well be talking about advanced interplanar travel, portals and jetstreams to a bunch of first year acolytes. I am having a hard time trying to form my thoughts into words they would understand.

Christoph and Jern were taking turns pulling Pheraya as she’s still unconscious. And I was thinking of the rituals my maternal grandfather’s family performed.

Parts of that lines’ secrets are hard for me to crack open, but I can recall a ritual of summoning to battle an enemy force that my grandfather had partook in; the summoning was the Revscra, Death Unicorn, more than less, an ancient and weak god of the past, reduced to demi status, but still powerful enough to kill mere mortals. I’m hoping to modify the ritual enough to gain Pyrico’s audience. Can we last long enough?

How can I get them to figure out how to raise energy? The dwarf has an intriguing battle technique. I need to get him to focus on how to incorporate it into the ritual. His race is strongly linked to the earth and her secrets. In this world and mother’s. In ritual he may be best to work the grounding ring, the ring of summoning purpose.

I begin to talk to Jern about this while thinking of Christoph’s link to Nameless and desire to not gain unwanted attention. He may be perfect to channel that desire into how the ritual uses the energies gathered. I do like him challenging me. But I wish I had all the answers.

Jern surprised me by his statement of trusting in my leading them along this path. I will have to honour this trust and ensure the ritual is flawless.

No pressure.

I’m in the middle convincing Christoph the importance of the crazy scheme and changing the balance when suddenly it darkens. I feel a shift and quickly shift my vision to magical sight and we’re in the middle of it. And it’s dark magic. This is bad. Very bad. There’s no direct path out as it descends. We are going to be trapped!

I scan the area, after informing the others that we’re in the middle of this. I’ve released my scimitar and raised my shield, then I see the unicorn outline in the mist. That chill from the shadow plane runs up my spine.

I’m an idiot! Close to 3 decades ago Mother told this bastard to go to Hell in this VERY forest! He and his were battling Pyrico and his for this forest. Damn my boldness for talking so freely!

On the one hand what I’m planning must be on the right track to have him manifest. On the other, he’s here to destroy us. But he didn’t come right on top of us, perhaps we are screened? But by who?

I do some quick thinking about who to send off and who to keep with me at the same time.
I charged Christoph with my sister and to run in a direction opposite to Kastral’s approach as swiftly and quietly as possible.

He is between us and Pyrico’s pyre. I must be on the right track!

I tell the dwarf to make noise. He’s in heavy stone armour. Should be easy.

And the black bastard changed his direction. I pull the dwarf to get him running with me, away from Christoph. I handed Jern a potion of bull’s strength, just in case. I meanwhile call to Merlai and the Wanderer for help, either to hide us or give us speed. Nameless too. I ask for help too. Really any of the gods that would be able to help.

He’s chasing us, no doubt enjoying this play with non followers. Then he disappears. Is he after my sister?

No. He steps out before Jern and I. I am powerless against him. I am not yet at my full potential, Mother had more magic open to her than I do when she challenged him. He is what is killing this realm. And I don’t have my tools yet to do damage to him. But yet I step ahead of Jern. He can hit harder than I. Perhaps my time in the pits will aid me avoiding getting hit. Yeah… Right.

But then I smell ozone. I yell a warning to Jern and dive behind a tree as a bolt lands where we had stood. Had the Lord of Lightning come?

No. It’s Warmonger! ’Let’s do this!’ He shouts out rather, gleefully?

Is this why he didn’t smite me? That I would be bait that would bring him fun? I’ll take that with a strong thank you to him for saving us.

And we’re running again. Must find a way for the dwarf to travel faster. Poor bugger has short legs. I send Asra to find Christoph and get him to join with us as we move to avoid the divine battle. The out pouring of magic and noise is very heady, and I took flight to avoid it. I keep Jern heading in the right direction when suddenly Christoph and my sister arrive. Pheraya is not only awake but flying! I hug her tight then help her fly swiftly. She is so weak.

