Player: J.P. |
Race: Human (Abnoctim)
Class: Necromancer 9
Weight: 130 lbs.
| ARMOR WORN|
|STR||10||+0||FORT||+3||+4||Base Attack: +4||Shard Staff of Námion (49 charges)
Sandals of the Shifting Sands
Vial of antitoxin
Raw materials for making scrolls (8,000 gp worth)
|DEX ||14 || +2 ||REF ||+3 ||+5 ||Initiative: +2
||CON ||12 || +1 ||WILL ||+6 ||+6 ||Speed: 30 ft.
||INT ||21 || +5 ||BASE ||MOD
||WIS ||10 || +0
||CHR ||9 || -1
Craft (cooking) 1
Decipher Script 4
Knowledge (arcana) 11
Knowledge (architecture/engineering) 2
Knowledge (geography) 4
Knowledge (history) 4
Knowledge (nature) 10
Knowledge (nobility/royalty) 2
Knowledge (the planes) 11
Knowledge (religion) 10
Knowledge (war) 1
Permanent arcane sight|
Talqavist's Blessing: detect scrying
Languages: Celestial, Common, Endict, Elvish, Draconic, Infernal
+2 saves vs. spells and spell-like abilities
Barred Schools: enchantment, illusion
Ray of Frost
Repair Minor Damage
Touch of Fatigue
Cold Orb, Lesser
Detect Secret Doors
Negative Energy Ray
Protection from Evil
Ray of Enfeeblement
Tenser’s Floating Disk
Curse of Impending Blades
Ray of Sickness
Veil of Shadow
Protection from Energy
Ray of Exhaustion
Ray of Weakness
Voice of the Dragon
Wall of Ice
Comprehend languages (CL6)
Detect secret doors (CL6)
Detect undead (CL6)
Halt undead (CL6)
Resist energy (CL6)
See invisibility (CL6)
Light (CL6) (24 charges)
Mage armor (CL6) (24 charges)
Shield (CL2) (22 charges)
Spectral hand (CL3) (25 charges)
Cure serious wounds (3d8+13) x2
Protection from energy (130 minutes)
Sheltered vitality (13 minutes)
Libris Decessus Nex, vol XIII (part 13 of Aulmpiter's Spellbooks)
The Care and Teaching of Bastanaks by Old Tok (donated by Dasari at Viscachün)
XP Reserve: 1375 XP
As agreed yesterday, we have met to discuss the topic of the Doombrammor. With the recent destruction of the Node of Furis by the hand of the Azalani Emperor, the future of the Doombrammor are uncertain. I will begin thusly with the assertion that the Doombrammor should remain with the Caladainen. The first leg of my argument stands on the foundation of historical truth. I begin in the Second of Age at the pinnacle of elven culture and knowledge: It was the will of the ancient elves, in their immortal wisdom, to bestow the Doombrammor upon the Tribes of Men. Furthermore, even after the catastrophe of the Godswar, the elves did not withdraw the Doombrammor from the Tribes. Therefore, the unquestionable wisdom of the elves dictates that the rightful place for the Doombrammor is with the Tribes, despite what tragedy may befall us... including war.
Ah, Belfador, a well-constructed opening, but a presumptuous one. The immortal and unquestionably wise elves are in fact neither. The fact that they butchered each other in the War of Sundering proves that they, like mankind, can make mistakes and die for them. Goaded by the Doombrammor, Anadrieldur demonstrated that elves are capable of jealousy (of Llómydien) and ambition. Cimestil proved that elves are capable of self-serving treachery and deceit.
But I digress. Sadly, the elvish civil war was just the first of a great many wars to be fought over these Divine Lenses. I hardly need to recount the horrors of the Godswar and any of the subsequent holy wars that have torn Edion asunder and rent her people again and again. There is no "god" in whose name atrocities have not been committed.
If the Furis Beast still existed, I would say that we should strive to return them to where they could cancel each other out, Llómydien's Tower. But that option is no longer available to us. Look at the balance of Amydh: the celestial scales have shifted as the moral weight of Vastare no longer exists to counteract the same of Palatum. We see this in the Manifest World as Azalan's star ascends higher and higher.
And what are your perfect elves doing to correct this state? They depart for Istalion. So it falls to we Abnoctim, as the moral and traditional inheritors of their follies and the burden of guiding mankind, to restore balance to a world wrought wrong by the machinations of the sentient Doombrammon. And the only way we can again acheive a balanced, harmonious multiverse is if all the other Doombrammon are destroyed.