We keep going and then Asra falls before me, giving me some sort of ring from Christoph. Turns out it’s a gate ring. It has potential applications. We continue to walk, Christoph and Pheraya are unable to keep up the run. By the time night approaches, I’m ready to lay down and rest, but the battle is still raging, according to Jern. Trust a dwarf to feel the vibrations.

We keep going til the normal sight fails. Which means that the human form of Christoph is blind. My sister with her elven eyes, still stumbles, more weak than blind.

We find a safe looking place to rest. I let Jern and Pheraya go to sleep and then proceed to teach Christoph the basics of what he’s writing. He simply falls down afterwards to sleep. Poor man. I may have to reteach him what I just taught.

Next was Jern. I was tired but I kept focus and taught him the first line of what he’s to write. Pheraya is softly snoring when I finally call it a night and wish Jern a quiet watch.

I settled down to revery. I need to look at the spell circles. First I see what my grandmother used, she’s a follower of the Earth titan, as was her father. I look several generations of shamanic summonings til I finally find a follower of Stath. He’s not Pyrico, but Mom once called to him.


What have I turned my back on?

A prosperous kingdom. A husband who is more diplomatic than I. But who doesn’t love me. But Christoph was still anchored to logical thinking, and his concern for my well being was tender. I miss having someone being sweet to me. Nice strong arms… But I digress.

A great relationship was coming with the nearby dwarven kingdom lead by King Jern. I’m pretty sure I know his wife from something, but what?

Wait! She brought us to the Vrynmer!

Oddly Pheraya was the court magician. She, a practitioner of the mind arts, like father, being an archmage. Perhaps in a different life it would have come true. But Rajine had apparently trained her. And Baelok was there, but he was different. He smiled!

How powerful is the caster who did this?

Tricked me into believing I was a queen. That all is well and grand. But why did the first boar strike me as odd? What caused Jern to start rambling about the mist forest? What exactly struck me to start lifting the veil from my eyes?

The dancing started it.

But that thrice damned brand on my neck. It was gone but then it came back.
And Jern and Christoph saw it. And both began demanding answers.

When did it happen? 9 years ago.

Who did it? Jern accused Christoph. Christoph asked me who did it in a way that scared me.

How can I tell them? The rough hands. The smell of sulphur. The burning brand had failed. The laughter as the needle is punched into my neck.

I think that is what forced me to realise that the beauty isn’t real.

Pheraya grew quiet. Christoph brought up that we might be in danger.
What had forced us here? What’s eating us? Or packing us away? Jern also grew very agitated. Where’s my scimitar’s tattoo?! Why didn’t it come back like the brand? It too was done against my will!

Don’t let panic take hold.

We have to wake up. We must wake up!

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt 8.
In which apparently we're friends with Gods now?

We found some kind of “safe” location in the middle of the misty death woods. Made all the more so by the fact that we have a strip of cloth to hide under. Got fed a bunch of small woodland creatures. I don’t appear to be bleeding out.

Wake up to something sitting on my chest. Some kind of hallucination? Some kind of sassy whatever it is, as it bemoans my wounds, and then…. Fixes them? Friend of Kristoff’s, apparently. Probably a dream. Try to leave the area, cause fuck that. Come back into the other side of the scene, further confirming the theory. Also, the imp thing says it has controlled other dreams of mine? Not too sure what that means

Kirstoff’s also awake. Then asleep. Then awake. Apparently he’s talked with this thing before. Something called Nameless? Fancies itself a god, I guess? Appears to be some kind of trickster.

It asked what it can do for us. I have no idea what it can do for us.

Gave us some potions? PInched my ass and fucked off. Emeira came back. Brought more food.

Confirmed she was the one who called nameless. No real information as for what purpose.

Apparently there are shadow monsters that worship a unicorn named Castal? Also a water god named Seabitch. I suspect that’s not on her birth certificate.

Slightly surprised that Kristoff worships Warmonger. Doesn’t seem to be a complete asshole though, so maybe that’s Not a requisite?

Off we go. To somewhere. To meet a holy place. Apparently Emeira has chats with all the gods? Cause, you know, who doesn’t? Someone suddenly walked into the group. And is warmonger. Covered in weapons, of the unshitty variety. Can’t rightly recall what he looked like.

Mocks our gear. Hands Kristoff a new bow. A Warbow. Fucked off behind a tree.

Ameira lent me her brother’s warhammer, in lieu of Princess’ realiability. We decided to head off towards somewhere elves are. Wonderful.

The Shadow Seeks Christoph?
How to talk to them?

We had travelled a distance away from the spider and web golem. I had on my mind too many questions. And the golem heart to study.

I wish I was in the Library in Limbo. I would be able to figure out the heart there in no time. Or if Rajine was around, my elven brother would be able to get the secrets out, especially with what I took from the fire realm.

I miss my brothers!

I helped to put my sister and Christoph into my tent. It was cramped but I’m certain that they would call it cozy. I wonder how mom would react if my sister took the werewolf as her mate. He did well with the last fight…

Jern took watch, but lets face it, his wounds were more serious than his gruffness would allow him to show.Asra took a nap beside him while I reveried. When I awoke he was asleep. Poor dwarf didn’t stir when I shifted his cloak to cover him better. Asra agreed to guard the camp while I went to do magic.

Ritual magic.

I drew the circles and the sigils. Checked them for any imperfections. A communing circle is rather easy to do and doesn’t require blood, thankfully.

Mother called the eight Elemental Lords. They are Gods. But her tradition didn’t see them as such. I called for Blah of Lightning, Vrynith of Light, Pryrico of Flame, The Wanderer of Air, Nameless of Shadow, Blah of Ice, Merlay of Earth, and Syrenia of Water. In the center I also called for the Gods of Magic. Then I focused and raised the energy, going to each mark and calling to each one, asking for help.

For each I left a gift for their time to talk with me. The first was Nameless.

I thanked him for rescuing me from the Beast and bringing me back. I asked him about Pyrico and Vrynith. They had lost their followers as the Kabal took more power. I pointed out that I’m back. And my sister still follows, at least I hope she does. But we aren’t enough. He further suggest that I yell his name. I was perhaps disrespectful when I told him I did many times while on the Plane of Fire. Surely I would have attracted his notice, but I didn’t. He’s the Phoenix. Pyrico will rise from the ashes, and the ashes are scattered. Nameless suggested blood.

Then it struck me as wrong, and I questioned Nameless about it. God of Shadows, Prophecy of sorts, Trickery, Riddles and Humility, or at least he was. Now, I fear he’s been corrupted as my sister said. He also made an error in bringing me back to now.

I’m here as a mistake.

Two years did go by for me. Not 9. If I had gone back to the correct time would I have been able to prevent the present situation? Or would I have been a casualty? I must not dwell. But I might have found my brothers. Those who wanted to work with us may have still been free. The sun would be out. No, dwelling on what I missed will only embitter me.

Focus instead on the riddle of whether or not the Elves are exterminated or in some sort of stasis. To find the Elves I will have to travel to their village which is where Uncle Toza will be. Without help, I am certain that we will die or worse. I need to find Pyrico and have him back in his forest. I need the elves’ help to bring him back as they did honour him. But I need his help to bring them out of stasis if they are in stasis. Who else can we get? Toza was an archmage. A book magus. And an elf. Magic is very much apart of him.

And, as my guardian before he was turned against us, he knows my True name. He also knows my twin’s. I don’t think Fifi knows how scared I am. But they mustn’t know.

Irony, ritual magic is stronger when blood is used. Ritual magic is also stronger when there’s more than 1 caster. Will the dwarf and man be willing to learn about ritual? Can they be trusted? Perhaps this is what Nameless meant? I possess Pyrico’s Talon. It would be better if I had the staff that Pyrico gifted father. But at least I have one direct link.

But the task is daunting.