Belfador, while I do not share Elidibs' view that the elves were less than wise, I am forced to question their motives. Perhaps they banished the Doombrammor to the province of men simply to wash their hands of the whole affair. It is possible that they were already preparing for their own departure from this realm. They forsaw that the nodes would be a flash point for the conflicts of men and didn't want those conflicts laid at the proverbial doorstep of their beloved repository of wisdom. Now that we Abnoctim stand as defenders of the Tower, it is time that the Doombrammon were returned to their correct physical location in the realm.
I agree with Elidibs on one point. The destruction of the Furis Beast is indeed troubling. I do not think, as he does, that this means the other nodes should be destroyed, but I do feel that leaving them in the hands of the "morally tapered" tribes is no longer an option.
My respected colleagues, your counterpoints are insightful and lead nicely to the second premise of my argument. It is not our place, as Abnoctim, to directly interfere with the freewill of the other tribes. The Teachings of Esus are clear on this matter. The Abnoctim are to ‘shepard the Tribes of Men through the attainment and diffusion of wisdom, knowledge and magic.’ It is not our place to rule men by holding their birthright and culture hostage in the Tower of Llómydien. Nor is it our right to destroy such divine gifts. If the elves had a folly, it was their flawed belief that the natural state of this world is one of balance. To the contrary, Esus, wisely, teaches that the world exists in a constant state of flux. It is only through enlightenment that the inevitability of change can be harnessed for the betterment of mankind and all of existence. Thusly, it is our birthright, the Abnoctim’s birthright, to teach, and to guide the Tribes of Men. Actions that assert control of the Tribes or the Doombrammen betray that birthright and the Will of Esus.
And I would point out that this "constant state of flux" has been jeapordized by the destruction of the conduit of influence of Flux Itself in the form of Vastare!
Whether you refer to it as a state of ethical balance or constantly fluctuating forces that when viewed up close appear to be anything but balanced until they are viewed on a long enough timeline, it is a pleasantly-distracting semantic argument. It is another such argument when one says we are "to teach, guide, and enlighten" and another says we are to "train, influence, and indoctrinate." As with all arguments, the truth will be in the middle somewhere.
I agree that it is our birthright and calling to shepherd the misguided Tribes of Men. I would like to think it possible to elevate the ethical cognition of mankind to get them to unmake their own Nodes, thus introducing an age of true individual morality that transcends the crutch of the godhead model (not so dis-similar to what we ourselves practice). I would be among the first and most forward of these teachers... but we as a people cannot instruct more than one priest can exhort.
We were made by the gods to be servile to the gods, and a voice of reason will always be drowned out by a martyr's cry. The gods need us, and will not let us go willingly even though belief in them condemns us to Carceri. Yes! Carceri! The lessons learned by Archon Talqavist and the Fellowship of Aenor reinforce this. Those who come to lean on their god-crutches and expect rewards after life will be culled to the Noisome Vale, while those who expect nothing but practice a morality regardless reach their true destinations.
At the very, utter least, the Node of Palatum must be unmade. That would preserve my balance and Belfador's possiblity for change. The stage would once more become set for our work to continue.
Belfalador, you are a long time colleague and, more importantly, friend to me, but you do not yet see that which this realm has become. We are swept, even now, into a moral downward spiral as a result of the mobile nature of the divine nodes. There was a time when the tribes were, perhaps unknowingly, wise enough to maintain geographic locations for the Doombrammor. Whether it was accidental or the programmed serendipity of the gods is a subject for another debate, but the point remains that when the nodes began to be moved about, a point accented quite nicely by Elidibs' Fellowship of Aenor, is when things started to go badly. Very badly.
As such, returning the Doombrammor to a state of geographic stability is of paramount importance. This is best accomplished, I feel, by a people whose stated motive is to "shepherd the tribes of men" and we should endeavor to establish locales for the nodes that keep them in balance. What better place to accomplish this than here at the Tower? The destruction of the Furis beast continues to be problematic, but I submit that we could make geographic adjustments to Palatum to account for this.
Elidibs, I fear you misspeak as well when you condemn Vastare as a dead entity. While it is true that the conduit of that place or being here in the realm is destroyed, and that does indeed greatly reduce Furis' influence among men, it is not destroyed and perhaps its infuence could be heightened in other ways to counteract Palatum in this world.
Ultimately, Belfalador, I think your argument in favor of free will for the tribes is valid. That does not, however, alter the fact that reviving moral balance requires the nodes be brought to the Tower, it only qualifies the method. It is obvious, especially with the might of Azalan, that we will never gather the Doombrammor through military action, so our way must be to teach and enlighten the tribes to our level of understanding such that all men seek to consolidate the symbols of godhood and make their world a better place for it. A tall order, indeed, but one for which we Abnoctim are well suited.