I want my brothers!! But Nameless left without saying goodbye. He didn’t answer about them being alive, dead, or free. That and his persona is very unlike him. It’s very wrong, off even.

How did Nameless get corrupted? Is there a way to fix him? I loved playing with him as a child, he was safe and always caught me when I was bounced from the Prime and sent me back. Now? Now I’m not so secure in my safety with him. But I must hope he still doesn’t lie. He never lied to Mother.

I traveled the circle, trying to listen to whispers of each called upon God. Syrenia surprised me.

I purposely avoided drawing her attention to me in the past because I was certain that my being would be an affront to her. An insult. I still honoured her with gifts, but I am not like the others in Strom that did follow her.

She sounded old, angry and impatient with me. I asked her for aid to try and bring back how the world used to be, when she was not only feared but respected. She may not be interested in Pyrico, but Vrynith is vital to the land plants, he must be as well to the seaweeds and kelps. I gambled on that suspicion and then spoke of the beauty of the sun light on ocean waves and fish scales. Thank you Vivian for your wild stories. If you are alive I pray that you have a fine sail full of wind, if you are fallen, I hope you took many with you and you sail the eternal river.

Syrenia said she’ll consider what I said, and I thanked her for her presence and time.

No one else came.

I said thank you to any who listened but the gifts were still there. I gathered them up and eased the magic away. Then proceeded to erase the circles and sigils.

How am I going to broach the topic of ritual magic with 2 mundanes?

I got back to camp and noticed 2 things. One, Asra had gone hunting and brought back rabbits and pheasant for us, as well as fallen wood to cook by. And two, Jern and Christoph weren’t only fully healed but also knew what I had been up to. They jumped upon me. I half didn’t want to tell them, but half was trying to work out how to say what needed saying.

Seems Nameless thinks I can trust these two. But it’s still hard to talk magic to people who have a history of disgusting it, dwarves, or who know enough to get into trouble, Christoph.

It also doesn’t help that I managed to insult Christoph’s second diety, Warmonger. He wasn’t around when I was here before, though apparently 90 years ago he was, as Jern knew about him. Perhaps a regional diety? I don’t know why he didn’t hurt me for the offence. Perhaps he cursed me and I don’t know it yet? Not likely as he’s a god of force, battle and that sort of stuff. Perhaps a good God to dedicate difficult kills to? Though he did, scold, me for using magic to talk to gods. It’s rather unnerving to be scolded by a god I am not familiar with. And he actually gifted Christoph with a beautiful bow! Trouble is coming soon!!

After he left, I leant Jern the hammer I took from the Bazaar in the Brass City. I mean for Baeloc to get it when I find him, but I’m certain he won’t mind Jern testing it out first. If a God tells a mortal to look out for something, take heed.

Christoph is being hunted by a dragon known as the Shadow. He’s worried about his family. I wish I had something to scry with to help him. He doesn’t know why the harbinger of the mist is after him, but apparently Nameless also warned him. What did he or his family do to the dragon? And I don’t mean present family necessarily. Did an ancestor stick it with a lance? Or kill its mate? Can I use fire to scry? I grabbed what I thought I needed when I escaped. And things for my siblings, but I’m under prepared.

I really hope the dragon is not Obsidean.

Now I want Pronkar with us! He taught me a few things about weapons. Taught Baeloc more. I yelled for him. I hope he’s still him and not Kaballic. He’s been in these woods before, hunting mother, father, the good king, and the rest, before mom and him made peace when the king died. Jern was worried I was calling for another God. Seems my ritual wasn’t as covert as I aimed for. It did it like mom, but she had a sacred space to do her rituals. Am I the reason that Toza meets us at the lake village?

Now, how do I talk about rituals with people not raised on learning the basics? If they believe it is impossible for them to do, it’ll break the ritual…

And my sister is still out. I’m worried but it’s only been a day. I’ll have to share my tea with her. Please wake up. I don’t know enough of the invisible arts to help you more. Why didn’t you wake up when Nameless healed the other two? Please don’t be vision trapped.