Well, Elidibs, we can always count on you to argue the most radical and entertaining position in our esteemed trio. You speak of finding truth somewhere in the middle ground, but in all the years I have known you, you have barely dipped an uneasy toe into those tepid waters. Based on the salient points of your rebuttal to my middle premise, you will find the final proof to my argument quiet entertaining.
The Doombrammor, as Avatars of the gods in this world, give voice to the will of the gods. The gods have made their will clear: the Doombrammor are to remain with their chosen peoples. To defy the gods by moving or destroying the Doombrammor is to execute an act of hubris, which history has demonstrated can only lead to ruin. And yes Elidibs, I do believe the Emperor has committed an act of hubris, which will define our world for an Age. But, we cannot mitigate his actions by engaging in an equally doomed campaign.
Vaizik has us taking the Doombrammor to the Tower... and every country will turn against us. Belfalador has us leaving them in place... and every country will turn on each other. I have us destroying at least one... and possibly repeating or compounding the Emperor's mistake.
I want to believe that the Furis Beast can be restored, truly, or failing that at least that a new Node can be somehow found or forged. I want to believe that such measures as destruction of a barely-understood divine lens are not necessary, and that the gods as such have a wisdom and that they truly know best. And I want to believe that whatever path our people decide will be the right one...
...but I cannot. My response is simple, and, if what Vaizik says is to be believed, my response is not irrevocable. And most importantly, it buys us time to right was has been wronged, or to at least debate it further.
Elidibs, your impassioned argument, while certainly thought provoking yields little hope of success. I'll concede that destruction of one or all of the Doombrammor may be an entertainable solution, but implementation of that solution is as unlikely as our friend Belfalador's vision of harmonious coexitence of the tribes.
Belfalador speaks of doing a wrong equal to that of the Emperor by tampering with the management of the Doombrammor. Is it not equally wrong, though, to sit by and watch them be manipulated and destroyed by petty human motives? We need to, and should, hold ourselves to a higher moral purpose and we must cling to that and work to orchestrate the return of a balanced and structured divine presence to the tribes. By accepting that we are the "shepherds" of men, we take it upon ourselves to be men of action, not simply observers who witness the fall of man.
The tribes will only turn against us if they think we stole the Doombrammor from them. They must by taught that the survival of their race is dependant upon taking a proactive course and bringing the remaining Doombrammor into balance. We just happen to have the perfect locale in which to carry this out. Perhaps the elves did not realize this would come to pass or perhaps they sought to protect us from such a difficult role, but returning the nodes to the Tower is the most prudent course of action. If we cannot accomplish this directly then we need to work toward a reasonable compromise.
Well, companions, a rousing discussion indeed. I'm late for a meeting and I must take my leave.
Excellent debate gentlemen. Same time next week? Elidibs I believe you are leading the debate, correct? Well, I’m off. Galadaster is performing a gargoyle dissection in the surgical auditorium. Elidibs, would you like to accompany me?
This is the story of Nimlinor the Young, a talented though junior wizard of the Tower of Llómydien.
The last few months in the Tower of Llómydien had seen me accompanying more powerful fellow wizards on short assignments into the dark, secret, and forbidden inner recesses of the Tower and outside the wary safety of the Tower’s revealing light. This alone would have been surprising for such a modest wizard as myself! After all, many of these assignments purposely involved trespass with alien beings that haunt the dark places hidden from the Tower's penetrating gaze. As I recall it now, the unusual interest in me would have been almost pleasant, were I not increasingly and uncomfortably aware that this was more than just rare. It was unheard of. Still, as I had affirmed many times at the prompting of a superior or simply in my daily prayers, "I Reflect Esus’s Light gladly." And yet, as I think back, recent events were strangely surreal, at once both timeless and ephemeral.
As I recall it now through the weird mist of strangely dimming remembrance, I was summoned to the Archon’s private chambers early, enough so that even the lowliest initiates were deep in sleep. Dressing quickly, the familiar, lilting sound of my morning memorizations comforted me as I prepared for a meeting that was more than just a little odd. While the summons was highly unusual, I wasn’t completely surprised given recent events, except that someone so blessed as the Exarch of Necromancy of the Tower of Llómydien, Galadaster the Magnificent, would deign to come and personally escort me to the Archon’s room! Something was happeninghad been happening for some time now, though. I hadn’t been the only one to notice, I mused, as I recalled the increasingly rare conversations with my colleagues over the past few months. My superiors had been... noticing me, much more often than was normal. Reason enough for my fellow wizards and friend’s tight lips and careful smiles around me these past weeks, I suppose. Surprised at my apparent latent cynicism, I opened the door to follow the Exarch who had patiently waited while I finished my preparations.
With this unusual summons to see the Archon, now, perhaps, I would finally find out what the unusual attention meant? I had just recently been received and honored as an Enlightened Initiate of the First Circle of the Mysteries of Esus after my recent adventures with the unusually active and dangerous assignments. Perhaps the summons was related? Maybe... No, it couldn't be... a research posting already? Where? How? Dismiss that unworthy thought, I chide myself, shrugging to no one as I continue to follow the Exarch down the long, bright hallways of the tower. No, one must normally be at least an Adept of the Third Circle of Mystery to receive a posting even to the most trivial of assignments, excepting in great need. The potential significance of that last concept just fully dawns on me as I round the corner and see the door of the Archon’s sanctum sanctorum at the far end of the hall.
The Exarch slows as he approaches the door, the long hall now forebodingly quiet and still. He raps gently twice on the door, and pauses. As he waits, a trifle awkwardly himself, it surprises me to notice, he gives me a look I have not seen inside these walls before. Pity? And a little fear? Perhaps! Exarch Galadaster betrays his thoughts then, squeezing my shoulder warmly. He meets my questioning, pleading gaze almost warily, but with undeniable though formal, subdued compassionfor my plight? I had always considered him more than simply one of my teachers, but as a friend, formal though the relationship must be. Hearing the Archon’s call to come in, he bids me enter even as he turns, swiftly stepping away, walking down the hall and around the corner much too quickly for my growing sense of unease. With no time for further reflection of any sort, I obey and open the door quickly, hastening to the chair the Archon gestures to, barely daring to glance at his face as I hurry forward, bow, and sit, head lowered slightly in proper deference, hands clasped in appropriate reverence.
It is only during the Archon’s usual prayer before beginning the meeting that I hear the voice praying behind me and to my left. I haltingly fight the urge to turn, and promptly stumble over the standard “Enlightening” prayer for guidance I’ve said thousands of times before. Flushing deep red, I sense Archon Talqavist’s gaze fix on me as he continues praying, his eyes hanging on me unrelentingly, like a high summer sun on a cloudless day. An interminable pause follows the prayer as Talqavist’s stare continues. I remain still, true to my training, quickly calming myself and keeping my head and gaze properly low, my demeanor, deferential and still. I am in audience with great and powerful and good men, and in no less danger for that, I surmise, again surprised at my apparently more-than-budding cynicism!
The Archon finally breaks the silence. "You have much to be thankful for since your arrival at the Tower of Llómydien, Nimlinor the Young."
Another pause. He has addressed me, and I finally raise my head and look at Archon Talqavist as he addresses me. Still no further sound from behind, though, and my body betrays me again, fidgeting ever so slightly as I wonder who stands there.
"You have noticed that we rushed and intensified your training," Talqavist states matter-of-factly. "This was done with purpose... and need." I have no time to wonder at that statement as Talqavist continues.
"You may also have noticed Dendwaru the Savant, behind you," Talqavist flickers a smile at my obvious eagerness to discover who is behind me and continues as I quickly turn to look, "and I tell you now that you are part of this storywhich is part of a greater story yet emerging. And by all the signs, you will have some part in illuminating this tale."
Gratefully turning just briefly to see who is there, I instantly recognize the man behind me, though his presence here brings more troubling questions to mind. He has been visiting the Tower for months, meeting in seclusion with the Archon and a very few select senior wizards, some of whom traveled from afar shortly after Dendwaru’s arrival.
The Archon continued his explanation. “He is a savant, though not just that; He is skilled in farseeing and in using faith to bring Esus’s Silver Truth to illuminate the future’s endless, mottled twilight. A prophet called to brighten Esus’s Future Truths, if you will.” Talqavist continues, “He is of the faithful of Esus, and a friend of this tower, and myself. An old friend,” the Archon looks at Dendwaru and smiles softly at the mild, good-natured slight, made with an obvious, easy camaraderie. I hear Dendwaru’s robes rustle suddenly and shortly, and wonder for a fleeting moment at what his immediate reaction must have been! These two must have known each other for a long while indeed. What events could great Esus conspire to bring them together, to get beyond such normally disparate circumstances? Her Mysteries are indeed!
And then my indulgent and apparently ill-timed reverie comes to a sudden, shocking end.