Gods above and below, please send us help to help you. We need a foothold to start spreading hope and reborn the resistance.

Jern Staalbred: Journal - Pt 7.
In which spiders and spider accessories can go suck an egg.

Spoke some with Emeira. Learned that someone named Xyxzus or the likes probably created the spike fingers? Not sure who that is, some kind of Necromancer I guess? We’re heading towards some little town. Either way we’re heading towards some little town I don’t know. As opposed to a bigger town I don’t know where said Xyxzyz might be waiting for us for reasons I don’t know. This week has been a pile of bullshit, and there’s no sign of it stopping.

We were woken up in the middle of the night by a blood-curdling scream. Fifi’s thrashing about in her sleep, having some kind of nightmare. Apparently this is a normal occurrence, which of course is nothing that should have been discussed Prior to hunkering down in the middle of spooky woods, where we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves.

The wolf and I repositioned to the other side of a tree so as to help dampen the noise, and were promptly rewarded with a further blasted shriek, but literally this time. As in it tore a hole in the middle of the tree, causing it to collapse on the two sisters, and our food, and the campfire.

Managed to get them extricated, and the burning tree off the goods. No significant damage, but It was bloody well time to get the hell out of that bullseye. Moved on, set up camp. Rest of the evening went fortunately without event.

Morning passed, and we continued on the way. Found out after a while that we were heading basically the opposite direction that we were the day before. Apparently there was some kind of revelation overnight, that something scary was waiting for us where we were heading to, so now we’re headed somewhere else. Vision related to the screaming, I suspect.

Eventually we came across a bunch of giant webs. Shockingly, they had giant spiders with them. Turns out I still hate those things. Managed to crush the one that dropped down; despite Princess’ protestations, but was surprised by some kind of web golem assaulting me from behind. With a combination of fire, violence, fire, having my esophagus forced out of my mouth, fire, fortuitously timed healing potions, and fire, we all managed to survive; if barely. Emeira went up to the canopy to burn the hell out of everything. I took Kristoff and Fifi and got us out of the drop zone as shit started falling from nests and branches.

Collected what few valuables dropped, and we regrouped. Sort of.

So Fifi’s unconscious, potentially with some form of brain damage, and Kristoff is too exhausted to move. We’ve managed to set the two up on a blanket to drag them along with us as we get the hell away from here. Will they be safer where ever we’re headed? Hell, will we ever even arrive? How long till another prophetic fart or wandering pack of undead tells us to turn around yet again?

Burning fur is the WORST
Hello, you have more legs than me.

Short entry.
Spider venom is potent shit. ‘Specially when from one the size of a fucking house.
Should’ve bagged some.
Oh well.

Note to self: Ignore last note to self and pull out the damn cloak. Chances of lightning strike minimal. Repeat instances even more so. Fuck your odds, Shinji.

If I get struck AGAIN, giving it to Wingy. She can… dunno, make traps or shit.

GODDAMN, I need a town. Need cure potions. Desperately.
Gold can’t keep people alive.

Cuz, Lady, these guys are nice. Stupidly so. Nicer than Scalpel.

This mutherfuckin forest is NOT NICE. No matter what Wingy says.

I’m gonna start having happy dreams about cobblestones and lintels. No regrets. NONE.

Note to self: Give Wingy one of the ring gates. Just. Reasons. Mid-battle reasons. Can’t remember.

Nts: Remember reasons and confirm decision (May have to do with house-sized spider and giant-ass spider golem)(Or fire).

Nts: Find town. Send letter to Svorak.
SEND IT DAMMIT. He should know.

Really hope shifting from half to full wolf will get rid of the burnt fur smell. On the verge of passing out.

Here goes.

Solitude Isn't Solitude When Company Won't Leave
Who made what now?

We’ve traveled for many grey foggy days. I can hear the group, but I’m not yet ready to be close to them. And my sister won’t leave my side.