“He has seen you,” Talqavist says softly, urgency in his voice, as he turns to me once again, gazing intently as if he could hopefully see this strange riddle’s answer played out in my now very furrowed brow.
An uncontrollable shiver wracks me as goose bumps raise hackles on the nape of my neck.
The simple shrug Talqavist gives in response is comically understated, considering the gravity of his previous statement. “Why, we cannot yet say. Esus’s illuminations are not always easily or quickly understood. Her Light may temporarily blind one to the totality of the truth until the whole can come into focus or be revealed.”
Dendwaru’s slate-blue gaze holds me now as I hear him moving. He walks around to stand next to Talqavist. “You are in my dreams, and have been for some time now,” the Silver Prophet (as he is sometimes called by the initiates) asserts bluntly. Testing me, perhaps? Gauging my mettle, at least, certainly. Dendwaru watches me closely before he continues. “There are challenges ahead of you that will mean much to many. Not here, though, in the relative safety of the Tower of Llómydien. No, you must travel to find what challenging grace Esus has laid before you. You must enlist the aid of others, and together find the Dark that Esus bids you dispel, as must we all. We cannot foresee exactly where you will go to meet your ultimate destiny. But we know where you must begin. You must travel immediately to the Monastery of Atân.”
Dendwaru pauses, looking somewhat chagrined at my obvious discomfort and now, frankly, thinly disguised fear. Talqavist stands purposefully, filling the silence with the natural assurance of a leader who knows without question he will be obeyed, and right quick.
“Nimlinor the Young, Enlightened Initiate of the First Circle of the Mysteries of Esus," says the Archon, "I bid you travel to the Monastery of Atân. But, you will not go alone. I will accompany you, for I greatly wish to speak with Lord Seviamos.”
“Nimlinor, you must grow in wisdom to best meet the task Esus has and will lay before you. Be very clear, you should not do this alone, for the most part. At the Monastery of Atân you will meet colleagues of complementary skills and as much reliability as they can muster, even if they are not in Esus’s service or of the faith. Work with them, though within the Tower of Llómydien’s teachings. As the gods will it, from time to time we will contact you and more will be brought into light.”
“Know that you are not alone in facing whatever challenges lay before you,” Talqavist continues. “Know that the wisdom of Esus shines on and through you.”
Archon Talqavist continued to address the somewhat shaken Enlightened Initiate Nimlinor. “Nimlinor, remember well that Esus is not only the god of fate and wisdom, but also a god of magic and action versus imbalance. Do not simply react, but wherever possible act surely, though with thought and faith. Contemplation, reflection of course, may more often light the correct path than haste, but lightning-quick decisions must have their place and time as well. Damned are they who pause to consider once too often whether the sun will rise again."
An unusual look then clouds the Archon’s usually bright face.
“We may all have even greater need for Esus’s magical strength and wisdom versus imbalance in the future, judging from the portents. You will learn more as we learn and may relateand as you no doubt will experience personally!”
Talqavist’s face clouds now, stern indeed. “One last directive, Nimlinorstrong advice more accuratelyand then you must leave and prepare for a new dawn. I know of your skills as a philosopher and necromancer,” he continues, as I blush slightly. “Don’t fret, I am not as completely unaware about what transpires within these walls as may be stated. In truth, it is more than simple talents you have to work magic and enlighten with your powers of reason. But trust not only to your magic and your mind in your coming travelstrust in your companions.” Talqavist suddenly waves a hand past me, toward the entrance where the Silver Prophet now stands holding the door open. I had not even heard him move. “May Esus bless you with her Wisdom as she did the heroes of ages past”.
Dendwaru nods slightly, a thin smile momentarily and barely moving his lips but his eyes dancing with fond remembrance of long-ago trials. I rise questioningly, pausing but a moment to confirm my dismissal, and try to walk out more surely and boldly than I feel into whatever strange grace Esus wills.
As I walk back to my room to prepare for my journey and wonder to the future, I remember my teachings. Perhaps now is a fitting time to remember one of the most basic truths of the Mysteries of Esus. I will need all my strength on this journey and, I know, not solely the physical stamina or strength many narrowly confuse with the term. I fearand yet hopeI will find the truth of the saying, “True strength transcends and bolsters strength of arms,” many times over. I know the weak light flickers and is easily snuffed. My light must flare brightly, it seems, but long enough to brighten and realize the future Esus put before me. I am resolved even as I am, I admit to myself now, nervous. I will not question my path from this point forwardthough I suspect I may question my actions. I hasten my step, though I barely know my destination and certainly not my fate. I step quickly toward my future.