I know she’s concerned. But damnit! I need to adjust. This isn’t the world I left! Its not where I belong! But I can’t just do nothing. Mother wouldn’t. So I won’t. Lets get to the Phelmyr and find some sort of lead if not the Elves.

At night I circle the camp they made, ensuring that nothing hunts them while they sleep. It’s great being able to revery again! My sister voices her worry about how I won’t fully commit to the group.

She can’t understand. I never want her to know what happened. She doesn’t need to know.

I saw a flare of fire the other night. A pyromancer? Is it free or is it an enemy cloaked? I will have to study it and see.

Before I can, the fool of a barbarian runs to a group I can’t see. I turn to look for more seed pods for the Guardians, then I hear battle. I grab the pods and start to fun to the fight, my sister following. We are so close to the Phelmyr, what could they be fighting?

When we finally arrived, the fight was over and the undead were dead. I examined them, allowing my sister to treat the wounds.


Not good. Not good at all.

The fools didn’t know what they fought or who made them. They allowed some to escape!

We were too close to the Phelmyr to try and turn away, so instead I encouraged them to push on. Xystus made these things. He’s a powerful necromancer. And the damned leader of the Cabal. I know not if he lent them out or if they were patrolling. But we had to leave.

Theories are that the boneclaws can also evolve from skeletons exposed to great amounts of magic. But I doubt it was a rogue group. Xystus struck mother as too much of an ego driven control freak to allow something like a boneclaw to make its own troop much less meander.

We walked a couple of days hard into the forest seeking the centre. But my sister had a horrible dream, well vision. Toza would meet us on the desolate island where the Elves once lived. My hopes of finding mother there ruined. As much as I bantered with Christoph over the day and tried to make light with Jern, I wasn’t relaxed. I changed our heading to go south. To head to where I spent my childhood, where Uncle Toza rules. Strom.

We need help and it’s going to be risky, especially with a dwarf. Can we find the remains of Bryntek? Mother strongly believed he was important to preventing the Cabal from gaining the land, and blamed herself for his death. Or books on lore, ancient history regarding that mystery island?

It’s a huge risk. Uncle Toza knows my true name. And Fifi, as Christoph calls her, just destroyed a tree, and I burned our way out from underneath.

We must work on discretion.

But that was now days ago.

Today I’m standing over the many remains of people killed and eaten by a giant spider and a web golem. I hate golems! I fought several in the arena. They hit too hard, and someone’s spirit was always bound in the heart. And I have its heart. A magus somewhere is going to be pissed.

My sister exhausted herself, and is now unconscious. Jern damn near died, and has my sister beside him. The wounds seem bad… But it’s Christoph who is battered. The spider’s poison stole his strength. And I now have to figure out where to go.

Did Toza make the golem? Or one of his underlings? Do they know it’s been destroyed? Did they see through its many eyes? We must move somewhere so they can heal their wounds. Oh kind Merlay, show me a haven, please.

Who’s soul was used to power the golem? Can we get it out? Do we want to?

Back to the Prime
Nameless Still Watches Over Me!

How much longer could I have continued?

I’m so tired. I’m so excited!

After months of being chased, the nasty caught up to me. It moved a hell of a lot faster than I thought possible.

I got knocked out of the skies traveling between mountain peaks. I do not know what did it. But I managed to roll out of the crash and barely got onto my feet. I shifted to elven form and ran. The creature was too close, hours perhaps and closing. I tried to take to the skies and again got knocked down. This time I landed in a valley and bolted. Its presence was overwhelming. I ran til I literally couldn’t run any farther, it was a dead end. The cliffs too steep to climb and the area too small for my wingspan. But I spun about to face it, my weapons in hand and back into my natural form. My ermine friend ran onto my shoulder, lending me her strength. The beast crashed around the boulders, all black shifting shadows and claws. I was ready to do battle and die when I heard the laughter.

It’s such a simple laugh. More a giggle.

I think I yelled for him to help me.

I thanked him afterwards. And then I was falling.

The sky was grey but it was bright, compared to the darkness I was traveling through. My weariness was gone. The fell presence was gone. I flapped my wings and I heard battle. Turning to get my bearings I saw her.

My sister. The youngest of us! She looked older but it must be a disguise. She was in trouble, there was a wolfman, werewolf near her and a displacer beast. I called out her name. Well, not her true name but the name I knew her as. And I dived down, dropping a globe of darkness.

I turned to attack the werewolf, I’ve dealt with their ilk in the arena, and just because they are hard to kill doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. But my sister shouted that he’s a friend.

Really? That murdering furbag is a friend?
I’ll have to talk to Pheraya, which is what she’s calling herself.

So I turned to attack the beast. I’m familiar with magics that mimic this monster’s ability. Just pity I’ve not yet figured out how to see the truth. They saw me. And I turned back to a woman. Human.

Then I cancelled the globe to allow the werewolf to help. And then there was a dwarf. How did I overlook him?

And then the Brokki arrived, angry about us taking his kill. I was ready to take him out. He seemed simple, if primitive. But he wisely backed down.

My sister, in her joy, ran up and hugged me. I had to fight the urge to throw her off. I’m not ready to be touched. Anyone who touched me meant to kill me or take me against my will. I killed the first and tried to kill the latter though that bastard always stopped me before I could finish them off. I had to tell myself that my sister will not harm me. But I need space.

There were too many people, and they seemed friendly enough.

The dwarf was brought her from 40 or something years ago. He speaks Shykkish, I can understand most of his dialect, as can my sister. But the Shykkish that the Brokki and the werewolf speak is different. I can understand it, but the Dwarf seemed to have a hard time.

We harvested the displacer beast Everyone was talking, and I was adjusting to the gravity, the light, the air and temperature of the Prime. I think I made some responses. I know I called myself Amira.

And we set off.

Though I found it odd. They saw me as I am. They probably think I am a Devil or a Demon. Something evil. Pheraya told them that we are sisters. The looks were dubious.

I walked and sometimes flew to get my bearings. The road we left behind. What was I going to do? Will the Beast hunt me here too? How long do I have til it arrives?

And 9 years?! I’ve been gone from my siblings’ lives for 9 years. The resistance is destroyed. The Cabal have won. And the sky is no longer blue. Vyrnith is missing or sick. Pyrico is gone too. And Nameless now scares my sister. He’s now sinister. How did this come to pass? A curse from an island in the opposite direction did this. A dragon may or may not be involved.

I’ve failed my family. How could 9 years pass?! I was banished for… 2 or so years. I am certain time doesn’t differ between the planes I was on.

There’s nothing in mother’s or father’s blood memory about this curse. The curse of no Vrynith shining upon us. Course not! It hasn’t happened when I had been here.

My twin brother is gone. I’m hoping not dead. My elven brother is also missing. As is my warrior brother. If we were together, we could do a summoning ritual to talk to the Elemental Lords. I’m not sure if my sister and I can do it together.

We camp, and the Brokki is fascinated by my ability to start fires. He got too close to me, so I leave with the werewolf to hunt. How long has it been since I’ve eaten real food? Too long.

We are silent, and it’s relaxing. I remain on the outskirts of camp with my ermine. We talk silently until my sister arrives to talk. She had noticed my reaction to the hug, I tell her I don’t want to discuss it. She pushes and finally I showed her the tattoo branded upon my neck. I tried to cut it off, but it remains, not matter my form. Pheraya is angry and wants to kill the bastard. I just shake my head, she’s grown so much. Her eyes are father’s, her temper is mother’s. I want to hug her, but I can’t. I keep watch them before the breaking of dawn, I depart.

I convinced them that we should head to the Phelmyr. I need to find a gift. And process that the only way to get food grown is by the good graces of the Cabal. The entire land is bound and shackled. Surely not everyone I knew is destroyed. Surely magic isn’t dead, but suffocating.


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